Fresh Basil Martini
Basil is sweet and mild yet extremely robust with a strong, pungent, sweet and clove-like scent and is similar to anise in flavor.
4 oz Gin
2 oz Simple Syrup
5 small or 2 large fresh Basil leaves
1 oz fresh Lime juice
1 cup Crushed Ice
4 oz Club Soda
2 Martini glasses, chilled
2 Basil springs
Pour the Gin and Simple Syrup into a cocktail shaker, add Basil leaves and Lime juice.
Muddle until the Basil leaves are broken into small pieces.
Add crushed ice and shake about 10 seconds.
Pour into a chilled Martini glass, top with Club Soda and garnish with a spring of Basil.
Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cayenne or Serrano pepper, minced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced
1cup chopped cilantro
*ingredients can also be chopped using a food processor
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, halves
Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in large sauté pan. Add sofrito and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to medium. Place chicken on sofrito mixture.
- Cook 10 minutes. Carefully turn chicken.
- Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through (170°F).
- Serve with Citrus Quinoa Salad.
Citrus Quinoa Salad
Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups cold water or vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon sea salt and pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Lemon, Lime, and Orange Zest
- Soak the quinoa 5 minutes in enough cold water to cover.
- Rinse thoroughly 2 times, pour off the water and drain through a fine mesh strainer.
- Place in 2 quart sauce pan with the water and salt.
- Cover. Bring to a full boil, turn the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- While the quinoa is cooking, make the Citrus Vinaigrette.
- Garnish with citrus zest and cilantro.
- Blend ingredients together with a whisk or shake in a jar with a tightly fitted lid.
- Gently combine quinoa and dressing in a large bowl.
-Cook the quinoa ahead and keep in the refrigerator.
1 oz. POM Cherry 100% juice
1 1/2 oz. light rum
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and cold water dissolved together)
4 mint leaves
Mint sprig for garnish
- In the bottom of a double old-fashioned glass bruise the 4 mint leaves with the fresh lime juice and simple syrup.
- Add crushed ice then the POM Cherry and rum.
- Top with a splash of soda and stir.
- Garnish with the mint sprig.
guest blogger: http://www.basilmagazine.com/blog
This recipe is a great way to use those last summer garden vegetables. Grilling the vegetables for the Grilled Summer Gazpacho adds an unexpected depth of flavor and the Infused Chili Oil adds a nice little burst of heat.
Grilled Summer Gazpacho Soup
original recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
yields: 8 servings
- 6 plum tomatoes
- 4 heirloom tomatoes of choice
- Salt and fresh ground Pepper, to taste
- Olive oil for brushing
- 2 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into1/4 inch strips
- 2 small yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
- 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings
- 2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
- 2 jalapeño chilies, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 English cucumbers, cut in half
- 1/2 cup tomato juice, plus more as needed
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
1.Core, quarter and seed the plum and heirloom tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the juice drained from the tomatoes to a sealed container, cover and refrigerate. You can use this tomato juice for the gazpacho, being mindful of the salt.
2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. Brush and oil the grill grate or a vegetable-grilling basket.
3. Brush the zucchini, tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, chilies, and garlic with olive oil, and lightly season with salt and pepper.
4. Working in batches, arrange all of the vegetables on the grate or in the basket directly over medium-high heat. Grill, turning frequently, until soft and nicely charred on all sides, 2 to 4 minutes total for the zucchini and squash and 10 minutes total for the tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, chilies, and garlic.
5. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a platter and let cool slightly. Pick over the vegetables, removing any burned skin but leaving some charred bits.
6. Working in batches, in a blender or food processor, combine the grilled vegetables, the cucumbers and the fresh herbs and process until pureed. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato juice or more as needed to make the puree a thick but pourable consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings; the gazpacho should be fresh and highly seasoned.
7. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. This will allow all of the ingredients in the gazpacho to meld together and give a bright fresh taste.
8. Serve in chilled bowl or clear shot glasses and garnish with Infused Chili Oil and a pinch of fresh herbs.
Infused Chili Oil
original recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
yields 2 cups
2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 fresh chilies of choice, such as Cayenne, Serrano, or Fresno chili pepper, stems removed
1 tablespoon dried chili flakes
This oil should be infused in a well ventilated area.
1.Pour your extra virgin olive oil into a sauce pan and heat the oil until you see tiny bubbles at the bottom of the pan. Turn it off well before it gets to the smoking point.
