Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve and some ancient traditions

What do you do when the new year rolls around? There are a lot of traditions out there so we try and do a different one every year, sometimes we blend a couple of them together and sometimes we loosely interpret what we think is one. This is one of those years where a loose interpretation was the game plan.
Lentils with cabbage - if you dont know what these two represent then you should get to googling because I am not going to tell you.

Dont go in for all of this good luck mumbo jumbo?

Have some pork belly! This is the last day of 2011 and it has been a great year. I fully expect and hope that 2012 will be even better. Thank you to all of you and I wish you all the very best there is to wish.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baci d' amore are love kisses - pork loin with a white chocolate hazelnut sauce

You wont need to roll up the kitchen rugs for this one but it might not be a bad idea. Pork loin stuffed with pears, peppers, mint, scallions and chevre served over couscous with a white chocolate hazelnut sauce is enough to make you shudder.

Butterfly a pork loin and spread the delicious mixture inside and roll it up.

Brown it on all sides and pop it in the oven until it is just right.

Let it rest then slice it up.

Serve it with couscous and drizzle the luscious chocolate hazelnut sauce over everything - baci d' amore - love kisses, love bites and love struck.

Here is the recipe and here is where you can find the Baci d' Amore.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to: Pate au Choux with rum infused sweet potato puree

Want to make an appetizer that is easy, eye catching, and delicious? 

Then make choux pastry pipped with sweet potato or if you want other ideas try a spinach choux filled with cheese or a carrot choux filled with spinach or a chocolate choux filled with vanilla cream or a vanilla choux filled with chocolate cream or a chocolate/chocolate or a vanilla/vanilla or what ever combination you can think of but remember you heard it here first.

Bake them till golden and pipe in your favorite sweet or savory filling.

You can believe me when I tell you that it is easier than you think. (look at my poor wounded fingers - I had a "knife incident" LOL). Make some pate au choux and impress your guests.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recipe: purple poached pears plated pleasantly perfect

Definitely poached pears are one top drawer dessert, and without a doubt it is one of the easiest desserts you could ever make. Poached pears with a red wine caramel and creme anglaise only takes time to make it nice. You will read a lot of recipes that will tell you to poach the pears for about 15 minutes or so but to really get them tender and tasty I suggest no less than 45 minutes at a nice steady simmer.

So how do you make these? Easy. Get some bosc pears and peel them and cut the bottom so they standup. Fill up a nice flat bottomed pot with red wine and about a 1/4 ratio of water to wine to cover the pears - so for example: one bottle of wine and a 1/4 bottle of water. Season the liquid with orange peel, lemon peel, cinnamon, star anise, clove, a bay leaf and some sugar - you need to taste the liquid to make sure it is tasty but dont go crazy tasting this delicious elixer or you wont have anything to poach the pears in. Simmer pears in this liquid for 45 minutes then let them cool in the poaching liquid over night. Update: Ciao Chow Linda asked if the poaching liquid travels up the pear and I now realize my photo might suggest that the pears remained upright but they do fall over and I did gently move them about during the simmering process

The next day gently remove the pears and reduce the liquid until it is a nice thick caramel and let the pears come up to room temperature.

This is a pear in the unreduced liquid.

Make a creme anglaise, which is a nice vanilla sauce made with milk, cream, egg yolks and vanilla bean.   Put some of the wine caramel on a plate, put some creme anglaise on a plate and put a pear on top of the sauces and garnish with a mint leaf and you are good to go.

Invite 35 of your best friends over to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Poached pears will be on your menus - I guarantee it! Oh and dont forget to check out my latest post at Char-Broil.

Friday, November 11, 2011

We have a winner - Bobby Flay signed a book and I gave it away

Nothing was more easy to win than this cookbook signed by Bobby Flay and Kim Bee was the lucky winner who made me a winner too.
When I contacted Ms. Kim Bee to let her know she had won she asked if I could sign the book too - how cool is that? Congratulations Kim Bee and thanks for making me cool too!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bobby Flay is in the house! - so to speak - its a giveaway

What would be the next best thing to having Bobby Flay in your kitchen? That would be having Bobby Flay in your kitchen thats what! Its the 15th anniversary of the Mohegan Sun and I am giving away a signed cookbook by Bobby Flay! You might have had a chance to eat at his restaurant Bar Americain well now you have a chance to win a signed Bar Americain cookbook!

