By Chef Jenny McCoy, School of Pastry & Baking Arts

As summer winds down to a close, we’re all eager to make the most of our favorite warm-weather traditions. When it comes to dessert, there’s nothing that says summer fun like a batch of DIY s’mores. In honor of National S’mores Day, I’m sharing my go-to recipes for fluffy marshmallows and cinnamon graham crackers, plus some of my top tips for making them special—with or without the campfire.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Siegel

Photo Credit: Rebecca Siegel

  1. Indoor s’mores are just as fun. Simply use a stovetop gas burner or hand-held kitchen torch to toast.
  2. Keep it simple. If you don’t have time to make every component from scratch, just make one! (I recommend the homemade marshmallows.)
  3. Or get creative. Try mixing and matching different marshmallow flavors with milk chocolate, semisweet, dark or white chocolate bars.
  4. Know your audience. For kids, good ol’ Hershey’s is the classic pick for a reason. But for adults with more discerning palates, splurge on higher-quality chocolate bars; it will make all the difference.
  5. Skewers are all around you. Twigs, bamboo and metal skewers, or even leftover wooden chopsticks from your Chinese take-out will all work well for toasting marshmallows over an open flame.
  6. Make a big batch. Prefer to do the marshmallow toasting in a single batch? You can brown marshmallows under your broiler for a couple of minutes on piece of aluminum foil, then spread the gooey goodness on graham crackers. (A great option for those without a gas range, kitchen torch or grill!)

HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS

Yield: Makes about 84 one-inch cubed marshmallows

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 5 teaspoons (2 envelopes) powdered gelatin
  • ½ cup plus ⅓ cup cold water
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • 4 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla, almond, peppermint, lemon, raspberry, coconut or orange extract, to taste
  • Food coloring, as desired
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch together. Set aside.
  2. Lightly coat a 9” x 9” baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, pressing the film directly onto the base and sides of the pan. Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch mix evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan, reserving the remainder for later use.
  3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ½ cup cold water, and let stand to soften.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites on low speed. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the granulated sugar, corn syrup, remaining ⅓ cup of water and salt over medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 245° F, about 12 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from heat, increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture over the egg mixture.
  6. Add the softened gelatin to the mixer, and whip until combined. Add the flavoring and food coloring, as desired. Increase the speed of the mixer to high, and whip until thick, glossy and tripled in volume.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch mix evenly over the top of the marshmallows. Chill marshmallows, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
  8. Invert the pan onto a large cutting board and gently peel away the plastic wrap. With a large knife, kitchen shears, or a pizza wheel, trim the edges of the marshmallows and cut into desired shapes. Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch mix over cut marshmallows and toss to coat on all sides.

kevin beecroftCINNAMON GRAHAM CRACKERS

Yield: Makes approximately 30 crackers, depending on size

  • 2 cups graham flour
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon-sugar, for dusting (optional)
  1. Place the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the molasses, milk, and vanilla extract and process until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. Press the ball into a ½-inch thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Position two racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 350° F
  3. Unwrap the chilled dough, place it on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Roll the dough out to ⅛-inch thick and transfer the rolled dough between parchment papers to a baking sheet.
  4. Gently remove the top sheet of parchment paper and cut the dough, using a pizza cutter and ruler as a guide, into 2-inch square pieces, or desired shapes. Trim and discard any excess dough. Using a fork, poke holes into the cut dough in desired pattern. Leave the crackers on the pan and bake until the edges just start to darken, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven; if using, dust with cinnamon-sugar before cooling. Let the crackers cool on the baking sheet completely. Once completely cool, carefully break into individual pieces.

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Click here for more ways to celebrate summer sweets at ICE. Tempted to spend more time in your kitchen? Check out more recipes from ICE.

 

By Shannon Mason 

It’s always a privilege when we can invite our alumni back to ICE to share their professional expertise with our students, including those in recreational cooking classes. Recently we welcomed back Ivy Stark, a 1995 graduate of ICE’s Culinary Arts program, and currently the Corporate Executive Chef of Dos Caminos, a critically-acclaimed restaurant with several locations in New York City as well as New Jersey and Florida.

ICE - Recreational Classes - Dos Caminos Ivy Stark Tacos

Chef Ivy Stark (right) with fellow ICE alum Jackie Ourman (Culinary Arts ’13).

