All posts tagged: Cutlery

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

shinzui-8-in-box
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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It’s a Fun Filled Fall/Winter…Fabulous Food Show here we come!

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Hello everyone and welcome to the fall/winter edition of Chop Talk. We have got a fun filled couple of months ahead so let’s get to all the news. First up we’d like to thank all our supporters customers and fans, this has been an awesome year with lots of great adventures for us here at Ergo Chef.


ffs16-tickets-on-sale-now-1024x468Once again it’s Fabulous Food Show Time out in Cleveland. 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 Fabulous Food Show (November 11-13, 2016) lets you TASTE, TRY AND BUY your way around the exhibitor MarketPlace, International Beer & Wine Pavilions, Streetfare and more at the International Exposition (I-X) Center. Cleveland’s largest presentation of fabulous food, fine art, breweries, wineries, restaurants and purveyors all under one roof with a wide variety of live demonstrations and hundreds of companies showcasing specialty foods, drinks and culinary gadgets.Ergo Chef’s Booth is 1352/1354 and we will have special available ll weekend…who knows maybe even Chef Symon will stop by….you never know! Get you tickets here: https://www.fabulousfoodshow.com/tickets/ NOTE: #Cleveland, you can now get the complete Michael Symon Cutlery Line at all Bed, Bath & Beyond stores throughout the Cleveland area.


We are official sponsor of a local Connecticut TV show, “Edible Nutmeg on the Road” with Celebrity Chef Plum” from Newtown, CT. Edible Nutmeg is a quarterly magazine dedicated to real food, family farms, the community, and a sustainable future in Connecticut.

ur6vztvpFrom Chef Plum: “One of my favorite things about Connecticut is our abundance of small farms and food producers, and I have always championed local produce, whether it’s at my award winning pop-up dining series, “Dinner Underground,” or at other events. It’s important to support these local farms and artisans, because if we don’t, we may lose them.

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Edible Nutmeg on the Road is all about supporting and promoting our local foods! We’ll be visiting some of the coolest places in Connecticut and meeting some of the state’s best farmers and food makers. The passion from the people we meet is inspiring, and we’ll be making a dish at the end of every episode to feature their talents.

If there is a place you think we should take Edible Nutmeg on the Road, email us or leave us a comment on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @EdibleNutmeg.

And don’t forget to check out our previous adventures on the road, in Season 1!

See you all on the road! #ediblenutmegOTR”

Chef Plum


shinzui-bannerOur gorgeous new SHINZUI 8″ 67 Layer Damascus Chef Knife has arrived and is shipping!!!. Order yours before supplies run out and get a FREE 10″ Oval Diamond Sharpening Rod! #Japenesesteel

shinzui-8-in-boxThe Shinzui Chef knife was designed for precise slicing through all types of food product. Crafted with our Patented design providing ultimate comfort and grip, abbreviated bolster blends into the VG10 Japanese Super Steel Core blade for durability and well known long lasting sharpness.shinzui-8-lhs-ds

The Japanese VG10 steel blade has 33 layers of softer Damascus steel per side for a beautiful, one-of-a-kind. pattern with each knife. A Precision 15 degree cutting edge per side provides Samuri Sword-like cuts through the toughest of vegetables, fruit, red meat, poultry, pork and fish.

shinzui-8-sweet-potatoes-2-not-squareOrder yours now and lock in this Ultimate Kitchen Knife. https://tinyurl.com/h6jn6pb

FEATURES: shinzui-full-iso
Blade: VG10 Japanese Super Steel Core with Our Custom Damascus Layer Patterns – Each knife pattern will be slightly different. Edge: Heat Treat: 60 HRC +/- 2 for superior long lasting sharpness and durability. Tempered to perfection. Handle: G10 Fiberglass Resin Composite with Mosaic Center Rivet and 2 Stainless Steel Rivets – Fully Polished for Beauty. The G10 handle is one of the world’s strongest materials for lifetime of worry free use.


Braised Pork Belly w/ Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Haricot Verts & Bourbon Apple Demi Glaze

 Courtesy of Chef Eric Austin, Big E’s Soul Food

Pork Belly
Ingredients:
5lb. pork belly
½ oz. fresh thyme
2 large garlic bulbs
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper

Method:
Preheat oven to 325 degree F
First score the pork belly by making crisscross cuts along the entire top surface of the meat. Next, cut the whole bulbs of garlic in half across its width and place each quarter (cut side up) at the corner of a pan large enough to house the pork belly. Place the fresh thyme sprigs in the center. Now lay the pork belly to rest on the garlic bulbs – they will act like table legs, raising the meat up from the pan. Pour in the wine and sprinkle the top of the belly with salt and pepper. Cover loosely with foil and braise in the oven for 2 hrs.

Once the pork belly is cooled, transfer it to a casserole dish large enough to house it – although at this point it may be cut to any size. You’ll need to weigh it down by placing another casserole dish directly on top of the pork belly so that it is sandwiched in between. Place a couple of soup cans or some weighted item on top of that so that it may press in your refrigerator overnight, or 24 hours.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients:
3 large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pinch salt

Method:
Start a pot of water to boil. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and add to boiling water. Remove when potatoes are fork tender. Place in a mixer and add all other ingredients and mix until smooth. Place in a piping bag and set aside until ready for use.

Haricot Verts or fresh green beans, have simply been blanched in salted hot water for about thirty seconds, remove immediately to an ice water bath until ready for sauté.

Bourbon Apple Demi – Glaze
Ingredients:
1/4 cup apple butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 shallot (fine dice)
*1 cup demi – glaze
Pinch of salt
1 shot bourbon
Fond from the pork belly pan

Method:
In a small sauce pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the shallots until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth, and let reduce until it coats the back of a spoon.
*Commercial demi glaze is fine for this recipe. In fact, for the home cook, I recommend it. For the die hard foodie – you can make it, but it’s three days of your life you’ll never get back!

