Posted in baking, Baking and pastry, cakes, chefs, cooking, cooking classes tampa, food, food blogs, food pics, foodies, French cooking, fun food, gourmet food pictures, guilty pleasures, king cake recipe, mardi gras, miami chefs, new orleans, personal chef tampa, personal chefs, random, recipes, strange food combinations, tampa caterer, tampa catering | Tagged baking, baking bad, baking recipes, Cake, cooking, Dough, Flour, food blogs, Home, King cake, Mardi Gras, mardi gras king cake, mardi gras tradition, New Orleans, new orleans mardi gras, orleans mardi gras, recipes, Sugar | 5 Comments »
Confit (pronounced con-fee) originated as a French method of preserving meat. Nowadays, it’s mostly used as a way to make delicious, fall-off the bone duck. In our version of duck confit, duck leg quarters are cooked slowly in rendered duck fat, fresh herbs, orange peel and spices resulting in an incredible flavor. This method also works well with chicken, pork and goose. Great with a salads, sandwiches, charcuterie and more. Lots of options!
The flavorful fat from the duck confit may also be used in many other ways, as a frying medium for sautéed vegetables, potatoes, savory toasts, scrambled eggs or omelets, and as an addition to short crust paste for tarts and quiche.
Some of the more classic recipes call for you to fry or grill the duck legs in a bit of the leftover fat until they are well-browned and crisp, or to roast potatoes and garlic as an accompaniment. The potatoes roasted in duck fat to accompany the crisped-up duck confit is called pommes de terre à la sarladaise. Duck confit is also a traditional ingredient in many versions of cassoulet.
1 dozen Duck Leg Quarters (frenched)
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
6 T Whole Peppercorns
5 Bay Leaves
5 Juniper Berries
3 Tbsp Coriander seed
3 Cloves Garlic
1 tsp Red Chili Flakes
1 bunch fresh Rosemary
stems from 2 bunches fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh Thyme
Peels from two large fresh oranges-pith removed
Rendered Duck Fat to cover
Combine herbs, spices, salt, orange peels & bay leaves. Rinse duck legs, dry, place in large roasting pan or oven proof casserole pot, & cover with rendered duck fat, gently stir to mix ingredients. Cover pan & place in 225 degree oven for 7 – 8 hours or until duck is tender and falling off the bone (test by using tongs to lift a duck leg by the bone and gently shaking). Leave duck in the fat & allow to cool overnight. Remove from fat, heat and caramelize in 350 degree oven. Enjoy!
Posted in chefs, cooking, cooking classes tampa, food, food blogs, food photography, food pics, food pictures, food porn, foodies, French cooking, fun food, gourmet food pictures, haute cuisine, personal chef tampa, personal chefs, recipes, tampa catering | Tagged chefs, classic recipes, Confit, cooking, Duck, Duck confit, duck legs, food blogs, food pics, food porn, foodies, french cuisine, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, personal chef tampa, recipes, Tampa personal chef, wedding caterer tampa | 1 Comment »
The mango is a very common tropical fruit usually found in Southern Asia, especially in Eastern India, Philippines, China, Burma, Andaman Islands and Central America. It is cultivated and grown vastly in many tropical regions and widely distributed in the world.
Mango is one of the most extensively used fruit for food, juices, flavor and coloring making it as the most functional fruit. The ripe fruit is variable in size and color, and may be yellow, orange, red or green when ripe, depending on the cultivar. When it is ripe refreshingly sweet taste that varies from every variety. Its flesh has its fibrous and some are soft and pulpy texture.
One of my favorite uses for mango is fresh salsa. It makes a great accompaniment to all sorts of grilled fish and chicken recipes.
- 2 peeled, pitted and diced small
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced small
- 1 Tbsp medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 /2 small european cucumber, peeled and diced
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 Tbsp chopeed scallion
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 Tsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. toasted mustard seed
- Salt and Pepper
- Chop mango, red pepper, cucumber, scallion and red onion and combine in a bowl.
- Mix lime juice, olive oil, sugar mustard seeds & salt and pepper in a small bowl, whisk together.
- Mix into salsa.
- Add chopped cilantro and stir until combined.
