It's Time for Summer Asparagus

It's Time for Summer Asparagus

It's Time for Summer Asparagus

Asparagus is just one of those ingredients that gets people excited. It feels like a luxury ingredient, and evokes images of verdant fields, crisp air, and new life. Packed with a laundry list of vitamins and minerals, asparagus graces any dish with an instant “healthy halo” of goodness. The trick with asparagus is to avoid over-cooking it.

These emerald spears shouldn’t come close to boiling pots of water, unless they are plunged in them for only seconds, and then soaked immediately in an ice bath to preserve their beautiful color. Shocked asparagus like this reached perfection when adorned with hollandaise sauce, capers, and crumbled egg. Asparagus is lovely roasted, sautéed, pan-fried and even grilled.

The sweet yet grassy flavor is complimented by strong flavors like goat cheese, parmesan, garlic, oyster sauce, vinegar, and egg yolks. Asparagus can also be eaten raw! Try using a vegetable peeler to create beautiful ribbons of asparagus for an elegant salad or garnish. One tip to keep in mind is that the thicker asparagus grows, the woodier it becomes, especially at the root end. Pencil-thin asparagus can be used as-is, but very large stalks should be shaved slightly, and the bottom ½ inch of the stalk should be discarded.


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.

Everything-Green Asparagus Salad

Everything-Green Asparagus Salad

Everything-Green Asparagus Salad

This salad practically screams summer. Crisp, ribbon-thin asparagus, just-tender favas, and herbs for days, it’s substantial enough to serve as a main course, and would be beautiful served along just about anything that touches your grill this season.

Ingredients 

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped raw pistachios
  • 1½ cups shelled fava beans (from about 1 ½ pounds pods)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, sliced thinly lengthwise on a mandoline
  • 2 cups trimmed watercress or arugula
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon leaves
  • 1 small wedge of Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until fragrant but not browned, 5–8 minutes. Let cool.

Cook fava beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water. Drain, remove skins, and transfer beans to a small bowl.

Combine shallot and vinegar in another small bowl; season with salt and pepper and set aside at least 10 minutes. Whisk oil into shallot mixture; season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Combine beans, asparagus, watercress, mint, and tarragon in a large bowl; add vinaigrette and pistachios and toss to combine. Garnish the whole dish by using a vegetable peeler to create ribbons of cheese, scattered across everything.


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.

What You Should Be Doing with All Those Summer Peaches

What You Should Be Doing with All Those Summer Peaches

What You Should Be Doing with All Those Summer Peaches

Is there anything more indicative of early summer than fresh, juicy, impossibly sweet peaches? Peaches generally have either white or yellow flesh, but both varieties are generally interchangeable. If they are perfectly ripe, that is. Un-ripened peaches aren’t any good to anybody, so please make sure you are working with peaches in their peak before eating or cooking with them. You can tell that they are ripe when you can squeeze them (gently) and they give a bit.

Also, they should smell distinctly sweet and floral. Aside from eating them right out of your hand, there are about a million ways to use peaches creatively. They pair extremely well with other sweet flavors like raspberries (aka “Peach Melba”), vanilla, and other stone fruits. Peach pie, tarts, muffins, breads, and cakes are all a great way to go! I love grilling fresh, halved peaches until their juices begin to bubble and serving them with sweetened ricotta cheese and crumbled graham cracker crumbs.

Peaches are also incredible paired with savory and salty flavors. Try macerating peaches with a bit of sugar until they get jammy, and using them as a foil for goat cheese, Parma ham, and olives on a charcuterie board. Or throw peaches into your favorite barbecue sauce and let them cook down into smoky, syrupy goodness!


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.

Chef Steph’s Peach and Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Chef Steph’s Peach and Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Chef Steph’s Peach and Bourbon BBQ Sauce

The sauce is summer in a jar. Sweet peaches and smoky bourbon elevate this traditional barbecue sauce into something special. Not that all barbecue isn’t special. But this sauce is kind of a game changer. Throw a few halved peaches onto the grill as well and serve them with whatever you slathered in this sauce!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 tbs ground black pepper
  • ½ -1 tbs chili powder (depending on your spice tolerance)
  • ½ - 1 tbs crushed red chili flakes (depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 2 tsp toasted onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 cups peaches chopped into cubes

Directions

Place all of the ingredients in a 4-quart pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Transfer the sauce to a blender or large food processor and blend until smooth and no chunks of peaches are visible. You may have to do this in stages to avoid spills.