To Plate:
Preheat oven to 400. Remove covering from pork and place in oven until crispy golden on top. It is now ready to serve. Quickly sauté Haricot Verts in a small amount of olive oil, just enough to heat.

Using a pastry bag, pipe the mashed sweet potatoes in the center of the plate. Place a small portion of the haricot verts on the left side of the potatoes. Drizzle the bourbon demi around the potatoes. Place a portion of the pork belly on the right side of the potatoes; be sure to let the ridges stay visible. Garnish with a sprig of the fresh thyme and, voila!

Bon Appetit!

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Last but not least to thank you for your loyalty and to help you celebrate the Holiday Season, we are having our Holiday Season Special with 20% OFF discount good from Nov. 24th – Dec. 8th Coupon Code: Holiday20
 
We wish you a great Thanksgiving and Christmas and we’ll be back at the beginning of the New Year. We’ll see you in Cleveland and wish all the best to you and yours!
Ergo Chef
Mike StaibIt’s a Fun Filled Fall/Winter…Fabulous Food Show here we come!
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16 Must Have #Autumn Ingredients & “The Chop Talk #BacktoSchool End of Summer Blowout Sale!”

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Hello everyone and welcome to August.

It’s hard to believe Summer is almost over and the kids will be going #backtoschool. It certainly has been a hot one. In this SPECIAL edition of Chop Talk we have some great info and promotions for you. First up, in Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips. In keeping with the fact that everyone loves a good list, we thought we’d give you a great rundown of the some of the abundance of autumn produce and ingredients that are available, or coming available, in this coming season. In addition we are bringing you our #BacktoSchool Blowout Sale with all products on the website at huge discounts. We also have two delicious video recipes for you from our partners, Pitmaster Champion Myron Mixon and America’s Favorite Chef,  Michael Symon. We hope you enjoy.! 

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Autumn Produce

Autumn has long been associated with the transition from warm to cold weather, the primary harvest has dominated its themes and popular images throughout the world. For many of us, especially here in the States, the smell of freshly made donuts, watching through the window while cider is being fresh pressed, and folks starting to get that wistful look in their eyes as they start to glimpse the hint of Thanksgiving and Christmas just over the horizon, is a childhood memory that brings warm thoughts of family and friends. We’re sure many of you can remember returning home from the farmers market with arms full of fresh produce, apples, cider, fresh donuts, placing pumpkins on the front stoop to await their fateful appointment with the carving knife that would soon transform them into the Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween night. The cooling of the nights, the touch of color in the leaves and the anticipation of the coming holiday season always gives the air clarity, as if shaking off the haze of summer.

Apples ApplesThere are thousands (7500) of varieties of apples, ranging from tender to crisp to sweet to tart. Apples are available year-round, but they’re best from September to November. Apples contain phytonutrients which can help you regulate your blood sugar. Eaten raw, or used as a great addition to any cheese board, baked alone, or used in a pie, they are healthy and delicious. Apples were brought to North America by colonists in the 17th century, and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625. The only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called “common apples.” All other varieties were brought here from Europe.

Celery Root (Celeriac) celery-rootCelery root, also known as celeriac, is the root of the celery plant. It is often available year-round, especially in temperate climates, but is at its best in the cooler months of fall, winter, and early spring (except in cold climates, where you’ll find it during the summer and early fall). Freshly harvested celery root is sometimes sold with the stalks and leaves still attached, as pictured here. It is edible raw or cooked, and tastes similar to celery stalks. It can be roasted, stewed, blanched, or mashed. Sliced celeriac occurs as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, and other savory dishes.

Chestnuts ChestnutIn Europe, Asia and Africa, chestnuts are often used as an everyday potato substitute. Although they are wonderful straight from the oven or fireplace, you can make use of the winter chestnut crop in many ways, both sweet and savory. Before trying one of the many chestnut recipes, learn about chestnut history and how to store them. Probably one of the first foods eaten by man, the chestnut dates back to prehistoric times.  The majority of the chestnut trees currently found in America are of native European stock, but Native Americans feasted on America’s own variety, Castanea dentata, long before European immigrants introduced their stock to America.  Today, most of the chestnut food crop is imported from Japan, China, Spain, and Italy. Legend has it that the Greek army survived on their stores of chestnuts during their retreat from Asia Minor in 401-399 B.C. Chestnuts contain twice as much starch as potatoes. It is no wonder they are still an important food crop in China, Japan, and southern Europe, where they are often ground into a meal for bread-making, thus giving rise to the nickname of “bread tree.”

Cranberries Cranberries95%  of all cranberries are used as to make juice. The remaining 5% is used to make sauce, compotes and jellies. They are a a major commercial crop in the U.S. with Wisconsin the leading producer of cranberries, with over half of U.S. production. Massachusetts is the second largest U.S. producer. Cranberries are harvested in the fall when the fruit takes on its distinctive deep red color. This is usually in September through the first part of November. To harvest cranberries, the beds are flooded as we’ve all seen from the TV commercials, with six to eight inches of water above the vines. A harvester is the driven through the beds to remove the fruit from the vines. Although most cranberries are wet-picked, 5–10% of the US crop is still dry-picked. Labor costs are higher and yield is much less, but dry-picked berries are less bruised and are usually the ones sold at your favorite farmers market or fresh fruit stand.

dates

Dates Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which grow in the desert. Harvested between September and March In the US they are grown in Arizona and California. They have a sweet, caramel-like taste and soft texture. Farmers markets may have fresh dates in season, but they are also available mail order from some growers and can usually be found at Middle Eastern markets.

