Pumpkin Cheesecake by Chef Michael

Pumpkin Cheesecake


Pumpkin Cheesecake

with a

Pumpkin Spice cream cheese topping



For the crust:


1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

3 tbsp. Sugar

3 tbsp. butter, melted


Mix crumbs and sugar, add butter; press firmly onto bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.


For the Cheesecake:


5 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 – 15 oz. can 100% Pure Pumpkin

1 cup sour cream

3 tbsp. all purpose flour

1 ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground nutmeg


Beat cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar in a large mixer bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs, pumpkin and sour cream. Add flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; beat well. Pour into crust.


Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until edge is set but center still moves slightly. When cooled, top with cream cheese topping, optional.


For the Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese topping:Chef Michael and Patricia


1 – 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice


Combine all three ingredients and beat until fluffy.

Chef Michael’s Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Chef Michael’s Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad

 White Balsamic Vinaigrette & Roasted Almond Pesto


Sourdough Croutons


Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time for the Croutons 10-12 minutes

4 Slices Sourdough Bread cubed

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher or Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper                      

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush the bottom of a sheet pan with the oil.  Place cubed bread on the sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the bread and place the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crispy.


White Balsamic Vinaigrette

½ cup White Balsamic Vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1½ teaspoon Cracked Pepper 

1 ½ teaspoons Salt

1 cup  Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Set aside the olive.  Mix all the ingredients in a food processor or on low speed in a blender.  While the machine is on SLOWLY add the oil.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.


¼ cup Roasted Almonds

30-40 large basil leaves (about 2 packages from the grocery store)

2 ounces shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

1 tsp white balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic (if you like more garlic add a little at a time )

1 tsp Kosher or Sea salt

1 tsp fresh cracked pepper

Blend ingredients together in a blender or food processor.  The pesto should be smooth but not runny. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.


Chef Michael’s notes:

Good to remember the 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar rule.  The white balsamic may be interchanged with other vinegars, experiment with your favorite vinegar and adjust as needed.


Finish the plate:

Mix spring baby lettuce with the White Balsamic Vinaigrette.   Coat equal parts fresh buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and croutons with the Roasted Almond Pesto and top baby greens.




Cognac Lobster Bisque

Amazen Chef Creations

Executive Chef Michael Cortez C.C.C.

Executive Sous Chef Jordy Miranda

 Lobster BisquePrep time 15 minutes Cook Time 25 Minutes

Serves 8






  • 3 roma tomatoes diced
  • 2 ounces carrots diced
  • 2 ounces celery diced
  • 4 ounces onion diced
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces white wine
  • 4 ounces of your favorite cognac
  • 6 cups flavorful lobster stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 4 tablespoons water
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper


In a large saucepot, sauté the tomatoes, onion, celery, and carrots on medium heat for about 3 minutes in olive oil. Add white wine and cognac and let simmer for about 4 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the lobster stock and bring to a boil. Next add the heavy cream to the mixture. When the cream begins to boil add the cornstarch whisking constantly, then add the salt and pepper. Let the bisque simmer for about 15 minutes, then puree until very smooth. Strain with a fine mesh strainer. Adjust salt and cognac to taste. There should be a slight hint of cognac.

 For the Garnish:

  •  1 cooked lobster tail chopped
  •  Chive Oil
  •  Garlic Croutons
  •  Whipped cream




Chef Michael’s – Akashi Beef Short Ribs

2 lbs. Bone in Akaushi Short Ribs Beef Short Ribs
1 cup Mire Poix

(2 oz diced celery, 2 oz diced carrot, 4 oz dice onion)

¼ cup veal stock ½ cup white wine

2 oz Fresh Rosemary, Thyme, Chives, Parsley Cilantro

3oz Olive Oil

1 Lemon


Remove the bone & season with salt & pepper. In a hot roasting pan sear beef until brown remove from pan. Add mire poix to pan and sauté vegetables for about 2-3 minutes. Place beef on top of vegetables and roast until mid rare about 15 minutes at 250 degrees.. Remove ribs from pan deglaze with wine then add stock. And reduce by half. Blend all herbs, lemon, and oil until smooth.

Thyme Scented Roasted Breast & White Wine Braised Chicken

Chef Michael’s Signature Chicken Entree withSauté of Shitake Mushrooms, Sage Mashed Potatoes, White & Green Asparagus, Fried Carrots, Brussels sprouts, Poultry Jus Lie, Red Wine Glazed Pearl Onions

Roasted Chicken Recipe


1 whole Chicken (legs and thighs separated) (Breast removed still on bone)

2-3 ounces Extra Virgin Olive oil

2 cups Equal mix celery, onions, carrots

2 each Cloves fresh garlic finely chopped

2 cups Your Favorite Chardonnay

1 cup Chicken stock

8 sprigs Thyme chopped and divided in two

To taste Salt & Pepper (be sure to season the chicken well, since you will be adding wine and stock)

½ each Lemon Juice


Remove the Legs and thighs from the chicken then season with salt and pepper. Sear until golden brown in a sauté pan on one side. Flip the chicken over and add the vegetables & wine and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add stock & thyme and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is tender. While the Legs and thighs are in the oven start the Roasted Breast. Season with salt and pepper and chopped thyme (be sure to get under the skin). Place in oven on a bed of sliced onions about 20 minutes before the legs and thighs are ready so all the chicken will be ready at the same time. Remove the remaining sauce from the pan and add a few drops of lemon juice and salt & pepper if necessary.


Roasted Corn

2 ea Fresh corn, whole on the cob

1 oz Butter

To taste Salt & Pepper

1 oz Red Onion


Remove the husk and season the corn with salt, pepper, and butter. Wrap the corn in foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes until tender. Remove from cob and sauté with minced red onion. Season with Salt and pepper


Sage Whipped Potatoes

1 ½ Pounds Russet Potatoes

¾ cup Heavy Cream

10 ea Sage Leaves Fresh

2 oz Butter

to taste Salt & Pepper


Boil potatoes, season water with salt and pepper. Strain when potatoes are tender. Heat the cream with sage to infuse flavor. Add cream, butter, salt and pepper to potatoes. Crush and keep warm.


White and Green Asparagus

1 pound Fresh Green Asparagus

1 pound Fresh White Asparagus

1 ounce Extra Virgin Olive Oil

To Taste Salt & PepperChef Michael Cortez


Cut bottom of asparagus off. Bring 3 quarts of water to a rapid boil and place asparagus in for about 2 minutes until bright green season with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.