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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.

Master culinary or pastry arts with ICE’s expert chef instructors — click here for information on our career programs.

If recipes are like the Oscars, oils generally fall into the category of Best Supporting Actor — but not anymore. In a new video from the Institute of Culinary Education and Direct Eats, ICE Chef Robert Ramsey shares three recipes that highlight the unique flavors of three tasty cooking oils — Smoked Olive Oil Carbonara with homemade Pasta All’ Uovo; Roasted Beets with Bitter Greens, Walnut Oil Emulsion, Blue Cheese and Walnut Oil Powder; and Tigernut Oil Ice Cream With Roasted Apples, Rolled Oat Crumble and Honey Tigernut Oil. Watch the video, then scroll down to get the recipes to let those oils shine.

Smoked Olive Oil Carbonara
Servings: Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 recipe, pasta all’ uovo (recipe below)
10 tablespoons Holy Smokes Smoked Olive Oil
8 ounces thinly sliced guanciale, chopped (If unavailable, bacon or pancetta will work well)
4 egg yolks
6 ounces grated pecorino cheese
2 sprigs fresh oregano or marjoram, leaves picked from the stems
1 tablespoon freshly ground, coarse black pepper
Salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Make fresh pasta first. It is best to store it in the freezer or cook it right away.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and season aggressively with salt. Begin heating the water while working on the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, render the guanciale (lightly brown it while melting the fat) until it becomes crisp.
  4. Add 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, the cracked black pepper and oregano leaves and reduce heat to low. Allow the flavors to infuse on low heat for about 5 minutes.
  5. While the sauce is cooking and when water reaches a rolling boil, drop pasta into your water. Cook pasta for about 3 minutes, then drain, reserving the pasta water.
  6. Add the pasta to the sauté pan with guanciale, pepper, oil and oregano. Add the egg yolks and 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta water and half of the cheese (as the pasta water contains starch, it will make the sauce creamy). Stir quickly and constantly to incorporate, about 1 minute. Do not allow this to sit on the heat without stirring or the eggs will scramble.
  7. Divide the pasta between four bowls, spooning any leftover sauce over the top. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top and finish with the remaining cheese.

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 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 narrowest setting. Do not fold the dough between each setting.
  10. Cut the spaghetti using a chitarra (wire pasta cutter) or kitchen aide attachment
  11. Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until desired doneness, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Reserve for the carbonara.

 

Roasted Beets with Bitter Greens, Walnut Oil Emulsion, Blue Cheese and Walnut Oil Powder
Servings: Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients:

8-10 baby red beets, washed, unpeeled
8-10 baby gold beets, washed, unpeeled
8-10 baby candy stripe beets, washed, unpeeled
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 head frisée, washed, dark green leaves removed, trimmed
1 bunch arugula (about 8 ounces) washed
4 ounces creamy blue cheese (such as gorgonzola), crumbled
1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
10 tablespoons + 4 tablespoons walnut oil
2 ounces tapioca maltodextrin (sometimes sold as N-Zorbit) — note: this must be measured by weight!
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

For the beets: 

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine beets, salt and pepper, canola oil, rosemary and thyme and toss to evenly coat. Transfer to a small baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Roast beets until very tender, 20-45 minutes depending on the size of the beets. You can check for doneness by inserting the tip of a paring knife into the largest beet. If there is little-to-no resistance, the beets are ready.
  3. Allow beets to cool just enough that you can handle them. Discard the herbs. Using a paper towel, rub the skins to remove them from beets. Slice each beet in half (or quarters if they are larger). Reserve.

For the walnut oil emulsion:

  1. In the pitcher of a blender, combine ½ cup toasted walnuts, sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons cold water, honey and a pinch of salt. Purée until smooth.
  2. With the blender running, slowly stream in the 10 tablespoons of walnut oil, forming a thick, emulsified sauce. Reserve.

For the walnut oil powder:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine 4 tablespoons walnut oil with 2 ounces tapioca maltodextrin. Mix until a crumbly, slightly moist powder forms.
  2. Transfer to a mesh sieve and tap the powder through over a sheet pan. This will break up the clumps. Reserve.

Note: Tapioca Maltodextrin is a natural extract used to turn liquid oils into powders because each grain has the ability to hold a huge amount of fat. It can be found on the internet and at some specialty stores. If unavailable, skip this step and serve with finely chopped walnuts instead.

To assemble:

  1. Toss the roasted beets, remaining walnuts, greens and half the emulsion together in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
  2. Spoon a little of the remaining emulsion on each of four plates, making a small pool in the center.
  3. Layer the beet mixture on top of the emulsion.
  4. Divide the blue cheese crumbles evenly and sprinkle over each plate.
  5. Top with a dusting of walnut oil powder. You can sprinkle it directly through the sieve if desired.

