Tag Archives: healthy eating

Chef Megan’s Spicy Gorgonzola Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Spicy MashSweet potatoes were arguably one of the trendiest foods in 2016. We saw sweet potatoes on toast, as bread substitutes, puddings, and pies. But March Chef of the Month, Megan puts an amazing spin on the trendy potato. Warning – recipe below will induce hunger.

 

Spicy Gorgonzola Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Serves:  4-6

Difficulty Level:  Easy

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cooking Time:  Approximately 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 Large Yams or a bag of small Organic Sweet Potatoes
  • 5oz of a smoky blue or Gorgonzola cheese (For those feeling adventurous, go with something extra smelly. For a family or for a dinner party, go with something mild to medium)
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Cayenne Pepper (If you love heat as much as I do, sub the Cayenne Pepper for something spicier – I used Trader Joes Ghost Chile Pepper).
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup of cream (I use a heavy whipping cream, but you could also use whole milk if you are looking to make it healthier)
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter – room temperature

You will need:

  • Food Processor
  • Large Pot filled half way with water
  • Knife

Directions:

  • Place a medium to large pot on your stove top, fill half way with water (enough to cover all the potatoes), add 1 teaspoon of salt, and turn on high to bring to a boil.
  • While the water is heating up, scrub the potatoes and peel off skin. Cut the sweet potatoes into small to medium even sized pieces.
  • Once water is boiling, add potatoes.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes.   Rule of thumb:  when you can use a fork and easily break a potato in half, they’re ready
  • Place all ingredients and the cooked sweet potatoes into the food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Pro Tip: Add salt/pepper/spice to taste – start slow and work your way up to the level you want. You can always add more, but if you make it too spicy right way you won’t be able to tone the heat down.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Top with roasted veggies for a hearty and filling Vegetarian Meal.
  • Serve alone as a side dish at your next dinner party.
  • Top with Scallops & Filet Mignon (pictured) for a romantic dinner or splurge meal.

Follow Chef Megan for more recipes:

Website: www.forkthisdish.com

Instagram: @forkthisdish

Twitter: @ForkThisDish

March 2017 Chef of the Month Megan Corcoran

pic-4

Megan is wearing ChefUniforms coat style 86515 in Pebble Grey w/ Black

The countdown to Spring has officially begun and we’re eager to introduce our March Chef of the Month, Megan Corcoran. A lover of fresh food, she has been cooking since high school and college but up until a year ago, she worked in Social Media, Marketing, and Sales. In the last year, Megan started her own website and company, auditioned and appeared on Food Network, and made numerous other television appearances. Her chef career has seriously taken off, read more about her success and life below and stay tuned for her amazing recipes throughout the month!

1. Birthplace:

I was born in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. It is maybe an hour outside of Philadelphia.

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

I own my own website and soon to be catering company. It is called Fork This Dish. We are based out of Arlington Virginia.

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

I would definitely say my food processor more than anything. You can do anything with it. You can make sauces or purees. It is a great way to make bases for dishes. I used to never use it but slowly I started using it more and more. Now it has become a regular and I use it for everything.

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

Sight. I was a dancer my whole life. I don’t know what I’d do without visual keys and I think I have transferred that over to cooking. I see a dish first and then make it. I don’t think my presentation skills are the best they can be. But for me, the presentation of a dish is very important.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

I did cook in a couple restaurants. But I really have no formal training outside of that. I had been thinking about starting this blog and business for years. I told all my friends I wanted to do it. But I never felt ready. Finally, I just did it and it has been an amazing year. I guess I would just say do what you want even if you don’t feel ready. I never learned how to cook on the news but I just went and did it.

