Avocados: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Avocados: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Avocados: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Is it true? Can it really be? We have been watching avocados struggle in the market for so long now. I feel like I’m in a jade-colored fever dream now that I get to celebrate their resurgence in both quality and quantity all across the country!

Where to begin? Avocados are quite possibly the most versatile, delicious ingredient on the planet. Their presence immediately elevates any dish they touch, implying both indulgence and health to diners. Avocados can be cut directly into salads, tacos, arepas, and sandwiches. They can be crushed into guacamole or spread on toast and topped with anything from fried eggs to crispy seaweed to short ribs. Avocado’s natural high-fat content allows them to stand in for oil in sauces, spreads, and pestos. Try making oil-free mayonnaise by processing avocados with egg yolks and plenty of lemon juice, and never look back.

Avocados also provide incredible body to dairy-free desserts like rich, sumptuous chocolate pudding and cake frosting. Of course, however you use avocados, just make sure to splash a bit of lemon juice or even olive oil onto any cut sides to slow down the oxidization process. 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.

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Deviled Eggs

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Deviled Eggs

When it comes to avocados, I like to fuss with them as little as possible, enabling their natural beauty and richness to sing for itself. This recipe showcases the inherent creaminess and sweetness of avocado by pairing it with two other indulgent ingredients: eggs and smoked salmon. Incredibly rich and decadent, there little bites will vanish at our next cocktail party before you know it. Rich, salty crab and bacon would be beautiful toppings here as well!

Ingredients

6 large eggs , boiled, cooled, peeled, and cut in half

1 large ripe avocado

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon fresh dill , plus more for garnish, finely chopped

1 1/2 oz. cold-smoked salmon

Flaky sea salt (I like Maldon here) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Carefully, scoop out the yolks from the eggs. Set white halves aside. Place the yolks, avocado, mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice, dill, and spices in a food processor. Process until blended and smooth. Scoop the mixture into a bag and pipe into the empty egg halves. Top each egg half with some smoked salmon and garnish with some dill. 


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.

Pumpkins: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Pumpkins: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Pumpkins: This Week's Market Report Good Buy!

Those big pumpkins you see at the pumpkin patch for carving into jack-o'-lanterns look appealing, they aren’t ideal for cooking and baking. While they are edible, they become stringy, bland, and watery when cooked. The best pumpkins for baking and cooking with are sweet, flavorful, have smooth-textured flesh, and generally have fantastical names like "sugar pumpkins", Baby Pam, Autumn Gold, Ghost Rider, New England Pie Pumpkin, Lumina (which are white), Cinderella, and Fairy Tale.

Once you have the right kind of pumpkin, you can treat it like any other hard winter squash: roast it whole, steam it, or cut it into smaller pieces before cooking into soups and curries. Something many people don’t know is that pumpkin skins are totally edible and delicious! No need to go through the annoying process of cutting them away. I love pumpkin paired with warm flavors such as brown butter, sage, and chili flakes. You can also make your own pumpkin purée and freeze it until you are ready to make pies, broths, and breads.

Lastly, don’t forget those seeds! Pumpkin seeds are not only very high in minerals like Zinc, but they are absolutely delicious when roasted with salt, chili powder, and a touch of brown sugar.


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.

Pan-Roasted Chipotle Pumpkin with Brown Butter and Sage

Pan-Roasted Chipotle Pumpkin with Brown Butter and Sage

Pan-Roasted Chipotle Pumpkin with Brown Butter and Sage

This recipe brings out all the best that fresh pumpkin has to offer. It’s smoky, sweet, and lacquered with nutty brown butter. Served this dish as a side to roasted meat, or on its own as a vegetarian main dish. 

Ingredients

6 cups of fresh pumpkin, sliced into 16 slices (save the seeds!)

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 tablespoons unsalted butter 

1/2 cup fresh sage leaves 

1/4 cup dark brown sugar 

3 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo

1/2 cup vegetable broth 

Juice from 1 lemon 

Directions

Heat your oven to 350. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet, and toss with 1 tbs olive oil, the chili powder, and 1 tsp salt. Roast these in the oven until they are crunchy, stirring every few minutes.