- Enjoy with fresh tortilla chips, on grilled fish or chicken or as an accompaniment to a fresh green salad
History of Mango:
Native to southern Asia, especially eastern India, Burma, and the Andaman Islands, the mango has been cultivated, praised and even revered in its homeland since Ancient times. Buddhist monks are believed to have taken the mango on voyages to Malaya and eastern Asia in the 4th and 5th Centuries B.C.
The Persians are said to have carried it to East Africa about the 10th Century A.D. It was commonly grown in the East Indies before the earliest visits of the Portuguese who apparently introduced it to West Africa early in the 16th Century and also into Brazil. After becoming established in Brazil, the mango was carried to the West Indies, being first planted in Barbados about 1742 and later in the Dominican Republic. It reached Jamaica about 1782 and, early in the 19th Century, reached Mexico from the Philippines and the West Indies.
Note: There are a few varieties of mango that are commonly found in American groceries stores. The most common are the Haden, Tommy Atkins, and Kent varieties, all of which have yellow or green skins with a reddish blush to them. If you do find an Ataulfo or Champagne mango, it will have a smaller, kidney-like shape, yellow skin, and small pit, so use 5 or 6 for this recipe. To choose a ripe but firm (common) mango make sure it has a reddish blush and firm skin. The mango should give slightly when squeezed and be fragrant. If you accidentally peel a mango that is too green, no worries, cut it into small slices, season with lime juice and sprinkle with salt. You’ve just made mangoviche! Delicious!
Posted in chefs, cooking, cooking classes tampa, food, food blogs, food photography, food pics, food pictures, food porn, foodies, fun food, grillin' n chillin', healthy cooking classes tampa, macro food photography, mango salsa, miami chefs, personal chef tampa, personal chefs, recipes, tampa caterer, tampa catering, Tampa cooking classes, www.justin-thyme.com | Tagged Andaman Islands, Central America, chefs, Cook, cooking, cooking classes tampa, dining, european cucumber, food, food blogs, food photography, food pics, food porn, foodie, foodies, gourmet, grilling, macro food, mustard seed, mustard seeds, personal chef, personal chef service, personal chef tampa, personal chefs tampa, Philippines, recipes, rice wine vinegar, ripe mango, seafood, Tampa personal chef, tampa personal chef service, www.justin-thyme.com | 1 Comment »
Five Food Finds about Peanut Butter
1. It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
2. By law, any product labeled "peanut butter" in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts. Below 90% and it should be labeled "peanut spread".
3. The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year.
So wow! I had the opportunity to attend the 1st annual Safety Harbor Food Truck Rally today and it was fantastic! Among some of the delicious foods I tried were: 3 Suns Organic Bistro, Sweet Ida Mae’s Bakery, Stinky Bunz, Just Smokin’ BBQ, Keep’n It Reel, Fire Monkey Food Truck, Tasty Stacy Food Truck, This ‘n’ That Mini Doughnuts, Mr. Empanada, and The pizza Guy. Pops
Okay, so yeah, I ate everything in sight and loved it! All the food was totally delicious and the service was quick and friendly. Add to that the beautiful weather, good live music and a whole bunch of great friends and it made for a pretty awesome day!
Thanks to all the great vendors who came out to feed us today and also to the city of Safety Harbor for putting on this great event…lots of happy faces out on Main Street today, can’t wait for the next one! Enjoy the gallery!
- Tampa Food Truck Rally will be held on Main Street in Safety Harbor! (chefjustinthyme.wordpress.com)
Posted in awesome food trucks, close up food, food, food blogs, food photography, food pics, food pictures, food porn, Food Truck, food trucks, foodies, fun food, gourmet food pictures, guilty pleasures, personal chef tampa, safety harbor, seafood, strange food combinations, tampa, tampa food truck rally, tampa food trucks | Tagged Barbecue, bunz, Business, chefs, cooking, Empanada, fire monkey, florida food trucks, food, food pics, food porn, food truck, food truck rally, foodie, foodtruck, great friends, happy faces, justin thyme, Main Street, pizza guy, Reel, safety harbor, Sweet Ida Mae, Truck | 9 Comments »
As a young man growing up in Key West Florida, I was exposed to a variety of fantastically flavorful ethnic dishes from an early age. Dishes that I would, over the years, constantly try to recreate or infuse into new ideas. South Florida in general is home to a diverse multi-cultural landscape of people, rich in tradition and passionate about the foods of their homeland. The bounty of both fresh produce and super fresh seafood readily available in Florida at any given time gives chefs the opportunity to come up with almost limitless inspiration and flavor combinations. Bahamian Conch Ceviche, Cuban Ropa Vieja, Puerto Rican plantain mofongo, Hatian Oxtail stew, these are all dishes that take me back to my childhood. One preparation always stood out for me, especially because I tend to go for fresh and spicy, flavor packed foods with a simplistic approach…seafood in particular, it was Ceviche. Fish, Shrimp, Conch, whatever…I LOVED ceviche.
