Hummus with Roasted Chili and Carrots

I really like this, make sure you finish with the best extra virgin olive oil you have, it’s worth it.

Best hummus recipe

This hummus recipe, like many of the other dishes on my site, involves playing with flavors. Growing up in a Palestinian and Spanish/Puerto Rican home, I always knew that my palate was a little different. With a pantry stocked with tahini, zaa’tar, sazón, and sofrito, our cooking was often a melting pot of our multicultural upbringing. Those early experiences really shaped the way that I  looked at food. As a child, I learned that combining flavors of different cuisines can open a world of creativity. To this day, I am always looking for ways to add more flavor, spice, and life to traditional foods.  Rather than calling this cooking style “fusion cuisine,” to me, it’s simply about seeing the kitchen as a place of limitless possibilities. A little chili here and a little spice there, some Latin gusto over there, and you’ve added another dimension to your cooking.

My latest…

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How to Cure Guanciale in Six Steps

I have yet to try this, but it’s on my “to do” list!

We Are Chefs

Todd Kelly 5x7
Recipe and article by Todd Kelly, executive chef and director of food and beverage at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Cincinnati
This article originally appeared in Sizzle Magazine, the American Culinary Federation’s digital quarterly for culinary students.

Guanciale is the Italian word for “cheek” and is a basic method of curing a whole muscle. Derived from the pig’s jowls, guanciale has a wonderful texture and aroma with just the right amounts of fat. I source very fresh, high-quality pig jowls, then season with a curing mixture to crust the jowls to cure for seven days. I then rinse the jowls, dry in a refrigerator overnight and let the meat hang for three weeks in a 58-degree curing room until it loses 30% of its original weight.

The process of curing meat dates back to ancient times, before the invention of refrigeration. The application of salt, sugar and seasonings preserve…

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Roasted Vegetable Terrine En Croute

Eggplant, zucchini, button mushrooms, roasted red peppers, yellow squash, carrots.

This is not an easy task, I say this because it’s time consuming, first all of the vegetables need to cleaned, trimmed and sliced separately, followed by different marinades, then roasting and chilling.  The last time I made this I spent the first morning, about two and a half hours trimming, marinating and roasting. The afternoon, while the vegetables were chilling, the pastry was made and allowed to rest. Day two the triangular terrine lined with the pastry, the first vegetable I have always started is eggplant, followed by a sprinkling of powdered gelatin between every other layer of vegetable. I used different herbs and flavors for each layer, and a small amount of decent oil. Take care not to roast the vegetables to much, as they will finish cooking in the terrine.

Before reaching the center of the terrine, season the goat cheese with salt and pepper and the herbs of your choosing, when the mixture is smooth and you can pipe it in a pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip or no tip at all, lay in a nice large bead of the cheese right in the center, tap the pan on the counter a few times to make sure it is seated, not to hard. The way I did the mushrooms, was trim each on so they can sit shoulder to shoulder, rubbing against each other, follow with the remaining vegetables again sprinkle with the gelatin, each time you do this take care not to use to much, a quarter teaspoon should be plenty.

Now your ready to finish, by finish, I mean top the terrine with the pastry, save any and all pastry scraps, you will need them to decorate the top, I always use a small circle cutter to make vents along the top, these ports have two jobs, one the allow steam to escape, second they are excellent inlets to top off the filling with seasoned aspic, by “seasoned” I mean aspic with any good sherry, such as Amontillado, my favorite. This should happen at least twice, chilling between filling, that was not intended to rhyme, but it did.

The last time we served this we made Zadziki to accompany the slices. I bought the terrine molds from JB Prince in New York, they have a big web presence and enjoy talking with chefs finding out what our needs are.


Today I Sold My Speedometer

For as long as I’ve had my Dodge, today was the first time I have sold anything from my spares pile, not a big item anyway you look at it, not many miles on it either, 13,500 or so. The fellow Dodger who I sent it to Dave in Clayton, OK got a nice deal, if it fits, it ships $13.45, no more, no less. He sent me a M.O. for twenty dollars, as the item in question was his for $10.00, so I got for my efforts $6.55 and a smaller inventory. Added bonus for him, I sent along 3 glove box bumpers a $3.00 value and a 1/2 dozen P-38’s GI can openers, a great item to have at your disposal or on a key ring.

The P-38’s were a gift, many years ago from my Chef Instructor, Chef Anthony Andrews CEC, RIP, Community College of Baltimore/Baltimore’s International Culinary Art’s Institute. Tony was not my first mentor/instructor, nor was he the last. The first was my Grandmother, Grace Elizabeth Green, (my Mom’s mother) the next was Bill aka; William Fulton, RIP, Master Sergeant, US Army, Papa Co., Ft. Lee Quartermaster School, Petersburg, VA. Our paths would cross again 25 or so years later.

As the years go by friend come and go, the real good one always make the rounds, and so it happened with a move from Baltimore, MD to Richmond, VA and joining another ACF Chapter, the ACF Virginia Chefs Association, there was Bill Fulton, running the local public high school Culinary Arts program, simultaneously the chapter Apprenticeship Program for ACF/VCA, VA011.

What started this story was how work associates turn into friends, or like minded people. Most time kitchen people look out for one another, double check each other’s Mes en’ Place. (another word for prep) Once this degree of camaraderie has been achieved, the staff almost always tends to look out for each other, they are a team, they know each other jobs and how to work each others station, this is how it should be!

Now back to my Dodge M-37, I am ready to put my ETW1 Ball & Ball Carburetor on the bench and start a rebuild, in hopes of attending a few HMV (Historic Military Vehicle) events this spring, more on that next time.



Find A Mentor – Be A Mentor

This is an excellent means of learning, someone who will give advice be there for a Commie or young student. From my experience anyone who has had a Mentor, usually ends up being a Mentor. Learning a trade such as ours is not as rewarding early on.

We Are Chefs

By Paul Sorgule, MS, AAC

An often maligned statement on what it takes to succeed is familiar to most people:

“It’s not so much what you know as it is who you know.”

This infers that with friends in the right places, you can succeed even if you are incompetent. We can all point to someone like this, but I interpret this statement differently. I believe that competence is a given and that no one can succeed long term without the skills and aptitude to perform at an acceptable level. With this in mind, surrounding yourself with others who serve as an inspiration, confidant, teacher and guide, and most importantly a critic who points you in the right direction, will only help you reach your goals.


For those seeking to define their place in the world, whether it be professionally or personally, the one piece to the puzzle that allows…

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