"Recipes from the Chef's Kitchen"
This Chef teaches cooking classes via
Fairfax County Adult Education
The Adult Enrichment Program (ACE)
Chef Cal Kraft - Culinary Instructor & Cookbook Author
For thirty years, Cal worked in the corporate world of the travel and
hospitality industry, from flying the friendly skies, to Director of
Relations at Amtrak, to Regional Vice President for the Council
of Better Business Bureaus. He retired in 1995 to pursue his interest
cooking and running a country inn. For several years Cal was an
Innkeeper at the Bailiwick Inn, a historic 14 - room inn in the heart
Fairfax, Virginia. It was here that he developed his true love of
cooking and fine dining. Whenever he was not attending to his inn
keeping duties, he was in the kitchen watching as Executive Chef Jeff
Prather created his culinary magic night after night.
The Inn was sold
in late 1999, and in 2000, Cal started “Dinner Is Served” LLC, a
personal chef/catering business.
While being a chef was
certainly a career change, it was one Cal had been long preparing for.
He studied Northern Italian Cuisine under Chef
Instructor Jane Woods as
well has having taken culinary studies at both L’ Academe de Cuisine
and the Culinary Institute of America. For
over 10 years he was a
member of the United States Personal Chef Association; served on the
USPCA National Advisory Council; is a
Certified Personal Chef, and Past
President of the Capital Chefs of the USPCA Capital Region. He was Chef
Instructor at Kitchen
University, a division of Kitchen Etc., teaching
all culinary classes from 2001 – 2004. He is currently a Chef
Instructor for the
Fairfax Country Adult Education Programs in Culinary
Arts as well as a Senior Instructor for the Culinary Business
He was a part-time consultant to Don Tango Foods, Inc. and has cooked
for A Taste of DC and on
several occasions been a guest chef at the Home
and Garden Expo of Northern Virginia. On several
occasions he has been
the Guest Chef Instructor at the Briar Patch Inn in Middleburg,
Virginia. Cal was a presenter at past USPCA National Conferences
in Atlanta, St. Louis, Philadelphia and Denver.
Chunky Vegetable Stew
1) 3 tbs. Olive Oil
2) 2 Large Onions - sliced thin
3) 4 cloves of Garlic - crushed
4) 2 fourteen ounce cans diced Tomatoes - undrained
5) 10 oz. (about 2 large potatoes) Sweet Potatoes - peelde and diced
6) 2 fourteen oz. cans Chick Peas - drained
7) 1 tsp. dried Rosemary - crushed
8) 2 small Zucchini - diced
9) Salt and pepper to taste
10) ½ CUP Parmesan Cheese - grated as garnish
1) Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium
2) Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1
3) Add tomatoes, chickpeas, diced sweet potatoes and
rosemary and simmer for 10 to 14
minutes, or until the potatoes are
4) Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then into quarters, then dice
into ¼ inch slices; add to
5) Continue cooking,
uncovered, stirring occasionally until the zucchini is tender about
8 minutes. Serve in large bowls and garnish with fresh grated Parmesan
You can cool the stew down and freeze.
Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in a
medium heat to a low simmer, about 10 minutes. Serve and garnish with
cheese. This is a great dish for leftover turkey, especially the
dark meat. Just add the meat
when you add the zucchini.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
with Pepper Vinaigrette
1) 6 oz. Fresh Baby Spinach – stems removed, if needed, washed &
dried, leaves torn if large.
Approximately three cups of Spinach is
what you will have and need.
2) 12 fresh Strawberries washed and diced into large pieces.
3) 2 tbs. light Olive Oil
4) 1 tbs. Vinegar (can used flavored, I use Tarragon Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar)
5) 2 tsp. Honey
6) ¼ tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper
7) Dash Hot Pepper sauce, to taste
8) Dash Cayenne Pepper, to taste
9) Dash of Sugar - optional
10) Toasted Sesame Seeds for garnish – either white or black or both
1) Stem, wash and dry spinach. Tear into bite size pieces.
2) Wash and
hull the strawberries. Dice them into large chunks. Place in bowl and
sprinkle with sugar, toss and allow them to macerate for 10 to
3) Mix pepper vinaigrette ingredients and whisk.
4) Toss the spinach
with the dressing. Remember, just enough to coat the leaves, a light
5) Gently mix in strawberries and plate salad, preferably on
6) Sprinkle freshly toasted sesame seeds on top for
make the dressing ahead of time and place it in a small mason jar so
that I only need to
shake it just prior to serving.
Country Apple Cranberry Pear Tart
1) 1 refrigerated Pie Crust (from 15 oz. box) softened as directed on
I prefer to use the Pillsbury Pie Crust, it seems to work best.
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) Line cookie sheet with parchment paper;
remove one pie crust from pouch and place
it on the lined cookie sheet,
in the center of the pan.
1) 2 cups thinly sliced peeled Apples - your choice
2) 2 cups thinly sliced peeled Pears - your choice
3) ¾ cup fresh cranberries - washed and dried
4) 1/3 cup granulated Sugar
5) 2 tbs. All-purpose Flour
6) ¼ tsp. grated Nutmeg
1) In large bowl, mix all filling ingredients until fruit is coated.
2) Spoon filling evenly onto crust, spreading to within 2 inches of the pie
1) ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
2) ¼ cup packed brown Sugar - light or dark, your choice
3) 2 tbs. Butter
4) 1 tsp. Milk
5) 1 tbs. granulated Sugar
6) 2 tbs. sliced Almonds
1) In small bowl, mix ¼ cup flour, the brown sugar and butter until
2) Sprinkle mixture over filling.
3) Fold pie crust edges over
filling, pleating crust to fit and leaving about 5 to 6 inches
4) Brush crust with milk; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon
The Final Preparation
1) Bake 10 minutes.
2) Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; sprinkle
almonds over exposed filling.
3) Now bake 20 to 30 minutes longer or until
edges of pie are deep golden brown and fruit
4) Remove from
oven and immediately loosen tart by running pancake turner under crust;
carefully remove from baking sheet and place tart on cooling rack.
6) Make a truly great cup of coffee and serve a slice of tart
with a scoop of your favorite
ice cream and enjoy!