The restaurant thrives on her creative vision, featuring a menu of Mexican cuisine with a modern twist. Far from your typical plates of rice and beans, it is an elegant take on this popular cuisine. Needless to say, ICE is always looking to feature the most innovative chefs, and there are few better suited than Ivy to share a fresh take on the classic taco.

Ivy’s class focused on three dishes from her recently-published cookbook, Dos Caminos Tacos: 100 Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Mexican Street Food. She led us through the preparation of a three-course menu featuring a Watercress, Jicama and Orange Salad; Baja-style Mahi Mahi Tacos with Citrus-Cucumber Relish; and Prickly Pear Tres Leches.

What I love best about Mexican cuisine is the fresh combination of cilantro, fresh citrus, and jalapeño, and Ivy showed us how to maximize the flavors of all our ingredients. For example, she showed me how to supreme an orange—slicing in-between the membrane so the wedges separate from the bitter white ends. This allows the citrus juices to escape from the segments, providing extra moisture, flavor, and even color to dishes like the Watercress, Jicama and Orange Salad we prepared.

ICE - Recreational Classes - Dos Caminos Ivy Stark Tacos

Ivy demonstrates how to supreme an orange.

In addition to providing tips to bring out the most flavor from our ingredients, Ivy also showed us a number of clever time-saving techniques. One of the most useful we learned that night involved my favorite herb: cilantro. I used to dread any recipe that called for whole cilantro leaves, as picking off each leaf one by one is such a tedious task. From Ivy, I learned to position my knife at an angle close to the cutting board to shave the cilantro leaves from the stems in one easy motion, making this task a quick and painless step in my mise en place.

ICE - Recreational Classes - Dos Caminos Ivy Stark Tacos

My favorite trick of the night was the way Ivy de-seeded the jalapeños. Have you ever handled a jalapeño and, even after washing your hands, still found that the burning sensation made its way to your eyes? Fans of coconut oil—add one more awesome tip to your list: after cutting the jalapeños or chiles, rub some coconut oil on your hands and then wash your hands with soap and water. The compound responsible for the burning feeling, called capsaicin, is oil-soluble and loosens from your pores when coconut oil is massaged into your skin. Don’t have coconut oil? Running your hands through your hair—where natural oil is always readily available—produces a similar effect.

When it came time to eat, the main event was Ivy’s Baja-style Mahi Mahi Tacos. But what does “Baja-style” mean? Compared to preparing tacos the way most Americans are used to—Tex-Mex-style, which smothers dishes in greasy melted cheese and heavy spices—Ivy’s tacos were all about light and fresh flavors from a variety of citrus juices, fresh herbs, and the natural heat of chiles and jalapeños. Even the texture was a game-changer, from the crispy beer-battered filets to a crunchy relish made with cucumbers, white cabbage, red onions, and more. However, those who missed the comforting Tex-Mex creaminess of sour cream or cheese found salvation in the chipotle aioli we prepared from scratch. With mayo, dill, garlic, lime, and chipotle purée, just a drizzle of this spicy and creamy red sauce is all you need.

ICE - Recipe - Dos Caminos Ivy Stark Tacos

A fresh take on the beloved and traditional tres leches was the perfect end to our meal. While one of my favorite desserts, its cream-white color does not do its flavors any justice—Ivy’s recipe for Prickly Pear Tres Leches changes all that. Not only was the prickly pear purée a creative addition, it gave the dessert an attractive boost of color as well as an appealing, fruitier flavor.

So now it’s your turn to dive into Ivy’s modern Mexican dishes: we’re sharing her recipe for those delicious Baja-style tacos below, so test them out for yourself!

ICE - Recreational Classes - Dos Caminos Ivy Stark Tacos

Baja-Style Mahi Mahi Tacos with Chipotle Aioli

Yield: Serves 4

Mahi Mahi Tacos

  • 8 (3-ounce) mahi mahi fillets (cod or pollock may be substituted)
  • oil for frying
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ice-cold Mexican beer, such as Tecate
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 4 limes, quartered
  1. Preheat a fryer or a deep pot, filled halfway with oil, to 375º F.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients, then whisk in the beer.
  3. Sprinkle the pieces of mahi mahi with the salt, then dip into prepared batter.
  4. Deep-fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Quickly warm the tortillas. Place one piece of mahi mahi on each tortilla, garnish with a little of the cucumber-citrus relish, and drizzle each taco with a tablespoon of the chipotle aioli hot sauce (recipe below).
  6. Fold the tortillas in half. Place two tacos on each plate and serve warm with lime quarters.

Chipotle Aioli

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dill, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle puree
  1. Purée in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.

