Press & Praise

Ergo Chef Spooktacular….

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Hello everyone and welcome to the beginning of the Fall season.

Things really get ramped up here at Ergo Chef, as I’m sure it does for all of you with Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas just over the horizon. We have some great info and October fun for you this month, starting with a recap of Chef Plum and Restaurant Road Trip on WTNH. We were proud to sponsor this terrific show and can’t wait until season two!

Coming up at the end of the month we are kicking off “Octember to Dismember, a Halloween themed FOOD FIGHT event to benefit *Your Exceptional Sidekick”. We then take a look in FOOD TRICKS & KITCHEN TIPSHow To Properly Hold & Use Your Knife & Types Of Knife Cuts, and we explore Halloween food traditions around the globe. We’ve also thrown in a few fall recipes for you as well. Last but not least is the first of our HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS which we’ll feature over the next 3 months; Our New CHEF GEAR Designer Roll Bags are perfect for you or the chefs in your life.

Enjoy,,,,

RESTAURANT ROAD TRIP

Re-Cap of Chef Plum and his Restaurant Road Trip on WTNH – Check out the last 1/2hr special with VP of Ergo Chef demoing with Plum in the Studio’s at WTNH.  Our Season 1 Recap Show with Chef Plum & Ryan Kristafer. We want to thank all of the spectacular #Connecticut restaurants that allowed us to shine the local spotlight on them. And most importantly… we want to thank you – the viewer for making Season 1 of Restaurant Road Trip at hit on WTNH News 8!


UPCOMING EVENTS

https-cdn.evbuc.comimages35910619519885561621originalOctember to Dismember, a Halloween themed event to benefit *Your Exceptional Sidekick”.

Don’t miss this fun night! Ergo Chef and Chef Plum present “Food Fight” Octember to Dismember. A Halloween themed event to benefit *Your Exceptional Sidekick”. This is the first of its kind event in the area all to benefit a amazing cause, and is sure to be a night to remember.

19644Here is the catch…by secret we really mean secret; our food fighters will see the secret ingredient at the same time our audience does…2 minutes before Food Fight! The dishes will then be judged by 19645our judging panel of experts and celebrities, oh yeah and you, as one raffle will be for a seat at the judges table!

Ticket includes pizza from Planet Pizza wine and beer from our friends over at Bottle Stop and more. We will have some great raffle prizes as well as a 50/50 “betting” raffle for your favorite chef!

Tickets are limited and will sell out. get yours here: Octember to Dismember

***21 and over only*** PASSWORD REQUIRED AT THE DOOR!! -“Food Fight” ***Proper Cocktail Attire Required*** No Tee’s :)

Connecticut, please come out and support this wonderful cause. Founded in 2016, the mission of Exceptional Sidekick Service Dogs in Newtown, CT is to transform lives by identifying, raising, and training exceptional Psychiatric Service Dogs to match — at no cost — with children and adults suffering from psychiatric disabilities, while engaging and educating the community in the process. The two-year Exceptional Sidekick psychiatric service dog training method involves Newtown schools, teachers and students who are an integral part of raising and socializing the dogs as a community, and educating their peers about mental illness.


FOOD TRICKS & KITCHEN TIPS

How To Properly Hold & Use Your Knife
MSL_6_Utility_1_XL
For more precise control, adopt a grip on the blade itself, with the thumb and the index finger grasping the blade just to the front of the finger guard and the middle finger placed just opposite, on the handle side of the finger guard below the bolster.
When slicing or chopping, keep your fingertips curled inward. Use your fingernails in what is called a “claw grip,” to help grip the food. The knife blade should rest against the foremost knuckle, helping keep the blade perpendicular to the board.

 

Types Of Knife Cuts Basic+Knife+Cuts+Slice+Coarse+chop+Dice+Diagonal+Batonnet+Brunoise

Large dice: ¾ inch × ¾ inch × ¾ inch.
Medium dice: ½ inch × ½ inch × ½ inch.
Small dice: ¼ inch × ¼ inch × ¼ inch
Batonnet:  ½ inch × ½ inch × 2½-3 inches.
Allumette: (al-yoo-MET) ¼ inch × ¼ inch × 2½ inches.
Julienne: (joo-lee-ENN) 1/8inch × 1/8 inch × 2½ inches.
Brunoise: (BROON-wahz) 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch.
Fine Julienne: 1/16 inch × 1/16 inch × 2 inches.
Fine Brunoise: 1/16 inch × 1/16 inch × 1/16 inch.
Paysanne: ½ inch x ½ inch x 1/8 inch
Tourne (turned) 7 Sides: ¾ inch (width) x 2 inches (length)


A FOODIE LOOK AT HALLOWEEN by Louis S. Luzzo, Sr

I like to think I look at things from a different perspective than most, at least when it comes to food. It is, I hope, one of the reasons you read me. I’m a why guy and with that question, usually comes good information. Usually. I have found that when I know the why of something, or someone, I understand that person or thing a bit better. Sometimes for good…sometimes for bad. But hey, life’s a crap shoot right? You don’t gain if you don’t risk. What does this have to do with Halloween? Actually, not much, but thanks for listening.

Except maybe to say that I’m going to take a completely different look at Halloween. Culturally, through food. What a surprise. See when I was an Italian kid, in North Jersey, we would go trick or treating in the neighborhoods we grew up in. Neighborhoods with the same neighbors, usually aunts, or cousins or cousin of a cousin. In the same houses, for years upon end. People we trusted and in some cases loved. At Halloween, that meant we used to get home baked pies, fresh from the oven cookies, and treats made by the people from scratch. Real food items from neighbors, friends and family. I always thought that was cool. Even then I was a foodie in training.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved all the candy as well, eating it until I was tooth-achingly nauseous. But, the home-made ‘treats’ we received usually meant sitting down at the table with a glass of milk and questions about your mom and dad and family. You then wiped your face on the back of your hand, kissed Aunt Josephine and raced off to the Aunt Rosina’s for the next visit and course. By the time you got home, you were stuffed! I loved stopping by 10 relatives houses, ‘making the rounds,’ seeing my aunts, uncles, cousins, family and friends on our little three hour tour. It got me thinking about all those treats and I decided to take look at some of the food traditions of Halloween.

Admittedly there are many beliefs, misconceptions and traditions which surround this holiday. I say holiday with an asterisk, like they use in the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, when there is a disputed record. Halloween is that kind of day. It’s Pagen, it’s Christian, It’s evil,  it’s innocent. It’s harmless, it’s Mischief Night…it’s…well whatever! Trick or Treat! BOO!

Halloween 

Halloween or Hallowe’en as we refer to it now, is also known as All Hallows’ Eve, observed around the world on October 31 on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Most scholars believe that All Hallows’ Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead, with pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Many ancient and unconnected cultures (the Egyptians and pre-Spanish Mexicans, for example) celebrated this as a festival of the dead. Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain. I was actually amazed when I started to do the research, that what I thought was a very American holiday, is in fact an ancient ritual dating back centuries. Now we have definitely made it a national pastime here in America, but I was more interested in a look at the traditions around the world.

The majority of our modern traditions can be traced to the British Isles. People took steps to allay or ward-off these harmful spirits/fairies, which is thought to have influenced today’s Halloween customs. In parts of Ireland, Mann, the Scottish Highlands and Islands, and Wales, wearing costumes at Samhain was done before the 20th century originating as a means of disguising oneself from these harmful spirits/fairies. In Ireland, people went about before nightfall collecting for Samhain feasts and sometimes wore costumes while doing so.

In the 19th century on Ireland’s southern coast, a man dressed as a white mare would lead youths door-to-door collecting food; by giving them food, the household could expect good fortune from the ‘Muck Olla’. In Moray, during the 18th century, boys called at each house in their village asking for fuel for the Samhain bonfire. So it’s easy to see where Trick-or-treating may have come from. But wait, it also may come from the Christian custom of souling; Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door on All Saints/All Souls collecting soul cakes, originally as a means of praying for souls in purgatory. Making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween came from Samhain and Celtic beliefs as well. Turnip lanterns, sometimes with faces carved into them are recorded in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. One custom that persists in modern-day Ireland is the baking of a barmbrack (Irish: báirín breac), which is a light fruitcake, into which a plain ring, a coin and other charms are placed before baking. It is said that those who get a ring will find their true love in the ensuing year. Though the origin of the word Halloween is Christian, the holiday is commonly thought to have pagan roots.

North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was recognized as a holiday there. The traditions and importance of the Halloween celebration vary significantly among countries that observe it. In Scotland and Ireland, traditional Halloween customs include children dressing up in costume going “guising”, holding parties, while other practices in Ireland include lighting bonfires, and having firework displays. The influence of the American iconic and commercial components of the holiday now extended to places such as South America, Australia, New Zealand, (most) continental Europe, Japan, and other parts of East Asia.

Halloween Food around the World
Barmbrack (Ireland)

Barmbrack is the center of an Irish Halloween custom. The Halloween Brack traditionally contained various objects baked into the bread and was used as a sort of fortune-telling game. In the barmbrack were: a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring. Each item, when received in the slice, was supposed to carry a meaning to the person concerned: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be wed within the year. Other articles added to the brack include a medallion, usually of the Virgin Mary to symbolise going into the priesthood or to the Nuns, although this tradition is not widely continued in the present day

Bonfire toffee (Great Britain)

Bonfire toffee (also known as treacle toffee, cinder toffee, Plot toffee, or Tom Trot) is a hard, brittle toffee associated with Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night (also known as “Bonfire Night”) in the United Kingdom. The toffee tastes very strongly of molasses (black treacle), and cheap versions can be quite bitter. In Scotland, the treat is known as claggum, with less sweet versions known as clack. In Wales, it is known as loshin du. The flavor is similar to that of butterscotch, although it is a toffee and never a viscous liquid.

Candy apples/toffee apples (Great Britain & Ireland)

Candy apples, also known as toffee apples outside of North America, are whole apples covered in a hard toffee or sugar candy coating, with a stick inserted as a handle. These are a common treat at autumn festivals in Western culture in the Northern Hemisphere, such as Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night because these festivals fall in the wake of the annual apple harvest. Although candy apples and caramel apples may seem similar, they are made using distinctly different processes.

William W. Kolb invented the red candy apple. Kolb, a veteran Newark candy-maker, produced his first batch of candied apples in 1908. While experimenting in his candy shop with red cinnamon candy for the Christmas trade, he dipped some apples into the mixture and put them in the windows for display. He sold the whole first batch for 5 cents each and later sold thousands yearly. Soon candied apples were being sold along the Jersey Shore, at the circus and in candy shops across the country, according to the Newark News in 1948.

Caramel Apples

Caramel apples or taffy apples (not to be confused with candy apples) are created by dipping or rolling apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel, sometimes then rolling them in nuts or other small savories or confections, and allowing them to cool. Generally, they are called caramel apples when only caramel is applied and taffy apples for when there are further ingredients such as peanuts applied.

 

Caramel Corn

An American confection made of popcorn coated with a sugar or molasses based caramel candy shell. Typically a sugar solution or syrup is made and heated until it browns and becomes thick, producing a caramelized candy syrup. This hot candy is then mixed with popped popcorn, and allowed to cool. Sometimes a candy thermometer is used, as making caramel is time-consuming and requires skill to make well without burning the sugar. The process creates a sweet flavored, crunchy snack food or treat. Some varieties, after coating with the candy syrup, are baked in an oven to crisp the mixture. Mixes of caramel corn sometimes contain nuts, such as peanuts, pecans, almonds, or cashews. The combination of caramel and corn dates back at least as far as the 1890s with the strong molasses flavor of Cracker Jack, an early version of which was introduced at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The lighter, sweet but un-caramelized kettle corn, may be a North American Colonial predecessor to caramel corn.

Candy Corn, (North America)

Candy corn is a confection in the United States and Canada, popular primarily in autumn around Halloween (though available year-round in most places). Candy corn was created in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderlee Candy Company; the three colors of the candy mimic the appearance of kernels of corn. Each piece is approximately three times the size of a whole kernel from a ripe or dried ear. Candy corn is made primarily from sugar, corn syrup, wax, artificial coloring and binders. A serving of Brach’s Candy Corn is nineteen pieces, is 140 calories and has zero grams of fat. Candy corn pieces are traditionally cast in three colors: a broad yellow end, a tapered orange center, and a pointed white tip.

Colcannon (Ireland)

Colcannon is traditionally made from mashed potatoes and kale (or cabbage), with scallions, butter, salt and pepper added. It can contain other ingredients such as milk, cream, leeks, onions and chives. There are many regional variations of this dish. It is often eaten with boiled ham or Irish bacon. At one time it was a cheap, year-round staple food, though nowadays it is usually eaten in autumn/winter, when kale comes into season. An old Irish Halloween tradition is to serve colcannon with a ring and a thimble hidden in the fluffy green-flecked dish. Prizes of small coins such as threepenny or sixpenny bits were also concealed in it.

Soul Cakes

A soul cake is a small round cake which is traditionally made for All Saints Day or All Souls’ Day to celebrate the dead. The cakes, often simply referred to as souls, were given out to soulers (mainly consisting of children and the poor) who would go from door to door on Halloween singing and saying prayers for the dead. Each cake eaten would represent a soul being freed from Purgatory. The practice of giving and eating soul cakes is often seen as the origin of modern trick-or-treating. In Lancashire and in the North-east of England they were also known as Harcakes.

