Cook With Me's Blog

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There was some great cooking at the Harrison Cooking Class tonight. 03/22/15

The Harrison’s are such a nice family. Harrison Class Kissing 032215We had a great class which there daughter purchased for them. After much discussion with Ilene, we decided on them learning my Fork Tender Beef Roast.

Ilene and me Harrison Class 032215

As many of my close friends know I don’t share this recipe; let alone teach someone how to cook it. But I did for the Harrison’s. I’m glad because they really enjoyed it.

 Me and The Harrison's Plating Dinner 032215

There daughter joined them and learned how to make the Pan Seared Salmon, another favorite. She was just as nice as her parents and did a great job cooking the Salmon.  You know she must be nice because i just don’t let anyone wear my Chef coat.

Michelle cooking her stir fry with me Harrison Class 032215

Salmon and Stir Fry Harrison Class 032215

And for dessert we had Banana Foster.

Banana Foster over Vanilla Ice Cream!

Banana Foster over Vanilla Ice Cream!

We had to change one of the ingredients and man did it turn out wonderful. I’m making it this way from now on. If you want to know the change and why it’s better, you’ll have to take my class.

 

Here are few highlights:

 

Harrison Class knife skills 032215Me Demostrating how to cut the roast Harrison 032215Louis cooking Mushroom Fries Harrison Class 032215Louis, Michelle and me Plating Harrison Class 032215

 

Thanks Lou and Ilene!

 

 

 

 

The Harrison's and me - Cooking Class 032215

March 23, 2015 Posted by | Cooking Class, Events, Healthy, Let's Talk About Food | Leave a comment

Mary’s Breakfast Cooking Class w/Me 03/21/2015

Mary is an experienced home cook and has traveled the world but she just couldn’t cook eggs. So her daughter, Allison, hired me to enlighten her about Eggs.  So I showed her Eggs Benedict.  She now knows how to make Hollandaise Sauce and Pouched Eggs.

Mary Lewinski and Me w:Eggs Benedict 032115

Eggs Benedict

She also learned a few omelets

 

Mary Lewinski and Tim holding Omelette 032115

Tim enjoyed the Egg. Cheese, and Mushroom Omelet

Mary w:Western Omelette 032115

Western Omelet

Mary really enjoyed learning to cook the breakfast meals and Tim enjoyed eating them.  Thanks Mary!  And Thank you Allison for thinking of Hats Off To Dining Catering, Inc.

March 22, 2015 Posted by | Breakfast, Cooking Class, Let's Talk About Food | Leave a comment

The Ross Cooking Class on February 8, 2015 Was Fun!

What I really enjoyed about teaching my dishes is when both husband and wife really enjoy food. The Ross’s were that couple. I also like showing how a client can overcome what they think they dislike to enjoy the over all meal.

Ross's at Stove 020815

In the case of the Ross’s it was Samantha not liking onions and the dish they wanted to learn to cook was Jambalaya. Well as many of my friends and family know, I use onions in many of my recipes, including Jambalaya.

Ross Class Samantha at Stove 020815

I probed and found that her dislike was more texture and the fact that it was difficult for her to cut them because the fumes burned her eyes. She was okay with the flavor. My solution was to sauté onions ahead of time and pureed. By pureeing the onions we eliminated what she didn’t like and she learned how to make a delicious Jambalaya.

Shot of Jambalaya 020815

For those of you interested in this class, it is a longer class and has quite a few ingredients so it is more expensive but well worth it.

 

Here are a few views of their class.

Another good shot of the Ross's at the stove 020815The Ross's at the counter cutting 020815

 

There is a lot of chopping preparing this dish.  But it’s well worth it.


Ross's at counter with Samantha smiling 020815

They also enjoyed dessert.

Ross Cooking Class Dessert 020815

Their Review

March 8, 2015 Posted by | Cooking Class, Events, Let's Talk About Food, Meat Recipes, Review, Seafood Recipes | Leave a comment

Road to Thanksgiving Dinner! Mac and Cheese!

So you might think I’m crazy to talk about “Thanksgiving Dinner” so early but the perfect meal takes planning and practice. Ask yourself this, “How frequently do I cook Mac & Cheese, Green Beans, Candied Yams, Collard Greens, Turkey and Dressing all from scratch?

 

The answer probably is not that often. So why do you expect to have any of these dishes turn out perfectly on the biggest food day of the year, especially when you have to cook several them at the same time?