 

Want to learn more secrets of the pros? Check out ICE’s recreational classes.

Inspired by Ivy’s recipes? Learn more about our culinary arts program.

 

By Casey Feehan

“There are no new ideas,” the old saying goes. Yet every day a chef will challenge himself to disprove that statement, reimagining the experience of eating and bringing new life to the tried-and-true. Take fish sauce, for example. The 2,000-year old staple of asian cuisine was recently upgraded to “it” condiment, but how to improve upon something with that kind of history? Enter Chef James Briscione’s recipe for Fish Sauce Peanut Brittle, a creative twist on the salty, nostalgic sweet that’s nothing short of surprising.

fish sauce peanut brittle

Fish Sauce Peanut Brittle

Ingredients

  • 415 g sugar
  • 88 g fish sauce
  • 4 g chile
  • 225 g peanut

Instructions

  1. In a heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar, fish sauce and chile. Place the pot over medium heat, swirling the mixture occasionally (do not stir). If you notice crystals forming around the edge of the pan, wipe the inside of the pot with a moistened brush to wash the crystals back into the mixture.
  2. Continue cooking at a simmer until the mixture has a deep brown color (12-15 minutes). Carefully judge the color as the fish sauce will make the caramel look darker than it really is. When fully cooked, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the peanuts.
  3. Immediately pour the mixture out onto a greased sheet of wax paper. Cool completely to harden, then break into smaller portions.

For more recipes by ICE Chef Instructors, click here.

 

By Stephanie Fraiman

Chef Chad Pagano loves doughnuts. Their basic recipe is a canvas for creativity, with no limit to the toppings, glazes and flavor profiles that can work their magic on the sweetened dough. Across the world, chefs of all cultures add their own twist to the beloved pastry, and—at least in America—that’s an idea worth celebrating.

Rec Donuts-029

In honor of National Doughnut Day, we asked Chad to share his expert tips, so you can craft the perfect batch.

  1. Don’t over-mix.
    “A lot of amateur bakers tend to overmix doughnuts. The best cake doughnuts have a little bumpiness and irregularity to them—that’s OK. Don’t over-mix cake or yeast doughnuts; that makes the doughnuts too chewy and tough—the last thing we want.”
  2. Temperature is key.
    “This is especially important when making yeast doughnuts. You want to mix the yeast with the water or milk at 100 degrees. Keep the rest of your ingredients at room temperature. When combined, you’ll get the perfect temperature for rising dough—78-82 degrees.”
  3. Resist the urge to add more flour.
    “If your dough is too sticky, wrap it in plastic and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour to rest.”
  4. Invest in a digital thermometer.
    “People don’t realize that they need a certain temperature when frying. I fry doughnuts in shortening—the thicker viscosity prevents the fat from penetrating the doughnut—at a nice high temperature, 375 F, and that temperature needs to be maintained. If you’re using other oils (like canola) bring it down to 360 F.”
  5. Don’t over-fry.
    “A good doughnut is dropped in the oil and sinks to the bottom. As the gasses expand in the doughnut, the dough rises. Fry it about one minute on each side, and don’t flip it too many times.”
  6. Have patience.
    “Don’t glaze doughnuts while they are hot. You want to make sure the doughnut is room temperature, so the glaze doesn’t melt off, which just looks sloppy. You want the doughnut cooled off a bit, then dip it into a nice hot glaze and shake it a little so the glaze sits on the doughnut.”

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Yield: Approximately 15 doughnuts, plus holes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unfiltered apple cider
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • ½ cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • ¾ stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups sugar, divided

Instructions:

  1. Boil cider until reduced to about 1/3 cup, then cool completely.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
  3. Whisk reduced cider, buttermilk, butter, eggs, and 1 cup sugar in a small bowl.  Stir into dry ingredients until a dough forms (it will be very sticky).
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and pat out with floured hands into a 13-inch round.  Cut out doughnuts and fry at 370F degrees until done.  When slightly cooled, dredge in cinnamon sugar (made with remaining cup sugar and cinnamon).

For more of Chef Chad’s signature doughnut recipes, visit TODAY.com.

 

By Casey Feehan

Five decades may have gone by, but Nutella remains as sweet as ever. The beloved chocolate-hazelnut spread celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a nation-wide, 16-city food truck tour. In light of the tour, ABC News turned to chefs across the nation, including ICE’s own Director of Culinary Development, Chef James Briscione, to develop iconic Nutella desserts that celebrate the local culinary culture of each of the truck’s 16 stops. James chose to reinterpret Bananas Foster, a classic New Orleans dessert invented in the 1950s. It’s difficult to imagine caramelized bananas and rum leaving room for improvement, but a whipped Nutella cream transforms the dish into a celebration-worthy stunner.

