Tag Archives: Chef Uniforms

Chef Penelope’s Pork Belly with Peas & Carrots Recipe

IMG_4037Pair Pork Belly with a subtle blend of peas and carrots using Chef Penelope’s elegant recipe. This recipe highlights the use of various spices to activate rich, complex flavors in the pork and vegetable blend. Serves up to 4 plates – see Chef Penelope Wong’s recipe below!

Ingredients

Pork Belly

  • 10 oz. pork belly, skin diamond scored
  • 4 oz. store bought or house made hoisin sauce
  • 4 oz. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground toasted fennel seeds
  • 2 oz. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 oz. olive oil
  • 2 C. chicken stock

Carrot Puree

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 C. peeled, rough chopped carrots
  • s&p
  • pinch star anise
  • ¼ tsp. ground toasted fennel seed
  • pinch ground clove
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground Szechuan peppercorn
  • 2 C. chicken stock

Anise Glazed Heirloom Carrot

  • 1 bunch assorted heirloom carrots, peel, tops trimmed and halved
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 4 oz. granulated sugar
  • 4 oz. chicken stock
  • 1 C. cleaned English peas
  • 8 oz. brown butter
  • 2 oz. pea tendrils

Directions

Pork Belly

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  1. Rub pork belly with hoisin, brown sugar, white pepper and fennel seeds.
  2. Heat a roasting pan on high heat with sesame oil and olive oil.
  3. When the pan is hot, place the pork belly, skin side down and sear. Cook for 8 minutes, or until skin starts to caramelize.
  4. Flip over and sear the other side for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Add in chicken stock and cover with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven.
  6. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender and cooked through. remove aluminum foil and continue to roast for 15-20 more minutes, or until skin is browned and crisp.
  7. Slice into 4 thick 2.5 oz. slices, reserve for plating.

Carrot Puree

  1. In a small stock pot, saute minced shallot with 1 tsp. olive oil.
  2. Add in chopped carrots, salt & pepper, star anise, fennel seed, clove, cinnamon and Szechuan peppercorn.
  3. Continue to saute for 3-5 minutes, until carrots begin cooking and spices become fragrant.
  4. Add in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower heat and allow to cook at a slow boil for 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer carrots and ½ amount of stock into a high speed vitamix blender.
  7. Add in 2 oz. chilled unsalted butter.
  8. Puree on low speed gradually increasing to high speed and continue to puree until mixture becomes smooth.
  9. Add in more of the cooking liquid if necessary.

Anise Glazed Heirloom Carrots

  1. In a saute pan, heat butter.
  2. When butter melts, add in halved carrots and saute for 3 minutes.
  3. Add in star anise pod and sugar, continue to saute for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add in stock and reduce heat to medium low, making sure carrots are mostly submerged.
  5. Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes, or until liquid has reduced to a syrupy glaze and carrots are cooked through. Reserve.

Peas

  1. Heat a saute pan with 2 oz. olive oil, saute peas with salt & pepper until cooked through.

Brown Butter Foam

  1. Heat butter in a small sauce pan on low heat, until butter starts to brown.
  2. Once you notice the butter starting to brown, start whisking the butter lightly to evenly distribute and brown proteins.
  3. Once desired darkness of butter is reached, remove butter from the pan to prevent further browning and possible burning).
  4. Transfer browned butter into a deep vessel. Using a handheld immersion blender,
  5. Blend browned butter at a 45 degree angle to create a layer of foam on the top.

Plating

Swirl carrot puree onto plate, spoon English peas on puree, place slice of browned pork belly nestled into peas and spoon brown butter foam on top of pork belly.  Garnish with snipped pea tendrils.

Connect with Our September Chef of the Month:

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Instagram: @penelopewong

 

 

 

 

Chef Penelope’s Black Mussels with Korean Street Corn Espuma

IMG_4803.JPGShellfish may seem intimidating to some cooks without experience, but our September Chef of the Month, Chef Penelope Wong, crafts a seafood recipe fit for anyone to attempt. Serve these Black Mussels with Korean Street Corn Espuma for your next casual dinner to impress your guests with the complex and delicate flavors of seafood!

