Tag Archives: food

Chef Alekka’s Chocolate Espresso Brownies

brownies2.jpgThis recipe comes from our February Chef of the Month, Alekka Sweeney. Valentine’s Day is approaching and we all like to take this time to indulge in some dessert. This recipe caters to anyone with a sweet tooth and love for all things chocolate. Take a break from your New Year’s diet and enjoy the finer things in life… and one of those things is sugar!

Chocolate Espresso Brownies

Yields 32 brownies

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter

5 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon instant-espresso powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup 64% Chocolate pistols (I prefer Valrhona)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 15- by 10- by 1-inch baking pan with foil, allowing 2 inches of foil to hang over ends of pan, and grease foil well (except overhang) with 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. Melt remaining 11 tablespoons butter with unsweetened chocolate in a large metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt (mixture will be grainy), then add eggs 1 at a time, whisking after each addition until batter is smooth.
  3. Toss together flour and chocolate pistols in another bowl and add to batter, stirring until just combined.
  4. Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake in middle of oven until top is firm and edges just begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 20 minutes –be careful not to overbake.
  5. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then carefully lift brownies from pan by holding both ends of foil and transfer to rack to cool 10 minutes more. Cut into 32 squares and lift brownies off foil with a spatula.

Love this recipe? Get in contact with Chef Alekka and visit her shop Give Me Some Sugar if you’re in the Chicago area so you can learn to bake like a pro!

Website: Give Me Some Sugar 

Facebook: Give Me Some Sugar

Instagram: @givesugar

Twitter: @ChefAlekka

Chef Stefen’s Breakfast Mac n’ Cheese

recipe-2-0For all of the breakfast lovers, this recipe goes out to you. We’re stoked to showcase this recipe from Chef Stefen but we wish we had more! Not to worry, this one will have you drooling and ready for breakfast, brunch, or brinner. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day (both mom and science say). Breakfast and brunch foods have become even more popular and trendy in recent years, this recipe is cutting edge. We hope you enjoy and get ready to salivate!

Breakfast Mac n’ Cheese

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 large sweet potato, unpeeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 jalapeños, diced
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 box penne rigate
  • 3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bottle golden ale (I prefer Kona Big Wave Golden Ale)
  • 1/2 quart (16 ounces) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup fontina cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 24 eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Yield: ~12 servings

Step 1: The Prep (Prep 5 min, Cook 30-40 min)

Preheat oven to 400°F degrees.

Place sweet potato and jalapeño on a sheet tray and toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender. Pull out and set aside for later.

In a large pan bring some salted water to a boil. Add the box of penne rigate and a teaspoon of olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente (you are going to bake this again later in the mac so you don’t want the noodles overcooked). Drain and save for later.

Step 2: Make Your Cheese Sauce (Prep 10 min, Cook 25-30 min)

Heat butter in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes until they are a nice golden color. Slowly add in the flour, stirring constantly to create a roux. Cook the roux until it is lightly golden in color, about 10-15 minutes. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in your bottle of golden ale to create a smooth sauce. Add in the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add a few squirts of your favorite hot sauce (I like Sriracha and/or Tabasco). Add in your cheese, being sure to constantly mix to create a smooth and delicious sauce.

Step 3: Finishing Touches (Prep 5 min, Cook 30-40 min)

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Once your cheese sauce is ready, it’s time to assemble the mac! Combine the noodles, roasted sweet potato and jalapeño mixture, and cheese sauce into a baking dish. Top with the panko breadcrumbs and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.

When the mac is almost done, cook your eggs any style of your choosing. I prefer sunny-side up for the presentation and runny yolk.

For presentation. I like to add a pool of Sriracha to the bottom of the plate. Add a slice of the mac, and then top the whole thing with the eggs, some fresh green onion, and thinly sliced fresh jalapeno.

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If you can’t get enough of our January Chef of the Month, Stefen, make sure to keep following him:

Facebook: Big Chef Little Kitchen

Instagram: @bigcheflittlekitchen

Twitter: @BigChefLilKitch

Website: http://www.bigcheflittlekitchen.com/

Chef Stefen got his aprons from CU ChefUniforms.com, make sure to go check out our amazing chef and cooking apparel!

