Search Results for: amy

How does an aspiring marketing professional become one of New York’s top bakers? Like many of our students, Amy Scherber was a career changer, motivated by her passion for food.

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Amy introduces ICE Culinary Management students to her Chelsea Market store.

In the 1990s, New York was far from the bountiful paradise of bakeries that we find today. When Amy’s Bread opened in Hell’s Kitchen, it was a pioneering force in a bread wasteland, a powerhouse concept that has flourished over more than twenty years of business. It’s no wonder that when Culinary Management instructor Alan Someck decided to take his Culinary Management students on a bakery fieldtrip that Amy’s was the obvious choice.

After a brief tour and tasting at Amy’s Chelsea Market outpost – including her signature semolina bread with golden raisins and fennel seed – students got to ask the nitty-gritty questions. As it turns out, Amy had just signed a lease for another space when the opportunity to open in Chelsea Market came on her radar. She lost money in the deal, but knew that the then-empty warehouse would provide the opportunity to fulfill her vision: to open a bakery where customers could see the bread-making process. Today, most of Amy’s baking has been outsourced to a large space in Long Island City, but she intends to maintain this transparent mission. The oven from her original Hell’s Kitchen location was recently installed in the Chelsea Market space, and her staff will resume on-site bread baking in the near future.

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Shoppers look on as Amy takes ICE students behind the oversize windows of her signature store.

Amy also shared insight into the trials and joys of expanding her business. Certain products, like her olive twists, were as much a product of exhaustion and accident as proactive innovation. That kind of exhaustion can fuel creativity, but many bakers fail to overcome such odds. As Amy explained, the price margin in bakeries is much smaller than in restaurants. For example, her strawberry shortcake – made with high-quality ingredients such as greenmarket berries – can only retail for a meager $4-5, whereas a restaurant might charge $12 for the same product. Moreover, starting a new small business is more expensive than most owners anticipate, as it takes time to build credit.

In addition, Amy explained that it’s important to know your stores. Her West Village customers buy the most coffee, Chelsea Market moves the most bread and Hell’s Kitchen is a hotspot for sweets. But where other owners might stop there in calibrations, Amy strategizes to the day. If Wednesday afternoons show a trend toward increased sweet consumption, but Monday is more of a morning bread crowd, she adjusts and re-adjusts to fit her customers’ needs. And let’s not forget – on top of retail customers, she has over 300 wholesale accounts to attend to.

When asked expressly for advice, Amy urged Alan’s class of budding entrepreneurs to spend time working in the type of business they would like to open themselves. While aided by her study of Economics in college and time baking in restaurant kitchens, Amy admits she wishes she had spent more time working specifically in bakeries before starting her business. Last but not least, she underscored the importance of a coherent concept. Even if someone has a fully-developed business idea, it is essential that the consumer can effortlessly grasp it – from the name to the decor, the service style, the product, etc.

class w amy

ICE Culinary Management students, Amy Scherber and Professor Alan Someck.

Looking out onto the eager eyes peeking into Amy’s oversize windows, it’s clear that she applied this final lesson early on. Her famous oversize windows breed a connection between staff and those they serve, an honesty and intimacy that has been an underpinning of Amy’s philosophy from day one.

ICE offers one of the country’s largest recreational cooking programs. With over 1,500 cooking classes and over 26,000 students each year, there is something for every cook looking to learn new techniques in the kitchen. This month, Amy Roth of the blog Minimally Invasive, took Sustainable Meats with Dan Honig from Heritage Foods and ICE Chef Instructor Erica Wides — a rare chance to learn about the unique challenges and benefits of cooking pastured, grass-fed heritage meats.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you’re first browsing the recreational course catalog at ICE. I certainly was. But then I started thinking about what might provide the most value in my day-to-day life, what I could learn that would make a real difference in how I cook. Though I don’t write about it much, two topics I care passionately about are animal welfare and the food system, so ICE’s Sustainable Meats course jumped out at me right away. While it may sound paradoxical to eat meat yet love animals, these two positions can co-exist without too much cognitive dissonance. I’m quite content to be an omnivore, provided I’m buying grass-fed or pastured meats from animals that live healthy lives and meet their ends humanely.

