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It’s The Ergo Chef #BlackFriday-#CyberMonday Sale & Holiday Gift Guide!

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Hello everyone and welcome to a special edition of the Chop Talk Blog!. We’ve got a special event announcement first and a Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips on how to to help you make the Perfect Holiday Turkey, along with a recipe for Traditional Rustic Cranberry Sauce! But, the BIG DEAL is we’ve cooked up HUGE savings and discounts for you, our chefs, cooks and foodies, with our #BlackFriday-#CyberMonday Sale Holiday Gift Guide! Lots of products, Lots of savings! Only at Ergo Chef!


METROCOOKING DC – SHOP SIP SAMPLE!
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Ergo Chef will be demoing at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show in DC – Dec. 9th & 10th – info here: https://www.metrocookingdc.com/ Join us for the 12th annual MetroCooking DC Show! The ultimate food lover’s weekend returns to the Washington Convention Center December 9-10, 2017. Whether you’re an aspiring home cook or expert entertainer, the two-day culinary extravaganza provides a one-of-a-kind experience for all food and entertaining enthusiasts.

Enjoy cooking demos and book signings with top Celebrity Chefs. Sample from over 50 local restaurants in the Grand Tasting Pavilion. Wash down your fare with a local brew from the Beer, Wine and Spirits Garden. Learn new techniques and tips in the Taste Talk Workshops. Sharpen your skills in the pop-up cooking school. Meet your favorite James Beard award-winning chef and see them whip up delicious dishes live on the James Beard Stage.


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, we have a few horror stories of the days before I became the self proclaimed, “Gourmet Guy.” I have also heard stories from others, both friends and family, about such things as leaving the plastic ‘chitlins’ bag’ in the bird, raw and underdone turkeys, to piles of charcoal on a plate. In this installment, 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.

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), I recommend leaving it in a 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’ve 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.

Stuffing
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 (recipe below) 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. Called a Tur-duck-en, this is actually not a new concept. In ancient Rome, as well as in medieval times, cooks stuffed animals with other animals. A 13th century Andalusian cookbook includes a recipe for a ram stuffed with small birds. A similar recipe for a camel stuffed with sheep stuffed with bustards stuffed with carp stuffed with eggs is also mentioned in T.C. Boyle’s book Water Music. British celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall makes an incredible ten-bird roast, calling it “one of the most spectacular and delicious roasts you can lay before your loved ones.” A large turkey is stuffed with a goose, duck, mallard, guinea fowl, chicken, pheasant, partridge, pigeon and woodcock. The roast feeds around 30 people and also includes stuffing made from two pounds of sausage meat and half a pound of streaky bacon along with sage, port and red wine. Wow, now that truly is a mouthful!

Turkey stuffing usually consists of bread crumbs or cubes, dried bread, with onion, celery, salt, pepper, and other spices and herbs such as sage, or a mixture like poultry seasoning. In some cases, sausage or oysters are added as well. The term stuffing usually applies to the mixture when it is placed into the bird, while dressing is usually used when cooked outside. If you want to add a little sweetness to the turkey, stuff the cavity with some apples and raisins. If you are looking for something more savory and herbaceous, try adding rosemary and thyme with a little garlic and onion. For our purposes here, and since I am the Gourmet Guy, we’ll just stick to a traditional Oyster Stuffing.

Recipe 
Makes 14 cups
Ingredients
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup salted butter
5 cups crumbled cornbread
1 pound bulk pork sausage, rendered and drained of fat (optional)
Turkey giblets, cooked and chopped (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 stalks celery, diced (if you do not like cooked celery, as I do not, you can substitute a teaspoon of celery salt, but adjust your salt amount accordingly)
2 eggs
1 pint shucked oysters, drained, or more if desired (reserve the oyster liquor, should be about a 1/4 of a cup)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon paprika
Ground black pepper to taste

Method  
In a skillet, saute the celery & onions in butter until translucent.Remove. In the same pan, saute the sausage until just about done, but don’t overcook. Drain. 

