Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tuna “Tataki” Provencal – The difference between fusion and confusion

“Fusion” cuisine is nothing new. For many years Chefs have been combining aspects from different cuisines to create new and exciting combinations. That Chipolte aioli mayo spread you had on that meatloaf sandwich last week is just one example. When done correctly this “Fusion” cuisine can result in some amazing dishes. Unfortunately, in many cases, these combinations are forced and contrived and just don’t work. When that happens you have what Chefs jokingly call “Confusion” cuisine.

The dish I’m doing today, I hope, is an example of fusion cuisine done right. I’m using a classic Provencal combination of fresh tuna served over a very flavorful Blood Orange Tapenade Citronette. The style I’m using to prepare the tuna is classic Japanese sashimi technique called “Tataki.” This is my favorite way to eat tuna at my local Sushi Bar. They take the freshest tuna possible, give it a quick sear on all sides, slice it thin, and serve it with the traditional sushi garnishes; soy, wasabi, pickled ginger, etc.

I thought this “Tataki” method of cooking would be perfect to use with this delicious tapenade. I was right! It was amazing and incredibly easy. Bye the way, if you are afraid to try sushi (eeewwww, raw fish!) this is a great way to get over your fears. As I say in the clip, this is much closer in taste and texture to a rare piece of beef tenderloin than any fish you’ve had. I hope you can find some fresh tuna and give this a try. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
4-5 oz. Sushi or Sashimi grade Ahi tuna
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbl olive oil
serve with our Blood Orange Tapenade Citronette

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Blood Orange Tapenade Citronette – Cheating and proud of it!

Sometimes you just have to cheat. I was planning to serve a beautiful seared Ahi tuna loin. I wanted to slice it and serve it on an olive Tapenade. This is a classic combination in the Mediterranean, but I had one problem, I didn’t have the hour it was going to take to shop for, and mince the 12 ingredients that go into my Tapenade recipe. Lucky, I live near a Trader Joes (a CostPlus World Market, or Whole Foods would have also worked), so I went in and bought a jar of prepared green olive Tapenade. Before it went into the basket I carefully checked the ingredients… nothing but vegetables and spices! It was incredibly close to the one I make from scratch, and so I decided to use it guilt-free.

When I got home a quick taste-test confirmed my belief I had made a great decision. It tasted great and I was ready to move on to the tuna. So the point is, if you’re going to “cheat” and use prepared foods, make sure they’re high-quality and all natural. Now, this Tapenade would have made a great accompaniment for my seared tuna all by itself, but I decided to dress it up with some blood orange juice and olive oil as you’ll see in this demo. Bye the way, this mixture is fantastic on almost anything from grilled fish to roasted vegetables. It’s low-carb (as in almost no-carb) and since a small amount goes a long way, it’s also fairly low-cal.

4 tbl green olive Tapenade
1 small blood orange (or half a regular juice orange)
2 tbl olive oil
salt to taste
cayenne to taste

Monday, February 26, 2007

Homemade Homefries – Deliciously Redundant!

There are many reasons to go out for breakfast or brunch on the weekend. Maybe it’s a break from the daily routine, maybe it’s the Mimosas (when else can you start drinking before noon and feel good about it), or maybe it’s the Homefries. Let’s face it, those crusty, crunchy, hot-off-the-grill potatoes that come with your omelet are a pretty good reason alone to venture out.

Very few of us can duplicate those at home. When most of us try to make Homefries, we just don’t get the same results. They look the same; they’re golden-brown and cooked all the way through, but they just don’t have that beautiful crusty/crispy texture. In this demo you’ll see why. The key is pre-cooking the potatoes in water first, and then frying. By the way, this is my mom’s very basic recipe, and you can of course dress it up with diced peppers, mushrooms, onions, etc.




2 large russet potatoes
3 tbl olive oil
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1-3 cloves garlic
1 tbl cold butter

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I Have a Request!

As you can imagine, I get a lot of requests. I love the interaction with my viewers, and I try as often as possible to satisfy these culinary whims. But, it's not easy. So, if you've made a request and I haven't gotten to it, please don't take it personally (except for Pete, who wanted a classic Italian Lasagne with no cheese, meat products, wheat or salt. He also said he wasn't crazy about tomato sauce, but "use it if you have too").