Long before I ever dreamed that I would end up being a chef, I had the good fortune to eat many, many times at a little place called Louie’s Backyard in Old Town Key West. You see, my mother was a huge foodie and luckily for me, introduced me to all kinds of strange and exotic foods from an early age. The owners of Louie’s had recently brought in a young chef named Norman Van Aken, who would soon blaze a trail for what would one day become known as “New World Cuisine”, he was and still is the father of it…a new world Escoffier of sorts…Norman is obviously a culinary genius, few would argue that.
I used to love the irreverent cooking style and seemingly bizarre, yet playful flavors Norman created and there was definitely a buzz going around about his cooking from very early on. After finishing culinary school, I sought Norman out at his restaurant in Coral Gables and hung around until I was able to work my way into the kitchen, it was a brief time that would change my perception of what food could really be and how far an idea could be taken. Hopefully Norman knows what an incredible impact he has made on so many young chefs, including me…I doubt I could ever really fully thank him in a way that sounds as good as it does in my mind but, thank you Norman.
Now, looking back on a successful career as a professional chef for the last 15 years, I have begun to seek out the flavors that remind me of my childhood. Afterall, isn’t that one of the great things about food? The fact that one bite can transport you back to a certain time and place…remind you of good times or bad, connect you with a family memory or simply remind you of sunday dinners at grandma’s house. Food connects us with our roots in a way that few other things in life can and I think that any great cook, at any given time, draws inspiration from or strives to re-create dishes that remind them of something dear to them.
My take on a wonderful recipe by Chef Rick Bayless- Chef of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago, creator of Frontera Gourmet foods, cookbook author and host of “Mexico One Plate at a Time“. This recipe is from his cook book “Mexico One Plate at a Time.” A must-try!
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbs fresh lime juice
- 1 generous pound unpeeled, smallish shrimp
- ½ medium white onion, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1-2 Tbs vinegary Mexican bottled hot sauce
- About 2 Tbs olive oil, preferably extra-virgin (optional, but recommended to smooth out sharpness)
- 1 cup diced peeled cucumber or jicama (or ½ cup of each)
- 1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
- Several lime slices for garnish
- Tostadas or tortilla chips for serving
- To cook the shrimp, bring 1 quart salted water to a boil and add 2 Tbs of the lime juice. Scoop in the shrimp, cover and let the water return to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat, set the lid askew and pour off all the liquid. Replace the cover and let the shrimp steam off the heat for 10 minutes. Spread out the shrimp in a large glass or stainless steel bowl to cool completely. Peel and devein shrimp. Toss the shrimp with remaining ½ cup lime juice, cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
- In a small strainer, rinse the onion under cold water, then shake off the excess liquid. Add to the shrimp bowl along with the cilantro, ketchup, hot sauce, optional olive oil, cucumber and/or jicama and avocado. Taste and season with salt. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.
- Serving: spoon ceviche into sundae glasses, martini glasses, or small bowls. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro and slices of lime. Serve with tostadas or tortilla chips.
Posted in ceviche, chefs, close up food, cooking, cooking classes tampa, couples cooking classes, food, food blogs, food pics, food pictures, foodies, fun food, haute cuisine, healthy cooking classes tampa, personal chef tampa, random, recipes, seafood, tampa, tampa caterer, tampa catering, Tampa cooking classes, Uncategorized | Tagged Ceviche, chef, chefs, Chicago, conch ceviche, Cook, cooking, cuban ropa vieja, culinary genius, ethnic dishes, Florida, Frontera Grill, Home, Key West Florida, lime, Mexico, Mexico One Plate At A Time, norman van aken, Olive oil, ox tail stew, Oxtail, recipes, Rick Bayless, Shrimp, Tortilla chip, Tostada | 2 Comments »