Ingredients

Mussels:

  • 1 pound fresh black mussels
  • 1 ear corn
  • 2 oz. roasted garlic oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. sambal chili garlic paste
  • 4 oz. Japanese mirin rice wine
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter

Espuma:

  • 2 ears fresh sweet corn, kernels cut off, reserve cobs
  • 1 shallot minced
  • ½ tsp. Spiceology Korean chili flake
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • pinch ground black peppercorn
  • ¼ C. Japanese mirin rice wine
  • 1 C. homemade chicken stock
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter, chilled
  • 6 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • Micro cilantro

Procedure

Espuma:

  1. In a small stock pot, add in 1 tbsp. olive oil, sauté shallots and cut corn for 2 minutes, until corn becomes slightly charred.
  2. Add in reserved corn cobs, Korean chili flake, salt and pepper and continue to sauté.
  3. Add in mirin rice wine and allow to reduce by half.
  4. Add in chicken stock and lower heat to a slow boil.
  5. Continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove cobs and discard. Transfer items to a high-speed vita mix blender and add in cold butter.  Starting on low speed and low power, puree and gradually increase speed to high and turn power on high, slowly pour in heavy whipping cream.
  7. Allow mixture to cool slightly to approximately 80 degrees F.
  8. Transfer to an ISI charger and reserve.

Mussels:

  1. Submerge mussels in a bowl of cold water to clean.
  2. Rub fresh corn with garlic oil and salt & pepper. Char on a grill until lightly browned.
  3. Cut kernels off of the cob and discard cob.
  4. Strain mussels.
  5. Heat a sauté pan with 1 tbsp. olive oil, add in mussels and sauté for 2 minutes or until they just start to open.
  6. Add in cut corn and sambal and sauté for 1 minute.
  7. Add in mirin rice wine and cover to continue cooking mussels for 1 minute.
  8. Add in butter and swirl in pan to slightly emulsify.

For plating: apply corn espuma into the center of a shallow bowl.  Spoon mussels on top of espuma and sprinkle with additional Korean chili flake and garnish with micro cilantro.

Connect with Our September Chef of the Month:

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Instagram: @penelopewong

Chef Penelope’s Pan Roasted Snapper Recipe


IMG_4536Our September Chef of the Month, Chef Penelope Wong, has shared with us a gourmet recipe for your next dinner party or event – her Pan-Roasted Red Snapper with Star Anise roasted Bok Choy, Radishes, and Dashi. This Asian-influenced dish offers mild, earthy flavors and sweetness blended with the nuttiness of red snapper. Follow the steps below to recreate Chef Penelope’s masterpiece for yourself!

Ingredients:

4-6 oz. skin-on red snapper fillet, scaled

8 oz. unsalted butter

2 bulbs bok choy, quartered

½ tsp. ground star anise

4 oz. roasted garlic oil

1 tsp soy

8 assorted radishes, cleaned and tops trimmed

4 oz. dashi broth

½ gallon cold water

16 oz. dried kombu seaweed

3 cups bonito flakes

1 shallot

4 oz pickled ginger

1 oz soy

6 oz Japanese mirin

Steps:

Dashi Broth

  1. Soak kombu in water over a very low flame for 1 hour.
  2. Add bonito flakes and increase heat slightly.
  3. Continue to simmer to 45 minutes and strain.
  4. In a separate stock pot, heat 1 tbsp sesame oil and saute minced shallot and pickled ginger.
  5. Add in soy and mirin, reduce by half.
  6. Add in strained bonito broth.
  7. Simmer 30 minutes – strain and plate.

Veggies

  1. Heat dashi broth in a small stock pot.
  2. Add in cleaned radishes and allow to simmer on low heat to poach the radishes for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Marinate quartered bok choy in star anise, roasted garlic, and soy.
  5. Place in shallow baking pan and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through and browned.

Pan-roasted Red snapper

  1. Put 2 tbsp. olive oil in a high-heat well-seasoned saute pan.
  2. When oil starts to smoke, add fish fillets skin side down to sear,
  3. Sear 1 minute and flip with a fish spatula,
  4. Add in butter and start to baste the skin of the fish with the hot butter to crisp the skin,
  5. Continue to baste for 1-2 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and skin is browned and crisp,
  6. Plate pan-roasted red snapper on top of roasted bok choy (and wasabi whipped potatoes if desired). Ladle dashi broth around, garnishing with a few poached radishes.

