Advance Cooking for the Eery'day Cook.

School is in and we are doing it big this week. Are you ready?  

Coconut onion Johnny cake muffins 

Coconut onion Johnny cake muffins 

Today our recipes are a little more advanced than usual, but truly if you're patient enough to read all of the steps and put your touch on everything, you will get it done. 

This recipe was something I remember doing some 15 years ago, but it was recently reimagined after I spoke with one of my favorite cooks Suzette Wallace.

Firstly, the topping must be made separately and added just before baking.

Ingredients for the topping:

2 egg whites (reserve the egg yolks for the muffin)

1 cup freshly grated Bahamian Coconut

1 bunch of green onion, roughly chopped

1 small red onion, roughly chopped

½ cup white organic sugar

MOP ( If you don't know what MOP means that says you haven't been following me and shame on You!) 

In a food processor blend, all the dry ingredients then stream in the egg whites until it all comes together.

Disclaimer......

Listen this isn’t your conventional Johnny cake nor is it a true muffin batter. It is the fusion of the 2. I won’t tell a lie. Usually I record my recipes as I go along, but this time I really wasn’t going to share this recipe, so this is all from the notes I took and sometimes I leave things out. So, if it’s a bit dry or too wet, add or subtract. The end batter should be able to be scooped with a large ice cream scoop.

Ingredients:

2 lbs All purpose flour ( From now on referred to as AP flour) 

2 egg yolks from the topping

1 whole egg

8oz cold unsalted butter

½ cup organic sugar

1 heaping tbsp of baking powder

1 even tsp baking soda

1 even tsp salt

1 cup grated fresh coconut                            

1 quart of milk

½ cup vegetable oil

Melted salted butter for finishing.

MOP:

Mix together all the dry ingredients well. Mix together all the wet ingredients without the butter.

Crumb the butter and the dry ingredients together.  (Meaning in a food processor or kitchen aid or the old school way flake the butter into the flour until it resembles sand). Then fold in the wet ingredients. If you over mix the batter will become DOUGH! (Meaning the gluten will form and you will have a tough bread type very dense muffin). 

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into a lined muffin pan. I use large tulip muffin cups for presentation. Then spoon a tsp of the coconut egg mix on top of the muffin before you bake it.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes then rotate the pan. Then a final bake for 6 more minutes should do. (However, every oven is different so…..)

As soon as they come out the oven brush with a little salted butter and serve.

How the topping should be placed.  

How the topping should be placed.  

THE PERFECT STEAK! FOLLOW THESE STEPS AND YOUR NEXT MEAL CAN LOOK LIKE THIS!   

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The Perfect Steak

As a chef, I was taught the improper meaning of the word consistency. That all food should look and be the same!  However, as I’ve matured I have realized that this is true in some areas and highly irregular in others. How do I get Ms. Debra to make the macaroni the same way as Nadia does? Even if I hand out recipes every day for the same thing they will both produce a product that has their individual fingerprints on it.

I am not a franchise chef. I do not wish to employ or program people to be robots. So, I set standards and encourage everyone to follow them. I also encourage cooks not to be so rigid and understand that unless you are a private chef cooking for the same people at every meal period to let the food flow. No two plates should be identical in presentation but certainly in technique and flavor profiles. 

Please note that any recipe I share is mine. Your job is to make it yours.  Add a little this. Take away a little that and adapt it to your liking. For example, I prefer a hard pan seared char on my steaks. I believe that the open flame of a grill is too harsh to let the “Beefiness” of the meat shine through.

So, here’s my technique for steaks.

1.Choose a great steak. Something at least an inch thick so that you can have a good sear and achieve a good medium temperature.

2.I use a pan on a stove cranked all the way up. I mean this will surely set of your fire alarm that has been chirping in the kitchen for months

3. Season your steaks liberally. Remember that most of the seasoning you apply whether on a grill or pan will “cook” off. Also, if you are going to slice your steaks be sure to add some finishing salt for that extra pop of flavor.

4. You will need a knob, okay more lake a few knobs of good butter, some thyme and fresh rosemary to pan baste the steak while it cooks.

5.Here’s where the technique comes in. Turn your steaks every 30 seconds and count equal turns for each side. This is a bit time consuming but it works!

6.Always, listen this is no joke. Always rest your steaks for at least 7 to 10 minutes before you slice them. You must let the juices redistribute evenly.

Follow these tips and I guarantee that you will have the Perfect steak. (Perfection however is relative lol). 

Not my favorite way to cook a steak but sometimes you want that char that only an open glame can give like on these Asian style beef short ribs. 

Not my favorite way to cook a steak but sometimes you want that char that only an open glame can give like on these Asian style beef short ribs. 

Be patient so that you get a perfect char on the outside of your steak.  

Be patient so that you get a perfect char on the outside of your steak.  

This is one of my favorite recipes. Simple, but complex!   Whole Roasted Chicken.  

Select the best birds you can find. 

Select the best birds you can find. 

Chickens make me happy!    

Chickens make me happy!  

 

 

As we embark on teaching the Bahamian cooking public the secrets of the professional kitchen, we must first teach what we call the “Basics”!