Check out some of the fun.

So how can you win? Easy. Leave a comment telling me why this would be the coolest thing in your kitchen because the coolest thing in your kitchen now is_____________? I will pick the best one and if they are all good then I will use because I am fair like that. Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I wasnt compensated in any way to give this cookbook away - I did it because I wanted to.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Raviolis are easy so make some

Raviolis are such a fun way to kick up a pasta dish and they are easy to make. You might be a little intimidated by the idea of making your own fresh pasta but there is really no reason to fear - its easy and once you have made the pasta then raviolis are inches away.

Basic pasta is egg and flour but this pasta has boiled carrots, I boiled the carrots until they were soft then I incorporated them into the egg and flour mixture. You can use spinach, butternut squash - you could even use peanut butter, if you were so inclined.

Make the dough, roll out the dough and fill the dough - thats ravioli. You can watch this video for a little more of the tutorial,

Now, you dont need me to tell you that the best part about making ravioli is eating ravioli.

Go make some pasta and stuff it! Ravioli of fresh carrot pasta with a crab filling served with a pepperoncino arrabiatta sauce with cream, basil oil and crab roe - complexity with simplicity and layers and layers of flavor!

Friday, October 14, 2011

chicken fingers with a panko basil crust and two chutneys - how's that for specific?

So if you havent been paying attention or if you just so happen to live under a rock then I am here to tell you that it is officially "Appetizer Season" thats right its that time of year when we take many small bites. Cocktail party after cocktail party as we wind our way towards January 2. Why January 2? January 2 is the unofficial end of "Appetizer Season" thats why.  Here are two easy breezy little noshes to dazzle and impress. Chicken fingers are the same as chicken nuggets - you take ground chicken and flavor it up then you bread it with a mix of basil and panko and instead of frying these you bake them. Serve them nice and warm with a little mango chutney and a little tomato chutney - a nice mix of sweet, tart, savory and tangy makes these little nuggets of gold.

How about a little twist on the deviled egg? Get some little croustades from Siljns and fill them up with your favorite style of deviled egg. This is the entire egg pureed with a little curry powder and a dab of mayonnaise piped into a crispy little cup, garnish with some bits of carrot and parsley or you can use a little crab roe to really make them nice.

Stay tuned as we go through this season of nibbles I will be posting more easy to do little appetizers.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Grillin’ in Da Hood NYC Style My first cook - mixed grill on my Char-Broil Infrared Grill.

When I found out I was one of the featured bloggers for Char-Broil I was totally psyched for all kinds of reasons but the most exciting reason was the gear I was going to be hooked up with.

Little did I know that this over 200 pound behemoth needed to be assembled. No biggie I have some screw drivers and some wrenches, I can manage it, plus the booklet says it should take about 30 minutes. Well as they say in Spanish "no problemo." To read the whole post go here.

Please follow me (like) on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oxtails as a tropical delight? Thats right! I made pasteles.

Pasteles are a big treat around here because they are so labor intensive to make, all the folding and tying and what not, not too mention the effort that goes into making the masa but I was challenged recently to do something with oxtail and I decided to do this tropical delight.

I wont bother you with all the details - instead you can watch this dark and out focus video to see how it all gets done.

Basically I put some oxtails in the pressure cooker.

made some masa out of squash and yucca and green banana and yukon gold potatoes and folded and wrapped and tied a bunch of mini pasteles and simmered them until perfect.

Then I plated up some tasty mini pasteles with some spicy pineapple salsa a little kiwi lime sauce, yellow tomatoes, red tomatoes, some cucumber and some micro greens - and thats all she wrote.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I am still here only better

You might have noticed that I have been a little absent from my blog as of late well there is a very good reason for that so with out mincing words and dangling participles to get you to read further and perhaps leave comments and click links to enhance my KLOUT and my search engine status and whatever else it is that bloggers subscribe to so that they can become "the one" I will just go right ahead and tell you. I am the new Executive Chef for two catering companies. I cant and wont tell you who these companies are since some of the clients wish to have that information remain confidential but let me reassure you that these are some good clients, popular names and popular places some famous and some not so. I could not be happier. I have had my eyes on this goal for quite some time from early on with my decision to become a personal chef and then the years of commitment that I have devoted to learning the culinary arts going all the way back to my youth. With this hurdle now hurdled I still have the high jump of television to contend with - I want a show! You have seen the Migrating Feast segments - that is only the beginning. Thank you everyone as you are my inspiration.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ok one more giveaway and then we ease into Fall and regular programing

The winner is
That would be Ciao Chow Linda - Giveaway blogs will be in touch with you in the next 30 days! Congratulations I cant wait to see what you print!