Enter Chef Instructor Erica Wides, who is committed to educating the public about real food and nutrition, and who taught our course last Friday. After a brief overview, she turned the floor over to Dan Honig from Heritage Foods USA, who supplied the truly astounding bounty of meats we cooked with in the class. Dan briefly walked us through Heritage Food’s strategy to bring heritage breeds back into the market by partnering with smaller farms in the Midwest. Their production is just a drop in the bucket compared to the largest factory farms, but they’re dedicated to paying farmers a living wage while sustaining these breeds for us to enjoy. More »

Yesterday, ICE alum Amy Eubanks, the Executive Chef at BLT Fish, returned to ICE to demonstrate some of her favorite fish dishes and discuss life in a restaurant kitchen for ICE students.

Eubanks graduated from the Culinary Arts program in 1999. She started working with Laurent Tourondel as an extern at Cello, where she ended up staying for two and a half years. While there she spent a year as poissonier, no small feat considering that the famed restaurant specialized in seafood. Because she wanted to learn how to cook meat, she then went to Cafe Boulud, where she worked with Daniel Boulud and Andrew Carmellini. When Tourondel opened BLT Steak in 2004, he hired her as a lead line cook, followed by a promotion to sous chef. Because of her strong seafood skills, she became sous chef of BLT Fish upon its opening, then chef de cuisine in 2006 and executive chef in March 2010. In 2010, she was inducted into the ICE Alumni Hall of Achievement for her accomplishments. More »

Every year, ICE’s Culinary Management program hosts a one-of-a-kind series of lectures called Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs, during which a wide range of successful culinary business leaders and luminaries share their expertise with students and guests. Yesterday, Amy Scherber of Amy’s Bread came to ICE to discuss her experience founding what is now a nationally recognized bakery specializing in handmade traditional breads with the Culinary Management students.

After attending the New York Restaurant School, Scherber worked at Bouley. She called it an incredible experience, “I was a sponge after culinary school and it was a great place to be since it had only been open for a month. I learned so much.” Scherber then trained in France in three bakeries before returning to New York to pursue bread baking. She baked bread and pastries at Mondrian where she worked closely with Tom Colicchio to perfect the texture and taste of her bread recipes. While working there, she would take her one day off each week to work on her business plan for her bakery and going on the hunt for a suitable space for her project. More »

By Jenny McCoy — Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts

The strawberry shortcake — one of the most quintessential American desserts – has seen an evolution like none other.

It started out as a dessert made in the springtime to celebrate the strawberry harvest season. Made of layers of crumbly biscuit or shortbread-like cakes, sweetened cream and strawberries, it was a simple dessert with a gorgeous composition of textures and flavors — soft and creamy, a bit crisp, a bit acidic and ever so sweet. Over time, as chemical-leavening agents such as baking soda and baking powder became more popular in cake recipes, the shortcake used in some recipes became more cake-like, eventually becoming anything from a pound cake to a sponge cake.

strawberry shortcake bars

I’ve tasted many variations on the strawberry shortcake, from a fancy entremet with precisely even layers of white chocolate cake, whipped mascarpone, strawberry gelée and strawberry sorbet, to strawberry shortcake-flavored OREO cookies. However, my absolute favorite of the less-than-traditional interpretations of the dessert is the Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Bar made by Good Humor. Growing up, when the ice cream truck rolled through my neighborhood, they were always my first pick. I would enjoy eating the sweet crumbly coating of the bars first, then slowly work my way to the electric pink strawberry ice cream center.

So this spring, I decided to recreate my childhood treat from scratch. Instead of the original strawberry ice cream center surrounded by vanilla ice cream, I decided to marry the two. I swirled homemade strawberry jam in churned vanilla bean ice cream. The result is downright delicious. And as for the cake part of the ice cream bar (which is actually more like cookies), I ground up freshly baked sugar cookies with freeze-dried strawberries and melted butter, to make what is almost like a hot pink cookie piecrust, and generously coated the ice cream bars by rolling them in the mixture.

What’s your favorite version of the classic strawberry shortcake — biscuits or pound cake? Or do you deviate completely from the original and love something crazy like strawberry shortcake-flavored chewing gum? Try out my take on strawberry shortcake ice cream pops and let us know what you think.

