Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ask a Chef

Got a burning question you've always wanted to ask a chef but might have been too afraid to do it?  Send me a note here, on Facebook or Twitter... and I'll get to the nitty gritty for you.  Will post their video answers here on the blog.  If you have a specific chef you want me to ask, let me know that, too.

Bon Appetit

Pam's Picks in Your Kitchen: The Russ' in Maumelle

Chef Brian Ford Cherry of RBC Catering to the rescue again.  Although, I think he really got a kick out visiting the Russ household in Maumelle.

Susan Russ said her son and husband were gourmets, who despite having a well-stocked kitchen and pantry inside...and a herb garden outside, frequently send her to the grocery store to pick up some needed item to complete the meal.  She wanted a professional to show the amateur chefs in the family some creative ways to use what you already have in stock.

Cherry settled on chicken again this week but with a twist.  He would prepare a Mediterranean style dish with a southern flair:  Chicken garnished with scallops served with sesame seared asparagus/red pepper combo  and roasted sweet potato hash. 

Since the potatoes would take the longest, Cherry cooked them first.  The sweet potato hash consisted of diced yams, fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic and extra virgin olive oil... a little cracked pepper and a dash of kosher salt... which Cherry tossed in a pan before sprinkling grated parmesan cheese on top then placing in the oven at about 350 degrees.

The next task was preparing the chicken.  Breasts that Cherry cut in two and pounded with his mallet for easier cooking, The chicken was seasoned with cracked pepper and kosher salt before being seared in butter and olive oil and finished in the oven.   

More olive oil and butter for the olive/spinach/ feta cheese medley .  Cherry finely chopped the olives and added more fresh herbs, garlic and onion before sauteing them in the skillet. The scallops were then sauteed in butter.  The Mediterranean medley was plated first and the chicken placed on top of it... before Cherry placed the scallops on the chicken as a garnish. 

The vegetable side consisted of  asparagus and red pepper seared in sesame oil.  .

The finished plate was a beautiful display of color, texture and taste with Benjamin Russ describing it this way:
"I did take some notes and gonna try some new things out, definitely."

Chef Cherry can be found at RBC Catering, rbcentertainment.coma

What's New at Perciful's

Got a nice note from the owners of Perciful's Famous Hot Dogs today... it appears they're expanding their menu.
In addition to the foot long hot dogs and polish sausages served eight ways - you can now get country fried steak and chicken breast sandwiches for under $5 bucks.

See Perciful's Facebook Page...

20400 Arch Street, Suite 1
Little Rock
(501) 261-1364 or 261-1DOG

Monday, May 23, 2011

Diamond Chef Competition Benefitting Pulaski Tech's Culinary Program

June 7, 2011
Statehouse Convention Center
Check out their Facebook Page for more info

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Can Your Pantry Stump a Chef?

Just a couple more opportunities for you to get a personal visit and meal prepared by a chef.
The Henson's, this week's winners, were pleasantly surprised by the delicious chicken and pasta dish whipped up by Chef Brian Ford Cherry of RBC Entertainment and Catering (former Chef to the Dodgers).

Chef Brian Ford Cherry, Jerry and Star Henson

If you want to be notified when I post recipes, just scroll down and leave your email address at the bottom of this blog. 

Meantime, he's how to submit an entry for a chef to come to your house:

Chef Cherry prepared a lemon-infused  Beurre Blanc - mixed with the Henson's private label barbecue sauce

Ingredients include - chicken breast, bowtie pasta, butter, leomon juice, onion, butter, wine and corn on the cobb.

Instead of using shallots, Cherry finely dices the onion; mixes it, the lemon juice, wine and vinegar in a skillet, reducing it, before infusing lots of butter.  He only incorporates a few "pats" at a time so the sauce won't separate.  When it's a nice caramel-like consistency and color, he adds the Henson's Sweet Barbecue Sauce.

The corn is prepared by removing it from the cobb, placing it in a pot and adding parmesan (already grated), sour cream, milk and Italian seasoning; cooking over low heat until kernels are done. 

For the main entree, he butterflies or slices the chicken in half for easier cooking, then uses a French technique where he lightly batters it with flour before dipping it in egg.  Dipping it in egg seals in the juice and flavor.  The chicken pan-sauteed and finished in the oven.

The completed dish includes the sauce over the chicken and pasta with the creamy Parmesan corn on the side. 

Jerry Henson decided to bottle his own barbecue sauce recipe and other seasonings after retiring.  You can currently get them at Harps.  I'll post the website for his contact info later. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pam's Picks in "Your" Kitchen - Featuring Chef Donnie Ferneau

Award-winning Chef Donnie Ferneau

Donnie is the executive chef and owner of  Ferneau's  on Kavanaugh in Little Rock.  He's donating his time and talent during the month of May to help some lucky viewers figure out how to make the most of what's in their pantry.

When he visited the Jaros's this week, he prepared dinner with the caveat that he could only cook what was in their pantry and/or refrigerator.

Donnie prepared a wild duck breast with bacon, fresh sauteed mushrooms and Granny Smith apples served with a root beer au jus.
After chopping the bacon and cooking in a light olive oil, Donnie added 6 duck breasts seasoned with an herbal blend from Rendezvous Restaurant in Memphis.  He lightly seared the duck, removing it after browning it on both sides.  He then added the sliced apple and mushrooms, sauteing them before adding about a half cup of root beer and simmering.  He placed the duck back in the pan, simmered a few minutes more before finishing it an oven that had been pre-heated to 350 degrees.  He says it only needed to remain in the oven for about 3-5 minutes.

The side dish consisted of boil-in-the-bag rice, prepared as indicated on the package; combined with two cans of sweet kernel corn that had been seasoned with black pepper and a little Louisiana style hot sauce, two TB of cream cheese, 3 slices of Swiss cheese and about 3 TB Parmesan cheese.  He called it a "sweet corn risotto."

Donnie plated the risotto, placing a duck breast on the side and topping it with the mushroom, apple, root beer mix. 

Erin Jaros, who submitted the entry for Donnie to come to her house, said in addition to preparing a tasty meal, he also achieved a significant feat - winning  over her daughter Katie - because she says Katie is very picky and seemed to genuinely enjoy the meal.  Erin gave Donnie 7 out 7 stars. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Calling All Foodies - New Culinary Competition in Hot Springs

State’s First American Culinary Federation Competition Set for Hot Springs

Chefs, students to compete for $8,000 in cash and scholarships May 11

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – April 18, 2011 – Nationally and regionally renowned chefs will compete from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, in the state’s first American Culinary Federation-sanctioned culinary competition. The event will be held at the Hot Springs Convention Center in conjunction with the annual Ben E. Keith Food Expo, with contestants competing for more than $8,000 in cash and scholarships.

Area “foodies” are familiar with the many “Iron Chef” style culinary competitions that have been held in Arkansas, but ACF-sanctioned events differ in many ways, including the strict qualifications for judges. Judges must have won gold medals in all categories of competition, gone through ACF training sessions, and have experience as apprentices at other competitions. At least one judge must have international competition experience.

The May 11 ACF competition will feature chefs who have competed internationally as well as chefs who have excelled around the country and across Arkansas. There will also be a student competition featuring soon-to-be-chefs from the ACF-accredited culinary school at Pulaski Technical College.

The Ben E. Keith Food Expo is open to the foodservice company’s customers and prospects, but anyone who wants to attend the ACF competition can get a spectator badge at the Food Expo registration booth at the show’s main entrance. Admission is free.