Transfer the sauce to a bowl and let cool before pouring into jars. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.


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.

Eating the Skin of Kiwi is Good for You!

Eating the Skin of Kiwi is Good for You!

Eating the Skin of Kiwi is Good for You

The brown and hairy exterior of this egg-shaped fruit doesn't look promising, but inside it's a different story - sweet, yielding, bright green flesh, beautifully dotted with black seeds that crunch pleasantly with every bite. The flavor of kiwi is distinctive but hard to pin down - some say it's like strawberry, others say pineapple.

In traditional American restaurants, the brown skin is peeled away before eating the fruit, but this is a huge mistake! Unless you need to preserve the bright green color for your dish (for example, in a kiwi sorbet, smoothie, or cocktail), you should absolutely eat the skin. It’s not only delicious, but it contains a ton of fiber and minerals. Very high in vitamin C, kiwi fruit is far better eaten raw - cooking it destroys the vitamin content and the green color.

So keep your kiwis raw! Throw them into both sweet and savory salads, pair them with chilies in tropical salsa, and use them to garnish glistening fruit tarts. Also, the enzymes in kiwis contain make them an awesome natural tenderizer for meat, so consider throwing processed kiwi fruit into your summer marinades this barbecue season!


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.

Kiwi Breakfast Tart

Kiwi Breakfast Tart

Kiwi Breakfast Tart

Who says dessert can’t be served at breakfast? This treat is naturally super healthy, and it’s delicious too. I love how the kiwis meld with the citrus notes, and the crust is super toothsome and surprisingly sweet. Make one big one to share with your family, or individual ones for a big party!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • ¼ cup spelt flour (or coconut flour)
  • 3 tbsp agave syrup
  • lime zest from 1 lime
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 cups full fat, plain yogurt
  • 3 tbs maple syrup
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 4-6 kiwis, peeled and sliced thinly

Directions

Preheat your oven to 360F. In a medium bowl combine the shredded coconut with the flour, coconut oil, agave syrup, lime zest, and salt. It is best to use your hands to combine the ingredients and then to press them in a round pan. Make sure you press the crust out evenly and get it as thin as possible.

Bake for about 8-10 or until slightly golden brown.

Mix the yogurt with the maple syrup and the orange zest. Fill the tart with the yogurt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before decorating the tart with fresh kiwi slices.


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.

Keep it Simple with Shishito Peppers

Keep it Simple with Shishito Peppers

Keep It Simple with Shishito Peppers

So you found shishito peppers at your farmer’s market or store and you don’t know what to do with them? Up until a few years ago, many diners had no idea what shishito peppers were. Then, suddenly, they appeared on every menu, blistered and fire roasted with chunks of garlic.

Are shishito peppers spicy? Not into spicy? Not to worry. They say only 1 in 10 shishito peppers is spicy. (*I will add I have yet to find a spicy one. I haven’ t even broken out into a sweat over one.)

Classically, shishitos are fire-roasted in a grill basket or in an extremely hot cast iron pan until they blister and burn. They can be eaten raw like any pepper, but they are more fun to use in recipes when they are cooked. Try making an heirloom tomato and shishito pepper gazpacho with feta cheese and olives for a light, summery appetizer.

Charred shishito peppers are also lovely in a stir fry with tofu, udon noodles, and sweet soy sauce to compliment the blistered peppers. Honestly, keeping is simple is always best, and blistered shishitos with a touch of lemon and browned butter is an A+ appetizer any day.


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.

Charred Cauliflower & Shishito Peppers with Picada Sauce

Charred Cauliflower & Shishito Peppers with Picada Sauce

Charred Cauliflower & Shishito Peppers with Picada Sauce

Picada is a Catalan-style pesto, made with almonds, parsley, and chocolate—a surprise ingredient that adds a pleasing touch of bitterness that matches perfectly with the scorched shishitos.