Fennel fennelFennel has a light anise, or licorice, flavor. Crisp and refreshing when raw, but melts into a savory sweetness when slowly cooked. The tall green stalks look like celery with wispy dill-like leaves at the top. The stalks grow from a white onion-like bulb. All parts are edible, although the mild, tender bulb is most commonly used and served and is most associated with Italian cooking. It is often available year-round, but is at its best during its natural season from fall through early spring.

Hazelnuts hazelnutsHazelnuts are used in confectionery to make some pralines, in chocolate for some chocolate truffles, and in hazelnut paste products. They are rich in protein and unsaturated fat and contain significant amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6, as well as smaller amounts of other B vitamins. In season primarily in October, the majority if not all the hazelnuts available in the US come from Oregon. In Austria, hazelnut paste is an ingredient in the making of tortes(such as Viennese hazelnut torte). In Kiev cake, hazelnut flour is used to flavor its meringue body, and crushed hazelnuts are sprinkled over its sides. Dacquoise, is a French dessert cake, and often contains a layer of hazelnut meringue and is also a primary ingredient of the vodka-based liqueur Frangelico. Over 2,000 tons are imported annually into Australia, mostly to supply the demand from the Cadbury-Schweppes company. Hazelnut oil pressed from hazelnuts is strongly flavored and used as a cooking oil.

Mushrooms mushroomsThere are over two thousand types of mushrooms, but only 2 ½ – 5 % are edible. Though you can usually get mushrooms all year round they are at their peak in fall and winter. Always look for mushrooms that are firm, not broken and avoid those that seem damp or smell of mildew. There are many varieties available, from Shitake to Crimini, to Portabello and more exotic varieties like the Black Chanterelle.

Pears pearsThe pear is native to coastal and mildly temperate regions of the Old World, from western Europe and north Africa east right across Asia. Most of North American pears are grown in Oregon and Washington, and the harvest months listed here reflect that. Pears have no cholesterol, sodium, or saturated fat. They offer a natural, quick source of energy, due largely to high amounts of fructose and glucose, plus Levulose, the sweetest of known natural sugars, found to a greater extent in fresh pears than in any other fruit. Great raw, on cheeseboards, and poached.

Peas peasFreshly frozen garden peas and petits pois are frozen within just two and a half-hours of being picked. Peas are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, thiamine (B1), iron and phosphorus. They are rich in protein, carbohydrate and fibre and low in fat which is mostly of the unsaturated kind. The less water you use when cooking peas, the less vitamin C is lost. Steaming helps to conserve this vitamin.

Pumpkin pumpkinsAs one of the most popular crops in the United States, 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced each year. The top pumpkin producing states in the U.S. include Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California. Pumpkins are a warm weather crop that are usually planted in early July. When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted. Often, it is made into various kinds of pie which is a traditional staple of the Canadian and American Thanksgiving holiday. Pumpkins that are still small and green may be eaten in the same way as the vegetable marrow/zucchini. Pumpkins can also be eaten mashed or incorporated into soup.

Quince QuinceA quince is a hard, round or pear-shaped fruit. It looks and tastes like a cross between an apple and pear. Unlike apples and pears though, quinces are inedible raw. When cooked, quinces develop a slightly grainy texture similar to a firm pear and develop a rosy amber color. Their season is very brief, from October to December, so be sure to get them when you see them. Quince is a great side for duck and other game meats. You can use it as a paste on cheese boards, compote, poach it and also tarte tatin.

Sage sageOnce prized for its medicinal value, the most popular use of sage these days is in stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey. In ancient Rome, it was considered to have substantial healing properties, particularly helpful in the digestion of the ubiquitous fatty meats of the time, and was deemed a part of the official Roman pharmacopeia. Sage has been used effectively for throat infections, dental abscesses, infected gums and mouth ulcers. Great when used with game meats.

Squash Types

The term “summer” and “winter” for squash are only based on current usage, not on actuality. “Summer” types are on the market all winter; and “winter” types are on the markets in the late summer and fall, as well as winter.

BakedAcornSquash1_optAcorn This winter squash is shaped like an acorn. Great for baking. A small acorn squash weighs from 1 to 3 pounds, and has sweet, slightly fibrous flesh. In addition to the dark green acorn, there are now golden and multi-colored varieties.

ButternutSquashButternut Beige colored and shaped like a vase, this is a more watery squash and tastes somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. It has a bulbous end and pale, creamy skin, with a choice, fine-textured, deep-orange flesh with a sweet, nutty flavor. It weighs from 2 to 5 pounds. The more orange the color, the riper, drier and sweeter the squash.

Spaghetti A small, watermelon-shaped variety, ranges in size from 2 to 5 pounds or more. It has a golden-yellow, oval rind and a mild, Spaghetti-squashnut-like flavor. When cooked, the flesh separates in strands that resemble spaghetti. The most yellow squash will be the ripest and best to eat. Those that are nearly white are not very ripe. Spaghetti squash also freezes well.

Think outside the box when setting up your weekly menus and try different ingredients and techniques. You’ll be glad you did and it’s always great to get the family to try new things and expand their palette.

Ergo Chef


#BacktoSchool End of Summer Blowout!

My Juicer Back to School Special 20% OFF* 1 week only using Discount Coupon code: MYJUICER20 My Juicer

*Sale ends 8/22/16 Midnight.

my-juicer-bannerMy Juicer II Personal Blender Smoothie Maker with Grinder Assembly & Extra 20oz. Sport Bottle.

Blend Well – Live Better!

My Juicer II Extra bottle & grinder setThis 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. The My Juicer II by Ergo Chef extracts the nutrients from the food your blending so your body can better digest and absorb the nutrients, for a healthier you. The additional Grinder Cup and special blade allow you to grind nuts, coffee beans, Flax & Chia seeds & fresh herbs etc. Beautiful and sleek stainless steel & black design looks great in every kitchen.