In a large bowl combine the crumbled cornbread, cooked celery, cooked onions, cooked giblets, cooked sausage, oysters, parsley, salt, pepper, paprika, dried sage. Mix well.
Beat the 2 eggs. Add the eggs and chicken stock and oyster liquor to the stuffing mixture and thoroughly incorporate. 
In the bird: 
Stuff the bird’s cavity. Remove stuffing promptly once bird is cooked. 
Out of the bird: 
Bake the stuffing in a large casserole dish in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. 

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 with salt pepper to taste.

Bon Appetit


tbpo11-lgErgo Chef Holiday Gift Guide Part 1

Welcome to the first installment of our Holiday Gift Guide. We have put together a list of some of the most popular and economical products available for you cooks and chefs out there. We are bringing you huge discounts of 10%-25% OFF* on every item on our website for our #BlackFriday #CyberMonday Sale this year. Sale starts at 12:01 AM Friday 11/24/17 through Midnight Monday, 11/27/17. We hope you enjoy the guide and of course we wish you all happy shopping and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

*25% discount will be applied to your cart at checkout. Does not include Services or Factory Seconds. We will have 10% Extra off for those items.


SHINZUI 8 Inch 67 Layer Damascus Chef Knife

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This 8 inch Chef (Gyuto) knife is appropriately named “SHINZUI™” to encompass it’s total composition. It’s the Japanese meaning for core, strength and essence.  From the blade it highlights the super strong and durable VG10 “core” having super “strength” and to the look and “essence” in the form and functional design of this 8” Japanese chef knife to give you ultimate performance in your kitchen!
List Price: $250.00
Price:$129.99

Order Here


Crimson Steak Knife Set

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The Ergo Chef CRIMSON Series 4 piece Kitchen steak knife set features polished precision sharp blades and a tapered pinch grip bolster for comfort and control. The beautiful wood grain design of the G10 fiberglass composite handles make these a great addition to any table setting while impressing guests with their great weight and feel through every cut. From the steak knives full bolster and contoured comfort handle to the blade these give you great control when slicing through all beef, poultry and vegetables. Order yours today and discover the beauty and precision of Ergo Chef Crimson Series steak knives in your kitchen.

List: $200.00
Price: $144.99
Order Here


Pro Series Carving Set
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This Ergo Chef Pro-Series 2 Piece carving set includes a One Piece 8″ Solid Carving Fork and a fully forged one piece 9″ Carving knife with Hollow grounds. The precision sharp beveled edge & polished blade alows for smooth precise slicing of all your proteins. Comes in a black gift box with magnet front flap for safe storage when not in use. Perfect for slicing & serving up all your roasts, chicken, ham, and steaks with ease.  Let this highly rated cutlery line help you cut better in your kitchen.
List Price: $130.00
Price:79.99
Order Here


3 DUO tongs XLAward Winning Pro Series locking DUO Tongs!

This 3pc. Locking Kitchen Tong set has a 9″ pair for serving and small stove top cooking. A 12″ Pair (Tested & Recommended by Cooking Club of America) when you need a bit more reach and a 15″ Pair for the grill & professional kitchen. They feature 500 degree silicone heads on one side for non-stick pan use, and steel teeth on other side for picking up anything you need a real firm grip on. Will pick up anything, from Ice, pasta, vegetables, to shredded lettuce, salads, chicken, steak, & pork. Anything! You can even stick them in a deep fryer and let the slot in one head drains the oil before plating.  Or use the other solid head side for scooping sauce while plating. The non-slip grip handle keep you in control & locking slide ring keeps them closed when storing & opened when in use. Order yours today!

3PC Set
List Price: $75.00
Price:$39.99
Order Here


My Juicer II Personal Blender with Grinder & Extra Sport Bottle

My Juicer II Extra bottle & grinder set

The perfect gift this holiday season for the ‘juicer’ in your life! My Juicer II Personal Blender Smoothie Maker with Grinder Assembly & Extra 20oz. Sport Bottle!

Blend Well – Live Better! This new My Juicer II has an updated stylish design with a powerful heavy duty 300+ Watt motor for crushing ice, blending juice drinks and smoothies for a healthy lifestyle.

List Price: $150.00
Price: $74.95

Order Here


roll bagChef Gear Roll Bags

Part of the new trademarked “Chef Gear” by Ergo Chef, LLC, The Chef Gear Pocket Knife Roll bag carry cases are made from durable nylon to securely & safely transport your valuable knives & tools. Elastic top pockets keep the knives secure and the heavy duty double zipper keeps the bag closed for safe transporting. Features a Card holders for identification and a padded handle for comfortable carrying. Get your Chef Gear roll bag today!

