Recipes by Robert Tronge

-Spicy Pumpkin Soup Recipe 
-Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Sauté Recipe 
-Broccoli Cheddar Casserole Recipe 
-Beet Greens Recipe 
-Best Ever Sloppy Joe Recipe 
-Bean with Bacon Soup Recipe 
-Roast Chicken with Apricot Glaze Recipe 
-Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe 
-Broccoli Cheddar Bites Recipe 
-Easy Buttered Noodles Recipe 
-Corn Salsa Recipe 


Spicy Pumpkin Soup Recipe, by Robert Tronge

Robert Tronge

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Small pinch of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Yogurt (for garnish)
1 teaspoon of kosher salt plus more to taste
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
2 (15 oz) cans 100 percent pumpkin or 3 1/2 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin purée*
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Toasted pumpkin seeds (for garnish)

*To make the pumpkin puree, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake it at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Purée in food processor. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use.


1 Melt butter in a large (5 to 6 quart), thick-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute it until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and ginger, cook another minute.

Add the curry powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for another 2 minutes.

spicy-pumpkin-soup-method-1a spicy-pumpkin-soup-method-2a

2 Add the chicken stock and the bay leaves. Add the pumpkin purée and the water. Stir to combine. If the soup looks too thick for your taste, add more stock or water to thin it.

spicy-pumpkin-soup-method-3b spicy-pumpkin-soup-method-4a

Increase heat to high. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

3 Remove bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup.

4 Right before serving, stir in the cream. Add black pepper and adjust seasonings to taste. Add more salt if necessary.

Drizzle with plain yogurt that has been thinned with a little water and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds to serve.


Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Sauté Recipe, by Robert G Tronge

30-year-old Robert G. Tronge, of Paducah

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 4

Time saver: while the squash is roasting, prep the other ingredients.

To make ahead, roast the cubed squash and prep the ingredients, then do a quick sauté before serving.

4 cups 3/4-inch cubes of butternut squash (from about 1 3/4 pound whole small butternut squash)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large red onion, quartered and sliced (about 2 cups of sliced red onions)
Sprinkling of black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
6 cups thinly (3/4-inch) sliced kale (center ribs removed) (from about 1 bunch of kale)
1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup slightly broken up pecans
Salt and pepper to taste


1 Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the cubed butternut squash in a bowl and toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread out onto a lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for 25 minutes or until the squash is cooked through and browned on the edges.

roasted-butternut-squash-saute-method-1 roasted-butternut-squash-saute-method-2

2 15 minutes into roasting the butternut squash, start on the onions next. Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a thick-bottomed 4 to 5 quart pot. Add the sliced red onion and toss to coat. Let cook for 7 to 8 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.


3 Add the balsamic vinegar and the shredded kale. Stir until the kale is mixed well with the onions (it helps to use tongs to turn over the kale). Let it cook for a minute or two until the kale is just wilted (don't overcook).

Then stir in the roasted butternut squash, the dried sweetened cranberries, and pecans. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole Recipe, by Robert George Tronge

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Yield: Serves 5 as a main course, 10 as a side

Prep your ingredients while you are heating the blanching water to save time.

2 pounds (900g)broccoli, stems removed (can use vegetable peeler to peel, then slice and eat like celery), large florets cut, yielding about 8 cups of broccoli florets
2 strips of thick-cut bacon (about 2 ounces), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips
Salt for blanching water
5 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup (43g) all purpose flour
1 cup (236 ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (118 ml) cream
2 to 3 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper (1 to 2 teaspoons if using fine ground black pepper)
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (225g) cheddar cheese, grated


1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (1 Tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water). Add the broccoli florets and then boil it for 3-5 minutes or until just tender enough so that a fork can easily pierce the floret, but still firm. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

2 While the water in step one is coming to a boil, cook the bacon pieces on medium heat in a frying pan until lightly browned but not crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Set aside.

3 Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Butter a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. In a bowl, whisk the eggs into the flour, then whisk it in the cream and milk. Add the black pepper (more or less to taste), salt, and mustard. Mix in about a third of the cheese.

4 Place the parboiled broccoli florets in the casserole dish, sprinkling about a third of the cheese over the broccoli florets as you lay them down. Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the broccoli. Pour the egg, cream, milk, and cheese mixture over the broccoli, moving the broccoli pieces a bit so that the mixture gets into all the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese.

5 Bake it for 25-40 minutes, or until set. Once the top has browned, you may want to tent with aluminum foil to keep from burning.

