River, Lakes and Ocean & Expedition
Inspired Holiday Recipes

Chef Regina Charboneau is best known as the “Biscuit Queen of Natchez” and for her San Francisco restaurants, Regina’s at the Regis and Biscuits & Blues, the latter opening an outpost in her Mississippi hometown. She is also the author of “Mississippi Currents: A Culinary Journey Down America’s Greatest River,” a meticulously researched collection of river recipes from St. Paul to New Orleans.

Her rolodex of culinary and entertainment icons is unrivaled with many she has mentored or simply offered a listening ear throughout her career. A little-known fact of Charboneau is that she made her professional culinary debut in Alaska and now looks forward to bringing her career full circle to North America’s last frontier once again.

Chef Regina Charboneau, Culinary Ambassador for American Queen Voyages™, shares and tells the stories behind recipes inspired by the many ports American Queen Voyages sails from across North America. Charboneau is sharing holiday recipes that represent River, Lakes & Ocean and Expedition experiences that can be easily created at home:

Natchez, Mississippi
Corn Pudding Stuffed with Mustard Greens
by Chef Regina Charboneau, Culinary Ambassador

Cornbread dressing is a must wherever you are on the lower Mississippi. Stuffing it with Greens is so Natchez! I love this recipe because it’s perfect for a smaller crowd for Holidays. Individual servings make serving easier. It also keeps us from coming back for seconds which is hard to avoid!

Serves 8
  • ¼ lbs butter
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced red pepper
  • 2 tablespoon garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon sage
  •  1/8 teaspoon basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 cups crumbled cornbread
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups cooked mustard greens
  1. You will need 8 buttered ceramic custard cups or a baking dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a large sauté pan melt butter, add onion, celery, bell pepper and cook until soft.
  4. Add garlic, sage, basil, black pepper, crushed red pepper. Cook for one minute more.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add crumbled cornbread and stir. Add in cream.
  7. In small bowl beat eggs well before adding to the cornbread mixture.
  8. Stir eggs in and make sure the mixture is well mixed.
  9. Fill buttered baking dishes half full with corn pudding mixture.
  10. Then put two tablespoons of cooked chopped mustard greens.
  11. Add more corn pudding mixture but do not fill to the top.
  12. Place in a baking dish with ½ inch of water, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Should be firm to the touch in the middle of each dish.
  13. For individual servings. These may be made ahead and re-heated.
Montréal Quebec
Tourtière (Montréal Meat Pie)
by Chef Regina Charboneau, Culinary Ambassador

Le Revillion is similar to Christmas Eve in other cultures. In France, they celebrate on December 24th with family or close acquaintances in the form of a large meal and is derived from the French word for “awakening”, revillion originally was a meal served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. I have a menu celebrating this family tradition in my book Mississippi Current. This can be made ahead and frozen so you can serve and enjoy with your guests.

Serves 6
  • 3 pounds ground pork, the better the pork the better the pie ( you want some fat – ask your butcher to grind for you)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Pastry for two double-crust 9-inch pies (Using
    store-dough is fine)
  • 1 egg beaten, for glaze
  1. In a heavy pot stir the ground pork and drain some of the fat off.
  2. Add the onion and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the water and seasonings. Cook on low for 1 hour
  4. Add oats and a touch more water if it is dry. Adjust the salt and let cool before adding to the pie plate.
  5. Line each pie dish with pastry and divide the meat between the two.
  6. Top with pie pastry and crimp with a fork, creating 3 vents down the center. Glaze with beaten egg.
  7. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes then turn down to 300 for the next 20 minutes.
  8. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before cutting.
Sitka, Alaska
Alaskan King Crab Chowder
by Chef Regina Charboneau, Culinary Ambassador

Alaska is a winter wonderland at Christmas. Magical in fact! I have memories of the trees encased in ice and how beautiful it was at Christmas, even though I was quite home sick for the South. Nothing warms the soul like a creamy soup or chowder. This is an elegant, easy chowder, the smoky bacon and potatoes make this hearty enough for a meal, and the King Crab elevates the dish for the holidays!

Serves 6
  • 4 sliced smoked bacon, diced
    (Good Apple Smoked Bacon)
  • 1⁄2 cup minced green onions
  • 1⁄3 cup diced celery
  • 1⁄3 cup diced white onions
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups diced, cooked red potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1⁄2 cups half-and-half, warmed in a saucepan
  • 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream, warmed in a saucepan
  • 2 oz. Cognac or Brandy
  • 2 cups of King Crab
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground white pepper, optional
  1. Cook the bacon in a stockpot over medium heat.
  2.  Once the bacon is half cooked and brown, add the green onions, celery, and white onions and cook, stirring until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, roughly 1 minute.
  4. Add the flour whisking, to make a light roux, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the warmed heavy cream and half-and-half to the roux and vegetables and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the cream is absorbed, and the mixture is thick.
  6. Add the cognac, cooked potatoes, basil and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the King crab at the end and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and white pepper. Serve hot in warmed bowls.