5 Pkt
List Price: $30.00
Price: $16.99

9 Pkt
List Price: $45.00
Price: $22.99

13 Pkt
List Price:$65.00
Price: $33.99


 NoCutGloves_KnifeCHEF GEAR(TM) Cut Resistant Gloves 

The must have gloves for safe food preparation and protein breakdown. High Performance Level 5 Protection, Food Grade by Ergo Chef. These gloves give you piece of mind when prepping slippery foods and help you avoid cuts without sacrificing comfort and feel. They are designed to be light and thin so you can feel the items you are cutting, our CHEF GEAR(TM) Cut Resistant gloves weigh less than an ounce and feel surprisingly soft given how much protection they provide. Available in four sizes-small, medium and large & XL to ensure they fit snugly when you wear them. See size chart picture to be sure you get the right fit. Sold in Pairs.

List Price: $20.00
Price: $9.99

Order Here


pro-series-bannerThe ergonomic design incorporates a full radius on the blade for smooth and efficient cutting. The abbreviated bolster makes it easy to hone & sharpen the knife edge which comes precision sharp out of the box. The cutlery has hollow grounds in the blade which help reduce friction and provide less sticking for quicker and smoother cuts. Take the Pro-Series cutlery challenge! Put the engineered, proven and tested design of these knives to work in your kitchen and enjoy what 10s of thousands of chefs and home cooks enjoy every day…comfort, precision, & less strain when making a meal.

Order Here


1082-S-chef-knifeSpecial Pro Series Spotlight: Patented Ergonomic 8” Pro-Series Hollow Ground Chef Knife

The Ergo Chef Pro-Series 8″ Chef with hollow ground blade has a knife bolster area that is rounded for comfort and excellent control. The ergonomic design incorporates a full radius on the blade for smooth and efficient cutting. The abbreviated bolster makes it easy to hone & sharpen the knife edge which comes precision sharp out of the box. The cutlery has hollow grounds in the blade which help reduce friction and provide less sticking for quicker and smoother cuts. Take the Pro-Series cutlery challenge! Put the engineered, proven and tested design of this knife to work in your kitchen and enjoy what 10’s of thousands of chefs and home cooks enjoy every day…comfort, precision, & less strain when making a meal.

List Price:$140.00
Price:$84.99
Order Here


crimson-banner (1)Crimson Series

CRIMSON G10 Cutlery Set is crafted from high carbon German steel with special ground precision sharp edges for light work of any kitchen prep task. The handles are made with the world’s strongest G10 (Fiberglass Resin Material) in a reddish brown wood grain look & no maintenance needed. The polished blades are stain resistant for easy to cleaning and maintenance. Enjoy the beauty of these fine precision cutting blades in your kitchen and discover the quality, passion and ergonomics behind Ergo Chef.

Order Here 


myron-bannerGrill Tool SMyron Mixon 3-in-1 Grill Tool

Flip it, Slice it, Pop it!
The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is the first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! Coming from the world’s winningest man in BBQ he knows what works. The 3 in one design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook, a good sharp knife & a bottle opener, built into the blade to keep you cool, sipping your beverage of choice.  Now get grilling your favorite foods, and be the boss of your grilling domain with the ultimate “Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool.”
List Price: $50.00
Price:$29.99

erg047_19.5x19.5_DISPLAYheadersPersonalized Laser Engraving

Tired of trying to figure out what to get that chef, cook or foodie in your life? This could be THE perfect solution. Personalize your knives or gifts with a permanent black Laser Engraving of a Name (5 to 20 Characters) or Initials (up to 3 Characters) on the knife blade. Great Corporate Gift Idea as well. Please allow up to 7 working days (Monday – Friday) for this service and allow for 3 to 8 days before you receive it. Get your Knives and orders in now so you have them back in time for Christmas!

Order Here


Look for the second installment of our Holiday Gift Guide Mid December! Til then, Happy Cooking and have a great and Happy Thanksgiving!