The tradition of giving soul cakes was celebrated in Britain or Ireland during the Middle Ages, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. The cakes were usually filled with allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger or other sweet spices, raisins or currants, and before baking were topped with the mark of a cross to signify that these were alms. They were traditionally set out with glasses of wine on All Hallows Eve as an offering for the dead, and on All Saints Day and All Soul’s Day children would go “souling,” or ritually begging for cakes door to door.

Soul Cakes
T. Susan Chang for NPR Makes 12 to 15 2-inch soul cakes

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground fresh if possible
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground fresh if possible
1/2 teaspoon salt
generous pinch of saffron
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup currants

For the Glaze:
1 egg yolk, beaten

Method
Preheat oven to 400 degree. Combine the flour, the nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Mix well with a fork. Crumble the saffron threads into a small saucepan and heat over low heat just until they become aromatic, taking care not to burn them. Add the milk and heat just until hot to the touch. The milk will have turned a bright yellow. Remove from heat. Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon (or use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment). Add the egg yolks and blend in thoroughly with the back of the spoon. Add the spiced flour and combine as thoroughly as possible; the mixture will be dry and crumbly.

One tablespoon at a time, begin adding in the warm saffron milk, blending vigorously with the spoon. When you have a soft dough, stop adding milk; you probably won’t need the entire half-cup.

Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead gently, with floured hands, until the dough is uniform. Roll out gently to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Using a floured 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can and set on an ungreased baking sheet. You can gather and re-roll the scraps, gently. Decorate the soul cakes with currants and then brush liberally with the beaten egg yolk. Bake for 15 minutes, until just golden and shiny. 


RECIPE

A Taste of Autumn: Butternut Squash & Apple Cider Bisque

Autumn, or Fall, is one of our favorite times of year. Great produce and bounty, unique and special to this harvest season abound and comfort is the goal of many chefs and recipes. One of our favorite foods from the fall harvest is Butternut Squash. It’s versatile and can really lend itself to many applications and recipes. This bisque is rich, robust, hearty and will warm your insides. Autumn is also a great time for heart dishes  stews and stocks. Following the bisque recipe. is another great recipe for Short Ribs using the braising technique.

Butternut Squash & Apple Cider Bisque
Servings: 16, Yield: 1gallon

Ingredients
1yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 oz. garlic cloves, whole
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 oz.brown sugar
12 fluid ounces Vermont apple cider
38 fluid ounces vegetable stock
10 fluid ounces heavy cream
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
2 oz. butter, melted
1 fluid ounce cider vinegar

Method
Saute onion and garlic in melted butter until onions are soft. Add butternut squash, brown sugar, apple cider, vegetable stock, cider vinegar and spices. Bring to a boil and cook until squash is tender. Puree with blender while adding heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS

Our New CHEF GEAR Designer Roll Bags

roolbag2roll bag1Our 5 pocket knife bag is made of durable Nylon 7 Polyester material to keep your valuable knives safe while transporting them. Created from the original 5 pocket Ergo Chef knife bag this now adorns our new trademark CHEF GEAR logo. Be the first to get these trendy bag colors to safely store your knives by ordering now.

Our 9 pocket Roll bags are equipped to firmly hold rollbag5up to 8 knives with elastic pockets. It’s tough nylon/polyester construction is durable for indoor & outdoor kitchens. The inside features a cover that rollbag4zippers shut over your knives for safe roll bagtransportation. There is a separate net mesh pocket to hold garnishing tools & misc. items. A shoulder strap is included for easy transporting & a plastic window for your business or ID card.

21557828_10213848525112032_7995343602081578774_nRemember to always cover your knives edges with our Universal Edge Guards or other sheaths to protect the edges and the bag from damage.

Get your Bags & Edge Guards here: Chef Gear Roll Bags

 


 

Mike StaibErgo Chef Spooktacular….
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Ergo Chef 2016 Recap & A Look Ahead to 2017!

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Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the first 2017 edition of Chop Talk!. What a year we’ve had in 2016 and we are looking forward to an even better 2017. This past year held some great adventures for us here at Ergo Chef, from the Costco Road Show with Chef Randy, to the awesome events in Chicago, Memphis, Cleveland, New Hyde Park with the CIA and more. We also had new product launches throughout the year as well with our newly redesigned and upgraded My Juicer and our new Shinzui Chef Knife. We are excited to announce the opening our new showroom in Danbury, CT, as well as our sponsorship of a local Connecticut TV Show,  Edible Nutmeg On The Road, hosted by our good friend Chef Plum. Whew!!!! No wonder we’re exhausted, lol. Here’s a quick recap, as well as a new recipe for you highlighting the Michael Symon Vegetable Clever. Last but not least, to celebrate the New Year, a special “coupon code” sale.

nra5First up started the year off at the IHH Show in Chicago where we introduced Michael Symon’s new 6pc. Knife set with Magnet StripThe Myron Mixon Pitmaster’s Grill ToolPresidential Chef’s Choice 4” Ceramic Paring Knife and our new Pro Series 2.3″ wide 8″ Chef Knife with no hollow grounds. This year’s IHH will be no different as we introduce some exciting new products, so stay tuned for more details.

ErgoChef Ceramic Paring Knife_01 MSBMS ISO XLMMPGT 3 XL8 inch pro chef - wide


wcbbqcc-logo-201613239289_10209196514054663_8535084697776038394_nWe traveled to Memphis in May with Myron Mixon’s BBQ Team and the Grill Tool, where Myron won Grand Champion of the Competition!!! Though Myron brought those awesome Pitmaster skills, we’re pretty sure the Grill Tool is what put him over the top this year! The Grill Tool has been huge hit with it’s awesome 3-in-1 design. Pop it, Flip it & Slice it! The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3-in-1 design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook.


Culinary-School

ciacia5Each year The Culinary Institute of America holds it’s annual Run For Your Knives scholarship fund raising event, and Ergo Chef is proud to be a sponsor. This years event, while rainy, was a huge success and we were privileged to provide culinary knife kits to all the student winners.


shinzui-bannerWe were very excited to introduce our new Japanese Damascus VG10 Knife SHINZUI in late October, which turned out to be a tremendous success with many chefs loving the razor edge & wicked performance of this knife. This 8 inch Chef (Gyuto) knife is appropriately named “SHINZUI™” to encompass it’s total composition. It’s the Japanese meaning for core, strength and essence.  From the blade it highlights the super strong and durable VG10 “core” having super “strength” and to the look and “essence” in the form and functional design of this 8” Japanese chef knife to give you ultimate performance in your kitchen!

shinzui-full-iso shinzui-8-sweet-potatoes-2-not-square shinzui-8-lhs-ds shinzui-8-in-box

 

 

 

 


Recipe : Cassoulet, a hearty stew to keep you warm 

Ingredients

1/2 lb bacon, cubed
1-15 oz can white kidney beans
1-15 oz can pinto beans
1 large Spanish onion, diced
10 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 lb ground pork
1/4 lb shredded duck confit
1 T dried parsley
2 T dried thyme leaf
1 T rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 t rubbed sage
1/4 to 1/2 c sherry (dry)
2-3 qts water (enough to cover all ingredients )
salt and pepper
fresh parsley
Method
In a slow cooker, or large heavy bottomed pot, spread the bacon cubes, evenly over the bottom of the pan. This will be the first layer. Drain and rinse the beans. Mix beans, onion and garlic together and spread over the bacon creating the second layer. Crumble the ground pork and duck over the beans. This is the third layer. Mix all the herbs together (except the bay leaf) and sprinkle over the meat. Add water and sherry making sure all the ingredients are covered. This is important, so to ensure proper cooking. Add the bay leaf. Set temperature on very low and cook 6-8 hours or overnight if possible. If you are using a traditional pot, bring to a boil and then lower temperature and simmer on very low for 6-8 hours. After cooking is complete, gently stir in chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

The Michael Symon Vegetable Clever is the perfect too for chopping all your veggies for this dish.

We thank you for being a loyal Ergo Chef Customer and friend and to that end we are offering a Happy 2017 site-wide sale throughout the month of January! All month long we will offer up an Extra 12-20% off randomly – so shop often! Use the Coupon Code: HAPPY2017  when you check out!

Thanks again and All the best for this coming year!

Ergo Chef

Mike StaibErgo Chef 2016 Recap & A Look Ahead to 2017!
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Happy Fourth of July! Have we got some news for you!

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Hello everyone and welcome to the Independence Day edition of Chop Talk. We’re full on into summer and we’ve got some great info for you. First up we take a look at the origins of the backyard barbecue. Next up we take a trip around the country to the most famous places for BBQ in the US and expand on the styles, tastes and traditions of regional barbecue. We are very pleased to introduce the new My Juicer II, our updated and improved version of our personal blender. Next it’s Myron Mixon and his Pitmasters Grill Tool to get you set for summer grilling and finally a terrific new sweepstakes giveaway of a 7PC Michael Symon Cutlery Set by Holiday Contest and Sweeps. We hope you enjoy and have a great safe and wonderful summer!


The Origin of the Backyard Barbecue?

The most plausible theory claims that the origin of the word “barbecue” is a derivative of the West Indian phrase “barbacoa,” which describes a method of slow-cooking meat over hot coals. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the word back to Haiti, and others claim that “barbecue” might actually come from the French phrase “barbe a queue,” meaning “from head to tail.”

In America, barbecue can be traced back to colonial times, with a Virginia law written in the 1600s providing that, “discharging of firearms at a barbecue was prohibited.” In George Washington’s diaries, one entry, dated May 27, 1769, describes him traveling to Virginia for a barbecue. What we find most fascinating about his subsequent entries over the next few years, is that it reveals George to be the very antithesis of what we have come to believe with regard to his personality and demeanor. To most of us, the ‘Father of Our Country‘ is portrayed a stoic and serious individual, yet most of his entries concerning barbecue, are usually followed by entries about his ‘laying low for a few days and doing nothing of note.‘ Seems ol’ George was a partier at heart and we might very well have documentation of the first Presidential Hangovers! You Go George, Party like it’s 1799!”

In 1820, in a letter to her grandfather, Thomas Jefferson, Ellen Randolph wrote him of  ‘a great barbecue’ held on the Fourth of July in Charlottesville. By that time, Independence Day barbecues had become the norm. It is even recorded that upon the marriage of Abraham Lincoln’s parents, on June 12, 1806, the ‘reception‘ was a barbecue. From the book, “Lincoln: The Prairie Years, 1927,” written by Carl Sandburg, a guest at the wedding, Christopher Grahm wrote, “We had bear meat, venison, wild turkey and duck eggs, both wild and tame, maple sugar lumps tied to a string to bite off with coffee or whiskey, syrup in gourds, peaches and honey, a whole sheep roasted in a pit over coals of burned wood and covered with green boughs to keep the juices in.”

So as you can see, the tradition of gathering with your friends to cook some sort of meat over wood or coal outdoors seems to have been around for centuries.  Now if only our Award Winning DUO tongs were available then, they may have made BBQ easier.


Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Styles of American Barbecue

From Carolina pig-pickin’s to Kentucky mutton, the idea is the same everywhere; an outdoor party with friends, food, and beer. The meat is generally marinated before being put on the grill, where it’s brushed with whatever kind of sauce is available or popular. More than anywhere else, American barbecue makes use of specific kinds of wood to impart flavor in the meat: in Texas, mesquite brush is common, but hickory and oak are more readily available elsewhere. Outside the South, culinary specifics often take a back seat to the social aspect. You’re more likely to find burgers, hot dogs and vegetable skewers than pulled pork at a BBQ, but the soul of the barbecue is alive and well.

Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is probably best known for its dry barbecue. Most frequently used on ribs, the dry style is highly flavorful and is less messy to eat than wet. In the dry process, the ribs are coated with a rub made from ingredients such as garlic, paprika, onions, cumin, and other spices. They are then cooked in a smoker until they are fall-off-the-bone tender. Typically, dry ribs are served with a sauce on the side.

Memphis barbecue sauce has its own distinctive flavor, as well. Though the specific ingredients will vary from cook to cook, Memphis sauce is usually made with tomatoes, vinegar, and any countless combination of spices. It is generally thin, tangy, and somewhat sweet. Memphis sauce is poured over pulled pork or served along side of dry ribs. Nicknamed the “Pork Barbecue Capital of the World,” Memphis considers itself a leader in the world of barbecue. In his book, The Grand Barbecue, Doug Worgul credits the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, which started in 1978, as the country’s oldest barbecue competition.

Meat: Smoked pork ribs on the slab, and pulled or chopped pork for sandwiches.
Sauce and Flavoring: Ribs are served with a dry rub made with ingredients like garlic, paprika, onions and cumin. The sauce, made with tomatoes, vinegar, and spices, is served on the side.
Cooking Method: Slow-cooked over indirect heat.
Side Dishes: Coleslaw and baked beans.

Kansas City, Missouri
This style barbecue is characterized by its use of different types of meat (including pulled pork, pork ribs, burnt ends, smoked sausage, beef brisket, beef ribs, smoked/grilled chicken, smoked turkey, and sometimes fish) along with its sweet and tangy sauces which are generally intended for liberal use.