Nutella 50th Anniversary - Banana's Foster Tart with Nutella Mousse - James Briscione / ice.edu

Bananas Foster Tartlet with Nutella Cream

Yield: 4 servings

For the Frangipane:

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup granulated white sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup finely ground hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1 fl oz dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Instructions:

  1. Combine the sugar, salt and butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla and rum; continue mixing until fully incorporated.
  3. Add the ground nuts and flour and fold together until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Excess frangipane may be stored refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

For the tartlets:

Ingredients:

  • 4 (4-inch) rounds puff pastry
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • Granulated sugar, as needed
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup Nutella

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F
  2. Place the rounds of puff pastry on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spread the frangipane on the dough, leaving an approximately ¼ inch border. Bake the tart until the crust is risen around the frangipane and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan.
  3. Thinly slice the bananas and tile over the tarts. Spread a thin, even layer of sugar over the tart and brûlée with a torch.
  4. Pour the cream into a chilled bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Place the Nutella in a separate bowl. Whisk half of the whipped cream into the Nutella. Add the remaining cream and fold together until smooth and lightened.
  5. To serve, place the brûléed tart in the center of a plate and top with the Nutella cream.

 

By Shannon Mason

I find eating a plant-based diet extremely rewarding, but I’ll be the first to admit that it is especially challenging to do so during the colder months. Eating a raw crunchy salad never seems to sufficiently warm me up after a long commute through freezing puddles and heavy winds. However, after taking ICE’s Five-Course Winter Vegan Dinner class with Chef Louisa Shafia, author of the IACP nominated Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life and The New Persian Kitchen, I have found that vegan cuisine can be just as warming as the heartiest of meat dishes.

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Pomegranate Soup

Louisa’s passion for Persian and Iranian cuisine, coupled with her love of produce-driven and eco-friendly cuisine, was evident in the recipes she chose for our class. All of the dishes were varied in texture, vibrant in color and so delicious that there was no need to include fake meats and dairy substitutes. For those with an interest in adding meat, however, Chef Shafia mentioned that animal proteins typically used in Persian-Iranian cuisine could easily be worked into any of the recipes we made.

084

Our Tamarind Beet Glaze–tangy and delicious!

Exploring unfamiliar ingredients is always my favorite part of any cooking class, especially those used in vegan and international dishes. My first encounter with tamarind paste was unforgettable. Blended with beet juice, this tangy sweet mixture formed the Tamarind Beet Glaze, which we drizzled over the breaded Chickpea Cakes. I also tasted dulse – a reddish-brown, protein-packed sea plant – for the first time. Using tongs, this moist and chewy plant was quickly passed over the burner’s flame until lightly toasted. We then added it as a garnish on our Red Cabbage, Apple and Dulse Salad.

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Chef Louisa demonstrates how to loosen the seeds in a pomegranate by whacking it with a wooden spoon.

Perhaps the strangest ingredient I encountered was agar-agar powder—a clear, tasteless substance that originates from sea vegetables and is also known as “kanten”. When mixed with water, it becomes a thickening agent for fruit, pies and jams, like gelatin. This formed the base of our Pear Kanten with Pecan Crunch dessert.

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De-seeding the pomegranates.

Cooking ingredients from scratch often comes with labor intensive preparations, but by learning the proper skills and techniques, it doesn’t have to be a chore. Chef Louisa took time to show us the various qualities of agar-agar powder, as well as how to break down an enormous, stubborn butternut squash, which we roasted for the Mediterranean Shepherd’s Pie. We also learned how to cut open a pomegranate without squirting its red juice all over the kitchen (cut the fruit in half and whack the back of it with a wooden spoon; the seeds drop out effortlessly).

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From left: Red Cabbage, Apple and Dulse Salad; Chickpea Cakes Drizzled with Tamarind Beet Glaze.

Pomegranate proved to be the star ingredient in this class, finding a home in nearly every recipe we made. It became a delicious garnish, when paired with cilantro, for my favorite dish of the night—the pomegranate soup. Rich in color, spices, legumes and of course, pomegranates, this soup ended my search for a wholesome, warming vegan dish. I loved it so much, I asked Chef Louisa to share the recipe with you. I encourage you to try making this at home as cool weather lingers in these early spring months.

