Jessica Chappell is a fresh new chef making waves on North Padre Island. She is the chef and owner of Padre Poke, which is the next stop in our KRIS6 News series Family Favorite Foods. Sunrise Anchor Paulo Salazar visits the Island restaurant to showcase another family recipe. This time he's cooking up celery Pesto, which has quickly become a local favorite.
Chappell has been helping in the kitchen since she was a child. She's been able to turn her passion for cooking into a business. Despite the pandemic, Padre Poke has been a success.
Celery Pesto is a topping you can find on several items on the menu. It's a recipe her great-grandmother created and has been passed down through the generations. As Chappell was going over what to place on the menu and what foods to cook, her mom's celery pesto was on the list to showcase.
Chappell says, "This is a recipe actually taught to me by my mom, who taught her how to make it."
With bright shades of green, celery pesto incorporates all local produce. Chappell says it's fresh ingredients that make the difference, "We always start with fresh local celery leaves. That is what separates it from other sauces. So as we cut up our items we put everything in the food processor."
After chopping off the celery leaves the next step is going to be cutting up some parsley. Next, the recipe calls for some garlic and shallots. To give it a little kick jalapeno's or Serrano peppers can be added to the mix. The final ingredients include some freshly squeezed lemons and olive oil.
After pulling everything together in the food processor for about a minute it's ready to be added to just about any dish.
According to Chappell, "One of the most popular dishes I put this on, is my pan-seared tenderloin dish, which you can find on my brunch menu. I place a fresh spring mix on a plate, then pan-seared tenderloin, which is cut in strips. I then top it with a dollop of celery pesto. Finally, it's garnished with some pine nuts and shallot vinaigrette.
Celery pesto is a family recipe that is sure to not disappoint. If you have a family recipe that you think needs to showcased, reach out to Sunrise Anchor Paulo Salazar through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or email. He could be coming to your kitchen next for another edition of Family Favorite Foods.