Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A little trick

A while back a friend of mine gave me an antelope roast that he had acquired as the result of a successful hunt. I myself haven't hunted since I was a kid, but knowing how great wild game can be, I accepted the gift and after prepping it with my 'Chef Scotty's SW spice/rub' and infusing it with garlic, I then wrapped it and tucked it away in the freezer.

I pulled it out to thaw the day before Mothers Day in order to cook and serve it as a mothers day feast. I pasted it with mixture of mayonnaise, mustard, and horseradish, in order to keep the juices in...(often times wild game is very lean and it is important to preserve inner moisture in some fashion). It was obvious to me that it would have a spicy 'ting' because of the 'SW spice' as well as the horseradish in the paste, so I decided to offset that with a sweet raspberry sauce.

I didn't have any antelope stock to use in the sauce, so here's the trick. I cut up fresh celery, carrots, and red onion, surrounded and covered the roast then added a bit of sea salt and fresh ground pepper before putting it in the oven. When the roast reached about 142 deg.F./ med. rare, I removed it from the oven and poured the juice in the bottom of the roasting pan into a sauce pan. Yep! That's my antelope stock. I added a healthy pat of butter and some fresh raspberry jam reducing it until it thickened to my liking. Walla! Raspberry sauce...And what a treat.

Weather you make gravy or sauce the taste is in the dripping's. Have fun cooking!

FYI: Don't miss our 'Spring Sale' at LasagnaAndMoreByMail.com. 10% off on all orders for a limited time....And Pick up some of my SW Spice/rub for some great results cooking you favorite meats, fish, or poultry.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Every dish a work of art.

Have you ever gone to your favorite restaurant to have that one dish that they make, the one that brings you back again and agian; Only to say, 'it just wasn't as good as last time'. A few weeks later you give it another shot and find that the same dish was fantastic, 'better then it ever was'.

Yesterday, while in the commercial kitchen where I spend much of my time, I was working with a relatively 'new' employee whos job it is to prepare food for the Vero Amore kitchen where I am the Corp. Exec Chef. As a prep cook, it is his job to work from our recipe book,

turning basic raw materials into usable finished and semi-finished products such as salad dressings, Mozzarella cheese, pizza dough, and so on. I have observed that he goes 'by the book', that is to say that he measures everything as per each individual recipe and follows the instructions to the tee. This should insure that it's the same every time right? Wrong!

When following printed recipes there are several things to remember. We are often using live products such as herbs or produce, even spices, each with it's own inherent taste values. That is to say, for instance, when making fresh basil pesto the leaves we use today will taste different then the ones we use next week.
There's an old saying used by computer software writers..."s..t in, s..t out". This is true in making good food as well. Making a great meal is more like art then it is like rocket science and it all starts with the prep. When putting together the various items that you will later combine into you 'masterpiece' remember to use your senses. Listen, see, smell, feel, and taste. Each of your facilities holds a sensual key to the quality of the food you are preparing, cooking, and serving.

Cooking great food is reliant on a 'Now' experience. Enjoy the moment....and then enjoy the food.
(Pictured here is Chefs Scotty's South West Spice/Rub...great as an enhancer or a rib. Available on our web site.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cookin' veggies....

Hello out there in kitchen land. Since I just finished a great batch of Vegetable Lasagnas for our customers at LasagnaAndMoreByMail.com. I thought I'd give you all a tip or two on how to cook veggies in order to preserve taste, quality, and nutritional value.

For many domestic and commercial chefs, it's simple...turn up the heat, pour in the viscose...(either butter or oil)... dump in the chopped vegetables and cook the old fashioned way.....Burn em'! Well, maybe it doesn't seem like you're burning them but when you think about it, there's only one reason why they put heat controls on a stove top....so you can choose your heat levels.

So, here's my suggestions: First remember that whatever viscose you use, it will expand, like anything else, when it is heated... So use it sparingly.

Second, add a touch of water...or even forgo the oil/butter and use only H2O. This will help steam in the taste. Turn on your range to a very low setting. Roll in whatever herbs and/or spices you want to use as the veggies begin to heat up. Now here's the 'ticket' to flavor and quality....Cook them slooooooowly, turning them as they cook, sweat, and clarify. Don't over heat them or cook them for too long...Taste em, and finish them the way you love them. And remember, if you are adding anything else to them,, meats, sauce, pasta, or using them in something that will keep them cooking longer like casserole or lasagna....par cook them...this means under cook them a bit, keeping in mind the total time needed for cooking perfection.

I once heard that if you'd like to learn to slow your life down a bit...."plant a carrot, watch it grow"...Cooking is a art and a joy to be savored....Slow down and enjoy it.

If you'd like to test this cooking method go to LasagnaAndMoreByMail.com and choose our Vegetable Lasagna... We'll send it right to your door.

Have fun in the kitchen of life...slow down and cook up a great life.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2011! May you have the Peace and Prosperity that we all deserve in this coming year.

Since Lasagna is our crowning dish here at http://lasagnaandmorebymail.com/, I thought I'd give you a little back ground on the origin of Lasagna. According to Wikipedia:

Lasagna, (lasagne...plural) is a Italian pasta casserole dish, consisting of layers of pasta, sauce, and various other ingredients. Originally the word lasagna referred to a 'cooking pot'...but now it describes the dish itself. There are two theories as to the origin of lasagna, both are Greek. The main theory is that lasagna comes from the Greek word 'laganon'...a flat pasta cut into strips. lagana is still a flat unleavened bread in Greece. The other theory takes the Greek word 'lasana' or 'lasanon' which means 'trivet or stand for a pot'. The Romans borrow the word...now Latin, 'lasanum' which refers to the dish that the casserole is cooked in.

A recipe for Lasagna was publish in the first cook book ever printed in the United Kingdom, leading to the urban legend that Lasagna is a British dish. With all due respect, I've eaten British food....and I highly doubt that Lasagna is original to English Cuisine.

The best way to test the theories of the origin of Lasagna is to get over to LasganaAndMoreByMail.com, order our Two Meats, Four Cheese, and/or Vegetable Lasagna. We'll have it delivered to your doorstep and the rest of the testing is up to you.

Hope to hear from you soon. Happy New Year!