Recipe: Pomegranate Soup

Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup split peas
  • ½ cup lentils
  • ½ cup dried mung beans
  • ½ cup pearled barley
  • 1 large beet, peeled and diced small
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 12 cups vegetable stock or water
  • ½ cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate

Instructions:

  1. To make the soup, heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat and cook the onion for about 10 minutes, until it starts to brown. Add the garlic, split peas, lentils, mung beans, barley, beet, turmeric, cumin, and stock, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 1½ hours, until the beans and barley are tender and the soup is slightly thickened.
  2. Add the pomegranate molasses to the soup. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the cilantro. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.

Reprinted with permission from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

 

 

By Chef Lourdes ReynosoCulinary Arts Chef-Instructor

Chicken and rice soup is one of those comfort foods that has no borders. This style of making soup is prevalent in Mexico, Latin America and my home country, the Philippines. Filipino food is deeply rooted in Spanish and Chinese cooking traditions, and my mother’s recipe of Arroz Caldo is a good example of the melding of the two cultures. Growing up, we had this popular soup mainly for “merienda”, a mid-afternoon light meal.

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Courtesy of Ernesto Andrade on Flickr.com

Arroz Caldo

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 serving size pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup short grain rice (like Arborio)
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 7 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 10 slices (size of a quarter) ginger
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

     For Garnish

  • 1 tsp. fried, chopped garlic per serving
  • slices of scallions (green part)

Instructions

  1. In a soup pot, heat oil and sweat the garlic and onions until tender.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and the 2 types of rice. Stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock/broth, ginger and pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 35 minutes or until chicken is done.
  4. Season with fish sauce, pepper and sesame oil.
  5. Serve in bowls topped with fried garlic and sliced green scallions.

 

By James Briscione, Director of Culinary Development and Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor

For ICE’s recent hands-on cooking event with the New York Jets, I crafted a fun spin on classic chili. Slow-roasted pork carnitas and beer impart a deep, smoky flavor, while the simple addition of beans and broth rounds out the dish. The recipe was a hit at the Jet’s House “50 Yard Lounge” Super Bowl pregame party with player Nick Folk, so it’s sure to be a winning addition for any gameday menu.

carnitas chili

Pork Carnitas Chili & Jalapeno Griddlecakes

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fatty pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco Pepper Sauce
  • 1 beer
  • 4 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
For garnish
  • fresh cilantro or scallions
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
Instructions
  1. Place the pork cubes in a bowl, add the brown sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, kosher salt and Tabasco.
  2. Toss well to evenly coat the meat.
  3. Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight
  4. The next day, preheat oven to 350˚F.
  5. Transfer the pork to a large, heavy sauce pot.
  6. Add the beer, 1 cup of the chicken stock, onion, garlic, and bay leaves.
  7. Bring the pot to a simmer and cover with a lid.
  8. Transfer to the oven and cook 2 hours.
  9. After two hours, remove the pot from the oven and transfer the pork cubes to another ovenproof dish, leaving any the liquid behind in the pot.
  10. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F.
  11. Place the dish with the pork cubes in the oven, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, or until the pork is browned.
  12. While the pork cubes are in the oven, place the pot with the liquid back on the stove. Add the remaining chicken stock (3 cups) and bring to a simmer. Skim any excess fat from the surface.
  13. When pork is browned, remove from the oven and drain and discard the excess fat. Allow the pork to cool, then shred it with a fork.
  14. Add the beans and shredded pork to pot of simmering liquid. Stir well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  15. Divide into bowls and serve with cornmeal pancakes.

Jalapeno and Cheddar Cornmeal Pancakes

Yield: Approximately 20 cakes

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 14 fl oz milk
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Place the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the melted butter, eggs, milk, jalapeno and cheese. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined.
  2. Preheat a griddle or cast iron skillet. Lightly oil the surface and drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the heated surface and cook until bubbles form. Flip and brown on the second side.
  3. Once browned, remove from griddle. Serve with chili.

 

By Chef Sabrina Sexton

One of my favorite things to teach students is to make mozzarella from scratch. This milky, soft, stretched-curd cheese from Campania is best when super fresh, ideally eaten the same day its made.

Fortunately, it’s easier to make than most people think. You start by making the curd, which is the basis of the cheese, then warm and stretch it to develop mozzarella’s unique texture. Most restaurants buy prepared curd and simply do the stretching themselves, but if you don’t need a large amount, making the curd is easy, too.

