jeudi 27 février 2014
mercredi 26 février 2014
mardi 25 février 2014
chives to garnish
samedi 22 février 2014
jeudi 20 février 2014
mardi 18 février 2014
samedi 15 février 2014
I know pesto is something that's generally served in the summer, but since arugula is so (too?) easy to find year-round, there's really no need to wait. I hope you give this delicious, and easy condiment a try soon. Enjoy!
Click here to read original post, and to get the ingredient list.
jeudi 13 février 2014
lundi 10 février 2014
They say you can tell how good your Valentine's dessert was, by whether or not you end up also having to cook breakfast. Which reminds me, if you make this, be sure to not use up the last of the eggs. I really hope you give this tiramisu a try soon. Enjoy!
samedi 8 février 2014
You can also vary your results here with different tomato products. I went old-school and hand-crushed whole plums, but you can also use crushed or pureed tomatoes as well. The finer and smoother the tomatoes are processed, the thicker your sauce will be, so keep that in mind. Speaking of tomatoes; yes, it is much better to caramelize the tomato paste with the onions before you add the San Marzanos, but I didn't because Grandma didn't, and also, I forgot.
(Note - any canned tomato product will work. Try with pureed or already crushed tomatoes and save a step)
jeudi 6 février 2014
Unfortunately, we’ve all had pizza before, and so this will invariably be compared to the awesomeness of the real thing. You know, sort of like what happens to deep-dish, Chicago-style pizza (said the New Yorker).
Another important tip is to make sure you use parchment paper. Because of the moisture and cheese, this stuff can stick to foil, but nothing sticks to parchment, which is obviously a key here. You can find it next to the foil and plastic wraps in any large grocery store.
mercredi 5 février 2014
As you watch me make this delicious and versatile condiment, you might be thinking to yourself, wait a minute, that’s a pesto. Well, it basically is. The reason I’m calling it a “salsa verde” and not a pesto, is because whenever you say “pesto” people instantly think of the traditional (and DONE TO DEATH) version with the pinenuts and basil. Now, I have no problem with a nice, properly made pesto. But, I was in the mood for something completely different. By the way, there’s nothing I hate more than Chefs arguing terms and names… “That’s NOT a Confit, it’s a Compote!!” or “That’s not a marinade you idiot, it’s a wet rub!” …Every professional chef or cook reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve heard my rule before; if you make it, you get to name it! For example, my Salmon Mango Bango, ridiculous name, but no one can do a damn thing about it.
So, I’m using the term “Salsa Verde” the way it’s used around
This is a great sauce to experiment with by switching out the nuts, herbs and oils used. Hopefully you saw the Piquillo Pepper video, which this sauce was amazing on. I also had the left-overs on a piece of seared salmon which was sublime.
Cream of Cauliflower with Fried Oysters and Chervil – A warm take on a cold “French Laundry” classic
I’ve had the pleasure of eating there twice, and for a hardcore foodie it’s about as good as it gets. Chef Keller does a 9-course fixed price (think down payment on a small car) tasting menu that shows off the finest local ingredients, as well as his classical, yet creative techniques.
The first course I had there sounded very unusual when I read it on the menu. It was a cauliflower “panna cotta” topped with a fresh raw oyster and caviar. Why I was a bit apprehensive is because a panna cotta is a cold flan-like Italian dessert. My initial fear was soon replaced by epicurean bliss as I enjoyed maybe the single best first course I’ve ever had. A savory, cold, silky smooth cauliflower flan-like custard topped with a glistening freshly shucked oyster, garnished with a large spoon of Ossetra caviar. It was amazing, as were the rest of the courses.
This clip you are about to see it a sort of warm version of those same ingredients (except the caviar, but feel free to add). It’s also partly inspired by a very old fashioned soup, “oyster stew” which is simply oysters poached in milk or cream.
The clip would have been 15 minutes long if I mentioned everything I wanted to. So be sure to post a comment if you need more info, or I wasn’t clear enough on some of the steps.
2 heads of cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 sliced shallot or 1/4 onion
2 clove garlic
2 tbl butter
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chervil 1 quart chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
fresh shucked oysters
seasoned flour (flour with salt, pepper, cayenne to taste)
3 whole eggs
vegetable oil for frying
As I mention in the clip, be careful not to add too much potato. This is mainly a Kale soup flavored with the spicy sausage. The potato is only there to slightly thicken, and give the soup its silky texture.
I stole this recipe from an after-hours diner in San Francisco called Grubstake. It is traditionally enjoyed at 3AM, while gazing at a wild assortment late night characters. Hey, is that a dude? By the way, its hangover preventing goodness is legendary!