Heat 4 tbs butter in your biggest pan. Arrange the pumpkin slices on their sides in the pan - if it's not big enough you will need to work in batches. Sprinkle the pumpkin with a tsp of salt and let it get nice and brown on the under side. Once one side is deeply browned, flip them and after a minute or two add the broth, sugar and adobo. Flip the slices twice so the are completely coated and that deep brown side is up again. Now let them cook / simmer over lower heat until they are tender. Remove them to a platter. Squeeze the lemon over them.

Add the remaining butter to the pan as well as the sage leaves and stir until the sage is just cooked. Scoop the leaves and sticky goodness over your plated pumpkin. Sprinkle the whole thing with toasted seeds and serve it up. 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.

Late Fall Herbs: This Week's Market Report Good Buy!

Late Fall Herbs: This Week's Market Report Good Buy!

Late Fall Herbs: This Week's Market Report Good Buy!

Depending on the time of year or the 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. Dried herbs are much more powerful than fresh herbs, and lend more warmth, especially if they are added near the end of cooking. Fresh herbs, soft herbs (such as basil, cilantro, and parsley) tend to become muted and soggy if added at the beginning of the cooking process, and are best eaten raw, or flashed into the pan as soon as your dish is almost done cooking.

Late fall is a particularly exciting time because fresh herbs are reaching their peak alongside some incredible fall produce that pairs well with them. For example, sage and winter squash are naturals together, especially when dowsed in brown butter and parmesan cheese. Roasted pears with a bit of thyme-scented honey will take your next scoop of vanilla ice cream to a new level. And is there anything more perfect than rosemary and garlic on potatoes? Lastly, herbs aren’t just for garnish. They are gorgeous as salad greens, as the base for pesto, marinades, and even blended into cocktails and smoothies.


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.

Green “Everything” Sauce

Green “Everything” Sauce

Green “Everything” Sauce

I use this sauce as a base for salad dressings, marinades, dips, and sauces. Based on the Mexican salsa verde, this blend of fresh herbs, lemon, and kicky anchovy fillets can transform simple grilled meats and fish into elegant feasts. Douse it over roasted veggies, stir it into Greek yogurt for an instant cocktail hour dip, and smother fried eggs with it for breakfast!

Ingredients

½ cup packed parsley leaves, chopped

½ cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped

¼ cup basil leaves, chopped

2 tsp chopped capers

2 anchovy filets, chopped

2 small garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

2 tablespoons minced onion

Pinch red pepper flakes

3 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

5-8 tablespoons olive oil, depending on desired consistency

Lemon juice, to taste

Directions

Stir all the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk. That’s it! Check for flavor and adjust the acidity, salt, and oil levels for the desired consistency. This sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


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.

Baby Bok Choy: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Baby Bok Choy: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Baby Bok Choy: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Fresh, cruciferous vegetables are extremely on-trend on menus all across the country right now. Slowly but surely, we are seeing complex carbs and starches give way to bright, green, and filling veggies, much to the delight of doctors everywhere.

Baby bok choy is one of my all-time favorites because of its earthy, pleasantly bitter flavor that pairs so perfectly with strong flavors like onions, ginger, and chilies. Baby bok choy is also extremely easy to prep. Just trim the fibrous root end and give a wash in cool running water to get rid of any sand.

Baby bok choy loves to be steamed and stir-fried. Try throwing baby bok choy into a smoking hot wok with onions, garlic, fresh jalapenos, and a touch of fish sauce, and a sprinkle of sugar. You can also roast whole baby bok choy with big flavored ingredients like miso paste and soy. The result is deeply caramelized, unctuous veggies that can be served as a side dish for fish, or cooked down and eaten on their own like a salad.


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.

Crispy Miso-Roasted Baby Bok Choy

Crispy Miso-Roasted Baby Bok Choy

Crispy Miso-Roasted Baby Bok Choy

This is one of those vegetable dishes that makes you question why you are serving a main course at all. Sweet, salty, and totally satisfying, roasted bok choy will become a staple on your menu for sure.