INCLUDES: Stainless Steel and Composite black plastic Motor Base with suction feet, Blade Assembly, 2 – 20 Ounce Sport Bottles, Grinder Blade Assembly & Cup, Instruction ManuGrinder Blades_XLal & Recipes.

  • Powerful Heavy Duty Motor for Crushing Ice, Frozen Veggies & Fruit with 300+ WATTS (320 Watt Max Power)
  • Motor Base has suction feet for stable operation & Handle for easy storing and taking with you to the office
  • 2 – 20 Ounce Sport Bottle is Triton(R) shatter Proof Composite Plastic Material when on the go & BPA Free for a healthier lifestyle Fits in most car cup holders
  • My Juicer_II_1XLBottle top has compression fit cap for no accidental spills
  • Bottle has measurement Marks on side so you fill it just right
  • Easy to use, convenient size and easy cleanup!
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty

Motor Base Dimensions: Height: 6.750″, Width: 5.125″, Depth: 5.5″, Weight: 2 lbs. 5 Ounces, 2 Prong 120V Extension Cord Length: 44″ Long, Height with Sport Bottle Attached: 14-3/8″ TallMy Juicer EC105 w extra bottle_S

Sport Bottle Dimensions: Height with Lid: 9.5″, Dia. at Base: 2.925″, Lid Size: 2.9″ Dia. with 1.3″ handle length for easy carry, Spout: 1.050″ Outer Dia.  / .780″ Inner Dia. / .550″ Tall

GGrinder Assembly_XLrinder Blade & Cup Dimensions: Height Assembled: 4.5″ Tall x 3″ Dia. Blade Assembly, Grinder Cup Size: 3.650″ Tall x 2.5″ Dia.

Cleaning: Simply place warm water in bottle upto fill line after use with a few drops of dish soap.  Place on motor base and turn on. It will blend & naturally clean itself.  If needed use sponge for dried on drinks. Take apart and dry with a clean towel.

ORDER NOW: My Juicer


erg047_19.5x19.5_DISPLAYheadersCulinary School Kits & ALL WEBSITE PRODUCTS (services excluded)

USE Coupon Code: August15 for 15% OFF

That’s right you read correctly, 15% off everything on our website!

Culinary Kits

Culinary-School

10pc Prodigy kit XL picOur Culinary kits were designed for‪ #‎professionalchefs‬ and ‪#‎homecooks‬ who shop for exceptional value and want a reliable knife set without spending a fortune. Designed for ergonomic comfort and precision, the blades are crafted from high carbon stainless steel and have an 18 degree cutting edge so they can slice, chop or carve up any food product you need.

Order Now: Culinary School Kits


Myron Mixon

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MMPGT 4 XLThe Myron Mixon @Lord_of_Q 3-in-1 Grill Tool is the ultimate tool for you Pitmasters. 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.MMPGT 2 XL (1)

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 MMPGT 5 XLcarbon 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. Next, 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_XLSPECIFICATIONS: • 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 (5Cr15MoV

Only $29.99 or upgrade to our Kit with Ergo bag & a 15” DUO Grill Tong for only $59.99 here: Grill Tool


Michael Symon

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Save big on all Michael Symon’s Cutlery like this 3pc Starter Knife Set!

3pc MS CUP set XLThis Michael Symon Cutlery set provides you with your essential 9″ Chef knife for chopping up large fruits, vegetables and proteins. You also get a 6″ Serrated Utility knife for slicing up smaller soft veggies, bread, bagels and cheese. Lastly you have a 3.5″ paring knife for peeling and small cutting tasks, as well as fancy garnishes. Get cooking in your kitchen with these high quality tools.

Set Features: 9″ Chef knife, 6″ Serrated Utility knife, 3.5″ Paring knife, Lifetime Limited Warranty~30 Day Satisfaction Guaranteed – Money Back Guarantee! We guarantee you’ll love the quality & craftsmanship of these tools designed with Iron Chef Michael Symon.

Order Now: Michael Symon Cutlery


Crimson Series

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3 SH crimosn chef knives w names

 

 

This is a special 3pc Crimson G10 Knife set deal – List Price $390

Special $139.99 less extra 15% with a coupon code Crimson 3 PC Set Special

 

We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and we’ll be back with another blog post in October. Till then, all the best,

ERGO CHEF

Mike Staib16 Must Have #Autumn Ingredients & “The Chop Talk #BacktoSchool End of Summer Blowout Sale!”
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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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New Website Design, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chili, New Ceramic Paring Knife & Kosher Knives

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Welcome to April!

Spring is in full swing and Ergo has some new and exciting news for you all. First up is the new design of our website and blog. We’ve made them much more user friendly, with a new sleek look and, we’ve added a great new “Live Chat” feature so you can now talk live to a customer service rep with any order or product questions you may have. Just click the blue “Live Help” button on the lower right hand side of the home page.

In this edition of Chop Talk, Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips covers a topic we can never revisit enough Knife Basics & Sharpening. We’ve got a delicious Peanut Butter/Chocolate Chili recipe for you from Elaine Giammetta,The Gourmet Girl. Finishing up, we have 3 new products for you to check out; Our new Presidential Chef’s Choice 4″ Stealth Black Ceramic Paring Knife and our Pro-Series Extra Wide 2.3″ Chef Knife with no hollow grounds and our #Kosher Marked Knives by Rabbi-Q’s Mendel Segal. Enjoy!