Chef Stefen’s Vegan Walnut-Kale-Basil Pesto

recipe 3.2.jpgFood experts say healthy food will be all the rage and trending throughout 2017. But we are here to show you just because the recipe has kale in it does not mean it isn’t delicious. We’re showcasing our January Chef of the Month Stefen’s second recipe a vegan walnut-kale-basil pesto sauce that pairs well with basically anything! So it is time to put away the bacon and get your kale on.

(Prep 3-5 minute, Cook 3-5 min)

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 ounce basil leaves
  • 1 ounce kale
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, whole
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Yield: ~ 2 servings

recipe-3-3Directions:

Combine all ingredients except the nutritional yeast into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times until combined.

Add in the nutritional yeast and pulse an additional 4-5 times until all ingredients are mixed to your desired combination.

Mix it with pasta, throw it on your eggs, put it on a cheese board; let your imagination run wild with possibilities. This simple and versatile sauce is sure to please.

Enjoy!

Get in contact with our January Chef of the Month:

Facebook: Big Chef Little Kitchen

Instagram: @bigcheflittlekitchen

Twitter: @BigChefLilKitch

Website: http://www.bigcheflittlekitchen.com/

Chef Stefen’s Beet Sliders Recipe

That’s right, it says beet, not beefbeets2this recipe takes traditional sliders to the next level. Plus it is perfect for all of our vegetarian friends but don’t worry meat-eaters, you’ll forget there is no meat in this dish after you take the first bite! Enjoy our January Chef of the Month, Chef Stefen’s first featured recipe – beet sliders!

Beet Sliders (Prep 45 min – 1 hour, Cook 20-25min)

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 3 beets, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 package sliced muenster cheese
  • 1 package King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 green tomatoes, sliced
  • 1-2 cups arugula

Yield: ~12 sliders

Directions:

The first thing for a delicious beet slider is to “make” and marinade the slider “patties.” To make the patties, cut off the top and bottom of the beet. The next step is the big one that makes these sliders unique (be prepared for purple hands). With a firm grip, take the beets and peel the outer skin with a vegetable peeler before slicing. Peeling and slicing prior to grilling is the key to the flavor and texture of these sliders.

Layer the beet slices in an airtight food storage container and add a tablespoon each of mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper.beets3

Once everything is in the container, close it up, seal it tight, and shake vigorously. The goal here is to create a sort of vinaigrette for the beets to marinate in. Marinate for at least 1 hour.

Once the beets have been marinated, fire up the grill, (you can also bake these in the oven or pan sear them, but I think grilling makes the best slider) and cook like you would a normal burger. Cook 10-15 minutes on each side until marked and the beet is fork tender. Add some of the muenster and melt on top.

If you want to toast your buns, like I do, now is the time to do so.

Spread the mustard on the bun, add the avocado, onion, patty, green tomato, and arugula.

Enjoy!

Get in contact with Chef Stefen:

Facebook: Big Chef Little Kitchen

Instagram: @bigcheflittlekitchen

Twitter: @BigChefLilKitch

Website: http://www.bigcheflittlekitchen.com/

Chef Rod Knight’s Cured Salmon Recipe

1.pngPresenting our final recipe of the year and the last recipe from our December Chef of the Month, Rod Knight. This cured salmon recipe looks delicious and can be a great appetizer or used as a main course!

Before we get right into the recipe, we’d like to give a shoutout to all of the chefs we featured this year. It was a pleasure to get to know and work with all of the 2016 chefs. Not only do these chefs have amazing recipes, they also have passion and great personalities!  Here is a quick recap on our awesome 2016 chefs:

  1. January: Ace Champion
  2. February: Jacoby Ponder
  3. March: Yvonne Anderson-Thomas
  4. April: Sean Thompson
  5. May: Jimmy Rodriguez
  6. June: Brian Mullins
  7. July: Joy Crump
  8. August: Dakota Soifer
  9. September: Ana Birac
  10. October: Anthony Hunt
  11. November: Mikey Termini
  12. December: Rod Knight

Thank you to all of our chefs! Now back to the recipe.

This dish is so incredibly easy to make and packed with flavor you’ll never want to buy store-bought Gravadlax again. Serve it with a bit of horseradish, thinly sliced green onion, tomato, olive oil, and crostini.

What you’ll need:2

Salmon

2 cups kosher salt

2 cups Sugar

1 cup of chopped herbs (Dill, Thyme, and Parsley)

Citrus Zest (Lemon, Lime, and Grapefruit)

Directions:

1. Mix salt and sugar thoroughly and generously line the bottom of the pan.

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2. Finely chop the herbs.