Ergo Chef

Mike StaibIt’s The Ergo Chef #BlackFriday-#CyberMonday Sale & Holiday Gift Guide!
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Springtime with Ergo Chef!

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Hello everyone and welcome to the Spring edition of Chop Talk!. Things are really getting busy around here and we’ve got some great events, recipes and product deals for you. Enjoy!

Upcoming Events

Ergo will be starting a series of classes for the home cook at our new Danbury Connecticut Showroom & Store. We’ll be posting on twitter Facebook and Instagram as we schedule each class.

April 25th: Knife Skills 101 Class with Celebrity Teacher Chef Plum · Hosted by Ergo Chef Cutlery  

uR6vZTVPKnife Skills 101 Class is perfect for learning about proper knife use and hands on slicing and dicing etc. You’ll learn many cuts and valuable skills from professional Chef Plum. Each participant will have their own cutting area and all items needed are provided by Ergo Chef.

We’ll also quickly go through how to clean and maintain your knife edges with different sharpening methods.

Chef Plums Bio

Limited Tickets Available!

Cost $18.00

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Your Experience will Include:

– Professional Chef – Chef Plum as main instructor host / VP of Ergo Chef Michael Staib (AKA Mr. Knife) as Co-instructor.
– You’ll take home valuable knife skills by learning many different cuts & proper knife care & handling.
– Ergo Chef cutlery will be provided for use in class, but feel free to bring your favorite knife if you have one.
– A Video of Chef Plum’s knife skills will be available via a link.
– Refreshments & light snacks will be served.
– You’ll get $5.00 back from the ticket price when you purchase $20 or more from our discounted merchandise in our showroom.

Reserve your place now! Get Tickets

May 6th-7, 2017

Rotary-of-Ridgefield-Gone-Country-BBQ_2017Ergo Chef will be one of the sponsors of the Ridgefield Gone Country BBQ Festival – Sanctioned NEBS & KCBS Event Plus Rides and Games for the Family!

Location: #Ridgefield Community Center at the Lounsbury House
Ridgefield-Gone-Country-2016-005Dates: May 6th 11am – 9pm, May 7th 11am – 5pm

For info & Tickets: https://www.ridgefieldbbqct.com/family-fun/

Ergo Chef will be on hand demoing knife skills and how to sharpen your knives. Special offers on products and sales on site. We look forward to seeing you there!

#CT #Connecticut #RidgefieldCT Check out the UpdatedFlyer here!

June 23–25, 2017 Chefs Throwdown III

chefs throwdownErgo Chef cutlery has announced it will be sponsor for Chefs Life Throwdown & #Florida Chef, Peter Silvano & Chef’s Life Group.
This is open to all and limited tickets so we want chefs and serious foodies to be apart of this culinary adventure for 2 days.
#Chefs Life Throwdown started as an annual event for A Facebook group of professional Chefs and cooks to network with each other and have a relaxing weekend. In just 3 yrs the group has morphed into a group of over 11,000 members worldwide. So as we grow so shall our event.

This year will not be just fun and relaxing, it will be educational. We have Chefs from the group and outside of it to perform demos of Sushi, fresh pasta, charcuterie, whole animal fabrication and more. Our focus is local and sustainable. We hope to send people home with a better understanding of food and its sources. We will be cooking an array of national dishes and trying samples of the demos.

A live DJ(DEE JAY CAPONE) will be spinning all day and night. We will have sponsored vendors and a hand rolled cigars will be available. The last bit of fun for the evening will be the collaboration with Extreme Food Fights. Six Chefs battle it out with surprise ingredients.The winner will get prizes and bragging rights.

This event is being held at Green Bench Brewing Co. so great craft beers and wines will be flowing. A proceed of tickets sales will be going to the Farming Industry and a local charity.
The weekend does not stop there. Chefs Life Group members ticket price includes Sundays Funday ! A beach side cookout with fresh seafood, Sangria and beer!!!

The public’s tickets will be Saturday only for Extreme Food Fight
Hotels have been sourced for us at a discounted rate. There is also options for BNBs that can be split up with others for a cheaper cost. We are trying to work with Uber and or Lift to have driver services during our event.

Stay tuned in for more surprises and possible celebrity Chef sightings!!!!!