 

So I’m giving you the opportunity to practice each one a couple of times (and in some cases a couple of different ways). You’re welcome.

 

First “Bacon Mac & Cheese”!

 

Here are the ingredients;

BaconMac&CheeseIngredientsphoto-234

1/4 pound elbow macaroni

2 fully cooked thick Bacon Strips (Save the dripping from the bacon for the roux)

4 tablespoons butter (Separated in half)

2 tablespoons flour

½ tablespoon powdered mustard (or regular yellow mustard)

1 and 3/4 cups milk

1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced

1 large egg (Optional)

1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika (or regular is fine)

6 ounces mild cheddar, shredded

½ cup of cream cheese

1-teaspoon kosher salt

Fresh black pepper

 

Instruction:

Cook the macaroni noodles in salted water until al-dente.

Place small sauce pan over medium/low heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of drippings from the bacon and the 2 tablespoons of butter. Let the butter melt.  Add the chopped onion and let them cook for about 3 minutes stirring them occasionally until translucent.  Add the flour to the oil/onion mixture and stir.  Cook for about 2 minutes.   Add the mustard and Smoked Paprika. Stir. Slowly whisk in the milk and stir.  The mixture will thicken as it heats.

Once the roux is thickened you will add the cheeses.  Stir w/a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.

Add the cooked noodles

Add cheese after filling the dish half way

Add cheese on top and place in heated oven

The finished product

But how does it taste?

 

 

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Cooking Class, Let's Talk About Food, Thanksgiving 2014 Practice | | Leave a comment

What a busy week last week!

As I mentioned previously, I’m cooking Salmon daily to a client who wants to eat better.  Well, that’s still continuing.

 

In addition,   I had a Cooking Class this past Wednesday that was a birthday present to the boyfriend.  Thank Joy And Rob!

 

 

 

JoyandRobCookingClass081314photo-233

 

Joy and Rob learned how to cook my Herb Crusted Rib-Eye Steak w/Asparagus and Baked New Potatoes w/Sauteed Onions.  For dessert they learned how to make my Strawberry Shortcake done my way.

 

I also participated as a food vendor for the New Life Tabernacle Ladies Ministry Women Conference on Friday and Saturday!  I served my popular breakfast sandwiches and My Awards Winning Pulled Pork and Italian Sausage.

 

SausageBreakfastSandwich012014BaconBreakfastSandwich012014

August 20, 2014 Posted by | Cooking Class, Events, Let's Talk About Food, Let's Talk Lunch, Meat Recipes | | Leave a comment

My cooking class seemed to have paid off!

Earlier I posted details of my Cooking Class with the Johnson’s (No relation) on January 27,2014.  Well, my client gave one of the recipes we cooked that night a try.  I’m proud to say she did!  I also gave her some tips on another dish she wanted to try.

Here are her comments about her results:

Anthony!  Thank you SOOOO much! You would be very proud!  We did pretty
well, and dinner was good!  Gordon loved his steak, the fillet was good, and
the sea bass was delicious!  The asparagus came out perfectly! I should have
gotten the mushrooms and onions and done with the steak, but I didn’t think
I could manage one more new thing!  Next time…..!

You are so sweet to coach me! and on Valentine’s Day!

A wonderful evening to you and your wife!

We’ll talk soon!

JohnsonCookingClass012514HerbCrustedRibEyeSteak

February 16, 2014 Posted by | Cooking Class, Let's Talk About Food | Leave a comment

I had a great time at the Johnson’s Cooking Class last night!

I really enjoyed this class!  What a great way to kick off the new year.  Hear are a few photos and the recipes.

JohnsonCookingClassPhotothestudents012514JohnsonCookingClass012514HerbCrustedRibEyeSteakJohnsonCookingClass102514RosemaryChicken

Banana Foster over Vanilla Ice Cream!

Banana Foster over Vanilla Ice Cream!

Herb Crusted Rib-Eye Steak

Ingredients:

2 – 2inch thick Rib-Eye Steaks

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried Rosemary

Kosher salt

Fresh Cracked Ground Pepper

2 TBS Butter

2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Equipment

I large Non-Stick Skillet (Oven Safe)

Tongs

 

Instructions:

Preheat the over to 425°. Rinse and pat dry steaks w/paper towels. Season steaks on both sides with Thyme, Rosemary, Kosher Salt, and Pepper.

