Top Teen Chefs Recipe For Backyard Entertaining

Adreena Winnfield knows a little something about cooking. As winner of The Art Institutes Best Teen Chef 2005 scholarship competition, Winnfield beat out competitors from all over the U.S. and Canada to take home the prestigious title and a full scholarship worth $35,000 to study culinary arts.

Winnfield began cooking at the age of 11, watching her mother and grandmother make wonderful dishes that fed the spirit of her large family. Now enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at The Art Institute of California – Orange County, Adreena is looking forward to some time off from school to kick back, relax with friends and family and get back to the foods she grew up on.

“Growing up in a city like San Francisco, there are so many great places to take a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon eating and hanging out,” she says. “But in my family, we also love a good backyard get-together where we bring the food outside, right from the kitchen.” Winnfield includes her favorites like mac n’ cheese, stuffed mushrooms and turkey meatballs on that menu.

Since winning the Best Teen Chef competition last May, Winnfield has graduated from high school, moved to Orange County for her culinary education, and learned the challenge and fun of being independent for the first time.

“Culinary school is amazing, and I’m learning so many techniques and approaches to cooking that I never knew before,” says Winnfield. “But when I head up to visit family in San Francisco, I’m looking forward to a backyard picnic with my favorite foods, and my family in the kitchen cooking beside me.”

Adreena’s Mac n' Cheese:

3 cups elbow noodles
6 cups sharp and jack cheese
2 cups milk
2 cups evaporated milk
5 eggs
black pepper
seasoning salt
garlic powder to taste

Yield – 12 to 15 portions

Directions: Boil noodles in salted water. Grate cheeses. In separate mixing boil, mix eggs with milks, black pepper, salt and garlic powder. Combine well. Drain noodles. Place enough noodles to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish that has been buttered or sprayed with vegetable oil. Sprinkle one layer of cheese over noodles, and repeat process until pan is filled. End with a cheese layer. Pour milk over noodles until mixture comes just to the top of the pan. Place pan on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for approximately 45 minutes.

Cabbage Greens:

2 heads of cabbage
6 strips of bacon, sliced into small pieces
water
black pepper
seaoning salt
garlic powder to taste

Yield: 8 – 10 portions

Directions: Wash the cabbage and cut into strips around the core. Turn a Dutch oven on over medium heat and add bacon. The bacon will begin to brown in about 5 minutes. Add half a cup of water. Then begin to add cabbage along with seasonings. If all the cabbage doesn’t fit, wait until it begins to wilt and then add more. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until wilted and tender.

Deviled Eggs:

6 hard boiled eggs
3 tablespoons mayo
1 1/2 tablespoons relish
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon cream cheese
black pepper
seasoning salt
garlic powder to taste

Yield: 12 Deviled Eggs

Directions: Boil eggs, allow to cool, peel and cut in half. Remove (hard) egg yolks from eggs, into mixing bowl. In mixing bowl, smash egg yolks with fork. Add in mayonnaise, mustard, cream cheese, relish, black pepper, seasoning salt and garlic powder. Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Taste and add more seasoning if desired. Place mixture into a piping bag and pipe into missing yolk holes. Garnish with paprika.

Stuffed Mushrooms:

1 package of button mushrooms
1 pound ground turkey meat
1/4 of chopped onion
3 cups (1 1/2 each) of grated cheese, including mozzarella and parmesan
black pepper
seasoning salt
garlic powder to taste

Yield: 20 (approximate)

Directions: Wipe mushroom tops off with a wet towel and pick out the stems. In a medium skillet on medium-high heat, cook turkey meat through. Add chopped onions and seasonings. Cook until just about done, remove from heat and drain. Add 2 cups of cheese and mix together. Spoon mixture into mushrooms and place them on a baking pan or cookie sheet. Top with reserved cup of cheese. Place in 350 F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mushrooms are soft.

Turkey Meat Balls:

1 pound ground turkey meat
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 green bell pepper
2 tablespoons Flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal (additional cornmeal and flour needed for coating)
black pepper
seasoning salt
garlic powder
oil (for cooking)
jalapeno pepper (optional)

Yield: 15 approximate

Directions: Place turkey meat into a mixing bowl. Add finely chopped onions, bell pepper, seasonings, flour and corn meal. Roll into bite-size balls. Preheat skillet pan, add oil (vegetable. or canola). Pour equal portions of flour and cornmeal onto a plate or bowl, season with seasonings. Roll meat balls into mixture, shake off any excess and place into skillet. Cook on all sides until meat balls are done. (Or brown on both sides.) Finish by baking in pan in a 350 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes). If you like, you can add jalapeno pepper for added zest.

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About The Author, Orlando Clark
The Art Institutes system of 32 education institutions (www.artinstitutes.edu) are located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals. Recipes by Adreena Winnfield, The Art Institutes Best Teen Chef 2005 - ARA