Looking for recipes while stuck at home? Try some of these local chef recipes

While stuck at home, you may as well make something delicious. A few renowned Kansas City chefs have shared their recipes for you and your family to try out during your coronavirus self-quarantine. You just may find your new go-to.

Plowboys Burnt End Chili

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This smoky, slightly spicy chili by Todd Johns, Plowboys Barbeque owner and award-winning Chief Pitmaster, is the perfect dish to munch on all day while stuck inside. Top with shredded cheese, slices of avocado and sour cream or serve it straight-up. You can buy brisket by the pound to-go at the Plowboys location in Blue Springs. The Overland Park and Downtown locations are temporarily closed.

Makes 16-20 servings.


2 cups diced onions
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 cups chili powder
1 cup cumin
48 ounces chicken broth
48 ounces beef broth
2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato paste
2 (16-ounce) cans chili beans (do not drain)
2 pounds smoked burnt ends, in chunks or roughly chopped


In an 8-quart Dutch oven or stockpot, saute diced onion in vegetable oil until cooked and soft over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and continue to bloom for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth, ketchup and tomato paste; stir until well combined and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat with the lid on the pot. Stir in chili beans and burnt ends and continue to simmer 10 minutes.

Story. Smoked Duck Empanadas

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Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen, the owner and Chef of Story., has shared his delicious Smoked Duck Empanadas recipe. The dish is also available to-go at Story., as well as custom family meals, their entire wine list and other delicious eats by awarding winning Chef Thorne-Thomsen.

Filling ingredients

1 lb ground duck
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T tomato paste
2 c. duck or chicken stock
1 T lime juice, plus additional
1 t. fresh thyme
Salt, pepper/clove/allspice/pepperoncino mix to taste
1 avocado
1 medium jicama, julienned
8 cilantro sprigs
1 c. cooked black beans
¼ c. bbq sauce

Filling directions

Brown ground meat in a large very hot sauté pan or rondeau, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add onion, carrot, garlic, and tomato paste and cook 4-5 minutes. Add stock and lime juice, fresh thyme, and additional salt and pepper. Put a lid on the pan, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a smoker or some sort of smoking apparatus. Transfer the duck from the pan to the smoker. Smoke for 10 minutes, then adjusts seasoning and consistency, and cool.

Empanada dough ingredients

1 lb. all-purpose flour
5 oz rendered duck fat or canola oil
1 t. salt
4 oz. water

Empanada dough directions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Knead gently and briefly until dough forms a smooth ball. Rest 20 minutes. Divide dough into 3 or four pieces and roll into thin sheets. Using a 3 inch ring cutter, stamp circles out of the dough. Place a teaspoon of duck in each circle and fold into a half moon. Heat canola oil to 350 degrees, and fry empanadas until light brown in color. Serve with guacamole, black beans, jicama and cilantro slaw, and bbq sauce.

Webster House Seared Salmon with White Bean Puree for Two

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Alex George, the new Executive Chef at Webster House, wanted to share one of his new recipes. “Our seared salmon dish has just launched onto the lunch menu and is coming to the dinner menu when we reopen,” George says. “It is approachable to many palates and a dish that
a home cook with a little cooking experience should be able to execute.” Until Webster House can serve us all again, try out this delicious dish for two.


2 – 5oz salmon filet
1 c. Great Northern Beans (another style of white bean will work), soaked for 8 hours
1 medium sized onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
1 lemon
1 medium sized beet
1 head of fennel and frons (the greens on top of the fennel bulb)
1 tsp. sugar
2 T. of butter (salted or unsalted)
1 – 2 bunches of Swiss chard (spinach is a good replacement)
Salt and pepper


1 sauté pan
2 small sauce pots
1 spatula
1 pair of tongs
1 blender (Vita-mix will be the best option)


1. The first step is getting the soaked white beans on the stove as they take the longest to cook. You are going to take one of your sauce pots and sweat your onions in oil until they become soft and translucent. Next add in the garlic, bay leaf, half of the lemon (we will use the other half later), the white beans and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Following that add water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Then let the beans cook adding more water as necessary. The cooking of the beans will take at least an hour. You want the beans to be overcooked and have no crunch. Once the beans are cooked you are going to strain off and save the remaining cooking liquid. At this point pull out the lemon and the bay leaf. From there add you beans to the blender and puree adding the reserved liquid as needed for your blender to puree properly. Be careful not to add to much water. This process should be done in small batches and never exceed half of the blender’s capacity. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

2. The second step is cooking your beet and this can be done while your beans are cooking. In the end your beet will be done around the same time. The beet does not have to be peeled. To cook the beet you are going to put it in our second sauce pot and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and turn your stove on high enough to bring the water to a boil. You will cook your beet until you can stick a paring knife through the beet with ease. Similar to if you were checking on a baked potato. Once the beet is cooked strain off the water and let the beet cool enough so you can handle it. Taking a paper towel gently rub the skin off. If some of the skin is still sticking, go ahead and use a potato peeler to get the remaining skin off. Finally cut the beet to the shape and size you desire. Set aside for later.

