's former chef Gaby Dalkin
Dalkin began working for Simpson in 2011 and now runs her own blog, whatsgabycooking.com, and is the author of Absolutely Avocados
. Guacamole for the holidays "is festive, delicious and fun," she says. "The pomegranate seeds give it a nice bite." Plus, "Jessica's friends and family were mostly from Texas, so it was a staple in the kitchen!"
'S CHRISTMAS GUACAMOLE
From Gaby Dalkin
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 Reed avocado, or 2 to 3 Haas avocados
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup chopped jicama
Sea salt and pepper
Combine the avocado and lime juice in a large bowl. Mash together with a fork until you have a slightly creamy consistency. Stir in pomegranate seeds and jicama. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
's personal chef Khristianne Uy
"Charlie loves this dish because he grew up eating casseroles," says Uy, who won the cooking show The Taste
last March. But making food for a celeb can be demanding. "I'll come up with a new recipe, and he'll invite 10 friends over. He's like a proud father."
CHARLIE SHEEN'S BUTTERNUT SQUASH CASSEROLE
From Khristianne Uy
Makes 8 servings
6 cups diced butternut squash
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
¾ to 1 cup coconut milk
½ tsp. ginger
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
½ cup crushed Ritz crackers
1. Preheat oven to 400º. Place squash on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes. Cool.
2. Reduce oven temperature to 350º. In a large bowl, combine cooled squash, eggs, salt, pepper, 6 tbsp. butter, coconut milk, ginger, garlic and sage. Turn mixture into a greased 13×9-in. baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs, drizzle with remaining 2 tsp. butter and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until crackers start to brown.
Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres's personal chef Roberto Martin
Cooking for the vegan couple "is a blast," says Martin, the author of Vegan Cooking for Carnivores. "They love the flavors of this shepherd's pie. Its heartiness is perfect for cold winter evenings."
PORTIA DE ROSSI & ELLEN DEGENERES
'S VEGAN SHEPHERD'S PIE
From Roberto Martin
Makes 8 servings
1 cup dried French green lentils, rinsed, or 1 (12-oz.) package of Smart Ground Original or Boca Meatless Ground Crumbles
2 lbs. russet potatoes
4 tbsp. (½ stick; ¼ cup) vegan butter, melted
½ cup warm almond or soy milk
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. high-heat oil such as safflower or grape-seed
1 white or brown onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
1 large carrot, cut into small dice
1 tsp. fresh or dried thyme
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1½ cups broth made from Better Than Bouillon No Beef Base or Vegetable Base
½ cup frozen organic peas
1. Preheat the oven to 425º.
2. Place the lentils in a medium pot and cover with 1 in. cold water.
3. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. The lentils will most likely be undercooked, but that is okay as they will be further cooked later. Drain the lentils and reserve.
4. While the lentils are cooking, peel and rinse the potatoes and place them in a large pot. Fill the pot with water to at least 3 in. above the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until potatoes are soft.
5. Drain the potatoes and place them in an ovenproof baking dish or pan. Bake for 5 minutes to remove excess moisture, and leave the oven on.
6. Working quickly, mash potatoes with a potato masher. Add the melted butter, warm milk and chopped chives (if using), and stir until well incorporated. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
7. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil and wait until it shimmers.
8. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to show color. Add the garlic, celery, carrot and thyme and cook for 3 minutes more.
9. Sprinkle flour over vegetables. Stir.
10. Carefully pour the broth into the pan and stir until well incorporated.
11. Stir in the lentils and simmer the stew for about 5 minutes.
12. Add the peas to the lentil mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly into an 11×7-in. ovenproof baking dish.
13. Top with potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up. Smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake the pie for 25 minutes or until potatoes begin to brown. Allow pie to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.