Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Bowl Recipes from the Chef's At The Chef's Academy Morrisville

Chef Eric's Beef satay and Pickled Jalapeno Buffalo Wings with Green Chili Ranch
Beef Satay
Skirt steak  1#
(or whatever cut you have around does not need to be tender)                                               
Soy sauce 1C
Ginger 1T
Garlic 1t
Scallion sliced  1T
Red onion 2t           
Sweet Chili or chili paste 2T
Parsley, chopped  1T

Place the beef strips in a medium-sized bowl and pour all ingredients in. Let soak for 1 hour. Grill to medium rare and pound flat. Cut the meat into strips as to fit on your squares. Refrigerate until service. Reheat in oven with a dollop of your favorite sauce on each piece of meat. Leave in oven just enough to heat the center. Remove and hit with the chopped parsley, enjoy!

Coffee BBQ Sauce
espresso  1/2 cup brewed
ketchup 1 cup
cider vinegar  1/2 cup
light brown sugar 1/2c
onion, white 1 cup
Garlic  2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Jalapeno  2ea.
dry mustard 2T
Worcestershire sauce 2T
ground cumin 1T
chili powder 2T

Simmer all together for 20 min over moderate heat, puree and strain then cool.


Pickled Jalapeno Buffalo Wings with Green Chili Ranch

Chicken wings, tips cut off: 18 each
Pickled Jalapeno Juice: 4 cups
If you cannot get enough juice from the pickled jalapeno jar, bulk up the jalapeno juice with white vinegar and pickling spices.
Wing Directions:
Line up the chicken in a large shallow dish, and then poor over the marinade or combine all in a zip lock bag. Make sure all wings are covered by the pickling liquid and place in the fridge for at least one hour. Do not let the wings marinate more than 24 hours as the juice will begin to cook the chicken.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Oil the rack set of the oven and place a foil-line roasting pan below it.  Arrange the chicken on the rack and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cooked.
If you would prefer to fry the wings, go for it!
Green Chili Ranch:
For every 1 cup ranch, blend ½ cup canned green chilies.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Micro-Blog: Courtney Wimmer

Sometimes we all wish we could fly away from the stresses of life. Sometimes we wish we could escape for just a little bit, and when we get to that place in our head we just need to step back and clear our mind so we have the room to think up there; to know why we are here and what we keep fighting for. My life has changed so much from the time I walked into the doors of The Chef’s Academy to right now.  There was a point when I said, “Why am I doing this to myself? I’m living out of my car, going to work and school.” The “what if’s?” start coming and you start down that road, the dark side of the road. I have met the dark side of the road one too many times but I continue to find out how to turn around. The family that I have made here at The Chef’s Academy is the best thing that has happened to me. Without them I don’t know what I would have done. Being in a small school everyone knows who you are and they care about you. I have one of the best, most caring Chef’s in the world, Chef Stolfo. She took it upon herself to introduce me to a class mate that has gone through what I was going through. Chef Stolfo encouraged me to talk to this student over Christmas break, and when I did, the student said that I could come and live with her until I could get back on my feet again. Then we have this amazing counselor named Leslie that no matter what she is there to help you, even if you are there just to cry. But knowing that there are people that want to see you reach the stars and get to where you are trying to go is amazing. I see that all you have to do is open your eyes and see the people that are placed in your life for a reason to help you. So if I could give you any advice it would be: don’t give up on what ever you want, even if the road you’re on is hard. You are meant to be on it, just find the reason. Don’t give up, just ask …….. I did!  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Micro-Blog: Pamela Terry

