Viewing entries by
Katie O'Connor

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.

English Cucumbers: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

English Cucumbers: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

English Cucumbers: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

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. While I love all cucumber varieties, I am partial to English cucumbers because of their sweetness, excellent texture, and low seed count. English cucumbers can be de-skinned (carefully and with a sharp knife) and used as wrappers for sushi and summer rolls. English 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 English cucumber with chilies and peanuts. Lastly, English 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.

Quick English Cucumber and Shiso Pickles

Quick English Cucumber and Shiso Pickles

Quick English Cucumber and Shiso Pickles

Shiso and pickles should hang out more often. The aromatic green leaves give these lightly sweet pickles a fresh, herbaceous lift, reminiscent of cinnamon, cloves and ginger all at once. Because the pickling liquid is left cold, the delicate coins of English cucumber retain a satisfying bite, even after several hours in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

¼ cup sugar

½ cup apple cider vinegar

3 tbs mirin

1 tbs salt, preferrably sea or kosher

1 large English cucumber

8 shiso leaves (or substitute basil)

Directions

Put sugar, vinegar, mirin and salt into a non-reactive bowl. Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Either slice cucumbers as thinly as possible, or cut them lengthwise into spears. Up to you!

Gather the shiso leaves like a deck of cards, roll into a tube and slice, chiffonade-style, like you would with basil. Add cucumbers and shiso to the marinade and stir. Try to cover the vegetables with the marinade. It's okay if the liquid doesn't submerge the cucumbers. They will break down and get smaller as they marinate. Put the mix in the fridge and let marinate for at least 4 hours.


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.

Mandarin: This Week's Market Report Goody Buy

Mandarin: This Week's Market Report Goody Buy

Mandarin: This Week's Market Report Goody Buy

To me, citrus is what cold weather is all about. I love infusing all my heavy winter dishes with segments and squeezes of bright, acidic, and sweet citrus. Every fruit has its own potential. Some are lovely candied. Others are perfect for juicing. Mandarins are unique because they are best left alone! Simple is best when it comes to these delicate, juicy cuties. Throw segments directly into salads, wraps, garnishes.

However, when I have an abundance of mandarins, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to make the most of them. Try cooking mandarins down with a bit of their julienned skins to make outstanding mandarin curd or marmalade that is perfect for spreading on toast or sandwiching in between layers of cake. And speaking of cake, mandarin segments can be baked directly into them! They turn almost jammy inside baked goods. I also love using mandarins in savory applications. Try segmenting them into crispy orange chicken served over jasmine rice, or cooking them down into roasted pork mojo. Just make sure not to over-cook your mandarins because you don’t want to dry them out!

Lastly, mandarins can be sliced thinly into discs and dehydrated in a very low oven until they become dry and chip-like. You can use these whole as decorations, or grind them up in a food processor to create mandarin dust! 


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.

Vanilla and Mandarin Marmalade

Vanilla and Mandarin Marmalade

Vanilla and Mandarin Marmalade

Store-bought never measures up to homemade. This marmalade is pure luxury in terms of flavor, but it’s also thrifty because it utilizes the mandarin peels that we almost always end up throwing away. Enjoy spread on toast, sandwiched in between layers of cake, or stirred into sauces for roasted or pan-fried meat and fish.

Ingredients

7-8 mandarin oranges (11/2 lb)

1 vanilla bean

1 lemon

3 cups granulated sugar

2 cups water

Directions

Peel oranges. Cut peel into fine julienned strips. You should have about 2 cups of cut peel.

Place cut peel into a large pot and add the 2 cups of water, enough water to completely cover the contents of the pot. Split your vanilla bean, use the back of a sharp knife to scrape out the seeds, and stir the seeds and the entire empty bean into the pot.

Boil peel and vanilla bean until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.

Measure out the liquid that's left and replace with the same amount of fresh water. This helps to lessen the bitterness.

Remove the vanilla bean and place fruit and lemon juice in a food processor and puree until it reaches an almost smooth consistency. Add this mixture together with peel and water into a large stainless steel pot and bring to a boil.

Add sugar. Stir often until consistency thickens and a candy thermometer reaches 220˚F (104˚C).

Fill into sterilized jars and seal with their lids and allow the jars to sit in a hot water bath for 10 mins. Remove and let cool at room temperature until you hear the "pop" of the button on the lid or when you notice the button has gone down. That means it's sealed properly and those jars will keep on the shelves unrefrigerated for months. Those that don't seal properly can be kept in the fridge.


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.

