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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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The Lowdown on Gluten Free & The Chew’s Carla Hall…

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Welcome to the February Blog 

We hope you are keeping warm and safe with all this brutally cold weather. To begin, with Celiac Disease on the rise and problems with gluten becoming more prevalent than ever, we thought would give you all you need to know about gluten, it’s affects and where you might find it. Our Chef’s Spotlight this month is The Chew’s Carla Hall and we have a great recipe from her cookbook Cooking With Love: Comfort Food That Hugs YouShao Mai. Our Gourmet Store Spotlight this month travels to Fairfield, Connecticut and visits our friends at Kitchen Corner, a truly amazing store with over  5000 quality products, including our Ergo cutlery. Our Product Spotlight this month is our new 8″ Straight Handled Chef’s Knife and in honor of President’s Day, we have a secret sale. Just go to the link below, go to checkout and the discount will appear in your cart. Enjoy!

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips

gluten freeGluten-free diets (for reasons other than Celiac disease) have become a recent trend. A number of experts are beginning to believe that Celiac disease is at the extreme end of a spectrum of gluten sensitivity, and a number of people are adopting gluten-free diets to treat Celiac-like symptoms in the absence of a positive test for Celiac disease.

In addition, some parents are using gluten-free diets to treat autism, although evidence of the diet’s efficacy as an autism treatment is poor. Despite vigorous marketing, a variety of studies, including a study by the University of Rochester, found that the “Popular Autism Diet Does Not Demonstrate Behavioral Improvement” and fails to show any genuine benefit to children diagnosed with Autism who do not also have a known digestive condition which benefits from a gluten-free diet

People wishing to follow a completely gluten free diet must also take into consideration the ingredients of any over-the-counter or prescription medications and vitamins. Also, cosmetics such as lipstick, lip balms, and lip gloss may contain gluten and need to be investigated before use. Glues used on envelopes may also contain gluten. Most products manufactured for Passover are gluten free. Exceptions are foods that list matzoh as an ingredient, usually in the form of cake meal.

Several grains and starch sources are considered acceptable for a gluten-free diet. The most frequently used are corn, potatoes, rice, and tapioca (derived from cassava). Other grains and starch sources generally considered suitable for gluten-free diets include amaranth, arrowroot, millet, montina, lupin, quinoa, sorghum (jowar), taro, teff, chia seed, and yam. Various types of bean, soybean, and nut flours are sometimes used in gluten-free products to add protein and dietary fiber.

Almond flour is a low-carbohydrate alternative to flour, with a low glycemic index. In spite of its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat; pure buckwheat is considered acceptable for a gluten-free diet, although many commercial buckwheat products are actually mixtures of wheat and buckwheat flours, and thus not acceptable. Gram flour, derived from chickpeas, is also gluten-free (this is not the same as Graham flour made from wheat). Chickpeas.

Gluten is also used in foods in some unexpected ways, for example as a stabilizing agent or thickener in products like ice-cream and ketchup. A gluten-free diet allows for fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and many dairy products. The diet allows rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, beans, sorghum, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, arrowroot, amaranth, teff, Montina and nut flours and prohibits the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye and related components, including triticale, durum, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt, malt, malt flavoring or malt vinegar.

Standards for “gluten-free” labelling have been set up by the “Codex Alimentarius”; however, these regulations do not apply to “foods which in their normal form do not contain gluten”. The legal definition of the phrase “gluten-free” varies from country to country. Current research suggests that for persons with celiac disease the maximum safe level of gluten in a finished product is probably less than 0.02% (200 parts per million) and possibly as little as 0.002% (20 parts per million). Australian standards reserve the “gluten free” label for foods with less than 5 parts per million of gluten, as this is the smallest amount currently detectable. In the processing of gluten-containing grains, gluten is removed (shown in the processing flow below)

Alcohol
Several celiac groups report that according to the American Dietetic Association’s “Manual of Clinical Dietetics” many types of alcoholic beverages are considered gluten free, provided no colourings or other additives have been added as these ingredients may contain gluten. Although most forms of whiskey are distilled from a mash that includes grains that contain gluten, distillation removes any proteins present in the mash, including gluten. Although up to 49% of the mash for Bourbon and up to 20% of the mash for corn whiskey may be made up of wheat, or rye, all-corn Bourbons and corn whiskeys do exist, and are generally labeled as such. Spirits made without any grain such as brandy, wine, mead, cider, sherry, port, rum, tequila and vermouth generally do not contain gluten, although some vineyards use a flour paste to caulk the oak barrels in which wine is aged, and other vineyards use gluten as a clarifying agent (though it’s unclear whether gluten remains at the end of the clarification process). Therefore, some celiacs may wish to exercise caution. Liqueurs and pre-mixed drinks should be examined carefully for gluten-derived ingredients.

Almost all beers are brewed with malted barley or wheat and will contain gluten. Sorghum and buckwheat-based gluten-free beers are available, but remain a niche market. Some low-gluten beers are also available, however there is disagreement over the use of gluten products in brewed beverages: Some brewers argue that the proteins from such grains as barley or wheat are converted into amino acids during the brewing process and are therefore gluten-free; however, there is evidence that this claim is false.

Bread, which is a staple in the Western diet, is typically made from grains such as wheat that contain gluten. Wheat gluten contributes to the elasticity of dough and is thus an important component of bread. Gluten-free bread is made with ground flours from a variety of materials such as almonds, rice (rice bread), sorghum (sorghum bread), corn (cornbread), or legumes like beans (bean bread), but since these flours lack gluten it can be difficult for them to retain their shape as they rise and they may be less “fluffy”. Additives such as xanthum gum, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), corn starch, or eggs are used to compensate for the lack of gluten.

Always avoid food and drinks containing:
Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
Rye
Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
Wheat
Beer
Breads
Cakes and pies
Candies
Cereals
Cookies and crackers
Croutons
French fries
Gravies
Imitation meat or seafood
Matzo
Pastas
Processed luncheon meats
Salad dressings
Sauces, including soy sauce
Seasoned rice mixes
Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
Self-basting poultry
Soups and soup bases
Vegetables in sauce

Watch for cross-contamination
Cross-contamination occurs when gluten-free foods come into contact with foods that contain gluten. It can happen during the manufacturing process, for example, if the same equipment is used to make a variety of products. Some food labels include a “may contain” statement if this is the case. But be aware that this type of statement is voluntary. You still need to check the actual ingredient list. If you’re not sure whether a food contains gluten, don’t buy it or check with the manufacturer first to ask what it contains. Cross-contamination can also occur at home if foods are prepared on common surfaces or with utensils that weren’t thoroughly cleaned after being used to prepare gluten-containing foods. Using a common toaster for gluten-free bread and regular bread is a major source of contamination, for example. Consider what steps you need to take to prevent cross-contamination at home, school or work. We hope this helps.

Chefs Spotlight
CAH-about-banner-1Carla Hall is a co-host of ABC’s popular lifestyle series “The Chew,” seated alongside restaurateurs and “Iron Chef America” stars Mario Batali and Michael Symon, entertaining expert Clinton Kelly and health and wellness enthusiast Daphne Oz. Hall is best known as a competitor on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” where she won over audiences with her fun catch phrase, “Hootie Hoo” and her philosophy to always cook with love. Hall is the owner of Carla Hall Petite Cookies, an artisan cookie company that specializes in creating sweet and savory “petite bites of love.” Her approach to cooking blends her classic French training and Southern upbringing for a twist on traditional favorites. She is committed to health and balance in everyday living. Her newest cookbook, Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World will be published March 25, 2014, and her first cookbook, Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, was published in November 2012 and recently re-released in paperback.

A native of Nashville, TN, Hall received a degree in Accounting from Howard University, but traveling through Europe awakened her passion for food and inspired a new career path. She attended L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland where she completed her culinary training, going on to work as a Sous Chef at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, DC. She also served as Executive Chef at both The State Plaza Hotel and The Washington Club, and has taught classes at CulinAerie, Sur la Table and her alma mater, L’Academie de Cuisine. Hall is a true believer that, “If you’re not in a good mood, the only thing you should make is a reservation.” She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Matthew Lyons, and stepson Noah.

Recipe
From Carla’s new cookbook, Cooking With Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You.

blog_Curried-Beef-DumplingsI first had Shao Mai (little open-topped dumplings) at dim sum, the Chinese-style brunch where you graze on lots of small dishes. I enjoyed the traditional pork and shrimp dumplings so much, I decided to do my own version with a curried beef filling. Curry powder is great! Because it’s a blend of many different spices, you don’t have to work as hard to get flavor. Plus, I love bringing Indian flavors into my food. The warmth and depth of spices add so much to the lean beef in this filling. For this recipe, be sure to buy thin wonton wrappers made with an egg-based dough, not the thicker dumpling wrappers made from an eggless flour-based dough.

Makes 40 dumplings

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 large eggs
3/4 pound lean (90%) ground beef sirloin
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions (green onions)
1 tablespoon water, plus more for cooking
Forty 3 1/2-inch-diameter round wonton wrappers

Method
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, curry powder, cornstarch, salt, sesame oil, and 1 of the eggs. In a large bowl, combine the beef, bell pepper, and scallions, then stir in the ginger mixture until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. In a clean small bowl, whisk the remaining egg with the water. Lightly brush a thin layer of the egg wash on a wonton wrapper. Use a measuring tablespoon to scoop 1 tablespoon of the beef filling into the center of the wrapper. Hold the filled wrapper in the palm of one hand and pull the sides of the wrapper up around beef with the other hand while slowly spinning the dumpling in your palm. You should be gently squeezing the wrapper around the beef and pushing the beef up so that it’s flush with the top of the wrapper. You’re not really pressing the filling, just gently shaping it. The beef should be exposed on top and the whole dumpling should be in the shape of a wide cylinder. Place wrapped dumplings on a wax paper- or plastic wrap-lined half sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, egg wash, and beef filling. If you don’t want to cook them immediately, cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add just enough dumplings so that you can space them 1 inch apart in a single layer. Cook until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
4. Add enough water to come 1/4 inch up the sides of the pan. Cover and cook until the water evaporates, about 2 minutes. Again add enough water to come 1/4 inch up the sides of the pan. Cover and cook until the beef is cooked through, about 2 minutes more. You can tell when the beef is done when the dumpling feels very firm. If you want to be sure, cut one in half to check.
5. Transfer the cooked dumplings to a serving plate and tent loosely with foil. Repeat with the remaining dumplings. Serve hot or warm.

