The holidays are here, and sustainability is sizzling in fourteen-year-old Junior Chef alumni Victor Chow’s kitchen! You may recognize this young culinary master from the Food Network’s “Junior Chef” where he made his mark with his legendary Bocconcini Three Ways dish.
Since then, Victor has been cooking up a storm, sustaining his career as a junior chef, and also focusing on sustainable food habits with Tre Stelle’s Cheese4Change program. This national sustainability program awards $5000 to schools and $500 to students for their sustainable recipe submissions. Since Victor loves holiday hosting and is always looking for ways to implement sustainable cooking habits, he took on the challenge and succeeded with a cheesy, low waste holiday feast!
Taking us on the ultimate sustainable culinary journey, each ingredient in Victor’s three course meal has met one or more of the sustainable requirements including: local, low-to-no-waste, healthy, ecologically responsible, and fair and accessible. And since Tre Stelle cheese meets all five, Victor made it the star of his recipes.
Appetizer – Crab Rangoons (Serves 4)
1 package of Wonton Wrappers (and a bowl of water on the side – used to make sides stick)
⅔ cup Tre Stelle Mascarpone
⅓ cup Tre Stelle Ricotta
1 cup Sustainable Crab Meat
2 tbsp. Finely Chopped Green Onions
1½ tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
Vegetable Oil (for shallow or deep-frying)
½ Fresh Lemon
Salt and Pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, combine the Tre Stelle mascarpone, ricotta, and crab. Add Old Bay Seasoning, green onions, and salt and pepper to taste.
Place a small spoonful of mixture in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Fold one corner to the opposite corner so there is one middle point and 4 corners. (Use water to make sides stick.) Repeat until there is a platter of crab rangoon.
In a pot of vegetable oil at 375F, fry the rangoon. Be careful not to crowd the pot. Remove when they are golden brown (about 5 minutes).
Sprinkle with salt and Old Bay seasoning, top with chives. Option to finish with freshly squeezed lemon juice over plate of crab rangoon.
To view Victor’s crab rangoons, click here
For the main course, the ‘Big Cheese’ is making a double cheese linguini! This zucchini and lobster pasta is packed with flavour, creamy textures and fresh herbs. To create perfect harmony among the various flavours at play, Victor uses two Tre Stelle cheeses in this recipe. The Bocconcini adds texture while the Mascarpone brings the flavour.
Main Course – Double Cheese Zucchini Linguini with Broiled Lobster Tail (Serves 4)
½ cup Tre Stelle Bocconcini, grated or very finely chopped (pat dry before grating, season with salt)
1 cup Tre Stelle Mascarpone
¼ cup Butter
1 Shallot, finely diced
240 grams Linguini (about 4 servings)
2 Zucchinis, spiralled into noodle form
¼ cup Fresh Basil, finely chopped
1 clove Fresh Garlic, finely chopped or minced
4 Lobster Tails (pulled above shell, saddleback)
2 tbsp Butter
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning or Paprika (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook linguini in a pot of salted boiling water until slightly firm. (Pasta will finish cooking in the cheese sauce mixture.)
While the pasta is boiling, start pan with butter over medium heat. Melt butter until slight bubbles form. Add garlic and shallots and cook until softened, about three minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic or the shallots.
Add mascarpone to pan and stir until melted. Slowly add bocconcini to pan while stirring to avoid clumping. Add chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add linguini and spiraled zucchinis to pan. Toss evenly in the sauce over low/medium heat. Add a small amount of pasta water if the mixture is too thick.
Brush lobster tails with melted butter, and season lightly with salt. In a pre-heated 350F oven, broil the lobster tails for about 12-15 minutes (depending on size of the lobster tails). Sprinkle with Old Bay Seasoning (or paprika) if desired.
Plate with pasta spiraled in a vertical pile and place lobster tail on top of pasta mound.
To view Victor’s double cheese zucchini linguini, click here.
To finish off this holiday feast, Victor’s decadent cream and cookie crumble dessert with cranberry sauce is a taste of heaven!
Dessert – Mascarpone Cream with Cookie Crumble and Cranberry Sauce (Serves 4)
1 cup Tre Stelle Mascarpone
1 cup Whipping Cream
¼ cup Powdered Sugar
2 tsp. Lemon Zest (+1 tsp. for plating)
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Vanilla Bean, split open for seed
½ cup All Purpose Flour
3 tbsp. Butter (softened)
3 tbsp. Sugar
½ tsp. Salt
⅓ cup Milk (may not need all the milk)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Vanilla Bean, split open for seed
Directions for Cream
Whisk cream and powdered sugar together until soft peaks form, then gently fold in the Tre Stelle mascarpone, vanilla and vanilla bean seed. Store in refrigerator until time to plate dessert.
Directions for Cookie Crumble
Cream softened butter and sugar with a mixer. Add flour and salt. Then add vanilla and vanilla bean seed and slowly pour in milk at small intervals and mix until there is just enough for batter to combine and not be runny or too liquidy.
Pour batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven of 375F for about 7 minutes. Flip the batter over, chop into smaller pieces or use round cookie cutter to cut out circles, and return the tray to the oven for another 7 minutes until slightly brown and crunchy.
Remove from oven and let cool. Chop into smaller pieces if desired (depending on plating preference). Set aside.
½ cup Sugar
½ cup Water
1 cup Fresh Cranberries
Bring water and sugar to a gentle boil. Add cranberries and stir frequently for 10-12 minutes. Cook the sauce down to desired consistency.
Option 1 – Plate by placing cookie crumble on plate, add layer of mascarpone cream on top of cookie, layer with another cookie and mascarpone, finishing with mascarpone. Top with cranberry sauce and finish with lemon zest.
Option 2 – Plate dessert like a parfait. In a glass, start with a layer of cookie crumble, then mascarpone cream, then cookie crumble, then mascarpone cream, then top with cranberry sauce, and lemon zest.
To view Victor’s Mascarpone Cream dessert, click here.
With multiple prizes available, Victor encourages students, parents with their kids and teachers with their class to enter as often as they’d like!
To enter, visit www.trestelle.ca/cheese4change