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CT Style in The Bender Kitchen with Summertime Recipes!

CT Style in The Bender Kitchen with Summertime Recipes!





Back on CT Style in The Bender Kitchen with Ryan Kristafer and Teresa Dufour this past Thursday morning!  I feel so fortunate to be working with such a wonderful group of people at WTNH Channel 8 who make it so fun to share The Traveling Epicurean recipes with all of you.

My goal for this segment was to show you a couple of creative and really delicious ideas for all your summertime produce. Panzanella and Berries in Dreamy Cream came to mind.

One of the wonderful things about making these dishes is the abundance and variety you have to choose from at the farmers markets in the summer. The incredible flavors in this Panzanella recipe go without saying. All the aroma’s from the fresh herbs, basil, parsley, thyme & oregano to the fresh vegetables like the heirloom tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, red onions really get you salavating. The creaminess from the fresh mozzarella and the crunchy from the homemade croutons balance it all out.

As for the Berries in Dreamy Cream, you can whip this one up in a matter of minutes as well. I’ve been making this sauce for over 20 years and always get the same delightful response from guests after their first bite. You would never think that melting Fluff and cream cheese together could make such a delectable sauce on fresh berries. It’s a sensation you have to treat your self to and then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

For other scrumptious, easy go to summertime dishes you’ve got to check out my Salsa 101, Best Guacamole Ever, Zucchini Spaghetti,  Fresh Grarden Tomato Sauce or Roasted Garlic & Cannelini Bean Dip ! ENJOY!

Perfectly Mashed Potatoes and Red Onion

Perfectly Mashed Potatoes and Red Onion

There’s nothing like good ole mashed potatoes! It’s truly a comfort food. I really like the “yellow” potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes cause they have less moisture and more texture than say a russet when you boil them and they don’t fall apart. There’s an addition of very thinly slice red onion to this potato recipe that just adds that little extra flavor and really make a nice combo. Perfectly mashed potatoes can easily be made with out the red onion if you prefer and the only thing that changes is the omission of red onion. These yummy potatoes go great with a filet mignon and a slice of pesto log, stuffed roulades of chicken, sea bass with green goddess sauce II, sauteed chicken breasts and fresh spinach, or grilled Asian salmon.

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  • 6 large Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp salt for the water when you boil the potatoes
  • 1/4 cup each heavy cream & half and half – warmed
  • 1/2 medium red onion thinly slice on mandolin or knife
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp for the top
  • 1 recipe for pesto log if grilling a steak


  1. Thinly slice 1/2 of a medium red onion and set aside
  2. Peel the Yukon potatoes and be sure to keep the potatoes in a big pot of cold water while you finishing peeling the others
  3. Cut them into 3/4″ pieces and put them back into the water while you are finishing cutting the rest
  4. When you are finished cutting the potatoes drain the water by titling the pan ( you don’t need to worry about draining every last drop) and then run fresh COLD water back in so it’s about 1 1/2″ over the potato level
  5. Add 2 Tbsp salt to the potatoes and bring the potatoes to a boil on high heat … This will take about 8-10 minutes
  6. When they begin to boil turn the heat down and simmer for 12-13 minutes til they are fork tender but not mushy
  7. Drain the potatoes and put them back into the pan to keep them warm while you rice them (if you don’t have a ricer just keep them in the pan and begin to use your electric mixer to mash the potatoes…once they are massed -keeping slightly lumpy add red onion and butter and finish combining with a spatula, then add half and half with one last stir)
  8. Using a large bowl begin to put the potatoes thru the potato ricer let them stands fall into the bowl
  9. When you are half way there add thinly sliced red onions and 3 1/2 Tbsp butter to rices potato pile
  10. Finish putting potatoes thru ricer letting potato fall onto red onion and butter
  11. When you are finished mix gently with a spatula just to combine then add half and half and mix til just combine
  12. Taste and add salt and pepper and serve