Recipe Note: Catering Like Carla
To make this easy recipe even easier, set up an assembly line: Lay out 5 wrappers in a line, brush them all with the egg wash, place a dollop of filling in the center of each, and wrap them up, one by one, down the line. Repeat until you’re done.

There’s little difference between making 25 and 125 of these once you’ve got your assembly line set up. So why not make more, since they’re perfect for freezing? You can double, triple, or quadruple the recipe easily. Line half sheet pans with plastic wrap, place the dumplings on them, and freeze until very hard. Transfer them to resealable plastic freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 month. Cook them straight from the freezer. They’ll take about 5 minutes longer than fresh ones to cook through.

Gourmet Store Spotlight
signThe Kitchen Corner, established in 1977, is your one-stop-shop for anything you need in your kitchen. With over 5,000 items in our inventory, They have everything from cookie cutters and cake decorating supplies to cookware, electronics, gadgets and more. They have the most unique kitchen ware around and Knife Sharpening; They offer professional knife sharpening, which restores the knife’s sharp edge. Call or stop by for pricing. You’ll get your knives back in only two business days!

The Kitchen Corner, established over thirty years ago, has become “Your Kitchen Store” with over 5,000 items in inventory. This includes a wide selection of electronics, textiles, cutlery, and cookware. In addition, they  have an unbeatable selection of cookie cutters, candy-making and cake decorating supplies. The list of quality products they have to offer, including our Ergo cutlery goes on and on.

The Kitchen Corner offers not only top-of-the-line products, but also services such as expert knife and scissor sharpening, gift wrapping and shipping, and cake decorating, cupcake, and cooking classes.  Their shop is perfect for your cooking, baking and entertaining needs. We offer free gift wrapping and have gift certificates available to make gift giving a cinch. Special orders are never a problem and we ship via UPS.

Earn a 20% discount off your next purchase. Inquire about our “Frequent Buyers Club”! Visit and experience the friendly and knowledgeable service that The Kitchen Corner delivers. Address: 2359 Black Rock Tpke., Fairfield CT * Phone: (203) 374-1118, Fax: (203) 374-4114 * Email: info@kitchen-corner.com * Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:30 – 6, Saturday: 9:30 – 5, Sunday: 11 – 4. Visit them on facebook for special offers and cooking class schedules.

Ergo Product Spotlight

8″ Chef Knife Crimson SH Straight Handle

SH Crimson Chef SThe New Crimson SH (Straight Handle) 8″ Chef knife is designed with a comfort handle and tapered bolster. Ergo Chef designed this for the tradition knife lover while sticking to our precision blades and heat treat process for longer edge life. The blade steel is made in Germany for unmatched quality and precision ground and finely honed to perfection. The handle is crafted with G10 (Fiberglass Resin) which is deemed the worlds strongest handle material by many.

The beautiful look is created to mimic wood grain without the maintenance of wood. Lifetime Warranty. Order yours today & discover the Ergo Chef difference! Just click the link below. 

Till next time,

Ergo

Mike StaibThe Lowdown on Gluten Free & The Chew’s Carla Hall…
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The Language Of The Kitchen & Food Network’s, Jeff Mauro

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Hi and welcome to the first Chop Talk of 2015. We’re excited this year with some new products and happenings here at Ergo. We’ll have more on that later on in 2015. Starting off this year since everyone likes a good list, in our first Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips we’ve compiled a pretty cool selection of phrases heard in professional kitchens everywhere. From Amuse-Bouche to Velouté, we cover the Language of the Kitchen. Next up is a Chef’s Spotlight on Food Network’s Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro. Jeff graciously gives us a recipe for a decadent Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich as well. We are proud to announce to new product for 2015. Last month we debuted our new Juicer, this month, Ergo is bringing you Crimson Series Straight Handled Chef’s Knives for you traditionalists out there. Enjoy!

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: 

The Language Of The Kitchen…contibuted by Louis S. Luzzo

restaurant-kitchenTo some, the language of the professional kitchen is like a second tounge. I have heard it described as “the linguistic abnormalities that sometimes ascribe themselves to the professional, and/or commercial kitchens”  In this edition of  Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips, #FTKT, we’ll explore and explain the phrases, definitions and concepts in relation to cheffing and working in a commercial kitchen. This way , the next time you receive a Tourchon, you’ll know what your getting! Following is a list of words and definitions. Some words you need to know. Some you probably should know. Some are just fun to know. Then there are the ones you want to know, in order just to show off. Secondly, because everybody loves a good list. Third is because in order to be a complete chef in your own kitchen, cooking, interpreting recipes and mastering the techniques, you need to be able to understand what’s being asked of you by a particular cookbook or chef’s recipe.  Enjoy!

Culinary Words Index
Amuse-Bouche ~  also known as amuse-gueule, amusee, petite amuse and lagniappe. A French term that literally means ‘mouth amusement.’ These are tiny bites of food served before a meal to whet the palate and invigorate the appetite. They’re more whimsical than hors d’oeuvres, and smaller than appetizers.
Aperitif ~ French term for an alcoholic beverage served before a meal as an appetizer to stimulate the appetite. It can be a punch made to complement the meal, but it is usually a white wine, sherry, champagne, or a sparkling wine.
Assiette ~ French for “assortment,” as in cheeses.
Bain-Marie ~ A  hot water bath that is used to keep food warm on the top of a stove. It is also to cook custards and baked eggs in the oven without curdling or cracking and also used to hold sauces and to clarify butter.
Béarnaise ~A classic reduction of wine, vinegar, tarragon and shallots, finished with egg yolks and butter.
Béchamel ~A basic white sauce of milk, butter and flour.
Beurre blanc ~A thick sauce of butter, white wine and vinegar.
Beurre noisette ~Butter cooked to a hazelnut (noisette) color.
Beurre rouge ~ Beurre blanc, but with red wine instead of white.
Blanch, blanching ~ To briefly plunge food into boiling water and then into cold water to stop cooking.
Bouquet garni ~ It is a small bunch of herbs, which traditionally consist of a bay leaf, sprig of thyme, and a sprig of parsley, tied together with kitchen twine and tossed into the sauce as is.
Braise ~ a slow-cooking method for tough cuts of meat or poultry and even stringy vegetables.
Brine ~ A mixture of salt water, sometimes herbs and spices designed to increase the moisture holding capacity of meat. by having the meat soak in it for from three hours up to three days, resulting in a moister product when cooked. 
Brunoise ~ It is a French word used to describe a mixture of vegetables, usually onion, celery, and carrot, which has been very finely diced, then cooked slowly in butter.
Butterfly ~ To split food (usually meat, fish, or poultry) down the center, cutting almost, but not completely through. The two halves are then opened flat to resemble a butterfly. Often this is the first step when preparing a roast that is to be stuffed and rolled.
Caramelize ~ (1) To heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a clear caramel syrup ranging in color from golden to dark brown. (2) Heating of meats or vegetables until the natural sugars in them break down and turn light brown. Sugar will begin to caramelize at 320 degrees F.
Carry-over cooking ~ heat transferring from the hotter exterior of the meat to the cooler center. As a general rule, the larger and thicker the cut of meat and the higher the cooking temperature, the more residual heat will be in the meat, and the more the internal temperature will rise during resting, due to carry-over cooking. This means the meat must be removed from the heat at an internal temperature lower than your desired final internal temperature, allowing the residual heat to finish the cooking.
Cassoulet ~ A slow-cooked marriage of white beans and assorted meats such as pork, duck or goose.
Celeriac ~ More commonly known here as celery root.
Charcuterie ~ The French term for delicatessen-style items.
Chasseur Sauce ~ Chasseur is French for hunter. It is a hunter-style brown sauce consisting of mushrooms, shallots, and white wine (sometimes tomatoes and parsley). It is most often served with game and other meats.
Chef de Partie ~ Also known as a “station chef” or “line cook”, is in charge of a particular area of production.
Chiffonade ~In culinary terms, a chiffonade describes a way of cutting herbs and lettuces into thin strips or shreds, which look a bit like rags.
Coddle ~ To cook food slowly in water just below the boiling point.
Cold-smoking ~ Curing meat (hams, sausages, bacon, fish) in the smoke of smoldering wood or corncobs at temperatures from 60 to 100 degrees F.
Compote ~ refers to a chilled dish of fresh or dried fruit that has been slowly cooked in sugar syrup, which may also contain alcohol or liqueur and sometimes spices.
Compound butter ~ Also known as finishing butter, flavoring butter, or beurre composé in French, A compound butter is butter that has been flavored by blending softened butter together with various ingredients.
Confiseur ~ The candy cook.
Confit ~ Meat (usually goose, duck or pork) that is slowly cooked in its own fat and preserved with the fat packed around it as a seal.
Consommé ~ Meat or fish stock that has been clarified.
Coquilles St. Jacques ~ Scallops cooked in white wine with a little salt, peppercorn, parsley, bay leaf, chopped shallots, and water. A sauce of fish stock, butter, flour, milk, egg yolks, and cream accompanies them.
Coulis ~ A type of a sauce which derives its body (either entirely or in part), from pureed fruits or vegetables.
Court bouillon ~ It is a French term that means, “short broth.” It is used in place of water when boiling various types of food (mostly used for poaching fish or as a base for fish soups). The broth is made of wine, water, herbs, and spices. It usually is also flavored with onions, celery, carrots and cloves.
Crème anglaise ~Rich custard sauce, often used as a topping or plating accompaniment to fruits and pastries.
Crème fraîche ~ Cream that is allowed to set and thicken to a velvety rich texture.
Dauphine ~ Croquettes made by combining potato puree with pastry dough, forming the mixture into balls and then rolling them in bread crumbs and deep-fried.
Deglaze ~ To dissolve the remaining bits of sautéed or roasted food in (a pan or pot) by adding a liquid and heating. The resultant mixture often becomes a base for a sauce to accompany the food cooked in the pan.
Demi-glace ~ A rich brown reduction of meat stock, Madeira or sherry, and other ingredients. Used as a base for many other sauces.
Duxelles ~ Often used as a garnish or to flavor sauces and soups, duxelles is a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms, shallots and herbs cooked in butter until it forms a thick paste.
Emulsion ~ The mixture of two liquids that cannot normally combine smoothly (e.g., oil and water). Mayonnaise and hollandaise are two familiar emulsions.
En croute ~ A food that is wrapped in pastry and baked.
Enophile ~ A person who is knowledgeable about and enjoys wine.
Epicure ~ A person of refined taste who cultivates the knowledge and appreciation of fine food and wine.
Fumet ~ An intense stock made most often from fish or mushrooms, used to add flavor or body to another stock or sauce.
Hollandaise ~ An emulsion of egg yolks, lemon juice and hot melted butter, the smooth, rich sauce is often an accompaniment to vegetable, fish and egg dishes.
Meunière ~ Literally “miller’s wife” in French, this cooking technique (used primarily for fish) involves a light coating of flour before sauteing in butter or oil.
Mirepoix ~ A combination of diced carrots, onions, celery and herbs cooked in butter; used to flavor a wide range of dishes.
Mousseline ~ A sauce made airy with the addition of whipped cream or beaten egg whites.
Niçoise ~ Dishes typical of cuisine from the Nice, France, region, where garlic, black olives, anchovies and tomatoes are nearly always part of the mix.
Noisette ~ a) French for hazelnut; b) small, very tender round steak, usually of lamb beef or veal, cut from the rib or loin; c) as in beurre noisette: butter heated until it turns nut brown; used as a finishing touch for many dishes, especially fish.
Paillard ~ A thin slice of meat, grilled or sautéed.
Papillote ~ The term “en papilotte” is used to describe a dish that is cooked (and usually served) in a parcel of greased parchment paper that protects it from the high heat of the oven and retains aroma and flavor.
Pâté ~ Ground meat, fish or vegetables blended with fat and seasonings; can be smooth or chunky, served cold or hot.
Pâte ~ French for dough, paste or batter.
Pot-au-feu ~ Meat and vegetables simmered in water.
Poussin ~ A small, young chicken.
Prix fixe ~ French for fixed price, a complete meal that features a limited number of selections at a preset price.
Quenelle ~ A small, delicate, poached dumpling of meat, fish or vegetables.
Rillettes ~ Meat, usually pork, slowly cooked in seasoned fat and made into a smooth paste, then packed and sealed with a thin layer of fat. Served cold.
Roulade ~ A French term for a thin roll of meat or cake around savory or sweet fillings.
Roux ~ A slow-cooked mix of flour and fat, used to thicken soups and sauces.
Terrine ~ a) kind of pâté made of pieces of meat in a deep dish with straight side; b) an earthenware container, or the dish cooked therein.
Torchon ~ Method of cooking foie gras by which it is placed in a towel (torchon in French) and poached.
Velouté ~ A creamy white, stock-based sauce.
Verjus ~ Sour liquid made from unripe fruit; used to flavor sauces and condiments.