Ingredients

2-1/2 Tbs. peanut oil

1-1/2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger

1/2 Tbs. minced garlic

1/4 cup mirin

1-1/2 Tbs. white miso

1 Tbs. fresh lime juice

1 Tbs. rice vinegar

1/4 tsp. Sriracha

1 Tbs. toaster sesame oil

2 lb. baby bok choy, quartered or halved lengthwise

1 cup roasted cashews 

Directions

Heat 1/2 Tbs. of the peanut oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the mirin, miso, lime juice, vinegar, and Sriracha, and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the sesame oil, transfer to a heatproof bowl, and keep warm.

Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. peanut oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the bok choy, toss gently, and then cover and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender and browned on some edges, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with the dressing and cashews, 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.

Fennel: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Fennel: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Fennel: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

When prepared correctly, fennel is one of those vegetables that can take your dishes from good to great. When served raw, fennel delivers a super fresh, crunchy, anise flavor to salads, sandwiches, and slaws. I recommend using a mandolin to shave it very thinly, and pairing it with complimentary flavors such as apples, pears, squash, and tomatoes. Try shaved fennel in a classic Waldorf salad for an extra boost of texture and flavor.

Fennel also loves to be roasted and fried. Braised fennel with dry white wine and plenty of garlic is a lovely side dish for roasted meats. Due to its natural high sugar content, fennel becomes caramelized and almost jammy when roasted. And don’t forget about the fennel fronds! These glorious greens can be used on their own as a super elegant garnish, or worked into any dish that celebrates fresh greens. The only real trick to using fennel is to make sure to cut away the tough, woody core, and dispose of any dried out layers before using it.


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.

Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad with Balsamic-Pear Dressing

Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad with Balsamic-Pear Dressing

Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad with Balsamic-Pear Dressing

This salad showcases fennel in two preparations which pair beautifully with the pears. Sweet, salty, and crunchy; who could start a meal in a better way?

Ingredients

2 firm but ripe pears, halved, cored

1 medium fennel bulb (about 8 ounces), cored, quartered, fronds reserved

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 cup canned low-salt chicken broth

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

6 cups (packed) mixed baby greens

4 oz Manchego cheese

½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Arrange pears, cut side up, in a baking dish; add fennel. Drizzle olive oil and chicken broth over pears and fennel. Roast 10 minutes. Turn pears and fennel over and roast until pears are just tender, about 5 minutes longer. Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to plate. Continue roasting fennel until tender, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer fennel to plate with pears, reserving any cooking liquid. Thinly slice fennel and 2 pear halves lengthwise. Cool completely.

Peel remaining 2 pear halves. Transfer peeled pears to processor. Add reserved cooking liquid and vinegar to processor and blend until very smooth. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Divide greens among 4 plates. Top with fennel and pear slices. Drizzle some dressing over each salad, and top with reserved fennel fronds, grated Manchego cheese, 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.

Pineapple: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Pineapple: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Pineapple: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Fear not, sun worshipers. Pineapple is here soothe you from the cold weather setting in and remind you that summer isn’t over. Yet. Pineapple can be eaten raw in salads and salsas, or sprinkled with chili flakes and lime zest for a Latin-inspired treat. 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.

Fresh pineapples are also sturdy enough for end-of-summer grilling. One of my favorite interpretations is smoky, chipotle-glazed pineapple as a filling for grilled fish tacos. Pineapple is also totally classic in American and Asian barbecues and stirfrys. The natural sweetness compliments grilled and smoked meats beautifully, and the natural acids also work as a great tenderizer. Of course, we can’t forget about the pina colada. Try elevating your poolside drink by blending roasted, deeply caramelized into it. That burnt sugar taste is the absolutely perfect accompaniment to rum!


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.

