Tips for Using Roma Tomatoes Throughout the Year

Tips for Using Roma Tomatoes Throughout the Year

Tips for Using Roma Tomatoes Throughout the Year

Surprise! Roma tomatoes, which usually hit their peak in late summer, are doing very well in both quality and quantity right now! Romas, one of my favorite workhorse varieties, are lovely sliced paper-thin and baked right on top of comforting mac and cheese. Spike those wintery salads with gorgeous, gleaming Roma wedges.

Try blanching, skinning, and de-seeding Romas for a totally convincing and beautiful vegan “sashimi” topping. One of my favorite ways to use Romas is roasting them down in an oven, concentrating their sweetness, and pulsing them into a dip. The most delicious version is Matbucha, a rich, luxurious tomato and chili dip popular in the Middle East. Matbucha immediately elevates any sandwich and is perfect on its own as an appetizer served with pita chips.

Similarly, tomato jam, or chow-chow is a good option as a garnish to almost any roasted or pan-fried protein. However you use them, tomatoes are an unexpected way to breathe life into your favorite wintery dishes!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Super Sweet, Concentrated Roasted Romas

Super Sweet, Concentrated Roasted Romas

Super Sweet, Concentrated Roasted Romas

This dish is almost as versatile as it is delicious. When left in the oven long enough, Roma tomatoes become luscious and almost jam like in the middle, while retaining their beautiful toothsome structure on the outside. Use these beauties on their own as a side dish, or process them into dips and sauces for a hit of concentrated, deep tomato flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

Directions

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together olive oil, thyme, garlic, and salt. Toss tomatoes in mixture until coated. Place tomato halves cut side up on baking sheet. Spoon remaining oil mixture over tomatoes.

Transfer baking sheet to oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours, depending on size of tomatoes. Remove from oven and cool completely.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

All Hail the Kale

All Hail the Kale

All Hail the Kale

We all know that kale has been the green star of the restaurant world for the past few years, and for good reason. Kale is delicate in flavor and sturdy enough to withstand most cooking methods. It is incredibly high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, making it a go-to for “healthy halo” seekers. Where potatoes and rice once ruled the starch real estate on a dinner plate, kale is moving in fast as the newer, leaner workhorse.

Best of all, kale is adaptable, soaking up any flavorful sauce, marinade, or spice rub. Leaving both the stalk and leaf intact, kale leaves loves to be dredged in seasoned rice flour and dunked in ice cold tempura batter, deep fried to crispy perfection. Served alongside a simple soy and chili paste sauce, lime wedges, and dusted with salt, this appetizer is sure to please and it is quick and inexpensive to prepare. Creamy kale gratin is a major crowd pleaser and is especially nice fired in individual cast iron pans or ramekins.

Marinated in chipotle in adobo and lime juice, kale pan-fried with mushrooms, onion and garlic are an excellent vegetarian taco option. Curly kale is also perfect for making crispy, crunchy oven-roasted kale chips because the natural shape helps to trap flavors like garlic, soy sauce, chili flakes, and parmesan cheese.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Japanese Peanut and Sesame Spinach

Japanese Peanut and Sesame Spinach

Japanese Peanut and Sesame Spinach

Traditionally called “gomae,” this appetizer is fresh, clean, and absolutely packed with flavor. The best part is that all the components can be made in advance, and plated up elegantly at the last second. Prepare to meet your new addiction!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb clean spinach
  • 2 tbs peanut butter
  • 2 tbs seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbs soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbs warm water
  • Bonito flakes (or toasted sesame seeds) for topping

Directions

Cram all the spinach into a large lidded pot with a steamer and a half an inch of water in the bottom of it, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Steam the spinach until it is thoroughly wilted and collapsed--a minute or two. Leave it to cool while you make the dressing.