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3. In a bowl, combine citrus zest, herbs, and a few tablespoons of the salt and sugar curing mixture. Mix well.

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4. Place the salmon in the pan skin side down. Apply more of the curing mixture to the flesh of the fish, thoroughly covering all surface area.

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5. Next, add the herb mixture on top of the first layer of cure.

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6. Finally, add the remaining cure on top of the herbs. Be very generous with this layer and firmly pack it down. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

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7. Rinse with cold water, slice, and serve!

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We hope you have enjoyed this recipe and all of us at CU (ChefUniforms) look forward to another adventurous year. We hope you all have a prosperous and healthy New Year!

Chef Rod Knight’s Easy Croque Monsieur Recipe

1I don’t think you all are ready for this recipe! As the holidays approach, sometimes we just need a quick and delicious meal, Chef of the Month Rod Knight shares us with his amazing Croque Monsieur recipe.

This quick and easy Croque Monsieur sans béchamel is guaranteed to satisfy the snack attack. It is a classic French sandwich that translates literally into “Crispy Mister,” due to the Gratin on the finish. We [Chef Rod and his team] actually “discovered” this method on accident – one shift during service we ran out of béchamel and had to fulfill the order, and this was a happy accident, as they say, necessity is the mother of ingenuity.

What you’ll need:2

1/2 lbs of baby swiss cheese

1/2 lbs of good quality ham

1/4 cup of heavy cream

6 slices of Harty Sliced Bread

Salt/pepper

Ground nutmeg

Directions:

1. Grate Cheese

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2. In a mixing bowl, combine salt and pepper, ground nutmeg to taste, heavy cream, and cheese. Mix well.

3. On a greased cookie sheet, place 3 slices of bread, apply the cheese mixture to the slices and spread evenly across the whole slice.

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4. Then layer the ham.

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5. Repeat the same process for the top layer and place cheese side down on the sandwich.

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6. Then next step is to add another layer of cheese to the top of the sandwich.

7. Bake on middle rack for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

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8. Transfer to the top rack and broil until they are golden.

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The final product:

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We hope you enjoyed this week’s delicious recipe from Chef Rod. Stay tuned for our Chef of the Month Rod Knight’s final recipe next week, it is a recipe that will satisfy all fish lovers’ cravings.

ChefUniforms.com First Year Sponsoring John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® Gridiron Grill-Off Food & Wine Festival

We recently teamed up with John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® GridIron Grill-Off to be a sponsor for the 7th year of the event that helps local charities.

John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® Gridiron Grill-Off, features a Grill-Off competition with football legends and celebrity chefs from across South Florida. Because we are a leading manufacturer and distributor of chef clothing and apparel. We sponsored the local chefs and restaurants that partnered with the Gridiron Grill-Off. As sponsors, we supplied the 23 chefs with customized, embroidered chef coats and chef totes, hats, and gift cards for the participating local chefs.

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This year was the 7th annual Gridiron Grill-Off, held at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater. The event hosted 23 of the top chefs in South Florida from great restaurants in the region along with football players and legends. Attendees spent the day eating and sampling different foods and wines, then voting on their favorite recipes. Hosted and produced by John Offerdahl, the event’s overall mission is “feeding the needs of kids in crisis.” 4KIDS South Florida and HOPE South Florida are among some of the local charities supported by the Gridiron Grill-Off, there are numerous other charitable partners in the hospitality and sports industries.

Hosted and produced by Former Dolphins Linebacker, John Offerdahl, the event’s overall mission is “feeding the needs of kids in crisis.” 4KIDS South Florida and HOPE South Florida are among some of the local charities supported by the Gridiron Grill-Off, there are numerous other charitable partners in the hospitality and sports industries.

“ChefUniforms is honored to sponsor events like this,” stated Susan Masimore, CEO of UA Brands. “Not only do events like this allow us to get out in the community, they allow us to give back to the community through great charity organizations.”

ChefUniforms.com, together with sister company, UA Corporate Solutions gave more than $10,000 to the Gridiron Grill-Off including in-kind and monetary donations to support the charity.

