Summer is almost over! We have one day left before the Autumnal Equinox on September 22. As we embrace the season’s end, we present to you a deliciously simple coconut gelato recipe from Pastry Chef Meredith Kurtzman of Mario Batali’s Otto Restaurant in NYC.

“Since it’s less fatty, we add stronger fresher flavors” says Chef Meredith of gelato vs ice cream.   This recipe can be adapted to your creative heart’s desire. In lieu of the coconut, you could alternatively make:

  • Vanilla Gelato:  add one split vanilla bean to the warm milk, and top the finished gelato with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt
  • Hazelnut Gelato: roast 2 cups of hazelnuts in a 325° F oven for 1 hour, grind them and add to the warm milk.

gelato-chef-kurtzman
COCONUT GELATO
Chef Meredith Kurtzman
Makes 1 quart

Ingredients:
2 cups of dried unsweetened coconut
1 quart of milk
10 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of heavy cream
A pinch of salt

Method:
Toast the coconut in a 250 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.

Heat the milk in a saucepan. Add half of the sugar and bring to a simmer. Steep the coconut (or alternative ingredients) for 30 minutes. Whisk the other half of the sugar with the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. Add the milk to the eggs, gradually so the eggs don’t cook, then return everything to the saucepan.

Gently cook, over low heat, stirring constantly until steam begins to rise. Add the salt and strain the mixture into a bowl.

Chill this custard by placing the bowl in an ice bath and then refrigerating it for at least 6 hours. Follow the directions for your home ice cream maker, OR simply harden in the freezer for an hour or two.

Garnish with a wafer, or pizzelle (Italian waffle cookie) if desired.

Find more delicious recipes from Chef Meredith Kurtzman in the cookbook “Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking” written by our beloved idol Mario Batali.

Categories : Dessert Recipes
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Apr
27

Bread Pronunciation 101

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Because we’re not chumming around with master chefs and epicures 24/7, it can be easy make the error of mispronouncing common food words. We’ve noticed that French and Italian bread terms are often top offenders. So today, our short lesson will teach you how to correctly pronounce several varieties of bread like a champ.

pronounce ""bree-OSH"

Brioche: by flickr user roboppy

BOULE: The French word for ball, boule is really a reference to a shape (round) rather than an actual type of bread. Because no accent exists over the letter “e”, the e is not pronounced. In French, boule is simply pronounced “BOOL”.

BISCOTTI: This crunchy twice baked biscuit in Italian is typically pronounced “bee-SCOT-tee”. The O in the middle syllable is a soft O as spoken in the word “cot”. Click on the arrow to listen to an Italian female version.

BRIOCHE: This eggy buttery French bread is pronounced several different ways. Americans typically say “Bree-OHsh” with the O as in ocean, while often Europeans say “Bree-OSH”, with the OSH rhyming with “wash”. We defer to Julia Child here, as her way MUST be correct no? Julia says it Bree-OSH, as demonstrated here (listen) , and in this gem of a vintage video, “The Story of the Three Brioche“.
Boom. Debate over!

CHALLAH: This beautifully braided Jewish bread typically served on Sabbath is pronounced with no C at all, “HAH-lah”, and Webster nails it. Listen here.

CIABATTA: This rustic porous Italian bread is pronounced “chuh-BAH-tah”. Click the arrow to listen.

CROISSANT: Many people mispronounce the buttery crescent roll. In French, final consonants are silent. So the “T” is not heard, and it’s properly pronounced “kwa-SOHN”. Click the arrow to listen.

FOCACCIA: This classic Italian flat bread is simple to say: “fo-KA-cha“.

PUGLIESE: An Italian bread very similar to ciabatta, but with a round shape. It hails from Puglia Italy, in the region of Apulia, which is in the heel of the boot. Pronounce Pugliese with a silent G, “pool-YAY-say“.

Keep in mind with all of the above, the pronunciation will often vary by the country region.

Do you have a different version of a pronunciation, or would you like to share another commonly mispronounced food word? Let us know in the comments!

xo

Categories : Culinary Tips
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Move over bacon, the Tater Tot is back! Actually this trend has been going strong for quite some time now, and chef created versions of the childhood favorite have had a presence on innovative restaurant menus for several years. Our shout out to the crunchy carby nibble today is our enthusiastic vote to keep the dream alive. Long live the tot!

We present to you our Tater Tot 101 class, which will answer all burning questions: What are they and how did they originate and come to be?

Firstly we want to admit that we have resorted to the freezer on occasion when pressed for time. Please don’t tell our organic gluten free paleo friends from boot camp. (When this happens it’s typically Trader Joe’s frozen gnocchi with gorgonzola or tarte alsace, which are both quite tasty by the way.) But occasionally it can also be complete junk because, hey if you are falling off the real food wagon, why not go all the way with the downward spiral? And though our guilty frozen pleasures don’t usually include these, we have tried them, and apparently America loves them. The Ore Ida frozen tator tot (parent company H.J. Heinz) has been a staple in grocery stores since 1953. 59 years! Here’s how they began. Oregon brothers and founders of Ore Ida, Golden and Nephi Grigg, created tator tots as a way to sell leftover potato bits from their french fry products. Their money saving idea blossomed, and the rest is history. Max Wetzel, associate marketing director for Ore Ida, says “Americans eat an estimated 3.5 billion Tater Tots every year”.

What’s inside the red bag? The Ore Ida classic version Tater Tot ingredients are: “POTATOES, VEGETABLE OIL (SUNFLOWER, COTTONSEED, SOYBEAN, AND/OR CANOLA), SALT, YELLOW CORN FLOUR, ONIONS, DEXTROSE, DISODIUM DIHYDROGEN PYROPHOSPHATE, NATURAL FLAVORING.”