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips

Sharpening Your Knives

 

sharpenerIt’s important to keep knives sharp to stay safe when cooking, as dull knives are a safety hazard and can be very dangerous. The more blunt a knife’s edge is, the more pressure it takes to cut something, the more likely you are to slip and cut your finger instead. Sharpened knives reduce the time it takes to prepare your meals as well. To sharpen a knife, you can use a professional sharpening stone, also known as a whetstone, or a sharpening stick. Directions are usually provided with the sharpening products. Our 10″ and 12″ diamond sharpeners will keep your knives razor sharp with just a few passes or you can use our new Fast Edge manual pull through sharpener which cuts an 18 degree edge on your knives every time.

See the different types here: Ergo Chef Sharpeners. If you don’t feel comfortable sharpening your knives yourself, many retailers offer professional sharpening or you can Google for knife sharpening in your area. You could also try your favorite cooking supply store, as most offer sharpening services.

How To Properly Hold & Use Your Knife

Ergo_Knife_Collection_1448910000_2965029_ver1.0_640_480For more precise control, adopt a grip on the blade itself, with the thumb and the index finger grasping the blade just to the front of the bolster and the middle finger placed just opposite on the blade. When slicing or chopping, keep your fingertips curled inward. Use your fingernails in what is called a “claw grip,” to help grip the food. The knife blade should rest against the foremost knuckle, helping keep the blade perpendicular to the board.


Recipe

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chili courtesy of Elaine Giammetta

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chili

Ingredients
Olive Oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, deveined, seeded and minced
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
28 oz can organic crushed tomatoes
1 c each: black beans, pinto beans (if canned, well drained)
2 c red kidney beans (if canned, well drained)
1/2 c dark ale
2 T chili powder
1 1/2 dried hot red peppers (crushed)
1 t oregano, dried
pinch cumin powder
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground pork
1/4 c low fat or organic creamy peanut butter
3 T serrano chili sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
2 T shaved dark chocolate

Method
Heat 2-3 T oil in a large heavy bottom pot. Add the onion, green peppers, & garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent. Next add the crushed tomatoes, beans, beer, and spices. In a separate pan brown the ground turkey and pork, then add to chili mixture. Simmer for 45 minutes over low heat. Add the peanut butter, hotsauce, lime juice, cilantro and chocolate. Simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Plating
Spoon into soup bowl, top with dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Shave chocolate over topping. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves and shredded cheddar. Serve with a tall glass of the ale used in the recipe.

Bon Appetit!


Product Spotlight

Presidential Chef’s Choice Stealth 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife

black ceramic knifeThis knife is crafted from high quality ceramic ground to a razor edge. The ceramic is much more durable than past ceramic knives due to new technology and fibers to strengthen the blade. Ceramic is the next hardest material to diamonds so it will hold an edge with years of proper use. The handle is non-slip providing great feel and control for all your smaller cutting tasks.  Created in a stealth black ceramic with Presidential Chef’s Choice, Chef Sam Morgante.

Every purchase helps support “Rolling Thunder” by giving 10% of profits from sales to help veterans and active duty military & their families.

Includes: Official Silver Foil Printed Gift Box with Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal Special Stealth 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife w/ Protective Sheath Comfort Texture Handle Grip for Safer Control. Exclusive “Presidential Chef’s Choice The White House” Seal Laser Etched on Ceramic Blade. 

To Order: Ceramic Paring Knife $24.99


Pro Series 2.3” Wide Ergonomic Chef Knife

8 inch pro chef - wideOrder the New Pro Series 2.3” Wide Ergonomic Chef Knife & get a Free Diamond Sharpener!* Clean sides with no hollow grounds!Pro Series 2.3” Wide Ergonomic Chef Knife This new 8” Pro-Series Wide Ergonomic Chef knife has an extra wide blade height 2.3”, and is NOT hollow Ground.

Nice clean sides with no hollow grounds for easy cleaning and keeps it’s strength and durability even after you sharpen it for years. Precision balanced and fully forged for a lifetime of use.The 8″ Chef knife is the work horse in the kitchen. Our patented design, with its ergonomic angled handle, can make virtually all types of cutting more comfortable and effortless than standard knives (cutlery).

This chef cutlery helps reduce wrist movement during chopping, and can decrease stress on the muscles in your wrist, hand and forearm; and the extended heel or blade of the knife prevents your knuckles from contacting the cutting surface. The cutlery is perfectly balanced and ground to perfection. Once you try it, you will want no other. Our knives were highly rated by many publications and by many culinary professors!

Features: Blade: German Made Carbon Stainless Steel (X50CrMoV15), Blade Length: 8″ of Cut, Blade Height: Wide 2.3″, Handle Length: 5.2″ Long, Handle Material: Durable POM, Knife Weight: 9.3 Ounces, Precision Balanced at Bolster, Lifetime Warranty & 30 Day Money Back Guarantee.

To Order: Pro Series 2.3″ Wide Ergonomic Chef Knife $69.99 

*Limited Time Offer. While supplies last.


