Sauces & Dressings

Super Bowl Recipe: Nachos alla Bolognese

Here’s another great recipe that is perfect for watching the big game.  This is a full-fat variation of my far healthier Italian Nachos.

Nachos alla Bolognese
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 12 ounces marinara or tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 TBL sliced green olives
  • Salt, pepper and Red chili flakes to taste.
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Thoroughly dry the pasta with paper towels. Make sure all moisture is removed.
  2. Preheat oven to 450.
  3. In a large skillet season the ground beef and brown. Add the marinara and simmer for roughly 20 minutes to make Bolognese.
  4. In a small pot or deep fryer heat the oil. In small batches, deep fry the pasta until crunchy, roughly seven minutes stirring as needed.
  5. On an oven safe plate layer the fried pasta, Bolognese and cheese to resemble nachos then place in the oven. When sauce bubbles and cheese is melted it is ready to serve.
  6. Garnish with red chili flakes and/or olives.

Recipe: Spiked Eggnog Bread Pudding

OK, one more bread pudding but I swear that’s it.

A friend sent me a text the other day, “Can you make me some bread pudding to feed 15 people?”

My reply was, “What kind?”

Hers was, “Whatever you think.”

You never want to leave me with that kind of play.

Spiked Eggnog Bread Pudding
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 8
    Bread Pudding

  • 2 cups demarerra sugar
  • 5 large beaten eggs
  • 2 eggnog
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups French bread, cubed and stale
  • 1/2 pound white chocolate chips

Hard Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Boubon to taste
    Bread Pudding

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (American).
  2. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with butter.
  3. Whisk together the sugar, eggs and eggnog in a bowl then mix in the vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and set aside for about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle white chocolate, mix and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

Hard Sauce

  1. Mix together the sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Stir together until well blended.
  3. Add the vanilla, stirring well then the bourbon.
  4. Pour over the top of the bread pudding.

Video Recipe: Bangkok Wings

Here is a visualization of a recipe that I have published HERE before, Bangkok Wings.  Hey, if you’re too lazy to click that link to get the recipe don’t worry.  I’ve got your back.  It’s also below the video.  You’re welcome.


Bangkok Wings
Recipe Type: Appetiser, Entree
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 2-3
    Bangkok Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Sriracha (Thai hot sauce)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon five spice
  • 2 tablespoons crushed garlic

Cilantro-Lime Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice


  • 1 dozen wings
  • 1 TBL celery salt
    Cilantro-Lime Dipping Sauce

  1. Stir and chill. Sour cream is better for Latin flavors and yogurt for Asian but either will work for both.
    Bangkok Sauce
  1. Stir together and you are ready to go.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Season wings with celery salt and roast for 45 – 50 minutes turning once.
  3. Remove from oven and immediately toss in Bangkok Sauce.

Saturdays in the South: Lexington, Kentucky

Originally published in Current Magazine in 2007.

Commonwealth Stadium UKKentucky is a commonwealth known for one of the biggest parties on the planet, that little spring social known as the Kentucky Derby.  An hour east of Churchill Downs is the modest city of Lexington.  Known far and wide for the quality of their tongue suppressors, they have also made a headline or two in the area of college basketball.  The University of Kentucky is one of the most storied programs in the history of the sport.

A common analogy is that the Wildcats are the Crimson Tide of basketball.  How apropos as the University of Kentucky was once coached by Alabama’s Bear Bryant.  Further proving it is storied in football as well, George Blanda, one of the most productive players in football annals, played his college ball on the blue grass.  Other UK gridiron stars include Jared Lorenzon, Babe Parelli, Tim Couch and Nat Northington (the first black player in SEC history).

Tailgating around Commonwealth Stadium is serious business and the UK administration has mapped out the campus to maximize the practice.  Radios blare pre-game shows and themed menus include fried turkeys when the Gamecocks of South Carolina visit, whole hog for Arkansas, hot wings await the Louisville Cardinals, and for Georgia they generate a smorgasbord of hot dogs.  Kentucky gastronomic standards like Hot Brown and Burgoo are found regardless the opponent.  The lots around the stadium flow with the official state drink, the Mint Julep and the official state vice, Kentucky Moonshine.

Playing CornholeEverywhere, Wildcat fans are playing cornhole, a game in which players toss bags (usually filled with corn or beans) at a raised platform with a hole in it.  The goal is to get the bag into the hole or at least stay on the board.  It is not unlike horseshoes and has become such frenzy in the Kentucky/Ohio/Indiana area that it has actually been chronicled by the Wall Street Journal.  Cornhole is as much a part of the game day merriment as bourbon.

