NBC Bay Area and Safeway Hunger Bag Recipe Challenge

Chefs from around the Bay Area were given a pre-packed grocery bag and pantry list to create a delicious Thanksgiving dish. See some of the creative recipes below and be sure to visit your local Safeway to donate to NBC Bay Area and Safeways' "Help Us End Hunger" Holiday Food Drive on November 22.

 All chefs were requires to use at least three of the following items: Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna, Pantry Essential Pasta, Hunts Pasta Sauce, Del Monte Family Size Vegetables, Skippy Peanut Butter, Kraft Blue Box, Safeway Chicken Noodle OR Tomato. 

 Chefs were also able to add any of the following kitchen staple items: Potatoes, Yams, Apples, Carrots, Cabbage, Bell Peppers, Onions, Squash, Celery, Pears, Chicken, Rice.  

Andrew Court, Chef
Winter Bread Pudding
Fairmont San Francisco Recipe 

Pantry Essentials Orzo Pasta & Shredded Chicken, Hunts Pasta Sauce & Fresh Basil.

2 Portions

8 oz     Brioche Loaf - Cubes
8 oz     Mixed Winter Mushrooms 
1 ½oz  White onion, finely chopped
2 oz     Unsalted Butter
Fresh Parsley, Thyme
2 tsp    Garlic, minced
6 oz     Delmonte Mixed Vegetables – Low Sodium
4 oz     Poached Chicken Breast
½-1tsp Juniper Berries, roasted and ground
2 oz     Pantry Essentials Orzo Pasta, cooked
2 ea      Eggs
9 floz Half & Half
5 oz     Parmesan, Shredded 

Prepared Day Prior;

Poach Chicken breast in seasoned chicken stock till tender drain and reserve, store in refrigerator overnight. 

Prepare Day of;

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Bake bread cubes in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan until golden-brown, about 4 minutes

Tear or cut mushrooms lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces.

Shred Chicken breast by hand, into ¼ oz pieces.

Cook onion in butter in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, about 6-8 minutes. Add parsley, thyme, juniper, drained vegetables and garlic. Cook while stirring, 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken, toss lightly and Remove from heat.

Whisk together half-and-half, eggs, cheese, add salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in mushrooms, orzo and bread cubes until coated well and let stand 10 minutes for bread to absorb some of egg mixture. 

Butter pan, and line with parchment in bottom of each. 
Spoon mixture into pan or ramekins, and back on a backing sheet until firm to the touch, 30 minutes. 
Let cool to the touch, and remove from pan. Cut pudding to desired size, and place on plate. 
Serve with prepared tomato sauce, fresh basil and micro greens and herbs. 

Chef Anthony Hsia, Executive Chef
Rustic Spaghetti with Tuna and Lemon
Fairmont San Jose Recipe

1 packet dried pasta of your choice
1 can of tuna, broken into chunks, juice reserved
1 bunch Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic
2-3 cups grated parmesan (or more if you like cheese)
1 pack cut vegetables
1-2 lemons
4 tablespoons

Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt. Check pasta box for timing as pasta sizes affect cooking time. Once cooked, drain off water in colander and hold.

Heat olive oil in sauté pan until just under smoking, and add garlic and cut vegetables and chopped Italian parsley. Should be very fragrant. Remove from heat and pour entire contents onto the pasta.

Gently fold in the crumbled tuna and its juice, the parmesan, and the juice of lemons.  

 Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy.

  Chef Andrew Cain, Santeat the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
Tuna Noodle Casserole “Croquettes” with Tomato Dipping Sauce
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn Recipe

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (6-oz) can Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna, drained
2 cups of Del Monte Family Size Frozen Peas, Thawed and drained
4 oz coarsely grated White Cheddar Cheese (1 cup)
6 oz dried Safeway Pantry Essentials Ditalini Pasta
4 cups Fine Ground fresh bread crumbs (from dried white sandwich bread)
4 ea eggs
4 oz. Grated Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
64 oz. Canola Oil (For Frying)
4 oz can Hunt’s pasta sauce (For Dipping)

In a medium sauce pot prepare a basic white roux by first melting the butter over a low heat, then whisking in a ¼ of cup of the flour.  Slowly cook the roux for about 5 minutes stirring constantly being careful not to scorch, or caramelize the flour.

Add the milk to the roux in three parts, whisking thoroughly at each addition to ensure that the ingredients are well incorporated.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. 

 Slowly add in the cheese, stirring constantly to ensure that the cheese sauce is well incorporated and does not stick or burn at the bottom of the sauce pot. 

Season the cheese sauce with salt to taste, remove from the heat, keeping covered. 

Boil the pasta per the instructions on the box.  When the pasta is cooked, drain it well.

Combine the frozen peas, drained tuna, as well as the cooked pasta with the prepared cheese sauce.  The mixture should be a bit dryer than a traditional casserole.

Allow the finished casserole to cool to room temperature.

Using a large tablespoon, portion the casserole into approximately 1 oz. portions.  Then using your hands roll the tuna casserole portions into balls, flattening each side of the portion to form a puck like form, (Croquettes). Place the formed croquettes in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm up.

Whip the eggs with about 3 tablespoons water to form an egg wash.

 Evenly flour the croquettes on all sides being sure to pat off any excess flour. Next, coat the croquettes evenly in the egg wash, again allowing any excess egg wash to drip off.  Finally, coat the croquettes on all sides with the prepared bread crumbs.

In a large stock pot with tall sides bring the oil up to 350 degrees.

Deep fry the croquettes until golden brown, then place in a 350 degree oven on a sheet try lined with absorbent paper towels for 10 minutes.  Insert a paring knife into one croquette to make sure they are hot throughout.

Serve the croquettes on a bed of grated parmesan cheese with warm Hunts Pasta dipping sauce.

Note: The croquettes can be stored in the freezer in a zip lock for up to 3 months. 

Jennifer Lowe, Nutrition Program Manager
Squash Soup
Alameda County Community Food Bank

Vegetable soup made with canned chicken noodle soup as a base

Saute fresh vegetables (potato, celery, carrots, bell pepper, onion and squash) and add them to the canned chicken soup.

Hollow out the squash and serve soup in a squash bowl.


Jennifer Lowe, Nutrition Program Manager
Mini Tuna Casserole Bites
Alameda County Community Food Bank

Cook macaroni and cheese on the stove.  Microwave butternut squash.  Add mixed vegetables,canned tuna, and one egg. Stir in cooked squash.  Fill muffin cups and bake for 15 min.

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