Heat skillet over medium heat until very hot.  Add olive oil, then butter to hot skillet. Add steaks to skillet.  You should hear the sizzle.  Let the steaks cook for a few minutes before turning on the other side.  (You may need to add a little Olive Oil here).

After a few minutes place the skillet in the oven.

Let it bake to the desired temperature.  About 10 minutes for medium well.

 

Herb Butter

 

Ingredients:

 

½ Stick of Butter (Softened to room temperature)

1/8 tsp Fresh Thyme (Chopped)

1/8 tsp Fresh Rosemary (Chopped)

 

Equipment:

Fork

Plastic Wrap

Bowl

 

Instructions:

Thoroughly stir Fresh Thyme and Rosemary into softened butter.  Place butter mixture on plastic wrap and roll in a tube.  Place in the freezer for 7 minutes.

Serve a slice or two on your steak.

 

 

 

 

January 26, 2014 Posted by | Cooking Class, Events, Let's Talk About Food, Meat Recipes | | 2 Comments

Really Good Chicken Noodle Soup – Perfect for the colder weather!

Chicken Soup

So the other day, I needed to make Chicken Soup for my sick neighbor.  I Roasted a Chicken first. It’s my opinion that roasting is the most flavorful method of cooking because it intensifies the flavor instead of diluting it like in boiling.

See recipe for Roasted Chicken at https://hatsofftodining.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/getting-three-meals-out-of-your-chicken/#respond

30-Minute Delicious Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

–       2 Roast Chicken Breast and 2 Chicken Thighs (Diced)

–       28oz of Chicken Broth  (Reserve about 4 oz to make a slurry w/Cornstarch)

–       1 tablespoon of Cornstarch

–       Medium Onion (Diced)

–       2 Celery Stalks (Diced)

–       I Green Bell Pepper (Diced)

–       2 cloves of Garlic (Minced)

–       4oz of French Style Green Beans (Cut in thirds)

–       Kosher Salt

–       Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

–       Fresh Parsley Chiffonade

–       Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

 

Equipment

–       Dutch Oven

–       Wooden Spoon

–       Cutting Board

–       Knife

Instructions

Place the Dutch Oven over a medium heat.  Once Dutch Oven is hot, add 3-4 hits of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).  Add the diced Bell Pepper, Celery and lower the heat to medium low.  Salt and pepper them and stir.  Let the vegetables sauté for about 1 minute before adding the diced onion.  Stir and let sauté for another 2 minutes or so until onions become translucent.   Add the diced Roasted Chicken Breast and stir.  Let this cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

With your spoon, clear a small spot at the bottom of the Dutch Oven and add the minced garlic.  Let it cook for 30 seconds or so before stirring.  Add the French Green Beans and stir.  Let them cook for about a minute.  Add Chicken Broth and stir.

Bring this soup to a boil and let it cook for about 7 minutes or so stirring occasionally. Add the Parsley Chiffonade.  Stir in the cornstarch slurry and let the soup come to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until soup thickens.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve.  It’s really good.

Chicken Salad will be published next!

 

January 15, 2014 Posted by | Cooking Class, Economical Cooking, Healthy, Let's Talk About Food, Lunch, Poultry Recipes, Soups | Leave a comment

Getting three meals out of your chicken.

The great thing about this series of recipes is that you are using a lot of the same ingredients for each dish, which makes it very economical.  I’m also going to tell you were to buy the ingredients.

Here’s what we’re going to cook/make:

1) Delicious Roasted Chicken

2) Chicken and Noodle Soup

3) Chicken Salad

Your shopping list for all three:

2 whole roasting chickens (Sam’s Club sells a package of two roasting chickens that average around $10.00)

Celery (You are probably going to use a lot of the Bunch of celery.  I buy a pack of celery hearts from Sam’s Club for under $3.00 but as you can imagine, I use a lot.  You can chop the excess up and freeze it after you finish with the three Recipes.)

Green Bell Pepper (You’ll need about 2 to 3 Green Bell Peppers.  Since you only need this few you can get them from Publix for under a $1.00 each.)

Yellow Onion (3 large onions.  Publix, about $2.00)

Parsley ($1.19 or so at Publix)

Green Onions (About .50 cents at Publix)

French Style Green Beans (The price varies but buy them fresh from Publix.  You won’t need a lot, maybe ¼ lb.)

Chicken Broth 64 ounces (You can buy a 3 pack of 32 ounce Chicken Broth at Sam’s Club for under $6.00.)