 

cheese

Mozzarella Curd

*I get most of my cheese-making supplies from either http://www.thecheesemaker.com or http://www.leeners.com

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon whole milk (preferably not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 2 teaspoons citric acid dissolved in ¼ cup non-chlorinated water
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in ¼ cup non-chlorinated water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Place the milk in a large saucepan or small stock pot. Heat the milk over low heat, stirring occasionally. When the temperature reaches 55º F, add the citric acid and mix thoroughly. Continue to heat the milk until the temperature reaches 87º to 89º F. Remove from the heat.
  2. Gently stir in the diluted rennet with an up-and-down motion. Allow the milk to stand until the curds form, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut the curds.
  3. Once the curds form, reheat the milk slowly to 108º F. Turn the heat off and let the curds stand for 20 minutes while the whey is dispelled. The whey should be clear and the curd should be slice-able.
  4. Scoop out the curds and gently press to release the excess whey.

Mozzarella Cheese

Yield: Makes about 1½ pounds

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon (16 cups) water
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 pounds (about 4 cups) mozzarella curd , cut into small pieces*

Instructions

  1. Prepare the water: Place the water and salt in a large saucepan. Heat the water until bubbles begin to appear on the surface, or an instant read thermometer registers 180º F. Turn off the heat.
  2. Heat the cheese curd: While the water is heating, place the cubes of cheese in a large bowl. When the water is ready, carefully pour the hot water over the cheese. Let the cheese cubes sit in the water for about 1 minute without stirring them. After 1 minute, gently stir them with a wooden spoon and look at the curd. If the cheese is heated through the curd will look smooth (like melted mozzarella) and is ready to be stretched. If the cheese curd is not completely heated through it will look grainy and still have some of the cubes. If so, it needs to sit in the hot water for another few minutes until soft.
  3. Stretch the curd: Working quickly, before the cheese cools down too much, stretch the curd with the wooden spoon until the cheese is smooth and elastic. Lift and stretch the curd to develop a stringy texture. Be careful not to overwork the curd: this will make you cheese heavy and too chewy. As the cheese cools it will begin to stiffen and become harder to stretch. The cheese is ready to be shaped before it cools completely.
  4. Shape the cheese: Divide the cheese into two or three pieces and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap, twisting the ends of the plastic wrap to help the cheese form a round shape. Place the cheese in an ice bath, if desired, to help hold its shape.
  5. Serve the cheese immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week

Sabrina is a lead instructor in the Culinary Arts Program at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City.
To learn more about cheesemaking, check out her recreational class on April 9th at ICE.

 

By Chef Jenny McCoy

While working for Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans, I become quite interested in ways to use bay leaves in sweets. Emeril has laurel trees in his backyard, so we were lucky to have fresh leaves picked by Chef himself, and used them in just about all of his savory dishes. I found the flavor of fresh bay leaves similar to mint when lightly steeped in cream—perfect for a panna cotta. In the winter, when blood oranges are at their peak, the two flavors are a wonderful complement and make for a elegant and colorful dessert.

Below is my recipe for Bay Leaf Panna Cotta with Fresh Blood Oranges. You can find this recipe and others like it in my recently published cookbook, Desserts For Every SeasonIf you are interested in learning more creative ways to incorporate blood oranges in desserts, I will be teaching a “Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange Desserts” class on January 24th, 2014. Hope to see you there!

Blood Orange Panna Cotta

Bay Leaf Panna Cotta with Fresh Blood Orange

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 3½ cups whole milk
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 blood oranges

Instructions

  1. Place 8 to 10 small glasses or ramekins on a baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the sugar, salt, and gelatin together and set aside.
  3. Prepare a large bowl full of ice water and set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, cream, bay leaves, and vanilla to a boil. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
  5. Return to a boil. Remove from the heat and, whisking constantly, slowly pour the gelatin mixture into the hot cream. Stir until fully dissolved.
  6. Pour the mixture into a large heatproof bowl, set it over the prepared bowl of ice water, and stir the panna cotta base until it is cooled to room temperature.
  7. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a spouted measuring cup or pitcher, discard the bay leaves, and divide the panna cotta base evenly among the small glasses.
  8. Loosely cover the glasses with a sheet of plastic wrap and carefully transfer to the refrigerator to set overnight.
  9. Just before serving, peel and segment the blood oranges, taking care to remove all the pith, and reserve the juice. Garnish each panna cotta with a few slices of blood orange and a drizzle of the reserved juice.