This giveaway is for printing services - you can make a canvas print of your favorite image. Got wall space? Got a cool image? Fill it up with a cool canvas print. If you want to really make me feel good and you want one of my images to hang on your wall if you win just ask and it is yours. This one is happening fast - deadline is tonight!

Prize details:
one (1 ) piece 16” x 20” rolled canvas print, for one (1) winner with 2-inch border or No border,
1 Business Day Turnaround *Free shipping
Restriction: Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only

Sounds simple enough - leave a comment get one entry, "like" my Chef Page get another entry, tweet "I entered to win a canvas print with @ChezWhat and you can enter too " for another entry - leave a separate comment for each of these things that you did and you will have three chances to win.

Disclaimer: Required as per FTC Ruling
This canvas printing giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given  and I will receive printing services for rolled canvas by hosting. Check out for more details about photo canvas.

Monday, August 22, 2011

We have a winner of the Wusthof knife giveaway

How often does being first pay off in this day and age? Imagine my surprise when I typed in the number of comments (someone commented twice so I had to decrease the number by one) then I hit the generate number and the number one (1) popped up. Congratulations Vicki you are lucky number 1 please e mail me your mailing address so that I can forward that on to Wusthof so that you can get your prize. Thank you everyone who entered and stay tuned this is giveaway season here on ChezWhat and we will be sponsoring a different one very soon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Who wants some stuff? General ramblings and a giveaway - scroll to the bottom to see what it is...

Wusthof knives are good and good people need good knives so you can imagine that I would want my good readers to get in on this cherry of a deal. Thats right one lucky reader will be the proud owner of The Grand Prix II Two-Piece Herb Set in Green - this set has a $60 dollar value and is available only at Bloomingdales. What does all this mean? It means that someone who lives in the United States will not have to go to Bloomingdales to get one because they will be getting one right here. One entry per person, no extra entries. You should be following my blog and following me on twitter already and now you can "like" me too- if you arent then get on it. You need to check out the links and then leave a comment there and then one over here on the blog post and you are entered. One winner will be selected on Monday August 22 with the use of and Wusthof will mail you your prize so that means contact information will be required.

Combining two essential tools to easily cut, chop and mince parsley, sage, dill, cilantro, thyme, chives and other fresh herbs, the new Grand Prix II Two-Piece Herb Set includes Wusthof's top-selling Come Apart Kitchen Shears in vivid Green (model 5558-G) and the perfectly sized, precision-forged, full-tang Grand Prix II 4.5-inch Multi-Prep Cook's Knife (model 4585/12), which sports an apropos Green colored handle.
An essential tool for the kitchen, and ideal for snipping both delicate and hardy fresh herbs, such as tarragon and rosemary, Wusthof's Come Apart Kitchen Shears offer razor sharp blades that easily "come apart" for thorough and easy cleaning, as well as re-sharpening.  The Come Apart Kitchen Shears is universally designed for both right- and left-handed cooks.

A cross between the cook's knife and a paring knife, the Grand Prix II 4.5-inch Multi-Prep Cook's Knife features the rounded straight edge blade of a typical cook's knife, which allows for rapid fire chopping with a pro-style rocking motion on a cutting board. Unlike cook's knives, which tend to have long blades, typically 8-inches or more, the diminutive Grand Prix II 4.5-inch Multi-Prep Cook's Knife delivers precise control - the hallmark of smaller paring knives. The Grand Prix II 4.5-inch Multi-Prep Cook's Knife features the collection's signature slip-resistant, pebble-textured handle with a contoured shape that ensures a comfortable and sure grip. The handle's new vibrant Green color adds zest to daily food prep and entertaining.

If you scrolled all the way down to see what the deal was - you missed it - now go back and read the post!
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