2. Immediately add the fresh chilies and dried chili flakes to the oil. The chilies will sizzle or “cook” and immediately diffuse their heat into the oil.
3. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. At this point, you can strain the oil before storing it or leave the chilies in for a hotter oil.
4. Pour into a clean sterilized glass jar or bottle and store refrigerated up to 3 weeks. Discard if the oil looks ‘cloudy’ or has evidence of bacteria growth.
5. Drizzle on Grilled Summer Gazpacho for an added burst of heat. Also great on pizza, pasta, salads, and sandwiches!
1) Where does the passion for food or cooking come from?My Grandmother who cooked classical French cuisine… And the beauty of pairing different things.The passion for food was brought to me by my grandmother. I was always fascinated by the way she would cook with love and mixing different ingredients In the state I’ve been privileged to work with some of the world finest and best of the best chefs in France, Brazil, Spain, Peru and south America and the Caribbean. My passions for cooking come ever since I can remember I’ve been popping my collar.2) What were some challenges you endured growing up in a Haitian home, about your choice of profession?The culture expects kitchen staff to be servants, so it is still a challenge to understand the reality of the opposite and give the earned respect to culinary chefs who study the profession.The challenges that i endured during my childhood in Haiti, are the fuel of my success. i grew up poor, however i was lucky to be raised by my grandmother. who later on helped me find my passion.3) How was the experience of being on the hit Bravo tv show Top Chef season 6? What would you have done differently?Being on top chef opened a lot of opportunity for me. I was very blessed to have being considered for the show. I was immersed in joy throughout the whole experienced and would not changed one minute of it. Amazing Experience, creative juices flowing at every second and wanting to help your colleague but remembering it is a competition. Tremendous effort and I would probably have cooked a couple different things but nothing else.just was so happy to meet Hector Santiago and Marttin Noblia.4) What’s it like to be in the life of a Top Chef?I feel privilege and highly blessed. i don’t take anything for granted. I meet a lot of wonderful people along the way who support me and my vision. And I make sure i give back to my community and to my homeland Haiti. Hot and in Demand… The kitchen is always hot and your new creations are always awaited somewhere so that’s good stuff!5) What does the organizations BCA & FLIPANY entails?In today’s changing and challenging environment education will be a minimum requirement to attain career success and advancement in any industry. The same holds true for the culinary and hospitality industry, the largest industry in America today. As the foodservice industry continues to develop, it will depend upon the services of a highly trained workforce. BCA plays an important role in preparing students and professionals of color (Asian-American, Native America, Hispanic, and Black) with the specialized skills needed for this field which translates to social-economic empowerment for themselves and their families. As a key resource to the industry supporting a diverse pool of qualified young people, the BCA creates the opportunity to advance the growth of diversity from a grassroots and foundational level and serves an important niche. That is why BCA strives to increase programs through support so we may continue to provide educational information and industry exposure which will help individuals become valuable employees crucial to the continued growth of the culinary and hospitality industry today and the future. The BCA methodology of bridging foodservice and diversity excellence will also be the strategic platform and vehicle to introduce the importance of food sustainability, waste reduction, and health issues presently not being addressed in urban foodservice and communities. FLIPANY is a non-profit whose mission is to empower youth and adults through physical activity and nutrition programs while raising awareness and creating policy changes for healthier communities. Go to www.FLIPANY.orgFLIPANY is the newest chapter of the national Trips for Kidsprogram. Trips for Kids provides lessons in self-confidence, environmental awareness, and healthy habits to disadvantaged youth through the simple act of mountain biking. The camp is open to kids of all abilities and income levels. Bikes are available for kids who qualify and do not have one already.6) are there any chefs both past or present; you would have loved to collaborate with?Is this a tricked question ? Honestly there are too many to count. however i am always open to work with anyone with a great vision. Jeff Weiss, Kevin Relf, Jaime Jerezano, Taylor Erickson,Hector Santiago, Marttin Noblia,The Voltagio Brothers, Edna Louis ,Jefferson Evans, Patrick Clark, Chef Jennifer Booker ,Marvin Woods ,Jose Andres, Michelle Bernstein to name few.7) What are the perks in being a celebrity chef?Being asked to represent my country, Travel expenses paid for appearances and promoting my food to otherwise unreachable palates is a plus.I would say it gave me a voice and a platform to make changes in my community and force me to become an ambassador for Haiti which i am happy to serve. I feel like it is my duty to link the rest of the world to this exotic place called Haiti. There is a richness and bravery in the Haitian people that is often not being played on the forefront.8) What projects can we look forward to from “Baby Ron?”Dancing with the stars, Competing in the Haiti national culinary team ,summer 2012 culinary tour in Haiti ,new cooking show no limit cuisine with foodies, My chicken farms all over Haiti ,Helping stop hunger all over the world .My New Book From the Banana Boat to Top Chef and Cooking for Bernard Madoff9) If you can give advice to an aspiring chef in making it in the culinary world, what would that advice be?Although you make face adversity in your quest to becoming a chef, you need to stay true to yourself and take your time. The most successful chefs have paid their dues at one point or another. Find your niche and create, create, create… Stick to delivering what you know and you will do it best!Interview by Black Street Online : http://blackstreetonline.com/
Cooking With Fresh Herbs!