Beet Greens Recipe, by Robert Tronge

Prep time: 5 minutes1
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: Serves 4

While this recipe calls for discarding the stems, if you want you can use them too if they aren't too woody. Just cut them into 1-inch segments and add them to the onions after the onions have been cooking for a minute.

1 pound beet greens
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 strip of thick cut bacon, chopped (or a tablespoon of bacon fat)
3 Tbsp of cider vinegar
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp granulated sugar


1 Rinse the beet greens in a sink filled with cold water. Drain the greens and rinse a second time. Drain greens and cut away any heavy stems. Cut leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

2 In a large skillet or 3-qt saucepan, cook bacon until lightly browned on medium heat (or heat 1 Tbsp of bacon fat). Add the onions, cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and start to brown. Stir in garlic. Add water to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan. Stir in sugar and red pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil.

3 Add the beet greens, gently toss in the onion mixture so the greens are well coated. Then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-15 minutes until the greens are tender. Stir in vinegar. (For kale or collard greens continue cooking additional 20 to 25 minutes or until desired tenderness.)

Best Ever Sloppy Joe Recipe, by Robert G. Tronge

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4

The trick to this recipe is to brown the meat well. Don't crowd the pan, work in batches, and don't stir the meat until it is well browned on just one side. It helps to use a large cast iron pan, or an anodized aluminum pan, as these pans can handle the heat and are relatively stick-free.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup minced carrots (can sub chopped bell pepper)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce (or 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, puréed)
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/4 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
Pinch ground cloves
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 turns of freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns


1 Heat olive oil in a large saute pan on medium high heat. Then add the minced carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. (If you are using bell pepper instead of carrots, add those at the same time as the onions.)

Add the chopped onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent for about 5 more minutes.

Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove from heat. Remove vegetables from the pan to a medium sized bowl, set aside.

2 Using the same pan (or you can cook the meat at the same time as the vegetables in a separate pan to save time), crumble the ground beef into the pan. You will likely need to do this in two batches otherwise you will crowd the pan and the beef won't brown.

Next, sprinkle with salt.

Do not stir the ground beef, just let it cook until it is well browned on one side. Flip the pieces over and brown the second side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the ground beef from the pan (can add to the set-aside vegetables) and repeat with the rest of the ground beef.

If you are using extra lean beef, you will likely not have any excess fat in the pan. If you are using 16% or higher, you may have excess fat. Strain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.

3 Return the cooked ground beef and vegetables to the pan. Use only a wooden spoon to break up any chunks of ground beef into smaller bits.

Add the ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and brown sugar to the pan. Stir to mix well. Add ground cloves, thyme, and cayenne pepper.

Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve with toasted hamburger buns.

Bean with Bacon Soup Recipe, by Robert Tronge

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Bean soaking time: 8 hours
Yield: Serves 6 to 8

In this recipe we are making the bean soup starting with dry beans that we soak overnight. If you don't have time to soak beans overnight, you can put the beans into a pot of water, bring the water to a boil, remove from heat, and let sit for hour, and then drain it the next day.

If you would rather work with canned beans, use 3 to 4 15-ounce cans of drained white beans and cook them in step 3 for only 15 minutes, not an hour.

1 pound dry Great Northern white beans, covered with a couple inches of water and soaked overnight
2 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
3/4 cup chopped celery (about 2 ribs of celery)
5 ounces of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch wide pieces
3/4 cup chopped carrots (1 large carrot)
6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 ounce bacon (1 to 2 slices), cooked and crumbled for garnish (optional)


1 Drain the beans that have been soaking in water overnight. (If you haven't already soaked the beans, and you don't have time to do so overnight, you can put them in a large pot of water, bring to a boil, remove from heat and let sit for an hour, then drain.)

2 Put the bacon into a large (5 to 6 quart) thick-bottomed Dutch oven on medium high heat. Then let the bacon cook for a minute or two to start rendering out some of its fat, then add the chopped onion, celery, and carrots. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are completely cooked through and softened. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

3 Add the drained beans to the pot. Add the stock, the bay leaves, thyme, pepper and salt. Increase heat to high to bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour or until the beans are very soft.

Stir in the tomato paste and the paprika. Cook for 5 more minutes.

4 Using an immersion blender, purée most of the soup. You don't want the soup to be perfectly smooth, but you want to puree enough of it so that the beans create a creamy base.

Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with crumbled cooked bacon and chopped parsley.