One of the most basic meals any first-year culinary student must learn is, “The Roasted Chicken.” In its simplicity, it is very complex. However, once perfected it teaches an invaluable lesson that carries through too many other dishes. Also, as one of the worlds most prepared dishes we can all relate to the sensations of nostalgia that roasted chicken reminds of all off. From the carving of the chicken to wild yard birds and their morning crows, this dish is reminiscent of many childhood and professional memories for me.

Here are the fundamentals that this dish teaches;

  1. Purchasing, selecting and buying the best bird. Look for an evenly, un-bruised skin bird. One free of any discolorations and extra blood in the packaging. The ultimate would be never frozen as well.
  2. Preparation and organization- This meal requires overnight refrigeration and 4 ½ hour preparation which would require anyone to organize the planning and serving of this dish.
  3. Food safety- Chicken is from that start of its consumption been the biggest health risk. There is only one chicken, The French blue foot chicken that can be consumed below temperatures safely! Thus, the handling storage and preparation of this food item is essential.
  4. Simplicity- As chefs create and develop their skills; we often become so complicated that we forget that less is often more. This dish reminds us that simplicity is always best as this dish screams Chicken and that is exactly what we want it to do.
  5. The chemistry of heat- because of the controls of heat we are reminded that slow heat allows the muscles of most meats to relax versus high heat that contracts the muscle and forces the juices out.

  
Crispy skin is pure technique  

Crispy skin is pure technique  

  A bird so lovely that it had its own photo shoot by famed Bahamian photographer @scharadlphoto 

  A bird so lovely that it had its own photo shoot by famed Bahamian photographer @scharadlphoto 

Perfection often takes time.  

 Simple but Complex!

Crispy skin and succulent flesh are the key goals for this dish! However, to have crispy skin you need high heat and moist flesh you need low steady heat! Thus, lays the conundrum and the complexity of this dish! Follow the following stages and you will prepare the perfected roasted chicken!

Preparation process! (You will need to plan and be patient!)

Four Stage Process

Stage one – brine the chicken – 8% salt solution. Rinse in cool the salt for an hour. Change the water every fifteen minutes- This process makes the chicken even more succulent!

Stage two- This stage creates an extremely delightful crisp skin. (remove the wing tips) boiling water- Plunge the chicken into the boiling water for 30 seconds, to remove any bacteria. Carefully remove and plunge in boiling water! Bring the water back to the boil and repeat the process. After 30 seconds remove and shock in cold water. The key now is to let the chicken dry! This mimics what the Asians do in peeking duck recipe that creates that memorable skin. To do this, drape the chicken with a light airy towel and allow it to dry overnight in your refrigerator. The air in there is very dry and helps with this process in a safe environment.

Stage 3- Lightly season the bird with rock salt and fresh ground pepper. Place the bird straight away into a 60-c oven use a store-bought thermometer that is more reliable than the oven setting. This will cook for 4 ½ hours. The low gentle temperature will allow the bird to cook evenly and safely without drying out which would occur at high temperature. In the meanwhile, take 1 lb. of unsalted butter and the wing tips that you reserved and heat until the butter turns a nutty brown and is infused with the pan roasted wing flavor. Then strain. Pour into a meat basting injector and reserve.

Stage 4- Browning the skin. At the stage, the bird will be totaling cooked but it will not look appealing and will not be crisp! However, we don’t want to dry out the rewards of a slow roasting 4 ½ hours of patience! So, thesim trip here is to do it fast and gentle! To do this, heat a skillet for 7 minutes, add a neutral vegetable oil! Add 2 sage leaves and 3 sprigs of thyme and roll the chicken evenly in the oil for no more than two minutes. Using the basting needle inject the roasted butter into the chicken, whose skin should be wonderfully brown and crisp after the hot thyme oil bath. To serve, sprinkle with fresh plucked thyme leaves and rock salt.

Serve with roasted potatoes and glaze carrots and peas!

Bey all the recipes can't be easy. You want easy or you want memorable. Ok den. Go cook! 

The best ##$%#&@ chocolate cake, full stop!  

 

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The best chocolate cake ever. That or your money back.  ( What money? Lol!) 

May Favorite Chocolate Cake adapted from a recipe I got from Food52.com my favorite recipe site)

This recipe is best in a bundt pan for whatever reason, but my adaptation is used for everything from sheet cakes to cupcakes to birthday cakes. It is that awesome.

Remember baking is a precise genre of cooking. However, baking is affected by so many variables. Things such as oven uniqueness, brand of flour, size and age of eggs and so much more. So, you may have to adjust this recipe like all the recipes I record. 

2          cups organic sugar               

1 ½      cups all-purpose flour

1          cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting

1/2       teaspoon salt

1          teaspoon baking powder

2          teaspoons baking soda

1          cup evaporated milk

½         cup freshly brewed strong black coffee

½            cup Vitamalt™

1/2       cup vegetable oil

2          eggs

1          teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350° F. Use a non-stick pan and lightly grease it for good measure.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Combine all the wet ingredients. Combine and mix until everything is incorporated. Then, with the mixer still on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix well and be careful that the batter is smooth but not overworked.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, but of course you should be able to check if a cake is done with a pick.

Garnish with ganache , fresh berries and flowers or what ever makes you happy! Just enjoy your cake. You made it! 

Garnish with ganache , fresh berries and flowers or what ever makes you happy! Just enjoy your cake. You made it!