To purchase tickets go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chefs-life-throwdown-iii-ticke…

The $125 is an early bird price. The event ticket price as of May 1st will go up to $225 for both days. Sundays event will be on the beach but will have a Gazebo rental and tables for that day. Get the tickets soon!

Any other questions or requests please email Peter Silvano at @chefslifeapparel@gmail.com
Chef’s Life Throwdown III

Recipe

Orange Miso Glazed Seabass~Goat Cheese Dumplings~Florida Orange Broth 

This recipe comes from Exec Chef, Brian Roland. It captures all that is healthy, fresh and perfect in spring dish.

Orange – Miso Glaze

Ingredients
1 cup O.J.
1/4 cup Lime Juice
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 Bunch Scallions, chopped
2 Tbl Garlic, chopped
1/2 Cup Mirin
4 Tbl Miso
1 Tbl Brown Sugar

Method:
Sweat Garlic and Scallions. Deglaze with all 3 citrus juices and reduce for 30 seconds. Add mirin, brown sugar, and miso. Bring to a boil again and lower to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes on low to incorporate flavors. Reduce lightly to achieve a glaze consistency. Strain when finished.

Goat Cheese Dumplings
Ingredients
8 oz Goat Cheese, Fresh
8 oz Cream Cheese
12 Gyoza Skins (or wonton skins)
1 egg
1 cup cornstarch

 

Method
Whip the goat cheese and cream cheese together until fully incorporated and smooth. Place in a pastry bag. Crack the egg on a small bowl and mix with a little water to create an egg wash. Lay out the Gyoza skins flat and brush with the egg wash. Pipe the goat cheese/cream cheese mixture into the center, and fold over one side to create a half moon shape. Crimp the edges and dredge the dumplings in corn starch until ready to use, to prevent them from sticking and drying out.

Florida Orange Broth
Ingredients
12 Fresh Florida Oranges

Method
Squeeze the oranges into a bowl. Strain the liquid very well through a strainer with cheese cloth if you have, and serve at room temperature.

Final Plating
Ingredients
Goat Cheese Dumplings
Apple Smoked Bacon
Baby Broccolini
Florida Orange Broth
4 Filets of Chilean Seabass
4 oz Orange Miso Glaze
12 pcs Baby Broccolini, trimmed and blanched
12 Goat Cheese Dumplings
12 oz Florida Orange Broth
4 T Apple Smoked Bacon, Crisped

Method
Sear the sea bass filets on high heat in a saute pan with 1T of oil, until the tops have browned. Turn over and brush the tops with the orange miso glaze. Finish in the oven for about 8 -10 minutes. Place the dumplings in boiling water to poach, remove with a slotted spoon when ready. In a saute pan add apple smoked bacon and broccolini, and heat until both are hot. Add the goat cheese dumplings, and continue to heat. Place this mixture in the bottom of a shallow bowl and place the glazed seabass on top. Pour the Florida Orange broth around the bowl and serve.

 Bon Appetit

6pc Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Set_XLMyron Mixon 6pc #BBQ Set

#Grillmasters, now is the time to gear up for summer!
6pc #BBQ Set with Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool. This set includes the tools you need to prep and cook great BBQ.

Starting with the 6″ Prodigy II Boning knife for prepping your meats and trimming them up nice. The precision sharp blade and non-slip-grip handles on all the tools in this kit keep you in control.

The 15″ DUO tongs will get a grip on larger food products for easy flipping on the grill.

Then you have the amazing 3-in-1 Pitmaster Grill Tool for opening your beverage, flipping your foods with the patented hook design, then slicing them up with the chef knife blade. Durable, the easy to maintain blade hook is capable of flipping up to 20 lbs.

The 5 pocket durable Nylon Chef bag stores everything nicely for easy transportation.

Order yours today! Shop Now

NEW Product in Showroom only or online direct from Grand Daddy’s Southern Style BBQ Bethel, CT.

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We have some great new local BBQ Sauce available from Granddaddy’s Southern Style BBQ in 4 great flavors for all your Q’ing!

Heritage

Granddaddy Scales made his original sauce for over 40 years in the shed behind their home in Elberton, GA.

Bill, his grandson helped to make batches of sauce using boat paddles to stir the giant pots.

Granddaddy always kept the recipe a secret but shared the loved sauce with family and friends!