Chef’s Spotlight: Jeff Mauro

home_slide1Born in 1978 in Chicago, IL, Jeff Mauro was a ham on a roll from the very beginning. As one of 4 kids, he competed for attention not by making his sisters cry, but by making his family laugh. Jeff’s flair for the stage was discovered early on in the Roosevelt Jr. High 3 legendary production of Let George Do It! From that point on, he immersed himself in the performing arts and flourished.

After graduating from Bradley University in glorious Peoria, IL, he opened up a deli with his cousin and instantly fell in love with cooking. During the day Jeff would craft sandwiches. During the night, he satisfied his comedic bug playing the role ‘Tony’ in Tony and Tina’s Wedding. With both his professional cooking knowledge and performance skills polished, he moved to Los Angeles in an attempt to meld his two loves – cooking and comedy.

After a few years hustling in Hollywood, he upped the ante and enrolled in culinary school to refine his cooking skills. Jeff graduated Valedictorian, packed up his Honda and returned to Chicago where he was a culinary instructor, a successful private chef, and local comedic home_slide0performer. After 3 unsuccessful audition attempts, he finally landed himself on Season 7 of Food Network Star, which he totally won.

Jeff Mauro is now the star of Food Network’s Emmy-nominated Sandwich King, $24 in 24 hrs and The Kitchen. He has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Steve Harvey Show, Chopped, Cupcake Wars. When not making TV,  Jeff loves spending time with his wife and first love Sarah, playing above average blues guitar and roughhousin’ with his five-year-old son and co-star Lorenzo. His favorite color is pastrami. You can get more information about Jeff on his website: www.jeffmauro.com Follow him on Social Media: twitter, facebook, instagram.

Recipe
Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
Courtesy of Jeff Mauro
SHOW: The Best Thing I Ever Made
EPISODE: Bring the Heat

Ingredients
6 jalapenos, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup shredded aged Cheddar
8 slices country white bread
2 tablespoons salted butter

Method
ED0206_jalapeno-popper-grilled-cheese_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapePreheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the jalapenos with 1 tablespoon olive oil, some salt and pepper and lay skin-side up on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the skin is blistered, 10 to15 minutes. Place in a plastic baggie for about 5 minutes loosen the skin. Pull off the skin, remove the majority of seeds and ribs, and slice. Set aside.

Spread the mascarpone on 4 slices of bread and divide the Cheddar among the other 4 slices. Divide the sliced jalapenos among the 4 sandwiches. Close, and butter both sides of the bread.
Heat half of the remaining oil on a flat griddle over medium heat. Grill one side of the sandwiches until golden. Remove, heat the remaining oil and repeat with the second side until golden and the insides are all melty and gooey.

Ergo Products Spotlight

8″ Chef Knife Crimson SH Straight Handle

SH Crimson Chef SThe New Crimson SH (Straight Handle) 8″ Chef knife is designed with a comfort handle and tapered bolster. Ergo Chef designed this for the tradition knife lover while sticking to our precision blades and heat treat process for longer edge life. The blade steel is made in Germany for unmatched quality and precision ground and finely honed to perfection. The handle is crafted with G10 (Fiberglass Resin) which is deemed the worlds strongest handle material by many. The beautiful look is created to mimic wood grain without the maintenance of wood. Lifetime Warranty. Order yours today & discover the Ergo Chef difference! List Price: $130.00  Price: $94.99

 Gourmet Store Spotlight

storeCooktique, is located in Tenafly NJ. They celebrate 37 years of providing professional service in a small town atmosphere. Looking for an unusual gadget, a wedding present, a hostess gift, or specialty food?  They are just the place you need. Avoid the hectic rush of mall shopping while enjoying some of these perks: unbeatable prices, no lines and friendly service, park right behind the store; get free gift wrapping; have a custom made gift basket created as you wait; purchase and ship a gift the very same day; and much, much more.  There is always something new at Cooktique as they constantly seek out new vendors,  lines and colors, as well as the latest in specialty food trends and gadget inventions.  Check out the specialty gourmet coffee department. They offer 28 varieties, guaranteed to be fresh and satisfying, at the lowest prices or your money back. They carry all the Ergo Products so stop buy for all your kitchen ware needs. West Railroad Avenue. Tenafly, New Jersey 07670 Phone: (201) 568-7990 Fax: (201) 568-5966 E-Mail: cooktique@msn.com

Mike StaibThe Language Of The Kitchen & Food Network’s, Jeff Mauro
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2015 Food Trends, Johnny Iuzzini & My Juicer

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Hello everyone and welcome to the last blog of 2014. Can you believe that the year has gone by already? Seems just yesterday we were celebrating the New Year and here we are again with Christmas and 2015 right around the corner. It’s been a great year and we thank you all for you continued support of our blog, Chop Talk and our company. All of us here at Ergo appreciate your patronage and look forward to bringing you more great content throughout the coming year. To that end we thought we’d give give you a preview of  what’s trending in food and culinary world for the coming year with our  latest Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips, Food Trends of 2015. We have a special Chef’s Spotlight with 3 starred Michelin Chef and host of Top Chef Desserts, Chef Johnny Iuzzini, who also give us a delicious and easy Recipe; Butternut Maple Blondies. In our Gourmet Store Spotlight we bring you Warren Kitchen & Cutlery. Our Where’s Randy follows the Ergo/Costco Road show and Chef Randy to New Jersey and finally, a fantastic announcement: We are introducing a new product for 2015, called “My Juicer(TM),” A Personal Juicer/Blender with Sport Bottle that we know you’re going to love. If you pre-order now, we’ll give you a 20% discount!!! So without further ado, let’s Chop Talk!

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Food Trends of 2015

Perfect for a year ending #FTKT, we bring you a preview of  what’s trending in food and culinary world for the coming year.

The Rise of Fermented Foods

Fermenting-Foods2015 will be the year fermented foods – foods like yogurt, tempeh and sauerkraut take center stage. These foods contain live cultures, or are preserved in liquid so their sugars and starches can become bacteria-boosting agents. After multi-year growth of gluten-free foods, many consumers have found their digestive health improved.

Locally sourced meats and seafood
local meats seafoodThe trend in using locally sourced meat, seafood and produce will hopefully continue and increase throughout areas that aren’t already utilizing their local communities. Purchase seasonal, sustainably raised, locally and regionally farmed products without the use of antibiotics, hormones and genetically modified ingredients; and limited or no use of herbicides and pesticides. Spend our dollars purchasing from local and regional small farms committed to sustainable farming practices.

Locally grown produce
produceThe term “local food system” (or “regional food system”) is used to describe a method of food production and distribution that is geographically localized, rather than national and/or international. Food is grown (or raised) and harvested close to consumers’ homes, then distributed over much shorter distances than is common in the conventional global industrial food system.

Environmental sustainability
Environmental-SustainabilityEnvironmental sustainability involves making decisions and taking action that are in the interests of protecting the natural world, with particular emphasis on preserving the capability of the environment to support human life. Environmental sustainability is about making responsible decisions that will reduce your business’ negative impact on the environment.

Healthful Kids’ Meals
healthful mealsDemand for healthful kids’ meals is increasing. “Feeding kids healthfully is not taking anything away from them but instead gives them the building materials they need, through nutritious foods, to grow and learn and live a full life,” David Katz, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center.

Natural ingredients/minimally processed food
food-label-made-with-natural-ingredientsThis is a bit misleading. “Natural foods” and “all natural foods” are widely used terms in food labeling and marketing with a variety of definitions, most of which are vague. The term is assumed to imply foods that are minimally processed and do not contain manufactured ingredients, but the lack of standards in most jurisdictions means that the term assures nothing.

