Talk Food Festival: Sunny Anderson

Posted on Jan 9, 2014 11:45am

Sunny Anderson, co-host of "The Kitchen," returned to the talk with her personal cooking style that combines classic comfort foods along with unique flavors inspired by her many travels. With so much of the country under a deep freeze, Sunny made a meal that is comforting, warm and easy!



Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved and flattened

  • Peanut or vegetable oil

  • 16 slices thinly sliced deli ham

  • 16 slices Swiss cheese


Dredge the chicken: In a medium shallow bowl, combine the flour, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. In a second medium shallow bowl, add the eggs, mustard, paprika, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper; whisk to combine. In a third medium shallow bowl, add the panko. Run each piece of chicken through these bowls in that order: flour, egg, and then panko.

Fry the chicken: In a large straight-sided pan, pour enough oil to just cover the bottom by about a quarter inch. Heat on medium-high and when the oil begins to swirl, add the chicken in batches, placing each piece in the oil away from you so there is less splatter. Fry the chicken on one side until golden, about 4 minutes, then flip and fry on the other side just a few minutes more. Add more oil between batches if needed. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet.

Finish the chicken: Turn on the broiler or heat the oven to the highest temperature possible. Top each piece of chicken with 2 slices of ham and 2 slices of cheese. Place in the oven on the center rack and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and serve.

Tip: Turn these into small bites for guests by cutting the chicken into bite-sized cubes before cooking then topping with cut squares of ham and cheese. Insert a toothpick in each and enjoy a fun cocktail party bite


German Baked Potatoes with sweet bacon and scallion dressing

Serves 4


  • 4 russet potatoes

  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed

  • ½ onion, cut into big chunks

  • 4 strips bacon

  • 6 cups water

  • 1½ cups apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sweet Bacon and Scallion Dressing:

  • 8 strips bacon, chopped

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 4 scallions, finely chopped (white and green parts)


Boil the potatoes: Use a skewer or fork to make 20 to 30 deep holes all around the potatoes. Put the potatoes, garlic, onion, bacon, vinegar, liquid smoke, sugar, 6 cups water, a big pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender all the way through, about 40 minutes. As the potatoes finish cooking, preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Bake the Potatoes: Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and brush with olive oil all over. Season the skins with salt and bake for 10 minutes, rolling over halfway through.

Make the dressing: Put the bacon, olive oil, and a few grinds of pepper in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the bacon is crisped, about 8 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. Simmer until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the scallions.

Serve the potatoes: Remove the potatoes from the oven and split each down the center with a knife, squeezing the ends to open the center. Flake each a bit with a fork, then fill with an equal amount of the hot dressing.

Tip: Make this into a warm German-style potato salad by using 2 pounds of Red Bliss potatoes instead and cooking them the same way, but with fewer pokes before the poach and a shorter poaching time. When you remove them from the oven, instead of splitting them, mash each individually by pressing once with the back of a spoon. Then combine with the dressing in a large bowl, toss, and serve warm.


Red Velvet Swirl Brownies

Makes 16 brownies


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the Red Velvet Layer:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring or 2 teaspoons food coloring gel

  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

  • 2 eggs

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

For the Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract


Prepare the pan: Butter an 8x8-inch baking pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Mix the red velvet layer: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Transfer to a large bowl and mix between each addition of the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and combine with the cocoa mix. Fold the flour into the chocolate batter and combine lightly. Add the walnuts and stir.

Mix the cream cheese layer: Blend the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl.

Assemble the brownies: Pour the red velvet layer into the bottom of the prepared pan, saving ¼ cup batter for the top. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the red velvet layer. Then randomly dollop the remaining red velvet batter over the cream cheese layer. Using a skewer or the sharp end of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into 2x2-inch brownies.

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