I am a foodie and a home chef in training so I partnered with one amazing chef & friend, Mimo, to create how to cook a 3 course restaurant worthy meal at home. Here is her story and her recipes.
“Growing up in a small village in Ethiopia, I was always around fresh farm produce. My earliest childhood memories include following my grandmother around the kitchen and “helping” her cook all sorts of meals. When it was all ready, she will call everyone over and we will sit on the kitchen floor and all eat out of one plate. It was very informal, full of laughter, love and community. Following my grandmothers tradition, nothing makes me happier than having friends and family over to my house for a dinner party. Today, I am gonna share with you three easy but delicious meals to cook with your loved ones as we celebrate valentines day. I know a lot of people who don’t know — and don’t want to learn — how to cook. But this valentines day, I challenge you to skip the restaurants and do one of most ancient and precious rituals of culture. Cooking for others not only brings people together, but also is a beautiful act of love for another human being.”
After watching The Office on repeat for many years, I always think of Dwight every time I see beets. “Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.” The Schrute Farms also offers animal products so you can pick up your goat cheese from them as well. So lets name this recipe the Dwight Schrute special.
Marinated Beet Salad With Whipped Goat Cheese
You will need
1 Pound beets
2 Tablespoons minced shallots
4 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste (tt)
2 Tablespoons vinegar sherry vinegar
¼ Cup fresh goat cheese 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees. Trim the greens, tops and stems from the beets. Wash thoroughly and wrap in aluminum foil. Place the packages directly on the oven rack and roast until beets are easily pierced by a fork or knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on size. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar and salt. Set aside.
Remove beets from oven and carefully open packages to let the steam escape. Let cool at least 20 minutes. Unwrap beets and use your fingers to remove any skin. Dice beets neatly into bite-size pieces. Add vinegar mixture, mix well and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Supreme the grapefruit. Mix with diced shallots, salt and drizzle some olive oil and set aside. To prepare the goat cheese, in a bowl, whisk cream, add goat cheese. Whip until cheese is fluffy and soft. Taste and season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, spoon dollops of goat cheese mixture on the plate, pile beets on top and finish with grapefruit supreme salsa. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
Second Course psa; (you should start prep at least 4hrs ahead but preferably the night before)
Brined Airline Chicken Breast
Airline chicken breast is a cut where the boneless breast portion has the first wing segment (the “drummette”) attached to it. Rumor has it, it’s called airline chicken because it was a popular item on menus of airline in-flight meals.
You will need:
2 Cups room temp water
2 Cups ice water
1/4 Cup Salt
1/4 Cup White sugar
1 Lemon, cut into thin rounds
4 Garlic cloves, sliced
1 Bay leaf
Fresh herbs of your choice I use rosemary and thyme
In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the room-temp water, salt, sugar, lemon rounds, herbs, garlic and bay leaf. Bring to boil, remove from the heat, and steep for 30 minutes. Add ice water and let cool completely. Put the chicken parts in a plastic or glass container, cover them with brine, and refrigerate for 4 hrs, preferably overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 500’F
Remove the chicken halves from the brine and pat dry with paper towel. Heat ovenproof frying pan over high heat till very hot. Add enough olive oil to coat the pan and place the chicken skin-side down for about 3 minuets. When the chicken skin is well seared, move the pan to the hot oven and roast until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. When the internal chicken temperature reaches 165’F, it is done. Serve with some mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.
Do you ever wonder why we always have room for dessert even when we are so full? According to Wikipedia, dessert stomach is “the declining satisfaction generated by the consumption of a certain type of food and the consequent renewal in appetite resulting from the exposure to a new flavor or food.” So basically we are not actually very full, we are just tired of eating savory things and now want something sweet. So, to finish our restaurant style 3 course meal, here is a dessert idea. To make delicious dessert, I highly highly highly recommend investing on a kitchen scale.
In addition to the scale, you will need:
200g Sugar 3 Lemons finely grated zest 4 Large eggs 180g Freshly squeezed lemon juice
300g Unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
Rub the sugar and lemon zest together between your fingers in a large heatproof bowl until it is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs followed by the lemon juice. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring constantly with a spatula. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 85°C. It will take a long time, so turn on the radio and stir away for around 20–30 minutes. As soon as it reaches temperature, remove the curd from the heat and allow to cool down to 60°C. Gradually incorporate the butter, whisking well after each addition. When all the butter has been added, blitz the lemon curd using an immersion blender for 8–10 minutes. It might sound long, but it will give the cream a too-smooth-to-be-true texture. Pour the curd into a container, lay clingfilm over the surface and refrigerate overnight.Serve a big spoon full with fresh berries. Enjoy.
When you cook for others, you are providing them with something that they need. You are really showing them that they have your support, your love, and your community. And gathering around the dinner table promotes well being, positive growth and closeness within relationships.
On other note, I am now booking clients to do a private in-home cooking lesson. I would love to come share my love and passion of food with you as we learn the basics of cooking. As a professionally trained chef with over five years of work experience, I can share with you the tips and tricks of what it takes to cook and plate mouthwatering and crowd pleasing meals at home. The class includes pre-planning the individual lesson with you, printed recipes for the participants, groceries, set up and clean up and leftover makeover ideas. Actual class time is generally between two and three hours. If you would like to book please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime checkout my instagram to get inspirations at @leftovertodoover.