As you can see from the photo, I do have a system set up for emailed requests. As soon as I get one, I print it out and stack it neatly on my desk. So be patient, I will eventually get to yours...as soon as I find it.

By the way, now that the site is pretty much set-up, I will hopefully be back to posting every week day. On the weekends I'll try to post some fun food stuff I've found surfing the web. Anyway, keep those requests coming! Enjoy!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Dijon Pan Jus

Sorry to keep you waiting! Here is the sauce clip as promised. This technique is so crucial since it allows for a very fast and elegant sauce anytime you've roasted meat in a pan. All it requires is the "fond" (refer to clip for definition), some type of liquid, and a small chuck of cold butter. At the end of the clip I explain my thought process regarding the exact ingredients to use, but the technique is ALWAYS the same; deglaze, reduce, finish with butter.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Classic Beef Pot Roast with Winter Vegetables

We went “lean” on Fat Tuesday? Yes, it’s Fat Tuesday, but instead of rich and decadent, today’s clip is lean and clean; a classic beef pot roast, slowly braised with aromatic winter veggies. As I say in the clip, this dish “makes itself.” A nice hunk of chuck, a few seasonings, some veggies and a few hours is all it takes to make something so satisfying and heart warming.

Most of these recipes have you flour the meat first, and then sear it, but I think my method works much better. You’ll see me make a quick roux in the pot before we braise. This allows me to really brown the roast well, without worrying about burning the flour.

Of course you can vary the vegetables that we add for the last hour of cooking, but I hope you don’t leave out the parsnip. It really gives the dish an important aromatic layer of flavor. I didn’t add potatoes (since I wanted to save the carbs for the bread I used to soak up the juice!), but they are a standard addition to this dish in most recipes.

Be careful when selecting your pot roast. You are looking for a boneless, 3 pound beef “Chuck” pot roast. Check a few packages, as some can have larger chucks of fat than others. By the way, hey Butchers, stop putting the price sticker over that big chuck of fat to hide it! I hate that. Anyway, hopefully you have a nice butcher who will make sure you get the perfect cut for this great dish.



3 pound boneless beef “chuck” pot roast
2 tbl olive oil
3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bay leave
3 cloves garlic
3-4 springs fresh thyme and rosemary (2 tsp of dried if you can’t find fresh)
2 tbl flour
1 quart beef stock or broth
1 yellow onion
4-5 carrots
2 parsnips
3 stacks celery

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pan-Roasted Halibut Cheeks with Warm Pancetta Vinaigrette

I was originally going to use scallops for this dish, but when I looked at the fish case at the market and saw fresh halibut cheeks, my menu changed quickly! If you can find halibut cheeks you HAVE to try them. If your market carries regular halibut fillet or steaks, ask the fish person to get you some cheeks. Frozen are fine and they can probably do a special order for you. These are actually sweet, succulent pockets of meat found in the cheeks of the fish. It looks, and also cooks, like a scallop. It is the kind of thing that the fish mongers take home to eat themselves while they laughing at us poor suckers stuck with the fillet!

Warm pancetta vinaigrette is a wonderful sauce for this dish (as it is with almost any dish), and a little goes a long way. I served my cheeks on top of some bright yellow spaghetti squash with is a great, and healthy base for this recipe. Just the pancetta dressing on the squash would have been a winner. Check the site for a demo on how to prep the squash, as it is a very simple and delicious side dish.


Ingredients:
1 Pound Wild Halibut Cheeks (Or Scallops, Tuna, Etc)
3 Oz Pancetta or Bacon
1 Large Handful Pea Shoots Or Sprouts
1 Clove Garlic
1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
Black Pepper
Salt
2 Tbl Olive Oil
1 Lemon

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Italian Meatballs – Let’s get rolling!

While the ingredient list may look a bit long, home-made meatballs are a very easy to make, and since we skip the very messy step of pan-frying these before they hit the sauce, it becomes downright simple. Here I use a standard 1/2 beef, 1/2 pork mixture. Some recipes use 1/3 beef, veal, and pork, which is also nice, yet more expensive. These days you can find all sorts of lean to fat ratios for ground beef. Most stores sell 90% lean, 10% fat, but I prefer the 80% lean, 20% fat ratio for this recipe.

