Allyson's Kitchen

  1. Known as "Rizogalo" in Greek, this variation of the worldly popular dessert is made with whole milk, fresh vanilla bean, and uses a pinch of cinnamon for garnish spice.

    6 Whole Almonds, toasted
    2 Cups Cooked Rice
    2.5 Cups Whole Milk
    1 Whole Vanilla Bean or 2 tsp. extract
    1.5 Cup Sugar
    Zest of 1 Lemon
    1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
    1.5 tsp Unsalted Butter
    1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

    Place toasted almond in each ramekin or pudding bowl and set aside.

    Place rice in large bowl and rinse with cool water. Pour rice into strainer and drain well. Set aside.

    Pour milk into large saucepan. Split surface of vanilla bean lenghtwise down the center with tip of paring knife. Push side of knife down center of bean to open it up, loosening tiny seeds of the pod. Put whole pos and seed into milk. (If using vanilla extract, don't add yet).

    Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Ladle about .25 Cup of hot milk mixture very slowly into beaten egg while whisking gently. (This tempers the liquid so egg won't scramble.) Pour egg mixture into saucepan, stirring to combine with remaining hot milk. Add rice and raise heat to medium-high. Stir constantly over low heat until mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla extract, if using. Immediately spoon pudding into ramekins or bowls. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

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  2. Also part of Allyson's "It's All Greek" Cooking Series, this delicious Roast Chicken Recipe is as simple as it is crowd-pleasing.

    1 Chicken (2½ to 3 pounds)
    Unsalted Butter (about ½ stick)
    Kosher Salt
    ¼ Cup Honey
    2 Tbs. Water
    ½ tsp. Saffron Threads

    METHOD: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken on rack in roasting pan.

    Melt butter in small saucepan. Drizzle some butter over chicken, a little at a time, rubbing and turning until chicken is evenly coated on every side. Don‘t wash saucepan. Sprinkle chicken with salt.

    Roast chicken, breast side down for 30 minutes, then turn chicken and roast for 20 more minutes.

    Meanwhile, pour honey and water into remaining butter. Add saffron and heat over low heat until thin enough to brush over
    chicken. With pastry brush or clean paper towel, brush honey mixture over chicken. Roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until
    instant-read thermometer registers 170 degrees when inserted into thickest part of thigh without touching bone.

    Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving.

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  3. Allyson prepares a traditional Lamb Kebab recipe for her Confident Cooking Class in Summer 2007. Rather than cooking the lamb outside on a grill, the ground lamb, fresh parsley, fresh garlic, red pepper, and whole wheat bulgar are prepared as meatballs and grilled in olive oil in a large skillet.

    6 Main-Course Servings.

    2 Cups Plain Whole-milk Yogurt
    1 Cup Bulgur
    2 Medium Yellow Onions, minced finely
    1 Cup Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
    1 to 3 Tbs. Olive Oil
    ¼ Crushed Red Pepper
    1 tsp. Ground Cumin
    1 lb. Very Lean Ground Lamb
    Sea Salt
    Black Pepper, freshly ground
    1 Garlic Clove, chopped

    METHOD: Strain yogurt in strainer or sieve, lined with double layer of cheesecloth for about 30 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Rinse bulgur in running water until water runs quite clear, then transfer bulgur to a bowl. Add enough water to cover bulgur by 1 inch. Set aside for 5 minutes. Drain in sieve and set aside. Leave in sieve, while you prepare remaining ingredients.

    Combine onions and parsley in bowl of food processor and pulse to mix well; chop to a fine paste. Add 1 tablespoon oil, red pepper, cumin and pulse again. Distribute lamb over onions and pulse to mix well and grind meat even finer. Transfer mixture to large bowl.

    Squeeze bulgur dry and add to lamb mixture in bowl, along with 1 teaspoon salt; pepper to taste. Using wet hands, knead bulgur into lamb, just as if you were kneading bread dough. Wet hands frequently to keep mixture from sticking. When mixture resembles texture of biscuit dough, cover bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

    Prepare charcoal fire. When coals have turned white and meat mixture is well chilled, wet hands again and divide mixture in 8 to 12 balls, using about 1/3 cup mixture for each ball. Mold each ball into a thick finger around skewer – two balls to a skewer. Grill over charcoal until done, about 10 minutes to a side, depending on fire heat.

    Crush garlic with ½ teaspoon salt in small bowl, using back of a spoon to make paste. Stir in some of the strained yogurt to mix well, then stir yogurt-garlic mixture back into bowl of yogurt. Serve cold with hot kebabs.

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  4. A great breakfast that can be prepared the night before.

    Serves 8 to 10 as part of a brunch menu.

    ½ Cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
    1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
    2 Tbs. Corn Syrup
    One 12" Loaf Sour Dough Bread
    8 Large Eggs
    1 ¼ Cups Half and Half
    ¾ Cup Heavy Cream
    1 Tbs. Sugar
    ¼ tsp. Fresh Grated Nutmeg
    ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
    1 tsp. Vanilla
    1 tsp. Banana Liqueur, or Dark Rum (optional)
    ¼ tsp. Kosher Salt

    In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth. Pour into buttered baking dish.

    Cut bread in ¾" thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use. Trim crusts from slices. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

    In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, cream, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, liqueur and salt until combined well. Pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover with pan with foil. Bake bread mixture, in middle of oven until puffed and just set, about 35 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook for about ten minutes more, or until edges are light golden brown.

    Remove pan from oven, let cool slightly. Cut into squares, and remove to platter. Turn squares upside down, so caramel sauce is on top. You can also run a knife around the edges of the pan and transfer to large rectangle platter. Serve with Bananas Foster (recipe follows).

    Bananas Foster:
    4 Firm, but Ripe Bananas, peeled
    2 Tbs. Unsalted Butter
    3 Tbs. Brown Sugar
    ¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
    1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
    ½ Cup Dark Rum
    1 Tbs. Banana Liqueur (optional)

    Cut bananas into diagonal slices, about ¾" thick and about 2" long. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

    Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add in butter and swirl until melted and just begins to bubble along the edges. Place bananas in skillet and cook over medium heat for about five minutes. Turn bananas

    Carefully, using a spatula and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or just until fork tender (do not overcook). Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top of the bananas. Transfer bananas to a warmed dish.

    Remove pan from heat and pour in rum and banana liqueur. Return pan to heat and scrape caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan with the spatula. Using a long match or lighter, carefully ignite liqueur, swirl pan, then pour over bananas. Pour bananas over French toast squares and serve immediately.

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Allyson's Kitchen


Kitchen demonstration and cooking videos from hands-on cooking courses at Allyson's Kitchen, currently with classes in Ashland and Bend, Oregon. For more info, visit

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