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2013 SERV International Recipe Winner:
Colossal Chicken & Veggie Tower
“SERV”ed with Love

They say you first “eat with your eyes,” but with today’s recipe I hope you will also taste with your heart.

Before your fork ever touches your food, your senses are anticipating how enjoyable the dish before you will be. You’ll taste with your senses and find delicious flavors. When you taste with your heart, you will feel the love behind the food. Let me explain. Continue Reading →

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Chicken Nuggets with Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup

photo by cathy nelson arkle
If you think that ketchup is a food group, or believe everything is better with ketchup, today’s recipe is for you. Feeding your kids and your inner child something tasty in the same meal is possible because of one ingredient.

Ketchup… no kidding!

ketchup

Ketchup is one of America’s favorite condiments especially for kids who eat 50 percent more than adults.  This, I think, could change after tasting Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup from Traina Foods. I’m traditionally not a ketchup girl, but Traina sent me a bottle of theirs and so I said…”why not give it a try?” I love creating recipes and meals, so this posed a great challenge.

I was pleasantly surprised because Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup isn’t like any ketchup I ever tasted. It’s tart and slightly sweet, yet mildly spicy (not hot) and aromatic. Continue Reading →

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Italian Inspirations

Chicken Under A Brick

It has been six months since Rona & I graduated from Pro 1 Chef School.  We are both excited to be back in the classroom to learn about ethnic cooking, palette development and food paring in Pro 2 classes.

In Pro 1 we learned about techniques and following recipes to the rule, in Pro 2 we are learning how to creatively adjust them. My parents will tell you that I am much better at breaking rules than I am at following them. Our teacher, Chef Carol Cotner Thompson calls this “intuitive cooking”.

Italian regions map

First stop in the ethnic classroom is Italy.

Italian Food

Chef Carol started class with a broad perspective of the twenty regions of Italy.

In learning about regional ethnic cuisine, it is good to understand the geography, climates, and historical background.

In Italy some regions are landlocked with mountains and lakes, while others benefit from the sea. French and Austrian nuances leave their mark on the northern regions, while the southern regions have a Middle Eastern influence. Some regions live under the hot sun, while others have cold winters with a short growing season.

All of these diversities make up the richness of the Italian bill of fare. Continue Reading →

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methods & madness… class 12: poultry pt. 2
braising awareness in the kitchen

Braised Moroccan Chicken

Recipes & Ramblings from Chef School

Looking for a meal that is inexpensive, simple and delicious? This week’s classroom technique of braising and stewing makes that possible as it uses inexpensive cuts of meat and cooks an entire meal in one pot.

fryer fresh chicken

Alas, in class I had to cut up a whole chicken again! After hitting the erase button on last week’s experience, Rona graciously walked me through the harrowing procedure again.

To see what I am stewing about click here for Poultry Part 1 )

 

Brilliant Braising

Braising is a cooking technique in which the main ingredient is seared, or browned in fat, and then simmered in liquid on low heat in a covered pot.

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methods & madness…
class 11: poultry pt.1 – chicken in the kitchen

Poussin with Apples, Brandy and Cream
Recipes & Ramblings from Chef School

What comes to mind when you hear the word poultry? Hopefully it’s not chicken McNuggets! Actually, the word poultry refers to any domesticated bird used for human consumption including chicken, duck, goose, ostrich, turkey, pheasant, mute swan and emu.

This week’s blog focuses on chicken because, according to the USDA, chickens are the number one species consumed by Americans. I’m not a contributor to that stat, but after sampling some great recipes from class, I may convert. To understand my sordid past with chickens on the farm, please read my other chicken blog.

This week we learned how to cook your chicken using dry heat methods such as broiling, grilling, roasting, baking, sautéing, pan-frying, and deep-frying.

Something to Crow About

No matter how you cook your chicken, it can be a tasty and nutritious meal. No wonder chicken is the world’s primary source of animal protein. Chicken is also a great source of niacin, protein, vitamin B6 and selenium.  It is low in fat and cholesterol and has no carbs.

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