Bill has followed in his Granddaddy’s footsteps and spent many hours perfecting all of our Granddaddy Sauces.

For us it is more than just BBQ Sauce, it is an expression of love for family, friends and food!

We hope you enjoy!”

Click Link: You Can Buy Direct from Grand Daddy’s Here 20160326_104307


Mike StaibSpringtime with Ergo Chef!
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Ergo Chef 2016 Recap & A Look Ahead to 2017!

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

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

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


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


Culinary-School

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


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

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

 

 

 

 


Recipe : Cassoulet, a hearty stew to keep you warm 

Ingredients

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

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

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

Thanks again and All the best for this coming year!

Ergo Chef

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

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


The Origin of the Backyard Barbecue?

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

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

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

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


Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Styles of American Barbecue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

North Carolina

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

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

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

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

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


The New My Juicer 2

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

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

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

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

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

4pcgrillkitMyron_XL

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

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


 Michael Symon Sweepstakes & 3 PC Set0002957

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mike StaibHappy Fourth of July! Have we got some news for you!
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Autumn means Stocks & Soups, Food Shows, Sweepstakes Event, Chef Kern & a Fall classic, Pork Osso Bucco…

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Welcome to October and the start of the Fall Season. We love this time of year for so many reasons. One, is that we get to attend some of the great food and culinary shows around the country and we look forward to to meeting and greeting you all face to face. That said, coming up this month is the Metro D.C. Cooking Show, Oct 24-25, 2015 in Washington D.C. & we’ll be heading to Cleveland Nov 13-15, 2015 for the Fabulous Food Show.

The Metro DC Cooking Show banner-15Headlining this year’s DC show will be Giada De Laurentiis and our good friend and partner, Chef Michael Symon. We’ll be displaying and demoing all our great products, including the new Michael Symon Cutlery Line (Chef Symon will be at the booth both days to greet you up close) and the new Myron Mixon Grill Tool.
Saturday October 24 – Sunday October 25, 2015
Walter E. Washington Convention Center – Washington, DC
Saturday Hours: 10 am – 6 pm ~ Sunday Hours: 10 am – 5 pm

We’ll be at Booth #1315. We hope to see you there!
Ticket prices: General Admission – $18 in advance; Children 4-12 – $10 in advance
Children under 4 free

The Fabulous Food Show, Nov. 13-15, 2015

FFS-Logo-156x203_50584The Nation’s Premier Culinary Celebration is bigger than ever! The 10th annual Fabulous Food Show returns to the I-X Center November 13-15, 2015. This is not your ordinary cooking show, it’s a full weekend of food, fun, and entertainment! Spread out over 400,000 square feet of indoor space, this unparalleled cultural experience features the country’s largest presentation of fine food, fine art, craft breweries, wineries, restaurants, and purveyors all under one roof!The Market Place: Sample and shop from a collection of hundreds of companies showcasing a variety of specialty foods and culinary gadgets.Taste, Try & Buy just in time for the holiday entertaining season.

SymonSimmonsValastroGiant Eagle Market District Theatre: Custom built open theatre hosted by Jason Roberts. Featuring live exclusive content on stage all weekend with Michael Symon, Buddy Valastro, Gail Simmons, Aaròn Sànchez, Frankie Avalon, The Samples and Gospel Brunch presented by House of Blues Cleveland. All performances are included with admission. Seating is first come, first served.

We’ll be there with all our great products and I’m sure Chef Symon will be stopping by to talk to you all about his new Michael Symon Cutlery Line. We’ll be at Booth #1352. For more info, visit the official website here: www.fabulousfoodshow.com


Food Tips & Kitchen Tricks

Stock

To begin, let’s take the simple definition. Most soups start with some type of broth or stock which is defined as; a liquid (usually water) that is fortified with a definite flavor. Different types of stocks include, vegetable, chicken, beef, duck, fish, lobster, corn, asparagus, etc The list is endless depending on what flavor you are looking for and, of course the ingredients that you are going to use it in. The final flavor you are trying to achieve determines how you are going to treat the ingredients going in. As an example were you to be making corn stock, your flavors would take on a completely different profile if you were using raw corn vs. roasted corn. Developing a base flavor is an important part, if not the most important part, of a successful soup and that can be achieved in many ways. If the home cook wants to make a meaty and rich soup for instance, it is important to caramelize the meat and vegetables first, then deglaze the pan with a liquid (sometimes red or white wine) to remove the flavorful pieces from the bottom of the pan (called fond) and add those flavors to the soup resulting in a richness of flavor called Umami.

