How you doin’? Do you find that you have more time to test new recipes these days? Here’s one of my favorite lighter recipes from China Rose my Arlington, Texas restaurant—made with fresh American produce.
I love minced chicken lettuce wraps. They are low in carbs and I can stuff my face without any guilt whatsoever. This is the easiest, quickest, healthiest meal you could ever make. If you have good moves in the kitchen, you can easily get this on your dinner table in less than 15 minutes. Plus, it’s budget friendly, too! You can easily double or triple this recipe as needed.
Prep time: 9 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the lettuce cups
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, leaves separated into cups and washed
For the Gai Soong stir-fry sauce
1 tablespoon sherry wine
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon chili oil
For the chicken filling
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3/4 cup chicken, uncooked, minced (thigh meat recommended; see ChefSecret)
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/3 cup fresh oyster or brown mushrooms, minced
2/3 cup bamboo shoots, minced
2/3 cup water chestnuts, minced
2/3 cup celery, minced
1 teaspoon red jalapeño peppers, minced
1/3 cup green onions, minced (tops and bottoms)
#LettuceWraps #Chicken #GaiSoong #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen
How you doin’? Over 30 million people are now out of work and many are looking for ways to trim their food budget. Mexican food tends to be less expensive and can be stretched further than other cuisines.
I want to share a very special recipe—my taco seasoning mix. If you love eating Mexican foods even past Cinco de Mayo you’re in for a treat. This is not only the perfect filling for tacos, but also great for meat filled-burritos and taco salads.
When I worked at Lawry’s, we developed the first Taco Seasoning Mix—and it was a hit. We found that you can use the seasoned meat on a variety of Mexican specialties. Not into beef? It’s is also the prefect seasoning for ground chicken, turkey and tofu. So here it is… the perfect hack for Lawry’s Taco Seasoning Mix.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 cup
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
La Cocina Patio Tacos
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-pound ground beef (80/20)
3 tablespoons Ed’s Taco Seasoning Mix
2/3 cup of water
ChefSecret: 3 tablespoons of this taco seasoning is the equivalent to 1 package of Lawry’s Taco Seasoning. The seasoning mix keeps well in an airtight container at cool room temperature up to 6 months.
#Tacos #CincoDeMayo #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Lawrys #Covid19 #Burritos
How you doin’? We have had lots strange days lately. One way to change a ho-hum day is a rasher of bacon. Bacon makes a day very special—even McDonald’s has bacon sales, where you can put slices on anything—as an extra—for just a few extra pennies. When it comes to bacon, there is only one brand that rises to the level of “gourmet”—Benton Bacon.
Allan Benton is his name and bacon is his game. He is known as the “pig whisper,” “bacon god” and the “ham hero.” He is the darling of high-end restaurant chefs in New York, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Los Angeles. His country hams can be found in Momofuku Noodle Bar's ramen bowls in New York City and his bacon is ground into the patties of Husk's legendary cheeseburgers in Charleston. It’s safe to say, Allan Benton’s phone number is on the speed dial of many of this country’s celebrity chefs. If you want to try the “real stuff” check Benton out at https://bentonscountryhams2.com/about.html.
Now let’s talk about another bacon maven--Tabitha Brown. I’m not sure she has ever seen a live pig or worked in a smoke house, but she does know her way around a kitchen.
Tabitha is a wife, cook, mother, actress and fashion designer from Eden, North Carolina. She also claims to be the inventor of Carrot Bacon—a simple substitute for the real fatty, piggy stuff—and it’s damn good. She has about 12.5 million followers on social media. Many swear they can’t tell the difference between the real stuff and Carrot Bacon.
So, now it is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done—here’s how to make a healthier, vegan Carrot Bacon.
1 large, thick carrot (the big honking ones)
1 teaspoon liquid smoke, Wright’s
1/2 cup real maple syrup (do not use “pancake” syrup… real maple only)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
ChefSecret: If you don’t have an air fryer, try cooking it on a rack in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. You might have to experiment a little with time and temperature.
#Breakfast #Brunch #Lunch #Bacon #Pork #BentonsBacon #CarrotBacon #TabithaBrown #AllanBenton #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19 #ComfortFoods
How you doin’? Look on the bright side… we are another day closer to seeing our world back to some sense of normalcy. There are a couple of things I would like to talk to you about today.
While we are still on “lock-down” it’s a good time to experiment a little in the kitchen—do not be frightened to try new things. Through consumer research over the years, we’ve learned that most meal providers have a repertoire of only 5 items they feel comfortable cooking for their families—and one of them is hashed-over restaurant leftovers. Cooking from scratch has been overtaken by cooking for convenience. The latter is more exp ensive and adds to the weekly cash register tape from your local grocer. So, save some bucks and try cooking from scratch. Here’s a great starter recipe for you.
Yesterday, Joan had a hankering for her favorite California Pizza Kitchen Smashed Pea & Barley Soup. This soup has been a once a week must for the last year. Joan orders the SP&B and I get the Tortilla Soup—it’s kind of the best restaurant comfort food for lunch. So, I went into the test kitchen and fired up my trusty Instant Pot and started whipping up this CPK hack. It’s a hearty split pea soup with barley, carrots, onions, savory herbs and green onions. This is a recipe hack just like the popular soup sold at California Pizza Kitchen… Joan says it’s really close; I think it’s better—give it a try. Joan says, it’s like a warm comforting hug in a bowl! Of course, we both look forward to visiting the CPK near the office again soon.