New cuts of meat
meatsTri-tip, Flat Iron Steak, Spinalis, Boneless Chuck Short Ribs, Filet of Sirloin, Denver Cut Steak.
In recent years, as foodies have proliferated, culinary topics have become increasingly vital and the once impenetrable wall between professional chefs in the kitchen and the public has come tumbling down, and there has been increased use of the term “chef’s cuts” to describe tasty but less common cuts of meat (not just beef).

Hyper-local sourcing
bigstock-Container-Garden-1692251-300x200Restaurant gardens, is a practice that is gaining ground among local restaurateurs and barkeeps. chefs are planting gardens, keeping bees all in an effort to control the quality of herbs and vegetables making their way to your plate.

Sustainable seafood
Spanish Seafood MarketSustainable seafood is seafood that is either caught or farmed in ways that consider the long-term vitality of harvested species and the well-being of the oceans. It was first promoted through the sustainable seafood movement which began in the 1990s. This operation highlights over-fishing and environmentally destructive fishing methods.

Food waste reduction/management
Food Waste ReductionWe throw away 7.2 million tons of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. This costs us billions a year, harms the environment and wastes resources. Preventing food waste is better for the environment than any treatment, and can save money for businesses and households.

Gluten-free Cuisine
gluten freeFor anybody paying attention to new health and food trends, gluten free diets have become very popular lately. For Celiacs, this has been an all to real lifestyle requirement. A number of experts now are beginning to believe that celiac disease is at the extreme end of a spectrum of gluten sensitivity, and a number of people are adopting gluten-free diets to treat celiac-like symptoms in the absence of a positive test for celiac disease.

 Chef’s Spotlight

Our Chef’s spotlight this months is Chef Johnny Iuzzini.

images (1)Chef Johnny Iuzzini’s interest in the pastry arts began at age seventeen when he started working at The River Café in Brooklyn, New York. Although his primary focus at the restaurant was in savory, Johnny frequently visited the pastry kitchen to marvel as Pastry Chef Eric Gouteyron piped chocolate butterflies. As Johnny’s fascination with pastry grew, he began assisting Chef Eric after completing his regular shifts in the kitchen. Johnny eventually moved to pastry full-time, cementing his desire to pursue a career as a pastry chef. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Johnny joined the pastry department of the original Daniel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and eventually became Pastry Chef François Payard’s right-hand man. Johnny traveled to Europe in 1998 where he apprenticed in some of France’s finest pâtisseries, including the famed Ladurée in Paris. He also completed an intensive two-week chocolate course at L’Ecole DGF du Chocolat et Patisserie.  In the Fall of 1998, Johnny returned to the US for the debut of Café Boulud and then moved to the 65th Street location of the new Daniel for its opening. Johnny was named Executive Sous Chef for the new restaurant and held that position for the next two years under Executive Pastry Chef Thomas Haas. During that time, Comité Colbert named Johnny one of the “Emerging Young Artists of 2000.”

Johnny+Iuzzini+Electrolux+Celebrated+Chef+AYpCvFQLjAilIn 2001 Chef Daniel Boulud promoted Johnny to Executive Pastry Chef. In May 2002, Chef/Owner Jean Georges Vongerichten named Johnny the Executive Pastry Chef at his famed four-star namesake, Restaurant Jean Georges, as well as its café, Nougatine. In addition, Johnny also oversaw the pastry program for the opening of Perry Street from 2005-2006, which earned three stars from the New York Times. During that same year, Restaurant Jean Georges earned its most prestigious award to date, three Michelin stars. It was one of only four restaurants in New York City to receive this honor. In this position, Johnny was recognized with numerous awards including “Best New Pastry Chef” by New York Magazine and “10 Best Pastry Chefs in America” by Pastry Art and Design Magazine. In May 2006, The James Beard Foundation awarded Johnny “Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year” and Forbes.com identified Johnny as one of the 10 most influential chefs working in America.

9780307351371_p0_v1_s260x420Johnny’s first cookbook, Dessert Fourplay: Sweet Quartets From A Four-Star Pastry Chef, was published December 30,2008. Through beautiful photography and easy-to-follow recipes, this book enables trained chefs and home cooks alike to explore Johnny’s use of single ingredients as primary inspiration for the dessert quartets featured on his seasonal menus at Jean Georges. Johnny has appeared in numerous TV segments for The Food Network, Martha Stewart, Top Chef, Today in NY, Paula’s Party, Today Show, Good Morning America, The Tony Danza Show, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Iron Chef America.

51EumsC1h2LHe was the head judge of Bravo’s culinary competition series “Top Chef Just Desserts” for two seasons. Since leaving Restaurant Jean Georges, Chef Iuzzini has started his own pastry consulting company, aptly named Sugar Fueled Inc. In addition to participating in numerous charity events and initiatives, Johnny is a chef ambassador for Family Reach foundation. His highly anticipated second book Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking was published in September 2014. To order Johnny’s book, click here. You can also follow Johnny via social media on facebook & twitter.

Recipe 
Courtesy of Chef Johnny Iuzzini

Butternut-Maple Blondies

Johnny Iuzzini - Sugar Rush - Butternut Maple BlondiesMakes about 12 blondies

There are really no rules on what you can and can’t use in a great dessert, and I find that vegetables offer flavors, textures, and colors that work well in the sweet environment. They also can add tons of moisture to a dessert, as the squash does for these blondies. Here the rich, moist squash eliminates the need for the heavy, flavorless corn syrup usually found in blondie recipes.

Ingredients

One 2-pound butternut squash, halved and seeded (907 g)
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced, plus more for the pan (170 g)
2 to 3 tablespoons Demerara sugar, for the pan
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar (232 g)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (34 g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 g)
2 cups all-purpose flour (250 g)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (6 g)
¾ teaspoon ground cumin (1.5 g)
¾ teaspoon ground ginger (1.5 g)
¼ teaspoon ground mace
½ teaspoon kosher salt (2 g)
6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped (170 g)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the squash halves on it, cut side down. Roast until the flesh is fork-tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skins into a food processor and puree until smooth.
3. Transfer the squash to a saucepan and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes to remove excess moisture. Remove from the heat, measure 1 cup for the blondies, and reserve the remaining puree for another use.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Grease an 8 × 11-inch baking dish or cake pan with butter and coat it generously with the Demerara sugar, tapping out the excess.
5. In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, toss the ¾ cup butter and the brown sugar together with your hands until the butter is coated. Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until lightened and no clumps of butter remain. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula between additions. Add the syrup and vanilla and mix well.
6. Sift the flour, baking powder, cumin, ginger, and mace together; sprinkle the salt over the top. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, mixing until just combined. Add the cooled squash and mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in two thirds of the white chocolate pieces.
7. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining chocolate pieces evenly over the top. Bake on the center rack until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
8. Cool completely in the pan on a rack before cutting into 12 equal-sized pieces.

Gourmet Store Spotlight

wkc-logoThis month our Spotlight is Warren Kitchen & Cutlery.

Located in historic Rhinebeck, in New York’s beautiful Mid-Hudson Valley, Warren Kitchen & Cutlery is a true kitchenware emporium – a place where inspired chefs and warren-storefrontcooking enthusiasts can find their favorite knives, cookware, appliances, kitchen tools and serving pieces for home or restaurant. Knives are their specialty; they have more than a 1,500 different styles and sizes in stock. They encourage you to take advantage of our in-store sharpening and engraving services.

6934 Route 9 Rhinebeck, NY 12572 ~ 845-876-6208 ~ info@warrenkitchentools.com ~ Facebook

Where’s Randy

10722_102660343078702_7921471_nThis month the Ergo/Costco Road Show will be in:

Mon. Dec. 15 — Wed. Dec. 24 (10 days)
Randy will be at the Costco
100 Grand Ave, North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Phone:(732) 509-3905

Come out, say hello & see Chef Randall Smith. He’ll be all set and waiting with all the great Ergo products! Great Christmas gifts for the chef, cook or culinary student or home cook or food enthusiast in your life!

Ergo Product Showcase

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 20%! To order click here: My Juicer

From all of us at here Ergo Chef, from our families to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and a healthy Happy New Year!

Till next time,

Ergo

Mike Staib2015 Food Trends, Johnny Iuzzini & My Juicer
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The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey & Spotlight on Actress Kelly Le Brock’s, Kelly’s Kitchen

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Hi everyone and welcome to this frigid Thanksgiving edition of Chop Talk.

Roast TurkeyWe just want to thank everyone who came out to the Fabulous Food Show in Cleveland. We had a great show and our Ergo Products were a big hit! In this edition of  Chop Talk we are all about Thanksgiving! First up is tips on making the perfect holiday turkey from the Gourmet Guy, Louis Luzzo, who gives us a delicious cranberry sauce recipe. Next, we have a special Chef’s Spotlight on actress Kelly Le Brock, who also graces us with a simple green bean side dish recipe. Last but not least we have our Gourmet Store Spotlight Kitchen Gadgets and Beyond with two stores in Connecticut. Take advantage of savings with our Black Friday Sale and Cyber Monday Sales SAVE 20% on all product when you purchase from our website here online, Friday, November 28, 2014 and Monday, December 1st, 2014.

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips

Making the Perfect Holiday Turkey
by Louis S Luzzo, Sr.
Roasting a turkey during the Holidays can either make or break a successful meal. Like many at home cooks, I have a few horror stories of the days before I became the self proclaimed, “Gourmet Guy.” I am going to give you some fool proof rules-of-thumb and methods to insure that your Thanksgiving meal comes off as a complete success that will wow your guests. From the Menu Planning, to Proper Seasoning , to how to pick the right turkey, we’ll take a look at all the basics.~ Lou

How big of a turkey should I roast? 
Most importantly, we need to count the amount of guests we will be serving. A good rule of thumb to go by would be:
~One (1) pound of raw turkey per person which includes a moderate amount for leftovers.
~1 1/2 pounds per person, if you have hearty eaters or want ample leftovers.
~3/4 pound of whole turkey per person for no leftovers.

To properly thaw the turkey (if frozen), we recommend leaving it in the refrigerator for 4-5 days to slow thaw under a cool temperature. If you are pressed for time, you may place it in a sink or a container in the sink and run cold water over it for a few hours. Once the bird is thawed, you are ready to prepare it for cooking.