Connect with Our September Chef of the Month:

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Instagram: @penelopewong

July 2018 Chef of the Month Andres Sen Sang

We are so excited to introduce our July Chef of the Month, Chef Andres Sen Sang!  He is a recent winner of Chef Showdown 8 with his signature Quinoa Latina and Chili 35 dish. If you do not find him in the kitchen as the Executive Chef for Suyo, a GastoFusion restuarant in the Bronx, you can find him with his family or working on his own business ventures – Eighty6Brand. Read below to find out more about Chef Andres!

1. Where were you born?

I was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. After High School, I came to the states with my father and brother to visit. My father asked me if I wanted to go back home or stay in the states and I chose to stay. It was one of the best decisions I made in my life!

2. Where do you work and where are you based?

I am currently the Executive Chef at Suyo GastroFusion in the Bronx. It’s a New Restaurant and Bar in the Bronx serving Peruvian and Asian infused dishes. We just released the Bar menu and will be releasing the Dinner menu in a few weeks. We are bringing progressive/ modern cuisine to the Bronx. Now you don’t have to go to the city to get that kind of dining experience. The Bronx is where it’s at right now, we are really up and coming.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

My favorite tool in the kitchen is my knife that I got while I was at The International Culinary Center. I decorated the end of the knife with yellow, blue and red tape to represent my Ecuadorian flag. I’m proud of where I came from.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

I would have to say my sight and touch – these two go together for me. I use my sight to take in my surroundings. I look at colors, shapes and sizes and then I also feel the texture of things. I combine these things to create my dishes. This is why they go hand in hand.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

My advice for aspiring chefs would be to keep grinding. You have to keep motivating yourself daily. Always be consistent in your work and always maintain a good work ethic. Make connections with people everywhere you go, networking is a powerful thing in this industry. Stay humble and grateful for all the opportunities you get. Don’t ever be afraid to fail, it actually turns out to be a great lesson for next time.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

I would say to always listen and pay attention to details. Always make sure that your kitchen is organized. Your stations should be prepped and set for success. A successful Chef once told me, “always be proactive not reactive.” That has really stuck with me.

7. What does good food meant to you?

Good food to me means that it was cooked with love and passion. Good food is that type of food that you always remember exactly where you were, who you were with and how delicious and satisfying the food was. It becomes more than just good food, it becomes a memorable dining experience.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?

Bronx Chefs are all about swag. You don’t necessarily have to be professional all the time, but you should always look clean. I’m all about a fitted hat, ripped jeans and sneakers. It should be comfortable and allow me to move. It’s a new generation out here and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Salt and pepper. Sometimes these two ingredients are all you need… oh and love. Salt, pepper and love.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

I would have to say my hometown of Guayaquil. I mean, there is nothing more satisfying that food from your home town. It’s delicious and nostalgic.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

Sesame crusted Salmon with Sesame Edamame Mash and Jicama tossed in Ginger Carrot Miso Dressing.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off?

Days off, what are those?!?! Just kidding… On the rare occasion that I get a day off I like to have a nice piece of steak with a baked potato and a beer.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

I would most like to cook for my parents. They are back in Ecuador and I have not had the honor of cooking for them as of yet. I hope to make it happen soon.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

First of all, I never in my life imagined that I was going to be a Chef. I got my first job in this industry in the bakery at Virgil’s BBQ in NYC. I took the job because I was young and needed money. I slowly realized that I actually liked what I was doing. I worked my way up from that position. As I worked my way up, my passion for cooking grew. It just came so natural. I guess it was my “calling” as people put it. I couldn’t have made this all happen without support from my wife, family and friends. I truly love what I do and I love the journey I’ve taken to get here.

Connect with Our July Chef of the Month:

Instagram: @chef_andy_one

Facebook: Andres Sen Sang

 

Chef Eddie G’s Sauteed Seafood Medley

Sauteed Seafood Medley with Safron Pasta Garlic Cream Sauce (1).pngI’ll title this, “All Chefs Detest Recipe Writing.”

I’m assuming anyone reading this recipe is a more advanced cook/Chef, based on Chef Uniforms demographics and following. Rather than focus on the recipe let’s focus on the techniques. Let’s assume we are cooking for 2 to 4 people.

The most important part of any dish is the sauce, and all sauces are derived from 5, “Mother Sauces.” RE: Escoffier 1910. In this case, it is a Bechamel Sauce.

2 – Bunches Garlic – cleaned

1 – pt. Heavy Cream

In a medium saucepan simmer garlic until soft.