Combine the peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sweetener in a food processor and process until it's blended and creamy, then drizzle in the water with the motor running. Now look at it and taste it: it should be thin enough to pour (add more water if it's not) and it should be a perfect balance of sweet and salty, with just enough vinegar to keep it from being cloying. Scrape the dressing into a jar you can pour it from easily.

Gather up the spinach and squeeze it over the sink. Really squeeze it--you're going to end up with something around the size of a baseball, which is kind of demoralizing but totally fine! Once the spinach is squeezed of all its liquid, chop it roughly into bite sized pieces with a sharp knife.

Squeeze the spinach back into a ball or dome shape and drizzle the dressing around it. Sprinkle the bonito flakes on top, and serve.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

How to Learn to Love Brussels Sprouts

How to Learn to Love Brussels Sprouts

How to Learn to Love Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts, my favorite winter vegetable if not only versatile and sturdy enough to withstand many cooking techniques, but they are also delicious this time of year. Raw Brussels sprouts are tender, pleasantly bitter, and tough enough to handle pre-service prep. One of my favorite ways to use them is in place of Romaine lettuce in classic Caesar salads. Brussels sprouts are also ideal for bite-sized appetizers. Try wrapping some in bacon and drizzling with a syrupy pomegranate molasses and miso reduction.

Roasting is the ultimate way to serve Brussels sprouts. When cooked properly, the outer leaves become crispy and golden, while the insides stay moist and flavor-packed from absorbing the marinades around them. Though it adds to prep time, I believe that halved sprouts are tastier because the cut-side is easier to caramelize than rounded edges. Try roasting halves with miso, fish sauce, brown sugar, and chili flakes for a Southeast Asian spin.

Brussels sprouts are also very nice when allowed to sear, cut side down on a burning hot cast iron pan. The pleasant, charred effect is unique and visually very pretty. Lastly, nobody every got mad at a deep-fried Brussels sprout. Try coating yours in sweet and fiery Kung Pao sauce and finishing them with crushed peanuts, scallions, and sesame seeds.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

 

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Crispy Brussels Sprout Okonomiyaki

Crispy Brussels Sprout Okonomiyaki

Crispy Brussels Sprout Okonomiyaki

This is Japanese street food at its best. Crispy, crunchy, fresh, and loaded with toppings, this veggie pancake (essentially like a giant latke), is perfect any time of day.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, julienned (about 4 cups)
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • Kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Sriracha, mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and furikake (for serving)

Directions

Combine brussels sprouts, sweet potato, scallion, and egg in a large bowl; season with salt. Mix with your hands until vegetables are evenly coated. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and toss to combine (mixture shouldn’t be gummy, but a handful should clump together).

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add half of vegetable mixture; press into a thin even layer across bottom of skillet. Cook until pancake begins to set, about 1 minute. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil around edge and shake to ensure pancake can slide around; cook until golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes longer. Slide pancake onto a baking sheet or the underside of a flat pot lid, then invert pancake back into skillet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil around edge of pancake and cook until second side is golden brown, about 2 minutes.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Imaginative Ways to Use Avocados

Imaginative Ways to Use Avocados

Imaginative Ways to Use Avocados

After months and months of instability in the market, creamy, luscious, dream avocados are back as a good buy in both quality and quantity! Avocados are luxurious on their own in salads, layered on sandwiches, mashed into guacamole, and spread on toast. But they can also be used imaginatively. Massage raw avocado directly into fresh kale with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil for an irresistible side dish or base for other fresh ingredients. Or consider replacing oil with fat-rich avocados in your favorite blended emulsions.

And speaking of fat, blend avocado and pure, salted butter together for a gorgeous, jade compound butter that can be frozen and melted on top of fish, chicken, steak, or veggies anytime! A drop of lemon juice or citric acid will help keep the color bright. Avocados are also lovely blended into fruit smoothies because they add color, richness, and creaminess. Pair them with other fruits like berries or melons in your blender, or go nuts and do 100% avocado! Just make sure to cut it with a little sweetener like maple syrup or agave.