Crispy-Roasted Chicken with Pineapple-Chile Glaze

Crispy-Roasted Chicken with Pineapple-Chile Glaze

Crispy-Roasted Chicken with Pineapple-Chile Glaze

This recipe is everything you love about chicken teriyaki, but with even more flavor. Pineapple is the star of this show and its backup dancers are chilies and perfectly seared chicken. Prepare to fall in love.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 3½–4-pound chicken, halved

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ fresh pineapple, sliced ½ inch thick

1 habanero chile, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

¾ cup pineapple juice

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon paprika

Directions

Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°. Mix coriander, cumin, and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle chicken with spice mixture, pressing to adhere; season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and arrange pineapple slices in pan. Place chicken, skin side up, on top. Transfer to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 40–45 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring chile, garlic, pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, and paprika to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until thickened and syrupy, 12–15 minutes; season glaze with salt.

When chicken is done, brush with glaze and roast just until glaze is bubbling, about 2 minutes; repeat with any remaining glaze. Transfer chicken and pineapple to a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Serve chicken and pineapple with any juices from skillet alongside.


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.

Eggplant: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Eggplant: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Eggplant: This Week's Market Report "Good Buy" 

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that can either bum you out or liberate your tastebuds, depending on how you treat it. It is celebrated in all of the great cuisines for a reason; it's versatile, delicious, healthful, and beautiful to look at. If it is respected, that is.

Eggplant loves to be sliced thinly and salted for an hour or so to draw out the excess moisture, and then roasted with plenty of salt, olive oil, and garlic. Full of texture and flavor, you can serve it on its own as a side dish, or wrap around fillings like ricotta cheese, basil, and roasted tomatoes for beautiful eggplant rollatini. Try slicing tender Japanese eggplant into bite-sized pieces and steaming them gently for a few minutes. After that, it's all about the marinade. I love sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, scallions, and a touch of sugar in mine. Of course, eggplant also makes beautiful Mediterranean spreads and dips. Simply roast whole eggplant until they completely collapse in the oven, skin them, and combine the soft flesh with tahini, a bit of labneh or yogurt, garlic, mint, and salt for beautiful baba ganoush. It can be spread onto sandwiches in place of mayo, used as a dressing for roasted vegetables, or served straight up with pita chips and a few pomegranate seeds for garnish. 


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.

Garlic and Spinach Eggplant Rollatini

Garlic and Spinach Eggplant Rollatini

Garlic and Spinach Eggplant Rollatini

This is one of those dishes that just gets better the longer it lasts. If you can manage not to eat it all directly out of the pan as soon as it's done. Creamy, zesty, and comforting, this Italian classic is perfect for a crowd or an elegant date night.

Ingredients

4 medium eggplants

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

10-oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

3 cups whole fat ricotta

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups shredded whole fat mozzarella

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

4 cups of your favorite marinara sauce

Directions

Slice ends off eggplants. Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, discarding peel-covered ends. Lay slices on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle both sides liberally with salt. Let stand for 15 minutes, then rinse salt off under cold running water and pat slices dry.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil and place in single layers on 2 baking sheets. Roast for 15 minutes, until tender, turning eggplant slices over halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks until cool enough to handle.

In a large bowl, combine spinach, ricotta, garlic, eggs, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Spread 1/2 cup of marinara sauce over bottom of dish. Divide ricotta mixture among eggplant slices, using about 1/3 cup for each, spreading it down the center. Roll up slices and place seam-side down in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until browned and bubbling, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


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.

Midwest Purple/Green Kale: This Week's Market Report "Good Buy"

Midwest Purple/Green Kale: This Week's Market Report "Good Buy"

Midwest Purple/Green Kale: This Week's Market Report "Good Buy" 

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.

Midwest purple and green kale is also perfect for making crispy, crunchy oven-roasted kale chips because the natural curl 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.

BBQ Kale Chips

BBQ Kale Chips

BBQ Kale Chips

This healthy, oven-baked alternative to the grocery store, potato variety is addictively good. Make a double batch of the BBQ seasoning and sprinkle it on popcorn and salads!

Ingredients

1 bunch kale

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

½ tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and black pepper, each

½ teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon cayenne, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. To clean the kale, rinse, then run your fingers up the stem to release the leaves. Dry the kale very thoroughly with paper towel. Toss kale with oil and place on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Mix all the spices together and then sprinkle it evenly over the kale. Bake 10-15 minutes until the kale is dried, but be careful to not let it burn. Remove from the oven, let cool, and then 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.

