Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Tricks of the Trade - Kitchen Safety
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Tricks of the Trade - Avocados
The most important thing to keep in mind is to make a clean, smooth cut from the top of the avocado all the way down around the sides, and down to the bottom. By starting at the stem end and slicing down on each side, you will be able to easily twist the halves, opening up to the center.
To remove the pit, simply hold the pitted half in the palm of your hand, skin side down. Then, take a fork and stick it into the pit, being careful not to stab your hand. Simply twist the knife so that the pit is separated from the flesh.
Finally, take a large spoon and gently slip between the soft flesh and the skin, taking precautions not to tear and mangle the flesh.
Once the avocado is removed from the skin, it is ready to be cubed, sliced, or mashed.
2 Haas avocados
1 teaspoon kosher salt or Matt's Mix
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1 large jalapeno pepper
Tequila, to taste
Split avocados in half. Remove the pits and scoop out the flesh into a glass or stainless steel bowl. Add the salt and garlic and mash.Chop the cilantro. Halve the jalapeno and remove the ribs and the seeds; mince. Halve the lime and squeeze the juice over the mashed avocados. Add a splash of tequila. (Be careful, you don't want too much in there!) Add the cilantro and minced jalapeno and combine thoroughly with avocados.
Taste and add more salt, lime, and/or more jalapeno if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tip: To prevent the guacamole from browning while in the refrigerator, lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole and press down gently, pushing out any air between the dip and the plastic wrap. Doing so will slow down the oxidation of the avocado caused by the exposure to the oxygen in the air.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Today, they could be considered “super foods” because of their nutritional value. Mushrooms are one of the highest antioxidant vegetables in the world. The antioxidant L-Ergothioneine is abundant in mushrooms, and enhanced by the presence of vitamin C and selenium. Also, one Portobello mushroom has more potassium than a banana.
There are over 2,500 mushroom varieties that are grown worldwide. Porcini, Portobello, Shiitake, Crimini, Oyster, Button, the celebrated Morel, and of course, the sumptuous truffle, are just a few favorites.
Cooking with mushrooms is incredibly simple, although many people are mystified by cleaning them. The best way to clean mushrooms is to use a soft brush and gently sweep away the dirt. Since mushrooms are very much like a sponge, due to their high water content, it is not a good idea to drench them in water. Then, remove the stem and slice.
Stems can be cleaned and saved for soups, as well the “gills” from Portobello’s.
Mushrooms enhance pasta dishes, risotto, kebabs, burgers, roasts, soups, stuffing, rustic pizzas, appetizers, lending their distinct, warm and woodsy flavors to your recipes.
Can’t get your favorite wild mushroom? Dried mushrooms are the perfect alternative in a pinch. Simply reconstitute the dried mushrooms with boiling water or broth for 5 to 10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Strain off the liquid, but don’t throw it away- it’s full of flavor, and can be used in sauces, soups, dressings, and braising broths.
Mushrooms can be used in almost any preparation, and any time of the year, especially once dried mushrooms are a pantry staple. Using mushrooms will add new flavor profiles to your favorite dishes and add nutritional value as well.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Grilled Asparagus with Manchego
Grilled Asparagus with Manchego
2 lbs. fresh asparagus, trimmed
2 Tb. pure olive oil
As needed, Matt's Mix or salt & pepper
2 oz. Aged Manchego, grated or shaved
Heat grill to medium-high. In a large bowl, toss the asparagus with oil and season with Matt’s Mix. Grill, turning occasionally, until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with the manchego and serve.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Noodles with Chicken & Spicy Peanut Sauce
1 package rice noodles
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup julienned carrots
1 English Cucumber, diced
Roasted or Rotisserie chicken, meat pulled from bones, shredded and skin removed
Peanut Sauce, as needed (recipe below)
Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a medium pot; cook noodles 3 minutes. Place cabbage in a colander and drain noodles over cabbage; immediately rinse with cold water. Drain again. Toss cabbage and noodles in a bowl.
1 cup Peanut butter
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/2 cup Lime juice 1/4 cup Sesame seed oil
4 Tb. Garlic, minced
2 Tb. Tobasco sauce/Sambal
2 Tb. Brown sugar
1/2 can of Coconut milk (or more as needed)
combine all in the bowl of a food processor.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Chicken Noodle Soup in a Snap
This weekend, I found myself in just this same situation. With work demands, as well as a brief trip out of town, topped off with a touch of a cold, I knew that a batch of chicken noodle soup was in order, but wanted to make it quickly.
There's a secret to making the perfect batch of chicken noodle soup in a snap - a rotisserie chicken. Here's the recipe - enjoy!
Chicken Noodle in a Snap
1 rotisserie chicken
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large Spanish onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small heart of celery, chopped
3/4 cup white wine (I tend to use what's open in the fridge)
2 quarts chicken broth
1 small bunch of fresh sage, stems removed and leaves minced
2 - 3 cups of egg noodles
Matt's Mix or Salt & Pepper to taste
Remove the skin from the rotisserie chicken, and discard the skin. Shred the chicken off the bones and set the bones in a large stock pot, and cover with the broth. Simmer the broth and bones while you prep all of your other vegetables (about 15 - 20 minutes).
**TIP - if you routinely buy a rotisserie chicken, save the carcass in a ziplock bag and keep it in the freezer, for additional flavor boosters as needed.
Using a strainer, pour the chicken broth into another bowl and set aside. Discard the bones. Using that same stock pot, add a small amount of canola oil or pure olive oil (cover the bottom of the pot) and start to saute the onions, stirring occasionally so they do not burn.
When the onions are nicely caramelized, take the white wine and pour it into the stock pot, scraping up the caramelized bits off the bottom of the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the carrots and celery. Add the stock. Simmer until the carrots are tender.
Add the egg noodles and continue to simmer until the noodles are tender. Add the minced sage and season with Matt's Mix or salt & pepper to taste. Serve.