 

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars
Makes about 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 batch Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream Pops (recipe below)
1 cup sugar cookie crumbs
1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the freezer.
  • Combine the cookie crumbs and strawberries in a food processor and drizzle with butter. Pulse a few times to mix. Spread the mixture on a large plate.
  • Remove each ice pop by dipping molds briefly in hot water or let stand at room temperature for a few minutes. Quickly remove one ice pop at a time from the mold and dip in crumbs, turning over to coat and pressing to adhere. Transfer the ice pops to the baking sheet in the freezer and let them set until firm, at least 20 minutes. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week.strawberry shortcake bars

Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream Pops
Makes about 1 quart 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
6 large egg yolks
½ to ¾ cup strawberry jam (recipe below)

Preparation:

  • In a medium pot, bring the milk, cream, salt, vanilla bean and ¼ cup of sugar to a boil. Turn off heat and let steep at room temperature for 10 minutes; return to a rolling boil.
  • Whisk the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and yolks in a large bowl until smooth. Gently temper the yolks by slowly adding hot cream mixture while whisking constantly. Once completely combined, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Place the bowl of ice cream base over another bowl of ice water and stir until cool.
  • Churn the ice cream base mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Transfer the churned ice cream to a large mixing bowl, layering large dollops of strawberry jam in between large spoonfuls of ice cream. Fold once or twice to swirl the jam into the ice cream. Divide the softened ice cream among ice-pop molds, insert sticks and freeze until firm, at least four hours or up to one week.

Strawberry Jam
Yield: Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

½ pound strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1 cup granulated sugar
2 pinches salt
1 ½ teaspoons pectin
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preparation:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar and salt. Mash the berries until they are crushed. Sprinkle the pectin over the top of the mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens to a jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and let stand at room temperature until cool. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Sugar Cookie Crumbs
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of cookie crumbs 

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until combined. Reduce the mixer to low speed and slowly add the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Divide the dough in half and roll out onto a floured surface until about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the sheet of dough to a baking sheet. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Bake until light golden brown and set, 14 to 18 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until room temperature. Break the dough into small pieces and grind in a food processor until crumbs. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Want to take your pastry skills to the next level? Click here for more information on ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program.

By James Briscione — Director of Culinary Development

This past March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invited me to Brazil to help launch a new campaign called #USfoodexperience which was developed to introduce American ingredients and dining traditions to the Brazilian market. As part of my visit, I created a menu of classic dishes from around the United States and served it to 100 of São Paulo’s top chefs and media. I also toured local culinary schools and hosted a series of demos at each school, sharing recipes for some of my favorite American foods. But for me, the highlight of the trip was our dinner at D.O.M., the #2 restaurant in all of South and Central America.

Chef Alex Atala

Chef Alex – photo courtesy of domrestaurante.com

If you’re a fan of the Netflix series Chef’s Table, (if you’re reading this blog, I assume you must be) then you already know about restaurant D.O.M. You also know its chef Alex Atala — the bearded, jiu-jitsu-practicing chef who seemed to spend as much time in a wetsuit exploring the Amazon as he did in a chef coat. His restaurant ranks among the best in the world. So as soon as I found out that I would be spending a week in Sao Paolo, Brazil, nabbing a reservation at D.O.M. was a must.

Like at many of the restaurants that populate the top of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, dinner at D.O.M. is far more than a meal. Chef Alex is crafting an experience — a journey through food that takes visitors on a tour of his native land. Different regions of Brazil are presented through a series of carefully crafted bites, smells and sips.

sake cocktails

sake cocktails served inside fresh chillies

Chef Alex grabs your attention from the very first bite. Our meal began with a sorbet made from fresh chilies. I expected it would be a cold bite that began sweet and ended with a spicy kick. Instead, the sorbet was savory, with plenty of salt and a barely detectable sweetness and fresh chile flavor that exploded on the palate, with no trace of heat whatsoever. It left you with nothing to taste but the incredibly complex fruity aroma of the chilies themselves. The sorbet was paired with a small cocktail of sake and Brazilian sparkling wine served in a hollowed out chile.

