Category Archives: Kitchen Essentials

Bacon . . .wrapped and cheese stuffed jalapenos! Perfect addition to your SuperBowl menu.

Smokey Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

 Smoky Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

Makes 6 servings

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

12 jalapeno peppers

6 slices bacon cut in half thin sliced bacon works better

24 wooden toothpicks

Directions:

Preheat grill to 400*F.
Mix cream cheese and Cheddar cheese together in a bowl until evenly blended.

Cut a small hole, about the size of a quarter, in each jalapeno. Save the pieces of jalapeno you remove and leave the stems intact.

For a less spicy jalapeno: Use a small spoon, scrape out the seeds and membrane.

Fill each jalapeno with the cheese mixture.

Put the piece of jalapeno back in place and wrap each stuffed pepper with a half slice of bacon. Secure the bacon with a toothpick.

Arrange bacon-wrapped peppers on the prepared grill

Grill until bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes, turning throughout the grilling process.

 

 

Grilled Jerk Chicken Wings: Super Food for the Super Bowl!

Jerk Wings

Grilled Jerk Chicken Wings

 

Yields 8 servings

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients:

Jerk Marinade

1 small onion, peeled

3 scallions, green and white parts

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

4 large garlic cloves

3 Scotch bonnet chilies, seeds removed

¼ cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sea salt

¼ cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

¾ teaspoon freshly grated ginger

½ teaspoon cinnamon

 

16 whole chicken wings

 

Directions:

Preheat grill to 400*F.

Place onion, scallions, thyme, garlic, scotch bonnet, lime juice, vegetable oil, salt, brown sugar, allspice, black pepper, and cinnamon in a food processor and puree until it resembles a smooth paste.

Place chicken wings in a large Ziploc bag and coat with the marinade. You can save any unused marinade in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Just make sure it doesn’t come in contact with the raw chicken or anything (including your hands) that has touched the raw wings.

Seal bag and refrigerate overnight to 24 hours.

Remove chicken from the refrigerator and allow to temper for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Place wings on the hottest side of the grill and cook until well browned on all sides, about 3-5 minutes.

Move chicken to cooler side of the grill, cover with lid or an aluminum pan, and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes more.

Remove from grill, allow to rest for 5 minutes and enjoy with a cold drink!

Labor of Love: Hand Crafted Knives

Custom Made Knives by Heartwood Forge

2015-08-26 12.14.54

Great food is a result of many moving parts like quality ingredients, talented cooks and the right equipment, all working together to create an unforgettable meal. I’ve found that people here in Georgia are pretty savvy when it comes to knowing how our food is grown and where it comes from. And thanks to popular cooking shows, they also know how to properly cook and present that food! But I wonder if they’ve ever given much thought to how their pots, pans and their knives are made? Well I did, so I took a journey to Jefferson to find out.

Heartwood Forge chefs knife

photo by Will Manning

Nestled in the woods right off Potters House Road is Heartwood Forge, where designer and knife maker Will Manning creates his practical works of art. Hoping to answer my own question, I spent the day making knives with Will. Which admittedly, from the outside looking in, seemed more like Will making the knives while I just watched. What I learned was this: Will is very skilled and passionate in what he does. He uses repurposed metal from places like Monticello to make his knives; salvaged wood from trees like pecan, box elder and maple or white tailed deer antlers to make the handles; and reclaimed brass for balancing the handle with the blade of the knife. I also learned that his goal is to put his knives in the hands that will use them, and for that measure he has a virtual store front where you can browse and buy your knives. If you’re thinking you want something more a bit more personal, like a custom made knife, then you’re in luck, because as it turns out, Will makes those too!

2015-08-26 12.23.41

Photos by Jennifer Hill Booker

Baby It’s Cold Outside! Winter Pumpkin Soup to Warm the Soul!

Chef Jennifer Booker Cookbook

 

Winter Pumpkin Soup with Parmesan Croutons & Bacon Chips

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Serves 4

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.

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

Layout 1

 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.

Join Chef Jennifer @ Strippaggio Book Signing!

Layout 1Chef Jennifer Booker heashot

~Book Signing~

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

Strippaggio – Artisan Oils, Vinegars, Specialty Food & Gifts

855 Emory Point Dr, Suite C-135, Atlanta, Georgia 30329
Strippaggio

Meet The Author: Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Chef Jennifer Booker heashot

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.

