Chef Pyet DeSpain's Three Sisters Salad


Pyet DeSpain Recipe of Three Sisters Salad featuring Beans, Corn, and Squash

Three Sisters Salad: Beans, Corn, and Squash

When it comes to family dinners for the holidays I strive to not only make delicious and affordable side dishes, I like to make eye catching dishes that fit the aesthetic of the table. This stunning Three Sisters Salad is easy, flavorful and holds a meaningful purpose at the table. The three Sisters are beans, corn and squash which represent the most important foods in Indigenous cuisine and are an agriculture staple. Native American people were not only hunters and gather they were knowledable farmers as well. The combination of these food plant types was so important to Native American culture that it took on a spiritual nature. In the Iriquois mythology beans, corn and squash are three inseparable sisters who grow together and depend on each other for survival. This salad can be served warm or cold and adds a special meaning and a new flare to your feast.

Serves: 6


  • 1 medium yellow onion, medium diced
  • 1 small acorn or butternut squash
  • 1 cup of cooked beans
  • 1 cup of cooked corn
  • 1 cup of cooked hominy
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac
  • 2 tablespoon apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel squash with a sharp vegetable peeler. Cut in half lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds. Cut halves into 1-inch slices, then cut slices into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Combine butternut squash cubes and half of your sunflower oil in a large bowl and toss until well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven until squash is lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork, 25 to 35 minutes.
  5. Put a large skillet over medium heat and add remaining sunflower oil to the skillet.
  6. Cook onions in skillet until tender and translucent.
  7. Add hominy, corn and beans saute for 5-6 mins.
  8. Combine maple syrup, thyme, sumac, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar, whisk together in a small bowl
  9. Stir in Maple mixture and cranberries to salad, serve warm.

Beef Empanadas & Avocado Salsa

Serves: 6



  • 2 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick of very cold unsalted butter (1/2 cup), diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of ice water
  • 1 egg whisked to brush the empanadas for baking


  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • ¾ pound of ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • ½ cup sweet potato, fine diced
  • ½ cup white onion, fine diced

Creamy Avocado Salsa (makes about 3 cups):

  • 6 tomatillos roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado pitted, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 limes juiced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup white onion
  • ¼ of a Jalapeno (1 Tablespoon) or to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • kosher salt to taste  



  1. Pulse the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor (or sift into a bowl).
  2. Add the butter and pulse until the butter and flour are the texture of coarsely ground cornmeal (or use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour).
  3. Whisk together the water and egg. With the processor running, slowly stream in the wet mixture until the dough comes together.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times just until the dough comes together. Flatten into a round disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté the ground meat with the thyme and oregano until just cooked through (the meat is very lean, so be careful to not overcook it). Set aside in a bowl.
  6. Sauté the onion and sweet potato for five minutes and add to the meat. Salt and pepper to taste. Heat the oven to 350 F degrees.


Assemble the Empanadas:


  1. Take out the dough and cut into 12 even pieces
  2. Take each piece and roll out to a 5-6 inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick.
  3. On one half of each circle, fill with 2 1/2 tablespoons of filling and fold in half, sealing by using the tines of a fork to crimp the edges.
    Put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray).
  4. Whisk one egg and brush on the empanadas.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven OR until golden brown.


Creamy Avocado Salsa:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and mix until well blended. Season to taste.
  2. Refrigerate for 3-5 days


Pyet DeSpain Recipe of Beef Empanadas & Avocado Salsa

Sam the Cooking Guy Recipe of Lobster Bisque Shooters

Lobster Bisque Shooters

On a scale of 1-10, this has a difficulty rating of about a 2, and a delicious rating of about 12. Plus it’s a fun way to start any special evening.

Makes: Eight 3 Ounce Servings


  • 5 cups water
  • 4 lobster tails
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ½ medium onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup Horizon Organic Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika


  1. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the tails and cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the tails but keep the water in the pot
  2. When the tails are cool enough to handle, use kitchen shears to cut through the bottom plate of the tail. Remove the meat from the shells while saving any liquid that comes out of the shells. Put lobster meat in the fridge
  3. Put the lobster shells back in the water in the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes to bring out as much flavor from the shells as possible. You should have 2 cups remaining; remove and save.
  4. In the same pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, and add the onions. Cook over medium heat until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and cook another minute, stirring well to coat the onions & garlic.
  6. Sprinkle in the flour, mixing in well to make a thick paste. Cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the reserved 2 cups of lobster stock (making up the difference with chicken stock if needed), whipping cream and sherry.
  8. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.
  9. While it simmers, remove the lobster meat from the fridge; chop 2 of the tails into small pieces, and the other 2 tails into large bites – you’ll need at least 8 of these .
  10. When done simmering, add the chopped up smaller pieces to the bisque, and keep warm.
  11. Melt the remaining butter in a small pan, and add the large lobster bites. Season lightly with salt & pepper and the paprika.
  12. Cook until just warmed through, then serve the bisque in small bowls or shot glasses, with a skewered piece or 2 of lobster on top.

Jeweled Rice Salad with Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

Serves: 10


  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2 - 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup wild rice or black rice
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup pistachios


  • zest and juice of one orange
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the cubed squash onto a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Roast the squash until tender about 25 - 30 minutes, turning once for even cooking. Cool the squash before adding to rice salad.
  3. Meanwhile rinse and cook the rice according to package directions. Once cooked, remove from the pot and cool the rice on a baking sheet.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooled rice, diced onion, dill, parsley, mint, dried cranberries, pomegranate arils and pistachios. Add the cooled squash and toss to mix.
  5. Prepare the dressing in a bowl or mason jar. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
  6. Place the salad on a large platter or a serving bowl. If desired, reserve some fresh herbs, roasted squash, pomegranate arils and orange zest as garnish.

Eva Fry Recipe of Jeweled Rice Salad with Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Sqaush

Holiday Side Dish Recipes