Sunrise Chef: John O’Connell

Posted: 8:24 AM EST Dec 13, 2013   Updated: 12:27 PM EST Dec 13, 2013
Sunrise Chef John O Connell

Today our guest chef is the perfect person to teach us something in the kitchen!

Culinary instructor John O'Connell heads The Restaurant at LCTI in Schnecksville.

Sausage & Spinach Strata

1 lb. sausage, casings removed
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
8 eggs, beaten
10 cups cubed, day-old bread
3 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups cubed Black Forest ham
1- 10 oz. pkg frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 Tbsps. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsps. mustard powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. butter, melted
2 tsps. dried basil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Generously grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish.
3. Heat a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir sausage until crumbly and completely browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage to the prepared casserole dish.
4. Cook and stir mushrooms in the same skillet over medium heat until liquid has been released and mushrooms are lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes; drain.
5. Mix mushrooms, eggs, bread, milk, cheese, ham, spinach, flour, mustard powder, salt, butter, and basil together in a large bowl; pour over sausage. Cover casserole dish and refrigerate, 2 hours to overnight.
6.Bake in the preheated oven until a knife inserted into the center of the strata comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes.

Seared Chicken with Walnut Sage Cream Sauce
Serves 2

2 each chicken breast French skin on
2 Tbsps butter
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped shallots
3 Tbsps chopped fresh sage, plus extra for garnish
3/4 cup white wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil

1. Heat skillet and add vegetable oil
2. Place seasoned chicken skin down in hot pan, sear until skin is golden brown.
3. Melt butter in medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add walnuts and stir until lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, keeping butter in pan.
4. Add shallots and chopped sage to skillet and stir for one minute. Add wine and cream and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Stir parmesan cheese into sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Cook Chicken in oven until internal temperature reads 165 degrees.