Small bites continued to flow from the kitchen: plump, freshly shucked oysters accentuated with dried mango and whisky, “ravioli” of puréed beet, cased in a sheet of local honey. Chef Alex has the confidence and vision to serve a course of nothing more than watercress stems and mustard seeds. It is so perfectly crafted and presented that you wonder why these pieces are discarded in nearly every other restaurant in the world. As a chef, my mind instantly went to the painstaking detail that goes into a bite like this — you must use tiny, surgically sharp scissors to mold the stems into the perfect shape, then switch to tweezers to carefully place mustard seeds and delicate miniature flowers. How many minutes go into the creation of something that is gone in a matter of seconds? A plate full of umami arrived after that: a crispy tangle of crunchy caramelized onions, seaweed and puffed rice, anchored by creamy mushroom flan.

My favorite plate of the entire meal arrived next. A tasting of pirarucu, the Amazonian fish that Chef Alex and his cooks are shown wrestling with on Chef’s Table. Pirarucu is a monstrous fish that can grow up to 10 feet long. Back in the restaurant, Chef Alex demonstrated his mastery of one my favorite approaches to crafting a dish — showcasing great ingredients in different forms on the same plate. A piece of crispy fried fish skin was topped with a savory purée of banana and dried shrimp. Another application showed the fish perfectly seared to emphasize its meaty texture and mild flavor. The fish sat on top of a few spoonfuls of açai purée that were so flavorful and complex that I had trouble identifying it as the same fruit found in trendy breakfast bowls and smoothies. Smoky and sweet grilled onions and peppers with a touch of heat rounded out the flavors on the dish.

watercress stems with mustard seeds

watercress stems with mustard seeds

The next dish arrived with several components as well. First, a shrimp head with its contents removed, seasoned, cooked and replaced was served with a single shrimp that could pass for a miniature lobster. The grilled shrimp was glazed in sweet Brazilian butter and sat on top of a pillow of finely shredded Brazil nut, dotted with segments of fresh citrus and mint leaf.

Two meat courses followed. The first was quail, which was served with portions of both the breast and leg with a savory jus and bitter Brazilian cocoa. Then arrived a succulent braise of lamb in red wine. The lamb braise was so perfectly constructed that I nearly argued with Chef Alex after the meal when he informed me that the only spice in the braise was toasted black pepper. I could hardly believe him — it tasted so distinctly of coriander, cinnamon and dried fruit.

With the savory courses complete, we enjoyed a simple dessert of mango, chocolate and cream flavored with puxuri, an Amazonian fruit grown for its aromatic seeds. The puxuri seeds are similar in flavor to cinnamon and star anise. The true standout of the evening, however, arrived before the dessert. Strangely enough, one of the most memorable bites of the evening was our cheese course served in the form of the classic French aligote. If you’re unfamiliar with aligote, you’ve seriously been missing out.

Aligote is technically a potato dish, though by ratio it actually contains more cheese and butter than potato purée. Of course, at D.O.M. this classic preparation is given a Brazilian spin, made with a tender fresh cheese called minhas. Perfect texture, seasoning and flavor aside, the truly great part of this course is the way it’s served. Aligote typically looks like one of those ads for mozzarella cheese sticks, with an impossibly long strand of melted cheese connecting the two halves after it’s broken in half. Our server picked up two very large spoonfuls of the aligote from the kitchen and began twirling the spoons as he walked out the door. Keeping the aligote in constant motion, it was basically suspended between the spoons as he made his way to our table. After stopping at the table next to ours, where he dropped two portions on the plates of our neighbors, with spoons still in motion, he came to our table where he twisted and twirled two more portions of these luxurious potatoes onto our plates. Not only was it incredible theatre, but by the time the aligote reached our plate it was at the perfect temperature. The silken mixture had become just firm enough to “cut” with the edge of spoons and then melt into salty, cheesy perfection in our mouths.

For me, D.O.M. was a dining destination, but for its chef and staff, the restaurant is a constant journey. Through a steady stream of thoughtfully prepared and beautiful dishes, they truly brought the best of Brazil to our table.

Ready to launch an exciting, international career in the culinary arts? Click here for more information on ICE’s career programs.