 

Tigernut Oil Ice Cream With Roasted Apples, Rolled Oat Crumble and Honey Tigernut Oil Drizzle
Servings: makes 4-6 servings

For the tigernut oil ice cream:
Servings: makes about 3 ½ cups

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup tigernut oil

Preparation:

  1. Bring milk, cream, salt and ½ cup sugar just to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar; remove from heat.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and the other 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl until pale, about two minutes. Gradually whisk ½ cup hot milk mixture into yolks. Whisk yolk mixture back into remaining milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 2–3 minutes.
  3. Strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl set in a large bowl of ice water; whisk in oil. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Process custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

For the roasted apples:

Ingredients:

3 tart apples (like Granny Smith), peeled, sliced into wedges
3 sweet apples (like Honeycrisp), peeled, sliced into wedges
Juice of half of 1 lemon
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Transfer to a oven safe dish and roast apples in a single layer until tender and browned, but not falling apart. Reserve.

For the rolled oat crumble

Ingredients:

¾ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup cold butter

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Mix brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Use a pastry cutter or two forks to mash cold butter into the oats mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Spread mixture on sheet pan lined with parchment. Pat the topping gently to even out and bake until crispy and lightly browned. Remove from oven and reserve.

For the honey tigernut oil drizzle:

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons honey
8 tablespoons tigernut oil
½ vanilla bean, split open, seeds scraped

Preparation:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk oil, honey and vanilla bean seeds together until evenly mixed and thick.

To assemble:

  1. Layer the warm apples directly on a plate or wide bowl. Sprinkle the crumble over top, breaking up any very large pieces as you go. Top with one scoop of ice cream. Spoon the honey tigernut drizzle over the top and serve.

Want to study culinary arts with Chef Robert? Click here for more information on ICE’s career programs. 

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

I’m nearly two weeks into my resolution to create zero food waste in January, and surprisingly, it’s going well. I expected to be throwing out a lot more food. There have been a few losses — like what to do with the food that my toddler refuses to consume. (I don’t yet have an answer, other than compost.) But there have also been some unexpected wins, like the amazing facial scrub I Instagram’d last week, made from coffee grounds and egg shells. Plus, dinner time is no longer a rotation of the same couple dozen dishes. Everyone in my family is pretty happy.

The biggest secret to my success? My freezer.

Jenny's stock

A while back, I contributed to a great article by Marian Bull for Bon Appétit, “The Right Way to Freeze Basically Everything.” In short: I am obsessed with my freezer. I cannot emphasize that enough. Obsessed. Before my family goes out of town, I freeze anything that might not last until our return. That might mean tossing the whole chicken I didn’t get a chance to roast into a freezer bag. It could also mean putting my half full gallon of milk directly into the freezer, plastic jug and all. I asked my husband to clean out the fridge before we left for our Christmas break and upon returning two weeks later to find brown slimy spinach, I sadly asked, “Why didn’t you freeze that?” He thinks I’m a neurotic food hoarder, but really, I just hate seeing good food get dumped. As the BA article indicates, you can freeze anything. So if you notice something in your fridge inching closer and closer to its expiration date, do something about it! Eat it, or freeze it.

Make This: Kitchen Sink Stock

So what about all of those kitchen scraps? Sure, you can compost them. But why not put them in your freezer, too? Each time I prepare a meal, I toss all my vegetable and meat scraps into freezer bags. Once I have two gallon-sized freezer bags stuffed full, I make stock. I call it my kitchen sink stock. It might have a variety of meat bones — chicken, pork, beef. It might have veggies that most wouldn’t add to stock — broccoli stems and bell pepper seeds. But I don’t mind. I toss it all into my pressure cooker, cover it with water and 20 minutes later have great stock. If it tastes like too much bell pepper to use for a cauliflower soup, I use it for a bean soup. If it’s not as flavorful as I’d like, I use it when I cook rice or couscous. And everything goes in it; from garlic and onion skins to herb stems and kale stalks. I’m sure some chefs will read this and weep, as stock making is a very time-honored tradition and the backbone to many cuisines. But in my case, I just want to avoid spending money on store-bought stock — and cut down on food waste in my own home.

Kitchen sink stock

Then Make These: A Couple of My Favorite Recipes

Once you’ve got your Kitchen Sink Stock made, here are few of the hit dishes I’ve made in the last couple of weeks that put it to good use.

Cream of Stem Soup
Servings: Makes about 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound broccoli stems, chopped
1 pound cauliflower stems, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnishing
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery
½ stick unsalted butter
6 cups Kitchen Sink Stock
1 cup cream
Dash or two of nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss the chopped broccoli and cauliflower stems in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until golden brown and caramelized. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.
  2. In a large pot, sauté the onion and celery in butter until translucent and tender. Add the roasted broccoli, cauliflower and stock, cover and simmer about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture in batches to a blender and purée until completely smooth (do not fill the blender completely full and be sure to hold the top on with a kitchen towel to protect your hands — the steam from the hot liquid can push the lid off). Return the mixture to the pot and stir in the cream and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

 

Savory Mushroom Stem and Stale Bread Pudding
Servings: Makes 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients:
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
¾ stick unsalted butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced with entire stem intact
1 bunch kale, chopped
¼ cup water or stock
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 pound stale bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups crème fraiche or sour cream
8 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup grated parmesan or gruyere cheese

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish with butter. Place the bread in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté the onions, celery and garlic in the butter until translucent and tender. Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender and light golden brown. Add the kale, cover and let cook about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to sauté until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Add the sautéed vegetables to the bowl of bread and stir to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the cream, crème fraiche and eggs together until smooth. Add the mixture to the bowl of bread and vegetables and stir until combined. Add the salt and pepper and mix well. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake until golden brown and the pudding slightly puffs, about 1 hour. Let stand about 15 minutes to cool slightly before cutting and serving.

Ready to get into the kitchen with Chef Jenny? Click here for information on ICE’s career programs.

By Caitlin Raux

In 2016, we cooked, baked, mixed and tasted a ton of delicious recipes at the Institute of Culinary Education. Our chef instructors and beverage pros shared their expertise and gave us step-by-step guides to making some of their favorite sips and eats. To ensure that your final feasts of 2016 are memorable, we came up with a list of our best recipes of 2016. Whether you’re an aspiring food professional or a devout foodie, here’s a dinner party’s-worth of great recipes:

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

  • Kick off the New Year on a healthy-ish new foot with Chef Jenny McCoy’s Shrub Cocktails — equal parts restorative, digestif and, well, booze.
  • If you’re anything like us, no meal is complete without a couple hunks of bread — fresh out of the oven if possible. Why not ditch the same old baguette and give Chef Sarah Chaminade’s Irish Soda Bread a try? Save some for the morning after and serve with clotted cream and jam for the perfect “treat yourself” breakfast.

irish soda bread recipe

  • If you’re really fixing to impress dinner guests, Chef David Waltuck, our new Director of Culinary Affairs, has the winning recipe: Loin of Lamb with Mini Moussaka, a dish from Chef David’s famed Tribeca restaurant, Chanterelle, that’s as delicious as it is “oooh”- and “aahhh”-inspiring.
  • But let’s be honest: A feast is nothing without an ample selection of tasty sides. Luckily, our resident Southern-cuisine expert, Chef Robert Ramsey, proffered up a few show-stealing Southern sides — like Creamy Sweet Potato Soup With Brown Butter, Sorghum Syrup and Sage Croutons — to add to (or take over) your table.
variety-of-microgreens-at-ice

credit: farm.one

  • And don’t forget the visual and taste appeal of microgreens, like the ones we grow in our indoor hydroponic garden. Sprinkle these tiny, powerful bites throughout the meal (including the cocktails) with abandon.
  • Then comes the grand finale — the sweets. Chef Kathryn Gordon offered us a sneak peek into her newest cookbook, ‘Les Petits Sweets: Two-Bite Desserts from the French Patisserie,’ and shared an easy-to-follow recipe for decadent, delicious Pear-Rosemary Madeleines.
  • But if gluten and your belly are not quite best friends, Chef James Distefano has just the sweet treat for you: Spice-filled Gluten-free Speculaas Cookies.

ice_0578

Happiest and tastiest holiday wishes from everyone at ICE!

Want to study culinary or pastry arts with our award-winning chef instructors? Click here for more information on our career programs.

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

Cranberry season is in full swing, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, what better time to rethink your cranberry sauce? I find people either love cranberry sauce or don’t like it at all. I happen to be someone who loves it. The bright color on my dinner plate pops against the whites, browns and greens of turkey, stuffing and veggies. The super bright and tart flavor is a much-needed contrast against rich and heavy side dishes (often drowned in gravy). Plus, a schmear of cranberry sauce on a leftover turkey sandwich is a crucial component of one of my favorite lunches.

Each year, I change up my recipe to keep myself excited about the sauce, but also to convert a few family members who are convinced they just don’t like it. I’m sharing a few of my favorite recipes, but before we get into the kitchen, let me tell you a few things about America’s quintessential Thanksgiving fruit.

Cranberries by Casey Feehan

(credit: Casey Feehan – @caseyfeehan)

Cranberries: One of the Most American Ingredients

Wild cranberries have long been consumed by New England’s Native Americans, for some 12,000 years. The fruit is one of a handful of our country’s indigenous fruits. Cranberries thrive in their natural environments; bogs created by glaciers thousands of years ago. Prized for their culinary purposes, cranberries were also used for medicinal purposes and as a dye for textiles.

Though the early European settlers enjoyed them, larger-scale cultivation of cranberries didn’t begin until the early 1800s, when Captain Henry Hall, a revolutionary war veteran, noticed that his cranberries grew best when his bogs were covered in wind-blown sand. He moved his vines to more favorable locations and as his production grew, his method of cultivation spread. Other growers adopted his method of covering their berries in sand, increasing the yields of cranberry production throughout the northeast region, especially in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Harvest Time

Have you ever seen a cranberry harvest? You may recall those cranberry juice commercials featuring farmers in waist-high waders, standing in what looked like a pond covered in cranberries. Well, that’s precisely how cranberries are “picked.” Cranberry bogs are filled with water (up to a couple of feet though, not waist-high) the night before harvest. The vines are then raked to loosen the berries from the plants. The berries float to the surface of the water because they contain little air pockets, allowing them to be collected efficiently.

In 2015, over 840 million pounds of cranberries were produced in the United States. While many of us associate New England with cranberry growing, it is Wisconsin that now corners the market, having produced 60% of the country’s annual yield. With 20% of the annual harvest eaten on one day of the year — Thanksgiving — let’s take a moment to celebrate this most American fruit and discover a few new ways to add cranberries to your Thanksgiving table!

 

Go Raw Cranberry Relish
Servings: yields 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

One 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
2 tangerines (with peels)
1- to 2-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:

  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and chop until fine.
  • Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days before serving.

 

Smoky Bacon Cranberry Sauce
Servings: yields 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

One 12-ounce bag of cranberries
1 cup light brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ to ¾ cup cooked bacon crumbles, to taste

Preparation:

  • In a medium saucepan, simmer the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and black pepper until the cranberries have broken down and the liquid has thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Let the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature and stir in the paprika and bacon to taste.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days before serving.

 

Herbed Cranberry Relish
Servings: yields 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

One 12-ounce bag of cranberries
¼ cup honey
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large bunch parsley, stems removed
3 large sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed
4 cloves garlic
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ bunch scallions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  • In a medium saucepan, simmer cranberries, honey and sugar until the cranberries have broken down and the liquid has thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Let the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine parsley, rosemary, garlic and olive oil. Finely chop, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add additional olive oil, if needed.
  • Stir the chopped herbs and garlic mixture into the cooled cranberry sauce. Add the sliced scallions.
  • Add the red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

Want to study with Chef Jenny? Click here for information on ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program. 

 

By Caitlin Gunther

Toasted-Almond and Coconut Ice Pops recipe

Recipe reprinted from In A Nutshell: Cooking and Baking with Nuts and Seeds by Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian. Copyright © 2014 by Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Gentl & Hyers. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

With the sun shining and the mercury rising, just the thought of baking can seem ludicrous. What’s the lover of sweets to do? The answer: break out those ice pop molds. These sweet treats on a stick have endless flavor potential and are the perfect way to indulge your sweet tooth throughout the summer.

In celebration of Popsicle Week 2016, we’re sharing recipes for toasted-almond and coconut ice pops from In a Nutshell: Cooking and Baking with Nuts and Seeds, by ICE chefs Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian. They’re so tasty you’ll gobble them up before they have the chance to melt.

Toasted-Almond Ice Pops

Ingredients

For the ice pops:

1 3⁄4 cups (14 ounces) almond milk

1⁄2 cup heavy cream

1⁄4 cup whole milk

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons almond butter

 

For finishing:

Light corn syrup (optional)

1 cup (4 ounces) crushed toasted sliced almonds

 

Preparation

  1. Place all the ingredients for the ice pops in a blender and mix well, 30 to 45 seconds.
  2. Pour the liquid into ice pop molds and set them in the freezer to freeze overnight.
  3. Remove the bars from the freezer. Working with a couple of bars at a time, remove bars from the ice pop molds.
  4. Dip a bar in warm water to melt it slightly, or brush it with light corn syrup. Press the bar into the crushed almonds, covering it on all sides. Place on a parchment-lined pan and return it to the freezer until ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining bars. Store the bars, wrapped well in plastic wrap, for up to one week.

 

Coconut Ice Pops

Ingredients

For the ice pops:

1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) coconut milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup whole milk

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (2 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut

 

For finishing:

Light corn syrup (optional)

1 cup (4 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

 

Preparation

  1. Place all the ingredients for the ice pops except the shredded coconut in a blender and mix well, 30 to 45 seconds.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the 1/2 cup shredded coconut.
  3. Pour the liquid into the ice pop molds and set in the freezer to freeze overnight.
  4. Remove the bars from the freezer. Working with a couple of bars at a time, remove bars from the ice pop molds.
  5. Dip a bar in warm water to melt it slightly, or brush with light corn syrup. Press the bar into the toasted coconut, covering it on all sides. Place on a parchment-lined pan and return it to the freezer. Repeat with the remaining bars. Serve immediately or store, wrapped well in plastic wrap, in the freezer for up to one week.

Want to learn how to make tasty desserts with our ICE instructors? Get more information about ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program.

 

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

As any restaurant chef who has had their dishes featured in food magazines can attest, there is more than one way to write a recipe. No experience has made this statement more obvious to me than seeing my second cookbook, Modern Eclairs, published during the same period that I have been developing new cookie recipes for the professional pastry and baking program at ICE. In short, I’ve had my foot in both worlds—professional restaurant chef and enthusiastic home cook—for years, and I’ve come to appreciate the significant differences between what we look for in recipes for these very different audiences.

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Pro Chef / Home Chef — The many sides of Jenny McCoy

Take, for example, a recipe that is currently in development for our professional pastry and baking program:

Spicy Cacao Cookies

  • 280 grams butter
  • 280 grams light brown sugar
  • 225 grams sugar
  • 100 grams eggs
  • 10 grams vanilla extract
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 240 grams cake flour
  • 240 grams bread flour
  • 8 grams baking soda
  • 6 grams baking powder
  • 4 grams kosher salt
  • 10 grams Sichuan peppercorns
  • 6 grams ground Chinese Tung Hing cinnamon
  • 100 grams cacao nibs
  1. Creaming method
  2. Chill dough
  3. Scoop and bake 350°F – 10 to 12 min

 

Keeping this recipe in mind, let’s talk about structure and content:

More than one way to measure: The ingredients above are listed by metric weight. This is because it is faster and more precise—especially for the large format batches we find in professional kitchens—to scale a recipe’s ingredients up or down by weight rather than by volume. In Europe, home cooks are accustomed to metric measurements, but many American cooks still opt for cups, tablespoons and teaspoons.

However, change is a comin’: for my most recent cookbook, I included both volume and weight for all ingredients, as American “foodies” are increasingly interested in baking like the pros. Occasional bakers still find that as long as they stick to the recipe, using measuring cups and spoons is perfectly fine. The takeaway: home cooks want options.

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Sourcing ingredients: Professional chefs have access to hundreds of ingredients that cannot be purchased easily or affordably by a home cook (see Sichuan peppercorns and Chinese Tung Hing cinnamon, above). That stinks for home cooks and recipe developers alike.

No home chef wants to fall in love with an image in a cookbook, decide to make the recipe and then realize they have to schlep to five different stores and order ingredients online, instead of just being able to get in the kitchen and cook. For recipe writers looking to expose their audience to an exotic cuisine or advanced techniques, including these rare ingredients may be necessary. Whenever possible, the author should always offer an alternative ingredient, with a disclaimer that the results may be slightly different.

Eliminating the unnecessary: Have you ever encountered a recipe intended for home cooks that includes seemingly insignificant amounts of ingredients? For example, take a cookie dough that calls for one cup of milk and one tablespoon of heavy cream or three cups of all-purpose flour and ¼ cup bread flour. That is simply annoying. What is a home cook supposed to do with the remaining 31 tablespoons of heavy cream in the pint they purchased?

When writing for professional chefs, you know you’ll use those ingredients again—and if you’re running a cost-efficient kitchen, you’d better find a way to do so. But when writing for home cooks, try to use a little common sense and make the call on when or whether it’s important to stay 100% true to your original recipe. Instead of that extra ingredient purchase, just increase the milk in the recipe by a tablespoon or use an extra ¼ cup of all-purpose flour instead of the bread flour.

Let’s not forget that the home cook rarely has the luxury of a walk-in refrigerator or a pantry stocked with every ingredient under the sun. Plus, if they are anything like me, as soon as they see a recipe that calls for a ton of ingredients, they’ll immediately turn the page and find something else to make.

All in the details: As you probably noted in my sample recipe, there are very few instructions. In fact, this recipe has more directions than usual because it is going to be tested by someone other than myself. A standard recipe for the professional kitchen simply includes the name of the recipe, the list of ingredients and a few words of direction: “creaming method.”

If I’m the executive chef or pastry chef of a restaurant, it’s typically up to my cooks to determine the yield of the recipe. I would assume my cooks already know that the dough should be chilled before baking. As for the portioning, bake time and temperature, they would be dictated by the application of the dough and left to the judgment of my sous chef or line cooks to determine. Obviously, a recipe written in this form is in no way acceptable for a home cook.