The other trick here is soaking the bread crumbs in milk before adding. This makes for a moister meatball, and the milk actually helps keep them tender. If you make your meatballs the same size (golf ball) I do, this recipe will make about 30 portions.

This is one of those dishes that just get better the next day. So, if you have time, make these a day ahead and refrigerate in the sauce and re-heat slowly the next day to serve. The meatballs will be even more tender and flavorful. I know I will get emails requesting the sauce recipe, so let me save you the time and tell you that I plan on filming a nice meat sauce soon.



1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/3 plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk (can substitute water or beef broth)
1 diced onion
2 tbl olive oil
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 eggs
1/4 bunch fresh parsley
2 tbl grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried Italian herb mix (basil, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, etc.)

* Once shaped, bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, then simmer slowly in a rich tomato sauce for 1-2 hrs.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Homemade Pizza in 3 Acts

Made properly, pizza at home can be just as good, and probably better, than the stuff you have delivered. Except for the pizza pan you’ll see later, I tried not use any special equipment, like pizza stones, or exotic ingredients you would have a hard time finding.


Act 1: The Pizza Dough (Pay attention or you’ll get pizza D’oh!)

In clip one I make a very simple standard pizza dough. It’s amazing how intimidated people are when it comes to making any kind of dough or bread at home. Hopefully this demo will cure that. By the way, I will add ingredients to all these clips so you can have the exact measurements. This is only really crucial for the dough. The sauce recipe and final pizza can be varied as you see fit. So, let’s get this Pizza party started right! The key to a great pizza dough is a moist, sticky dough. We only want enough flour to be able to work with the dough…too much flour will result in a dry, tough pizza.





The “Sponge”:
2 teaspoons dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2/3 cup bread flour

The Rest of the Dry Ingredients:
4 cups unbleached white flour
1/4 cup rye flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Act 2: The Pizza Sauce

The sauce for our pizza is also very simple. A fast and tasty base for whatever wonderfully creative toppings we decide to go with later. This is an important point. If you’re going to top the pizza with lots of spicy and/or salty ingredients, your sauce better be fairly basic. Regardless, this quick, homemade sauce will destroy any canned grocery store sauce, as well as most pizzerias. By the way, I’m giving away an ancient family secret in this clip, so pay attention, my Grandmother is watching from pizza sauce heaven!



1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz) “San Marzano” if possible!
3 cloves garlic
2 tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1/2 tsp dried Italian herb mix (basil, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, etc.)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
pinch sugar
small pinch baking soda (shhh)

Act 3: The Pizza

OK, so I’m not giving a list of ingredients for the finished pizza. You know what you like. But, here are a few key mistakes most people make when doing pizza at home. They put too much sauce. They put too much cheese. They put too many toppings and when they try to eat it, it all slides off on to the floor and all their left with is a wet piece of steaming bread. Don’t be that person. Watch me restrain myself and also watch how my pizza pie ends up being the shape of a heart. Wow, what a great Valentines gift idea for you guys out there…make your lady a heart shaped pizza! By the way, go to the local Bed, Bath and Beyond, or other kitchen wares store, and get one of the pizza pans with holes in it that I used in this clip. It really makes crispy crust a reality without the 70 pound pizza stone that you probably aren’t going to pull out of the bottom cupboard anyway.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Crispy Skin Salmon on Warm Potato Mushroom Salad with Cherry Tomato Citronette

This dish shows off the importance of contrasting textures and temperatures when assembling a dish. The hot, crisp skinned salmon tops a warm, soft, earthy mushroom and potato salad; both are surrounded by a cool, tangy tomato citronette (vinaigrette made with citrus instead of vinegar). You’ll be amazed how delicious the skin of the salmon gets when cooked this crisp! It also has a high concentration of the healthy oils that salmon is renowned for.

NOTE: cooking time for the salmon was 5 minutes on the skin side, and then 2 minutes on the other. This gave me a nice medium doneness (a bit pink in the middle).