By Caitlin Raux
 

It’s not easy to remove the intimidation factor from wine. Save for sommeliers and connoisseurs, most people get a little squirmy when it comes to talking about wine — a fact that makes wine buying a challenge. Dustin Wilson, master sommelier and co-founder of Verve Wine, wants to make wine more accessible to everyone. With both an online and brick and mortar presence, Verve Wine aims to educate customers and help them buy, order and enjoy wine with confidence. ICE is excited to welcome Dustin as one of the featured participants in the next First Fridays at ICE on April 7. In anticipation, we chatted with Dustin about his path to Verve and picked his brain for some seasonal wine recs.

Dustin Wilson MS

When did wine shift from a hobby to a career path for you?

I would say it first became a hobby when I was living in Maryland. I was working at a steak house and I got really interested in wine from being around it on a regular basis. So I started reading and studying it and tasting more often. But it wasn’t until I moved to Boulder, Colorado in 2005 and started working with Bobby Stuckey at Frasca’s Food and Wine that I realized that there was potential to work as a sommelier and have wine as a career path. Bobby is a master sommelier and he was my first mentor.

You’re a master sommelier also, right?

Correct. I passed the exam in 2011.

I’ve heard it’s a pretty intense test, to say the least.

It is indeed.

Tell me about preparing for that. What was the training like?

The majority of it is self-taught, so you don’t go to class for it. In order to get good, you need to have a great support system of wine people around you who are also pursuing it. It would be incredibly difficult to prepare for it on your own, without guidance. It took me basically from the time I started pursuing it until I actually passed, so a five year process.

Five years!?

Yes. It’s a lot of studying. You know, leading up to the time when I passed, I was putting in a solid 3-4 hours of study time on days that I was working. Then on days off it would be another 8-12 hours of study time. Tasting all the time, studying all the time with my group. It was definitely all-encompassing. I didn’t have a lot of free time.

After working as a sommelier for some time, you started Verve Wine. Can you share a little more about Verve?

Verve is a place to learn about, discover and buy wine online. We also have a physical store in Tribeca. We focus on small, artisanal producers from all over the globe, but we’re very particular about the producers that we carry. We like family owned estates that very much respect their land and make wines that are true to their sense of place. So it’s a process of curation — finding great wines from all over the world at different prices, everything from ten-dollar picks to those that cost thousands of dollars. We really wanted to create a place that makes finding and learning about wine accessible for a lot of people. That’s our main focus — making wine accessible and making it fun without dumbing it down. Also we make sure we provide top quality wines.

I was checking out your website and, like you said, it does seem very accessible. I work in food so I found the tool where you can search wines by food pairings very useful.

Exactly. We realized that people like to shop for wine in various ways. Some people go in and know exactly what they’re looking for. Some people are looking for a particular grape or region. Other people look for wine to go with a certain type of food. There’s also an “occasions” feature, so if you’re looking for wine for brunch versus Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving, we put together curated lists of wines that fit each occasion.

And that’s just the website! Do you also do in-house wine education?

Yes. We host tastings pretty often and they cover a wide range of topics. Sometimes we do a casual tasting — like on Thursdays, we open up a couple of bottles from a region and people can come, taste and we talk with them about the wines. Other times, we’ll invite winemakers or sommeliers and host on a seminar where we taste through their wines or a specific region and talk more in-depth about it. This Friday we have Richard Betts, another master sommelier coming in to do a tasting of a wine he makes plus some other wines that are similar to his. We want people to come to the store to learn and taste, not just buy.

It seems like all the master sommeliers know each other. Do you guys and girls all hang out and open magnums together? 

Sometimes. It’s definitely a small community of people. At this point I think there’s only around 230 worldwide. We tend to all know each other. I am buddies with some of them and we get together on a regular basis. We’re always supportive of each other in our respective endeavors. A lot of us got to know each other through the process of studying for the exam. Some of my best friends are guys I took the master sommelier exam with.

That makes sense. Circling back to the First Fridays event you’re taking part in at ICE — The Craft of Food, Wine & Chocolate — do you have any pairing suggestions for wine and chocolate?