I almost called this “Cream of Endorphin-releasing” soup, but it didn’t quite have the same ring to it. Endorphins are those mysterious pain-relieving, pleasure-giving chemicals released by your brain when the body comes under some type of trauma. While intended as a support mechanism when the body is seriously injured, two groups of people have figured out how to intentionally induce the release of these precious substances; athletes and spicy-food aficionados (actually there is a third group that we really can’t discuss here). The “natural high” that you hear athletes talk about is a result of these endorphins. Today’s clip is in honor of the second group.
Most fans of spicy foods know exactly what I’m talking about, that post-meal euphoria that makes it worth every tear and bead of sweat. If you’ve never experienced these feelings, today’s recipe is a great one for you to try. By controlling the amount of red curry paste you add, you can tailor this to your own threshold of pain. I used 2 full teaspoons of this explosive paste. But, you can start slow, and add a bit more each time you make it until you reach that perfect, beautiful, burning bliss.
The only exotic ingredient would be the fresh lemongrass. I’ve found most large grocery stores do carry it, but if not, you can substitute a few tablespoons of lemon zest, or even some lemon verbena.
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 10)
12 oz white mushrooms
1 red onion
3 tbl fish sauce
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 14-oz cans coconut milk
2 tsp red curry paste (you’ve been warned)
4 clove garlic
4 inch piece ginger
3 stalks lemongrass (or lemon zest)
1 tbl vegetable oil
1 quart chicken stock
note: traditionally this soup is served with a side plate of sliced jalapenos, cilantro leaves, and lime wedges
So, I came up with this great idea to make a few dollars to support my site, so I can continue to provide these free cooking lessons. I decided to design and market (through CafePress) amusing T-shirts and other fashionable items that would appeal to foodies far and wide.
Now I have another problem... the items I've designed are only funny if you're a cook, chef, or some other type of hardcore foodie. So, basically I've designed a fashion line that only 1% of the entire population even understands. Now, that's some brilliant marketing!!
Anyway, if you are a foodie, and do get these very esoteric references, then click on the photos of the shirts and you'll be whisked away (pun intended) to my various CafePress storefronts.
By the way, if you've never used CafePress before, the quality is quite good and all the designs seen here come in all kinds of colors and styles. Each photo will take you to that particular line.
This is what I always order when I can’t decide what to get at my local Thai restaurant. I love the way the potatoes soak up the spicy broth, and the slight crunch of the roasted peanuts make for a very happy ending.
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast (cut in 2 in. cubes)
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
3 inch piece of ginger
2 tbl tomato paste
3 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp red curry paste
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1/4 fish sauce
1 pint beef broth
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
3 green onions
1/2 bunch basil and/or cilantro
Note: As you’ll see in the clip, I simmer the beef for about 45 minutes covered, and then add the sugar, potatoes, and peanuts. I cover it again and simmer for about 15 minutes more, then UNCOVER until the potatoes are tender as well as the beef. I like the last 20 minutes, or so, of cooking to be done uncovered so the stew reduces slightly and becomes a bit thicker.
Also, remember to taste and adjust for salt and heat!!
As you’ll see in the clip the first part of the dish is making the dark and delicious beef broth, after that we add some tortellini and kale to finish. That’s the point where you can swerve in your own direction by adding different types of pasta or greens. This would be just as savory with Swiss chard, mustard greens, etc. As far as pasta substitutions, if you’re not into the cheese tortellini I added, then virtually any other short pasta or macaroni will work.
When I look at the ingredient list I find it hard to believe how such a short and simple list can produce something this satisfying and wonderful. Those “winter blues” will never know what hit them!
1 beef shank (about 2 inch thick)
3 cloves garlic
3 tbl tomato paste
1 quart beef broth plus 1 quart water
1 bunch kale
8 oz dried cheese tortellini
salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
parmesan cheese to garnish
Legend has it the recipe I’m showing today comes from the Catalonia region of Spain. It’s an amazingly sexy concoction that would be perfect for that special winter dinner. The chocolate and cinnamon scent the succulent short ribs in a way that is very hard to describe. The first time I served this to my wife Michele her exact response was, and I quote, “wow... wow... wow… mmmmm.”
So, please, free your culinary mind and give this a try! All the ingredients are easy to find and the recipe is almost impossible to mess up.
Warning: to make this properly, the dish takes two days to prepare. The first day it’s braised, then left to cool in the sauce and refrigerated overnight. Day 2, you lift all the fat of the top of the sauce, reheat and serve. I served this with another unusual side dish, Celery Root and Potato Puree, which all also demo. Make sure your butcher picks out some nice meaty short ribs for you, some can have a lot of fat on them, so make sure you check them.
3 pounds beef short ribs (about six 4-in. long)
3 oz Bacon (maybe 4 slices)
1 cup dry sherry
1 quart beef broth
2 cloves garlic
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
5 springs of thyme
2 tbl flour
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leavesblack pepper and salt
We topped the fish with is a simple lemon, caper butter sauce. I will also demo this on the site and you would be well-served to learn this classic and versatile sauce.