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

I would say cooking eggs. That is a good place to start. It sounds crazy but a lot of people overcook them. Or they don’t know how to make different kinds of eggs like over-easy eggs. Cooking eggs is great practice, you can use different pans techniques. Eggs are a good place to start and a cheap way to mess up. Honestly, I have spent an entire day making eggs and watching Bobby Flay’s YouTube Videos on how to make perfect eggs. Whatever he does, I follow.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me means fresh. I am very particular with where my food comes from. I think it is important to only buy organic and when I can I try and find it locally. I don’t eat a lot of meat but I do sometimes and I’m to the extent of on Thanksgiving my family and I go to a farm and pick our own turkey. I want to know where my food comes from. I don’t want to buy and eat food with chemicals, we should be more aware of what is in our food. For me buying fresh, organically, and local is good food.

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

When I cook, I really like being comfortable. I typically wear jeans or khakis. I used hard top shoes and wear a polo type shirt. For my chef coat, I like short sleeves with breathable material so it doesn’t get too hot.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

I really like cooking with white wine. I just like putting wine in my food. Plus, I cook a lot of seafood and white wine is the perfect base for seafood.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

I was dying to leave and my friends will laugh when they read this, but hands down, the best food is in Philadelphia.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

For my final audition to make it on Food Network, I had to make a dish live. It was extremely nerve-wracking and I was just getting over being sick so I didn’t have time to perfect the dish or practice. But I had an idea and vision and it was the best dish I’ve made. It was a truffle corn puree with scallops and shrimp with a ton of butter, bacon and fresh truffle. It was insane, I wish I wrote down the recipe.

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

I work from home. So most days I cook for myself. But whenever I am home in Glenmoore. I go to Ron’s School House. It is so good, the food is fresh off the table and they have an extensive menu. They make this fresh pasta but also delicious carrot cheesecake.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

I have two Food Network heroes. I have cooked for one of them but the other is Scott Conant. I would like to cook for him a lot, I think he is great.

14. What is new on your DVR?

So I pretty much religiously watch Chopped. The other thing I just finished watching was West World. It was so good but I just found out the next season isn’t coming out for another year and a half so I am pretty devastated. I might just re-watch the past season.

Want to see more from our March Chef of the Month? Follow Megan here:

Website: www.forkthisdish.com

Instagram: @forkthisdish

Twitter: @ForkThisDish

 

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.

3

4

2. Finely chop the herbs.

5

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

6

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.

7

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

8

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.

9

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

10

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 Confit de Thon (Tuna Confit) Recipe

tuna1This week’s recipe comes from our December Chef of the Month: Chef Rod Knight! These extremely fresh ingredients and step-by-step directions will make anyone hungry!

Ever wonder how canned tuna is made? Well, here you go… There’s no salt in this recipe, that’s because salting the fish during the confit process will yield a different texture.

 

What you’ll need:

¼ – ½ lbs. filet of tunatuna2

3 or 4 sprigs of thyme

Garlic

Shallots

Whole black peppercorn

Green onion

Olive oil

 

Directions:

1. Cut tuna into smaller more workable chunks that will fit into a large skillet.

tuna3.png

2. Trim green onions, quarter shallots, slice garlic cloves in half to expose surface area and aid in flavor extraction.

tuna4

3. Add ingredients to a skillet large enough to fit all ingredients. Heat on medium until you start to see rapid bubbles.

tuna5

4. Turn down the heat to low add tuna.

tuna6

5. Baste the tuna with the oil as its cooking. It’s important to note here that you can cook the tuna to your preference – med rare, med, well, that’s completely up to you.

tuna8

tuna9

6. Once the tuna is done to your likeness transfer to a container as it must be stored 24 hours before use. Cover making sure the plastic wrap if flush with the oil and fish, refrigerate overnight.

tuna10

We hope you enjoyed the first recipe from Chef Rod Knight, check back next week for another recipe from our Chef of the Month. Share this fresh dish with your friends and family at your holiday potlucks or parties!

Chef Mikey Termini’s Veggie Burger Recipe

Another week of great recipes from our November Chef of the Month – Mikey Termini! For vegetarians and meat eaters alike – this veggie burger will not disappoint. Great with a side of waffle fries, hand cut, or cole slaw. veggEnjoy!