rabbi_q_web_bannerWe now have #Kosher Marked Knives by Rabbi-Q’s Mendel Segal. Save 10% with coupon code: IntroRabbiQ10
These are the best, most ergonomic and affordable knives on the market for your Kosher Kitchen! All knives are laser marked “Pareve” “Dairy” or “Meat” by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi-Q.
Available knives:
Mendel’s RaBBi-Q 8″ Chef Knife Marked Dairy by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi-Q. This 8″ Crimson G10 Chef knife is laser marked for Dairy use in the Kosher kitchen. Cut with confidence feel the ergonomic difference in these precision balanced and edged kitchen knives. The 8″ Chef knife will slice, and chop everything except bone in your Kosher kitchen.
6″ Utility Knife Marked for Dairy by RaBBi Mendel of RaBBi-Q. This Crimson G10 handle utility knife is made from high carbon stainless steel for long edge life and easy maintenance. Designed for slicing all small dairy products with ergonomic comfort, balance and precision in your Kosher Kitchen.
8″ Chef knife marked Meat for a Kosher kitchen by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi-Q. This Crimson G10 Chef knife features a high carbon stainless steel blade for precision cutting of all your meat. The ergonomic handle creates a comfortable grip for superior control and performance with great balance for smooth efficient slicing in your Kosher kitchen.
This 6″ Utility Knife Marked Meat for your Kosher Kitchen by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi Q is easily identifiable. Made with quality high carbon stainless steel and G10 fiberglass resin handles for extreme durability. Slice your smaller proteins easily with the precision sharp edge on this quality blade in your Kosher kitchen.
This 8″ Bread Knife Marked Pareve for your Kosher Kitchen by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi-Q is easily identifiable with the laser marked “Pareve” for your kitchen. It’s made with quality high carbon stainless steel for long edge life and durability in any kitchen. The ergonomic G10 fiberglass resin handle is one of the world’s strongest materials for a lifetime of use. Slice your breads, cakes and all items Pareve in your kitchen with this offset serrated bread knife.
This 3.5″ Paring Knife Marked Pareve for your Kosher Kitchen by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi-Q is easily identifiable. Made from quality high carbon stainless steel for long edge life and easy maintenance. The G10 fiberglass resin handles are one of the world’s strongest for a lifetime of use. This is a perfect paring knife for small Kosher kitchen tasks.
To find out more or place an order click here: https://www.ergochef.com/Kosher-Marked-Kitchen-Knives-by-RaBBI-Q.php
Until next time, happy cooking!

Ergo

Mike StaibNew Website Design, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chili, New Ceramic Paring Knife & Kosher Knives
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It’s the IHH Show 2016, Chicago & Launch of Two New Knives!

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Hi everyone, we hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. We are well into 2016 and great things are happening here at Ergo. First up, we will only be producing 4 blogs this year, 1 per quarter, but we’ll make sure they are jam packed with lots of interesting and important info.


The 2016 International Home+ Housewares Show

We will be at the IHH Show in Chicago, March 5th through 8th, 2016. Ergo Chef has a prominent placement in the shows South Building Booth S1460 setup to be partially incorporated in with our US distributor Harold Import Company to optimize buyer & Rep flow as well as efficiently handle direct customer contact and needs as well. This year, in addition to the new Myron Mixon 3-in-1 Grill Tool and our new Iron Chef Michael Symon Signature Cutlery Line, we are introducing 2 new knives.

We will have show promotions and introductions of Michael Symon’s new 6pc. Knife set with Magnet Strip and The Myron Mixon Pitmaster’s Grill Tool with demonstrations for hands on understanding of our superior products. A new introduction and presentation by Chef Samuel Morgante where he will introduce his new Presidential Chef’s Choice 4” Ceramic Paring Knife in a gift box and tell his stories of working with presidents as well as his military adventures around the world. We’ll also be showcasing our new Pro Series 2.3″ wide 8″ Chef Knife with no hollow grounds.

The International Home + Housewares Show features more than 2,100 exhibitors from over 40 countries and more than 62,000 total attendees from over 125 countries. The Show brings buyers and sellers together to create the home + housewares industry’s key marketplace!

The International Housewares Association is the 77-year-old voice of the housewares industry, which accounted for (US)$331.1 billion at retail worldwide in 2014 ($75.1 billion at retail in the U.S.). The not-for-profit, full-service association sponsors the world’s premier exposition of products for the home, the International Home + Housewares Show, and offers its 1,700 member companies a wide range of services, including industry and government advocacy, export assistance, State-of-the-Industry reports, point-of-sale and consumer panel data through Housewares MarketWatch, executive management peer groups, a unique Web-based community at www.housewares.org and group buying discounts on business.

Famed chef Emeril Lagasse, Food Network chef Aarón Sánchez and, Addison, the most recent winner of MasterChef Junior, join the line-up of celebrity chefs appearing in the Cooking Theater at the 2016 International Home + Housewares Show, March 5-8 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

Other chefs recently added include Ron Ben-Israel, host of the Food Network’s Sweet Genius and guest judge on Cake Wars; Lorena Garcia of Top Chef Masters; Sarah Grueneberg, runner-up on Top Chef: Texas; and Fabio Viviani, a Top Chef “Fan Favorite.”

Also appearing will be George Duran of Better TV; Tom and Patty Erd, second generation owners of The Spice House, listed as one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Top Spice Shops in the World;” Vivian Howard, star of the PBS series A Chef’s Life; Manuela Kjeilen, baker, Passion for Baking blogger, author and Swedish TV personality; Tess Masters, The Blender Girl; and local favorite Anupy Singla, a Chicago-based cookbook author and journalist. They join previously announced celebrity chefs Rick Bayless, Ming Tsai, Trisha Yearwood, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Bernard Guillas, Sara Moulton and Billy Parisi. The Cooking Theater, located in the Dine + Décor Expo in the South Building, is jointly sponsored by KitchenAid, Oneida® and WellnessMats. The chef demonstrations will begin on Saturday, March 5 and continue through Tuesday, March 8.

To view the most up-to-date participating chefs along with the scheduled dates and times, visit https://www.housewares.org/show/cooking-theater.

The 2016 International Home + Housewares Show will feature more than 2,200 exhibitors and attract 62,000 total attendees. The Show opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 5 and closes at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8. To register for a Show badge or for more information, please visit https://www.housewares.org/show/register-plan.

Location; McCormick Place~2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60616

Hope to see you there!