Avocados are also very useful in dairy-free confectionary work. One of my favorite desserts is luscious chocolate pudding with avocado as the base. Avocado is also delicious dredged in tempura batter and fried to golden brown perfection, or used as an edible baking dish for eggs. The sky is the limit!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

The Best Avocado and Chocolate Pudding

The Best Avocado and Chocolate Pudding

The Best Avocado and Chocolate Pudding

You won’t believe this recipe. Really. It is so smooth, so creamy, so decadent, that it tastes like there are cups full of heavy cream in it. But avocados lend not only luscious texture, but sweetness as well. Avoid the whipped cream topping if you want to keep it vegan!

Ingredients

2 large avocados, pits removed

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup agave nectar

¼ cup (or more) fresh orange juice

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1½ cups heavy cream (optional)

¼ cup cocoa nibs and/or chopped hazelnuts

Directions

Scoop avocado flesh into a blender and scrape in vanilla bean seeds; reserve pod for another use. Add cocoa powder, maple syrup, agave nectar, orange juice, and salt and blend to a coarse purée. With motor running, gradually stream in ¾ cup hot (but not boiling) water; blend, adding more orange juice as needed, until smooth and creamy.

Divide pudding among eight 4–6 oz. ramekins or small bowls and chill (uncovered) at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, whip cream in a medium bowl to soft peaks and spoon over pudding, if desired; top with cocoa nibs and/or hazelnuts.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

The Reign of Cauliflower

The Reign of Cauliflower

The Reign of Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the new steak. And the new potato. It can withstand deep frying, broiling, searing, and pureeing. It is inexpensive, has a long shelf-life, and acts as a deliciously porous sponge, soaking up aromatics and spices like a champ. In addition to its enormous culinary potential, cauliflower is healthy and has enjoyed a recent surge in fame on restaurant menus around the country. 5 years ago, we wouldn’t describe it as hip, but today, cauliflower is standing in for fattier, richer components and diners couldn’t be happier!

Deep fried florets coated in flour and cornstarch tops my charts and can be adorned with General Tso’s or Buffalo Wing-style sauces. Crispy, fresh, and totally addictive options for appetizers and entrees. Roasting cauliflower retains its inviting texture while imparting deep caramelization. Toss florets in olive oil, za’atar, salt, and sumac and roast until brown for an exciting Middle Eastern side. Or go whole-hog and roast an entire crown of cauliflower and present it to a table full of hungry diners. Cauliflower is also perfect for purees and mashes because its starch content adds richness and body. Pureed soups, like butternut squash, benefit enormously from the addition of cauliflower.

If your diners love mashed potatoes, they will also love cauliflower mashed with white beans and cloves of whole, roasted garlic. This healthier alternative packs in flavor and can be made far in advance, unlike mashed potatoes. Leftover can be mixed together with bread crumbs, egg, and fried into croquettes.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese

This is just one of those dishes that generates “wows” from your guests. And silent, jaw dropping. The whole head of roasted cauliflower is visually stunning, and packs a ton of roasty, spicy flavor. It’s all mellowed out with a dab of cool, whipped goat cheese. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 ounces feta
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
  • Coarse sea salt (for serving)

Directions

Preheat oven to 475°. Bring wine, oil, kosher salt, juice, butter, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leaf, and 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15-20 minutes.

Using 2 slotted spoons or a mesh spider, transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet, draining well. Roast, rotating sheet halfway through, until brown all over, 30-40 minutes.

While cauliflower is roasting, blend goat cheese, cream cheese, feta, cream, and 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor until smooth; season with sea salt. Transfer whipped goat cheese to a serving bowl and drizzle with oil.