 Brining (optional)
Not every home cook will go the extra mile at home, but I found that brining your turkey can incorporate a great level of flavor and make your turkey extremely moist. I typically brine most poultry and pork before cooking, and have made several different types of flavored brines. A brine by definition is; a strong solution of water and salt used for pickling or preserving foods. A sweetener such as sugar or molasses is sometimes added. I really enjoy molasses and brown sugar and balance it out with some savory herbs, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic. Depending on the size of the bird, you can brine a turkey for a few hours, or even let it go overnight. But, it is very important to remember that the brining solution is high in salt and you must adjust and lessen the amount of salt you use in your seasoning when you prepare your turkey for roasting.

Seasoning & Prepping the Bird
The next step can be a lot of fun, as you get to be very creative with seasoning and preparing your turkey. Seasonings offer a great deal of flavor and can be as simple as salt and black pepper, or as elaborate as Cajun spice or a rub consisting of garlic, chilies and dried herbs. Be sure to rub the entire cavity with your seasoning blend of choice, and always lubricate the outside of the skin with oil or butter so the seasonings will adhere and cook into the bird.

*Tip For Crispier Skin
Crisp skin and a moist center is what we all desire when roasting the perfect turkey and I have learned a little trick to enhance the outer skin. Carefully lift the skin up around the bird and slide a few pats of softened butter underneath. Generously rub the outer skin with butter and your seasonings, and let them sink in for about an hour before roasting. Many family recipes include stuffing the bird with all kinds of aromatics or even a traditional bread stuffing. It is totally up to you to decide which way you want to go, but stuffing a turkey’s cavity can really enhance the flavor of the meat. It’s important to have a good carving set and Ergo has you covered. just click the link to see more  about Ergo’s Carving Set

Stuffing & Dressing
There are two schools of thought when it comes to stuffing; In the Bird (stuffing) and & Out of the Bird (dressing). In my house we make both, or sometimes do a Cornbread Oyster dressing as well. In some households, the turkey is stuffed with other birds; a boned chicken is stuffed into a boned duck, which is then stuffed into the turkey.

Roasting Your Turkey
So, now that we are ready to roast, how do I know how long it should cook for, and how high the temperature should be? USDA says that a turkey should not roast under 325 degrees Fahrenheit, so that’s a fair starting point. Approximate cooking times for an unstuffed turkey are as follows: (it is around 20 to 30 minutes per pound)

~10 – 18 lb bird 3 to 3 ½ hrs
~19 – 22 lb bird 3 ½ to 4 hrs
~22 – 24 lb bird 4 to 4 ½ hrs
~24 – 29 lb bird 4 ½ to 5 hrs

One helpful hint to achieving a nice golden skin, is to start the “searing” process by cooking it in a 400 – 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size) to start the browning process (sugars begin to caramelize), then lower the temperature to 325 degrees and slow roast for the appropriate time. Basting is another way to impart even browning and to distribute some of those great flavorful juices. You may baste with the juices found in the bottom of the pan, or use some type of fat.

Also popular, is to baste with another flavorful liquid, for example a brown stock fortified with apple cider vinegar and herbs. If the bird begins to brown too much, you may cover it with aluminum foil until it has reached doneness, and then finish for the last few minutes uncovered. Be careful not to cover the bird entirely, as you don’t want to steam the turkey.

How do I know if my bird is done? The USDA recommends that the turkey be cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees as measured in the innermost part of the thigh. If the thigh is 165 degrees, the breast meat is likely to be 10 degrees hotter. Many cooks would tell you that a turkey roasted to those temperatures is overdone and would taste unacceptably dry. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, try not to rely on those “pop up timers” that come with most turkeys. You can also prick the leg joint with a fork, and if the juices run just slightly pink or clear, the turkey is done.

To test the accuracy of your instant read thermometer, insert the tip about 2 inches deep into boiling water. At sea level it should register 212 degrees F. If it does not, replace it; or if it has a calibration device, reset it for accuracy. Nobody wants an overcooked bird, so start checking your bird about 3/4’s of the way through the total recommended cooking time.

Gravy
Time to make the gravy!  On the stove top, use the same pan that you roasted this delicious turkey in. The drippings and leftover fat and liquid are going to make this gravy a very tasty one. I like to use a ratio of 1 Tablespoon of fat to 1 Tablespoon of flour to create a “roux” that will thicken my gravy. You can use chicken or turkey stock, or even just deglaze with sherry or white wine and add water. Just be sure to cook out the flour so it doesn’t leave a raw taste to the gravy. Season to taste.

Turkey is done, gravy is ready and now it’s time to roll out all the fix-ins. Cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie, cornbread stuffing, yams, green beans, creamed onions, apple and pecan pie are just some of my favorites! Try something new this year and let me know how it comes out! We all have a lot to be thankful for and I am very blessed with such wonderful family and friends. God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

Chef’s Spotlight

10590572_849163398435648_4765779657361956619_nOur Chef’s Spotlight this edition is actress Kelly Le Brock and her new food platform, “Kelly’s Kitchen.”

Interview excerpt courtesy of the blog Kitchen Rap with Louis S. Luzzo, Sr. Click the link to read the full interview. 
“With Kelly’s Kitchen, Kelly is all about healthy eating and good healthcare, starting in the kitchen, at the table. “It came about within the last four years,” she offered. “I am just horrified at the way people are eating and I really want to get out there and show people how to make a delicious meal out of a bag of beans or a bag of brown rice. It doesn’t have to be expensive to eat well. Yes it is expensive in time, but that is something that people have come to confuse with eating healthy being expensive in dollars. Seems that people don’t have time anymore,” she lamented, “but you can make a decent meal in 30 minutes. Families should have to drop their phones in a little basket when they come through the door and sit down every night at the dinner table and look at each other. Really talk to each other.”

She has lent her voice and become an ambassador for a cause she believes in, foodtweeks™ and has re-emerged from a self imposed cocoon with a new-found, vibrant voice. “It’s time to give back,”she declared. “We don’t need to leave our country to help people, they are right here in our face. I know what it’s like to struggle for food or not have enough to eat. There are people in this country a paycheck away from hunger. I am the ambassador for this great new app that is affiliated with 50 food banks across the country. The beauty of it is that there are people who are always trying to get healthy cutting calories, they take those calories and put them into foodtweeks™ and those calories go into the food bank and translate to available food.” For every calorie users “tweek” from their food, foodtweeks™ makes a donation to a local food bank so they can distribute the same number of nutritious calories to feed a hungry child and their family. There’s no cost of any kind to the foodtweeks™ user and it’s easy for food banks to participate. You remove calories. They give them away!” Find Kelly on Social Media; twitter: @KellyLeBrock@AtKellysKitchen

Recipe 1

Sauteed Green Beans Courtesy of Kelly Le Brock
Ingredients
20 oz bag of  french green beans(if using fresh beans us a good handful per person)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 tbsp butter
Salt to taste

Method
If using fresh beans, remove the ends and julienne. Place beans in a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove immediately and place in an ice bath to stop cooking keep color. On the stove top, heat a cast iron skillet. Place butter and garlic and sauté until garlic is translucent. Add green beans and sauté for another minute until beans are heated through.  Remove,place in a bowl, drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt to taste and serve.

Recipe 2

Old Fashioned Cranberry Sauce Courtesy of Louis S. Luzzo, Sr.

Homestyle_Cranberry_Sauce.ashx Ingredients
12 oz Cranberries, Fresh Frozen
1 3/4 Cups Water
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 Cup Orange Juice
1 Tbl Orange Zest, Chopped
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Cinnamon Stick

Method
Place all ingredients in a sauce-pot, except for the cranberries and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, add the cranberries to the liquid. reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until all of the cranberries have “popped”. Remove the cinnamon stick, and cool. The liquid will be loose and will thicken once it cools.

Gourmet Store Spotlight

slide1Founded in 2001, Kitchen Gadgets and Beyond, formally Chefs Equipment Emporium of Wallingford, opened its doors to the public as a kitchenware specialty showroom retailer that prides itself on quality, affordability and accountability.  At Kitchen Gadgets and Beyond, they are passionate about cooking and understand your need for reliable, long-lasting and high quality kitchenware.

With an additional expanding of products offering to meet all your kitchen needs, Kitchen Gadgets and Beyond also offers commercial and residential cookware, cutlery, bakeware, small kitchen electrics, gourmet food and ingredients and Kitchen Tools, Utensils, gadgets and more gadgets.  Their wide selection along with their friendly, well-trained staff ensures that they are your authority for cooking, dining and entertaining.

They are a customer focused, family owned company serving the Connecticut area and beyond! Their friendly and knowledgeable staff is always on-hand to help you navigate your way through the thousands of unique items they offer in order to make your next culinary adventure the greatest yet!

If you have questions that their website does not address or items that you cannot find, you can call them at 860-828-9601 or email them at info@Kitchengadgetsandbeyond.com. Visit their two locations:717 Berlin Turnpike, Berlin, CT 06037 (860) 828-9601 ~ 920 South Colony Rd, Wallingford, CT 06492 203-269-3971 and follow them on facebook here.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale

Save 20% on all Ergo products on our Black Friday Sale, November 28, 2014  and Cyber Monday Sale, December 1, 2014 when you purchase online at www.ErgoChef.com.

From all of us at Ergo Chef, we wish you and yours a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving.

Till next time,

Ergo

Mike StaibThe Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey & Spotlight on Actress Kelly Le Brock’s, Kelly’s Kitchen
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A Fabulous Food Show time of year.

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Brrr!!! Welcome to a brisk, chilly November. We are getting excited as this month, we will be traveling to Cleveland for one of the best food shows in the country, The Fabulous Food Show, at the I-X Center, Nov. 14- 16th. If you are in Cleveland and attending, stop by the Ergo booth and say hi to Scott, Mike and Chef Randy and check out all the great Ergo products available. This time of year, one great way to feed your family is simple one pot meals so in this edition of Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips we are covering Cooking with Woks. Our Chef’s Spotlight is the Jersey General Chef Frank Benowitz. We have a deliciously healthy Chili recipe from Kimberly Winder. Our Gourmet Store Spotlight this edition is Bowery Kitchen, located in NYC’s Chelsea Market. And lastly, we have an awesome Spotlight and coupon code discount on our Crimson Series Knives.

Food Tricks and Kitchen Tips: Cooking with Woks

wok1The Wok
One of  our favorite methods of cooking is in a wok. They are simple, yet very versatile, require little oil, making them an economical way to cook. A woks unique shape allows it to distribute heat evenly through the pan and get very hot, making them perfect for stir-fry cooking. While they may not be necessary for every kitchen, for true food enthusiasts eager to recreate their favorite Asian recipes and flavors in their own kitchens, a wok and steamer are musts in their kitchens.