3. The last step before you get to cook your fish and sweat your greens is pickling the fennel. You are first going to take the frons off from the top of the fennel bulb and save them for a later use. Next cut the fennel bulb in half and remove the core from the bottom. Once the core is removed you are going to cut or shave the fennel into ribbons. At the restaurant, we use a Chinese mandolin. A knife can also be used. You will have to cut the bulb in half again and take the layers apart and cut as thinly as possible. Now that you have your fennel cut; add the juice from the lemon we saved earlier along with a pinch of sugar and salt. Then simply toss a couple of times to coat the fennel. Last take the fennel frons and pick them from the stock and save for our final assembly.

4. Now it is time to cook your salmon and there is no reason to be scared at this point. First, you are going to take your sauté pan and turn your stove on high and let your pan get hot. Add in just enough oil to coat the bottom of your pan. These next few steps are very important to achieving a good sear and to prevent your salmon from sticking. You want your oil to reach its smoke point! You will know you have achieved this when the oil just begins to smoke. When it does this the oil has reached the hottest temperature possible before it burns. That being said; season the top of your salmon with salt and pepper and add it to the pan flesh side down. The flesh side is the side that the skin was not attached to. From here turn your heat down just a little to allow the salmon to cook and not burn. Let the salmon cook for 3-4 minutes on this one side. Add your butter and let the salmon cook for another 2 minutes before flipping. The butter is going to help add a nice color to your sear. After you flip the fish you will cook to the desired doneness you prefer. Once cooked the way you like pull your salmon from the pan and set aside. Using the same pan cook wilt your swiss chard down adding in some salt and pepper. The final step is to take the sauté pan off the heat and add your sherry vinegar

5. Before you plate mix together your beets, pickled fennel and the frons to make a small garnish salad

6. Time to assemble. I generally put a base of the white bean puree on the plate making a small circle. On top of the pure add your swiss chard, followed by the salmon. Lastly, add your garnish salad and enjoy.

Rye Lemon Meringue Pie

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Megan Garrelts, the co-owner and pastry chef behind Rye and Bluestem, wanted to bring some sunshine to your kitchen with this lemon dish during this dreary time. Although Rye KC and Bluestem are closed during this time, Rye Leawood is offering a to-go menu, which can be found here.

Lemon filling ingredients

12 lemons
12 eggs
18 egg yolks
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 pound, 2 ounces unsalted butter
2 teaspoons salt

Lemon filling directions

Grate the zest from the lemons into a small, non-corrodible bowl. Then strain the lemon juice through a sieve and press through as much lemon pulp as possible. In a heavy, non-corrodible saucepan, beat the eggs, yolks and sugar until just mixed. Stir in the lemon juice and pulp, then the butter.

Cook, stirring constantly, over low to medium heat, until the mixture comes together and thickens enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat, allow to stand five minutes, then whisk briefly to smooth. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the pie shell with aluminum foil, weights with beans, or pie weights and bake for 20 minutes, or until set and dry looking. Remove the weights and foil, turn the heat down to 350 and continue baking until shell is golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool slightly but leave the oven on. Spread the prepared lemon filling in the shell and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the filling is just set. Remove pie and turn oven up to 375.

Meringue ingredients

2 cups egg whites
4 cups sugar

Meringue directions

Whisk together the sugar and eggs in a double boiler, or a heat-resistant bowl set over a low simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture becomes frothy, about 3 minutes. Using a handheld electric mixer, whip the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag and use immediately. Pipe the meringue evenly over the filling, making sure it meets the edges of the crust. Using a hand-held torch lightly toast the meringue until the meringue evenly browned.

Lemon meringue pie can be left at room temperature for one day, but it also can be refrigerated.

Pie dough ingredients

One 9- inch pie crust or 4-mini pies
1 cup, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
2 ounces, or ½ stick unsalted butter, cubed and frozen
2 ounces lard, cubed and frozen
3-4 tablespoons ice water

Pie dough directions

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor bowl and set in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Combine the cubed butter and lard and set on a pan in the freezer to chill until hard. In the food processor, add the cold butter and lard to the dry ingredients in two additions by pulsing to combine. Slowly add the ice water to the dry ingredients and fat, pulsing to combine. Quickly transfer the dough to a cold worktable after it comes together in the food processor. Work the dough into one flat round. Wrap and chill the dough.

Roll out the dough into one 9-inch pie pan or four mini pie pans or tart rings, set and hard chill prior to baking. About 15 minutes for large pie or 8-10 minutes for mini pies before the pie dough is baked through, remove the pie weights and brush the dough inside, on the bottom, and around the top to seal with an egg wash. Bake for approximately 15 minutes longer for one large pie or 8 minutes longer for mini pies until golden brown. Set the crust to cool to room temperature before adding pie filling.

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