This soup is naturally vegan. However, if you want to add some extra richness to the soup you can add in chunks of ham and/or cook the soup with a ham hock. You can also garnish with crumbled bacon when serving.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes (plus 10 minutes pressure release)
Yield: 8 servings
1 cup dried split peas, rinsed and sorted (check for rocks)
1 cup cup uncooked pearl barley
8 cups water (or beef or vegetable stock for added flavor)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon reduce sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1-1/2 cups diced carrots
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (for a touch of brightness)
Salt and pepper, soy sauce to taste
1/2 cup green onion circles
ChefSecret: The Instant Pot cooking methods shaves off about 2-1/2 hours of cooking time.
#Soups #Entrees #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19 #ComfortFoods #Lunch #CPK
How you doin’? As we continue to hear reports from various officials, it appears that there are now plans to restart the American economy… sooner, rather than later. That’s great news! It couldn’t come fast enough, though we must be cautious. Many of us foodservice professionals know the severe toll this quarantine has taken on our restaurants and bars, owners and employees. The conservative estimate is that nearly 23% of Los Angeles’ restaurants will never reopen. That’s quite a hit for an already risky, low-margin business. Quite frankly, I know many restaurant owners and it breaks my heart to take their calls during the day and hear how much trouble they are in.
I know the emphasis for this recipe blog has been on comfort foods, but as we begin to go back to work, we’d better start thinking about fitting back into our work clothes (assuming that sweat pants doesn’t qualify for ‘business casual’. So, it’s back to salads, low calories meals and maybe even (re)starting a diet. One of my all-time favorite salads is the Cobb—I can eat one every day and never get bored. You might ask yourself, what’s the origin of this now most popular salad? Well, the story goes like this…
The Brown Derby-Beverly Hills was actually Perspectives’ first client. Sally Cobb, Bob Cobb’s widow, was trying to keep the Derby afloat at a time when the entire restaurant scene in Los Angeles was changing. I used to love the Brown Derby Cobb Salad and it is best to start with the classics, so here's the recipe along with the Hollywood folklore of how it was invented as told to me by Sally Cobb.
One night in 1925, Herbert K. Somborn was chatting with Abe Frank, the manager of the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel, and Sid Grauman of Chinese Theater fame; and as idle chatter goes remarked, "You could open a restaurant in an alley and call it anything or you could even build it in the shape of a hat and if the food and service are good the patrons will come flocking." To achieve the standards set for this little Derby, Somborn, the husband of the celebrated cinema star, Gloria Swanson, selected a young friend who had been raised in the restaurant business. This was Robert H. Cobb, a combination food checker, steward, buyer, cashier and occasional cook when the Brown Derby opened.
During its first four years, the original Little Hat Derby restaurant added only two items to its menu—a salad and a cake. The salad was almost an accident. Bob Cobb, growing weary of the steady hot-dog-hamburger diet, found an avocado in the icebox. He chopped it up, along with some lettuce, celery and tomatoes, plus a strip of bacon and some salad dressing, and had that for his dinner. Several days later he tried it again, adding other ingredients that he had purchased on his way to work: breast of turkey (some people claim it was chicken, but it was originally turkey), chives, hard-boiled egg, watercress, and a wedge of Roquefort cheese for the dressing. And that's how the Cobb Salad was born.
Everything was finely chopped and that was very laborious, so Mr. Cobb went to an engineer who was able to invent a horizontal chopper. That device was later reproduced by Hobart Corp. and named the Buffalo Chopper. So, get ready to chop the following as originally written:
Prep Time: 15-20 Minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
1/2 head of chilled iceberg lettuce
1/2 bunch chilled watercress
1 small bunch chilled chicory
1/2 head chilled romaine
2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled
2 breasts of roasted chicken or turkey (depending on what story you believe and the whims of the chef)
6 strips crisp bacon
3 hard-cooked eggs
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 cup grated imported Roquefort cheese (blue cheese works as well)
Plus, 1 cup Brown Derby Old-Fashioned French Dressing (see recipe below)
Brown Derby Old-Fashioned French Dressing
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
This is the French Dressing which became so popular among the Hollywood stars. The cup of water is optional, depending upon the degree of oiliness desired in this dressing.
1 cup water
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2-1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon English mustard
1 head garlic, chopped (about 1-ounce)
1 cup olive oil
3 cups salad oil (lite vegetable oil)
The story continues… some people could not get enough of the Roquefort cheese. Remember, this was the roaring ‘20’s and many people had never tasted anything like this, so they either loved it or hated it.
One day Gloria Swanson heard that someone didn’t want their blue-veined cheese. “What a waste,” she declared. Not wanting to waste anything, she had the waiter blended the cheese into her salad dressing before it was poured over her Cobb Salad. From that day forward there were two choices of dressing for Bob and Sally’s favorite salad.
And now you know the whole story.
#Salad #CobbSalad #BrownDerby #Brunch #Lunch #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
Who is Ed Engoron?