It depends on the type of chocolate. If you’re having a bitter, dark chocolate on its own, I like something called Banyuls. It’s actually the name of a place in southern France that makes a really delicious fortified wine — kind of similar to port but a slightly different flavor and texture to it that I think works really well with bitter chocolate. Let’s say you’re having a chocolate truffle or something with caramel or fruit inside — I’d recommend this interesting wine from Austria that’s a sweet wine, late harvest made from a grape called Zweigelt. You definitely want something that will match up with the sweetness of the chocolate. The pairing would change depending on the other flavors with the chocolate, if any. If you’re having a chocolate with peanuts or almonds, you might want a vin santo from Italy.

That seems counterintuitive to me. I would think you’d want a contrast in flavors — like if you have a creamy chocolate, you’d want an acidic wine. 

All of these wines actually have a lot of acidity. Because they’re sweet, they need to have a lot of acidity; otherwise the wines would feel cloying and overly rich. But if you were to pair a dry red wine with chocolate, it would be a clash because the chocolate, which is so sweet, would make the wine taste even drier. You don’t want a wine that’s sweeter, you just want to match the sweetness.

Since it’s Spring, can you give us a pairing for a seasonal meal, such as roasted chicken with spring vegetables?

Chardonnay from Burgundy handles itself really well. It tends to be lighter, brighter and fresher than a California Chardonnay, for instance. That would be great with roasted chicken. For spring dishes, especially at this time of year when the sun is starting to come out and things are warming up, I’d recommend crisp, bright, more mineral-driven whites. Things like Gruner Veltliner, Albariño, etc. Sancerre can definitely be a great spring wine, especially with something like roasted asparagus. That goes really well Sauvignon Blanc.

Thank you, Dustin. We’re looking forward to seeing you at ICE soon!

Learn more about First Fridays at ICE.

Ever wanted to make fresh ravioli at home, but too intimidated to try? In a new video from ICE and PEOPLE magazine, ICE Chef Robert Ramsey shows how easy it can be with one simple trick, and shares an addictively delicious homemade ravioli recipe that confirms the adage that less truly can be more.

This recipe melds simple, straightforward ingredients into a flavorful, decadent dish. With just five ingredients, Chef Robert’s brown butter sage sauce is the perfect companion for his pillowy homemade ricotta ravioli.

Before you get started on your fresh egg pasta dough, here are a few tips from Chef Robert for nailing your homemade ravioli every time — you’ll never look at the store-bought stuff the same again:

  1. Using a ravioli tray is incredibly efficient and makes picture-perfect ravioli — but separating them can be tricky. “Flash” freezing them for 10-20 minutes in your freezer will make this step a snap, literally — you will know the ravioli are set once you can snap them apart easily, like a chocolate bar.
  2. Don’t have a ravioli tray? Just make the ravioli the same way, laying out a sheet twice as long as you need, piping the filling equal distance apart, folding the second half of the dough over the first, and then cutting with a ravioli wheel or knife. (That said, a ravioli tray costs the same as a wheel, and it’s easier to use. You can find one here.)
  3. When cooking the ravioli, you can tell they’re ready when they puff up like a balloon — this means that the filling is hot enough to create steam.
  4. Remember to reserve some of the pasta water for your sauce. Because of the starch in the pasta water, adding a spoonful of the cooking water will make the sauce “creamy” without adding cream. But be careful not to add too much as the pasta water is already salty.
  5. If you’re looking for other sauces to substitute, try these combinations: tomato sauce, oregano and Parmesan; classic pesto with a sprinkle of pine nuts; or capers, olive oil, lemon zest and parsley.

Ricotta Ravioli With Brown Butter, Sage and Hazelnuts
Servings: makes about 4 servings

Ingredients:

For the pasta

1 recipe for Pasta All’Uovo recipe (below)

For the filling

Ingredients:

2 cups ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

For the sauce

4 ounces (1 stick) butter
1 bunch fresh sage, leaves picked
6 ounces hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

For the filling

  • Combine all ingredients in the work bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. With the whisk attachment or hand whisk, whip the mixture until completely smooth.
  • Transfer to a piping bag and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to fill pasta.