Ingredients:
2 Boneless Wild Salmon Fillet (4-5 Oz. Each) SKIN ON!!!
8 Oz Cooked Yukon Gold Potato
2 Cups Mushrooms
1 Clove Garlic
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
1 Tsp Herb Mustard
Olive Oil
1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper
Cayenne

Spicy Mediterranean Chicken with Sausage Stuffed Cherry Peppers

A culinary tour of the Mediterranean! Succulent Chicken thighs, artichoke hearts, olive, pepperoncini, and sausage stuffed cherry peppers! WARNING: This is an intense food experience, not for the bland palettes of the world.

As I mention in the clip, if you want this dish to be less spicy and intense, drain the pepperoncini before adding. This is great on top of rice or pasta. By the way, I got the inspiration for this dish from my Uncle Bill, who stuffs the “Peppadews” (a great brand of jarred cherry peppers from South Africa) with sausage and grills them as an appetizer.

Ingredients:
6 Chicken Thighs
1 Onion
1 Cup Sliced Pepperoncini
18 Cherry Peppers (Pepperdew if possible)
6-8 Oz. Italian Sausage
Herb De Provence
Salt And Pepper
Cumin
14 Oz Can Artichoke Hearts
1/2 Cup Greek Olives, Pitted
Olive Oil
Chicken Stock
Fresh Herbs to Garnish

Sunday, February 11, 2007

White Bean and Aromatic Vegetable Ragout

A great all-purpose bean dish that pairs well with so many things, especially when the weather turns cold. We served this under lamb shanks (click here to watch that clip), grilled chicken, or even a nice piece of fish. If you want to cook dried white beans from scratch go ahead, but I find the imported Italian white beans work wonderfully, and so much faster.

Ingredients:
2 Jars White Beans (12 oz. each) Cannellini, or White Navy Beans
1 Onion
2 Carrots
2 Stalks Celery
1/3 cup Diced Tomato (fresh tomato, or any canned tomato product will work)
Olive Oil
Chicken Stock
Herb de Provence
Bay Leaf
3 Cloves Garlic
Black Pepper
Salt
1 Bunch Fresh Italian Parsley

Digg!

Slow Roasted Lamb Shanks with Garlic and Rosemary

This is simply the easiest and most flavorful way to enjoy lamb. This cut of lamb is also the most affordable, which makes it a great choice for entertaining. Moist, fragrant and falling off the bone, this recipe should be a regular in your fall/winter dinner repertoire. We served this over a wonderful ragout of white beans and aromatic vegetables. You can also see that clip, as it makes a great base to any slow-roasted meat.

PLEASE NOTE: You should get an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is at the proper temperature. Many home ovens are not that accurate when set to a very low temp, like 200 degrees as directed in this clip. To be safe, check your shanks after 2 hours and see if they are “fork tender,” if not simply wrap back up and put them back in.

Also, the shanks from the front legs of the animal are not as large as the hind shanks. This is also a reason to check the doneness after 2 hours. When you buy the shanks, be sure to have the butcher give you ones that are the same size!

Ingredients:
2 Lamb Shanks
Olive Oil
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Thyme
5 Cloves Garlic
Black Pepper
Salt

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pumpkin Brulee

This is a great seasonal twist on the restaurant classic, and also a really great reason to use a blow torch! We recently had a request for a pumpkin flan. While we love to satisfy our viewers every culinary whim, sometimes we just can’t do it. The problem with a pumpkin flan is that the starchy, slightly grainy texture of the pumpkin puree would ruin the smooth, silky mouth-feel which is what makes a flan, a flan. You would basically be left with a crust-less pumpkin pie.

So, I decided to show this delicious Pumpkin Brulee whichs makes for a great winter dessert. The texture is actually closer to a pudding than a classic crème Brulee, and of course, the star of the dish is the crisp, “Brulee,” sugar top. This is great for your busy holiday schedule since you can make them the day before and then finish the sugar torching before you serve.

Crème Brulee blow torches are very easy to find in any kitchen store or online. You also should have a set of oven-proof ramekins . I use mine for many recipes, both hot and cold.

Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 egg yolks
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
white sugar
pinch salt

The Citronette – Why do they call it “Lemon Vinaigrette?”