2 oz –  EVOO coat large saute pan

4 oz – grape tomato halved, mushroom sliced, scallop, clam, mussel, shrimp, lobster – anything you like – asparagus …, think color . Saute in a large pan until cooked through.

Ladle Garlic Cream Sauce into Large saute seafood mixture and continue saute until desired consistency, usually to coat the back of a spoon.

1/2 lb.  Add any cooked pasta to mixture; cavatelli, linguine or fettuccine.

Top with chopped parsley, grated cheese and crushed black pepper .

Restaurant cooks love this recipe because it is a quick pick up. If a kitchen is in the weeds, this dish if mise en place correctly can be ready in 2 to 3 minutes, as opposed to a medium-well filet mignon which can take 20 minutes cooked correctly.

Stay tuned for more recipes and techniques to follow.

Follow Chef Eddie G’s #CulinaryJourney 

Twitter: @eddiegchef

Instagram: @ChefEddieG

Facebook: @ChefEddieG

ChefEddieG.com 

Chef Lauren’s Asian Pear Slaw

This Asian Pear Slaw recipe from Chef Lauren pairs perfectly with her previous recipe, Spicy Sticky Ribs. Whether you are craving a delicious light meal or you need a side salad to serve with your main course this recipe will do the trick!

Asian Pear Slaw Image

Ingredients for Slaw:

2 cups shredded napa or savoy cabbage

2 cups shredded radicchio or red cabbage

1 Asian pear, sliced into bite-size pieces

1/2 Persian cucumber, cut into matchsticks

1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)

1 Serrano, jalapeño or red chili, cut into thin slices

Chopped salted peanuts

Fresh torn cilantro and basil

2 teaspoons sesame seeds black or white (optional), toasted

Ingredients for Peanut Dressing:

1/3 cup peanut butter natural creamy or smooth

2 tablespoons lime juice

3 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup

1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium

1 teaspoon Sesame oil

1 teaspoon sriracha

1/2 teaspoon ginger minced

1 clove garlic roughly chopped

1 tablespoon water

Directions: 

Salad:

In a large bowl, add all salad ingredients except peanuts and sesame seeds; cabbage, radicchio, cucumber, carrot, pear, cilantro, mint, and Serrano. Set aside while you make the dressing.

Peanut Dressing:

In a blender add all peanut dressing ingredients; peanut butter, lime juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, ginger, garlic, and water. Puree until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. You can also whisk the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Add more water if needed to thin out the dressing if desired. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

To Serve:

Gradually add enough dressing to coat the salad, toss to combine. Drizzle with more dressing if there is any remaining, top with toasted sesame seeds and roasted peanuts. Enjoy!

 

 

Connect with Our August Chef of the Month:

Website: https://www.cheflawless.com/home

Instagram: @chef_lawless

Twitter: @chef_lawless

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Chef Marcela’s Chocolate Madeleines

00214.jpgSummertime calls for sweet treats. Our June Chef of the Month took the traditional madeleine recipe and added everyone’s favorite ingredient… chocolate. Enjoy this fantastic chocolate madeleine recipe and start baking to share these delectable sweets with your friends, family, clients, or customers.

Chocolate Madeleines

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

zest of one lemon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 pinch of salt

4 oz butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Spray madeleines mold with non-stick spray and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and thick.
  4. In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, and zest.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the eggs and sugar mixture. Mix until combined, add the melted butter and mix until smooth.
  6. Spoon batter into the molds and bake for 12 minutes.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

Connect with Our June Chef of the Month:

Website: http://www.thesweetbrigadier.com/

Facebook: The Sweet Brigadier Chocolate Truffles

Instagram: @thesweetbrigadier

Twitter: @SweetBrigadier

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June 2017 Chef of the Month Marcela Ferrinha

Picture 2

Chef Marcela is wearing Chef Uniforms Coat #83511

Summer is about to get a lot sweeter with our June Chef of the Month, Marcela Ferrinha! A Brazilian native who now resides in Utah as a pastry chef that specializes in delicious vegan desserts. Read more about her life and pastry chef expertise below and make sure stay tuned all month long to see her tasty and delightful creations!

 

1.Birthplace:

I was in born Rio de Janiero, Brazil. I moved to the U.S. ten years ago – on June 1st.

2. Where do you work and where are you based?

I’m in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have a business called The Sweet Brigadier, where I work as a private catering chef.