Mint: This Week's Market Report "Good Buy"

Mint: This Week's Market Report "Good Buy"

Mint: This Week's Market Report "Good Buy!" 

Fresh herbs are growing like weeds this time of year! Fresh, sweet mint is one of my favorites because of its versatility and ability to transform ordinary ingredients into extraordinary dishes. We often see whole mint leaves as garnish on desserts and in cocktails for a reason: mint highlights natural sweetness and balances it out on our palates. But garnish is just the beginning. Mint is glorious when paired with sweet watermelon, tangy feta, and bright red onion. I also love sharp mint paired with creamy sheep’s milk cheese and green peas. Try muddling fresh mint leaves into the bottoms of your cocktail glasses; mojitos are the classic option, but daiquiris laced with fresh mint make any pool-side hangout more refreshing.

Mint is also beautiful paired with chocolate. I paint fresh mint leaves with melted dark chocolate, let it harden, and then scatter them atop puddings, cakes, and pies. I also recommend subbing basil with fresh mint for a totally new, vibrant take on pesto. Just remember: mint, like other soft, fresh herbs, like to be stored in look plastic with a slightly damp paper towel. And if you need to breathe life into limp mint, just plunge the leaves directly into ice water!


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 & Lemon Bars

Rosemary & Lemon Bars

Rosemary & Lemon Bars

This make-ahead recipe is perfect for a large service. It can be made several days ahead, cut, wrapped, and plated within minutes. And the blend of lemon and rosemary is just the refreshing, slightly elevated take on a classic we all want at the end of a great meal. Enjoy!

Crust

1 Cup Unsalted butter (room temperature)

2 Cups Flour

1/2 Cup Powdered sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla 

 

Filling

4 Eggs

1 Cup Granulated sugar

1 Cup Packed light brown sugar

1/3 Cup Fresh lemon juice

1 Teaspoon Lemon zest

1 Teaspoon Fresh rosemary (chopped very fine)

1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract

1/4 Cup Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking power

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 9x13 glass baking dish. Combine flour and butter, add powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread this dough on the bottom of the greased baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Set aside to cool before topping with filling.

Whisk together the eggs and sugars until fully. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk until just combined. Pour filling over the cooled crust and bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish with sprigs of rosemary, 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.

Pomegranates: This Week's Market Report "Good Buy"

Pomegranates: This Week's Market Report "Good Buy"

Pomegranates: This Week's Market Report "Good Buy!" 

Pomegranates are my all-time favorite way to inject color and texture into wintertime favorites. Try adding crispy, crunchy pomegranate jewels as garnish for tacos, soups, stirfrys, guacamole, and desserts of all kinds. Try pouring melted dark chocolate on a silpat or other non-stick surface, and dotting it with fresh pomegranate kernals. Once it’s shattered, this antioxidant-rich chocolate/pomegranate bark can be used to decorate cakes, puddings, pies, or just eaten on its own. Pomegranates can also be juiced for magenta-tinged drinks, sauce reductions, and salad dressings. I especially love using fresh pomegranate juice as a deglazing liquid for pan sauces. It adds instant color and sweetness to any dish, and as it reduces, it gets super syrupy and luscious. Almost like molasses.


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 Pomegranate Shrub

Fresh Pomegranate Shrub

Fresh Pomegranate Shrub

For those of you not in the know, shrubs are sweet, concentrated syrups made from seasonal fruit, sugar, and vinegar. They can be enjoyed all on their own or stirred into still water, bubbly water, or a wide array of cocktails. This one will give you a gorgeous ruby syrup, sweet and tart and delicious. Stir it in your favorite cocktail, or a salad vinaigrette for bright and tangy pomegranate flavor.

2 cups fresh pomegranate juice

1 cup apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar)

1 cup super fine sugar

Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Add all ingredients to a large bottle or jar, seal tightly, and shake vigorously to combine. Store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days before using, to create a sweet and tart simple syrup. Flavors will continue to mingle and mature over time. Use within 6 months.

For a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage, fill a glass with ice and then pour in some pomegranate shrub. Add club soda and give a little stir. Garnish with a few fresh pomegranate 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.