Thousands of years ago, Chinese cooks figured out how to prepare healthy food quickly using a simple piece of equipment – the Chinese wok. Once you’ve decided to add a wok to your supply of kitchen equipment, you’ll want to shop around to choose the best model. Originally, all woks were round bottomed and made of iron – designed to be used with the traditional Chinese wood stove. Gradually, the iron was replaced with carbon steel. Today, there are all types of woks on the market: aluminum, copper, stainless steel.Traditionally, the wok came with two metal handles, making it easy to lift in and out of the stove. I prefer the modern woks that have one long wooden handle, like a skillet, they are easier to handle in my opinion.

wok2The wok’s most distinguishing feature is its shape. Classic woks have a rounded bottom. Hand-hammered woks are sometimes flipped inside out after being shaped, giving the wok a gentle flare to the edge that makes it easier to push food up onto the sides of the wok. Woks sold in western countries are sometimes found with flat bottoms — this makes them more similar to a deep frying pan. The flat bottom allows the wok to be used on an electric stove, where a rounded wok would not be able to fully contact the stove’s heating element. A round bottom wok enables the traditional round spatula or ladle to pick all the food up at the bottom of the wok and toss it around easily; this is difficult with a flat bottom. With a gas hob, or traditional pit stove, the bottom of a round wok can get hotter than a flat wok and so is better for stir frying.

Seasoning Your Wok:
wok3You may have heard that it is very important to season(carbonize) the cooking surface your wok before trying it out for the first time. This is a the most important step, if you are to get years of fabulous food from your wok. This only applies to carbon-steel or cast-iron woks. If you have purchased an electric or non-stick coated wok, be very careful as the pan can get to hot ans catch fire. See your instruction manual for specifics on seasoning if you have one of these types. Seasoning removes the preservative oil manufacturers place on the wok to prevent it from rusting, replacing it with a light coating of cooking oil. It is also important to properly clean your wok after each use. 

~Wash the wok in hot water with a small amount of liquid detergent and a scrubber (such as a stainless steel sponge or pad).
~If needed, scrub the exterior of the wok with the scrubber and an abrasive cleanser. Do not use the abrasive cleanser on the inside of the wok.
~Rinse the wok and dry thoroughly.
~Place the wok on high heat.
wok4~Move the wok, turning it and tilting it up to the rim and back, until the metal turns a blueish-yellowish color.
~Remove the wok from the stove element. Turn the heat down to medium-low
~Add a thin film of oil (about 1½ teaspoons) over the entire inside surface of the wok. There are several ways to do this. One is to use a paper towel to rub the oil over the surface. You may want to use tongs to hold the paper towels. Another way is to use a basting brush for barbecues or any other heat-proof brush to brush on the oil.
~Heat the wok on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes
~Wipe off the oil with another paper towel. There will be black residue on the towel.
~Repeat steps 7 through 9 until no black residue comes up on the paper (about 3 times). The wok is now ready to use.

wok5If your wok becomes gunky and sticky or gets rusted you can clean the wok with salt. Simply put half a cup of salt in the wok and heat on high, reduce the heat if it gets too hot. Using your spatula send the salt up to the edges very carefully. Hot salt is dangerous. Do this for 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow the salt to cool to warm. Using a cloth rub the spots where the salt has stuck to in order to get rid of the gunk or rust. Discard the salt and wash the wok in hot water with a soft sponge. Re-season the wok.

Cooking With Your Wok:

wok6Cooking in a wok is very simple. Many things can be cooked in a wok. Remember that woks are meant to cook very quickly so it will be necessary to have everything prepared. When preparing food to be cooked, remember that small uniform pieces will cook the most evenly. After adding a tablespoon or so of oil, heat your wok on medium to high heat. Cook meat first and when it all seems done on the outside, add any vegetables and sauces. In only a few minutes, the meat will be completely done and the vegetables will be tender yet crisp. You may also fry, braise, or poach in a wok. Gauging the temperature for each of these cooking techniques is very important. Keep in mind that oil and water do not mix, so if you decide to poach in a wok, be sure to dry and season the pan thoroughly after you’ve finished.

Wok-WhiskRecognized as the cleaning whisk or the bamboo wok cleaning brush, this small broom-like brush is made of bamboo bristles. Bundled jointly and tied at the top with strings, this easy device is the answer to removing stubborn food remains while not damaging the wok. Just use the bamboo wok cleaning brush in a swirling motion below running water. The bamboo whisk is tough and functional and it can be used for mainly stainless steel cookware. This bamboo wok cleaning brush may be ordinary in appearance but it is a well-organized and simple way to clean your wok. After using the brush to remove the food bits, scrub your wok with dish detergent and hot water. Dry the wok and rub a bit of oil around the inside of the pan. This will make sure your wok lasts a long time and that it gives your food a great flavor.

Chefs Spotlight
images (3)Chef Frank Benowitz
Since 2003, Chef Instructor Frank Benowitz has been employed by Mercer County Community College (MCCC) in West Windsor, NJ as a professional staff member in the Hotel, Restaurant Institutional Management (HRIM) & Culinary Department and teaches a multitude of HRIM, Culinary and Business courses. Chef Benowitz is a MCCC graduate and went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree through Thomas Edison College and his Master’s Degree through Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Spending only a few years working in hotels and restaurants, much of his culinary knowledge was a result of culinary book study/classes and then working with dozens of extremely talented Chefs and absorbing information/culinary techniques to build a sound foundation to teach his students. His love of food and cooking is apparent in each demonstration and each class in which he teaches. He truly feels that you must continuously learn and improve your knowledge/skill base to be successful in the culinary world. As such, he serves as Hospitality Club Advisor (winning the prestigious Advisor of the Year Award twice already) – creating/serving menus for catering efforts typically between 50 – 300 guests. Also, he has served as a Judge for a variety of savory and sweet culinary competitions throughout the Tri-state area.

In 2006, he became co-host and co-producer of Dish It Out with Chef Doug Fee (originally airing only locally in Mercer County, NJ and now available in multiple counties in NJ along with upstate New York, Maine, Connecticut, South Carolina and soon in to appear in additional states via their local television channel markets). Dish It Out, will enter its 9th season in Fall 2014, and has won multiple awards, including a 2014 Silver Telly. Several episodes are now available on the internet via You Tube shown in many culinary schools throughout North America.

salsajar Speaking of awards, he has earned the 1st Place People’s Choice Salsa Award, many years in a row, at the annual NJ State Chili and Salsa Championship. Also, in 2013, Chef Benowitz won 2nd Place in the NJ State Seafood Challenge held at the Governor’s Mansion. By popular demand, following numerous awards, his famous mango salsa is now available for purchase via The Jersey General.

In recent years, Chef Benowitz has had the pleasure of working with/for several celebrities along with some well-known Chefs such as: Robert Irvine, Walter Scheib, Ellie Krieger, Michael Voltaggio, Fabio Vivani, Mike Isabella, Aaron McCargo, Jr., Jose Garces, Cat Cora, Sara Moulton, Bobby Flay, Rick Bayless and Emeril Lagasse.

Recipe  
Here is a Healthy Fall Recipe where good knives come in very handy to prep. From Kimberly Winder– who will be a regular monthly contributor. Here is a recipe for Vegetarian Chili that is really delicious and requires a lot of chopping. I make it frequently in the winter and fall.  It is a perfect football recipe, too.  Even carnivores like it.

Vegetarian Chili
by Kimberly Winder
Prep time: 15 minutes
Prep notes: Cooking time: 30 minutes Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, diced, (or one can organic diced tomatoes)
1 carrot, cut into quarter moons
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups cooked or canned red, black or kidney beans
1 cup water
2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
1 teaspoon sea salt

Method
Heat oil in a large heavy pan and sauté onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, carrots, chili powder and cumin and sauté for 5 minutes. Slowly add beans, water, tomato paste and salt. Cook on low to medium heat for 20 minutes.
Notes
Add as many veggies as you like such as bell peppers, zucchini and corn kernels.

Gourmet Store Spotlight

Shop with the top Restaurant chefs and professionals as well as Food Network Stars at Bowery Kitchen Supplies. Opened for business on the famous Bowery Street Restaurant Supply Street in 1975, supplying New York’s finest Restaurants, Bars, Lounges, Deli’s, Bakery, Pizzerias & Caterers! they opened a second store in the The Chelsea Market Home, also home to The Food Network Studios and numerous other well known food related establishments.

On a daily basis the on-stage personalities and talented chefs in hundreds of kitchens in New York use their cool gadgets and traditional chef tools to create feasts for the stomach as well as the eyes. Visit them and experience the market yourself.

Bowery Kitchen  located in the New York City’s Chelsea Market, with entrances at 75 Ninth Avenue and 88 Tenth Avenue. Chelsea Market is an indoor arcade-style market (one whole NYC avenue-to-avenue block) with the finest raw and prepared food shops in downtown Manhattan. Mailing Address is: 460 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011 USA Telephone: 212-376-4982 Fax: 212-242-7360 Or you can email them at: Info@Bowerykitchens.com

Chop Talk Product Spotlight

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Ergo Chef G10 CRIMSON Cutlery is crafted from high carbon German Steel with precision sharp edges. The handles are made with the world’s strongest G10 (Fiberglass Resin Material) in a redish brown wood grain look finished with 3 rivets & a polished end cap for perfect balance. No maintenance is needed on the handles. Polished blades are stain resistant and easy to clean and maintain. Includes the following precision sharp polished knives & tools: 8″ Chef, 8″ Carver, 8″ Serrated Bread, 7″ Nakiri, 6″ Santoku, 6″ Utility, 3.5″ Paring, qty. 8 – 4.75″ Steak knives, an 8″ Honing Rod and Heavy Duty Poultry Shears. All fit nicely in the beautiful Bamboo storage block. Order this ultimate kitchen set today and never buy another set of knives again. Lifetime Warranty!

Ergo Chef Cutlery’s Crimson Series Chop Talk discount coupon code for 15% OFF.

Coupon Code: VIPfall15

Till next time:

Ergo Chef

Mike StaibA Fabulous Food Show time of year.
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A Mixed Harvest of Fall Goodness and Flavor….