Remember that post I did recently where I said how stupid it is for Chefs to argue over terms and names for dishes? Well, forget all that! Now, just to be clear, what I really meant is to argue whether something is a relish or a salsa, is basically a waste of time. You know my rule…if you made it, you get to name it. But, when something is just plain wrong, I have to draw the line.

I was at a restaurant recently and one of the salads came with a “lemon vinaigrette.” I asked the waiter if it was made with lemon juice and vinegar, and he said it was just lemon juice and olive oil. So, I say, “then it’s not a vinaigrette, it’s a Citronette!” Well, instead of agreeing with me, and telling me what a brilliant point I had just made, he basically stared at me, as if to say, “listen you jerk, I’ve got other customers, do you want the damn salad or not!?” OK, OK, I don’t blame him; in fact, my wife was giving me the same look. It’s just one of those things that really bugs me… if it doesn’t have vinegar in it, it’s NOT vinaigrette! If you use lemon juice (or some other citrus) then call it a Citronette, that’s the accurate name. Wow, I feel better.

By the way, this wonderful Citronette is a natural with so many dishes; grilled veggies, any fish, chicken salad, etc. I also steal yet another trick from Chef Gordon Ramsey, who adds a little water to his Citronette to make it even lighter.


Ingredients:
1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbl Water
1/3 Tsp Salt
Pinch Of Cayene

Boneless Pork Loin Chops with Shallots and Apple Cider Reduction

Here’s a delicious, and easy, pork chop dish that only takes about 20 minutes start to finish. By the way, a "chop" usually refers to something that has a bone still attached. The problem with center cut pork chop with the bone is that by the time you cook the meat next to the bone to a safe tempreture, the meat away from the bone is dry. So, I prefer the boneless "chop" for this dish. You have to be careful though, without the bone, this cut is very easy to overcook. So becareful! Medium pork is OK to eat (I'm talking to all you people over 50!).

Pay attention to the money saving tip regarding buying a pork loin roast and cutting your own chops. Butchers are not going to like me telling you this, but that’s OK, what’s the big deal with upsetting large men with sharp knives?

Ingredients:
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
Veg Oil
1 Tbl. Unsalted Butter
A Few Springs Fresh Thyme or Rosemary


View the complete recipe

Friday, February 9, 2007

Duck Confit Part 2: Crisp and Sauce

In part one of this lesson, we prepped and roasted the duck. In this second part you’ll see how we finish this dish. You’ll also learn how to do a simple fruit-based pan sauce that’s a winner with any type of game. It’s simply equal parts berry jam, vinegar and water. You’ll be amazed how this basic 3-part formula comes together to create such a delicious and versatile sauce!

Duck Confit Part 1: Prep and Roast

Duck Confit is one of the World’s great culinary experiences. “Confit” is an ancient French technique of cooking and preserving meat in its own fat. What makes this so irresistible is the combination of the soft, succulent, fragrant meat encased in the impossibly crispy and crunchy skin.

Traditionally this takes days to make. The duck legs are rubbed with salt and herbs and pressed overnight. Then the legs are covered with gallons of rendered duck fat and slowly roasted for hours. Finally the legs are crisped-up in a hot oven and serve with some type of tangy fruit-based sauce. The two part version you are about to watch is specially designed for the home Chef.

While not exactly the “classic” method, the results are still AMAZING and must be tried!! In part one we prep and slow-roast the legs. They are cooked in a low oven, 225 degrees F., for 2 1/2 hours. After cooling to room temp., they are kept in the frige overnight. Check for part 2 and see this great dish finished.

Classic Sole “Dore”

If you are afraid to cook fish, this is this demo for you! This has to be the easiest “gourmet” method for fish I’ve ever seen. This will work for any thin, flaky white fish fillets, but Sole is the traditional choice.

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.

Cream of Cauliflower with Fried Oysters and Chervil – A warm take on a cold “French Laundry” classic

For those of you that don’t already now, the French Laundry is a small gourmet restaurant located in Yountville, CA, in the Napa Valley. It’s considered by many the finest restaurant in the country and the Chef/owner, Thomas Keller, is consider by many the country’s top Chef.

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.

Ingredients:
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
plain breadcrumbs
vegetable oil for frying

Pastafazool – Italian Soul Food at its Best!