Cranberries: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Cranberries: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Cranberries: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Fresh cranberries are one of those curious ingredients that seem to pop up once a year, never to return to our menus until the leaves start falling off the trees again. And it’s such a shame! Fresh cranberries are not only simple to work with, but they are packed with incredible flavor and tons of health benefits! Fresh cranberries are inedible when they are raw, but once heat is applied, they literally pop with sweet, tart, floral goodness that compliments rich, fatty flavors like a dream. That’s why they are served during Thanksgiving dinner; the heaviest meal of the year!

Try cooking fresh cranberries down with a bit of water and lime juice until they pop to make a crimson base for winter salsa. A bit of raw onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and salt, and all you’ll need is a handful of tortilla chips! Fresh cranberries are also exquisite thrown directly into baked goods like muffins, pies, pancakes, and galettes. They become jammy and oozing with juice after about 20 minutes in the oven. One of my favorite brunch items are fresh cranberry and ginger scones. I love the little pockets of berries that explode in the oven and pool in the pastry. Lastly, fresh cranberries are lovely as garnish in cocktails and in the bottom of champagne flutes. 


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.

Candied Sliced Kumquats

Candied Sliced Kumquats

Candied Sliced Kumquats

These little gems are visually stunning and powerhouses of flavor. They are delicious on their own, served like chutney as a side to roasted meats, or as a bright garnish for pies and tarts. 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla bean halved lengthwise and seeds scraped

1 lb kumquats halved (about 3 cups)

Directions

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the kumquats, cinnamon, and vanilla bean and seeds, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until fruit has let off liquid and the skins are knife tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove saucepan from the heat and set aside until the fruit and simple syrup are room temperature and the cinnamon and vanilla flavor are apparent, about 2 to 4 hours.

Strain the fruit from the syrup and cook the syrup over medium heat until it is reduced and thickly coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes more. Pour the syrup over the fruit and spices and use or store refrigerated in an airtight container 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.

Pomegranates: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Pomegranates: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Pomegranates: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Does your salad need a boost of sweetness and texture? Does your roast need a pop of color? Want an extra “juicy” element in that parfait? Pomegranate is here to help. When our food becomes a little browner as the seasons become gloomier, pomegranates shine through with their gorgeous ruby glisten, and refreshing pop. 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. Of course, a handful of pomegranate seeds goes a long way in salads and on top of dips, too!


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.

Coconut Panna Cotta with Kiwi & Mint Coulis

Coconut Panna Cotta with Kiwi & Mint Coulis

Coconut Panna Cotta with Kiwi & Mint Coulis

This coconut panna cotta has a refreshing kiwi-mint coulis topping that lifts the overall flavor with a refreshing twist. It makes for the Fall/Winter dessert when you need a boost of warm weather flavor.

Ingredients

  • 500 milliliters coconut cream
  • 80 milliliters maple syrup
  • 1.5 tablespoons gelatin powder
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 kiwis
  • 5 grams mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Directions

Combine all ingredients for the coulis in a blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate.

Dissolve gelatin in 3 tablespoons hot water. Allow to bloom for about 3-5 minutes. In a saucepan, combine coconut cream, maple syrup, and dissolved gelatin mixture. Set over low heat, stirring continuously until gelatin has fully dissolved. Strain this mixture through a fine sieve. Pour into serving ramekins and chill overnight to set. Layer the coulis on top of the panna cotta.


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.

Iceberg Lettuce: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Iceberg Lettuce: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

Iceberg Lettuce: This Week's Market Report Good Buy

The culinary world is not short on innovation or creativity. We see new trends, unique ingredients, and “elevation” on a daily basis. Of course, I’m personally invested in what’s new and exciting, but there are classics for a reason. Iceberg lettuce, this week’s Good Buy, is one that I’ll never let go of. There is just something about an Iceberg wedge salad adorned with chopped egg, bacon, capers, and gilded with house-made ranch dressing. Don’t pretend it’s even better with designer greens, because it’s not. And iceberg is also gorgeous on the grill, dripping with olive oil, kosher salt, and chili flakes. The leaves become slightly charred and that slight sweetness concentrates, and it makes for a lovely, inexpensive side dish that is affordable and full of flavor.

Iceberg lettuce is also delicious shredded and tossed into classic Chinese stir-fries, and the natural liquid it releases helps deglaze the wok and cooks down into a luscious sauce. Lastly, iceberg is a perfect option for fermenting because of its ability to absorb other flavors so well. Replace cabbage with iceberg lettuce for a beautiful take on kimchi that is perfect as a garnish for noodles, tacos, and barbecue. Of course, subbing out that burger bun for a stack of crisp iceberg is not only health-forward, it’s refreshing, and lovely for gluten-free diners.


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.