Kansas City has more than 100 barbecue restaurants and is known in Missouri as “world’s barbecue capital.” Ribs are mostly pork, but also come in beef varieties and can come in a number of different cuts. Burnt ends, the flavorful pieces of meat cut from the ends of a smoked beef or pork brisket, are a popular dish in many Kansas City area barbecue restaurants. Kansas City barbecue is also known for its many side dishes, including a unique style of baked beans, french fries, coleslaw, and other soul food staples.

Henry Perry is known as the “Father of K.C. Barbecue.” Perry is famous for the slow-cooked ribs he served for .25 cents a slab out of a trolley barn in the early 1900’s. His legacy thrives with the city’s countless barbecue restaurants and The Kansas City Barbecue Society, which has more than 8,000 members worldwide.

Meat: Beef and pork.
Sauce and Flavoring: The sauce is tomato-based and sweetened with molasses or brown sugar.
Cooking Method: Slow-cooked over hickory wood for as long as 18 hours.

North Carolina

Two styles, western (aka Lexington) and eastern, dominate North Carolina barbecue. The annual Barbecue Festival has been held in Lexington, N.C. every October since 1984. According to the festival’s official website, the event attracts more than 100,000 people each year.

Meat: Pork shoulder (western) and whole hog (eastern) chopped or pulled.
Sauce and Flavoring: The western style sauce is called “dip” and is a thin tomato-based sauce mixed with brown sugar and spices. In the east, the sauce is a blend of vinegar, sugar, water and pepper.
Cooking Method: Both styles are slow cooked over indirect heat with oak or hickory wood. To preserve the pork and smoke flavors the meat is never basted.
Side Dishes: BBQ slaw, hush puppies (western), mayonnaise-based coleslaw and corn bread sticks (eastern) complement the barbecue. Sweet tea for a beverage and banana pudding or peach cobbler for dessert is served in both the western and eastern parts of the state. The town of Lexington alone, with a population of about 20,000 people, boasts more than 20 barbecue restaurants.

Texas 
According to the Travel Channel show “Food Paradise,” the state legislature declared Lockhart the BBQ capital of Texas. The Office of Texas Tourism marks the so-called “Texas Barbecue Trail” as starting just north of Austin and continuing further south to Luling.

Meat: Beef, particularly untrimmed brisket.
Cooking Method: Slow-cooked over coals or wood in above ground smokers.
Sauce and Flavoring: No sauce is used before or during cooking. Pepper and salt are the most common seasonings. A thick tomato-based sauce with a sweet and spicy taste is served on the side of the barbecue meal.
Side Dishes: In Texas the focus is on the meat, but occasionally beans, potato salad and thick toasted white bread called Texas Toast are added to the meal. Traditional desserts include pecan or lemon chess pies.

We’re pretty sure we’ve covered the topic thoroughly. Now, all that remains for us and barbecue is the eating. Our grill has been heating up for the last 15 minutes, the ribs and shrimp marinating for the last 24 hours and veggies are all prepped and ready for grill marks. Enjoy yourselves! Experiment. have fun.


The New My Juicer 2

My Juicer II Extra bottle & grinder setThe new My Juicer II is now available to Purchase Today!  My Juicer II Personal Blender with Grinder Assembly. This new My Juicer II has an updated stylish design with a powerful motor for crushing Ice, Blending Juice Drinks and smoothies for a healthy lifestyle. The additional Grinder Cup and special blade allow you to grind nuts, coffee beans, flack seed, fresh herbs etc. Beautiful and sleek stainless steel & black design looks great in every kitchen. 

Powerful Motor for Crushing Ice, Frozen Veggies & Fruit Up to 300WATT. Motor Base has suction feet for stable operation & Handle for easy storing and taking with you to the office

Sport Bottle is Triton(R) shatter Proof Material when on the go & BPA Free for a healthier lifestyle – Fits in car cup holders. Bottle top has compression fit cap for no accidental spills
Grinder Assembly_XL Grinder Blades_XLBottle has measurement Marks on side so you fill it just right

INCLUDES: Motor Base & Blade, 1 Sport Bottle, Grinder Blade & Cup, Instruction Manual & Recipes Easy to use, convenient size and easy cleanup! 1 Year Limited Warranty

 

Order Yours Today:https://www.ergochef.com/proddetail.php?prod=MyJuicerII


The Myron Mixon 3-in-1 Pitmaster Grill Tool is the ultimate tool for you Pitmasters. Pop it, Flip it & Slice it!myron-banner

The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3-in-1 design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook.

MMPGT 4 XL A good sharp knife is a must to slice up your mouth watering Q, hence we use the “Workhorse” an 8” Chef knife size blade with 7″ cut for slicing up your meats and veggies, from prep to serving. The blade is high carbon stainless steel for superior durability, ground precision sharp for perfect slices. It boasts an ergonomic non-slip grip handle over a full-steel tang for strength and balance, so cutting is effortless with ultimate control. MMPGT 5 XL

MMPGT 5 XLNext, a flipper hook to easily grab your Q and turn it on the grill. Last but not least is the bottle opener, built into the blade to keep you cool, sipping your favorite beverage.

Now get grilling your favorite foods, and be the boss of your grilling domain with the ultimate “Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool.”

4pcgrillkitMyron_XL

SPECIFICATIONS: • Tool Weight: 8.5 Oz. • Blade & Hook Thickness: .100″ • Blade Height: 200″ • Blade Length: 8″ w/ Precision Sharp 7″ Cutting Edge • Flipper Hook: 2.750″ • Handle Size / Material: 5-3/8″ long / Non-Slip TPR • OAL: 16.125″ • Blade Material: One Piece Carbon Stainless Steel

Only $29.99 or upgrade to our Kit with Ergo bag & a 15” DUO Grill Tong for only $59.99 here: https://www.ergochef.com/MyronMixon….


 Michael Symon Sweepstakes & 3 PC Set0002957

It’s The Summer Kitchen Fun with Ergo Chef/Michael Symon Cutlery Giveaway!!!

Holiday Contest and Sweeps is pleased to bring you a great giveaway from Ergo Chef. Two of our readers the chance to win a 7 Piece Ergo Chef Knife Kit Featuring Michael Symon Cutlery. Ergo Chef is by far the finest Cutlery you will ev3pc MS CUP set XLer find and by combining their knife set with World Famous Chef Mi3pc set with 5 pocket bag XLchael Symon it doesn’t get any better.

This 7 Piece Michael Symon Knife Kit includes the Ergo Chef 5 pocket Roll Bag. This kit has the essential knives for food preparation. A Symon 9″ Chef knife, 6″ Serrated utility, and a 3.5″ Paring knife. Includes Edge Guards to protect the blades and your fingers, in colors for easy identification. All store nicely in our Ergo Chef durable Nylon/Polyester Roll bag with a handle and business card holder. Bag holds up to 5 knives.

To ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN: http://holidaycontestandsweeps.blogspot.com/…/summer-kitche…

Visit our store by clicking the VISIT OUR STORE at the top of the page to see our entire lineup of products

*This giveaway is in no way endorsed,associated or affiliated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid in the Continental United States only and entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway will end at 12:00 AM (EST) 7/12/16.

Mike StaibHappy Fourth of July! Have we got some news for you!
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History of Fried Chicken & Spotlight on Chef Duff Goldman…

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Hello and welcome to July’s Chop Talk!

Special announcement: Holiday Contest and Sweeps, is pleased to team up with Ergo and Chef Michael Symon to offer a chance for one lucky winner to own a Michael Symon Signature 3 Pc. Knife Set!!! Set includes: 9″ Chef Knife, 7′ Vegetable Cleaver,6″ Serated Utility Knife. Click the link below for contest details and to enter for your chance to win! 3 Pc. Knife Set Giveaway Offer Ends 7/20/15

This month’s Chop Talk is packed full of great info, chef’s and more. In Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips is History of Fried Chicken with a Step by Step Guide. We will help you look deeper into the world of Southern Fried Chicken! Our Chef’s Spotlight this month is Food Network’s Chef Duff Goldman. This month’s Recipe is sure to please; Simple Southern Fried Chicken and our Gourmet Store Spotlight is North Carolina’s Whisk is the destination for cooks, foodies, chefs and gadget hounds in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area. Enjoy!

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips

bigstockphoto_fried_chicken_plate_2269322.s600x600Down south, fried chicken is a religion, and people swear by their own recipes and family traditions. While we may not be an authority in Southern hospitality, we will help you look deeper into the world of the amazing comfort food… Southern Fried Chicken!

History

The Scots, and later Scottish immigrants to the southern United States, had a tradition of deep frying chicken in fat as far back as the middle ages, unlike their English counterparts who baked or boiled chicken. When it was introduced to the American South, fried chicken became a common staple. Later, Africans brought over on the slave trade, became cooks in many southern households and incorporated seasonings and spices that were absent in traditional Scottish cuisine, enriching the flavor. Since fried chicken traveled well in hot weather before refrigeration was commonplace, it gained further favor. In the south, Fried chicken continues to be among this region’s top choices for “Sunday dinner.” Holidays such as Independence Day and other gatherings often feature this dish as well.

CrispyfriedchickenAsiaIn Asia, they have their own version of this dish, called Crispy fried chicken, a standard dish in the Cantonese cuisine of southern China and Hong Kong. The chicken is fried in such a way that the skin is extremely crunchy, but the white meat is relatively soft. The dish often served with two side dishes, a pepper salt and prawn crackers The pepper salt, colored dark white to gray, is dry-fried separately in a wok. Traditionally, it is to be eaten at night. It is also one of the traditional chicken dishes used in Chinese weddings and other Asian weddings.

800px-Korean.cuisine-Yangnyeom_chicken-01Korean fried chicken or seasoned chicken is traditionally eaten as fast food, at bars, or as an after meal snack in Korea. It is not often consumed as a meal. It is prepared in a way that removes the fat from the skin, resulting in a crust described by Julia Moskin of The New York Times as a “thin, crackly and almost transparent”. The chickens are usually seasoned with spices after being fried. In South Korea, chickens are relatively small, so Korean fried chicken restaurants fry whole chickens before hacking it into bits. In the United States, chickens tend to be larger and Korean restaurants find it more difficult to deal with large breasts and thighs. As a result, many Korean fried chicken restaurants in the United States usually serve wings and small drumsticks. Pickled radishes, beer, and soju are often served with Korean fried chicken.

So lets get to the how to’s. Making fried chicken is a LOT of work (at least according to today’s 30 minute meal prep orientation). The preparation of the chicken, the breading of the chicken, the temperature regulation, the actual cooking, the cleanup of the cooker, the kitchen and you, but the work is worth it in the delight of biting into a fresh, warm, crunchy,  piece of perfectly golden, home-fried chicken. It’s a food of love thing.

There are three main techniques for frying chickens: pan frying, deep frying and broasting;

jcf085Pan frying (or shallow frying) requires a frying pan of sturdy construction (cast iron works best) and a source of fat that does not fully immerse the chicken. Generally the fat is heated to a temperature hot enough to seal (without browning, at this point) the outside of the chicken pieces. Once the pieces have been added to the hot fat and sealed, the temperature is reduced. There is debate as to how often to turn the chicken pieces, with one camp arguing for often turning and even browning, and the other camp pushing for letting the pieces render skin side down and only turning when absolutely necessary. Once the chicken pieces are close to being done the temperature is raised and the pieces are browned to the desired color (some cooks add small amounts of butter at this point to enhance browning). The moisture from the chicken that sticks and browns on the bottom of the pan become the fonds required to make gravy. Chicken Maryland is made when the pan of chicken pieces, and fat, is placed in the oven to cook for a majority of the overall cooking time, basically “fried in the oven.”

deep frying chickenDeep frying requires a deep fryer or other device in which the chicken pieces can be completely submerged in hot fat. The pieces are floured or battered using a batter of flour and liquid (and seasonings) mixed together. The batter can/may contain ingredients like eggs, milk, and leavening. The fat is heated in the deep fryer to the desired temperature. The pieces are added to the fat and a constant temperature is maintained throughout the cooking process.

Broasting-Machine-CE-PFE-600-Pressure cooking uses a pressure cooker to accelerate the process. The moisture inside the chicken becomes steam and increases the pressure in the cooker, lowering the cooking temperature needed. The steam also cooks the chicken through, but still allows the pieces to be moist and tender while maintaining a crisp coating. Fat is heated in a pressure cooker. Chicken pieces are then floured or battered and then placed in the hot fat. The lid is placed on the pressure cooker, and the chicken pieces are thus fried under pressure

Selecting The Best Chicken

jcf082The best size chicken to fry is a 4-pound fryer. Never fry any chicken larger than 5 pounds as it will take the pieces too long to cook. Chickens smaller than 3 pounds are too small for good fried chicken.Traditional fried chicken HAS SKIN. Skinless fried chicken is a weird invention of those who think that it makes for a lower-fat chicken (and what are those people doing eating Fried Chicken in the first place?) The skin is necessary to provide the support for the breading, and to add that element of ‘crisp’ that is the goal of the great chicken fryer. I also think that the skin actually helps keep the chicken meat lower in fat as it serves to shield the meat from the fat.