Transfer cauliflower to a plate. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with whipped goat cheese.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Lemongrass: The Versatile Herb Everyone's Buzzing About

Lemongrass: The Versatile Herb Everyone's Buzzing About

Lemongrass: The Versatile Herb Everyone's Buzzing About

Our taste for non-American food isn’t “trendy." Diners across the country have been gradually and consistently exposed to flavors from India, the Middle East, Southeast-Asia, Africa, and more over the last decade or so, and now we can’t get enough! Ingredients like lemongrass are becoming so common on our plates that they are sold in conventional supermarkets and on fast casual menus.

Lemongrass is a stalky plant with a lemony scent sends a citrusy, grassy spark through any dish it touches. When purchasing lemongrass, look for firm stalks (not soft or rubbery, which means it's too old). The lower stalk should be pale yellow (almost white) in color, while upper stalks should be green. The lower bulb and tough outer leaves are best simmered in stocks, curries, and sauces for their aroma, and then thrown away because they are inedible. The main stalk (the yellow section) should be “bruised” with the back of your knife several times to really unlock the flavor.

Try pounding slices in a mortar and pestle (or food processor) with cilantro stems, fresh chilies, a bit of sugar, ginger, and lime juice. This paste is gorgeous stirred into broth, stir fry, and sauces. It can also be frozen into cubes and stored, ready to give any dish a punch of flavor, or used as a marinade for chicken, shrimp, or fish. It’s also very easy to flavor ice cream base and simple syrups for cocktails with lemongrass. Just steep a few sections of it for 10 minutes in milk or syrup!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Tarragon Vinegar

Tarragon Vinegar

Tarragon Vinegar

This is almost a laughably simple “recipe”, but the impact is huge. Tarragon is a super subtle flavor, and the anisey, almost citrusy notes can easily get lost in some recipes. But allowing it to steep over time in vinegar allows its remarkable essence to shine through! Use this vinegar in simple salad dressings, marinades, and on top of roasted vegetables, fish, or chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 1⁄8 teaspoons dried tarragon leaves

Directions

Place the tarragon in a clean glass jar. Heat the vinegar to just under the boil. Pour over the tarragon. Leave to cool without covering the jar.

If the jar cover is metal, place some clear plastic wrap over the jar before screwing on the cap (to protect the cap from corrosion). Leave the jar of vinegar in a dark, dry place for two weeks.

Strain the tarragon vinegar through a coffee filter into a clean 4-ounce glass bottle that comes with a plastic lid. Cap and use for recipes calling for tarragon vinegar.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

The Secret(s) To Bell Peppers

The Secret(s) To Bell Peppers

The Secret(s) To Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are mainstays in most of our produce drawers at home, and in professional kitchens. They form the base of mirepoix and sofritos that elevate our sauces and soups, fill out our fajitas, and get stuffed with everything from sausage to rice. 

But have you ever wondered why they come in so many colors and, more importantly, why they vary so much in price? It's not a matter of pigment discrimination: Red and yellow bell peppers are essentially just green peppers that have been allowed to ripen. Red peppers are fully ripened, and they require more time to grow, resulting in their sweeter, fruitier flavor and higher price sticker. Green bell peppers can be harvested sooner, they're cheaper to grow and sell, in addition to having a trademark grassy, mildly bitter flavor. Yellow peppers are simply in the middle of the spectrum when it comes to ripeness (though some varieties remain yellow when fully mature).

Try roasting bell peppers over high flames until their flesh is totally charred, seal them in a paper bag for 10 minutes to allow the black bits to steam away from the tender flesh inside. Peel away the skin, and reveal super sweet, smokey flesh that can be used in everything from posole, to tacos, to middle eastern dips like muhamarra. Raw bell peppers of delicious thrown into salads, and are equally nice baked right onto pizzas and into calzones.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Goat Cheese and Guava-Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Goat Cheese and Guava-Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Goat Cheese and Guava-Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

This recipe rules. It has everything! Clean, bright peppers, creamy goat cheese, and sweet, succulent guava paste melting throughout. Perfect as a vegetarian entrée or side dish.