Many fans indulge in the Keeneland Double Dip, made up by taking in a little breakfast and horse racing at the city’s most popular track, Keeneland, and then heading to the stadium for some Kentucky football.  Game day tradition includes the “Rally in the Ally” between the East end zone and the Nutter Center where the Wildcat band blasts “On, On U of K” to the Blue Mist’s approval.  Inside the stadium is a sea of blue, jointly singing “My Old Kentucky Home” as the band lays the foundation.  Then comes kickoff.

After the game, many head to Hall’s on the River in Boonesborough.  The tavern at Hall’s is the oldest building in Kentucky and the favorite victory celebration is to sip Knob Creek bourbon and much fried banana peppers.  But there is plenty of dining in the city proper.  Perhaps one could say that the culinary calling card of Lexington is fine dining.  Feasting there is steeped in the aristocracy of the Old South.    Luxury in décor and menu is a common theme throughout the city.  So important is dining to Lexingtonians that they have created the Historic Restaurant District.

Decadence is showcased at A La Lucie (North Limestone Street) with humongous pork chops bathed in bourbon and hot sauce (a KY staple) with homemade potato chips.  The Lamb Shanks are popular as is the pan seared Foie Gras with sweet potato pancake and candied peaches.  No wonder it is the place for the movers and shakers in town.  Other gourmet spots in the District include Atomic Café (N. Limestone St.) which is a Caribbean paradise with conch fritters, coconut shrimp and jerk chicken and Bombay Brazier (W. High St.) is where you go for the best Indian cuisine.

The crown jewel of the Historic Restaurant District just may be Anna Belle’s (N. Limestone).  This American bistro features stunning downtown views and an acute devotion to wine.  Over thirty bottles highlight the choices at their periodical wine dinners.  Wine even creeps into the regular menu in dishes like chicken and prawn vino bianco and the bone in pork chop with dried cherry port sauce.  It is here that you will find the city’s most opulent burger, the Kobe beef burger – served on a gourmet bun with cheddar, chipotle ketchup and shoestring fries.

The neighborhood known as Cheapside has been many things, slave market, public square, and now entertainment district. There you can visit Metropolis (West Short St.) an elegant and upscale eatery.  Lexington’s favorite Sunday brunch can be found at the Cheapside Bar & Grill.  The brunch menu includes Cowboy Eggs – two sunny-side eggs in an iron skillet with Chorizo, peppers, onions, bacon and cheese, served with corn stix and Chorizo gravy.  Other notables include Harley Hog BBQ with Chipotle BBQ sauce, bacon and egg Quesadilla, and grilled wheat or sourdough bread with wild blueberry preserves.  Enjoy them all with a teapot full of Cheapside Tea – black tea with hints of vanilla and berries.

One would be remiss to visit Kentucky without touring a bourbon distillery.  There are a few in the area like The Woodford Reserve (McCracken Pike), a short scenic drive from Lexington, provides a look at what bourbon making was like in the 19th century.  Austin Nichols Distillers (US 62 W) makers of Wild Turkey is only 23 miles from downtown and shows processes that are a combination of traditional and modern production.  Less than 30 miles northwest of the city is Buffalo Trace Distillery (US 421) which offers the “Hard Hat Tour” conducted seasonally and includes an exciting insider’s look at the entire distilling process.  This tour is for adults only.

Known to the native tribes for centuries as the great hunting ground, Kentucky is now a mosaic of Southern society painted in shades of blue.  The culture is distilled like whiskey and dressed in fine linen.

Kentucy Hot Brown
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Courtesy of the Camberley Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, room temperature and beaten
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup prepared whipped cream
  • 8 slices toasted white bread, crust trimmed off
  • 1 pound cooked turkey breast, thinly sliced
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping
  • 1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
  • 8 bacon slices, fried crisp
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly, until smooth and free from lumps. Gradually stir in milk until sauce comes to a gentle boil, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted and well blended.
  2. In a small bowl, beat egg. Gradually add 1 cup of hot sauce, 1/3 cup at a time, to the egg, stirring constantly. Gradually add egg mixture to remaining sauce, stirring constantly until well blended; add salt and pepper to taste. Fold in whipped cream.
  3. For each Hot Brown sandwich, place two slices of toasted bread on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, sprinkle with diced pimientos, cross two pieces of bacon over the top, and serve immediately.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


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