The dish we are making today is really called “Pasta e fagioli,” “pasta and beans.” But, is (mis)pronounced and (mis)spelled by most Italian-Americans (me being one) as "Pastafazoo.” As I mention in the clip, if there is ever a Soul Food Olympics, this simple and hearty Italian meal of beans and macaroni should be that country’s entry! There are so many different kinds, ranging from very soup-like to thicker stew-like versions. Some have meat, some don’t, some have tomato, some don’t, etc. The only standard ingredients are pasta and beans, the rest is up to you (and by you, I mean me).

The pasta I decided to use is called “Orecchiette,” which means “little ears” due to its shape. It really works great as you’ll soon see. For the beans I went with jars of cooked Cannellini
beans, seeing no need to cook dry beans from scratch. Also, it was cold and raining outside as I made this dish, and I was very happy about that, as I knew it would make this taste that much better.

Ingredients:
1 pound Italian sausage
8 oz dry pasta (Orecchiette, Penne, Elbow, etc.) careful, that only half a box!
2 jars cooked Italian white
Cannellini beans (14 oz each)
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes
1 tbl dried Italian herbs
1 bay leaf
3 tbl tomato paste
1 quart beef stock (or chicken)

Calabrese Lollipops – Antipasto on a stick!

This is an extremely easy and fun appetizer perfect for a cocktail party or wine tasting event. In fact, this item was created for a wine and food pairing at the fabulous Frick Winery in Sonoma, CA. Bill Frick produces some amazingly delicious wine, and it’s always a pleasure to pair food with (and very easy, since everything tastes great with them).

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!).

Ingredients:
thin sliced salami or soppresatta
cream cheese or any spreadable cheese
arugula leaves, or spinach, baby romaine, etc.
bread sticks

Portuguese Kale and Sausage Soup

This is a wonderful and easy soup that will really hit the spot on a chilly fall night. You can use any spicy sausage in this, but the Portuguese Linguisa is traditional. Here I used a Spanish Chorizo, which was very nice.

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!

Secret Underwater Pomegranate Trick

This is a short, but hopefully useful demo for how to remove all those pomegranate kernels without a big mess. These are great on fall/winter salads, soups, and desserts.

Crusty Herb Potato Wedges

Simple and delicious. The key is tossing the spices with the potatoes and oil in a bowl and then on to the pan. The silicon mat we are baking on is a very nice thing to have in your kitchen.

These are baked for 15 min at 425 degree F. and then turned over and cooked for another 15 min., or until nice and crusty.


Ingredients:
2 Russet Potatoes
1 Tbl Dried Herb Blend, Like Herb De Provance
Olive Oil
Paprika
Salt and Pepper

Thai-style Beef Stew –Snow Flurries and Red Curries


Well, it’s not quite snowing here in San Francisco, but it’s COLD!! It's winter and that means it's stew season. Chucks of meats, slowly simmered in a flavorful broth for hours, enjoyed while gazing out a frosty window. This version of a classic Thai red curry will certainly do the trick.

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.


Ingredients:
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast (cut in 2 in. cubes)
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1 onion
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!!

Wholly Guacamole?

Today’s clip was inspired by a recent lawsuit brought by Brenda Lifsey against Kraft Foods, regarding the company’s guacamole dip.

“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!


Ingredients:
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 lime
1 tbl olive oil
pinch of cayenne

Steak au Poivre “Pepper Steak”

This clip was already been posted on the site when we first started, but since there is a good chance many of our newer viewers have not seen it, I decided to re-run it today. It’s probably the dish I’ve gotten the most emails about and also lots of comments on YouTube. It’s very simple, and makes for a fantastic “special occasion” dinner.

We’ve streamlined this steakhouse classic to work for the home chef. If you can find veal stock, or even demi-glace, you can use that instead of the beef stock I used in the clip. Either way, it will produce a delicious, rich pan sauce perfect for a couple tender, medium-rare filet mignons. Also, many Chefs use a combination of black and green peppercorns. So if you can get them, go ahead and add a teaspoon of crushed green peppercorns to the sauce when you add the stock and it will be even more authentic.