Ingredients: 

7 oz. (200g) Veggie Patty

1 Brioche Bun

20g Cashew Sour Cream

42g Sliced Roma Tomato

42g Avocado, Sliced

28 Cucumber, Shaved

1 Serving Handcut Fries

 

Veggie Burger Patty: 

3.15 kg black beans cooked

300g red quinoa

150g PB&G bourbon caramelized onions

250g PB&G magic mushrooms

60g old bay

15g cumin

700g water

400g grilled corn

40g kosher salt

700g panko

15g parsley

15g cilantro

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and put in Robo-Coupe until well incorporated.

 

PB&G Bourbon Caramelized Onions:

650g onions

50ml bourbon

40g brown sugar

 

PB&G Magic Mushrooms:

850g button mushrooms

130g soy sauce

60g sherry vinegar

 

PB&G Cashew Sour Cream: 

300g raw cashews

150g apple cider vinegar

150g water

Stay tuned next week for our Chef of the Month, Mikey Termini’s last recipe it is one you do not want to miss!

Are 2014’s Culinary Trends taking effect in full force?

2014 culinary trendsThe most noticeable themes amongst 2014’s culinary trends all fall under the umbrella term “healthy eating.” Emphasizing locally grown foods, sustainable options and whole grains, chefs are now focusing on creating flavorful cuisines that please both the palate and the conscience. Creativity and sustainability play a part in the development of cookery, perfecting the balance between what tastes good and what is actually good for you without compromising either. A major factor to consider when choosing ingredients and producers is the value that comes with selecting locally sourced produce and meats. These trends signify that consumers are starting to realize that the impact of their culinary choices affect more than what ends up on their plates. With these trends in play throughout the 2014 culinary year, chefs and restaurateurs alike are finding the balance between delicious food and food that is good for you without compromising either.

Given this information, it is important to notice what a role that sustainable practices play in the restaurant industry – a factor that affects the customer’s decision to dine at a venue even before they set foot in the establishment. The National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Program known for “serving up sustainability” provides statistics on these trends. In the 18-34 year old age demographic, 43% said that environmentally safe food is an important factor in making a dining choice. In addition, 55% of consumers would be more prone to select a restaurant if their menu items were produced in an organic or environmentally-friendly way.

Restaurant.org’s “Top 20 Trends” list further details these trends mentioned above:

1 . Locally sourced meats and seafood

2. Locally grown produce

3. Environmental sustainability

4. Healthful kids’ meals

5. Gluten-free cuisine

6. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)

7. Children’s nutrition

8. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)

9. Sustainable seafood

10. Farm/estate branded items

11. Nose-to-tail/root-to-stalk cooking (e.g. reduce food waste by using entire animal/plant)

12. Whole grain items in kids’ mealslocally produced food

13. Health/nutrition

14. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, tri-tip)

15. Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth)

16. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)

17. Grazing (e.g. small-plate sharing/snacking instead of traditional meals)

18. Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)

19. Fruit/vegetable children’s side items

20. Half-portions/smaller portions for a smaller price

Our Chefs of the Month can testify to these popular trends taking the American culinary landscape by storm. Chef Anish Rana (June’s Chef of the Month) of popular Ft. Lauderdale restaurant Bistro Mezzeluna has noticed the popularity of healthy foods, small plates, gluten-free options, and kid’s meals in 2014. February’s Chef of the Month, Ron Duprat (made famous for competing on season 6 of Bravo’s Top Chef) said this of 2014’s culinary trends: “I see a few dining trends occurring in 2014 including incorporating locally sourced meat and seafood, locally grown produce, environmentally sustainable food products, healthy food options that are also kid-friendly, gluten-free cuisines, and the new Haitian cuisine.”

As we are halfway through the 2014 year, ChefUniforms.com would like to hear your thoughts on this year’s culinary trends and if these predictions ring true!

healthy eating

 

%d bloggers like this: