By Lauren Jessen — ICE Graduate + Blogger, A Dash of Cinema

I’ve never been a big pie person. I can appreciate a good homemade pie with a thick crust and multiple scoops of ice cream, but it’s not the Thanksgiving dessert that I look forward to most. If you fall into the same anti-pie category as me, try making these hazelnut and cardamom sticky buns instead. The cardamom and hazelnut form a delicious flavor duo, especially when paired with this soft, tender dough.

sticky buns

I remember the first time I made sticky buns in culinary school during module 4 of my culinary arts program at ICE. The entire class was excited —because how often do you get to make sticky buns, let alone eat them? We lined muffin pans with pecans and caramel and placed the bun dough on top. Those 30 minutes spent waiting for the buns to bake felt like an eternity.

Now that I’ve learned the proper way to make them, sticky buns are way less intimidating. Essentially, all you’re doing is making a cinnamon roll, but adding the “topping” to the bottom before baking. Then, when they’re finished baking, you flip the buns onto parchment paper. The end result is a gooey, sweet topping and filling with a delicious yeast dough that everyone at the dinner table will be thinking about well past Thanksgiving.

As if sweet, delicious gooiness wasn’t enough, sticky buns are also amazing because you can switch up the flavors with the seasons — you can substitute pecans, pistachios and walnuts for the hazelnuts, and cinnamon, lemon and pumpkin for cardamom. There’s a lot you can do with sticky buns, which makes it a great go-to dessert for any occasion.

 

sticky bunsHazelnut and Cardamom Sticky Buns

Dough

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ¾ teaspoons yeast
2 eggs
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
A pinch of cinnamon
3 ½ tablespoons sugar
½ cup butter, unsalted, room temperature

Preparation:

  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it reaches 110-115°F.
  • Add the sugar and yeast to the milk, and let the mixture sit for five minutes until the yeast becomes frothy.
  • Add the eggs to the milk mixture and whisk until smooth.
  • In the bowl of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, mix the flour, salt, cinnamon, sugar and butter together using a dough hook.
  • Pour in the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  • Transfer the dough to a buttered bowl and allow to rise for one hour. After one hour of rising in a warm spot, transfer the dough to the fridge for one hour.
  • Roll out the dough to form a rectangle, about 10-12 inches wide.

Filling

Ingredients:

1 egg, whisked for egg wash
½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Preparation:

  • Combine the hazelnuts, cardamom, cinnamon and light brown sugar to create the filling mixture.
  • Cover the dough with egg wash, and then spread the filling mixture on top.
  • Roll the dough along the long side. Cut the log evenly into 12 equal pieces. These pieces will be placed on the topping in the prepared pans (see below).

Topping

Ingredients:

½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 ⅓ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cardamom

Preparation:

  • In a saucepan, over medium heat combine all the ingredients until just melted to create a caramel topping. Be careful not to overcook this mixture.

Making the sticky buns

  • Heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Prepare the sheet pans by spreading the chopped hazelnuts on the bottom and covering them with the caramel topping.
  • Place the buns in the baking pan on top of the caramel and hazelnuts, making sure to give space between each one, as they will double in size when baking.
  • Bake buns for 30 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, and then flip the sticky buns onto a parchment-lined sheet tray.

Master sticky buns and much more in ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts career program — learn more today.

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By Jenny McCoy — Pastry & Baking Arts Chef-Instructor

A small slice of my career as a pastry chef has been dedicated to introducing bakers to the flavor combination of pumpkin and chocolate. Some of you may have already tasted the duo — if you are one of those people, congratulations and please consider adding some chocolate chips to your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. However, if you have not had the experience of chocolate and pumpkin combined, stop your holiday baking plans now and redirect your attention to this post immediately. Your Thanksgiving is about to get so much better.

pumpkin bars

Roasted pumpkin, whether made from scratch or canned, has a slightly sweet and very earthy flavor. If you mix this quintessential fall flavor with chocolate, which can either emphasize or contrast the flavor of pumpkin, something magical happens. When I’m interested in a strong contrast of flavor, I pair pumpkin with dark chocolate, which has an intense flavor and a bitter quality that juxtaposes nicely with the sweet, mellow flavor of pumpkin. When I prefer to accentuate the sweetness of pumpkin and make it the star in my baking, I combine it with milk chocolate because together they both highlight their sweetness and milder flavors. (Pro tip: Play around in the kitchen with both combinations to see which you like best.)

In the case of my recipe for Pumpkin Nutella Bars, I’ve taken chocolate and pumpkin one step further in the direction of deliciousness by adding Nutella. While Nutella is made with cocoa powder (which is dark and bitter), it is also mixed with a fair amount of sugar and milk, so it really has a flavor profile closer to milk chocolate. And the addition of roasted hazelnuts cannot be beat.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of these Pumpkin Nutella Bars, and be sure to share any other fun pumpkin and chocolate baking ideas you have this holiday season!

pumpkin nutella barsPumpkin Nutella Bars
Servings: makes 16 servings

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Bar Batter

Nonstick cooking spray
2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
¾ cup pumpkin puree

For the filling

1 jar (13 ounces) Nutella

Pumpkin Seed Streusel Topping:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted

Preparation:

First, make and bake the Pumpkin Bar Batter

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9”x13” baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, salt and spices, and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Mix the batter until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and slowly alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the pumpkin puree, while mixing on low speed. Mix until the batter is smooth and evenly combined. Transfer the pumpkin batter to the baking dish and spread into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the Pumpkin Bars are baking, make the Pumpkin Seed Streusel

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin seeds, sugars, salt and spices. Slowly drizzle the melted butter into the bowl, while tossing the dry ingredients constantly, and mix until just crumbly. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Remove the pan of pumpkin bars from the oven and drop the oven temperature to 325°F. Let bars cool for 15 minutes.

Time to fill, top and bake the bars

  • Carefully spread the Nutella over the entire surface area of the warm baked bars. (If the Nutella melts a bit and sinks into the batter, that’s OK. Use a bamboo skewer or even a toothpick to create a marbled look.)
  • Sprinkle the Pumpkin Seed Streusel evenly over the top of the Nutella, and bake until the streusel is light golden brown and a wooden toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in center of the bar, about 30 minutes. Cool the bars in the pan for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Master baking for all seasons — learn more about ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program.

 

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By James Briscione, Director of Culinary Research

Your Thanksgiving turkey has a secret; and I’m here to tell it: that bird HATES being roasted in the oven. I know it, your turkey knows it and deep down, you know it, too: roasting a whole turkey in the oven just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It consumes a massive amount of time, space and energy, none of which I would be against if the results were impeccable. However, the sad truth is that roasting turkey in the oven is inefficient and the end product is imperfect.
sous vide turkey

I blame Norman Rockwell. Ever since he painted that famed portrait of an American family gazing lovingly at Mom as she places that large, bronzed bird on the table, the whole, roasted turkey has been the Thanksgiving gold standard. I can only imagine how dry the breast of Rockwell’s turkey must have been — he should have painted a 50-gallon drum of gravy in the background because I bet the family would have used every last drop of it.

Whole roasted birds have an inherent problem: for optimal flavor, tenderness and juiciness, the breast and legs need to be cooked at different temperatures for different lengths of time. At times like this, I like to channel Alain Senderens, one of my favorite rebel chefs and one of the fathers of Nouvelle Cuisine. Chef Senderens balked at the way that tradition trampled innovation in French cuisine. So this Thanksgiving, join me as I thumb my nose at tradition and invite innovation to my pumpkin-spice themed Friendsgiving.

Two words: sous vide. I have spent years extolling the tender, juicy and delicious virtues of cooking chicken sous vide. That led me to think, if sous vide makes the best chicken I’ve ever tasted, it will surely make the greatest turkey, too. All I had to do was figure out a way to cook turkey sous vide, yet make sure it still looked like a turkey when it arrived at the table, lest my family think I’m a total failure in annual fatherly duties (thanks for nothing, Rockwell). I decided to use a technique that I learned from Bryce Shuman at Betony, where they always cooked sous vide chicken breast with the bones in, so it would retain its natural shape. I applied the same method to the turkey breast, which I fit into a large, gallon-sized zip top bag. I zipped the legs and wings inside a separate bag and was on my way to a glorious Thanksgiving revolution: perfectly cooked legs and breasts with a classic presentation. This just may be the type of thing that makes everyone around the table happy this Thanksgiving. Check out the recipe below.

Sous Vide Thanksgiving Turkey

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons dry sage
2 teaspoons ground fennel seed
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1 whole turkey, about 10-12 pounds
4 ounces melted butter

Preparation:

  • Start by making a dry brine — combine the sage, fennel seed, pepper, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  • Fabricate the turkey into a bone-in breast by removing the back-bone with a chef’s knife or kitchen shears. Separate the wings from the breast by cutting through the wing joint. Remove the legs from the body, cutting through the thigh joint and leaving the thigh and drumstick attached.
  • Use an immersion circulator to heat a water bath to 66˚C (151˚F).
  • Generously season all of the pieces with the dry brine on both sides. Place one leg and one wing in each of two large, gallon-sized zip top bags. Add 1 ounce of melted butter to each of the bags. Place the seasoned breast in the refrigerator while the legs cook.
  • Fill a large pot or bowl with room temperature water and lower the open zip top bag into the water. The water pressure will push the excess air out of the bag. When the top of the bag reaches the level of the water, seal the bag. Transfer the sealed bags to the water bath and cook for six hours. Remove the bags and cool immediately in an ice bath. When chilled, transfer to the refrigerator and store for up to seven days before serving.
  • Reduce the water bath to 62˚C (143.5˚F). Place the turkey breast into a large, gallon-sized zip top bag and add the remaining 2 ounces of melted butter. Use the method above to remove the excess air from the bag and seal. Transfer the sealed bag to the water bath and cook for four hours. Add the chilled turkey legs to the bath and cook 40 minutes longer to reheat. Or, if not serving immediately, remove the bags and cool immediately in an ice bath. When chilled, transfer to the refrigerator and store for up to seven days before serving.
  • When ready to serve, heat a water bath to 62˚C and add the sealed bags of breast and leg to the bath and leave 40 minutes to reheat.
  • To serve, heat the oven to broil and arrange the turkey pieces on a baking pan and place on the middle rack under the broiler until golden brown.

You, too, can become an expert chef — learn more about our Culinary Arts career training program. 

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By Robert Ramsey — Director of Advanced Culinary Center

Searching for inspiration for your holiday table? ICE Chef Robert Ramsey, a specialist in Southern cuisine, is sharing three sides so good it almost hurts to call them “sides” — because, really, any one of these could easily steal the show: creamy sweet potato soup with brown butter, sorghum syrup and sage croutons, Southern-style collard greens with black-eyed peas, grilled Chesapeake Bay oysters smothered in garlicky, bacon-y butter… hungry yet? Keep reading to get the recipes. Your holiday guests will thank you.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup With Brown Butter, Sorghum Syrup and Sage Croutons
Servings: 8

This soup is luxuriously smooth and creamy without being overly sweet. It’s the garnish, however, that really sets it apart. When I was living in Tennessee, I discovered sorghum syrup — it’s maple syrup for Southerners. The taste is fantastic and it’s an authentic Southern specialty. There are a lot of brands out there, but I prefer the sorghum syrup from Muddy Pond (about halfway between Knoxville and Nashville). Like its cousin, maple, it’s a perfect complement to the sweet potatoes.