Speaking of old clips, if you not happy with your mashed potatoes, check out that clip on the site and watch how to make great mashers every time.


Ingredients:
2 Filet Mignon (Beef Tenderloin, about 8 oz. each)
3/4 cup Veal Stock or Beef Stock/Broth
1/3 Cognac or Brandy
1/3 Heavy Cream
Cracked Black Pepper
Salt
Unsalted Butter

Garlic Ginger Bok Choy – Cheap, Easy and Fun to Say!

Bok Choy is becoming very easy to find in grocery stores these days as the trend to eat green veggies continues to grow (for good reason). This is great vegetable for many reasons; it’s cheap, it takes about 3 minutes to cook, it has a beautiful subtle sweet flavor, and of course it’s packed with nutritional goodness. As you’ll see, the best tip for great Bok Choy is how to trim the tops and bottoms separately so they both can cook perfectly.

One quick anecdote before you watch the clip. I was taking roll call on Day 1 in one of my first classes as an instructor at the Culinary Academy, and was going down the list calling out the names and listening for the traditional call back, “here Chef,” when I saw on my roster “Bok Choy.” Well, that’s an interesting name, so I called out the name and heard in a very deep voice, “here Chef.” I looked up to make eye contact, as I did with all the students as I called roll for the first time, and sitting there was this very tall, Scandinavian-looking gentleman with blond curly hair. I asked him if that was his nickname and he said no, that was his real name. Now, the classes at the school were 3 weeks long, and as much as I wanted to, I resisted the temptation to go up and ask this man how he came to get the name Bok Choy. So, Bok Choy, if you are reading this post, please email or comment and tell me how you got the name! It’s been 5 years and I’m still wondering.




Ingredients:
3-4 Heads Of Baby Bok Choy
1/2 Cup Sliced Red Peppers
2 Clove Garlic
1 Tbl Ginger
1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbl Vegetable Oil
1 Tbl Soy Sauce
8 Drops Sesame Oil

Brodo di Manzo with Tortellini and Greens – Shank you very much!

The soul of this dish is an incredibly rich, and deeply flavored, beef broth or “brodo.” This is accomplished by slowly simmering a beef shank for a long time, a really long time - like 4 hours, so if you’re in a hurry, this dish is not for you. But, if you want to enjoy a bowl of something that will warm you to the bone (or shank) then give this extremely simple soup a try.

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!

Ingredients:
1 beef shank (about 2 inch thick)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
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

Zen and the Art of Chicken Teriyaki – A Kitchen Koan

When I first got to San Francisco, having come from a very small town in Western New York, it was like arriving on another planet. I was fascinated by the amazing variety of foods and cultures, and began exploring them all. Growing up, my family and I had made the occasional trip to the local Americanized Chinese restaurant which was always an exotic treat, but now I was getting the real stuff; Thai, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, I couldn’t get enough! At the same time I also became interested in the eastern religious philosophies, Buddhism, Zen, etc., which for a former alter boy was quite the experience. This was also when I learned about the Zen “koan.”

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.

Ingredients:
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
1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onion

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Chocolate and Cinnamon ...Free your mind, and your cuisine will follow

To many, the thought of adding chocolate and cinnamon to a savory dish like braised beef short ribs, would just seem too strange. I remember the first time I had Chicken Mole in San Francisco’s Mission district, it was so rich and delicious, and when I was told the sauce was actually made with dark chocolate and dried chilies, it took a while to process. It forced me to change how I thought about food, and how ingredients are “supposed” to be used. I’m not sure at that young age I would have even ordered it if I had known there was chocolate in it. Now, it’s my absolute favorite Mexican dish.

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.

Ingredients:
3 pounds beef short ribs (about six 4-in. long)
3 oz Bacon (maybe 4 slices)
1 cup dry sherry
1 quart beef broth
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
5 springs of thyme
2 tbl flour
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leavesblack pepper and salt

Crunchy Asian Slaw – low fat, low carb, high flavor!

This slaw is fast to make, and very versatile as a base for almost any grilled meat or fish. Also, this dish is easily customized by adding any number of your favorite Asian ingredients. Try and find the daikon sprouts I used, as they will add a unique and peppery touch. Make sure you watch the Salmon Mango Bango recipe that we used to top this slaw. It is a really nice combo!

