Please Make Them Pick the Fried Stuffed Bell Pepper Rings

Each week my personal chef clients choose four entrees and four side dishes from my main menu. I often offer some special seasonal dishes as well when I feel inspired by local ingredients, produce from my own garden, or an intriguing new recipe that’ll broaden my own culinary education.

Some clients always order heavy on the starch or the chicken or the Mexican dishes, which I find hard to understand. When given so much choice, why are people so repetitive? My complaint is selfish, really. They’re the ones paying me after all. It’s just that I enjoy cooking (and tasting) a wide variety of things. It keeps the work interesting.

While I like every dish I offer on my menus, I wouldn’t necessarily order them in the same combination as my clients. but this week I was particularly pleased with one client’s order. First she chose the grilled lamb chops marinated in curried buttermilk fromCook’s Illustrated’s The New Best Recipecookbook. 24 hours soaking in this divine sauce laced with brown sugar makes the lamb absolutely buttery. This dish was paired with a sweet and savory Israeli cous cous salad: large round grains of pasta tossed with roasted garlic, shallots, and green and yellow summer squash, toasted pecans, currants, and a zesty dressing of orange, lemon, and lime juice, olive oil, coriander, and cumin.

Her second entree was a ground beef, veal, and pork meatball mix pressed into half-inch rings of red and orange bell peppers, pan-fried in olive oil, and simmered lightly in a fresh beefsteak and sun gold tomato sauce (from the garden). This was accompanied by a broccoli, garlic, and kalamata olive saute.

Inspired by a store-bought marinade, I made a tamarind lime barbecue sauce for the baked chicken leg quarters in her third entree. These were served over white basamati rice with extra sauce on the side. The side dish of bok choi salad was dressed with toasted sesame oil, toasted black sesame seeds, onion greens (from my garden), and sweet mirin rice vinegar.

Finally, I was pleased to see her request the eggplant casserole (great cold!), made from roasted eggplant slices (spread with garlic olive oil) layered generously with a thick homemade tomato sauce, topped with fresh parmesan cheese, and baked till it comes together. To go with it she chose the Caesar salad variation made with gorgeous heirloom red lettuce from the farmer’s market, which I served separate from the dressing and homemade croutons so she could toss it herself (she doesn’t like anchovies either).

When I cook for clients in my home and I love the menu as much as I did this week, I buy extra ingredients and keep some of everything in the fridge. It’s one of the perks of being a personal chef!

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            4 Program(s) Found
            Virginia College , Fort Pierce
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

            3 Program(s) Found
            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
            • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
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