Of course, there are plenty of home bakers that know about the “creaming method”—though they may not know it by name. But an author must always assume their recipe is the first a reader has ever tried. Each stage of instruction for the home chef must include two things: a visual indication and an approximate time to aid the reader in knowing when each step is complete. For example: “Sear the sesame-crusted tuna over high heat, until the sesame seeds start to gain color, about one minute. Turn the tuna and continue to cook for one minute on each side until the sesame seeds are golden brown, but not burnt.”

Jenny McCoy Craft Pastry 2

Curb your enthusiasm: Last, and very importantly, I often forget when I start writing a book that I need to approach each recipe as though someone will actually make it. Yes, that sounds absurd. You’re probably wondering, “What is she talking about? She’s writing a cookbook. Of course her readers are interested in making the recipes!”

For a restaurant chef-turned-author, it can be all too easy to lose track of my audience and attempt to develop recipes that are overly complicated. It then comes as a surprise (although it shouldn’t) when I start testing my recipes in a home kitchen and realize that including such ridiculous and rigorous recipes will only make readers despise me as an author.

How do I keep myself in check? Those overly ambitious or tedious recipes either get completely cut from my cookbooks or morph into a dish that is much more approachable. It’s not a question of “dumbing down” the subject for my readers, but to make sure home cooks can replicate the results successfully. Let’s remember that cooking should be fun and not overly complicated—especially when it’s not your job.

After taking all this into consideration, let’s look at another cookie recipe that I’ve specifically written for home chefs. What are your thoughts on the differences between the two? Which makes you more excited to bake?

Chef Jenny’s Sprinkledoodle Cookies

Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (112 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ⅓ cups (180 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup (75 grams) multicolored sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until smooth. Stir in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until smooth. Add the sprinkles and mix until just evenly combined.
  3. Roll cookie dough into heaping tablespoon-sized balls. Roll balls of dough in granulated sugar. Arrange on prepared baking sheets, about two inches apart.
  4. For chewy cookies, bake until very light golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. For crispy cookies, bake until a bit darker golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets.

Ready to start your professional pastry career? Click here to learn how you can study with Chef Jenny at ICE.

By Carly DeFilippo—Student, School of Culinary Arts

As I round the corner on the last lap of culinary school, it’s amazing to consider how far my classmates and I have come. Less than eight months ago, many of us didn’t know how to tell the difference between oregano and marjoram. Today, we’re tackling the recipes of the greatest chefs of our time.

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After working through a seemingly endless array of techniques, our class has arrived at the point in our program where we spend five days crafting menus by five incredible chefs: Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Rick Bayless and Ming Tsai. Yet, despite the caliber of these culinary leaders, I didn’t initially feel excited about these lessons. Of course, I have immense respect for all these chefs, but, as a student, I have typically found that I learn more by studying a general concept than by following a recipe.

But oh, how I was wrong. Just like any line cook who has worked under a truly great chef, “merely following a recipe” turned out to be quite the lesson in and of itself.

When you’re attempting to recreate the classic dishes of these chefs’ fine dining establishments, recipes that might traditionally consist of three to four steps often require six, seven or even 17 steps to accomplish. Now, certainly you might ask, “If they’re such master chefs, shouldn’t they be able to accomplish delicious dishes more efficiently?” The answer is yes—but these chefs aren’t just working fast, they’re actually redefining the limits of delicious.

Mario Batali's Fennel Dusted Sweetbreads

Mario Batali’s Fennel Dusted Sweetbreads

Take, for example, Mario Batali’s Fennel Dusted Sweetbreads: Chef Batali doesn’t use just one type of onion, he uses four! Any good cook knows that shallots, white onions, red onions and scallions all have different properties, and Batali uses each to build complexity and interest in what could have been just any rustic offal dish. What’s more, he’s demonstrating a very clever chef skill: using multiple related ingredients in a single dish.

The other chefs’ menus proved just as educational. Both Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller’s recipes required me to reserve the cooking liquid leftover from steaming shellfish. Despite having frequently cooked clams or mussels before, I never previously considered transforming this cooking by-product into the base for a flavorful seafood soup or the starting point for a chowder-like sauce. In both cases, the results were brilliant.

Steamed mussels // Daniel Boulud's famed "Billi Bi Cressonière"

Reserving the liquor of steamed mussels // Daniel Boulud’s famed “Billi Bi Cressonière”

In short, these lessons were “aha!” moments for me on two fronts. First and foremost, they increased my respect for not only these chefs, but also for every line cook who has ever worked in a fine dining establishment. Second, they conveyed the importance of a well-written recipe, both as an effective guide and an educational tool.

As the end of our program draws near, and we enter into lessons in which we will devise our own creative recipes, I have already begun to apply the lessons that I have learned from these culinary masters—and I can say with confidence that learning to cook a great chef’s signature dish is 100% more satisfying than simply ordering it at a restaurant.