New Products

8 inch pro chef - wideThe new Pro Series 2.3” Wide Ergonomic Chef Knife

This new 8” Pro-Series Wide Ergonomic Chef knife has an extra wide blade height 2.3”, and is NOT hollow Ground. Nice clean sides with no hollow grounds for easy cleaning and keeps it’s strength and durability even after you sharpen it for years. Precision balanced and fully forged for a lifetime of use. The 8″ Chef knife is the work horse in the kitchen. Our patented design, with its ergonomic angled handle, can make virtually all types of cutting more comfortable and effortless than standard knives (cutlery). This chef cutlery helps reduce wrist movement during chopping, and can decrease stress on the muscles in your wrist, hand and forearm; and the extended heel or blade of the knife prevents your knuckles from contacting the cutting surface. The cutlery is perfectly balanced and ground to perfection. Once you try it, you will want no other. Our knives were highly rated by many publications and by many culinary professors!

Features: Blade: German Made Carbon Stainless Steel (X50CrMoV15), Blade Length: 8″ of Cut, Blade Height: Wide 2.3″, Handle Length: 5.2″ Long, Handle Material: Durable POM, Knife Weight: 9.3 Ounces, Precision Balanced at Bolster, Lifetime Warranty & 30 Day Money Back Guarantee. $69.99. Order yours today: Pro Series 2.3″ Wide Chef Knife with No Hollow Grounds

The Presidential Chef’s Choice 4” Ceramic Paring Knife

ceramic paringIt was designed for former White House Presidential Military Chef,  Sam Morgante from ceramic, which is second hardest material next to diamonds so it stays sharp for years when properly used. The razor edge also slices vegetable with ease. The ceramic doesn’t react like steel or duller knives and helps prolong your salad and veggies from browning. It has a non-slip grip handle for safety and the official Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal on the blade. Comes with protective sheath and gift box. The new age ceramic we use is more durable, so if you drop it chances of it breaking are slim to none. This knife will be available mid March 2016.

6 Piece Michael Symon Knife Set

6pc_set_with_Magnet_Strip_XLThis Michael Symon 6 Piece knife set includes a wall mount Bamboo Magnet Strip, and 5 knives. 9″ Chef, 7″ Vegetable Cleaver, 6″ Chef Knife, 6″ Serrated Utility Knife & 3.5″ Paring Knife.  The set has all the knives you need to get cooking in style in your kitchen.  The grey & black stylish G10 handles offer a beautiful one of a kind look and extreme durability as one of the world’s strongest handle materials.  All the blades are crafted from German made high carbon stainless steel (X50CrMoV15) and precision heat treated to 56-58HRC for durability, long edge life and easy maintenance. Precision sharpened to 18 degree beveled edges.  Get cooking today with the Michael Symon knife set with a beautiful Bamboo magnet strip assembled with strong rare earth magnets to safely display your knives on your kitchen wall.

Chef Symon’s Knife Tip:

MSBMS ISO XLFor good control, grip the base of the knife blade, just in front of the handle, with your thumb and index finger (placing thumb on my MS logo as a starting point. Wrap your remaining three fingers around the handle of the knife. Now You’re ready to prep.  Enjoy!

  • Specifications:
  • Steel: German Made X50CrMoV15 High Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Handles: G10 Fiberglass Resin – one of the world’s strongest handle materials
  • Blades: Polished & Precision Sharp 18 degree edges
  • Full Tang and Bolster for Durability and Balance
  • Set Weight In Box: 5 lbs.
  • Shipping Box Size: 20x6x5
  • Warranty: Lifetime Limited

 

The Myron Mixon Pitmaster’s Grill Tool

Grill Tool SThe Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is the first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! 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 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. Last but not least is the 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”.

SPECIFICATIONS:
• Tool Weight: 8.5 Oz.
• Blade & Hook Thickness: .100″
• Blade Height: 2.200″
• 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 (5Cr15MoV)

Only $29.99 : https://www.ergochef.com/MyronMixon.php

If you have any questions please call the customer service line at 877-796-0884 M-F 9am – 5pm

Till next time,

Ergo Chef

Mike StaibIt’s the IHH Show 2016, Chicago & Launch of Two New Knives!
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Food Hacks, Chef Michel Nischan & the Myron Mixon Grill Tool!

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Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: 10 Easy Food Hacks 

Food hacks are all the rage this year so we thought we jump on the bandwagon…although we’ve been doing Food Tricks here for going two years now, so we’d like to think that we were ahead of the curve and the rest of the food world is just catching up! Enjoy

1. Do you have a craving for hard tacos but no shells?  Here’s a speedy solution: Put soft tortillas in mugs and nuke em for a few minutes. They’ll crisp up without any frying!

tort-micro

2. Who doesn’t love fish on the grill? One of the problems is that is sometimes sticks to the grill. Place the fillet on a bed of lemons and you won’t be scraping salmon off of the grates.

fishlemons

3. After all your hard work making a cake, the last thing you want is for it to go stale.  After cutting into a cake, use toothpicks to cover the exposed portion with piece of bread to keep cake nice and soft.

cakebread

4. Love having barbecues but hate when the bugs want to share your cool refreshing drink? Exterminate that problem by putting cupcake liners over your drinks and sticking a straw through.

cupcakedrink

5. Have a waffle iron gathering dust. No more! Julienne  those potatoes and make them perfect in your waffle iron every time.

hashbrowns

6. Wrap banana crowns in plastic wrap and they’ll last 3-4 days longer.

bananas-crowns

7. There’s not much worse to a baker than to pull out the brown sugar to find you now have a brown sugar brick. Put a marshmallow in your brown sugar, though, and it won’t clump or dry out.

brownsugar

8. Rubbing egg shells with vegetable oil before refrigerating them helps keep them fresh for an additional three to four weeks.

one-dozen-eggs

9. Get the most out of your fresh herbs chop and mix fresh herbs with melted butter or oil, or just plain water, pour into ice cube trays to preserve portions for future meals.

rsz_herbs

10. Cut corn off the cob with no problem by using a bundt pan to both hold the cob as you cut and catch the corn that comes off.

corn


Chef’s Spotlight: Michel Nischan

11053346_10206132135571228_7457341083387100598_nMichel Nischan, Chef, Author and Food Equity Advocate

Michel Nischan is a three-time James Beard Foundation award winning celebrity chef with over 30 years of leadership experience advocating for a more sustainable food system. He is Founder, President and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Co-Founder of the Chefs Action Network, as well as Founder and Partner with the late actor Paul Newman of the former Dressing Room Restaurant. He and his Wholesome Wave team were successful at influencing legislative language for the recently passed Federal Farm Bill. He’s also the author of three cookbooks and a variety of articles focused on sustainable food systems and social equity through food. A lifetime Ashoka fellow, Nischan serves on the board of the Amazon Conservation Team, and The National Young Farmers Coalition.

