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Compliments of the Chef

Teresa Kramer Ruback

Photography by ©Laurie and Charles

Touch it. Experience it. Own it.

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If you Google “Teresa Kramer Ruback” you’re likely to find a blog post by Ananda Devika that mentions that Kramer grew up here in Omaha, and interned with Wolfgang Puck at Spago, and practiced her culinary art all over the world, including post-Oscars parties and even Middle Eastern peace talks.


What’s your official title/occupation?
Chef/Culinary Consultant

Who have you cooked for?
An animal, a baby, a mother, a father, a husband, an athlete, an Olympian, a rock star, a pop star, a porn star, a Noble Peace Prize Winner, a sinner, a millionaire, a billionaire, a murderer, a victim, an author, an astronaut, a president, a vice president, a king, a queen, a drag queen, a minister, a sinister, a  prime minister, a senator, a governor, a gangsta, a gangster, a “Brat” Packer, a “Rat” Packer, a model, a designer, a director, an Oscar Winner, a chef, a doctor, a lawyer, a cheater, a wife beater… just to name a few. People have eaten my food under water, on Earth, and in outer space!

What is your favorite time of the year?
Fall. I LOVE comfort food and that is what Thanksgiving is all about! As family and friends we really get serious and excited about bringing recipes to the table that have been in the family for generations, and yet we might have friends who have come from different countries who bring theirs so we have this melting pot going on. It is so cool to see what people are doing these days. One house might be serving Green Tea Brined Turkey with Garlic Mash Potatoes and Pumpkin red Bean Mochi while another might be doing a Moroccan Turkey Tangine with Pomegranate and Preserved Lemon Cous Cous. Ananda Devika happened to discovered Chef Teresa through a “Cooking with Herbs” event at Lauritzen Gardens years ago. We were recently introduced to Chef Teresa through our relationship with Laurie and Charles Kay.*
So we asked Chef Teresa to answer a few quick Q&As and share some of her favorite culinary tips with our readers.

Thanksgiving Tips:

When buying a turkey? The rule of thumb is to buy one pound per guest. Thawing a turkey? Allow 24 hrs per five pounds of turkey. (Ex. 20 lbs. = four days) Where do I thaw My Turkey? In your refrigerator. Cooking a turkey? Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and allow 15 minutes per pound. Done? Stick a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh and if it says 170 degrees, take it out! Moist turkey? Add a can or bottle of beer or two cups of wine to the pan while cooking. Tent your turkey with foil and remove the foil before the last hour of cooking. Rub with salted butter and allow to brown! Four lbs. of unpeeled potatoes is enough for mashed potatoes for eight guests. How many pies for 10 Guests? Two. Store fruit pies and pecan pies on the counter, not the fridge! Baked Breads such as banana or pumpkin always taste better if made a few days ahead of serving (Store in air tight container or even freeze!)

Try a new side. How about curry sweet potato puree?
Dessert? Pumpkin Pie* or Whoopie Pie? Everyone has twists on these. So why not try serving your family Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. It’s easy and yummy!

What is a Whoopie Pie? According to Wikipedia, a whoopie pie (also called a gob, black-and-white, bob, or “BFO” for Big Fat Oreo) is a baked good made of two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake, sometimes  pumpkin cake, with a sweet, creamy frosting sandwiched between them. While considered a New England phenomenon and a Pennsylvania Amish tradition, they are increasingly sold throughout the United States. According to food historians, Amish women would bake these (known as hucklebucks at the time) and put them in farmers’ lunchboxes. When farmers would find these treats in their lunch, they would shout “Whoopie!”


-end- metroMAGAZINE




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