Interested in pursuing a career in the Culinary Arts? Click here to learn more and schedule your personal tour of ICE.

 

 

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

Alright readers…here we are. Part five. The last post in my, “So You Want to Write a Cookbook,” series. We’re almost at the end of this exciting, grueling, rewarding process—I hope you’ve managed to stay tuned!

As I write this post, I’m in the midst of my latest cookbook project. I recently signed a cookbook deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which means I’m knee-deep in developing a fresh batch of recipes—so what better time to coach you through that very process?

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Creating Your Recipe Roadmap
As a first step, I drafted a working list of the recipe ideas I’d like to feature in my cookbook. My new book is contracted to have six chapters and 80 to 100 recipes in total. If you do the math, that’s about 13 to 16 recipes per chapter. So I started by creating a list of 15 ideas per chapter.

Why the extra work? Once I begin to test these recipes, I know that some will be tossed, others will morph into entirely different ideas, and a few will remain exactly the same. My list will constantly evolve—and even more recipes ideas will pop into my head during the testing process—but I’ve found that having a game plan at the outset is the best way to start. What’s more, when it comes time to write my cookbook, this list will be a roadmap, helping me to prevent too much repetition in flavors or techniques (or the opposite, too many flavors and techniques).

You always want to make sure that your cookbook, throughout the entire course of its development, has a consistent focus. Lists are the way to go, my friends.

Testing Recipes
If your cookbook is written for the home cook, I highly recommend you enlist your non-chef friends to help you with the recipe testing—especially if they’re the types who never cook. If you can write a recipe that someone who doesn’t know how to make toast can complete, then you’ve done a good job.

Moreover, where you test recipes makes a difference. Even if you have access to a professional kitchen, I highly recommend you test your recipes at home. It’s not as efficient, but you must keep in mind, a restaurant-grade convection oven is not the same as the oven I have in my Brooklyn apartment. (For comparison: you’ve got my temperamental gas stovetop at home versus the 12-burner range I’m used to working on at ICE.)

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In short, tailoring your recipes to work in a typical home kitchen is pretty important. What takes two minutes to boil on a professional induction burner will take five minutes on a home cook’s electric burner. Most novice home cooks follow recipes “to a T,” meaning that these little details can make all the difference. (Believe me—you really want to make sure your recipes are fool-proof, because people love to vent online about how recipes in cookbooks never work.)

For consistency, when I test my recipes, I try them myself first. If they pass the test, I give them to someone else to try. From there, if they pass again without a hiccup, they are edited and go into my cookbook. If there are any issues with the outcome of the recipe during the second round, I analyze the problems, tweak the recipe, and pass it on to a third person to test. If it’s a go, into the book it goes. If it fails, I strike it from the list and move on. This is a critical lesson: unless the recipe is instrumental for your topic or is your favorite dish in the book, learn to let it go and come up with a new idea. If you have to force the recipe to work, imagine how had it will be for a novice to tackle.

Recipe Testing Template
Below you’ll find a nine-part list of criteria I use when testing recipes. If you include all of this information, you will have enough information to write a complete recipe that should be easy to follow and give clear instructions to your readers.

Keep in mind that your writing must be consistent. Create a style guide that is specific to your writing style. If you prefer abbreviations in your ingredient list, go for it. Just make sure all the ingredient lists are the same. If you tell a reader how to sauté onions in more than one recipe, be sure to use the exact same language for each recipe that calls for sautéed onions. (Cutting and pasting copy is the best way to be sure.)

And don’t forget—communicate with your editor throughout this process. The last thing you want to do is turn in a manuscript that is riddled with grammatical errors and inconsistent language. A good editor will give you all the guidance and tools you need to succeed in writing great recipes, but you usually need to ask for such assistance.

1. Recipe Title (no abbreviations)

2. Entire Recipe Yield

  • Weight in grams
  • Volume in cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, etc
  • Number of pieces/servings yielded by recipe

3. Ingredient List (no abbreviations)

  • Weights in grams
  • Volume in cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, etc

4. Directions (provide explicit details)

  • Cooking temp; cooking time (Example: Simmer on low heat for 3 minutes)
  • Bake temp; bake time (Example: Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes)
  • Visual indications of doneness throughout recipe stages and final product (Example: Stir until ball forms; bake until deep golden brown, etc.)
  • List all tools used at each stage of recipe (Example: stir with a wooden spoon)

5. Flavor Notes

  • Comment on taste, consistency, visual appeal, etc.

6. Yield Notes

  • Do the amounts yielded by each section of the recipe match up to create the final product? (Example: Is 1 quart of marinara sauce enough for 1 pound of pasta?)