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.

Our Favorite Cookware and Kitchen Products

Our Favorite Knife Sets
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...

Lentil Soup with Braised Ham Hock

This was a viewer request from a while ago for an easy lentil soup recipe. The key ingredient for my version is the smoked, and amazingly delicious, “ham hock.” For those of you not familiar with this piece of pork, here’s what Wikipedia, had to say (It’s Friday and I was feeling too lazy to actually explain what a hock was myself).

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.



Ingredients:

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
fresh parsley

Celery Root and Potato Puree – How can a vegetable this ugly taste so good?

In today’s clip you’ll see a delicious low-carb way to trick out your standard mashed potatoes. By using half celery root, we’ll not only save a bunch of carbs, but more importantly we’ll create something very delicious and unique.

Celery root, also known as Celeriac, is not the root of the common celery plant that you used to garnish your last Bloody Mary, but a special variety cultivated for it extra large and flavorful taproot.

We served this with the Braised Short Ribs and it was sublime! Because of its subtle aromatic character this is the perfect partner to any rich meat dish.

This is one of those vegetable that you didn’t even know they had at your super market… but they do! It’s over by the turnips and rutabagas. They do very in size, but try to make the proportions in this dish about 50% potato to 50% celery root. The small splash of cream I added is optional of course, but the butter is a must!

You know that I’m always telling you to use high-quality whole spices when possible, and the fresh nutmeg I grate on top of this earthy blend really makes the dish. Get some whole nutmeg, and a spice grinder, and see what the big deal is all about.



Ingredients:

1 large celery root
2 russet potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup cream or milk
fresh nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Almond and Parsley “Salsa Verde” – It’s easy being green!


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 Northern California. It’s a very generic term for any fresh green sauce, usually starring some type of herb, but also can be made with spinach, arugula, etc. If you are a regular to this site you’ll see me do many versions of salsa verde, especially when the weather gets a bit warmer. (to combat Christmas shopping stress I want you all to close your eyes and for one minute picture a warm, sunny meadow, lush with fresh herbs) ahhhh, that’s better.

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.


Spicy Chicken Thai Soup – Exploring the boundaries between culinary pleasure and pain


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.

IIngredients:
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 limes
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

Contact Us

Do you have a question? Do you want us to explain the popularity of Rachael Ray? Do you have a recipe you would like demonstrated? Drop us a line and let us know how we can help you. By the way, we do get quite a few requests, so if you don't see your recipe don't take it personally! We'll get to it evenutally (or not). Thanks!

Click here to send us your brief, yet brilliant message.

The "Ultimate" Roast Chicken

This dish will really get “under your skin!” The secret to this amazing roast chicken is the “compound butter” that we will put under the chicken skin. The butter will actually flavor the bird from the inside and create a delicious and crisp-skinned roast chicken.



Try with Easy Potato Gratin!

Do you wish your restaurant made more money?

Ok, so that's a pretty obvious question. Of course you do. But, how? If you've read my profile, you know that I taught at the California Culinary Academy for almost five years. Most of that time I taught a class in Kitchen and Purchasing Math. It focused on food cost calculations, portioning math, and many other foodservice related formulas.

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.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Piquillo Peppers stuffed with Orange and Cumin Scented Goat Cheese - Welcome to the Wonderful World of “Tapas!”

I LOVE tapas! Here is the Wikipedia definition: Tapas (pronunciation: TAH-pas) are a variety of Spanish appetizers, such as mixed olives, cheeses, or an elaborate creation like battered and fried baby squid. In Spain, tapas are usually given for free to accompany a drink before dinner. In the United States and the United Kingdom, tapas have evolved into an entire cuisine where patrons order many different small Spanish dishes and combine them for a full meal.

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.

Food Wishes Cooking Classes – 2 Great Ways to Learn to Cook!

In-Home Cooking Classes and Culinary Guidance with Chef John (In the Flesh)

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.

Fabulous Fashions for Foodies! Buy a shirt and help support our free video recipe clips!

I love doing free video recipe clips, but you don't have to be an economics major to see the fatal flaw in my business model – the clips are free.

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 w
ay, 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.