December 2016 Chef of the Month Rod Knight

chef-rod-jump-with-hat2Can you believe 2016 is coming to a close already? We are extremely excited to showcase our last Chef of the Month for the year: Chef Rod Knight!

We guarantee this is one Chef of the Month you don’t want to miss! Chef Rod went above and beyond and his step-by-step recipes are incredible. Read more about his life and chef career below and make sure to check back next week for his first recipe!

1. Birthplace: Danbury, Connecticut

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

I work at a French brasserie called Thursdays on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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

My favorite kitchen tool is the vacuum chamber machine. It allows me to literally marinate or pickle something within seconds. It significantly cuts down a lot of time and the amount of waste. Plus, once you vacuum an item it increases the shelf life exponentially.

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

Interesting, I think that my sense of touch is my sharpest sense. I have never cut myself more than a nick and I think that has to do with my sense of touch.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

I would say stay curious and focus intently on the details. Good dishes are a combination of very small parts that are put together well. Make sure you are aware of how you communicate. How you communicate is a very important part of being a chef because how you speak and what you say translates to everyone you work with and it will literally better the team.

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

Keep your pans hot. You aren’t going to get far without hot pans.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is something that is exciting to share with others. It also takes into account health and nutrition. I believe you can’t untwine the two. What we are eating and how we are eating but it has to be good for you. Also, good food is fresh with fresh ingredients. I guess to sum it up good food is passion on a plate.

8. What trends do you see emerging in the near future?

There’s been a lot of talk about no tipping. All of the servers’ wages and all of the food prices would get raised to cover the no tipping paradigm. Personally, I think if companies do raise the minimum wage, they will expect more from the employees.

I see a lot more with digital cloud services for cooks training and communication. I think we are going to see a breakdown of titles and positions and see more of the cooks and prep cooks taking on more responsibility which would allow the chefs on duty to administer more effectively. With everything online we are learning faster and quicker and the guys on my team who are in school ask me questions that stump me all the time. On a broader level, this will lead to a lot more creativity to make the things.

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

I definitely go with a short sleeve. I like to go with styles that breathe easy. I do like a more traditional style but with a modern fresh approach. I am slim, so I prefer a slimmer fit. I don’t like button ups. The coats I have now have material like Nike dry fit that wicks away moisture and are light weight.

10. What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?

For my go-to workwear, I usually wear a cargo style black pant. I typically wear one of my white chef coats. Sometimes I will wear a cap but I always wear crocs.

11. Favorite ingredient to work with?

This is hard, my favorite ingredient I like to work with is Dijon mustard.  I specifically like to pair it with maple, mustard, and Cajun to make a really good marinade that is a little spicy. For a quick fix, I like to have pan seared salmon and splatter mustard on there and bread crumbs. Or red wine vinaigrette adding Dijon. I find it to be a very versatile condiment. But of course, you can’t live without eggs.

12. Best Dish you have ever made?

Okay, so this is fun. I came across this recipe maybe a year ago. I came across a website that had Berbere, an Ethiopian spice. Last year I really got into spices. This one is really cool, so I tried it out. It is smoky, spicy and red in color. It is extensive work to toast it and to process it. It has a very eastern flavor, I guess they have been using it for centuries. So I went to the fish market and got Bronzino. I was having some people over for dinner so I did a dry rub and got a really nice roast on the fish, it was almost magical. I served it with lemon roasted tomatoes. It was very exotic, with Chile peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, and a little bit of nutmeg.

13. Place you eat most often on your days off?

There is a sushi place in Pompano Beach. It is called 9 Face Sushi and they knock it out of the ballpark. Always fresh, the service is amazing. I like to sit outside and enjoy the view.

14. Person you would most like to cook for?

You know what, I’d like to cook for Stan Lee.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?

I am an only child. My mom is a chemical engineer. I would get out of school and go home. I would watch 3 shows on Food Network. These shows got me into and gave me permission to get my hands dirty. I would have food made, I can’t imagine it was good at the time. So I started doing things in elementary school.

But I applied and got into a Connecticut vocational technical school in the culinary department when I was in high school. I started learning techniques. My junior year, Johnson and Wales got accreditation and I got an associate’s degree in culinary. It took burning a lot of things and figuring out where I went wrong and teaching it to the next person. To sum it up, I became a chef because of curiosity and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am creative. Being a chef, I found a happy place to be and express my creativity every day.

