Feast of Fusion: Alliance’s Chef James Bloomfield Puts Fresh Spin on Classic Ingredients

His foodie soul was raised on home cooking à la Clare, Michigan. His genius for flavor flourished at culinary school. We ask Alliance chef James Bloomfield to share recipes for an inventive Northern Michigan holiday feast.

Get his recipes in the December issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine!

Bonus recipes! We’re sharing three online-only recipes for your holiday feast! alliance traverse city

alliance traverse cityBread & Butter with Micro Radish Greens

  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • coarse sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • cilantro leaves
  • parsley leaves
  • pea shoots
  • micro radish greens
  • 1 loaf crusty bread, sliced or torn

In a medium mixing bowl, fold together softened butter with lemon zest and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread softened butter on a serving plate, top with fresh herbs and serve with bread.

alliance traverse city

Charred Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Crème Fraîche

  • 5 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 3 limes cut into wedges
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted cashews

Preheat grill to 400–500 degrees. Place whole sweet potatoes on the grill surface and cook, turning periodically, until the skins completely char on the outside, and the inside is creamy and cooked through. Remove sweet potatoes from grill and carefully peel away the carbonized skin, reserving some for the finished dish. Place the cooked sweet potatoes into a heavy bottom saucepan over low heat. Add butter, lightly mash and season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar (optional) and keep warm.

Put the crème fraîche and chipotle peppers in a food processor and pulse until completely incorporated.

To serve, spread the crème fraîche on the bottom of a serving bowl and arrange dollops of the sweet potatoes throughout. Garnish with lime zest, lime wedges, cilantro and toasted cashews.

alliance traverse cityAcorn Squash Salad

  • 4 acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 1 knob of ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound butter
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound leafy greens
  • 4 ounces brown butter
  • 2 lemons (zested and juiced)
  • 4 ounces shaved cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces toasted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Split each acorn squash down the middle and remove seeds. Place the halved squash in a deep roasting pan, cut side down, add 1 cup of water, cover the pan with foil and roast until the squash is tender but the skin is still intact.

Remove squash from oven. Carefully spoon out the meat of the squash and transfer to a separate bowl taking care to leave the skin intact. Set skins aside. In a large saucepan combine oil, onions, ginger and garlic, and sauté over medium heat. Once onions and garlic have begun to break down and become translucent, add the butter and turn the heat to low. Add the kaffir lime leaves and all of your squash. Cook the squash mixture for 20 minutes and then remove from the stovetop.

Transfer squash mixture into a blender and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and portion purée equally into squash skins and increase oven to 350 degrees.

Before serving, carefully place the filled squash halves on baking sheet and transfer to oven for 5 minutes or until heated through. In a large mixing bowl toss the greens with brown butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top squash halves with greens, garnish with cheese, pumpkin seeds and lemon zest and serve.

Get the December issue for these recipes!

alliance traverse city

Lamb Ribs with Grilled Apricots

alliance traverse city

Beets with Mint, Ricotta and Pomegranate

alliance traverse city

Thai Style Brussels Sprouts

alliance traverse city

Roasted Carrots with Sikil Pak

Know a foodie who loves Up North? Send them the best of Northern Michigan every month with Traverse Magazine‘s Food Lover’s Package. They’ll receive a one-year subscription to Traverse, plus the Annual Food Issue and a sample of Miracle Blend.

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