Friday, September 26, 2014

Meatless Monday Recipes continued

This recipe is one of my favorites.  We do this recipe in our International Cuisine class at Alvin College, in our Culinary Arts Program.
It combines many things I like into one dish.And for a gringo (like me ), it has just about all of the flavors I associate with Latin American Food. I hope you enjoy.

Porotos Granados (Grand Chile Stew)
Yield: 6 servings

1½ cups dried cranberry or pinto beans
as needed chicken stock
1 large onion, medium dice
4 each aji chiles (or jalapenos), seeds removed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, pureed
6 each tomatoes, concasse
2 cups winter squash, in ½” cubes
1 cup fresh corn kernels
To taste chopped cilantro, parsley
to taste salt and pepper

Cover the beans with cold water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and let sit for 1 hour.  Strain beans and cover with chicken stock; bring to a boil and let simmer for 1 hour.

In a large skillet, sauté the onion and chile in the oil. 
Add the garlic, tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. 
Simmer until mixture reduces slightly. 
Remove from heat.

Add squash to beans and cook until tender; add the tomato mixture and corn; simmer 30 minutes. 
Finish stew with fresh herbs and season to taste.

Until next time.
Bon Appetit Y'all
Chef Leslie Bartosh

Monday, September 22, 2014

Meatless Monday Caprese Quinoa Bake with Basil and Balsamic Reduction

 Welcome to another meatless Monday recipe.  I must admit I have not made this one yet.  But, I like the flavors involved and I hope to make it soon. 

This recipe and the photo came from the following website:

One of my students posted the link on facebook.  I hope you enjoy.

Caprese Quinoa Bake with Basil and Balsamic
(Serves 4-6)
  • 1¼ cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups petite Roma or cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a blend of red and yellow tomatoes, but all red is fine.)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup packed basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup of grated cheese)
  • 8 ounces fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4–inch rounds
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small pot, bring the quinoa and 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons water to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes until all of the water has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, place the halved tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10 minutes until they’re tender and the skins have started to burst.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. When hot, add the minced shallots and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the shallots have become translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  5. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, roasted tomatoes, cooked shallots and garlic, and basil. Stir in the grated mozzarella and season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer the quinoa mixture to a large skillet and smooth the top. (Yes, you can use a round, square or rectangular baking dish if that’s what you have. Duh.)
  7. Starting in the center, overlap slices of tomatoes and mozzarella in a small circle. Make a second circle of overlapping tomatoes and mozzarella, covering the surface of the quinoa. (If you’re using a square or rectangular dish, just make two lines of overlapping tomatoes and mozzarella and call it a day.)
  8. Cover the skillet loosely with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned.
  9. While your quinoa bake is in the oven, place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until the vinegar becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  10. Sprinkle your quinoa bake with freshly sliced basil and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.
Until next time.
Bon Appetit Y'all
Chef Leslie Bartosh

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ratatouille with Eggs

I was too late for meatless Monday with this recipe but just in time for Tuesday night!  I am a fan of cooking eggs in well seasoned soups and stews.  And I must admit I had been craving this combination for a couple of weeks.  When I ran across a recipe for ratatouille last week I knew it was time. 

I used the recipe for Alice Water's Ratatouille as the base for this dish.  When the Ratatouille was done I used a spoon to create four "wells" in it.  Into each "well" went a raw egg that was then seasoned with salt and coarse black pepper.  I put the pan into the oven and let the eggs cook until I liked their doneness.  Voila:  dinner.  It went pretty well with slices of slightly toasted crusty bread.  I hope you will try it and let me know what you think.

The following photo is the dish still in pan.  At the end is a photo of the dish plated.  This would be wonderful done in individual casserole dishes.
Here is the recipe for Alice Water’s Ratatouille

Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine + 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • pinch of dried chile flakes
  • 2 sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 medium summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Salt to taste
  1. Toss the eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, basil bouquet, dried chile flakes, and a bit more salt.
  4. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in summer squash. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt.
  6. Stir in the chopped basil leaves and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Serve warm or cold.

My changes to the recipe:
I seasoned lightly with salt and pepper with each addition of vegetable and the tomato.
I omitted the extra olive oil.
And of course, I cooked the eggs in it at the end.
(While I cooked my eggs in the oven you could also just cover the pan and let the eggs steam on stove top over low to medium heat.)
 The following photo is the finished dish.

Until next time:
Bon Appetit Y'all
Chef Leslie Bartosh

Friday, September 12, 2014

Basic Food Preparation and Pureed Soups

At Alvin Community College our culinary arts program is segmented into 8 separate lab classes.  One of those classes is basic food preparation.  It occurs at the beginning of the lab class sequence.  Much as you would expect from a class titled basic food preparation we do some very basic things in this class.  Last night, we made puree soups.  This gave us the chance to break out some appliances we had not used since last year.

 In the picture above from left to right: Rebecca and Morgan are test driving our immersion blender.
Below is a picture of Rhonda driving our Vitamix blender.  Thank you Vitamix and Waring for your support.  Hiding behind Rhonda is Amber and Shelby is visible in the background to the right.

The students produced split pea soup, cream of carrot and black bean soup.  It was a job well done by all.  Thanks.

Until next time:
Bon Appetit Y'all
Chef Leslie Bartosh

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ice Carving At Alvin College Culinary Arts

Every spring, as the school year is coming to an end, at Alvin College, our culinary arts program does ice carving as a part of our garde manger class.  The students are divided into groups and each group carves an angel fish.  Last may, a video was made of the evenings class.  The video is too large to post here.  But, you can follow this link to watch the video on the ACC culinary arts web page:  Alvin Culinary Arts Ice Carving.  
I hope you enjoy the video.

Until next time:
Bon Appetit Y'all

Chef Leslie Bartosh
Alvin College Culinary Arts