I used to believe I could fly, I was born an “elf child” as the name Pamela was given to me, and yes that’s its meaning. I have held myself back. Yes, I’m 98% the culprit or should I say “was” the culprit. I have always “LOVED” to watch my parents cook and entertain, there was nothing better. I held myself back (without being aware of my scotoma). My dream came true in June 2011 and I started living it in October 2011: the dream of becoming a chef. I no longer “believe“ I can fly, I am flying!!! No one is holding me back, if it is to be, it begins with me. I am performing my rites of passage…..I am free, I am living my affirmations, life is good. Cooking, or should I say, watching my parents cook, was a joy for me. I enjoyed playing outside with my sisters and brothers but when it was time to prepare lunch, dinner (sometimes breakfast before school) I was on a stool looking and trying to help. Most of the time my mom made the meals but when she was working on the train as a chef, my dad did the cooking. My mom had large biscuit pans that were black from lots of use, all types of knives that she sharpened on the back porch near the smoke house.
My family always sits down together for every meal, and we begin every meal with a prayer. The food would look and smell so good it was hard to keep our eyes closed. We always had homemade biscuits, cornbread and cakes. We raised our own chickens and hogs, boy you should see my mom ring the chicken’s neck! She did it so fast and merciful; there was always an audience to watch. Thinking back my moms’ potatoes, rutabagas, and other vegetables were perfect cubes. I did not understand it then but now I know! My dad loves cooking fresh meats and of all things eel and catfish stew. Anything they cooked was excellent and I really never saw them use a recipe book. Can you believe that?
My parents at 89 and 92 still cook and the food is still delicious. I learned and imitated their cooking and kitchen activities, still now I see them back in the day cooking, as I now work in the Chefs Academy Kitchen. Everything I conquer in the kitchen makes them proud. So I am free when I cook. Cooking is a beautiful thing!!
I have other inspirations that include Julia Child, John Gargone, Maya Angelou, Emerald La Gassi, and Paula Dean. Each one of these chefs had to overcome some form of scotoma. Julia Child did not know how to cook and she doubted herself, but with the help and support of her husband she overcame her fear, enrolled in a French all-male cooking school, rose above the adversity and graduated at the top of the class. Mrs. Child never looked back, she continued her career to become a world renown chef, TV personality and author. I was very saddened at her death; I realized that she lives now bigger and better (death could not silence her fame). As I stated earlier, “I am flying.” Well, I could not have accomplished this without the help of my instructors and these treasures we call text books.  All lessons carry us to the edge of excitement and awe with no return to our past habits. Life’s lessons are sometimes hard to digest; however, culinary lessons contain all the ingredients, vitamins, water, tools and directions that one will need to carry on the road to excellence. Will you travel with me on this journey? I have received in one term all of my goals and my visions if I must travel without company. Teamwork is the key to any undertaking in the world today. One of the lessons that have been instilled in us is: You don’t have to like your co-worker but you must work well with them. The world is small and you don’t know who may have to loan you a case of seafood for the next evening rush. The DISC test helped us realize our personalities and who and how we react to others and how we can work out differences amongst each other. The learning tools have been too numerous for me to go into but I am thankful for every word uttered from my “Strategies for Success” class.
My health has been a draw back in my career, I have battled cancer and survived, I have lost my sight for 1 month as well as my ability to walk for greater than a month. I had faith and a positive attitude that carried me through the fires of life that tried to consume me. I held myself back when I said “I don’t think I can drive out to school,” or “I don’t know how I’m going to do it.” I prayed and now I have driven a full term with no accidents or major health setbacks. Lou Tice, the creator of our “Strategies for Success” class is a wonderful person. I give him so much credit for his teachings which are eye opening and we can teach others to get on the road to excellence. My math skills were another drawback but now I feel comfortable that I will master that class. I’m on a roll... I have put plans in effort to bring my career goals to fruition; I am in line with getting my company off the ground. I am to be a traveling chef, doing contract work when I desire and when I am not traveling I am working with diabetic and obese persons bringing them a higher quality of life and happiness. I will help all that I can and if I can’t I’m sure that one of my classmates can fill the order. I love to share and I believe in “each one, teach one”. I could go on and on about the joys and techniques I have acquired but I may bore you and that is not my goal. I am so blessed to have been accepted in this wonderful school that I call my second home. I will work for the first five years to become proficient. I am flying and it’s all because of endurance, patience and a positive attitude and in front of that comes my love for my fellowman.

