Inner Chef

Enjoy your kitchen, your food and your inner chef

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Green Tomato Chow

Green Tomato Chow    Makes about 3 cups

(Saveur Magazine)

On Canada’s Prince Edward Island, firm, under ripe green tomatoes are transformed into a tangy-sweet condiment that is often served alongside salt cod cakes.


  • 2 lb. small green tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. cardamom seeds
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole allspice berries
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
  • 1 stick cinnamon, broken in half
  • 1 2″-piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Cheesecloth, for spices
  • 3 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar


1. Toss tomatoes, onion, and salt in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and press into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.

2. Next day, pour tomato mixture into a colander and rinse well under cold running water. Spread tomatoes and onions in a single layer onto a double thickness of paper towels; blot dry with more paper towels.

3. Heat peppercorns, cardamom, coriander, allspice, mustard, cloves, bay leaves, chiles, and cinnamon in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until seeds begin to pop, 3–5 minutes. Transfer spices along with ginger to a piece of cheesecloth; tie into a tight package.

4. Add vinegar and sugar to saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, 1–2 minutes. Add spice package and reserved tomato mixture; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down and sauce is very thick, about 1 ½ hours. Let chow cool to room temperature before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Saveur Magazine

Saveur Magazine



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Garlic Scape and Cherry Tomatoes

Garlic Scape and Cherry Tomatoes            Serves: 4

(Saveur Magazine)


Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ lb. spaghetti
2 tbsp. olive oil
10 garlic scapes
1 pint multicolored cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup baby arugula
1 lemon, zested and juiced


Heat oven to 400°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta and keep warm. Toss olive oil, garlic scapes, tomatoes, red onion, salt, and pepper and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 12–15 minutes, until tomatoes are just beginning to burst. Remove from oven and toss with spaghetti, arugula, and lemon zest and juice. Serve immediately.

Saveur Magazine

Saveur Magazine


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Lime Chicken with Salsa Verde Sour Cream

Lime Chicken with Salsa Verde Sour Cream                       Serves: 4

(Simple & Delicious)

¾ tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)

⅓ cup sour cream

2 Tbsp. salsa verde

2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro, divided

1 medium lime

PREHEAT broiler. Mix seasonings; sprinkle over chicken. Place chicken on a broiler pan and broil 4 inches from heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until thermometer reads 170°.

MEANWHILE, in a small bowl, mix sour cream, salsa and 1 Tbsp. cilantro. Cut lime in half and squeeze juice from one half lime into sour cream mixture; stir to combine. Cut remaining lime into four wedges. Serve chicken with sauce and lime wedges. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Simple & Delicious

Simple & Delicious

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Enjoy a BLAT Today!

Don and I love eating BLT’s on the weekend; same bread, same bacon, same toppings (Miracle Whip® for him and Hellman’s® Real Mayo for me.

Today we tried new bacon that was outstanding Indiana’s Kitchen® bacon!

The smoked wood flavor came through and the flavor was outstanding! So if you can find it in your grocery store, please try it

We also love a sandwich restaurant called; Schlotzsky’s Deli. A while back we found out that we can purchase just their sourdough sandwich rolls….so we do and we use them a lot!

Well, today I tired of the same old BLT’s so I decided on a BLAT instead.

Using ½ of an avocado (mashed) and mixed with the mayo; this made the perfect spread. Topped it off with Indiana Kitchen’s® bacon, lettuce, tomato and you guessed it, avocado slices.

I toasted the sourdough rolls in the oven and made sure the tops and bottoms were just lightly crispy.

I need to add that the bacon was amazing! I know there isn’t much bacon on my sandwich; I tend to lean toward the veggie part of a BLT or in this case a BLAT.






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One Box-Three Delicious Cupcake Temptations!

1-Box-Three Delicious Cupcake Temptations!

My mom sent this recipe to me, so I am not sure where it came from, but I have made these numerous times and they are always a hit!


1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake mix

Reeses Pieces candies

Chocolate Malted Milk Ballls

Andes Mints chocolate candies

1 can milk chocolate frosting

2 cans vanilla frosting

¼ tsp. peppermint extract

3 Tbsp. chocolate malted milk powder

¼ cup peanut butter


Prepare cake according to package directions. Divide batter equally among three bowls.

Bake each type of cupcake for 15 minutes at temperature directed on package.

Line mini cupcake tins with liners.

Chocolate Malt Mini Cupcakes

Stir 3 Tbsp. chocolate malted milk powder into 1 bowl of batter (you may need more according to taste). Bake as directed. Place ¾ cup canned milk chocolate frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe overcooled cupcakes and garnish with halved malted milk balls.

Double Peanut Mini Cupcakes

Toss 2 Tbsp. Reese’s Pieces candies (chopped) with 1 tsp. all-purpose flour; stir into batter. Bake according to package directions. Mix ½ cup canned vanilla frosting with ¼ cup creamy peanut butter; place in pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe over cooled cupcakes. Garnish with Reese’s Pieces candies.

Mint Mini Cupcakes

Toss 4 Andes Mints (chopped) with 1 tsp. all-purpose flour; stir into batter. Fill liners and bake according to package directions. Mix ¾ cup canned vanilla frosting with ¼ tsp. peppermint extract and 3 drops of green food coloring. Place in pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe over cooled cupcakes and garnish with halved Andes Mints.


mini cupcakes

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Chocolate Cherry Torte

Chocolate Cherry Torte                    Makes: 12-16 servings

(Taken from “The Cake Bible”)

1 package Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe cake mix

1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

¼ tsp. almond extract

1 container (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed

¼ cup toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

PREHEAT oven to 350°.  Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

PREPARE, bake and cool cake following package directions for basic recipe. Combine cherry pie filling and almond extract in small bowl. Stir until blended.

ASSEMBLE cake by placing one cake layer on serving plate. Spread with 1 cup whipped topping, them half the cherry mixture. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining pie filling to within 1 ½ inches from cake edge. Decorate cake edge with remaining whipped topping. Garnish with sliced almonds.


HINT: To toast almonds, spread single layer on baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 4-6 minutes or until fragrant and golden.





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Where Have I Been????

Hello Everyone!

 I wanted to let you know what has been going on to keep me from my Inner Chef duties.

I am now the full-time head cook at Rainbow Child Care in Indianapolis. This is the perfect job for me and every day I am finding more reasons to enjoy my new job.

 I am able to not only feed these wonderful little tykes but teach them about food as well. Today I learned that I will be sending out newsletters to the parents once a month, discussing my objectives and ideas for the month.

This will include introducing the children to new foods, enjoying National Foodie Holidays, and just plain having fun with your food (other than throwing it at others).

 I have waited for a position like this to come around and I will say that it is everything I wanted it to be and more.

 I will still find time for my Inner Chef family; although posts may be only bi-weekly for now. As I get a momentum going for work, home and Inner Chef, I am hoping it will be more often.

 So hang in there and don’t give up on Inner Chef. There are still many amazing and tasty dishes to prepare in our archives.

Thanks for understanding and see you all soon!

~Carolyn Lee

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