Follow these steps below to help you along the way:

southern-chicken-buttermilkMarinating: Some say that marinating or soaking the chicken in a brine or buttermilk for 30 mins to a few hours can increase tenderness and develop great flavor profiles.

Coating:jcf084 Apply different coatings and coating techniques. Try dipping the chicken in milk, then flour, then milk, and then the flour again. Some cast-iron cooks dip it in a milk-egg mixture and then dredge it in flour. Some don’t use flour at all and cover it with cracker crumbs, potato flakes, or cornmeal.

 Air Drying: After you coat your chicken, let it air-dry. Air-drying your chicken for 20 minutes to a half hour after it has been coated lets the coating firm up and produces a crispier crust.

Seasoning: Use plain old salt and pepper or create special seasoning mixes. You may want to season the flour that you dredge the chicken through; you can also season the chicken itself. Some people swear that paprika enhances the flavor; others claim it’s just there for color.

jcf085Cooking: The real secret to the ultimate in comfort food, Southern Fried Chicken, isn’t in the recipe; it’s in the cooking. Properly pan-fried chicken is tender and moist (not greasy) on the inside and golden brown and crispy on the outside. Keep your oil very hot. To make sure that your chicken doesn’t get greasy, you want the oil hot enough (375 degrees Fahrenheit) that the water in the chicken stays above the boiling point during frying. The force of the steam leaving the chicken keeps the oil from being absorbed. The hot oil also makes the outside wonderfully crispy.

Some tips for keeping the oil at the temperature you want are as follows:

Use peanut oil, which has a hotter smoking point than vegetable oils or shortenings.

Allow the chicken to come almost to room temperature before you cook it so that when you put it into the hot oil, it doesn’t reduce the oil temperature as much as really cold chicken would.

Don’t overcrowd the chicken in the pan. Putting too many pieces in the pan causes the temperature to drop and takes it longer to heat up again. It can also cause the chicken to steam as opposed to fry.

Use a deep-sided cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven and an iron cover. Cast iron is the cook’s best friend when pan-frying. It absorbs heat evenly, eliminating hot spots and its ability to retain heat keeps the temperature of the oil as even as possible.

Brown the chicken quickly to seal in the juices. After the initial browning, reduce the heat to allow the chicken to cook through without drying. Then return the heat to medium-high to re-crisp it before you remove it from the pan.

Use tongs to turn and move the chicken. Tongs won’t pierce the chicken and let the juice escape.

Drain fried chicken on a paper towel and then place it on a metal wire cooling rack in a warm oven. This simple step keeps your cooked chicken crisp and warm. After all, what good is a crispier crust if it just gets soggy and cold while sitting in a puddle of oil?

Serving:Make sure its crisp, hot, and you have a napkin handy! It’s common to serve fried chicken with a creamy gravy, or a kicked up hot sauce. Enjoy!


Chef’s Spotlight: Duff Goldman

Chef Duff Goldman Unveils The Official Cake For The 2011 Culinary Institute Augie AwardsChef Duff has been cooking since the age of four, when his Mom caught him in the kitchen watching Chef Tell and swinging around a meat cleaver.  A few years later, his culinary curiosity almost cost him a finger when he decided the best way to carve a pumpkin was with the largest knife he could find in the kitchen.  Despite the incident, Chef Duff found his calling and started working professionally when he was just 14 and has never turned back.

Inspired by his Great-Grandmother, “Mamo”, a legendary baker and cook who came to the U.S. from the Ukraine at age 16, baking was in Duff’s blood. His artistic streak was expanded when he studied art  at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C.  – – becoming a local graffiti artist of some notoriety.

Duff started working for acclaimed Baltimore Chef Cindy Wolf, and then left Baltimore to study pastries at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California.  While in Napa, Duff was a stagiere at the French Laundry, working under acclaimed pastry Chef Steven Durfee.  Following graduation from the CIA, Duff became Executive Pastry Chef of the Vail Cascade Hotel and Resort in the mountains of Vail, Colorado.  With his culinary degree and growing experience, Duff left Colorado to cook and bake bread for Todd English’s Olives in Washington, D.C.

Duff Ace of CakesDuff’s entrepreneurial spirit took him back to Baltimore in 2000, where he finally realized his dream in 2002, and opened Charm City Cakes……in his apartment. A growing clients list helped propel Duff into an even bigger location: an old church he retrofitted into his current modern bakery. As word about his unusual and daring cakes got out, Duff hired staff with more artistic experience than the typical pastry chef, like painters, architects and sculptors. His out-of-the-ordinary team is known for producing highly creative cakes that range from Star Wars characters, a replica of the Stanley Cup,  a working life-size motorcycle, and Hogwarts Castle for Warner Bros. and the premiere of Harry Potter.

Following several appearances on its cake competition Challenge series, Food Network tapped Chef Duff and his fellow cake baking artists at Charm City Cakes to star in Ace of Cakes.  After 10 seasons on the Food Network, the show wrapped as one of the longest running reality shows in history to feature the same cast.

Duff has appeared on numerous shows including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Iron Chef America, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, and Best Thing I Ever Ate. His work  has also been featured on The Price is Right, Jon & Kate Plus 8, No Reservations, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Talk, The Chew, The View, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz and many more.  He is the best selling author of Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes (HarperCollins), which published in October 2009.

In 2009, Duff paired up with the team at Gartner Studios in Stillwater, Minnesota to  design and launch the Duff Goldman by Gartner Studios  line of cake baking and decorating products. The signature line of professional-grade products was designed to take the fear out of cake decorating with fun products that are easy to use. “I’ve built my career on an unconventional approach to cakes: having a good time and using tools that may not be considered traditional. When I was starting out, I wanted to use what the pros used. Later, I wanted to design a line of my own. Gartner Studios told me they could make a custom line of products to let people create signature cakes of their own. Now, anyone can do what I do at home with these products.” Duff was deeply involved in product development and personally approved every product, from cake tattoos, to edible cake graffiti, to an airbrush machine. Today, the product line is one of the finest collections available outside of professional bakeries.

In 2012, Duff’s horizons continued to expand as he opened Charm City Cakes West in Los Angeles and Duff’s Cake mix, a do-it-yourself cake decorating shop. Duff  was also named Culinary Ambassador by the White House, and created the cake for President Obama’s Commander-in-Chief Ball. He is currently creating a new baking cookbook, slated for release in November, 2014.goldman bertinelli

Fans of Duff can find him on Food Network’s new series Duff Till Dawn, where he serves as both host and judge. He is also a judge on Holiday Baking Championship and Spring Baking Championship. And with Valerie Bertinelli, he hosts and judges Kids Baking Championship. More information about Duff can be found on his website, www.charmcitycakes.com.

Like Duff on Facebook, Follow @Duff_Goldman on Twitter


Recipe

Fried Chicken1Simple Southern Fried Chicken
Make 8 Pieces of Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Ingredients
For the marinade:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground dried herbs, or poultry seasoning
2 cups buttermilk
3 1/2 pound chicken, cut in 8 pieces

For the seasoned flour:
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1-2 qt. Vegetable or Peanut oil (enough to fill a large cast iron pan 1/2 way)

Method
Add the marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk together. Add the chicken parts and toss to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the chicken is submerged. Refrigerate for 6 hours or more.

Mix together the seasoned flour ingredients in a large baking dish. Drain the chicken pieces and toss into the flour. Toss the chicken and coat completely with the flour mixture. Shake off and place on a rack and let dry for at least 1/2 hour before frying.

Fill a cast iron skillet halfway up with oil and heat to about 375 degrees F. Carefully add the chicken, leaving at least 2 inches between pieces and fry for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown, reaching and internal temperature of 180 degrees F. Allow Fried-Chicken-Mashed-Potatoes-and-Gravyto drain on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serve with smashed potatoes, brown gravy and some corn on the cob. And remember, be sure that the love and effort you put into the preparation carries through to the plate and whatever your cooking pleasure, be it baked or fried, we hope these simple steps help you wow your friends and family...


Gourmet Store Spotlight

whisk-logoThe Whisk Experience

You know the feeling. It happens rarely, but it does happen. It is the sense of wonder and adventure that takes place when you discover a really special store.

Welcome to Whisk — a unique retail experience that feeds your passion for cooking and home entertaining.

Whisk is the destination for cooks, foodies, chefs and gadget hounds in the Raleigh-Durham area, as well as anyone who aspires to improve their cooking experience. At our store, you will find a diverse array of merchandise for both food preparation and presentation.

Stocked with fine cookware and hardworking professional tools, attractive dinnerware, specialty foods, fun go-to gadgets, and one-of-a kind items, Whisk is a contemporary purveyor of food, fun and learning for Cary and the greater Raleigh community. Their vast product selection and assortment allow you the opportunity to indulge in all aspects of cooking — from technique and style, to the pure fun and enjoyment of crafting a newly-created dish.

Explore Our Array of Raleigh & Cary Cooking Classes & Services

Join them for one of their Cary, NC cooking classes, and learn something new from one of our many visiting chefs. Taste some of our specialty foods at one of our regular food samplings. Bring your dull knives in for sharpening and hone your skills in using them. Sample our coffee as you browse and just enjoy your time here.

We welcome you to partake in the rich experience of Whisk, and we hope you have as much fun shopping at our unique cooking store as we do working here.

Whisk is a Cary, NC cooking store that provides a unique range of kitchenware, cooking expertise, and culinary inspiration to customers in Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Morrisville, and beyond. We offer everything a kitchen or dining room could need, with a selection of cookware that includes kitchen appliances, gourmet foods, and cooking utensils — all from respected brands like Kaiser, Nordicware, and Wusthof.

Best Knife Selection in RaleighWhisk offers a full range of high-quality cutlery and kitchen knives to keep your cooking skills sharp. Having the right, sharpened blade for the job is the key to both safety and efficiency in the kitchen. Whether you need a trusty, all-purpose knife set or hard-to-find specialty knives, our Raleigh-Durham cooking store’s cutlery selection will meet any need.

We carry everything from cutting boards and knife sharpeners to cleavers, ceramic knives and steak knives from respected brands like Wusthof, Joseph Joseph, Kyocera, and Victorinox. Our cutlery products are held to a high standard, offering quality and value to match any skill level. We also offer in-store knife and scissors sharpening services.

Whisk is the Cary, NC kitchen store that brings the best in cookware, cooking classes, and culinary expertise to Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Morrisville, and beyond. Our selection includes high-quality products for every skill level, as well as top name brands like Kyocera, Wusthof, Zwilling and more.

Waverly Place Shopping Center, 316 Colonades Way – Suite 214, Cary, NC 27518, 919-322-2458 Store hours Monday-Saturday: 10AM – 6PM, Sunday: 12PM – 5PM

 

Mike StaibHistory of Fried Chicken & Spotlight on Chef Duff Goldman…
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Up Close with Chef Michael Symon by blogger Louis S. Luzzo, Sr.

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16208_10205206493744557_6653510623717721083_nI have known Michael some three years now, having first met him at the Fabulous Food Show in Cleveland back in 2012. Relaxed, humble and completely accessible, if you are fortunate enough to spend any time at all in his presence, or watch him interacting with his family, or sit with him shoes off, feet up, watching a Browns game on a Sunday afternoon, you’d be hard pressed to associate this laid back everyman with the public dynamo we all know as the public ‘Chef Michael Symon.’ His trademark laugh and smile are always right below the surface waiting to bubble over at a moments notice. When he’s back in his beloved Cleveland, friends and family are his focus. But, underneath is a man who is driven. A man who’s aware of how lucky he is to have achieved what he has, but not one that takes it for granted. See way back when, he rolled up his sleeves and went to work, first cheffing, then as a restaurateur, then as a beloved TV personality. The accolades now, are the result of years of hard work and dedication. To his craft. To his family. To his employees and to his friends.

-dcdce867be975666I have watched as fans approach him, hoping for a minute of his time, or a smile, or an autograph. I have never seen him not stop to take the time to make someone who approached feel important, even if it’s a simple hello, a smile or to request a picture. Onstage, I have watched him capture the audience, making eye contact as if he’s talking directly to each and every person there. He makes folks feel like they could easily sit back and grab a beer with him, over conversation about food, or riding his motorcycle, or debating with him over his favorite Cleveland team, The Browns. I’ve heard folks remark of him, “Wow, he’s just like me.” Having spent time with him, I can honestly say, “It’s real.” It’s what has launched him to the top of his profession, garnering the title America’s Favorite Chef.

112_0806_03z+iron_chef_michael_symon+symon_cookingI recently caught up with him between shoots of his hit TV show The Chew, which he co-hosts with Daphne Oz, Clinton Kelley and fellow chefs, Carla Hall and Mario Batali. His TV career is varied and lengthy. Since 1998, with appearances on Sara’s Secrets with Sara Moulton, Ready, Set, Cook and Food Nation with Bobby Flay, hosting over 100 episodes of The Melting Pot and his winning season one of The Next Iron Chef on Food Network in 2008, he has been a regular in our homes. He appeared on four Food Network/Cooking Channel shows, hosting Food Feuds and Cook Like an Iron Chef, judging season three of The Next Iron Chef and competing on Iron Chef America.In January 2012, his show Symon’s Suppers, premiered on Cooking Channel and in September 2011, he joined the cast of The Chew as one of the show’s five hosts. Most recently, Michael was a mentor on the first season of Food Network’s All-Star Academy. 

