A CHEF'S GARDEN: Recipes You Need To Know

Categories: Eat

If you haven’t read our interviews with QC Catering's executive chef Oscar La Fuente and pastry chef Chelsea Ecdao, now’s the time. Both chefs are dedicated to farm-to-table cuisine … and know the best results come from organic garden grown fruits, vegetables and herbs. Keep scrolling for their delicious takes on dinner and dessert! 

Pan seared salmon with Swiss chard

Makes 4 servings

ACTIVE TIME:       40 min

TOTAL TIME:         50 min


For mustard-herb butter

·       5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

·       1 tablespoon chopped chives

·       1 teaspoon chopped tarragon

·       2 teaspoons grainy mustard

·       2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest

For lentil ragout

·       1 cup French green lentils

·       4 cups water

·       2 medium Swiss Chard washed and chiffonade

·       1 tablespoon unsalted butter

·       1 teaspoon of Italian parsley, finely chopped

·       1 teaspoon of shallots, finely dice

·       2 tablespoon of golden raisins

·       2 tablespoon of celery, finely dice

·       1/2 to 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For salmon

·       4 (6-ounce) pieces skinless salmon fillet

·       2 tablespoons unsalted butter



  • Stir together all ingredients with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.


  • Bring lentils, water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, and then drain lentils.
  • While lentils cook, chiffonade the Swiss chard, then wash . Cook chard, shallots, celery in butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add lentils, parsley, raisins with reserved cooking liquid to chard along with 3 tablespoons mustard-herb butter and cook, stirring, until lentils are heated through and butter is melted. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.


  1. Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (total).
  2. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté salmon, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.
  3. Serve salmon, topped with remaining mustard-herb butter, over lentils.

Basil panna cotta


For panna cotta

·       2 cups heavy cream

·       ½ cup whole milk

·       ½ cup sugar

·       ½ oz basil

·       ½ cup greek yogurt

·       4 sheets gelatin

For lemon crumble

·       53 g all purpose flour

·       50 g sugar

·       33 g almond flour

·       2 tbs of lemon zest

·       2 g corn starch

·       35 g melted butter



  • Combine cream, milk, sugar, and basil.
  • Bring to boil, turn off heat and allow the basil to steep for at least 10 minutes.
  • Return to almost a boil, take of the heat and add the yogurt.
  • Strain; immediately pour into desired mold. Allow at least an hour to set in the fridge.


  • Combine all ingredients together until it becomes a sandy texture.
  • Spread evening on baking sheet.
  • Bake at 325 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.