To assemble ravioli

  • Once your pasta sheets are rolled out (after the final step in the dough recipe below), you can begin assembling the raviolis. Place one pasta sheet onto a well-floured ravioli tray. (Don’t have a ravioli tray? See Chef Robert’s tip above.) Using your hands, gently press the dough into the divots in the tray. Pipe about two tablespoons of filling onto each sheet of dough. Next, brush a second sheet of dough with cold water and place the wet side down on top of the bottom ravioli sheet.
  • Use a rolling pin, roll over the raviolis back and forth to seal and crimp the raviolis. Flip the ravioli tray to unfold the finished pasta. Transfer to a floured sheet pan and place immediately in the freezer.

For the sauce

  • In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter, swirling constantly. When it begins to bubble and sizzle, keep swirling and watch carefully for browning. As soon as the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty, carefully add the sage leaves and remove from heat. The sage will fry in the butter, making it crispy and aromatic. Finally, add the chopped hazelnuts and the salt. Reserve the sauce in a warm place until you’re ready to serve the pasta (do not refrigerate).

To assemble the dish

  • Bring a large pot of water to a full, rolling boil. Add about ¼ cup of salt per quart of water. (Adequately salted water should taste like seawater.)
  • Remove the ravioli from the freezer. Break the raviolis apart and carefully place them into the boiling water and cook 4-5 minutes, until tender but not mushy.
  • Remove and toss directly into the pot of butter sauce. Gently mix to coat, and then spoon into a large pasta bowl. Finish with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and an extra touch of chopped, fried sage, if desired. 

Pasta all’ Uovo (Fresh Egg Pasta)
Servings: makes about 4 servings

Ingredients:

11 ounces of all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Place the flour on your work surface and make a well in the center.
  2. Break the eggs into the well and add the salt. With a fork, begin to gently beat the eggs in a circular motion, incorporating approximately ½ of the flour.
  3. Using a bench scraper, bring the entire mixture together.
  4. Knead the dough with your hands for 3 to 4 minutes. At this stage, the dough should be soft and pliable. If bits of dried dough form (which is normal) don’t incorporate them into the dough — brush them off of your work surface.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  6. Cut the dough into four pieces and recover with the plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
  7. Remove one piece of the dough at a time from the plastic wrap and knead through the rollers of a pasta machine set at the widest setting. Fold the dough like a business letter to form three layers, pressing out all of the air. Turn the open end of the dough to the right (like a book) and repeat the rolling process. Continue the folding and rolling process five times on this setting.
  8. Repeat the folding and rolling process for the three remaining pieces of dough.
  9. Roll a piece of the previously kneaded dough through the pasta machine, reducing the setting with each roll until reaching the fifth-narrowest setting. Do not fold the dough between each setting.
  10. Once the sheets of pasta have been rolled out, use immediately, keeping the remaining sheets covered with a kitchen towel until ready to use.


Chef James Briscione recently traveled to Bahia, a state on the northeast coast of Brazil. Through daily trips to the market, tasting indigenous ingredients and getting into the kitchen with local chefs, Chef James discovered Bahian cuisine. Here’s one of Chef James’ favorite recipes from his Brazilian culinary exploration: UXUA moqueca — a rich, delicate seafood stew, with white fish, shrimp and creamy coconut milk. Balanced and delicious, this stew’s always in season.

moqueca

UXUA Moqueca
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

6 ounces shrimp
6 ounces firm, white fish (like halibut or cod)
1 green pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 white onion, diced
24 fluid ounces coconut milk
3 red chilies, diced
Fresh parsley and fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons palm oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper

moqueca

Preparation:

  • Season the shrimp and fish with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.
  • Heat palm oil in a large pot. Add the onion, tomato and peppers, cook for a minute, then add the fish and sauté well. Add the coconut milk and simmer for about three minutes. Next, add the shrimp, chili, parsley and coriander. Stir gently and cook for around 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Reserve about 1½ cups of the cooking liquid to make the pirão (manioc cream).
  • Serve with white rice, plantain farofa (the above-pictured dish to the right of the seafood stew — see recipe below), manioc cream and pepper sauce.

Pirão or Manioc Cream

Ingredients:

1½ cups cooking liquid
¼ cup manioc flour

Preparation:

  • Place liquid in a small pot over low-medium heat.
  • While whisking constantly, gradually add manioc flour. Continue to whisk until consistency is firm and creamy like porridge.