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, trimmed, halved, and cut into 1 1⁄2" wedges

2 tbsp. plus 1 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 cup canola oil, for frying

12 shishito peppers

1⁄2 cup whole almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

1 cup plus 1 tbsp. roughly chopped parsley

1 tbsp. finely grated dark chocolate

2 tsp. sherry

Directions

Heat oven broiler. Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with 2 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper; broil, flipping once, until charred and tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil and the garlic in a 12" skillet over medium. Cook until garlic is golden, 4–6 minutes; transfer to a bowl and let cool. Wipe skillet clean and heat canola oil over medium-high; fry peppers until blistered and slightly crisp, 4–6 minutes. Transfer peppers to paper towels to drain; season with salt.

Stir almonds, 1 cup parsley, the chocolate, sherry, salt, and pepper into reserved garlic oil; spread onto a serving platter. Top with cauliflower; garnish with fried peppers and remaining parsley.


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.

Elevate Your Dish with Fresh Spring Herbs

Elevate Your Dish with Fresh Spring Herbs

Elevate Your Dish with Fresh Spring Herbs

My guests always want to know how they can get their food to taste as good as what they eat in restaurants. Aside from copious use of butter and astonishing amounts of citrus on just about everything, the best way to elevate any dish is with the use of herbs. Depending on the time of year or the particular dish it is more appropriate to use fresh vs. dried herbs, but generally fresh is my preferred route because they lend incredible brightness, texture, and color that you just can’t get from dried.

This thyme of year (see what I did there?) is a peak for many fresh herbs which lend a warm, bright, vernal effect to dishes, especially if they are added near the end of cooking, rather than muted in the beginning. Basil, tarragon, verbena, rosemary, cilantro, thyme, mint, and lavender are all seasonal right now. Each can be ground into pestos, muddles into cocktails, flourished over pastas, and stuffed into roasting chickens and lam roasts.

And herbs aren’t just for garnish. They are gorgeous as salad greens! From drinks to apps, mains to dessert, fresh herbs will bring your food from delicious to celebratory!


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 Spring Herb Salt 

Fresh Spring Herb Salt 

Fresh Spring Herb Salt 

This is the kind of deceptive kitchen trickery that makes you look like a pro, without doing hardly any work. My favorite! By keeping fresh herb salts in your refrigerator, you have an instant, gourmet garnish for omelets, fish, salads, pastas, and even pastries at your fingertips. This isn’t so much of a recipe as it is a guideline: Choose incredibly fresh spring herbs, grind them with salt, and keep on-hand. Try lavender salt on shortbread prior to baking them in the oven. Or basil salt mixed with fresh strawberries and balsamic syrup. And mint salt is gorgeous rimming a margarita glass!

  • 3 loosely-packed cups of fresh herbs of your choice (I like parsley, dill, mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, and basil)
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  1. Wash the herbs and remove coarse stems and any discolored leaves. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Place the herbs and salt in a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse grind. Be careful not to make a paste or puree, though.
  3. Place the herb mixture in a glass jar, and place in the fridge for 7-14 days to let the flavors meld. Give it a shake every day or so.
  4. Store in the fridge. The salt in this recipe acts as a preservative, so your herbs should last 6 months, or even longer.

Use your homemade herb salt in any recipes that would benefit from an extra punch. Obviously, it is very salty, so I would start by using it 1:1 for the salt in your recipes. Rub it on roasts, sprinkle it in stews, slather it on your chickens before roasting them… You get the idea!


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.

What Strawberry Season Means for All of Us

What Strawberry Season Means for All of Us

What Strawberry Season Means for All of Us

Strawberries in the heights of springtime are pure bliss. Just the bright, zingy, juicy punch we need to combat the sun and heat. Strawberries pair really well with poultry, and this time of year, that means grilled chicken. Try placing a skewer of olive oil-coated strawberries and purple onion next to chicken breast on the grill. You’ll get sweet, smoky berries that will compliment it with a splash of balsamic and sea salt.

Strawberries also pair beautifully with fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, mint, and tarragon. Try a spring salad with fresh herbs, pickled red onion, field greens, walnuts, and tangy goat cheese. Throw chopped strawberries right into your salads, or puree them directly into salad dressing for a pop of pink color and berry flavor.

Of course dessert and breakfast cannot be forgotten (and so often the lines between them can be decadently blurred). Whether served whole on top of pancakes or as a garnish for tarts, pies, or crème brulee, or melted into a coulis to top ice cream or waffles, fresh strawberries will signal to your diners that summer is here to stay and here to eat.


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.

