Archive for the ‘Chefs’ Category
Winter Pumpkin Soup with Parmesan Croutons & Bacon Chips
Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
Any type of winter pumpkin or squash, such as Sugar Pie pumpkin or butternut squash, can be used for this soup. Just remove the seeds, cut it into wedges, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in a 350° F oven. The roasting softens the vegetable and reinforces its natural sweetness. The addition of stock and cream gives the soup a velvety smoothness, and the croutons and bacon chips add a nice crunch.
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 slices of Hickory smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch strips
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1⁄2 medium white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups roasted pumpkin, mashed, or unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
2 cups stale bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄4 teaspoon red chili flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large stockpot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the bacon and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, then add the rosemary and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until the bacon is golden and crispy and the rosemary leaves are lightly browned.
Drain the bacon and rosemary on a paper towel. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stems and roughly chop the leaves, discarding the stems. Set the rosemary aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease from the stockpot. Set the bacon chips aside while you make the pumpkin soup.
Add the butter, onion, and garlic to the bacon grease in the stockpot and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir often to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mashed pumpkin and the chicken stock, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream just before you serve; do not let the soup boil once the cream has been added.
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
To make the parmesan croutons, toss the bread, olive oil, cheese, chili flakes, and black pepper together in a large bowl. Spread the bread mixture onto a sheet pan and bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until the bread cubes are golden brown.
Serve the soup in warm bowls topped with croutons, bacon chips, and the chopped rosemary.
Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent by Jennifer Hill Booker, © 2014
Jennifer Hill Booker, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.
~Enjoy this Georgia Grown ‘ Pick Keep Cook’ crop in a Fresh New Way~
Collard Greens Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
recipe by: Chef Jennifer Booker
1 bunch collard greens, washed
1/2 cup Pecan oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves raw garlic, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. black pepper
De-stem and chop the collard greens into long strips. Place strips in a large bowl. Pour Pecan oil on collard strips and sprinkle on salt. Massage the oil and salt into the strips with your hands until all pieces are well coated. Whisk together apple cider vinegar, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ground pepper. Pour apple cider vinegar dressing over the collard green strips. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours, but overnight is best. Serve chilled or room temperature.
Now that I have your attention . . . here are 6 Great Health Benefits of Eating Beets!
1. Beets are nature’s Viagra
Seriously. One of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac. And that’s not just urban legend – science backs it up. Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.
2. Beets are high in many vitamins and minerals
Potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid. These are but a few of the many nutrients, vitamins and minerals that can be found in beets and beet greens. Beets are particularly beneficial to women whom are pregnant, as the vitamin B and iron are very beneficial to new growth cells during pregnancy and replenishing iron in the woman’s body.
3. Beets cleanse the body
They are a wonderful tonic for the liver, works as a purifier for the blood, and can prevent various forms of cancer. Nuff said, right? Tastes good and prevents cancer? Sign me up!
4. Beets help your mental health
Beets contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being, similar to chocolate. Beets can also lower your blood pressure. So if you’re already steamed about not eating beets, you can get a two-fer by diving into them right away.
5. Beets are used as a stomach acid tester
How in the world does that work? Glad you asked. If you are eating a lot of beets or beet juice, and your pee turns pink, guess what? You have low stomach acid. Pee still clear? Ratchet it up and get juicing (use the greens too)! Nutritionists use beets and beet juice to test stomach acid levels, so stay ahead of the curve by adding beets to your diet now.
6. Beets are a high source of energy
At the same time they are low in calories and high in sugar (although the sugar is released into your system gradually, as opposed to chocolate). Very few foods found in the natural world are as beneficial as beets in this regard.
Beets are a wonderful addition to any dietary need. With their high volume of nutrients, delicious taste, and multitude of uses, anyone can jump right into beets without missing a beat.
Looking for a Delicious Beet Recipe? Pick up a copy of Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, at YourResidentGourmet.net
article from fullcircle.com
photo credit Deborah Whitlaw Llewllyn
Join Chef Jennifer Booker as she signs her debut cookbook:
Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent
Thursday, January 29th, 2015 6pm
Ring in the New Year with
Black Eyed Pea Salad-a French Twist on on Southern Favorite!
Black Eyed Pea Salad
Yields 6 servings
4 cups black eyed peas, cooked and chilled
¼ cup yellow onion, chopped
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ cup apple cider vinegar
Combine the garlic, thyme, honey, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper and vinegar in a large bowl.
Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Add the black eyed peas, onion, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper.
Stir to coat with the vinaigrette.
Chill the Black Eyed Pea Salad for at least 4 hours.
About our author:
Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
Building a culinary foundation on her Mississippi roots and a farm-to-table concept, Chef Jennifer Hill Booker creates a unique take on contemporary Southern cooking. Combining agrarian approaches and down-home style with classical-French techniques, Booker reinvents Southern cuisine. These 135 recipes are the culmination of summers and holidays spent in Charleston, Mississippi, at the family farm.
Available at Barnes & Nobles, A Capella Bookstore, and YourResidentGourmet.com
Chef Jennifer Booker
Born in Michigan, Jennifer Hill Booker grew up in Florida, attended college in Oklahoma, and has lived in Europe, but it’s the South that has her heart. Booker has a bachelor of arts degree in organizational communication from the University of Tulsa, an associate’s degree in applied science-culinary arts from Oklahoma State University, and a cuisine de base certificate from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. She is the executive chef and owner of Your Resident Gourmet, LLC, a personal chef and catering company.
