Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Inverted" Hollandaise Sauce

What do I mean by an "inverted" Hollandaise sauce?  It means I'm doing it all backwards which will make those snooty French chefs cringe.  Screw em.  If you have a way to make a sauce in half the time, with no risk of failure, and have it taste the same as the one the guy with the accent makes, why would you do it any other way?  The only thing you need is a blender, and a saucepan.  Here's the recipe, you'll understand how easy it is in a second.

4 egg yolks
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tsp water
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 sticks of butter

Ok, here's how to do it.  Put the two sticks of butter in the saucepan, and melt it on medium heat.  Make sure the butter is hot, but don't allow the fat to burn.  Pour the hot butter into a pourable pyrex measuring cup and set next to the blender.  Put the egg yolks, water, lemon juice, pepper, and salt into your blender.  Turn the blender on, and while it's running open the feed tube at the top and slowly drizzle your butter in through the top. DON'T DUMP THE BUTTER IN ALL AT ONCE!  The trick is the slow drizzle.   If the butter is hot it will cook the eggs to the correct temperature.  Pasteurized eggs are a good choice when making egg based sauces, so I always suggest them.  If you have a thermos it's a great way to keep the sauce warm.

If you add a chipotle pepper or two it makes a wonderful southwestern hollandaise over poached eggs, and jalapeno cornbread.  

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chicken Satay (or chicken in a spicy Thai peanut sauce)

Tonight some of my closest friends are coming over to have dinner and watch zombie movies.  I'm making this recipe which is one of my favorites and always a huge crowd pleaser.  Peanut sauce is one of my wife's favorites as well, so brownie points for me.  This works well as an appetizer if the chicken is on skewers, you can skewer bell pepper or even pineapple with it if you like, but I'm simply using this tonight as a substitute for BBQ sauce.

2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 scallions roughly minced
1-3 Thai chilis or Jalapenos (leave seeds if you like it hot)
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 cup peanut butter (Chunky if you like a little more texture)
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp fish sauce (can be found in Asian food section of most mega marts.  Substitute soy sauce if you can't find it.)
3 Tbsp lime juice (use real limes, not the bottled stuff)
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 Tbsp Kecap Manis (sweet molasses soy sauce) or Molasses
Black pepper
1/2 cup chopped peanuts for garnish
Cilantro leaves for garnish

Place the Tomato paste, garlic, chilis, cilantro, and scallions in the food processor and puree to a fine paste.  Add the remaining ingredients and continue to process.  You may want to add more fish sauce at this point, or brown sugar, or perhaps lime juice depending on your particular taste.  You don't want to baste your chicken with this or it will burn, this is a finishing sauce only.  If you marinade your chicken in a little soy sauce, and lime juice before you grill, it will be better.  The sauce should be thick and pourable like a BBQ sauce.  If it's too thick just add a little more stock or a little water.  Garnish the chicken with chopped peanuts and cilantro leaves.  If you take the green part of a scallion and slice it very thin and soak it for a couple minutes in ice water, it makes a pretty garnish as well, just drain the scallion and sprinkle over the top.  Bon appetite!

Hello and Welcome!!!

My name is Dallas Bono, and I am one of the Chefs of the Pocket Chefs; my partner is Chef Jeremy Hankins.  Together we have about 35 years worth of collective experience in the restaurant business both in the front of the house and in the kitchen.  I would like to welcome you to our blog.  We are very exited about this opportunity to connect with the public, and have some interaction with you.  In this blog we will be posting several recipes to try. Some that we use professionally, some that we might try at home for ourselves or our friends, or some tricks of the trade that might make your personal culinary journey a little easier.  We will also tell stories of our experiences in the food business, as well as restaurant reviews for Athens, Atlanta, or other places we might visit along the way.  We are very happy to hear about some of your successes in the kitchen as well.  If you have a great recipe, e-mail it to us and we might post it on the blog, or a culinary success story or nightmare might be another fun addition.  If you are opinionated about food and it's preparation we welcome the discourse, so definitely e-mail us your opinions.