A successful restaurateur, Michael recently opened his 14th B Spot Burgers, to go along with his other eateries, Lola Bistro, Lolita,Roast, Bar Symon and Mabel’s BBQ. With his hectic schedule, I asked him if he misses being in the kitchen, just cheffing. “No,” he laughed emphatically, “You know, I think that the misconception of a chef, especially in my capacity as a chef-owner, is that we work the line every week. I’m in the kitchen yes, but not on the line at a particular station. If you work just a station,” he expanded, “when it gets busy, you see just that one station. I prefer to work the kitchen. I expedite, I watch the cooks a lot, but I haven’t worked a particular station in God knows how long. Now, I do spend time on each station with the cook the first week when we open a restaurant.”

Michael-Symon-Cutlery

Many of you who are fans of the Iron Chef, will be happy to hear that Michael has a new signature line of cutlery coming out with Ergo Chef, LLC., available for delivery beginning in mid July, 2015. About a year in the making, Ergo and Symon will produce five individual knives for the Symon series. The blades will include a 9-inch chef knife; a 6-inch chef knife; a 6-inch serrated utility knife; a 7-inch vegetable cleaver; and a 3.5-inch paring knife. A four-piece steak knife set will also be available. The knives will be ground in the conventional Western-style, rather than with a Japanese beveled edge that is growing in popularity. Michael has opted for a small selection of blades, rather than an extensive collection of knives. “I’m of the belief you don’t need a giant set of knives, just a couple that perform at a high level,” Symon stated. “they have a unique handle that is not only stunning, but also very comfortable and durable.

11061317_10206200703880903_7222602543719262059_nI asked him, “Why Ergo?” “I love doing business with people that I like being around,” he offered. “and yes, they make a beautiful knife and they make it at a super reasonable price. But aside from that, Michael and Scott Staib are just great people. If you’re going to work with someone or partner with someone, you want them to have the same beliefs you do and the same morals you do. They are just really good people.” I asked Michael what was most important to him in making a decision to put his name on a knife or series of knives. “For me,” he responded, “there were a couple of things that were important. First, it had to be a knife that I was very comfortable using in the kitchen myself. Secondly, I wanted it to be a knife that any one of my professional cooks in the kitchens of my restaurants would use and be comfortable with. Lastly, I wanted it to be affordable for the home cook. Chef knives can be crazy,” he continued, “I personally have been collecting knives for 25 years and I have knives that are ridiculously expensive. I wanted to get the look and feel of those knives, but in a package that the home cook would be comfortable buying. I also wanted a knife that one of my cooks on the line would be comfortable using every night, on the line, putting up with the wear and tear of putting out 300 meals. It had to be at a very high level for me to put my name on it, from a quality and look stand point, but also something that would be accessible to the home cook.” Michael has not been shy in stating in the past that a chef or cook only needs a few good knives and I asked him to expand on that thought process.

B_q5VSRUYAAb30o“I don’t think you need every knife in the set in order to get everything done, We have 2 chef’ knives, both a 9′ and 6 inch, a good serrated knife, a pairing knife and a vegetable cleaver because I do love using a vegetable cleaver. Then, we also have our steak knives.” I mentioned to him that some have remarked that even at the reasonable price, it’s still a bit expensive. He answered, “Obviously life is about what you can afford. That said, to be able to get a knife for $69-$79 that will last you a lifetime, as opposed to a knife you can get for $20 that you have to replace in a year, it just seems like a pretty easy decision to me.”

slide-slide_d5df7999-6bae-4c45-9406-328f0567c456_2713x1078_source-1000x400-Q90_1407801074639Our conversation then turned to his new hit show, The Chew. Winner of the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host along with his co-hosts, I asked him if when he first started this journey with the show back in 2011, he had any idea it would be the juggernaut hit that it has become. “I think with anything in life you hope for the best and plan for the worst,” he offered, “Obviously I knew when we started that I already had a long term relationship with Mario, so I knew that was going to work. The other three hosts I had not met before. To end up being paired up with 4 other people who all have ended up being best friends, God I mean, you couldn’t ask for more than that. We all just immediately got along and it’s only gotten better from there.” He added, “All of us cherish it and don’t take for granted for a second how lucky we have it.”

the-chewI pressed him for a behind the scenes anecdote that I could share with you all and he immediately spoke to Clinton being the cast’s practical joker. “We’re like a family,” he explained, “so there’s definitely a lot of razzing, kinda like you get between brothers and sisters. Every one definitely can give a joke and take a joke. This past week for instance, Clinton got me a couple times really good, so I had the person in charge of wardrobe order all his pants two sizes two small. When he was getting ready he kept saying, ‘You know these are cut really weird, these are not fitting correctly.’ He laughed, “It happens all the time and we really do have a good time with each other.”

Grandma’s Risotto; A Recipe from Chef Symon

We then moved the conversation to a bit of the person behind the persona side of these interviews, discussing his relationship with his wife, Lizzie and his home life. “We met in the restaurant business back in 1990 and we opened Lola about 17 years ago. My favorite thing I ever do is cooking dinner for Lizzie and my family and friends, just making a meal at home. There’s nothing more enjoyable than that.” I asked about his hectic schedule and how the two of them balance it and their personal life. “It’s like anything else, you get used to it. It’s all about the people around me. I am fortunate to have folks around me that I’ve been working with some 20+ years now. Liz is with me at all times, no matter where CASTELLO MICHAEL AND LIZ SYMONwe are. We go back to Cleveland every weekend. We shoot Tuesday through Thursday then we head back to Cleveland.

I asked him to describe a typical day off for America’s Favorite Chef. “I’m an early riser,” he offered, “so I’m up usually by 5:30am. I head out and putz around the garden for about two hours or so, then I’ll head out on the Harley to the gym, get a quick workout in and hopefully sneak in 18 holes of golf. After that I head back home about 1 or 2 o’clock and see what Lizzie wants for dinner and we hang out the rest of the day, me, Lizzy, Kyle and the dogs. I asked him “What’s usually for dinner?” and he said “Well Lizzie is a vegetarian so oddly enough, being the meat chef, and I do eat a ton of meat, a lot of days I’ll cook a vegetarian meal for both of us. The good thing is that with Lizzie being vegetarian it always keeps me balanced.”

CQ1009_Michael-Symon-02_s4x3_lgI then asked Michael for the most important advice he would give to someone looking to make cheffing a career. “Be humble,” he answered immediately, “learn something new everyday and don’t be afraid of hard work because if there is one profession that truly rewards the hardest worker, it’s this one.” I followed up asking his advice to young culinary students. “I went to culinary school to be a chef and only a chef and maybe someday, own my own restaurant. If you’re going to culinary school to be a chef , be a chef. Forget being on TV,” he warned. “If you’re angle is to be on TV, then you should go to school for the arts and learn to cook along the way” He also offered some advice to the aspiring home cook who wants to up their game in the kitchen. “Learn the techniques, not the particular recipes. If you learn the techniques, then you can make any recipe and make it your own.”

I then turned the questions to a subject we both have in common; Our love. respect and admiration for Chef Jacques Pepin. Michael’s has been quoted as saying that Jacques has been the most influential TV chef of all time. I asked him to expound on that a bit. “The thing that I love about Jacques is every time you watch him on TV, you learn something. From that, he has still made it entertaining and fun. More so than all those things, he is one of the most humble, caring people you’ll ever come across.” I can attest to this. A few years ago, after sitting with Jacques and casually discussing food and cheffing over coffee, he suddenly invited me to spend the day with him and have lunch at the International Culinary Center in New York City. Little ol me! Truly a bucket list moment for me. I asked Michael if he had a personal anecdote about he and Jacques that impacted his life. “I was really lucky.” he stated, “I was the executive chef of a restaurant called Giovanni’s in Cleveland. I was 24. Jacques was in town and I got a call from his culinary producer, Susie Heller, whom I knew, and she told me she was bringing Jacques and Julia (Child) in for dinner.” He laughed, “Lou, I was literally a trembling mess. I went out after the meal to say hello and he said, ‘I loved the meal. I loved it because it was so simple.’ I’ll always remember that and it’s always how I’ve tried to cook. Clean and simple. I remember he had a veal chop with morel mushrooms” It was immediately obvious in that statement that this was a special moment for Michael and I remarked to him that I thought it telling that even 22 years later, he remembered the evening and exactly what he prepared as if it were yesterday. Cool story.

FFS-Bnr2014As we finished up I asked him one last question pertaining to the Fabulous Food Show held each November in Cleveland and the place where I first met him. As it his Michael’s hometown, it seems a special show for him. Invariably as we sit backstage in the talent’s Green Room as it were, which has the talent trailers, lounging area with food and so forth, it seems Michael’s entire family comes to visit. I have met his mom, dad, aunts uncles and cousins as they’ve enjoyed these small family reunions. I asked him what’s so special about doing the show. “I think that because of the size of it you really get to interact with the people that come to it. Though it’s a big show, it has a very intimate homey feel to it. It has a warm Mid-West feel to it. I just think it’s a special show. And, Lou, anytime you can do a show and your mom can come see you from 10 minutes away, it’s a good show.”

It’s seems there is no slowing down for this driven, dynamic chef. Michael revealed that he has a new show debuting on Food Network, Friday July 10th, but that was all he could share. Long-standing contractual clauses containing stiff penalties for disclosing specifics regarding any Food Network shows in production remain in force. Cleveland’s Iron Chef says he will continue co-hosting his popular ABC-TV daytime show, The Chew. His most recent Food Network series, All-Star Academy,, in which he mentored a team of home cooks while vying against star chefs Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli and Curtis Stone, just concluded.

To connect with Michael, visit his website, www.michaelsymon.com or connect with him via social media on Twitter: @chefsymon, Facebook; Michael D. Symon and Instagram: @chefsymon Michael also has a series of cookbooks, t-shirts, hats and more, all available here: Cookbooks and more….

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this brief glimpse inside the world of Chef Michael Symon as much as I did bringing it to you!

Until next time,

Bon Apetit,

Lou


Product Spotlight: Michael Symon Cutlery

Michael-Symon-Cutlery (1)

4070 MS 7inch Cleaver S

This 7 inch Vegetable Cleaver and Scooper Knife was designed with Chef Michael Symon for chopping and scooping your vegetables and fruits from cutting board to fry pan or plate. The sturdy yet thin blade is .068 inches thin by 3.350 inches wide by 7 inches long blade allows you to cut and scoop up lots of food. It will get through the toughest veggies with little effort. This knife is crafted per my specifications from high carbon German Stainless steel for durability and one of the world’s best handle materials G10 fiberglass resin which will withstand the toughest kitchen environments. The handle is .725 inches thick by 1.050 inches wide in the middle by 5.1 inches long including the bolster. Two polished rivets in the handle complete the clean look. Order yours here: 7″  Vegetable Cleaver

4090 MS 9inch Chef SThis 9 inch Chef Knife was designed with Chef Michael Symon and is known as the workhorse in the chefs’ kitchen. It’s a must have for chopping veggies to slicing chicken and proteins. The sturdy blade is .090 inches thick by 1.9 inches wide by 9 inches long allowing you to cut very large foods with ease. This knife is crafted per my specifications from high carbon German Stainless steel for durability and one of the world’s best handle materials G10 fiberglass resin which will withstand the toughest kitchen environment. The handle is .725 inches thick by 1.050 inches wide in the middle by 5.1 inches long including the bolster. Two polished rivets in the handle complete the look. Order yours here:  9″ Chef Knife

4066 6inch Chef SThis 6 inch Chef Knife was designed with Michael Symon and is better known as the little workhorse in the kitchen. This smaller and lighter chef knife is perfect for those who get intimidated by larger knives and super for the beginner cook, while a seasoned cook will use it for small tasks. It’s a must have for chopping veggies and proteins. The sturdy blade is .090 inches thick by 1.7 inches wide by 6 inches long allowing you to cut through tough veggies with ease. This knife is crafted per my specifications from high carbon German Stainless steel for durability and one of the world’s best handle materials G10 fiberglass resin which will withstand the toughest kitchen environment. The handle is .725 inches thick by .980 inches wide in the middle by 4.8 inches long including the bolster. Two polished rivets in the handle complete the look. Order yours here: 6″ Chef Knife

4060 MS 6inch Utility SThis 6 Inch Serrated Utility Knife was designed with Chef Michael Symon for slicing bread, bagels, and tougher skinned vegetables. A must have for every kitchen. The sturdy blade is .090 inch thick by 1.2 inch wide by 6 inch long allowing you to slice smoothly through tough crusts or soft fresh loafs straight out of the oven. The wide serrations produce very little crumbs and can even thinly slice meat without tearing. This knife is crafted per my specifications from high carbon German Stainless steel for durability and one of the world’s best handle materials G10 fiberglass resin which will withstand the toughest kitchen environment. Order yours here: 6″ Serrated Utility Knife

4035 MS Paring knife SThe Michael Symon 3.5 Inch Paring Knife is designed for small peeling, garnishing and slicing of fruits and veggies. The sturdy blade is .068 inches thick by .780 inches wide by 3.5 inches long allowing you to cut smoothly through veggies with ease. This knife is crafted per my specifications from high carbon German stainless steel for durability and one of the world’s best handle materials G10 fiberglass resin which will withstand the toughest kitchen environment. The handle is .670 inches thick by .800 inches wide in the middle by 3.950 inches long including the bolster. Two polished rivets in the handle complete the look. Order yours here: 3.5 Inch Paring Knife

4045 MS 4pc Steak Set IMG SMichael Symon 4 Piece Serrated Steak Knife Set. This precision sharp serrated steak knife edge is designed for smooth slicing through tough crusted chicken, juicy steaks, pork chops and all your proteins. The special design and grind of the serrated edge tips will not tear your food. These steak knives even works great for bagels, bread and tomatoes. The beautiful G10 handle adds an elegant look to any kitchen table or special occasion. The set comes in a gift box with care instructions so we have you covered. Order yours here: 4 Piece Serrated Steak Knife Set

 

Til next time,

Ergo

Mike StaibUp Close with Chef Michael Symon by blogger Louis S. Luzzo, Sr.
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The Five Mother Sauces, Chef Ming Tsai & The Big Green Egg

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The cold has finally broken and it’s beautiful May weather! Welcome to this month’s Chop Talk! Just a quick note that we are taking Pre-Orders this month for the new Michael Symon Knife Line, which should be available late June~early July and we’ll keep you informed with all the latest updates.