Butter or Margarine (2 Sticks should do. About $3.90 or so at Publix)

Kosher Salt

Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Dried Rosemary and Thyme Herbs (You should be able to get each for under $4.00 at Publix)

Adobe (Probably about $3.00 at most from Publix)

McCormick All Purpose Seasoning (About $3.99 at Publix)

Garlic Cloves (4 – 6) (About .60 cents at Publix)

Honey (You find this at most grocers for under $2.00)

Mayonnaise (Under $3.00 at Publix)

Extra Wide Egg Noodles (Under $3.00 at Publix)

All Purpose Flour (Under $2.00 at most grocers)

Roast Chicken Recipe

Materials and equipment for the Roasted Chicken

Large Roasting Pan

Reynolds Oven Roasting Bags for Turkey (About $2.19 or at Walmart)

Knife

Cutting Board

Viva Paper Towels (Do not use cheap bargain brand paper towels)

 

Instructions

 

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Take the Reynolds Oven Roasting Turkey Bag, open it and put the ½ teaspoon of All Purpose Flour in.  Close the bag and shake.  Place the floured bag in the Roasting Pan and sit aside for later use.

Take Chickens from wrapping, if your chickens include the Gizzards, Heart and Liver (this is referred to as the Giblets).  Rinse Giblets and the Chicken on the outside and the cavity and dry thoroughly with the paper towels. (Most packages of chicken today don’t include this so if they don’t disregard and go on.)

You’re going to season the cavity first and then the outside of the bird.  Tilt the Chicken so the cavity is elevated.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and Adobo inside the cavity.  Put the following in the cavity: Chopped Onions, Green Bell Peppers, and Celery.

(This next step is essential for your Chicken breasts to be juicy and flavorful.)  You’re going to place the Chicken on it’s back.  On each side of the edge of the cavity there is a piece of skin that can be separated (loosened) so you can place the following ingredients underneath the skin on the Chicken breast on each side: A large piece of Onion, Celery, and Green Bell Pepper, 1 Garlic Clove, and a pad of Butter.

Now you’re ready to prepare the exterior of the bird.

The next step is going to leave your hands messy and needing to be washed.  So get some paper towels ready and a little dishwashing liquid or liquid hand soap.

Take the softened butter and spread it all over the Chicken skin.  You will have to lift the bird to spread butter on the back.  Now aren’t you glad the paper towels and soap ready?

After spreading the butter on the Chicken, sprinkle on Rosemary, Thyme, Kosher Salt, Adobo, and Black Pepper.

Place the prepared Reynolds Oven Roasting bag in the Roasting Pan.  Open the bag and add the 1/4 cup each of chopped celery, onion, and bell pepper in the bag spreading it out so the Chicken will sit on top.  Place the Giblets and Chicken neck in the bag to the side as to not be under the Chicken when it goes in.

Place your seasoned Chicken inside the bag on top of the vegetables.  Add the Chicken Broth inside the bag before sealing the bag with the tie from the Oven Roasting Bag package.  Follow the instruction on the Oven Roasting Bag.

Cooking Instruction:

Place the prepare Chicken in the pre-heated oven.  Cook for 30 minutes at 450 degrees.  Then turn the temperature down to 375 degrees and continue to cook the Chicken for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Your Chicken is done when your meat thermometer registers the Chicken at 165 to 175 degrees.

Chicken Noodle Soup will be next.

January 12, 2014 Posted by | Cooking Class, Economical Cooking, Let's Talk About Food, Poultry Recipes | , | Leave a comment

A question about tender meats.

Hey stranger- just skimmed through your page, looks like you’ve been busy! question- I’ve tried different marinades and can’t find the secret to making “real” tender meat, any suggestions? I’ve tried different mixtures or garlic, soy sauce, meat tenderizers, jalapeno, crushed red pepper etc

Lois A

 

My Reply

Hi Lolo,

It depends on the type of meat. If you are referring to beef, it could be the cut of beef. A chuck roast or 7 bone roast is on my menu. i marinate this more for flavor then tenderizing. The tenderness comes from how you cook it. For these I slow cook them for about 2 hours at around 265 – 275 degrees. Low and slow.

The same is true with a pork butt but the time is around 5 hours.

Send me your email address and I’ll send you the chuck roast recipe.  Contact me at info@hatsofftodining.com.

August 28, 2013 Posted by | Cooking Class | Leave a comment