Strawberry & Basil Chicken

Strawberry & Basil Chicken

Strawberry & Basil Chicken

This is just what I need after a long, cold winter to remind me of how alive food can be. Luscious strawberries, herbaceous basil, and unctuous balsamic glaze are natural together, and will awaken your taste buds from their wintery slumber.

Ingredients

2 cups balsamic vinegar

¼ cup sugar

3-4 large chicken breasts

3 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves crushed

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups chopped fresh strawberries

1 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions

Begin by making the balsamic glaze. Pour the vinegar and sugar into a small sauce pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and allow to reduce until it has the consistency of maple syrup. It should take around 20 minutes.

Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic, cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Pound the breasts to make them a bit thinner, approximately 1 inch. Salt and pepper each side, add to pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side (until golden brown and cooked through). Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Toss together strawberries, basil, balsamic glaze, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Top each chicken breast with strawberry mixture, and salt and pepper to taste. Add additional balsamic glaze or balsamic if needed. 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.

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!

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

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.


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.

Spinach, for those “healthy halo” seekers

Spinach, for those “healthy halo” seekers

Spinach, for those “healthy halo” seekers

Spinach is one of those chameleon greens that seems to fit in well wherever it shows up. It is delicate in flavor, so it can absorb other big ones like garlic, onions, artichokes, and even fruit when it is blended into smoothies. Spinach is also not what we call a “sturdy” vegetable. Mountains of it can disappear in minutes when sautéed or steamed. But this can be an incredibly good thing when blending it seamlessly into dips and spreads. Try sautéing a few cups of spinach in olive oil, garlic, and chilies until all the water evaporates, and then processing the whole mix with a cup of high-quality olive oil to produce an emerald oil perfect for salad dressings or garnishing grilled shrimp. Spinach is incredibly high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, making it a go-to for “healthy halo” seekers. I love floating handfuls of fresh spinach into great pots of Italian wedding soup right before it’s time to eat. The leaves wilt down so tenderly and add a gorgeous, earthy mouthfeel. One of my favorite spinach dishes is Japanese Gomae, succulently boiled and packed spinach covered in incredibly smooth sesame sauce. It’s a lovely starter to any meal, or perfect as a snack on its own. 


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.

Yes, It's Still Grapefruit Season!

Yes, It's Still Grapefruit Season!

Yes, It's Still Grapefruit Season!

Grapefruits are easily on the top of my favorite ingredients list. Naturally sweet, inherently beautiful, and exotic, grapefruits convey romance and whimsy in every dish. They are juicy, sweet, full of unique flavor, and visually stunning to look at. The trick is not doing too much to mask their natural beauty.

I love pairing segmented grapefruit slices with micro greens, shaved red onion, fennel, olives, and beets. The color combination is gorgeous, and the flavor combination is a classic for a reason. I also love pairing grapefruit with rich ingredients like avocado because the sweetness and the fattiness work so perfectly together.

One of my favorite applications is to use grapefruit juice in a sorbet with coconut milk as the base. Spiked with lime juice and honey, this dish can stand alone as a dessert, or as an exciting palate cleaner. Grapefruit juice also works as a beautiful poaching liquid for fish with a grapefruit beaurre blanc, or reduced down into a glaze with habaneros to varnish poultry.


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.

Grapefruit and Rosemary Jam

Grapefruit and Rosemary Jam

Grapefruit and Rosemary Jam

This elegant, sophisticated jam is a stunning addition to a charcuterie board, or even stirred into morning yogurt. It is tart, floral, sweet, and juicy. Best yet, it’s extremely easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. whole red grapefruit about 6 or 7
  • 3 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, de-stemmed and chopped

Directions

Cut off the top and bottom of a grapefruit and sit flat on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife and starting from the top, cut off the peel along the sides, working your way around until it is all removed. Turn grapefruit over and remove any remaining peel. You should not have any peel or pith left on the fruit.

Supreme all the grapefruit slices and give it a gentle squeeze to remove a bit of the juice. Repeat with all the grapefruits.

Cook the jam: Add the grapefruit, rosemary, and juice to a large, non-reactive, heavy bottomed pot. Add the sugar and stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, over high heat, stirring regularly until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture reaches a steady rolling boil, allow to continue boiling, testing regularly, until it's set. It will take about 10-15 minutes.

Ladle jam into small jars. Cover and refrigerate to use in the short term. Jam will keep several months in the fridge. (*As it is not properly "canned", do not store at room temperature).