For the soup

Ingredients:

2 ounces unsalted butter
3-4 sweet potatoes, totaling about 2.5 pounds, peeled and chopped
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
1 quart whole milk
1 pint vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch nutmeg
Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • In a large stockpot melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, celery and carrot and season with a good pinch of salt.
  • Cook, stirring often, until the onions turn translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add the nutmeg, brown sugar and sweet potatoes and continue to cook until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar and cook about 3-4 minutes to reduce.
  • Add the milk, stock and cream and bring to boil.
  • Immediately reduce to a low, gentle simmer and allow everything to cook until tender, stirring often, about 30-40 minutes.
  • When all vegetables are tender, carefully transfer the soup to a Vitamix blender and purée until completely smooth, working in batches. Reserve.

Note: It’s best to make the soup 24 hours in advance and chill it overnight to allow the flavors to come together.

 

For the garnish

Ingredients:

½ bunch sage, leaves picked from stems, minced
4 ounces butter
½ loaf stale sliced bread, crusts removed, diced
1 cup sorghum syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 275°F.
  • In a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter until it begins to foam and turn brown. Turn off the heat immediately and reserve.
  • Add sage to the butter while it is still hot — it should sizzle and pop a little.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add stale bread, browned butter, sage and a little salt and pepper to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook the croutons until dry and crisp. Reserve.

 

To serve

Preparation:

  • Reheat the soup gently, stirring often to prevent scorching. If the soup is too thick, adjust with a touch of milk and taste for seasoning.
  • Ladle the soup into warm bowls and top with croutons. Drizzle some sorghum syrup (and crème fraîche if desired) on top of each and serve.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Southern-style Collard Greens with Black-Eyed Peas
Servings: about 6-8

This dish is a classic for a reason and one of my favorite ways to enjoy greens in the cold weather months. Other greens like mustard, turnip and kale will work just as well in this recipe, though they each have a distinct flavor.

Ingredients:

2 bunches collard greens, washed thoroughly, stems removed, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 quart chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
6 ounces salt-cured country ham, diced
2 ounces unsalted butter
3 springs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stems
2 medium Spanish onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Salt to taste

Preparation

  • In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Add the diced country ham and the onions and cook until the onions turn translucent, stirring often, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and thyme and cook one more minute.
  • Pour apple cider into the pot to deglaze the mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan, then increase heat to medium-high and reduce the liquid by about three-quarters.
  • Add the collard greens, black-eyed peas, chicken stock and smoked paprika and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and allow to cook until the beans and greens are tender, about one hour.
  • During the simmering process, the beans may absorb a lot of liquid. If this happens, add warm water, about ½ cup at a time, to keep the consistency of a stew.
  • The finished dish should not be dry, nor thin like a soup, but somewhere in between.
  • Season to taste with a pinch or two of salt.

Note: This dish is best made a day or two ahead, chilled and reheated gently before serving. This will allow the flavors to come together. Be careful not to scorch the bottom when reheating by stirring often.    

 

Grilled Chesapeake Bay Oysters
Servings: a dozen oysters

Big, plump, sweet Chesapeake Bay oysters are at their best during the holiday season, when the water is cooler. Specifically, I prefer Rappahannock, Stingray Point or Olde Salt oysters. At ICE, we pile them with smoky compound butter flavored with bacon and garlic. If you put just too much butter on top, don’t worry — the butter will drip over the shell into the flames below, creating a lot of smoke and flavor — and this is a very good thing.

Ingredients:

12 Chesapeake Bay oysters
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 small bunch chives, thinly sliced into rounds
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Fresh juice from ½ lemon
4 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp
1 small pinch of salt
1 dash Tabasco sauce

Preparation:

  • Shuck the oysters, being careful to retain as much of the oyster liquid as possible. Leave the oysters in the cupped half of the shell and discard the flat half of the shell. Reserve.
  • Mince the cooked bacon until it resembles bacon bits you would use on a salad.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the minced bacon with all the remaining ingredients except the oysters. Beat the mixture together using the paddle attachment until well-combined, about one minute on medium speed.
  • Spoon the butter mixture onto the oysters, dividing evenly.
  • Place the oysters in the shells directly on a preheated grill, using tongs to move them to the hottest parts.
  • Cook 4-6 minutes or until the butter is melted and bubbling and the oysters have plumped. Serve immediately.