In our Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips we’re talking “Mother Sauces.” Cooking can be a fun filled experience in the kitchen which allows the home cook to be creative and speak from their heart.  We’ll teach you all the secrets on how to make Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Tomato and Hollandaise. Our Chef’s Spotlight is Chef Ming Tsai. Ming is a James Beard and Emmy award winning chef, author, TV/new media host and producer, product developer, food allergy advocate and East-West lifestyle expert. Our video recipe this month from Chef Tsai is his Perfect Eggs Benedict with Guilt Free Hollandaise in keeping with our theme. Our Gourmet Store Spotlight brings you the Big Green Egg and ties into our Product Specials & Highlights which is our 2 pc knife set, specifically designed for Big Green Egg. Enjoy!


Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Mother Sauces

Courtesy of www.buzzle.comCooking can be a fun filled experience in the kitchen which allows the home cook to be creative and speak from their heart. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t feel that passion and love for ingredients. In the 19th century, Marie-Antoine Carême anointed Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, and tomato sauce as the building blocks for all other sauces in his work L’Art de la Cuisine Française au Dix-Neuvième Siecle. Later on, Hollandaise got added to the family. He is credited with developing a variety of sauces that all stemmed from a series of 4 focused sauces. These became known as the “Mother Sauces”, and were used as a base sauce to create hundreds of derivatives. In the 20th century, Auguste Escoffier updated these sauces and added a 5th mother sauce.

Today, they are recognized as the following 5 sauces:

Bechamel – a milk based sauce that is thickened with a roux (clarified butter and flour). This sauce is named after its creator Louis XIV’s steward, Louis de Béchamel. Considered the king of all sauces, and often called a cream sauce because of its consistency, this sauce is most often used in all types of dishes. Examples may include crème, mornay & soubise.

Velouté – a sauce made with white stock and roux. It is most often made with chicken or fish stock, and can sometimes be enriched with egg yolks or cream. Examples would include sauce allemande, white bordelaise, and supreme.

Espagnole or Brown Sauce – a brown stock based sauce often made with a rich meat stock (veal, beef, or lamb) a mirepoix of vegetables (carrots, celery and onion), a brown roux (the roux must be cooked until it changes color) fresh herbs, and tomato paste. Examples would include sauce bordelaise, chasseur, Madeira, Chateaubriand, and a refined Demi glace.

Tomato Sauce – a tomato based sauce normally made with onion, tomato & fresh herbs. Examples would include marinara, and spaghetti sauce.

Hollandaise/Emulsions – sauces that are emulsified, meaning a fat and a liquid made into one coalescent mixture. This can be as basic as a vinaigrette, or more in depth such as a hollandaise or mayonnaise.

Sauce can be defined as a flavorful liquid or semi solid liquid that is served on or alongside of food. In French Cuisine, sauces can date back all the way to the middle ages. Back then, when refrigeration was not available, the shelf life on food was much shorter. Sauces were used to mask the foods’ poor quality, and give the plate a more pleasing taste. Over the years, sauces became more popular for their flavor, and chefs began using creativity to wow the palate with their skills.

Today, all 5 mother sauces or “grand sauces,” are still used as a foundation to assist chefs and cooks in the kitchen. Pay close attention to the quality of ingredients going into the sauce, as it is very important to the success of the final sauce’s taste. Like anything you do in life, if you put less than quality ingredients in, you get a less than quality result and that fact couldn’t be more true than with this very important element of the plate. Selection of good quality wines and vegetables can be new for some people, so consult with your local store manager to get answers to any of your questions.

How To Make  Roux
Roux can be an intimidating process, so lets take a closer look at the components and how they are prepared. Roux is simply a cooked mixture of equal parts wheat flour (use all purpose) and a fat, traditionally clarified butter. First melt the fat in a pot or pan, then slowly add the flour being sure to whisk it until the flour is completely incorporated. It is also important to cook the roux until there is no longer a raw flour taste, and can continue cooking until the desired color has been achieved. The color can range from white to dark brown depending on how long it is left on the heat. The end result is a flavoring, coloring, thickening agent that can enhance the flavor and consistency of sauces, soups and stocks.

Here are some tips for a more successful sauce. When using a roux to thicken, be sure to constantly stir during cooking to prevent lumps. If lumps remain, attempt to use a whisk to break them up. If that doesn’t work, run the sauce through a strainer and then adjust seasoning. When cooking an egg thickened sauce, be sure to stir the sauce over a double boiler over medium heat (not boiling) to lightly and slowly cook the egg. Be careful not to let the sauce boil, as the eggs will curdle and destroy the consistency of the sauce. Also make sure the water in the double boiler doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl, this will prevent the transfer of heat from happening too fast and potential scrambling the sauce.

When making a cold emulsion such as a vinaigrette or mayonnaise, be sure to add the fat slowly. This will allow the emulsion to take place and the liquid to accept the fat while whisking. If the fat is added too fast, the sauce will “break,” leaving a pool of oily mess with a destroyed look and flavor.

We  hope this helps you explore the exciting preparations of sauce making. Try adding different herbs and spices or cook with a different wine of your choice. Remember, sauces are to enhance a dish, so always be sure that the main protein, vegetable and/or starch is great quality and purchased from a reputable supplier. It is our hope that with this series that you will start attempting a little more complexity in the kitchen and that in some small way, we’re helping bring out your inner ‘Gourmet Chef.’


Chef’s Spotlight: Chef Ming Tsai

ming-with-wineMing’s love of cooking was forged in his early years. Ming was raised in Dayton, Ohio, where he spent hours cooking alongside his mother and father at Mandarin Kitchen, the family-owned restaurant. His experience also taught him about restaurant operations and the art of making customers happy.

Ming headed east to attend school at Phillips Academy Andover. From there, Ming continued to Yale Universityearning his degree in Mechanical Engineering. During this time, Ming spent his summers attending Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and apprenticing at area restaurants in Paris. After graduating from Yale, Ming moved to Paris and trained under renowned Pastry Chef Pierre Herme and then on to Osaka with Sushi Master Kobayashi. Upon his return to the United States, Ming enrolled in graduate school at Cornell University, earning a Master’s degree in Hotel Administration and Hospitality Marketing.

Blue Ginger logoIn 1998, Ming opened Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA and immediately impressed diners from Boston and beyond with the restaurant’s innovative East-West cuisine. In its first year, Blue Ginger received 3 stars from the Boston Globe, was named “Best New Restaurant” byBoston Magazine, and was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as “Best New Restaurant 1998″. That same year,  Esquire Magazinehonored Ming as “Chef of the Year.” The James Beard Foundation crowned Ming “2002 Best Chef Northeast” and, since 2002, the Zagat Restaurant Guide has rated Blue Ginger within the “Top 5 ofMost Popular Boston Restaurants.” In 2007, Blue Ginger received the Ivy Award from Restaurants & Institutions for its achievement of the highest standards in food, hospitality and service. In 2009, Ming and Blue Ginger won IFMA’s Silver Plate Award in the Independent Restaurant category recognizing overall excellence in the country. Most recently in November 2012, Boston Magazineranked Blue Ginger as one of The 50 Best Restaurants.

In early 2013, Ming opened his second restaurant Blue Dragon – an Asian gastro pub located in the Four Point Channel area of Boston. The tapas-style menu features Ming’s East-West approach but now takes a twist on traditional pub favorites. Blue Dragon was named one of Esquire Magazine’s “Best New Restaurants 2013” and one of Zagat’s “24 new restaurants you need to know about around the US“.

Ming and Family Reach

Ming serves as the President, National Advisory Board, of the Family Reach organization, a non-profit who’s mission is to provide financial relief and support to families fighting cancer.

Ming is a national spokesperson for the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), and is proud to have developed the Food Allergy Reference Book. First used at Blue Ginger, the Reference Book is a pioneering system that creates safeguards to help food-allergic people dine safely. For four years, Ming worked with Massachusetts Legislature to help write Bill S. 2701, which was signed into law in 2009. This groundbreaking legislation, the first of its kind in the US, requires local restaurants to comply with simple food allergy awareness guidelines.

Chef Corp Place Setting

In 2012, Ming was invited by Secretary of State, The Honorable Hillary Clinton, to represent the U.S. with the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Initiative/American Chef Corps.  The Chef Corps is a network of chefs from around the country that participate in a number of official government programs that use food as a foundation for public diplomacy efforts at home and abroad.

Simply Ming logo

Ming is the host and executive producer of the public television cooking show, SIMPLY MING. In 2009, SIMPLY MING received two Emmy nominations for ‘Outstanding Culinary Program’ and ‘Outstanding Lifestyle/Culinary Host,’ and received two Bronze Telly Awards in the categories of ‘Lighting’ and ‘Art Direction.’ His SIMPLY MING video podcasts, the first of their kind, feature tutorials on everything from filleting fish to food allergy basics (available on ming.com). Ming began cooking for television audiences on the Food Network, where he was the 1998 Emmy Award-Winning host of East Meets West with Ming Tsai. Ming’s Quest, his popular cooking adventure series, also aired on Food Network. In the summer of 2008, Ming traveled to the Beijing Olympics with NBC’s Today show to provide viewers with insight into food customs and traditions that define his Chinese heritage.

In addition to television, Ming is the author of five cookbooks: Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai, Simply Ming, Ming’s Master Recipes, and Simply Ming One-Pot Meals and Simply Ming In Your Kitchen.

You can connect with Ming on his social channels here:: Twitter; @chefmingtsai, Facebook: Simply Ming and visit his website here: Ming.com


Recipe

Perfect Eggs Benedict with Guilt Free Hollandaise Sauce from Chef Ming Tsai


Retailer Spotlight 

Big-Green-Egg-LogoWidely acclaimed as the original American-designed ceramic cooker, the Big Green Egg was derived from an ancient clay cooking device known as a “kamado”. Originally a clay vessel with a lid, today’s EGG® is a modern ceramic marvel known for producing amazing culinary results for novice and experts alike for over thirty years!

Often copied, never matched … there is only one, original Big Green Egg – The Ultimate Cooking Experience!

Grill | Sear the perfect steaks, pork chops or burgers on the EGG. High temperature “steak house” grilling – even at 750º F / 400º C – is quick and easy! Using the two dampers for accurate control, you can lower the heat to a more moderate temperature for other grilled foods. Fish and seafood turn out moist and tender with a flavor-packed crust unmatched by other grills.

Oven | Using the indirect cooking method with a convEGGtor, the Big Green Egg bakes bread, pizza, casseroles, cobblers and pies better than your kitchen oven … you may never cook indoors again! The Big Green Egg retains heat and moisture so well that foods don’t dry out! Poultry, lamb, beef and vegetables are naturally tastier because the juices and flavors stay locked inside.

Smoker | The insulating ceramics of the Big Green Egg allow you to precisely control the temperature even at low heat. A controllable 200 to 350°F / 93 to 177°C gives succulent results with turkey, ham, lamb, chicken, ribs or any of your favorite cuts, infusing them with the aromatic wood smoke flavor. Want to slow cook at low heat for sixteen to eighteen hours … no problem!


Product Spotlight

Hey all, we have partnered with Big Green Egg 

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The top-quality engineering of the Big Green Egg Ergo Chef Knife Set makes chopping, slicing and dicing an experience, not a chore. The set of two high-quality knives includes a Chef Knife and a Paring Knife, and they both engineered so well that they come with a Lifetime Warranty.

The 8 in / 20cm Chef Knife features a hollow ground blade with a ergonomically angled handle and precision balanced (and very sharp) 18 degrees cutting edge.

The 3.5 in / 9cm Paring Knife features a handle that is longer and wider than on most standard knives, and the handle has smooth edges, offering you more comfort and control.