A French term called ‘Mirepoix,’ is the foundation of most soups and stocks. This is a mixture of 2 parts onion, 1 part carrot, and 1 part celery. Make sure you have a good sharp Chef knife to break them down. Aromatics are flavor enhancers that are added to your stock to bloom or boost flavors. Aromatics include: peppercorns, bay leaves, juniper berries, any herbs, any onions, or garlic. Most importantly, we need to determine what type of stock we want to create, and then decide what the future of our beautiful stock will be. After you have added all your ingredients, you are now ready to let your stock simmer. A simmer is a temperature between 190-200 degrees and different stocks have different simmering times in order to reach their fullness of flavor:

Vegetable stocks~45 minutes
Fish stocks~1 hour 30 minutes,
Chicken (Poultry) stocks~2 hours,
Beef stocks~6 hours ( pre-roast the bones)

Once your stock is completely simmered to it’s full richness, the final step is straining it properly. What we are looking for is a pure, smooth and beautiful liquid so at this point we need to pass it through a strainer or “cheesecloth” to remove all impurities and vegetables, or large ingredients. Your stock can now be used immediately, or can be frozen in smaller batches to be thawed and used the next time you decide to make a soup or sauce.

Soupfallsoup

Soup is a food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables in stock or hot/boiling water, until the flavor is extracted, forming a broth. Traditionally, soups are classified into two broad groups: clear soups and thick soups. The established French classifications of clear soups are bouillon and consomme. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish thickened with cream; cream soups are thickened with béchamel sauce; veloutes are thickened with eggs, butter and cream.

Other ingredients commonly used to thicken soups and broths include rice, flour, and grains and beans. The word soup originates from “sop,” a dish originally consisting of a soup or thick stew which was soaked up with pieces of bread. The modern meaning of sop has been limited to just the bread intended to be dipped. Cooking with the seasons can be a lot of fun, so when thinking soups and stocks, consider ingredients available at that time of year and enjoy gathering ingredients that are at their peek of freshness. Autumn is a great season for soups, so be creative and enjoy!


Chef’s Spotlight

JSKMHPChef Justin Kern

When you see Justin Kern handling a busy kitchen you’ll immediately say to yourself “that dude is fierce.” You’re not wrong. He gets it done. Hailing from Kingston, NY Chef Kern has been in the business since 1999. His love affair with food goes all the way back to his father. His father might not have been a chef, but he loved to cook and put his own spin on things. He explained, “From what I understand my mom couldn’t cook to save her life. Sorry Mom. My father was a Marine and he just loved to cook, nothing fancy, but very eclectic. I learned to eat a lot of different foods very early. My Grandparents also used to dine out on all types of cuisines, so they really exposed me to lots of different cuisines.”

Since building his initial kitchen chops at a pizza and BBQ joint in upstate NY, Chef Kern has been a private chef and caterer, been involved with beer dinners and special events as well as an uber successful series of pop-up dinners here in Connecticut. He stated, “I remember when I first started, it was a job. My very first job was pizza delivery and watching the guys in the kitchen, I was fascinated. I was 16 and within a year I was running the place, making all the food etc.”

Chef Kern has worked with chefs from all over the county, and quite frankly, from all over the world. He knows a thing or two and is passionate about delivering not just a delicious meal, but also one that uses quality ingredients. At the top of his list is always locally grown ingredients. He believes it’s important to support the people and businesses around him. Justin came to Meetinghouse Pub because he loved the vision of the owners. He also loved the team and how all the different personalities worked so well together. His favorite part of being a chef? “When you do it right, you can bring joy and make people feel good.”