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Wow, fall has come on like gangbusters and we are full on into a great season of cooking and events. In this edition, we have a mixed harvest of goodness and flavor. We have a great new Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips, we are ‘Cooking with Umami…the Fifth Flavor. In our Chef’s Spotlight we have Chef/Owner Peter Sinapi and his restaurant Sinapi’s Restaurant. We decided to get you healthy this month with a delicious smoothie recipe from Kimberly Winder of Wellness Solutions and last but not least we are introducing a new feature, Gourmet Store Spotlight and first up is Charles Department Store in Katona, NY, celebrating their 90th Anniversary.

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Cooking with Umami…The Fifth Flavor

flavorwheelsmToday is all about taste and what’s known as “The Fifth Flavor,” Umami. Huh, you say? You’ve heard of Sweet, Salty, Sour, Bitter, but….Umami? While many of you may not be familiar with the phrase, but accomplished chefs around the world, more and more, make Umami the focus of their cuisine. Many specialists now understand that taste is actually more complicated, with the taste buds being helped along by sense of smell, by the feel of substances in the mouth and even by the noise that food makes when we chew it. This newly found taste for a while was almost unexplainable and a bit of a mystery.

Dr. Kikunae IkedaBut in the early 1900s, Dr. Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo. Imperial University, identified this taste when studying the flavors in seaweed broth. Ikeda isolated monosodium glutamate as the chemical responsible and with the help of the Ajinomoto company, began commercial distribution of MSG products.

So what is it, and how do you cook with it? It is actually not a physical ingredient, but more of a natural occurring amino acid that gives off a pleasant savory taste. They are found in many meats, vegetables, seafood and dairy. The word Umami is a Japanese word which means tasty, delicious, or yummy. It has also been associated with other words including meaty, brothy and savory. Not everyone can differentiate the taste from the common four, but its popularity has become more widespread in recent years. For example, there is now a Umami Food and Art Festival in NY that is dedicated to educating culinary professionals and artists about this mysterious taste. Kikkoman’s Soy Sauce began an advertising campaign some time ago with top chefs from around the world using Umami as part of their slogan, to raise awareness of the uses of their soy sauce products to enhance the Umami experience.

tongueTaste and flavor are commonly associated as one in the same, but there is a definite distinction between the two. It is said that taste is the sensation caused in the mouth by contact with a substance, while flavor is the mixed sensation of both smell and taste. To simplify this research, it would be safe to say that the formula of taste + smell = flavor. Umami as an ingredient, becomes a flavor enhancer, bringing depth to your food without covering any flavors or subtle tastes. It is found in more mature foods such as an older Parmesan cheese, aged wine, or soy sauce.

Umami rich foods are very satisfying and can actually be a healthier way to cook as well. They tend to make salt taste saltier, which means we can lower the amount of sodium in a dish when using Umami rich ingredients. It also creates a sensation that most chefs call “mouth feel,” which is normally associated with the mouth sensation we get when we eat foods high in fat. Thus, we may lower the amount of fat in a dish, and let the richness of the Umami do the trick.

Here is a starter list of a few ingredients that are very Umami rich, and would lend a great deal of taste and flavor to any home cooked meal.

umami montageSeafood: fish sauce, anchovies, kombu, nori, dried bonito flakes, makeral, seabream, tuna, cod, prawns, squid, oysters, shellfish.
Meat: beef, pork and chicken.
Vegetables: dried and fresh shiitake mushrooms, corn, truffles, soy beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Chinese cabbage, carrots and tomatoes.
Other Foods: Parmesan cheese and Green Tea.

Even though we were all taught otherwise, since the time when we were children, it is time to put aside your mom’s admonitions. The only way to become a better cook and be more aware is to play with your food, so get to the store, buy some Umami rich ingredients and start playing and cooking for yourselves!

 Chef’s Spotlight

IMG_0178This edition is not so much a Chef Spot light at it is a Chef/Restaurant Spotlight of Sinapi’s Restaurant in Danbury, CT. and Chef Owner Owner Peter Sinapi.

When Pietro Sinapi came home over 28 years ago and told his family that he was going to open up his first pizza place, his family was taken aback. What does an auto body mechanic know about running and operating his own restaurant? But with will and determination, he took the risk that would change his life forever. Coming into any Sinapi’s Restaurant is like joining their family at the dinner table.

IMG_0168IMAG3311Every fresh ingredient is used to ensure the best tasting meals possible. Soups are made fresh daily, peppers are roasted to perfection and meatballs taste just like Nonna’s! Their pizza made us famous, but are dinners keep them coming back for more. Also available is the unbelievably tasting home-style desserts – from true Italian cheesecake, to biscotti & their famous, fresh made Italian Ices. Check out our Dinner for Two! Pietro decided to start offering his great Marinara sauce to the public and locals can now find it in Select Grocers & direct from Sinap1’s Restaurant. What started out as a small mom & pop pizza shop has slowly evolved into a full restaurant & catering experience with customer satisfaction their #1 goal. So come in and join their family for what will be an unforgettable and delicious dining experience!

Recipe

IMG_1085Our recipe today comes from Kimberly Winder of Wellness Solutions

Says Kimberly, “Stress is a part of our everyday lives – we can’t escape it. It is all around us – at home, at work and in our cars. There are always things pulling us in a million directions and distracting us from our sense of peace and harmony in the world. Have no fear.  There is good news! We can actually do things to help manage and keep the stress from getting too out of control and hijacking our lives. One very huge way we can mange stress is by eating healthful, whole foods that nourish our bodies and keep our energy levels high. But, how do we manage this when we are so busy and stressed out to begin with? Simple. Mix up a smoothie in your blender and drink your stress away! Follow my simple system for creating a stress relieving, healthful and delicious smoothie.”

STEP 1:  Choose half a serving of fruit (ie. 1/2 banana, 1/2 apple, 1/2 cup of berries).  Fruit gives sweetness and provides the body with the right kind of energy and fiber.
STEP 2:  Choose one vegetable (ie. celery stalk, carrot, 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 cup of broccoli, etc.).  Veggies provide the body with additional fiber and phytonutrients to nourish your body with the vital nutrients it needs.
STEP 3:  Choose one cup of dark leafy greens (ie. kale, spinach, parsley, chard, etc.).  Green leafy veggies are the powerhouse of the plant family and supply a super boost of phytonutrients to fight disease and build up the digestive system for greater immune function.
STEP 4:  Choose a cup of liquid such as water, almond milk or herbal tea.  Add more or less to desired consistency.
STEP 5:  Add a handful of nuts or seeds for added protein and healthful fats to keep you feeling full and reducing inflammation.  Try chia, sunflower, almonds or any other nut/seed that you like.
STEP 6:  Blend on high for 30 seconds.  I recommend using a high strength blender like a Vitamix or a Nutribullet. Otherwise, it may be kind of chunky.  In that case, you may need to strain before drinking. Enjoy!

Gourmet Store Spotlight

logo (1)In today’s world of over-sized, impersonal shopping malls, Charles Department Store is distinguished by a long tradition of personal service and good value. In fact, Westchester County’s only family-owned specialty department store is celebrating 90 years of being one of those great American “Main Street” stores where “everybody knows your name.”

With Victorian-style clapboard walls, original tin ceilings and creaky wooden floors, Charles takes shoppers back to a time when retailers cared about community and built their business one satisfied customer at a time. Present owners David and Jim Raneri of Katonah point with pride to photos of their grandparents, Charles and Isabelle Raneri, who founded the original Charles Dry Goods store in 1924.

Charles Raneri emigrated to the United States from Sicily when he was 14 years old. Settling in Mt. Kisco, he worked as a peddler along the railroad. It wasn’t long before Raneri opened his own store in Mt. Kisco, moving later to a larger premises in Bedford Hills. In 1939, he moved his establishment again, this time to its present prime location on Katonah Avenue, directly across from the old train depot.

In the 1940s, Charles Raneri’s son, Phillip, joined the family business, bringing his background in radio engineering and electronics to the growing store. In 1950, Phillip married Claire Schroeder and a family of five followed — four boys and one girl. While the entire Raneri family worked in the store from time to time, David and Jim chose to follow in their father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and run the family business. Today, David and Jim Raneri co-own the store, and have stayed true to their grandfather’s vision of incomparable personal service, combined with top quality products.

In the good old days, the success of Charles Department Store arose out of the shop’s ability to supply the folks of the quiet rural area surrounding Mt. Kisco, Bedford Hills and Katonah with all their needs, from pot-bellied stoves to Sunday bonnets. Charles continues to offer the best quality merchandise available, changing with the times to offer the high-quality products that people want. Dave and Jim Raneri carefully select all items, providing their customers with the best possible choices, answers to questions and service with a genuine smile. Grandfather Raneri might be surprised by some of the modern-day products for sale in his store, but he would have no trouble recognizing his families’ unwavering commitment to customer service and value. Some things never change, even after 90 years. We are please to be included in their October Top 5 Products!

Till next time,

Ergo Chef

Mike StaibA Mixed Harvest of Fall Goodness and Flavor….
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Barbecue Styles of America: A Guide to Regional Barbecue Flavors

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Hi and welcome to another edition of Chop Talk. As you all know we are all about BBQ here at Ergo and October is no different. Summer is over but we still spend many waking moments thinking about grilled meats. After all what better excuse to ‘test our knives’ than with a nice brisket hot and juicy off the grill. To that end, we have a guest blogger this edition who has been here before, Robyn Medlin Lindars. and this time she brings us on a trip around the country with her Guide to Regional Barbecue. This month also brings our own Chef Randall Smith competing with Doug Keiles and Adam Feinberg on the Ribs Within BBQ team for Ergo Chef in the 4th Annual High Point BBQ Battle in Clarksburg, MD October 10 – 11, 2014. And this month’s Chef Spotlight is David Letterman who provides us with a great Fall recipe, Apple PepperJack~Pumpkin Cheese Cake.

Guide to Regional Barbecue Written by Robyn Medlin Lindars

Barbecue is personal. Ask anyone what makes for good ’cue and the answer varies, probably based on where they’re from. To understand barbecue styles is to understand what barbecue is. Barbecue is a method of cooking meat, traditionally tough, less expensive cuts, in a wood-burning pit over a low temperature for a long period of time to create tender, moist, flavorful results. Regional flavors are based on the type of seasoning used. The seasoning may date back to the first settlers in the area. For example, Germans settled in South Carolina and brought a strong mustard-based influence to barbecue. Here is a historical breakdown of barbecue by region: the history of each regional flavor, its differences, and restaurants that serve it. Who knew barbecue was so diverse?