Get yours here: Big Green Egg Knife Set

Mike StaibThe Five Mother Sauces, Chef Ming Tsai & The Big Green Egg
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How To Care For And Store Your Kitchen Knives & Chef Florian Bellanger

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Spring is here. It looks like the weather is finally breaking and warmer temperatures are on the way! This month we have a great lineup for you from tips to chefs and recipes, to new product news. If there are some kitchen or culinary topics you would like us to cover, please reach out with your suggestions and we’ll be sure to make our best efforts to bring it to you. In this month’s Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips, we’re covering  “Everything you need to know about caring for your Kitchen Knives.” When you purchase a good set of kitchen knives, you want to make sure to care for them properly to get the most out of your investment. These tips and techniques will help keep your knives in like-new condition. In our Chef’s Spotlight, we’re pleased to bring you Chef Florian Bellanger, co-founder of Mad Mac Macarons and permanent judge on the Food Network’s TV series, Cupcake Wars, in its 9 season with 115 episodes to date. He also graces us with a delicious Recipe for Raspberry Macarons. Our Gourmet Store Spotlight this month brings you Cooks World in Rochester, NY. Lastly, our Product Spotlight is our new MyJuicer, our new personal juicer, great for making smoothies and juicing. Enjoy!


Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips

“Everything you need to know about caring for your Kitchen Knives.” 

When you purchase a good set of kitchen knives, you want to make sure to care for them properly to get the most out of your investment. These tips and techniques will help keep your knives in like-new condition.

Store Your Knives Properly

Knife Bag

Knife BagThis is more for the professional who has to carry their knives on the go. The advantage of the bag is that is portable, and all of your knives (and tools) are in one place. The disadvantage is that, a home kitchen is a little different and bags are more geared towards a professional. While you can use the bag at home, it is not as convenient for some people. Our 9 Pocket Soft Knife Roll Case.

Knife Block
Knife BlockWhile you cannot use it in a professional kitchen for sanitation reasons, at home it is acceptable.  As long as your knives are clean and dry when they go in, (this is key) you will not have any problems. If you like to put your knives away when they are dirty – you will end up with an issue of cross contamination. Our 10 Slot Wooden Knife Block

Knife Strip
magnetic knife rack You may have seen these magnetic knife holders. You place the metal blade on a the strip that holds your knives up for everyone. This is novel but we don’t necessarily recommend this method for storing your knives. The main issue is the magnet puts strain on your tang when you take your knife off the strip, and eventually your knife can actually break unless you have a full tang to the bottom of the handle like ours. Anther issue is pulling it off the Steel strip sideways where your blade edge can press against the steel strip rolling it over and or in some cases chipping the edge if the strip has raised steel bars on it.  To help prevent damage from this be sure you pull the knife off straight of twist it off so the back side or spine of the blade only contacts the steel magnet strip.

Edge Guards
Edge GuardsThese are especially recommended if you store your knives in  drawer. Edge guards will protect your fingers and knife edges from damage. Our 7 Piece Universal Knife Edge Guards help differentiate your knives and the sizes are most common by color. 4″ Pink edge guard to cover smaller paring knives or utility knives. 7.5″ Red edge guard for larger Utility, Boning or Fillet knives. 6″ Green edge guard for a smaller Chef knife or Santoku knife. 8″ Orange edge guard for a carving knife or serrated bread knife and an 8″ Blue edge guard for a larger Chef knife. These knife edge guards will protect any steel and ceramic knives with blades up to 1/8″ thick.

Sharpening Your Knife

Culinary students learn on their very first day: A dull knife is a dangerous knife, because the extra force required to cut foods can mean the knife could slip and cut you. Honing and sharpening your knife regularly will keep it safe and efficient to use. First, know the difference between honing and sharpening:

A) Honing straightens out the microscopic “teeth” that comprise the very edge of the teeth, which bend to one side as the knife is used over time, while B) sharpening actually abrades ultra-fine particles from the metal blade to recreate a blade.

Your knife only needs to be sharpened about once a year. But, only you know when it is slicing easily or not. Remember, a dull knife is a dangerous knife so some of us who use our knives frequently like to sharpen them at least once per month. If you use your knife sparingly then once every few months may suffice. You can have your knife sharpened professionally for a minimal amount and if you have a really good, really expensive set of knives, this may be the way to go. An expert knows exactly how to angle and sharpen the edge to like new precision. If you are a do it yourself kind of person, you can sharpen it at home, but be careful! We offer two options.

Pro Series 10 inch Diamond Sharpener

SteelThis Ergo Chef Pro-Series Sharpener is an oval 1″ wide x 10″ long diamond coated rod. It’s an essential part of proper knife maintenance to keep your knives as sharp as new. Designed to easily remove burrs & sharpen the edge on your knives with just a few light passes on it’s medium grit diamond coated surface. Our diamond steel has an ergonomic comfortable non-slip grip black handle with a large 1.6″ diameter face to protect your hand while sharpening. Also fits into most wooden blocks.

FASTEDGE Manual Pull Through Sharpener

sharpenerThis Ergo Chef FastEdge 2 stage manual pull though knife sharpener has a non-slip base to safely sharpen your straight edge knives & nicely hone your serrated edges. It cuts an 18 degree edge with the Coarse Carbide inserts then finely hones the edge with the Fine Ceramic rods for a perfectly sharp blade with just a few pulls through the sharpener. Ours & industry research has shown that an 18 degree edge is most versatile and durable for all types of foods and steels. This Sharpener takes the guess work out of angles and makes it simple for anyone to sharpen there dull knives. Environmentally friendly by re-using handle with our replacement cartridge. FASTEDGE Knife Sharpener is a registered trademark of Ergo Chef, LLC.

Don’t wash your knives in the dishwasher.

Even if a manufacturer touts its knives as being dishwasher safe, it’s best to hand-wash your knives. The rough agitation of a dishwasher can damage the blade by knocking it against other utensils or dishes. What’s more, the harsh detergents and high heat used in dishwashers can deteriorate your blade, rivets & plastic handle. And finally, it can be unsafe to keep sharp knives in the dishwasher; you could accidentally cut yourself reaching into the racks.

Wash knives immediately after use.

A knife is easiest to clean right after it’s used, before juices or food particles have a chance to dry on the blade. And if you’ve used the knife to cut acidic foods like tomatoes or citrus fruits, those juices could corrode the metal or cause spotting. Letting knives sit in a sink or a basin of water is also a bad idea. Follow these simple steps:

1. Never leave your knife in the sink or leave food on it to dry. Always rinse it and wipe it down if it is going to be awhile before you have the chance to wash it.
2. Use hot water and a mild soap.
3. If food is sticking to it let it soak in hot water for a few minutes before washing it. Keep the water clear and shallow so that you can see the knife clearly.
4. Knives should never be washed in the dishwasher.
5. Don’t dump knives into a sink of soapy water. Wash them carefully and individually. If they are at the bottom of the sink you could give yourself a bad cut when you went to pick one up.
6. Hold the knife with the blade pointed away from you.
7. Do not allow yourself to become distracted.
8. Slowly, using a dishcloth, wipe the blade gently from the top (dull side) to the sharp edge. This way the sharp side never comes in contact with you.
9. Hold the handle and rinse the knife thoroughly under very hot running water.
10. Wipe dry using the same method as you did for washing – dull side to sharp side.
11. Put it away.

Use knife-friendly cutting boards.
The right cutting boards can keep your knife sharper for longer. Avoid cutting boards made from glass, ceramic or marble, which do not have any “give” and will dull your knife (roll & burr the edge) – not to mention, knives can slip in the hard, slick surface. Wood and bamboo are both ideal cutting surfaces, as they will not dull the blade. In particular, look for cutting boards made from end-grain wood, because the individual grains will part around the blade as it makes contact with the board. Some chefs and home cooks prefer plastic, which is also gentle on blades, and has the added benefit that it can be sanitized in a dishwasher. There are also a number of new composite cutting boards that are made of materials like resin and paper combined, which offer a great balance of durability and blade protection. Knives are one of the most important kitchen tools there are. Buying the best quality that you can afford is just a good investment. Maintaining them properly helps that investment last as long as possible. With proper maintenance, use and care, your kitchen knives will last you a lifetime.


Chef’s Spotlight: Florian Bellanger

florianOur chef this month has a list of credentials that is incredible and the list of his friends is a virtual who’s who of the culinary world. Florian Bellanger is a French pastry chef, formerly the executive pastry chef at the famous Parisian pastry and candy shop, Fauchon. He is a permanent judge on the Food Network’s competition series Cupcake Wars, appearing in over 9 seasons and 115 episodes to date.

Florian grew up in Paris and spent much of his free afternoons baking for his family. However, a childhood chocolate allergy prevented him from enjoying sweets and desserts for 6 years which had temporarily discouraged his desire to bake. At age 15, Bellanger applied to one of Paris’s prestigious pastry schools, the École de Paris des Métiers de la Table (“Paris school of table skills”), but was rejected for being a year too young. By 1986, he graduated from the school with a specialization in pastry cooking and a specialty in chocolate and ice cream; he now says chocolate is his favorite ingredient and admires its versatility, claiming it is “fun” and something “taken for granted.”

Before starting his own company, He  was the executive pastry chef at Fauchon and oversaw 24 other pastry chefs at its Tea Salon flagship store in New York City, a “legendary French Epicurean emporium” of cakes, cookies, ice creams and sorbets. There, he became known for creating inventive combinations of flavors outside of the norms of tradition, such as éclairs flavored with orange zest, passion fruit or coconut and raspberry marshmallow cake, Toulouse violet ice cream and raspberry-chili pepper sorbet. From 1991 to 1994, he was under the command of famous French pastry chef Pierre Hermé and was also the executive pastry chef for Fauchon’s flagship store in Qatar from 1994 to 1996.

Florian was pastry chef of the world renowned (3 stars Michelin) restaurant Le Bernardin from 1996 to 2001, where his desserts were described as “light and dreamy” by Ruth Reichl of The New York Times. Bellanger is now the chef and co-owner of Mad Mac Macarons “the Authentic French Macarons and Madeleines” an acclaimed French cookie and pastry company, which he helped found in 2006. Bellanger is a member of City Harvest’s Food Council and a guest chef at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, New York. He also spends his free time donating to charities such as C-CAP Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, the Wolfgang Puck Charity and the Jean-Louis Palladin Foundation.

cupcake-wars-florian-bellanger-7Bellanger is a permanent judge on the Food Network’s hit competition series Cupcake Wars which airs in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, the Philippines and South Africa. Cupcake Wars is a Food Network reality-based competition show hosted by Justin Willman based on creating unique and professional-style cupcakes that began airing in June 2010. The show is similar to Chopped in that it started with 4 contestants who are eliminated one by one in 3 rounds. During seasons 1-3, the show’s time-slot was Tuesdays at 8 pm, EST, but at the beginning of the 4th season, the time-slot changed to Sundays at 8PM EST.  The show challenges its contestants to create cupcakes with unusual ingredients with the winning team receiving $10,000. Each team consists of a chef and a sous-chef.

Bellanger was named one of the 10 Best Pastry Chefs in America in 2004 and 2003 by Pastry Art & Design magazine. In 2000 and 2001, the James Beard Foundation acclaimed Bellanger’s accomplishments with a nomination for “Outstanding Pastry Chef. Bellanger he is also the Jury President of the US Pastry Competition that is held every February in NYC, and has been featured on many networks including CNN, NBC, Food Network and Martha Stewart Living. Bellanger’s cake and pastry works have received attention in various magazines and publications including House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Weddings, Forbes, Brides, Modern Bride, GQ, Time Out, People, The New York Times, InStyle, Pastry Art & Design, Food Arts, Chocolatier Magazine, The Nibble, Delta Sky and New York Magazine, and PastryScoop.com.


Recipe

raspberry macaron florianRaspberry Macarons Recipe by Florian Bellanger

Makes 24 macaron cookies/48 shells

Ingredients
Almond Flour 1 cup (100 gms)
10 X Powder sugar 1/3 cup + 1 tblespoon (80 gms)
Egg white 1 unit (30 gms)
Apricot Jam 1 tbs (8 gms)
Sugar 1/3 cup (68 gms)
Egg white 1 unit (30 gms)
+ 1 Jar of Raspberry Preserve with seeds (ex : Bonne Maman Brand)

Method

Pre-heat your oven at 375 F

Using a whisk Combine in a mixing bowl, almond flour and powder sugar, add the egg white and the apricot jam, mix until combined.

In a Mixing machine (kitchen aid) using whisk attachment, Whip the egg white / half way, start to add the granulated sugar little by little, to strengthen the whipped egg whites (stiff peak). Add food coloring at the end until a nice bright pink color (has to be bright because color will fade away a bit during baking.) Add 1/3 of your egg whipped white (meringue) into the first mix, mix using a spatula, until combined, (repeat) …. add the rest of your egg white and do the mix by hand with a rubber spatula, mix until combined and shinny.

Using a piping bag , form the macarons shells on a sheet pan tray lined with non-stick parchment paper, no more than 1 inch diameter .

Important before baking : Let the macarons shells rest at room temperature (for about 15 minutes) or until the top of your cookies get dry a bit and does not stick to your fingertip anymore. Bake at 375 F for 12 to 14 min.