 

Layout 1

26 Foods You Should Know How To Cook In Your 20’s . . .

26 Foods You Should Know How to Cook in Your 20’s . . 
A good friend of mine recently shared this article with me, and after a VERY unofficial poll, I found that not many people know how to cook these 26 foods!
So this week’s Your Resident Gourmet is sharing my choice of Top Ten foods you should know how to cook at any age. Don’t worry-I’m also sharing the link with you for the other 16, so get cooking!

Happy Cooking!

Chef Jennifer
Pre-order your copy Chef Jennifer’s cookbook, Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent
at PelicanPub.com
Follow Chef Jennifer on Facebook
Chef Jennifer Booker
and Twitter
@Chefjennbooker

26 Foods You Should Learn to Cook in Your 20’s . .  .


Here Are My TOP TEN

1. A Deliciously Melty GRILLED CHEESE

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.

2. The Best CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

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.

3. Perfectly Seared STEAK

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.

4. Killer GUACAMOLE

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.

 

5. Easy Homemade TOMATO SAUCE

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.

6. An Easy FRITTATA

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.

7. Pan-Roasted CHICKEN THIGHS

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.

8. Simple SAUTÉED GREENS

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.

9. Fluffy PANCAKES Not From a Box

Knowing how to do this will make you a Sunday morning hero so many times in your life.

10. MUSSELS in White Wine Sauce
You’re going to be shocked by how easy it is to cook mussels – and clams work exactly the same way. Add crusty bread and you’re in heaven.

To Read this article in it entirety, check out:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/emofly/foods-everyone-should-learn-to-cook?bffbfood#  

What’s for Dinner: Ham & Bean Soup!

Ham & Bean Soup

yields 6 servings

Ingredients:

2- 14.5 oz cans low sodium beans, your favorite, rinsed

1- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes

8 oz smoked ham, diced

1 small onion, diced

2 cups water or vegetable stock

2 large gloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

 Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 pinch cayenne, optional

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan over medium heat, bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Adjust with salt and pepper and serve piping hot.

Enjoy!

Baby it’s Cold Outside: One Pot Meals to Warm Your Soul!

Looking for a One Pot Meal that’s quick, easy, inexpensive AND delicious? Then you’ve come to the right place!
This week’s Your Resident Gourmet Newsletter has the perfect meal to warm your soul during these endless winter nights, a Chicken Pot Pie recipe using tender free range chicken, local vegetables, and a buttery phyllo crust for added crunch!
Bon Appetit!

Chef Jennifer

Enjoying your YRG Newsletter? Please share the Love and forward it to a friend . . or two!
Follow us on Facebook Chef Jennifer Booker
and Twitter
@Chefjennbooker

 

Hot Food to Warm the Soul!

This recipe is a great way to incorporate fresh vegetables into your meal. Having trouble finding fresh vegetables in March? Remember that flash frozen vegetables are a great substitution when fresh aren’t in season.

Chicken Pot Pie

 

Yields 6 servings

 

Ingredients:

 

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, and cut into 1-inch chunks

¼ olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 ¾ cups chicken broth

2 large cloves garlic, minced

5 medium parsnips, diced

3 medium carrots, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

6 (each 14- by 9-inch) sheets frozen phyllo, thawed

½ cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons cornstarch

½ cup cream

2 cups fresh or frozen English peas

¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped + more for garnish


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425* F.
  1. Season chicken breasts with thyme and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add olive oil to a 10-inch sauté pan and heat on medium-high. Add chicken in single layer and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring halfway through cooking. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add onion and 1/4 cup chicken broth to the same skillet and cook 5 minutes or until onion is browned, stirring and scraping up browned bits. Add garlic and cook 1 additional minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in parsnips, carrots, and celery, and then add remaining 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Heat to boiling on high. Cover, and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.
  4. While vegetables cook, place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface and brush with melted butter. Top with another sheet and more butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets brushing each layer with melted butter. To prevent pastry from drying out, work with 1 sheet at a time, keeping the others covered with a sheet of plastic wrap.
  5. In small bowl, stir cornstarch into cream to dissolve; stir into vegetable mixture and simmer about 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas, chopped parsley, cooked chicken, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  6. Bring chicken and vegetable mixture back up to a simmer, then transfer to 13x 9x 2-inch baking dish. Place buttered phyllo sheets on top, tucking in edges inside the casserole dish and using a paring knife, make five 2-inch slits through the sheets of phyllo.
  7. Bake 15 minutes or until phyllo is golden brown. Garnish with parsley and serve piping hot.

photo credit Anna Williams