7. Finished Product Storage

  • Can recipes be prepared in advance? If yes, how long can they be stored?
  • What are ideal storage conditions?

8. Misc Notes

  • Can the recipe be improved? How?
  • Any time saving tips?
  • Any potential ways to make recipe more user-friendly for the home cook?

9. Photos

  • Document each stage of the cooking/baking process
  • Photograph each finished product (Example: finished dough, frosting, chocolate shavings, etc.)
  • Photo of fully assembled/plated dish

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The Photo Shoot
This is the fun part. Once you’ve tested all your recipes and have them in working order (or as close to perfect as possible), you can begin planning your photo shoot.

With your team in place, the next step is to determine the look for each photograph. Just like the variation in your recipes, you will want to make sure you have a range of colors and textures—different surfaces, props, camera angles, etc.

I prefer to plan this final phase of my cookbook by reviewing all the snapshots of tested, finished dishes with my prop and food stylists. Based on the needs of each recipe, we decide on the plates, baking dishes, pots, etc. and overall style that should visually represent each recipe. We come up with multiple options for items that are difficult to shoot (for example: heat-sensitive items like ice cream, physically flat or brown-colored dishes that can be challenging to present in a way that is visually appealing). This gives the prop stylist a shopping list and the food stylist time to prepare his or her tool kit.

Once the styling for each shot is determined, I then prepare my shot lists. Each day of your photo shoot, you will have a certain number of photos that you need to complete. Talk to your photographer about setting reasonable goals. (Many first time authors don’t realize that each photo will likely take over an hour to stage and shoot!)

My best advice is to organize the shots by how they are produced in the kitchen. If you have items that can be made in advance, shoot them all on the first day. This allows your photographer and stylists to jump right in, while your kitchen staff preps the food for images that require à la minute cooking. Also, finish each day with one or two recipes that are easy to prepare. (Photo shoot days are long, and everyone will run out of creative steam if you schedule the most complicated dishes at the end of the day!)

Also, remember that your dishes don’t have to be eaten, so if your pound cake is stale because you baked it a week before your photo shoot, that is perfectly fine. So long as it looks moist (and your food stylist can help with this) then you are good to go. And remember to be flexible—sometimes you will need to change the order of your shot list to keep the momentum going.

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Here are a few additional tips for a successful photo shoot:

  • Consider putting more than one dish in a shot. Often times your publisher will give you a very low budget for images. Including multiple dishes in one photo can vary the visual appeal of your book and make the most of your time with a photographer.
  • Double or triple your recipe. You typically will need 2-3 times the amount of food in the original recipe to be properly prepared for a photo. If a dish starts wilting, gets dropped or burned, you’ll need to have more ingredients on hand to swap out.
  • Bring lots of extra raw ingredients. Your food stylist may want to use some of the ingredients from your dishes as props. Reserve the freshest and best looking produce you have for this purpose.
  • Set aside a few days in advance of your shoot. If you have a 5-day photo shoot, you’ll need a few days to shop or prepare as much of the food in advance as possible. Also, make time in your shoot schedule to prepare some of the components of the next day’s dishes.

Like I said earlier, the days will be long. But they will result in the culmination of all your hard work, and there is nothing like a cookbook photo shoot to make your months of writing and testing feel worthwhile!

Wrapping It All Up
Once the photo shoot is complete, fine-tune your manuscript to ready it for delivery to your publisher. This is the perfect time to write your acknowledgement page, the resource guide, your introduction and any remaining front or back of book items. And once you’ve got that finished…voila! The first draft of your cookbook is complete. Now it’s in your editor’s hands, to help ensure you’ve dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”.

Did you miss Jenny’s previous posts? See the links below:

By Carly DeFilippo

When it comes to healthy, delicious cooking, there are few ingredients more tasty or versatile than nuts and seeds. That’s why it’s no surprise that the latest cookbook from the ICE family, In a Nutshell, is making big waves in the food community. Written by ICE Director of Education Andrea Tutunjian and Assistant Dean of Students Cara Tannenbaum, the book is an all-in-one-guide to mastering an incredible range of techniques. From sunflower seeds to pepitas, peanuts to macadamias, it’s a literal rainbow of protein-packed dips, roasts, desserts and more.

In celebration of the book’s release, Oprah.com’s #OwnShow checked in with the chefs to learn five unusual ways to use everyone’s favorite snack nut: the almond. Enjoy Cara and Andrea’s tips in the videos below, and click the name of each dish for the full recipe!

Tea Smoked Almonds

Triple Ginger Almonds

Tomato-Almond Tapenade

Creamy, Crunchy Almond Butter Dip

White Chocolate-Orange-Almond Bark

Want to write your own cookbook? Check out our DIY guide from ICE Chef Instructor Jenny McCoy, author of Desserts for Every Season.