Kansas City

Barbecue Styles of America – Kansas City Style BarbecueKansas-City-style barbecue includes a wide variety of meats, and is perhaps the most popular style in the U.S. Kansas-City-style sauce, a tangy and sweet, tomato-and-molasses-based sauce, is what many think of when they think of barbecue sauce. Memphis native Henry Perry, known as “The Father of Kansas City Barbecue” opened up the first commercial barbecue restaurant in 1907. His disciple Arthur Bryant opened up shop in 1930. Today, Arthur Bryant’s is one of the most famous barbecue restaurants in the country. Kansas City is home to the American Royal, known as the World Series of barbecue. The Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) has over 15,000 members and is the largest sanctioning body of barbecue competitions, at more than 400 per year. KCBS contestants enter four main categories: chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket, judged on taste, appearance, and texture.

Signature Style: Tangy, Sweet; Tomato-and-Molasses-Based Sauce Meat Specialties: Burnt Ends from a Beef Brisket Where to Taste: Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City, MO

Memphis

Barbecue Styles of America – Memphis Style BarbecueMemphis-style barbecue is primarily pork, notably ribs, often served dry versus the wet western style of other regions. “Dry” means chefs use only a dry rub for flavoring, while wet style uses a sauce applied during the entire cooking process. A “mop” sauce is often mopped on during the cooking process to keep the meat moist. Traditional Memphis-style dry rub consists of salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, sugar, and a variety of other spices. Many restaurants serve their ribs dry with sauce on the table for those who want it. Memphis is home to the legendary Memphis in May or “Superbowl of Swine:” the largest pork barbecue competition in the world. Notable restaurants include Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous (named to the list of top five best ribs and mail-order meat byEsquire), Interstate, Neely’s, Corky’s (known for their presence in national grocery stores and mail-order service), and Memphis Barbecue Company.

Signature Style: Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Cayenne, and Sugar Dry Rub Meat Specialties: Pork Ribs Where to Taste: Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous in Memphis, TN

Texas

Barbecue Styles of America – Texas Style BarbecueTexas-style barbecue is all about the beef, especially the brisket. Texas has four distinct styles of barbecue: East Texas, Central Texas, West Texas, and South Texas. The emphasis in Texas falls on the meat, not the sauce. Texas-style sauce is usually thin and tomato-based, mixed with beef drippings, chili pepper, and spices. The Germans and Czechs brought meat-market-style barbecue to the central part of the state; it originated in the butcher shops and can be found at places such as Mueller’s or Kreuz Market near Lockhart. “Hot Guts” is the old-school terminology for the German-inspired local sausage of the nearby Elgin area, known as the sausage capital of Texas. Every spring, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo hosts the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. The contest is one of the largest in the state and typically hosts over 300 teams. Austin is home to Franklin Barbecue, named by Bon Appétit as the best barbecue restaurant in the country.

Signature Style: Thin, Tomato-Based Sauce with Beef Drippings, Chili Pepper,  Meat Specialties: Beef Brisket Where to Taste: Franklin Barbecue in Austin, TX

North-Carolina

Barbecue Styles of America – North Carolina Style BarbecueNorth-Carolina-style barbecue has two distinct styles: Piedmont (also referred to as Lexington style) and Eastern style. Lexington, North Carolina, refers to itself as The Barbecue Capital of the World. Lexington style uses pork shoulder; the sauce is a vinegar-and-tomato-based red sauce that is often used in place of mayo as the base for coleslaw. Go to Lexington Barbecue Restaurant for authentic Lexington-style ’cue; don’t forget to order a Cheer Wine, the state’s local cherry-flavored soda, to go with your sandwich. Eastern style, found in the eastern and coastal parts of the state, focuses on the whole hog; the sauce is only vinegar and pepper, which is often used as a mop sauce during cooking. There is much debate within the state as to which style of barbecue is most popular. North Carolinians show off their barbecue chops at the Lexington Barbecue Festival, which was named the Official Food Festival of the Piedmont Triad Region of the State of North Carolina.

Signature Style: Vinegar-and-Tomato-Based Red Sauce, and Vinegar-and-Pepper Sauce Meat Specialties: Pork (Whole Hog) Where to Taste: Lexington Barbecue in Lexington, NC

South-Carolina

Barbecue Styles of America – South Carolina Style BarbecueSouth-Carolina-style barbecue can be divided into three different styles, one of which is the only one that uses a mustard-based sauce. The state’s western section features a peppery, tomato-based sauce. The central area focuses on a German influence with that notable mustard sauce, referred to as Carolina Gold. The third style hails from the coastal Pee Dee region and uses a thin, spicy, vinegary, peppery sauce. The South Carolina Barbecue Association holds more than 10 different barbecue competitions through out the year. Based on their competition results, the association names an overall state champion each year.

Signature Style: Mustard-Based Sauce Meat Specialties: Pork (The Whole Hog) Where to Taste: Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, SC

Kentucky

Barbecue Styles of America – Kentucky Style BarbecueKentucky-style barbecue has two separate barbecue regions: the western region and south-central region. The western part of the state, home to the most popular style, is known for its mutton-based barbecue, which comes from the wool production that began in the 1800s. The mutton from a mature sheep is typically served with a vinegar-based sauce called mutton dip. This popular combination can be found at the Old Hickory Restaurant in Owensboro. Owensboro hosts the International Bar-B-Q Festival, which features a Mutton Glutton party, followed by a 5k that helps burn off some of those calories.The south-central part of Kentucky is known for its use of thin-sliced pork shoulder dressed with a pepper-and-vinegar sauce.

Signature Style: Mutton Dip, a Vinegar-Based Sauce Meat Specialties: Mutton, Mature Sheep Where to Taste: Old Hickory in Owensboro, KY

Alabama

Barbecue Styles of America – Alabama Style BarbecueAlabama-style barbecue is all about the pork. You will find smoked pork shoulder, butt, or ribs. Various parts of Alabama embrace bordering regions, including the styles of nearby Tennessee and the Carolinas. Their influence can be seen in the sauces: one sauce is distinctively Alabama and called Alabama White Sauce. This characteristic mayonnaise-based barbecue sauce also includes cider vinegar, lemon juice, horseradish, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Big Bob Gibson’s of Decatur, Alabama, lays claim to the creation of Alabama White Sauce, which was originally used for “baptizing” chickens; however, it is now used as a sauce for pork as well. Alabama’s finest barbecue chefs compete each year for the Alabama Governor’s Cup, which is presented to the barbecue teams who complete the Alabama Barbecue Trail with the most points.

Signature Style: White Sauce (Mayonnaise-Based, With Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Horseradish, Salt, Pepper, and Hot Sauce) Meat Specialties: Pork (Shoulder, Butt, Ribs) Where to Taste: “Big Bob” Gibson Bar-B-Q of Decatur, AL

Chef’s Spotlight

DaveOur Chef’s Spotlight is David Letterman (and no relation to the comedian/talk show host) David grew up in the family food business, Bonafatto’s Fruit & Grocery, started in 1919, transforming to a take home meal shop in the 1970’s,  gradually adding a small restaurant. In January 1990, David became the third generation of Bonfatto to enter the business, and within a year he successfully established a second location.

 

neon_logoIt wasn’t long before catering services were added, and then, in July 1999, David and his wife, Sherri, became full owners. The hard-working couple’s first order of business: the launching of Bonfatto’s Restaurant and Lounge, which opened in November 2000 on Bishop Street in Bellefonte and featured everything from American-Italian dishes to Bonanza Subs.

wing_logoComing from the Bonfatto family, of course David had to make his own new innovation to the family business; a new line of award-winning Bonfatto’s Wing Sauce and Marinade! They searched the world, gathering exotic spices, peppers, and yes, even fruits that make Bonfatto’s hand-crafted Magnificent 9 sauces truly magnificent.

content_SpiceCreamLogo

 

Sweet with a kiss of heat! Dessert with a dash of daring! Each of the uniquely original Bonfatto’s Spice Cream creations is a savory dessert treat—a gourmet take on premium vanilla ice cream that’s sure to keep tongues wagging! The secret is in the sauce—Bonfatto’s Wing Sauces—lightly infused throughout French vanilla ice cream with all-natural ingredients. It’s ice cream that’s a little bonkers—a sweet with a tickle of heat. And it’s everything Mom told you not to do.

Recipe

Apple PepperJack~Pumpkin Cheese Cake
courtesy of David Letterman

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For the crust
3/4 cup gram cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Filling
4-8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (plus or minus)
Bonfatto’s Apple Pepper Jack Wing Sauce & Marinade

Method
Mix the ingredients for the crust in a bowl. Put into a greased spring-form pan, pressing in place to create a uniform crust. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, remove and cool. Put the cream cheese, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend the ingredients on low speed. Once they have come together, increase the speed of your mixer to medium high and mix until very smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl mix the pumpkin, cream, vanilla, and the spices. Put this into the cream cheese mixture and mix until completely incorporated. Drizzle some of the Apple Pepper Jack onto the crust (may need to put the jar into the microwave for 30 seconds or so to make it pour easier-take the lid off first).

Spread the cream cheese mixture into the spring-form pan. Drizzle the remaining marinade across the top.  Using the back of a butter knife, swirl the cheesecake batter and marinade creating a marbling effect.  Be careful not to over blend or cut through the crust. Bake for 50 minutes. The cheesecake will be done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool on rack then release the springform.

Events

maryland bbq

 

randyhighpoint

Our own Chef Randall Smith will be competing with Doug Keiles and Adam Feinberg on the Ribs within BBQ team for Ergo Chef in the 4th Annual High Point BBQ Battle STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in Clarksburg, MD October 10 – 11, 2014.

Held annually, is a The Kansas City Barbeque Society -sanctioned event, operating under KCBS rules. It is locally operated as a fundraising event on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association by High Point Events, the Montgomery County Career Fire. Fighters Association and the Montgomery County Career Officers Association. Come spend a beautiful fall day at Montgomery County’s premier event facility, High Point Farm, while watching some of barbecue’s finest grill teams compete for top marks in four gastronomic categories: Beef Brisket, Pork Ribs, Chicken and Pork. Competition has never tasted (nor smelled) so good…nor happened for such a great cause!

Mike StaibBarbecue Styles of America: A Guide to Regional Barbecue Flavors
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