Ingredients

  • 6 red bell peppers
  • 12 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
  • 1⁄2 tsp. lime zest
  • 1⁄4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbs crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup prepared guava paste cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Cotija cheese
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions

Arrange a rack 6 inches from the broiler element and set oven to broil. Put peppers on a baking sheet and broil, turning once, until just soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack; let cool.

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip goat cheese, oil, cilantro, zest, oregano, chili flakes, egg yolks, and guava paste; season with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise cut from the stem to the tip of each pepper; scoop out seeds and ribs. Stuff each pepper with some of the cheese filling; transfer to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet; chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle peppers with grated cheese; broil peppers until cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 6 minutes. Transfer peppers to a platter and serve hot. Garnish with extra cilantro, lime wedges, and pumpkin seeds.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Break Up Hearty Winter Dishes with Pineapple

Break Up Hearty Winter Dishes with Pineapple

Break Up Hearty Winter Dishes with Pineapple

My recipes get a little heavy over the winter. I make rich sauces, lots of mashed potatoes, and heavily roasted meats to warm up my diners. Luckily, the winter growing season is packed full of bright produce to help us cut through all the richness! Pineapple is one of my favorite items of the season because it can be utilized in both sweet and savory dishes, and it’s an unexpected tropical burst of almost-citrusy juice in an otherwise cold weather palate. Pineapple’s intense, fruity sweetness pairs perfectly with spicy chilies like habaneros, and it also complements earthy herbs like mint, cilantro, and even star anise. The high acid and sugar content of pineapples makes for perfect marinades and tenderizers for meat.

Whether added to a favorite barbeque sauce recipe, or muddled with oil, garlic, onion, and herbs, these fruits transform grilled, roasted, fried, or broiled proteins. Saving half of your marinade and adding extra chopped pineapple to the batch doubles as a bright, fresh sauce to spoon on top. Fresh pineapples are also sturdy enough to hold up in decadent Thai or Indian curries. Similarly, they can be roasted or braised alongside fish and allowed to caramelize deeply until they turn almost jammy. You can also try pickling pineapple for a snappy garnish on tacos. And of course, pineapples are lovely muddled in fresh winter cocktails. Try pairing them with spiced rum or brandy and a spritz of lime juice for an unexpected nightcap.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Pineapple and Star Anise Tarte Tatin

Pineapple and Star Anise Tarte Tatin

Pineapple and Star Anise Tarte Tatin

This dish is elegant enough to offer on a fancy menu, yet down to earth enough to gobble up during the weeknight. I love the way the smoky anise plays off the sweetness of the pineapple. An addition of rum-scented whipped cream takes everything over the top!

Ingredients

¾ cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1/3 cup butter

pinch of salt

1 ripe pineapple

8 star anise

1 package ready-made puff pastry

plain flour, for dusting

milk, for brushing

whipped cream, to serve (optional)

coconut rum, to serve (optional)

Directions

In a heavy-based saucepan, heat the sugar until it melts and turns golden brown. Do not stir, but swirl the pan to prevent the sugar from burning (watch closely as the sugar melts, as it can easily burn). Once caramelized, add the butter and salt to the pan, whisking as it melts to make a caramel sauce. Divide the caramel equally between the holes of mini tart pans or muffin tins and leave to cool.

Peel and core the pineapple and cut into 8 rings. Place a ring of pineapple into each hole and press a star anise into the center of each pineapple ring. Preheat the oven 400°F.

On a flour- dusted surface, roll the pastry thinly and cut out 8 discs of pastry. The discs should be slightly larger than the circumference of your muffin/tart tins. Press the pastry tightly over the pineapple, crimping around the edges. Brush with a little milk to glaze and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, until the pastry has risen and is golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, then carefully invert the tins onto a tray, taking care not to burn yourself on the hot caramel. Serve immediately, with whipped cream flavored with coconut rum if you wish.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Make Holiday Memories with Winter Citrus