Justin KernI asked him about his cuisine and food philosophy and he answered. “I love local and try to be local as much as I can with regard to my ingredients. For instance I can’t get Ahi Tuna locally but I can get deep water shrimp from local day boats, caught the morning in Connecticut waters and have them on the plate that night. As for my cuisine I’d call it Americano, upscale pub food, focused on local ingredients and simple comfort food flavors. Simple dishes executed with great technique consistently.” I asked him about Ergo Knives. “I love my Ergo knives. I have tendonitis in my hands and working with the Pro Series does take a learning curve, but I can use them all day with minimal abuse to my hands. I recommend them to everyone. They’re quality knives. My go to is my 10″ Pro Series Chef Knife.”

We then ended with brief rapid fire question and answer.

CT: Crocs or no crocs?
JK: No crocs
CT: Favorite tool in the kitchen?
JK: My 10″ Ergo Chef Knife
CT: Favorite junk food?
JK: Gummy Bears
CT: What do you eat after shift?
JK: (laughs) Alcohol
CT: Least favorite ingredient?
JK: Coconut
CT: Favorite ingredient?
JK: Pork
CT: Favorite spice?
JK: Salt
CT: Favorite cuisine to cook?
JK: Recently I’m exploring Italian. Sauces, pastas, etc.
CT: Favorite cuisine to eat?
JK: I’m a huge seafood fan, regardless of type, be it Asian, American.
CT: Fine dining or casual?
JK: I’m all about casual. The best things happen over food. Weddings, birthdays, holidays, all over food.

You can connect with Chef Kern via social media here: Twitter: @Chef_JKern Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jkern01?fref=ts


Recipe

12053374_10154261051874517_585699994_nPork Osso Bucco With Creamy Grits and Pumpkin Beer Gravy

Courtesy of Chef Justin Kern

 

 

 

Pork Ingredients:
4 Pork Shank
6 pack of your favorite pumpkin beer
1 Qt chicken stock
1 white onion roughly chopped
2 large carrots roughly chopped
1 bunch celery roughly chopped
1 head garlic
3 tbs EVOO

Grits Ingredients:
1 C Grits (yellow corn)
1 ¼ C Chicken stock
1 ¼ C Heavy Cream
½ Onion diced
3 Garlic cloves minced
1 Tbs EVOO
2 Tbs Mascarpone

Method
In a large pan sear off pork with EVOO until golden brown on all sides. Add vegetables to pot and cook until onions are transparent and starting to brown. Then pour in beer and chicken stock until pork is completely covered by liquid. Cover your pot with a snug fitting lid or tin foil and place in a 375 deg oven for 4-6 hours depending on thickness of pork.. Your looking for it to pull apart with ease. Salt and pepper before you wear off meat and salt and pepper to taste.

When Pork is finished, in a medium pot add EVOO and turn to high heat. When pan is hot add Garlic and onions and sweat until onions are translucent. At that point add chicken stock, heavy cream and bring to a low boil. Turn heat to low and add grits. Stir frequently until grits have become soft and they absorbed all liquid (if there is no liquid left and there is still to much texture to the grits add chicken stock ¼ C at a time until done). Stir in Mascarpone to finish

Reserve about 2C of your braising liquid. In a small pot add 1 Tbs of cornstarch and water mixed. Bring to a boil and smother pork on plate!


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.

Get 15% OFF this month with coupon code: OCT15 


Ergo Chef & Simply Symon Fall Sweepstakes

erg047_19.5x19.5_DISPLAYheadersContest on Ergo Chef’s Facebook Page!

Contest Starts October 15th at 10am! The Winner will be announced by November 16th via video on the event page by Chef Symon.  Simply join the event and RSVP as “Going” for your chance to win.  Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/ergochef 

Mike StaibAutumn means Stocks & Soups, Food Shows, Sweepstakes Event, Chef Kern & a Fall classic, Pork Osso Bucco…
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History of Fried Chicken & Spotlight on Chef Duff Goldman…

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Hello and welcome to July’s Chop Talk!

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

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

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selecting The Best Chicken

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

Follow these steps below to help you along the way:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Chef’s Spotlight: Duff Goldman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like Duff on Facebook, Follow @Duff_Goldman on Twitter


Recipe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Gourmet Store Spotlight

whisk-logoThe Whisk Experience

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

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

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

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

Explore Our Array of Raleigh & Cary Cooking Classes & Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mike StaibHistory of Fried Chicken & Spotlight on Chef Duff Goldman…
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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 

products-knife-set-540

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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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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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.

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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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