A former culinary instructor for Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Atlanta and a culinary arts program director for the Grayson Technical Program at Grayson High School, Booker is qualified to write about proper cooking techniques, flavor combinations, and food pairings. She teaches culinary technique classes at Williams-Sonoma, is a contributing columnist for Basil Magazine, and serves as the host of the magazine’s radio show. She has written articles and recipes for Jezebel, Atlanta Social Season, Vegetarian Times, Our Town Magazine, UrbanSocialites, Southern Seasons Magazine, ESSENCE Magazine, SOLO Woman, Sister2Sister Magazine, and Points North Atlanta.
In order to keep her culinary skills sharp, she serves as the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show’s executive celebrity chef for cooking personalities Paula Deen and the Neelys. She has made guest appearances at Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School and the Chefs of the World: A Taste of Fame annual event. She also volunteers her time and resources to the Africa’s Children’s Fund. Booker lives in Lilburn, Georgia, where she feels right at home.
Perfect gift to bring in the New Year!
Get Your Copy!
Local Chef, Jennifer Hill Booker, offers a contemporary take on Southern cooking in “Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes With a French Accent” (Pelican, $27).
Noon-4 p.m. Dec. 27 at Williams-Sonoma, at The Forum
5145 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, and get a signed copy.
Alum shares loves of Southern and French cuisine in cookbook
From a young age, Jennifer Hill Booker knew what she wanted to do when she grew up— she wanted to cook.
“I’ve always loved food. I would watch Julia Child’s television show on Sunday nights and I watched my mom and grandmother cook,” Booker said. “On Mother’s Day I always prepared something from the ‘Joy of Cooking’ cookbook.”
Now the OSU Institute of Technology alumna wants to inspire others to do what she loves and has written a cookbook of her own, “Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent.”
Booker graduated from Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington High School, then attended the University of Tulsa at her parents’ urging, despite wanting to go straight to culinary school.
“During that time I always wanted to be a chef,” she said, so after she earned her bachelor’s degree in communications, she enrolled at OSUIT and graduated from the School of Culinary Arts in 1995.
“It was such a great school. There were international instructors, it was a great environment to learn and was small enough that there was a lot of hands-on learning,” Booker said.
She worked in Tulsa primarily as a pasty chef before moving to Germany with her husband, an officer in the U.S. Army.
Booker said it was difficult to find work in restaurants in Germany.
“I was American, I was a woman and I was a woman of color,” she said, so she started her own personal chef service, Your Resident Gourmet, for military families living on the base.
Booker also took advantage of her European residence and attended the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Paris.
“OSUIT really prepared me for that experience because it was so hard,” she said. “A lot of my classmates quit.”
When she returned to the United States, her personal chef business continued to grow and she became an instructor teaching at the Le Cordon Bleu campus in Atlanta as well as starting the culinary program at Grayson Technical Education Program in Georgia.
Even though Booker has spent time in Michigan, Florida, Oklahoma, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and abroad in Germany and France, she really considers herself Southern.
“My family is originally from the delta of Mississippi and I spent every summer there,” she said.
The next step for Booker was to take all her experiences and the recipes she developed over the years and put them together in a cookbook combining the cooking styles she loves.
“It’s my family recipes from the Mississippi Delta and incorporating some French techniques and flavors. Lightening it up a bit,” she said, and the two styles aren’t that different. “They’re very connected. If you know the culinary history of the South, French and Spanish cooking styles were taught to slaves, who then incorporated their own style.”
Chef Rene Jungo, Culinary Arts division chair at OSUIT, said he is proud of his former student who is now sharing her knowledge and experience through a cookbook.
“I remember her vividly. She always had that outgoing drive to seek new horizons and an eagerness to learn,” Jungo said. “I am thrilled and happy for her success.”
Booker said the hardest part about writing her cookbook was incorporating personal stories to accompany every recipe.
“How do I express on paper the feelings I get when I cook and serve food? I found that I love writing, and I love cooking so this became natural for me,” Booker said. “There’s something for everyone, cocktails to canned goods. People will feel like they have me in the kitchen with them.”
Chef Jennifer Booker
Here Are My TOP TEN
Serious Eats has a great step-by-step slideshow of how to make the ultimate grilled cheese. The key tip is that you should toast one side of each slice, sandwich the cheese between those toasted sides, then toast the other sides.
The New York Times did a great story in 2008 where they tested and retested different chocolate chip cookie methods to “assemble a new archetypal cookie recipe.” The results indicated that letting your dough rest overnight before baking is essential.
Pat it very dry, season it, cook it over very high heat in the right kind of fat, let it rest. As for doneness – buy a thermometer, poke it with your finger constantly, and practice makes perfect.
Authentic guacamole doesn’t have garlic or tons of lime juice in it. (Personally, I think tons of lime juice makes it heavenly, so I add it anyway.) The most important thing is to choose avocados that are super ripe and salt aggressively.
Tomato sauce is just canned tomatoes with some kind of seasoning that you add cooked together for a while to let the flavor develop. Marcella Hazan’s famous tomato sauce recipe just has you simmer canned tomatoes with a butter and an onion cut in half. That works. So does sautéing a chopped onion, maybe some garlic, then adding the tomatoes and simmering for a while, like this recipe from Bon Appetit.
This really comes in handy when you have big group of people to serve breakfast to, or when you have a lot of vegetables and you’re not sure how to use them quickly. Just sauté veggies, pour in whisked eggs, cook it on the stovetop for a while, then stick it in the oven for a few minutes.
This recipe is hands down the cheapest and quickest way to make chicken that’s delicious – way better than anything you do to chicken breasts, trust.
Vegetable oil in pan, get it nice and hot, push chopped greens around in there for a while, season with salt until you like the way they taste. Works for spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, anything. You can sauté shallot, garlic, or onion in the pan before you add the greens if you want, but you don’t have to. You can add lemon or vinegar and some red pepper, but you don’t have to.
Knowing how to do this will make you a Sunday morning hero so many times in your life.
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