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.

Berry Season is Here to Stay

Berry Season is Here to Stay

Berry Season is Here to Stay

Berry season is here! Finally! Just the bright, zingy punch what we need after a winter of stews and squash. For my money, I think blueberries offer the most consistent sweetness and juiciness than any other berry. Duck, another springtime menu classic, is gorgeous when pan-roasted with blueberry reduction. Adding reconstituted ancho chilies to the blueberry reduction transforms this definitive dish into something even more imaginative and alluring.

Lamb is another popular spring item, and is perfect glazed with a blueberry, mint, and tamarind glaze. Salad dressing is a natural vehicle for blueberries, their color and inherent sweetness complimenting the acidity and salt of your favorite dressing base. Brighten up a spinach salad by serving it with a “blueberry pie” salad dressing with plenty of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, granny mustard, and pureed blueberries.

And speaking of pie, dessert and breakfast cannot be forgotten (and so often the lines between them can be decadently blurred). Whether served whole on top of pancakes or as a garnish for tarts, pies, or crème brulee, or melted into a coulis to top ice cream or waffles, fresh blueberries will signal to your diners that spring is here to stay.


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.

Rosemary, Honey, and Blueberry Goat Cheese Charcuterie

Rosemary, Honey, and Blueberry Goat Cheese Charcuterie

Rosemary, Honey, and Blueberry Goat Cheese Charcuterie

This dish is sensational. Make it ahead and keep it ready for the exact moment that unexpected company comes over. Sharp, tangy goat cheese melds perfectly with sweet, succulent blueberries, and everything is rounded out by a spike of fresh herbs and floral honey.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 cup blueberries fresh
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat add blueberries, honey, lemon juice, and salt. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until blueberries begin to burst.

Turn off heat and mash blueberries until a thick sauce forms. Add vanilla extract and stir. Add goat cheese in pieces and stir to just combine.

Allow the mix to cool, and wrap it tightly in a long sheet of plastic wrap. Form it into a log or oval shape, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until log becomes firm.

Bring blueberry goat cheese log to room temperature before serving with sea salt crackers. Enjoy!


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.

What to Do with Those Early Spring Cucumbers

What to Do with Those Early Spring Cucumbers

What to Do with Those Early Spring Cucumbers

Cucumbers aren’t just for pickles and garden salads anymore! (Though those crunchy cucumber slices are always my favorite part.) These beauties are so full of crunch, texture, and sweetness that I often center dishes around them, rather than use them as a garnish. Naturally sweet cucumbers are complements to fruits like mango, melon, papaya, and strawberries, especially when dressed with minced shallots and champagne vinegar.

Greek cucumber tzatziki is great as a dip, but it also makes a gourmet, elevated replacement for mayo on sandwiches and burgers, and it’s absolutely beautiful on top of grilled salmon in place of rich hollandaise. Cucumber also holds up very well grilled or stir-fried, almost like zucchini, and the delicious cucumber flavor concentrates as the moisture evaporates.

My favorite variation of this is Szechuan stir-fried cucumber with chilies and peanuts. Lastly, cucumbers are a must-have for cocktails. Throw a bunch of cucumber into a blender or food processor, push them through a sieve, and collect the “cucumber water” for cucumber gin gimlets, and refreshing cucumber and mint mojitos.


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.

Fire-Roasted Summer Squash with Thyme-Scented Honey

Fire-Roasted Summer Squash with Thyme-Scented Honey

Fire-Roasted Summer Squash with Thyme-Scented Honey

The combination of smoky, sweet, and herby flavors is phenomenal in this dish. I recommend removing the seedy interior of the squash before grilling to keep the texture perfectly crisp.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 pounds mixed zucchini and summer squash
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Grilled bread, for serving

Directions

Melt the butter in a large skillet either on your stove or on top of your grill. Add the pecans with the and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and toast until fragrant and browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely, then coarsely chop.

Quarter the zucchini and summer squash lengthwise and cut off the soft, seedy centers. In a large bowl, toss all of the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill all of the squash over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and tender, about 10 minutes. Cut the zucchini and summer squash into 2-inch lengths; transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the honey, thyme and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon vinaigrette to the grilled squash and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the crumbled blue cheese and toasted pecans. Serve with grilled bread.


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.