Vitamix is now offering special discounts on their popular Vitamix models: C- and G- Series, Certified Reconditioned S30, and Certified Reconditioned Standard Programs Machine. Use the URL and discount code below and find your culinary voice with Vitamix. Vitamix is now offering special discounts on their popular Vitamix models: C- and G- Series, Certified Reconditioned S30, and Certified Reconditioned Standard Programs Machine. Use the URL and discount code below and find your culinary voice with Vitamix.
www.vitamix.com/CSP

Promotion Code: ICEVitamix21216
Expires: December 31, 2017

Want to master these Southern specialties and more with Chef Robert? Click here to learn about ICE’s Culinary Arts program.

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To celebrate the release of her highly anticipated cookbook, My Rice Bowl, James Beard Award nominee Chef Rachel Yang will visit ICE on November 10. She and co-author Jess Thomson will reflect on their careers, provide insights for culinary business owners and discuss the process of getting a cookbook published. Attendees will have the chance to win a free copy of the book, which features 75 recipes based on Rachel’s deeply comforting Korean fusion cuisine. Below, Rachel shares one of her favorite recipes from My Rice Bowl.

By Rachel Yang, ICE Graduate and Chef-Owner of Joule, Revel, Trove and Revelry

For me, the best moment of cooking the food we cook is catching a customer trying to figure out what’s happening in their mouth. They take a bite and chew thoughtfully, but they either don’t find the flavors they expected or they can’t identify what they’re tasting. They take another bite and in a storm of discovery, they chat with their fellow diners about what’s happening. By this point, they’re already hooked — there are smiles and nods and reaches for another bite.

umami-packed potatoes

These potatoes are a prime example of a dish that creates that kind of experience. Tossed with a blend of Kalamata olives and soy sauce, they look like they’ve been coated in barbecue sauce, but somehow the combination of salt and butter with the deep umami flavor comes across like dark chocolate in the first bite.

But don’t take my word for it — try making them yourself!

Hot Potatoes with Black Olives and Soy Sauce
Serves 4 to 6

For the potatoes

Ingredients:

2 pounds fingerling potatoes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole coriander
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

For the sauce

Ingredients:

½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup mirin
1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes

For serving

Ingredients

3 tablespoons canola oil
½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter, divided
½ cup Thai basil, leaves picked and packed

Preparation:

  • Cook the potatoes. Put the potatoes, salt, coriander, peppercorns and bay leaf in a large pot. Add cold water to cover, bring to a boil, then cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the fattest potato. Drain the potatoes, halve lengthwise and spread on a baking sheet, flesh sides up, to cool.
  • Make the sauce. In a blender, whirl together the olives, soy sauce, mirin and chili flakes until smooth. Set aside.
  • Fry the potatoes and serve. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil, then half of the potatoes, cut sides down, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned and crisp. Turn the potatoes and cook for another minute, then pour off the excess oil and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter has melted, add about half the sauce and cook, stirring and turning the potatoes, until the sauce has reduced and the potatoes are well coated. Stir in half the basil, transfer the potatoes to a serving plate, wipe out the pan, and repeat with the remaining oil, potatoes, butter, sauce and basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from My Rice Bowl: Korean Cooking Outside the Lines, by Rachel Yang and Jess Thomson.

To register for Rachel’s talk on Friday, November 10, contact: rec@ice.edu or call ICE Customer Service at 212-847-0770.

Interested in studying the culinary arts at ICE? Learn more about our career training programs.

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