16. What is new on your DVR?

On my DVR is Preacher, The Walking Dead, and The Flash. Those are my top three shows that I make time to watch.

Once again thank you to Chef Rod Knight and don’t forget to stay tuned for his recipes that will be featured throughout the month.

 

November 2016 Chef of the Month Mikey Termini

We are happy to announce our new Chef of the Month for the month of November, Mikey Termini! He is a very talented chef, and we are excited to showcase Chef Mikey throughout the month. Read more below to find out about Chef Mikey’s life as a chef in Hawaii and now Florida. Make sure to stay tuned in the following weeks for his excellent recipes.

  1. Birthplacmikey.jpge:

I was born in Santa Cruz, Calfornia which is in Monterey Bay. Straight out of high school, I went to Maui, Hawaii and spent the last 15 years there cooking.

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

Currently, I work at the Four Seasons PB&G Pool Bar and Grill in Orlando, Florida a part of Walt Disney World.

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

My favorite kitchen tool is the spoon in my back pocket- I use it to taste dishes and spooning out sauces.

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

That would have to be touch. I am great with my hands. I like to create things, feel out all of the textures and turn food into something great.

  1. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Run. Just kidding, keep the passion and don’t burn out. Find the love for food in everything you do whether you are making burgers and french fries or a $60 halibut plate.

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

Have patience. In my experience, the one thing so many cooks and chefs don’t have a lot of is patience. Stay patient with the day to day work, if you have good patience, you can be a real strong leader in the industry.

  1. What does good food mean to you?

Love. The feeling of someone putting a lot of care into what I’m eating and bacon.

  1. What trends do you see emerging in the near future?

I wish breakfast food would get a little bit bigger and work towards transforming it to a dinner atmosphere. Breakfast is one of the least tapped parts of eating. It is a great meal, nice, full, rich food at breakfast time takes you back to when you were a kid.

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

The most important to me are the looks and style. I hate chef coats that are too baggy or the lines being too big for my build. I really look for nice lines that are not bunched in the back but at the same time are not too tight but fit just right.

  1. What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?

I always go back to white coats. I always like a nice white coat with long sleeves that are rolled up, paired with black slacks and a waist apron with a loop for my towel.

  1. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Bacon is my number 1. But after spending so much time in Hawaii,  I love using sweet chili sauce. My favorite way to use it is by adding it to crab cakes for sweetness and a little bit of spice.

  1. Favorite City to dine out in?

San Francisco, California. Because I grew up in Monterey Bay going into the city, I have never eaten at a bad restaurant there.

  1. Best Dish you have ever made?

One thing everyone wants me to cook when I go home is a pasta carbonara. It is an Italian dish that I like to make with fresh pasta peas, pancetta egg cream sauce and top it with truffle oil

  1. Place you eat most often on your days off?

Home. I love going to the Asian markets and getting stuff there. I usually like to get duck or some kind of pork dish depending on what they have.

  1. Who is a person you would like to cook for?

Bruce Willis or Rob Zombie. They are not chefs, but I would love to cook for them and be around them for a night.

  1. What made you decide to become a chef?

When I first moved to Hawaii, I was doing dishes at a restaurant, and the chef there asked me if I wanted to be a cook or a bartender. I chose cook because I figured I could last a lot longer on food than alcohol.

  1. What is new on your DVR?

Stranger Things on Netflix, it is a TV show that has a Stephen King type vibe. Then once The Walking Dead comes back on, that will fill my DVR because I’m a diehard zombie fan.

Chef Anthony’s Tomato Recipe

Our final recipe from our October Chef of the Month, Anthony Hunt is his tomato recipe. This recipe can be used for party appetizers but it is also very versatile.  Enjoy!

tomatoes with dish.jpg

Confi of garlic and tomato spread

Ingredients:

16 ounces cherry tomatoes
15 cloves of garlic or less.
Bay leaves 3 whole dry or fresh
6 leaves of Basil fresh

Directions:

Submerge ingredients in olive oil
Bake with aluminum foil for one and a half hours.
Allow time to cool.

Remove ingredients from oil. Rooftop ingredients to drain off excess liquid. Add salt, pepper, and olive oil finish with chopped fresh basil.

Best served on sliced toasted baguette. As a final finish, add a sliver of fresh parmesan.

A big thank you to Chef Anthony for providing these awesome recipes and being our October Chef of the Month!

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