Plantain Farofa

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons palm oil
1 tablespoon salted butter
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small plantain, sliced
1½ cups manioc flour
Salt
Fresh parsley, chopped

Preparation:

  • Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add butter and garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the plantain and sauté for another minute.
  • While continuously stirring with a spatula, add the manioc flour. Cook until the flour is well toasted, about three minutes.
  • Season with salt and finish with the parsley.

Explore the culinary arts with Chef James – click here for information on ICE’s career programs.


Alternative flours — like chickpea flour, banana flour and grapeseed flour — can add a nutritional kick and a tasty nuance to many everyday recipes. Though substituting your tried-and-true AP flour may seem a little intimidating at first, once you have a few recipes under your belt you can add these alternative flours to your regular cooking and baking repertoire. To help you get there, Chef Sarah Chaminade is sharing three new recipes that she developed for ICE and Direct Eats using alternative flours. First, Chef Sarah uses chickpea flour to add a sweet and creamy texture to her chickpea canapés. Then, Chef Sarah demonstrates how to make a gluten-free angel food cake using banana flour —with all of the lightness and none of the gluten. Then, she uses merlot grapeseed flour in her chocolate chip cookies to create a gluten-free and vegan take on the classic recipe. Watch the video below, and then scroll to get the recipes.

Chickpea Canapé
Servings: three to four dozen individual canapés, depending on the size of each

In Liguria, the region flanking Genoa along Italy’s northwest coast, farinata is a classic dish. Farinata is a thin chickpea cake typically cooked in a wood-burning oven. In Liguria, bake shops put signs in their windows announcing the time that the farinata will be ready and customers line up to buy it. It’s a perfect snack when eaten like a piece of pizza on waxed butcher paper. Farinata, just like pizza, can be stuffed or garnished with any vegetable, cheese or sauce.

Ingredients:

3 cups chickpea flour
5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Optional garnish: dollop of creme fraîche, crispy prosciutto or micro herbs like micro arugula

Preparation:

  • Preheat convection oven to 450 °F (or 475 °F for a conventional home oven).
  • Combine chickpea flour and water with whisk until smooth — let sit for 1 hour to allow batter to thicken slightly.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Pour the batter onto a silicone baking mat or a baking sheet lined with parchment. Spread evenly with spatula and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
  • Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut farinata into squares (5×7 or 6×8, depending on the size you prefer) and top with optional garnish.

* Recipe adapted from Ciao Italia by Mary Ann Esposito

Gluten-Free Banana Flour Angel Food Cake
Yield: one cake

1 10-inch angel food cake pan with removable bottom
15 egg whites, room temperature (note: it’s essential that they are at room temperature!)
1 pinch of salt
½ cup plus ¾ cup coconut sugar
1½ cups banana flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
* Flavor variations:
Replace vanilla with zest of one lemon, two limes or half an orange, or replace vanilla with two teaspoons of cinnamon

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  • In a very clean, dry mixing bowl combine egg whites and salt and whip to soft peaks. Gradually add ½ cup of coconut sugar. Continue to whip egg whites to medium peaks, being careful to not over whip.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the remaining coconut sugar and banana flour.
  • Gradually sift dry ingredients into the whipped whites, folding gently to be careful not to deflate.
  • Fold in vanilla extract and vanilla bean.
  • Pour batter into an ungreased angel food pan, spreading carefully to distribute batter evenly — do not bang the cake pan, as this will cause the batter to deflate.
  • Bake for 50 min, or until golden brown and cake springs back when lightly touched.
  • Remove from oven and invert onto a cooling rack without removing the mold.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before unmolding.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Merlot Grapeseed Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: one dozen cookies

2 ½ cups almond flour
¼ cup merlot grapeseed flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup agave
1 cup 72% bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt the coconut oil in microwave or on stove top. In a medium bowl, combine all wet ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, mixing with a rubber spatula or spoon to combine.
  • Stir in the chocolate chunks, and allow the mixture to chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
  • Using a cookie scoop, scoop mixture onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Let cool before enjoying. Because these cookies stay nice and moist, they taste great the next day too.

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