Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh my god it has been such a long time since I have written a new blog!!!

So let me start of by saying, yes, it has been almost 3 months...yes I made some specials...but there are a few changes. First off I am STILL waiting to get into Le Cordon Bleu...I really do hope that the way the admissions department works is not a reflection of the type of schooling I will recieve there!lol
Anyways, I no longer work at Harmoni Market in College Park. I left there to work with Chef(Robert Walker) at The Boathouse in Winter Park, FL, a few miles from my house. Before I left Harmoni I made many many specials but since chef was gone I was always too busy to write my blog.

So just to share a few little specials I did....

Now typically when I make a soup or stew or something like that, I tend to just eyeball my measurements and my Jazzfest Cajun Gumbo is a perfect case in point.


(with approximate measurements)
1 lb. Andouille Sausage sliced or chopped
1 lb. shrimp (16-21)
1/2 lb pancetta diced and crispy
1 lb. roasted chicken breats
2 large onions (1 white, 1 red) rough chopped
4 bell peppers (2 red, 2 green) rough chopped
4 celery stalks chopped
1 whole garlic bulb minced
1 cup creole or blackening seasoning
1 qt fish stock
1 qt chicken stock
2 lbs fresh okra sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
4-5 bay leaves whole
10 roma tomatoes chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2-1 cup of chocolate roux (just a dark roux-flour and butter)

I started it off by cooking my meats one at a time on high but using the same pan. (My recipe for the restaurant was about three times this amount and I used a 5 gallon pot, but at home you can just use an 8qt stock pot if you like) and I keep the grease from the pancetta in the pan. I then add in my olive oil,onions, celery and peppers and sautee them and deglaze with some chicken and fish stock. I then add the tomatoes, garlic, and okra, along with the remaining fish and chicken stocks and cook until everything is thoroughly stewed and add the remaining seasonings and let simmer on low for a couple hours. If you notice a lot of the juice has evaporated, or if you have accidentally overseasoned a bit, you can add more chicken or fish stock(broth) to the pot. Bring it back to a boil and slowly stir in one tbsp of roux at a time making sure to fully incorporate the roux into the gumbo. Do this until your gumbo has reached the desired consistancy. It should be thick and hearty in the end and the best damn gumbo you ever tasted!! I recommend it with some of chef Lindsey Walkers utterly delicious cornbread at The Boathouse in Winter Park! :-)


For the sauce you will need:

2 cups marsala drinking wine(real marsala wine!)
2 cups merlot drinking wine
1 cup veal stock
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leave(dried)
4 shallots finely diced
1/2 cup leaks roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh cremini(baby portabella's)
1/2 cup carrot roughly chopped
2 tbsp black peppercorns
1/2 cup of minced kalamata olives
1/2 cup butter diced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Get a 2 qt saucepan and heat up half your olive oil(1/8 cup). Drop into the pan, your shallots and sweat them for a few minutes until any liquid is au sec and deglaze your pan with a 1/2 cup of merlot. Add in your leaks, carrots, mushrooms, and olives and sautee once again until all liquid is au sec(almost completely gone) and then deglaze again. At this point you may add any remianing wine and ingredients(except for butter) and bring to a boil and reduce by half. Remove from heat and strain out liquid through a chinois so you are left with only the liquid reduction. While still hot, slowly stir in your tiny diced cubes of butter one at a time until desired thickness is acheived.

For the stuffing you will need:

1/2 lb of sausage crumbles
1 diced fennel bulb
1 diced onion
1 diced apple
1 gallon of white bread crumbs
3 cups chicken stock(broth)
2 cup cremini
1/2 cup dried cranberry
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp thyme
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lime zest
6 tbsp butter melted

First, cook sausage crumbles if not already done so. Then pour in together chicken stock over and mix into the bread cubes in a 4 qt mixing bowl and then add all the ingredients together. Make sure to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients together. Then place into a  4" 1/2 hotel pan and cook on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes covered and then take out of oven, pour melted butter over top of stuffing and cook another 10-15 minutes for a nice crust on top.

For the pork chops all you will need will be some center-cut pork chops with or without the bone and some bacon or pancetta grease. In a hot saute pan, put enough grease to almost cover the bottom of the pan and then sear the chops in the grease until each side is browned but the meat is still med rare inside. Finish them off in the oven at 400 degrees for about ten minutes(or more depending on how you eat your pork chops.

For the carrots: Well I'm sure I have written about them before and they are always a crowd pleaser so check it out.


This is really an easy and super delicious stew that appeals to the masses!

For the stew you will need:

2 quarts water
4 large tomatoes
1 large red onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1 cinammon stick
1 cup chick peas
3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
2 tbsp veal stock
1 large diced carrot
6 sliced cremini
1 cup beef stock
3-4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp allspice
olive oil
1lb of lamb(cheapest cut still has great flavor)

Basically for this one you will just sear the lamb on both sides in a stock pot really good and then remove from pan and set aside. Then add the onion and garlic and saute and deglaze with some of the beef broth veal stock. Once cooked, add all remaining ingredients and lamb and bring to a boil for 5 minutes and then simmer for a couple hours on low until reduced to desired consistancy. Then...enjoy!!'s late...goin to bed...write more tomorrow.