The Japanese vegetable slicer I used on the carrots is a great gadget to have around. You’ll see me use it for many things. They are relatively inexpensive and last a very long time. I prefer them over the way-to-expensive French metal versions.
4 Double-Cut Boneless Center Cut Pork Chops
(About 1 1/2 Inch Thick – Cut Your Own!)
8 Shallots Sliced Thin
2 Cups Apple Cider
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt And Pepper
1 Tbl. Unsalted Butter
A Few Springs Fresh Thyme or Rosemary
View the complete recipe
Piquillo Peppers stuffed with Orange and Cumin Scented Goat Cheese - Welcome to the Wonderful World of “Tapas!”
Well, this clip you’re about to watch is my favorite all-time tapas plate. The amazing Piquillo pepper stuffed with cumin and orange scented goat cheese. Words really don’t do it justice. By the way, these just aren’t any roasted red peppers. They are the world famous piquillo peppers!
They’re sweet, slightly piquant, and unlike anything you’ve had before. They come from the Ebro River Valley, in Northern Spain. They are slow roasted over charcoal, where they lose almost 60% of their weight in water, which results in their legendary intense flavor. Find these! And eat these! These are very common in any decent gourmet store or of course online.
By the way, I’m going to show you how to make the Almond and Parsley Salsa Verde that I top these with in another post.
As you can see from the ingredients below, you can do multiple variations this by switching the meats, cheese and greens. It’s also great since your guests fingers will stay perfectly clean do to this item’s brilliant construction!
By the way, the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” reference at the end of the clip is only funny if you’ve seen the show (although, it may not even be funny if you have!).
thin sliced salami or soppresatta
cream cheese or any spreadable cheese
arugula leaves, or spinach, baby romaine, etc.
While I’m still trying to launch a video-based, online cooking academy (see details below), I am also starting to offer in-home, personalized culinary instruction for those of you that live in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are interested in having me come to your home to teach you to cook personally, just click on this link, send me an email with what you want to learn and I will contact you to set up a class. By the way, if you are not from the Bay Area, but are filthy rich, and can fly me to your location, I am also available.
If you think the recipe clips I post are fun, and enjoy my style of cooking and sense of humor, then I think you will have a great time cooking side-by-side with me. If you haven’t already, check out my personal bio; while teaching at the California Culinary Academy, I enjoyed a reputation as one of the most popular instructors there, and have always considered myself a very effective teacher, no matter what your skill level. You will also get to see how closely I resemble the photo of George Clooney I use for my online persona.
One last note regarding the one-on-one cooking classes; if you are trying to lose weight and get in better shape the most important thing you can do for yourself is learn how to cook fresh, healthy food at home. If you are in one of those programs where they deliver that over-priced, pre-packaged food then we should talk. You can easily make all those same dishes for a fraction of the cost, and the taste and quality will be far superior.
The Other Way: Our Online, Video-based, Culinary Academy
Here is some basic information regarding our online culinary course:
- We do not have a cost yet, but to give you a frame of reference, it will cost significantly less than a traditional culinary school, which can cost up as much as $50,000 per year! My hope is to keep it under $500 for the entire course.
- You will learn the exact same competencies taught at these traditional academies. There are basically a few dozen KEY skills, recipes, and techniques to master. Really, that’s all! Most of the time spent in a traditional culinary school is NOT spent on learning these KEY skills.
- The complete course should take 2 months for you to master. But, all students will have as much time as they need since everyone learns at a different speed.
- You will learn by following my lessons and lectures online, and then will have “home work” to perfect these skills. Did you know that in the larger culinary schools students actually watch the Chef’s demos on a TV screen since they can’t sit close enough to watch what’s being demonstrated!
- You will have the option of just learning the skills, or actually submitting your final competencies via video clips for us to evaluate. We will also have written tests for you to take to test you on the same basic information that a traditional culinary school student is expected to know when they graduate. These tests and home work are optional, but would be required to receive a certificate of culinary competency.
- All students completing this course successfully will receive a certificate of culinary competency.
- In addition, all students will get free resume and career assistance if they plan on using these newly acquired skills to enter the culinary industry as a cook or chef. Before I taught at the culinary academy, I ran a resume service for food industry workers, and I’m an expert in that field. If you want an entry-level job in food, this course will make that happen.
- That’s all the basic info we have for now. We are taking our time to ensure a top quality product and have several Chefs, that currently teach at major traditional culinary schools, helping us put this program together.
If you are interested in being contacted when the course is ready, please contact me. If you've already contacted me, it's not necessary to contact me again.
These choices are based on my personal experience, online reviews and feedback, and value/price comparisons.