I am also a pastry chef at Zest Kitchen & Bar in downtown Salt Lake. In 2016, we won 5 awards from a local newspaper, one being Best Vegan Restaurant and we got awarded third place for best dessert in the state of Utah.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

My offset spatula, I use it for everything!  Also, the oven without it, I can’t make most of my creations.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

Vision, I eat with my eyes first!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

You have to read and study a lot – it is like being a doctor – researching and trying new things all the time. Change recipes. Modify everything. Even if you want to change a regular recipe into vegan or vegetarian – you make something totally new and awesome. The more knowledge you have, the better your creations will be.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

How to make rice, not everyone knows how to do that, also cook eggs. I am terrible at that because I don’t eat them, so it’s hard for me to cook them. For pastry chefs, tempering chocolate, the more you practice the better you get. It is very tricky.

7. What does good dessert mean to you?

A good dessert has balance in the flavors and sugar. I eat a lot of sweets, but sometimes you go to bakeries and the desserts look beautiful, but you take a bite and can’t eat it because is terribly sweet, and you can’t distinguish the flavors in it.

8. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (Particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)

I like colors. I have a lot of colorful ones from Chef Uniforms, I have the white with pink buttons, polka dots light pink, green, purple, white and now I got an orange one.

I also like the ones with light fabric and they have to have long sleeves. They need to be extra small, I don’t like the “baggy” ones.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Chocolate. I have 55 different flavors of my chocolate truffles, it is my specialty. I love mixing strawberry and chocolate together, that pair is always good.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Sao Paulo in Brazil. You can find any kind of restaurant there. New York City, it is very similar.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

My chocolate truffles are super popular, my clients love them. I also made a vegan chocolate pot de crème with salted caramel popcorn once that was amazing!

12. Name someone you’d love to cook for.

People who appreciate service and good food. Sometimes it is hard to cook for people who don’t care about that. It is really nice to get compliments and know when people love your food and appreciate that.

If it were to be a famous person, I would love to cook to Mario Francesco Batali or Gordon Ramsay. It would be scary to hear their feedback but I think they would teach me a lot of things just by trying my food.

13. What made you decide to become a chef?

When I moved here, the only two things I knew how to cook were rice and ham & cheese sandwich (LOL). At that time I was working as a trainee in management in a country club in Florida, in their restaurant. And I was pretty much eating only bread and a lot of fast food.

On my days off, I was bored at home, so I asked the chef there if I could come in and help them in the kitchen. My first day, I cut all my 10 fingers. So, the chef asked me to do the dessert and salad stations, was when I felt in love for sweets. Also, I gained a lot of weight of my bad eating habits, so I was kind of forced to learn how to cook.

Want to get to know Chef Marcela more? Connect with her online!

Website: http://www.thesweetbrigadier.com/

Facebook: The Sweet Brigadier Chocolate Truffles

Instagram: @thesweetbrigadier

Twitter: @SweetBrigadier

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May 2017 Chef of the Month Aryen Moore-Alston

IMG_3564

Chef Aryen is wearing ChefUniforms style 83355 in Black with White

Hooray for the Month of May! We’re excited to introduce our May Chef of the Month, Aryen Moore-Alston! Tune in this month for eclectic recipes and exciting exclusives like Chef Aryen featured on TV and even more. Read more below to find out more about our beaming May Chef of the Month!

 

1. Birthplace:

I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. But I was raised in Naples, Italy and spent 12 years of my life there.

2. Where do you work and where are you based?

I am based out of Memphis, Tennessee. I work at Sweet Potato Baby which is a catering and baked goods company and café where I am the owner and executive chef.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

My Sous Vide machine and kitchen tweezers.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

Taste. Definitely taste.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

I like to relate it to the movie Finding Nemo, when Dory tells them to “Just keep swimming.” There are so many setbacks in this profession and all you can do is just keep swimming and trek forward. If you don’t get the dream job or you don’t like what you are doing right now just keep swimming and go after that goal. There is so much competition I always say infuse your personality into your cuisine.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

Learn the basics. Know your sauces you can always start a great dish or meal with a good sauce. Oh, and keep lemons on hand.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food means love. There is not one thing that I can say about dining that doesn’t take me back somewhere, whether it is eating with my cousins at my grandma’s house. Food is the way I show love. Food is my soul and it warms my soul and gives me a natural high. This is one of the few careers that you still touch with your hands. I love when people say they love my food. It makes me want to be better and try harder with every dish.

8. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets).