Make Holiday Memories with Winter Citrus

Make Holiday Memories with Winter Citrus

I once read that of all our senses, smell and tastes are the ones that evoke the strongest memories for us. This time of year is rich in memories for many reasons, but I’d wager that a lot of it has to do with the warm aromas and dishes coming out of our kitchens. To me, citrus is the most evocative. Try stuffing tangerine or minneola skins with fresh tangerine sorbet as an after-dinner treat. Squeeze fresh blood orange juice into royal icing to flood your sugar cookies with natural magenta-spiked color. Segments of pink Cara Cara oranges (my personal favorite of the season) are absolutely luscious folded into rice or couscous. And don’t forget to stuff your holiday turkeys with plenty of Meyer lemons and fresh herbs. 


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Fresh Feta and Mint Winter Citrus Salad

Fresh Feta and Mint Winter Citrus Salad

Fresh Feta and Mint Winter Citrus Salad

This dish would be a stunning addition to any holiday table. Not only is it beautiful, but the freshness of it will cut through heavier dishes as well.

Ingredients

  • 3 blood oranges
  • 3 minneolas or tangerines
  • 1 naval or cara cara orange
  • 1 white grapefruit
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • Cracked black pepper

Directions

Peel citrus using a knife to remove as much white pith as possible. Slice into wheels about 1/4-inch thick, discarding any seeds. Layer fruit on a large serving platter, overlapping slices.

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar and honey and season with salt. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and garnish with mint, feta and pepper. Serve immediately.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

How to Use Winter's Shining Starfruit

How to Use Winter's Shining Starfruit

How to Use Winter's Shining Starfruit

This Week's Market Report Good Buy

All fruits are naturally engineered to look, smell, and taste as gorgeous as possible. Fruit plants are dependent upon it for regeneration! The Starfruit (also called “carambola”) is example of a fruit that really nails the beauty aspect. Grown in Southeast Asia, Australia, South America, Hawaii and Florida, starfruit is the quintessential tropical identifier that just screams luxury in fruit salads. Not only that, but starfruits are a good choice during the winter months because they are readily available, and because they're a good source of vitamin C. They are sweet, with a note of tartness, and have a firm, grape-like texture.

A ripe starfruit should be firm to the touch, have a bright yellow color, and may have slightly browned edges. Occasional patches of green are okay, but if a starfruit is mostly green in color, it means it’s not ripe. With its beautiful shape, starfruit is a natural choice for a garnish on the rim of a fun frozen drink. Just slice a little notch in it like you would a lemon or lime wedge, and stick it on the rim of your cocktail. Starfruit can also be baked and covered in a syrup for a fun, sweet star-shaped chip. Starfruits are commonly made into pickles or chutneys. These could go in salads, on top of curries, or basically go anywhere you’d eat any kind of pickled produce. This is a good use for starfruit that is less ripe.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Star Fruit Quencher

Star Fruit Quencher

Starfruit Quencher

The starfruit, or carambola, is the "star" of this beverage and tastes like a blend of apple, pear, and citrus fruits. This is a non-alcoholic drink, but a few shots of rum or tequila would be excellent in it as well!

Ingredients

8 oz fresh ginger root (2 pieces, each about 10 inches long)

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

1/2 cup pineapple juice

4 star fruits, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 cups crushed ice

1/2 cup lemon-lime-flavored sparkling water

chilled Carambola slices (optional)

Rum or tequila, (optional)

Directions

Peel the ginger root with a vegetable peeler, and cut into thin rounds. Bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium high heat. Add the sliced ginger and bring the mixture back up to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain syrup through fine mesh. Discard ginger.

Place pineapple juice and star fruit slices in a blender; process until smooth. Pour mixture through a sieve into a pitcher to measure 2 cups. Discard solids. Stir in ginger syrup and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate 45 minutes or until thoroughly chilled.

Fill glasses with 1 cup crushed ice. Pour star fruit mixture over ice. Add 1/4 cup sparkling water to each glass. Garnish with carambola slices, if desired.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.