Pots and Pans
A quality set of pots and pans are crucial to making consistently great food. The three choices I've made below cover the basic styles; stainless steel, high-quality non-stick, and the ultimate cookware the "Le Creuset" Dutch oven,which is a ceramic-glazed cast iron design. All three styles have their own strengths and weaknesses, but I use all three styles regularly,as do most Chefs.
more to come...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “A ham "hock" is the end of a smoked ham where the foot was attached to the hog's leg. It is the portion of the leg that is neither part of the ham proper nor the foot or ankle, but rather the extreme shank end of the leg bone and the associated skin, fat, tendons, and muscle. This piece is generally comprised of too much skin and gristle to be palatable on its own, so it is largely used to be cooked with greens and other vegetables in order to give them additional flavor (generally that of pork fat and smoke), although the meat from particularly meaty hocks may be removed and served.”
If you’re new to soup making, this is a great one to start with since it’s almost impossible to screw up! It’s also very affordable. A little bit of lentils and ham hock goes a long way, and you can feed a very large group for just a few dollars.
2 cups dry lentils
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart beef broth
salt to taste
“It just didn't taste avocadoey," said Brenda Lifsey, who bought the dip to use for a party she was throwing. “I looked at the ingredients and found there was almost no avocado in it.” Apparently the Kraft product has lots of ingredients, but less than 2 percent avocado! As Jay Z might say, “it’s got 99 ingredients, and avocado isn't one!”
Now, I not sure what’s worse, putting out a product called guacamole that has only 2% avocado in it (hey, it was green!) or, suing the company because it didn’t taste “avocadoey?” Can they both be jailed?
Just is case you do buy your guacamole at the supermarket, I thought I would demo a classic version to show how easy it really is. It’s amazing what that extra 98% avocado content does for the flavor of the dish!
The Aztecs invented guacamole, which they called “ahuaca-mulli” which just means “avocado mixture”. The Aztecs truly believed the avocado was an aphrodisiac, which didn’t hurt its popularity with the Spanish explorers.
The original, ancient recipe has only avocado, onion, pepper, tomato, cilantro and salt. Lime juice is a more recent addition. I love the balance between the acid of the lime and the richness of the avocado. The tomatoes in the original served this purpose, but since decent tomatoes are almost impossible to get at the grocery store, I don’t use them and go with the lime. The acid is also important to keep the guacamole that beautiful green color. For some reason people go crazy when they make this dish at home and add WAY to many ingredients. If you’re one of these people, give this minimalist version a try and see what you think.
You’ll see a quick shot of a Molcajete in this clip which is what the Aztecs used to make this dish. While you can simply use a bowl and potato masher as I did, a real Molcajete sure would make a cool gift for the foodie in your family!
2 finely chopped green onions (white parts)
1 finely chopped green jalapeno
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 large ripe avocados
1 tbl olive oil
pinch of cayenne
For those of you not familiar, a koan is basically a question, riddle, or story that has no obvious answer. It is used by Zen masters to teach or enlighten their students. Most of you have heard the most famous koan, “Two hands clap and there is a sound; but what is the sound of one hand?” What a great idea… teach students by making them even more confused! Well, since I’m doing Teriyaki today I decided to have a little fun at the end of the demo with a koan or two of my own.
A viewer to our site, Connie, had asked for a teriyaki recipe. So I did some research. I had enjoyed teriyaki many times, but always at Japanese restaurants. If I had made it at home, I probably just bought a bottle of teriyaki sauce and brushed it on some chicken. So, today’s clip is the true authentic version (which, of course, there are several sources giving different versions of what the “original” recipe is). I’m very glad I did it, but I’m not sure why. By the way, the term teriyaki comes from of two Japanese words "teri" and "yaki." Teri refers to the shine or luster of the glazed sauce, and yaki means to broil or grill the meat. Prepare to be enlightened… you’ve been warned.
10 Boneless-Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 Cup Sake
1 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Mirin
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp finely grated ginger or paste
The thing I found most surprising was when I would speak to a former student about how their job was going at a particular restaurant, they would often say, "they dont use any of those formulas you taught us, the Chef just guesses at the amounts to order." They would tell me that new dishes were put on the menu without a complete food cost analysis first. They would tell me how there were no controls regarding postioning. Some Chefs, I was told didn't even know how to use an Excel spreadsheet to help with all this basic kitchen math!
Thankfully, any establishements that hired my students at least had one employee that knew how to breakdown these crucial numbers to find more profit.
So, I would say the simplest and fastest way to make more money is to improve your basic kitchen math and purchasing methods. I can help you do this. I have many spreadsheets and calculators already built and ready to punch in your numbers to see if we can improve things.
If you are located in the SF/Bay Area, I can consult in person. If not, this can also be done via the website. For a free consultation, send me an email and we'll set up a meeting.