Definitely the style. I am a female and normal chef coats can swallow the female shape. I don’t want to look like a man in an industry dominated by men. I do the same thing as men but I want to feel pretty. I want to feel like a female. So the most important thing is my coat having great style, cut to accent my figure, and the perfect fit. The fabric also needs to breathe and feel good.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Oh gosh, that is so hard. You can’t go wrong with garlic. Garlic is a staple ingredient in most of my dishes. Oh, and I love salmon. Salmon is my all-time favorite; it brings out so many different flavors. Salmon and garlic.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

New York, ah you know what I am going to have to go with L.A. Los Angeles is bringing so many new and different flavors, cuisines, and you can find any type of food you want.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

Oh wow- whoa. One of the best dishes I think I’ve ever made has to be recent. It was a Rosemary scented lamb with a mint pea puree. I made it for my Valentine’s Day Chef’s Table. It was definitely the most amazing lamb I have ever made. I was like, “oh yea, I just rocked it.”

12. Person you would most like to cook for?

I’d really like to cook for my dad again.  He passed away when I was 11 years old. He is the one I’d love to have one more meal with. He taught me how to cook. I’d like to just make a smorgasbord of food for him from different countries from all over the world. The way I found him and his death was very traumatic for me but he is the reason I cook now so I’d really like to just dine and sit with my dad and have one last meal together.

13. What made you decide to become a chef?

Passion and realizing that nothing else was making me happy. I have a BS in computer science and have worked in several industries. After appearing on Food Network Star, Season 10, I came to the realization that I love to cook and share my food with people. I am a giver and this is my way of giving to others. I realized I had to become a chef because by not doing it I was holding back sharing something amazing with the world.

Want to hear and see more of Chef Aryen? Connect with her online!

Website: http://www.sweetpotatobaby.com/

Facebook: Sweet Potato Baby

Instagram: @sweetpotatobabyco

Twitter: @SweetPotatoBC

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Guest Recipe: Chef Ana Birac’s Planika Mousse, Jam and Candied Planika

Ana Recipe _ edit.jpg

We will be finishing off the month of March with a sweet treat from our September 2016 Chef of the Month, Ana! As our first international chef from Croatia, Ana shared amazing flavors and techniques with us last year and this recipe is no different! If you are in need of a new dessert idea or want to try something fresh this recipe will not disappoint. It brings together flavor, elegance, and flair.

Planika is a Croatian seasonal fruit that grows in autumn. It looks very much like cherry tomatoes with small bubbles. It tastes something like a mixture of strawberries and raspberries. If you can’t find planika near you, substitute strawberries or raspberries for this recipe.

Ingredients

0.25kg Puff Pastry ≈ 8.8 ounces

0.5kg Planika ≈ 17.6 ounces

0.5kg Sugar ≈ 17.6 ounces

0.1kg Honey ≈ 3.5 ounces

0.25L Sweet Cream ≈ 1 cup

0.2L Yogurt ≈ 4/5 cup

0.1kg Butter ≈ 3.5 ounces

0.1L Triple Sec ≈1/4 cup

0.2L Prosecco ≈ 4/5 cup

0.2L Rum ≈ 4/5 cup

 

Directions:

  1. Roll out one thin crust of a puff pastry. Bake it in the oven about 15 minutes at 200⁰C (400⁰F). Leave it aside to cool down.
  2. Put water to boil. Add about half of planika and throw it in the boiling water and blanch for about 3 – 5 minutes (until if softens).
  3. Take it out and blend it. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. During that time mix sweet cream with 0.1kg (3.5 ounces) of sugar, honey and yogurt and keep mix it until you get nice and firm mixture, but it must be soft enough to mix with a spatula.
  5. Add cold planika and stir well.
  6. Spread that mixture over cold puff pastry and put it in the cooler for a couple of hours.
  7. While your cake is cooling down, take one clear pan and melt the butter and add in (0.2kg/7 ounces) of sugar.
  8. Mix it well until the sugar completely melts, then add in Triple Sec and Prosecco and cook until the alcohol evaporates.
  9. When that happens mix in the rest of planika and cook until planika falls apart. Then strain it through a sieve and leave it in the fridge until if firms up a little.
  10. Caramelize (0.1kg/3.5 ounces) of sugar.
  11. Add in Rum and mix it until you get a nice thick mixture. When it cools down, throw in the rest of planika and then roll it in the sugar.
  12. Move it from freezer to the fridge 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

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