Ouch right? But imagine creating the beloved comforting tot with real potatoes, at home, kicked up a notch gourmet style. Perhaps for breakfast as an egg side, or as a steak alternative to a baked or mashed, or a late night snack after cocktails. Here are a few tasty chef recipes to try, feel free to adapt them to your taste. Enjoy loves!

tater-tot-gourmet-chef-mark

Chef Mark Zeitouni’s Tator Tots

(Winner of grand prize award at the Idaho Potato Commission’s “Side Dish Challenge” at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s burger bash)
Chef Mark is executive chef at the Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill at The Standard Spa and Hotel, Miami Beach

Serves 4.

Ingredients:
2 large Idaho® Russet Potatoes, washed thoroughly
2 shallots, peeled
6 parsley sprigs, picked and roughly chopped
4 scallions, green part only, chopped
Pinch white pepper, finely ground
Pinch sea salt, finely ground
Vegetable oil for frying

Chef’s Note: Carefully read the directions and complete the processes from start to finish without letting the potatoes get cold. It is the warm starch from the barely cooked potatoes that holds the tater tots together.

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place potatoes on baking pan and cook for 20 minutes or until when squeezed the potatoes barely “give.” Remove from oven and set baking pan on top of oven to keep warm for another 20 minutes. (This will allow the center of the potatoes to barely cook so they will not turn brown after shredding. The goal is to have the potatoes barely cooked but not to the point that they turn to mashed potatoes when grated.)
2. Peel the potato skin back using a butter knife or similar. Try not to remove any of the flesh underneath the skin as it will help bind the tater tots.
3. Using either a shredder attachment on a food processor or a hand grater, shred the potatoes into a bowl. Then press the shallots through the shredder attachment or if doing by hand, finely dice.
4. Add the shallots and the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly. The mixture should still be warm and sticky to the touch. At this point, the potatoes can either be pressed into a cookie sheet to a 1-inch thickness or hand formed into balls of the same 1-inch thickness. Wet your hands or rolling pin so the starch will not stick. Once formed allow to cool.
5. Press onto a cookie sheet and cut into 1-inch by 1-inch squares.
6. Heat deep fryer or sauté pan with half inch of vegetable oil to medium high heat and carefully place the tater tots in the oil. Turn the potatoes so all sides are cooked evenly to golden brown. Season lightly with a pinch of sea salt and serve.

Lobster Tater Tots
From Executive Chef Tim Scott of (RIP) Marshall Fields

• 3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and uniformly diced
• 4 tbsp. butter
• 2 tbsp. heavy cream
• 4 slices bacon, cooked and finely chopped
• 1/4 cup chives, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup of cooked lobster meat, finely chopped
• Kosher salt to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 cup flour, for dusting
• 2 eggs
• 1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
• Canola oil for frying

Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, place over high heat and bring to a boil; cook until tender. Drain water and transfer potatoes to a food mill or ricer. Press potatoes through food mill or ricer and into a large bowl. Add butter, cream, bacon, chives and lobster. Mix well, season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until cool and firm, about an hour.

Once mixture has cooled, roll out into 3/4-inch-thick logs and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs with 1/4cup cold water. Roll each Tater Tot in flour, dip into egg wash and roll in bread crumbs (this step can be done ahead of time and Tater Tots can be refrigerated or frozen until ready to cook). Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a deep frying pan over medium-high heat, add canola oil until it is 1/2-inch deep and heat oil. Add Tater Tots and cook, turning occasionally, until they are brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately, or transfer cooked Tater Tots to a parchment-lined baking sheet and reserve in warm oven until ready to serve.

And, be still our hearts. Chef Michael Symon ups the tot ante with a crabmeat version and a bacon version ♥

Crab Tater Tots
Live to Cook by Chef Michael Symon, of Lola restaurant in Cleveland, and Roast in Detroit

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 cup mashed potatoes
Canola oil, for deep-frying
1/2 pound lump crab meat
Panko bread crumbs, for breading
Kosher salt

Directions

In a small saucepan, combine the butter with 1/4 cup water over high heat. When the water comes to a simmer and the butter is melted, add the flour. Reduce the heat to medium and stir until the resulting paste pulls away from the sides of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the egg to the pan and stir vigorously until the egg is incorporated into the flour mixture. Stir in the mashed potatoes and let cool.

Pour enough oil into a medium pot so that the oil comes 3 inches up the sides. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.

While the oil heats, gently fold the crab into the potato mixture; the lumpier the batter, the better. Using two soup spoons, shape the mixture into quenelles, or 2-inch footballs. (You should end up with about 35.) Roll in the panko. Deep-fry, working in batches and turning once, until crisp, brown, and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

Chef Michael Symon’s Bacon Tater Tots
Chef Michael Symon, of Lola restaurant in Cleveland, and Roast in Detroit

Serves 6

Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 cup mashed potatoes
canola oil, for deep-frying
1/2 pound bacon ♥
panko bread crumbs, for breading
kosher salt

Directions

In a small saucepan, combine the butter with 1/4 cup water over high heat. When the water comes to a simmer and the butter is melted, add the flour. Reduce the heat to medium and stir until the resulting paste pulls away from the sides of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the egg to the pan and stir vigorously until the egg is incorporated into the flour mixture. Stir in the mashed potatoes and let cool.

Pour enough oil into a medium pot so that the oil comes 3 inches up the sides. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.

While the oil heats, gently fold the bacon into the potato mixture; the lumpier the batter, the better. Using two soup spoons, shape the mixture into quenelles, or 2-inch footballs. (You should end up with about 35.) Roll in the panko. Deep-fry, working in batches and turning once, until crisp, brown, and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.