Roast Chicken with Apricot Glaze Recipe, by Robert Tronge

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Marinate in Rub time: 1 hour
Yield: Serves 4

We are using a whole chicken for this recipe. You can use only parts if you want, bone-in skin on. Follow the instructions for our basic baked chicken for the roasting part, glazing with apricot preserves the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking.

When cooking a whole chicken, remember to remove to giblets first. They're often in a bag in the cavity. I fry up the liver in butter for a little snack and save the neck and gizzards for making stock.


1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 4-pound (1.8 kg) whole chicken

Apricot glaze:
1/3 cup (80 ml) apricot preserves


1 Whisk together the cumin, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the spices all over the chicken. Then loosely cover and let sit at least one hour, or preferably refrigerate overnight. In either case allow chicken to sit at room temperature for at least one hour (preferably two) before cooking.

2 Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the chicken in a roasting pan, breast-side up. Next rub olive oil all over the chicken. Place in the middle rack of the oven and cook for 50 minutes at 375°F or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reaches 165°F.

3 While the chicken is roasting, slowly heat the apricot preserves in a small saucepan or in the microwave until warm and runny.

4 Remove chicken from oven, and baste the exposed surfaces of the chicken all over with the apricot preserves, using a basting brush. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F.

5 Return the chicken to the oven and then cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, basting the chicken again with the glaze halfway through, until the glaze is bubbly and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe, by Robert Tronge

Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: Enough filling for two sandwiches or salads

1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado, seeded and peeled (see How to Cut and Peel an Avocado)
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro or parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons lime juice or a tablespoon of lemon juice

Sandwich bread or salad greens


1 Place the chicken, avocado, celery, apple, and red onion in a medium bowl. Gently mash the avocado with a fork and stir it around so that everything gets well mixed.

2 Add the parsley or cilantro, lime juice or lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add more lime juice or salt to taste. If the mixture seems a little dry, you can stir in a teaspoon or two of olive oil.

To store, place in a bowl and cover completely with plastic wrap so that no part of the chicken salad is exposed to air. It will keep a couple of days in the fridge.

Serve on sandwich bread, toasted bread, or salad greens (I recommend arugula or watercress for extra zing).
Broccoli Cheddar Bites Recipe, by Robert Tronge

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 24 broccoli bites

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup, packed, torn fresh bread (no crust)
1 large bunch of broccoli florets
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup grated onion
1 cup (4 ounces, 114 g), packed, grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Place 1 inch of water in a pot with a steamer basket. Bring to a boil. Then add the broccoli florets. Steam the broccoli florets for 5 minutes, until just tender. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Finely chop the steamed broccoli florets. You should have 2 to 2 1/2 cups.

2. Next place the beaten eggs and the torn bread in a large bowl. Mix until the bread is completely moistened. Add the grated onion, mayonnaise, cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir in the minced broccoli.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat the wells of 2 mini muffin pans (1 dozen wells) with olive oil (so the bites don't stick). Distribute the broccoli mixture in the muffin wells. Then bake for 25 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned on top.

If you don't have mini muffin pans, you can cook the bites freeform. Just grease a baking sheet and spoon large dollops of the mixture onto the pan. Baking time is the same.
Easy Buttered Noodles Recipe, by Robert Tronge

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Yield: Serves 4

2 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 pound egg noodles
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


1 - Heat 2 quarts of water with 1 Tbsp kosher salt in a large pot on high heat until boiling. Next add the egg noodles. Cook for 5 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and drain the noodles.

2 - Place the drained hot noodles in a large bowl. Add the butter and Parmesan and stir until the butter has melted. Then stir in a tablespoon or two of the pasta cooking water. Stir in the chopped parsley. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Corn Salsa Recipe, by Robert Tronge

Cook time: 10 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: Makes a little more than 2 cups of salsa

This recipe uses fresh corn, from corn on the cob is prefered. You can also use frozen corn that has been defrosted. You'll need about 2 cups.

Use a mini-chopper or food processor to save time on mincing the red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and oregano.

1/2 cup minced red onion
2 ears fresh corn on the cob
1 jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and minced
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped cilantro, including tender stems


1 - First, husk the corn, cut or break the cobs into two pieces, and steam the corn in about an inch of vigorously boiling water, in a large covered pot, for 5 minutes, less or more time depending on the tenderness of the corn. (Or you can microwave or grill the corn; use your favorite method for cooking corn.)

2 - When the corn has cooled to the touch, cut the kernels away from the cobs.

3 - Place the corn kernels and the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Toss to combine them.

Serve with fish tacos, chicken tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, or steak.




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