All posts tagged: Holidays

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.

ENotR Logo

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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2015 Food Trends, Johnny Iuzzini & My Juicer

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

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Food Trends of 2015

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

The Rise of Fermented Foods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Chef’s Spotlight

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe 
Courtesy of Chef Johnny Iuzzini

Butternut-Maple Blondies

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

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

Gourmet Store Spotlight

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

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

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

Where’s Randy

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

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

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

Ergo Product Showcase

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

The Ergo Chef’s brand new My Juicer(TM) is made with top quality components for easily blending up healthy smoothies and shakes. The powerful 300 watt motor and 4 Stainless Steel blades are engineered for quick and easy blending of frozen fruits, veggies and even desserts. My Juicer(TM) is the first part of Ergo Chef’s new “Kitchen Collection” of electrics. Estimated Ship Date is April 2015. Includes: High Quality Stainless Steel & Black Plastic Base with NON-Slip Suction Feet. Durable BPA Free Plastic Sport Bottle with Removable Lid with Handle and One Juicer Blade Assembly. Pre-Order My Juicer today and  save 20%! To order click here: My Juicer

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

Till next time,

Ergo

Mike Staib2015 Food Trends, Johnny Iuzzini & My Juicer
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