He recently  joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama, WGBH, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a judge in the fourth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge early this year. The aim of the lunchtime challenge is to promote culinary education and healthy eating among youth across the country. On July 9 and 10th, Chef Nischan participated in a day-long welcome event for the 2015 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winners, demoing some of his favorite, affordable and healthy recipes, and attending the Kids “State Dinner” at the White House.

logoNischan and his team at Wholesome Wave have been at the forefront of advocating for a healthful, just, and sustainable food system. Working through a network of partners, the team has been successful in increasing access to affordable, local produce in underserved communities, improving the health of individuals, and increasing revenue for small and mid-sized farm businesses. A lifetime Ashoka fellow, Nischan serves on the board of the Rodale Institute and the Amazon Conservation Team, and is a former trustee of the James Beard Foundation and Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment.

 About Wholesome Wave

Increase Affordability and Access to Healthy, Locally Grown Food

vegetablesNearly 30 million Americans lack access to healthy, affordable foods. Our initiatives provide tens of thousands of families annually with the opportunity to purchase affordable, healthy, locally grown food, and open doors for schools, hospitals, and food banks to purchase farm fresh food from regional food hubs.

Improve Health Outcomes

stethoscopeOne in three people are overweight or obese. Annual medical costs of obesity in the United States are more than $145 billion. Prevention is key. Our initiatives lead to decreased BMI for participating children and increased fruit and vegetable consumption among participants of all ages.

Bolster Local and Regional Economies

Farm field and sunAmerican farmers receive just 11.6 cents of every dollar spent on food in the US. Farmers markets and food hubs provide forums for farmers to receive 100 percent of the revenue from their food sales. More than 3,500 local and regional farmers received $2.5 million in farmers market sales from federal nutrition benefits, nutrition incentives, and fruit and vegetable prescriptions. Hundreds of farmers, producers and fisherman received upwards of $7 million in revenue generated by our food hub partners.

Generate Revenue for Small & Mid-Sized Farms

TractorLocal food sales in the US totaled $4.8 billion in 2008, just 0.4 percent of total agricultural sales. SNAP, farmers markets and food hubs are powerful economic multipliers – every $1 in SNAP generates as much as a $1.79 in local economic activity. Our program participants spend their food dollars locally by shopping at farmers markets, and continue to spend at nearby businesses on market days. Increased revenue to farmers and food hubs results in the creation of new jobs and the retention of existing jobs.

To support Wholesome Wave’s initiatives, Donate Today 


Recipe: Chicken Wrap
Recipe courtesy of The Victory Garden’s Edible Feast by Chef Michel Nischan Grilled chicken salad wrapped in collard greens.

1312856343.452534_large-288x162

Ingredients
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
15 large collard green leaves
1/2 cup chopped green and black olives
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup diced assorted sweet peppers
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 tablespoons assorted herbs hand torn
2 cups cooked black barley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions
Heat an oiled grill pan over medium high heat or preheat outdoor grill, grate oiled, to medium heat. Pat chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Set chicken aside and allow to cool for ten minutes. When chicken has cooled to touch dice each breast into 1/4-inch pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanche the collard greens for 5 minutes. Using tongs carefully remove the leaves from the boiling water and shock in an ice bath. Once cooled, remove the leaves and set aside onto a sheet pan lined with paper towels.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients except collard greens and mix well.

Lay a collard green leaf onto a cutting board. Place about 1/3 cup of filling in the center of a collard green leaf. Fold the bottom third of the leaf up over the filing. Take the left side of the leaf and fold it over the filling. Repeat with the right side of the leaf, and then roll it up to enclose the filling.

Repeat using remain leaves and filling. Slice each wrap in half and place onto serving platter.


Product Spotlight
Ergo is partners with #BBQPitmaster’s Myron Mixon  for the Pitmaster Grill Tool! Only $29.99! Pre-Order NOW

The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is the first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! 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 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.

Last but not least is the 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.”

See more Myron Mixon Products here:  Jack’s Old South and his Real Deal Pitmaster Smokers here: Myron Mixon Smokers

 We have exceptional customer service and will send you tracking via. email as soon as your Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool order ships. If you have any questions please call the customer service line at 877-796-0884 M-F 9am – 5pm

 SPECIFICATIONS:
• Tool Weight: 8.5 Oz.
• Blade & Hook Thickness: .100″
• Blade Height: 2.200″
• 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 (5Cr15MoV)

Price: 29.99 Pre Order Yours Today: https://www.ergochef.com/MyronMixon.php

Mike StaibFood Hacks, Chef Michel Nischan & the Myron Mixon Grill Tool!
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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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March: GMO’s, Michael Symon & the new Ergo/Symon knives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On The Plus Side:

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

On the Negative side:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next Time,

Ergo

Mike StaibMarch: GMO’s, Michael Symon & the new Ergo/Symon knives
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The Lowdown on Gluten Free & The Chew’s Carla Hall…

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Welcome to the February Blog 

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

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Makes 40 dumplings

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

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

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

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

Gourmet Store Spotlight
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Till next time,

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