Happy Holidays,
Pamela Terry

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Micro-Blog: Tony Hudson

Mise en Place, a term that we are all familiar with whether we knew it from past experience or first heard it hear at TCA.  There is no disputing that a proper Mise en Place makes you more efficient and improves your work flow. But what happens when we forget to do our mental Mise en place?
For me mental Mise en place is a combination of physical and mental preparedness for school.   We all have different lives, backgrounds and responsibilities outside of school and it is easy to let life get in the way. My challenge to you my fellow students is to do your mental Mise en Place. Did you study or cram last minute?  Where are your books your pens and paper?  Are you truly prepared for class or is your focus on what you did last night or what you have to do today? Are you participating in class or being disruptive? Is your uniform clean!? Is it ironed like it’s supposed to be? Does your uniform fit properly or are your pants dragging the ground. How about that neckerchief is it tied properly?   Are you clean shaven?  Is your hair pulled back or are you frantically searching for a hair thingy right before class? Are you serious about being here or are you still figuring things out?  Do you carry yourself in a manner that is befitting of a future chef?  What does being a TCA student mean to you? However you may answer these questions I hope that you want to make the most out of your time here. 
Semper Paratus,
Tony Hudson

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Micro-Blog: Terry Rusch

Emulsification at The Chef's Academy
Well I made it through my first term at The Chef’s Academy and I have to say it has been one of the greatest times and experiences in my life.  I have made a lot of friends….well actually I would call them family.  Like a family we don’t all get a long or like each other all the time BUT at the end of the day we are still family.   One term that you learn in cooking or culinary school is emulsion which is defined as “A uniform mixture of two unmixable liquids is called an emulsion”, ie. oil and vinegar. Many times I have made an analogy (corny as it may be) that all of us at The Chef’s Academy are an emulsion also.  An emulsion of people of different backgrounds, attitudes, ideas, life experiences, experiences in the restaurant industry or general kitchen/cooking experience or lack of also.  Like my last blog on how The Chef’s Academy was soooo similar to my experience in Basic Training in the Army, I have realized again how similar it is to the emulsion of people that normally would not know , work, socialize or maybe even like each other normally.  Like in the Army you learn to work together or learn how because you have to, you have to help each other , provide your experiences, take into consideration that people know more and less than you.
Day in and day out we have great days and some days everyone is disputing something, but in the end we are family and work it out and tomorrow is a new day.  Most of my life I have held a grudge, not forget nor forgive but here at TCA I learn more everyday about PEOPLE and the importance of just letting it go.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  You have to forgive as well as sometimes forget just to reach that next level, usually there is nothing personal meant by anything with the arguments or disputes, you just have to see how that other person is viewing the task or situation or explain your vision so see eye to eye.  There is a lot of compromise in life and dealing with people especially in the kitchen, remember that old saying, “If you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen”.  This is sooo true in the kitchen at culinary school or in a restaurant when you have a deadline or an order waiting, your job is to get it done fast, efficiently and together as a team.  This is the only way to get through in life and especially in the heat of the kitchen, like in the military you have another soldier watching your back to stay alive and them to keep you alive. 
At the end of a 10 week term being with the same 30 or so people it can get hard. Watch any reality TV show  sometime and you will laugh and think I can deal with someone for a week, a year or whatever without having those dramatic scenes……YOU CAN’T!!!!   But when you go on a Christmas/Holiday break you realize what you are missing and that is your Chef’s Academy family even Uncle Steve who tells the corny jokes or Aunt Martha who is always gossiping about everyone, cousin Andy who is always mad at the world and is always ready for a fight, the mother-in-law or grandfather who is always critical and knows it all, the nagging wife and whiney children, but again at the end of the day “We are Family”.  Sometimes the things that you dislike most in another person are the flaws you actually see in yourself.  I missed all of you during our 11 days away from each other and I wouldn’t change a thing about any of you and looking forward to emulsifying with you guys!