Once out of the oven, let them cool at room temperature, then take out (gently/French macarons shells are very fragile) Flip over your macarons and using your thumb press a bit the center of it to get a small hole, then using a pipping bag or teaspoon, apply filling (raspberry preserve) on only one side of the cookies and stick both part together .

Note: Once all done, refrigerate Macarons over night on a tray covered with plastic wrap or place them in an air-tight container. The inside will absorb some moisture from the preserve and they will get even more tender.


Gourmet Store Spotlight

Cooks’deqAYWfB_400x400 World was founded by George F. Wiedemer Sr, in 1978 as a Gourmet Kitchenware Store for those who love to cook. Run by his son, Chris Wiedemer, since 1994, Cooks’ World carries an extensive line of superior quality cookware, bake ware, cutlery, tools and gadgets, unique hard to find cooking products, giftware from around the world and specialty foods. They offer a friendly, knowledgeable staff, who have been at Cooks’ World for up to 32 years. Services include, but are not limited to FREE Gift Wrapping, FREE cup of coffee all day, every day, Knife Sharpening, Product Demonstrations, Private Events, Special Ordering, Shipping.

They represent products from over 300 companies, including All-Clad, LeCrueset, Cuisinart, Calphalon, Staub, Lodge, Swiss Diamond, Nespresso, Zojirushi, Wusthof Trident, Ergo Chef, Zwilling JA Henckel, Victorinox, JK Adams, Messermeister, White House Coffee, Harold Imports, Kitchen Aid, Nordicware, Norpro, Breville, Capresso, Bunn, Casafina, Polish cooksworld fall staff pict 2013 homepagePottery, Chicago Metallic, Kitchen Supply, John Boos, RSVP, and many, many more. Chris does an amazing job at finding the best new products for his kitchen store. This year he has added some Crimson Knives in store and can order up any of the Ergo Chef products you like if he doesn’t have them in stock. Chances are you’ll find an amazing selection of quality items and his great personal staff ready to assist. So get Cooking with the Cooks World in Rochester, NY. For special offers, coupons, newsletter, and new product early notices, please get on their email list and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Store Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9am – 6pm, Sunday: Noon – 5pm ~ Phone: 585-271-1789, Toll Free: 1-800-825-1833, Fax: 585-271-6113 ~ 2179 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY 14618


Product Spotlight

My Juicer complete kit LErgo Chef is excited about introducing a new product in Kitchen Electrics called “My Juicer(TM)” A Personal Juicer/Blender with Sport Bottle to quickly and easily blend all your Fresh or Frozen Fruits & Vegetables into delicious healthy smoothies. 

The Ergo Chef’s brand new My Juicer(TM) is made with top quality components for easily blending up healthy smoothies and shakes. The powerful 300 watt motor and 4 Stainless Steel blades are engineered for quick and easy blending of frozen fruits, veggies and even desserts. My Juicer(TM) is the first part of Ergo Chef’s new “Kitchen Collection” of electrics. Estimated Ship Date is April 2015. Includes: High Quality Stainless Steel & Black Plastic Base with NON-Slip Suction Feet. Durable BPA Free Plastic Sport Bottle with Removable Lid with Handle and One Juicer Blade Assembly. Pre-Order My Juicer today and  save!  To order click here: My Juicer.

Till next time,

Ergo Chef

Mike StaibHow To Care For And Store Your Kitchen Knives & Chef Florian Bellanger
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March: GMO’s, Michael Symon & the new Ergo/Symon knives

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Symon knivesWe here at Ergo have a great announcement for you all. Later this year you’ll be able to add Michael Symon knives to your kitchen. Cleveland’s Iron Chef and co-host of ABC-TV’s daytime hit show “The Chew” inked a deal with Ergo Chef to create a line of signature blades.

We will produce five individual knives for the Symon series. The blades will include a 9-inch chef knife; a 6-inch chef knife; a 6-inch serrated utility knife; a 7-inch vegetable cleaver; and a 3.5-inch paring knife. A four-piece steak knife set will also be available. Symon says that the opportunity to produce his own line of knives was appealing because of the quality of the tools Ergo Chef produced for a small number of other celebrity chefs.

“They sent me a knife years ago which has always been one of mine and Lizzie’s [wife Liz Symon’s] favorites in the kitchen – even though it is sitting next to knives 5 times its price,” Symon describes the knives as providing “good balance and strength of blade.” The knives will be ground in the conventional Western-style, rather than with a Japanese beveled edge that is growing in popularity. He’s opted for a small selection of blades, rather than an extensive collection of knives. “I’m of the belief you don’t need a giant set of knives – just a couple that perform at a high level,” Symon added. “It will have a unique handle that is not only stunning but also very comfortable and durable,” Symon said. We are very excited to partner with Michael and will keep you all up to date as to when the knives will be available.

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips
gmo-cartoonThis month we are going to cover what is a very controversial topic, GMOs. We’ll take a look at the What’s Why’s, When and How’s of this topic. We are definitely in the NON GMO camp here at Ergo and thought you should have the facts so you can make the right food decisions for your family. There are two very diverse camps, for and against to GMOs and we’ll explore both sides to be fair.

So what exactly are GMOs?
Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new traits as well as a far greater control over a food’s genetic structure than previously afforded by methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding.

Commercial sale of genetically modified crops began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed ripening tomato. To date, most genetic modification of foods have primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil. These have been engineered for resistance to pathogens and herbicides and better nutrient profiles. GM livestock have also been experimentally developed, although as of November 2013 none were on the market.

There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food. However, opponents have objected to GM foods on several grounds, including safety issues, environmental concerns, and economic concerns raised by the fact that GM seeds (and potentially animals) that are food sources are subject to intellectual property rights owned by corporations, so we’ll look at both sides pf this controversial coin:

On The Plus Side:

keep-calm-gmo-safeThese plants can help farmers boost their yield by making crops that can live through a drought or the cold and resist disease. Backers say GM products will help us feed the extra 2 billion people that will fill the planet by 2050. GMO supporters believe that using science to make the changes is better for the planet than older farming methods. Crops built to resist pests lower farmers’ need for toxic chemical pesticides. They also require less soil to be tilled, reduce runoff, and keep the soil in place. Scientists can create crops that contain vital nutrients. Swiss researchers created a strain of “golden” rice with high amounts of beta-carotene. Monsanto produced soybeans with lots of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Other crops, like papaya and cassava, can be made to withstand disease.

On the Negative side:

ban-gmo1Crops built to withstand herbicides could breed with each other and transfer their genes to weeds. These “superweeds” would also beat the herbicides. On the other hand, GM fans say this is nothing new. Even nonchemical technologies create superweeds. The process often mixes or adds proteins that don’t exist in the original plant. GMO foes fear these will create new allergic reactions. They also worry that foods made to resist disease and viruses will linger in your system after you eat them, and that could make antibiotics less effective. But no studies confirm this claim. The long-term effects of adding new genes to common crops are still unclear. While the industry and health leaders cite hundreds of studies to support its safety, not to mention 20 years of animal data, experts say studies that show bad effects on animals — like harm to the kidneys, liver, heart, or other organs — should carry more weight.

So Are GMOs safe?
Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.

Are GMOs labeled?
Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. 64 countries with over 40% of the world’s population already label genetically engineered foods, including the entire European Union. China labels genetically engineered foods. The same companies that fight GMO labeling in the US reformulate or label GMOs in the foods they sell overseas. Labelling was introduced to give consumers the freedom to choose between GMOs and conventional products. Essentially, if a foodstuff is produced using genetic engineering, this must be indicated on its label. Actual labelling practice, however, is far more complicated – and must be planned and regulated with issues such as feasibility, legal responsibilities, coherence and standardisation in mind.

How common are GMOs?
In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food.
Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)

Some ingredients that seem low-risk may have less-visible high-risk ingredients.  Take, for example, dried fruit.  Raisins and similar fruit are sometimes packed with a small quantity of oil to keep them moist.  This oil, when used, is sometimes high-GMO-risk.  As such, it is critical that we do take the time to look carefully at ingredient spec sheets during the verification process, to ensure that risks like this are effectively mitigated, even in apparently low-risk products. Contamination incidents have occurred with seemingly “low-risk” products (rice, starling corn, flax). Non-GMO Project Verification supports manufacturers in being able to quickly and proactively respond to unexpected contamination issues. Verifying only high-risk products puts a heavy burden on consumers to know what products are at risk of containing GMOs.  Many people, even in the world of Natural Foods, don’t know what a GMO is, let alone which crops and processed ingredients are high-risk.

Through verifying low-risk products, the Non-GMO Project’s work builds consumer interest and industry investment in Non-GMO, even for crops that aren’t genetically engineered yet.  Biotech is constantly working to patent and commercialize new organisms (salmon, apples, etc.), and the more companies that have committed to Non-GMO production, the more resistance these new developments will see prior to release.

What are the impacts of GMOs on the environment?
Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs:’ which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.

How do GMOs affect farmers?
Because GMOs are novel life forms, biotechnology companies have been able to obtain patents with which to restrict their use. As a result, the companies that make GMOs now have the power to sue farmers whose fields are contaminated with GMOs, even when it is the result of inevitable drift from neighboring fields. GMOs therefore pose a serious threat to farmer sovereignty and to the national food security of any country where they are grown, including the United States.

Chef’s Spotlight
0002957Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul. Growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, the Cleveland native creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his four restaurants in America’s heartland: Lola, Lolita, Roast and B Spot. He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on the Food Network.

Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: In 2010, he was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints”; and B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice Award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year.” In 2000, Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants.”

In 2010, Michael appeared on four Food Network/Cooking Channel shows, hosting Food Feuds and Cook Like an Iron Chef, judging season three of The Next Iron Chef and competing on Iron Chef America. Michael won season 1 of The Next Iron Chef in 2008, earning him a permanent spot on the panel of esteemed Iron Chefs. He made his debut on the network in 1998 with appearances on Sara’s Secrets with Sara Moulton, Ready, Set, Cook and Food Nation with Bobby Flay, before being tapped to host more than 100 episodes of The Melting Pot.  He is now the co-host of ABC’s popular daytime show “The Chew” and can be seen in a new Foodnetwork’s new hit show “All Star Academy

While Michael shines on television, he is a genuine hometown guy who made his name cooking in his Midwestern restaurants, all of which became critically acclaimed. Lola opened in 1997 and is now the cornerstone of Cleveland’s dining scene. Lolita, a Mediterranean-style bistro in Cleveland’s historic Tremont neighborhood, opened in 2005. Roast brought Michael’s meat-centric cooking to Detroit’s Westin Book Cadillac in 2008, and two Cleveland locations of B Spot opened in 2009, showcasing his passion for burgers, bratwurst and beer.

Michael published his first cookbook, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen, in 2009, sharing home cook-friendly recipes that draw on the flavors of his heritage. In 2012 he published Michael Symon’s Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers, and his latest book in 2013,  Michael Symon’s 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners

When he’s not working, Michael is riding his motorcycle through Cleveland, cooking at home, playing golf, thinking about his next tattoo, gardening in the backyard and spending time with his wife, Liz, and their bullmastiff, Ruby, and Old English bulldog, Ozzy.

Recipe
This month, rather than just give you one recipe we thought we’d spotlight our new partner Michael Symon, who gives us some great recipes from his Cooking Channel Show, Symon’s Suppers, using bacon. We hope you enjoy!

Till next Time,

Ergo

Mike StaibMarch: GMO’s, Michael Symon & the new Ergo/Symon knives
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It’s Unanimous…Folks Love Our Knives!

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Hi all,

Well 2014 is well under way and we’re thrilled that we’ve been getting such great write ups and reviews of our products, so rather than toot our own horns, we thought we’d share with you some of the great things people are saying about Ergo Chef Products.

First up, recently our Duo Tongs  were given the Cooking Club Of America’s Member Tested & Approved Seal. The 12″ Pro-Series locking DUO tong is the only kitchen tong you’ll ever need. Constructed from heavy duty stainless steel; they open to 6″ wide and can hold over 6lbs. of food. Great for use in kitchen or on the grill.

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Next is a great review of our new G10 Series from Splash Magazines:

Crimson Series G10 Knife Line Review – The Knives With Worlds Most Durable G10 Handles”

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“…these knifes looked prolific in my hands, and made me want to go on a chopping spree. I felt inundated with zeal.” ~ Sebastian Gagyi

(click the pic to read the review:)

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We got an awesome write up in Carolina women Magazine:

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And finally we have Chef Chris Foresta from Christopher’s Restaurant at The Golf Course at Branch River on Fox 11:

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Don’t forget that Chef Randy will be appearing at the following Costco Stores on the Costco Road Tour:

Jan. 16th – 19th Costco Holbrook, NY
125 Beacon Drive
Holbrook, NY 11741
(631) 244-0292

Jan 23rd – 26th Costco East Hanover, NJ
156 New Jersey 10 East Hanover, NJ 07936
(973) 560-4140

Jan 30th – Feb. 2nd Costco North Plainfield, NJ
1290 U.S. 22
North Plainfield, NJ 07060
(908) 546-5666

We appreciate all the kind words and we look forward to a great 2014 with you our friends and fans.

Till Next Time,

Ergo Chef

Mike StaibIt’s Unanimous…Folks Love Our Knives!
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