Here are a few tip and ideas that you can do with and when using herbs:
- Dried herbs are more potent than fresh herbs. So don’t be afraid to use large amounts of fresh herbs.
- Make a BBQ brush with fresh herbs. Bunch rosemary and thyme and dip in oil or sauce and brush meats, fish or vegetables while grilling.
- Make herbal butters with soften butter and fresh chopped herbs.
- Add basil or mint leaves to plain water for a refreshing drink.
- Make your own infused oil, vinegar and alcohol.
- Add fresh herbs to salads.
- Mix fresh herbs into cocktails for added flavor.
Handling and Storage:
- Avoid handling herbs as much as possible. Basil, oregano, and marjoram are especially sensitive and will turn black from excessive handling.
- Do not wash herbs until just before using.
- Ethylene will cause the herbs to turn black. Do not store herbs near products with ethylene such as bananas, tomatoes, avocadoes, or any other ripening fruits.
- Always rip or tear herbs for usage with your hands.
- Herbs like those from the grocery store will keep best in a Ziploc bag wrapped in a damp paper towel.
- Wrap basil & oregano in paper towel and keep in the door of the refrigerator where it is warmer.
- Herbs bought from the farmers market should be stored at room temperature and used quickly.
- Store freshly picked herbs in a glass of water on your kitchen counter
- Freezing is a great way to save excess herbs. Although they may lose their color when frozen, they retain their flavor and can be used in salad dressings, soups, sauces and stews.
- Drying is another excellent way to preserve the flavor of “woody” herbs like rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves.
- Black spots indicate excessive handling, temperatures that are too hot or cold, or excessive exposure to ethylene.
- Decay, slime and/or yellowing indicate that the storage temperature is too hot and the herb may be old.
- Limpness indicates overexposure to air, heat, or temperature shock.
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Join your host, Chef Jennifer Booker, and her guest, chef and cookbook author, Chef Michael Moore! Chef Moore will discuss his most recent cookbook, Blood Sugar, and how his own health problems prompted him to write a cookbook with great tasting recipes that are good for you too!
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I had the BEST burger of my life today at Holeman and Finch-home of the 10 O’clock burger. Only 24 burgers are made daily during the week and once they’re sold out? Too bad, they’re sold out . . . . . except on Sunday’s when they’re sold ALL DAY LONG!
Around 9:00 each night at Holeman & Finch Public House, the energy shifts from the constant mirth that seems to shroud this establishment to a sort of jubilant tension. More folks start streaming into the place and by 9:50, it’s full—teeming with those eager for the stroke of ten o’clock followed by the squawk of a portable bullhorn announcing, “it’s burger time!”
Each night, 24 exquisite, double patty cheeseburgers are assembled on house-made buns and served alongside hand-cut fries and homemade ketchup, mustard and pickles—only 24. Some nights they sell out in under a minute.
The thought behind the minimal number and the 10:00 serving is not a gimmick; it’s just the opposite. A handcrafted burger takes a lot of time to prepare correctly.
In order to pay the proper respect to this iconic American food, Linton Hopkins and company decided that only a handful would be made and served each night. This way, the burger is done right; and because generally, a burger on any menu tends to trump other items, it allows the rest of Holeman and Finch’s menu to take its place with due respect.
While we encourage you to come in and join the nightly carnival that is “burger time,” we offer this hint: our burgers are a regular part of our Sunday brunch offering.