Hearty, filling, comforting—Samantha Moroz’s savory recipes are what you would call “good for the soul.”
However, the Lynchburg wife, mother of two and adjunct professor is the first to tell you her deep dark secret—she had no clue how to cook until she got married about 10 years ago. But after saying “I do,” she rolled up her sleeves and started following the recipes of well-known cooks. Her mother was one of them, along with big names such as Ina Garten and Martha Stewart. From there, Moroz branched out by blending recipes, then later added her own tweaks and combinations to create the perfect dishes.
Her soups, chili, pastas, and homemade pizza and bread not only impress her family and close friends but also larger groups about once a month. And her desserts, such as a warm cookie skillet with vanilla ice cream, will make your mouth water.
We love Samantha because she is a perfect example of how there is a hidden chef inside all of us—all it takes is a little inspiration and a lot of practice!
Chicken Prosciutto Alfredo
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cups parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
4 pieces deli prosciutto, sliced or torn apart into pieces
1 pound chicken breast,
cubed into 1/2” pieces
1 pound pasta
(fettucine, shells, penne)
Cook pasta according to package directions (add a tablespoon of salt to your water to add flavor to the noodles); drain.
In a saucepan, sauté the garlic in butter. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil; boil for one minute. Add cheese and stir until melted, then add fresh parsley.
In another pan, sauté the onions in butter. Add the cubed chicken to the onions. When almost finished cooking, add the prosciutto. Combine the pasta, cheese sauce and chicken together, serve and enjoy!
Bunch of asparagus, ends cut off
Olive oil (or butter)
Salt and pepper
Lemon, cut in half
Arrange asparagus in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet, dot the asparagus with butter (or drizzle with olive oil), sprinkle with salt and
pepper and toss to coat. Squeeze half of a lemon all over the asparagus.
(Cut the remainder of the lemon in slices if desired and layer the slices on top of the asparagus.) Bake for 10 minutes at 425, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and roast for 3-5 minutes longer.
Dutch Oven Bread
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon instant or active-dry yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 2/3 cups of water
In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; the dough should be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the covered dough rest overnight (12-18 hours) on the counter at room temperature. When the risen dough is bubbly, it is ready.
Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Place dough on the floured surface, cover with a kitchen towel, and let the dough rise again for about two hours, until it has doubled in size. (It will be a big blob.)
After about 1-1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425-450 degrees. Line the Dutch Oven (or a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot) with parchment paper.
Place the covered Dutch Oven in the oven to heat up. When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven using oven mitts. Remove top towel from dough and slide your hand under the bottom towel; flip the dough over into pot, seam side up.
Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking about 5-10 more minutes, until the top is golden brown.
Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wirerack before slicing.