Valrhona: Hot Chocolate Festival

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Last night the hubby and I, along with my dear friend (and talented pastry chef) Kimberly Barrett, attended the Valrhona Hot Chocolate Festival in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

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The event was hosted at L’École Valrhona Du Grand Chocolat located on Water Street in the super trendy Brooklyn neighborhood at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, and just 5 minutes from Manhattan. The facility boasted state of the art equipment, and a very modern, clean, and polished aesthetic. The school offers a place where the public can take basic classes such as Intro to Chocolate and professional chefs can brush up on their Plated Desserts and Chocoart.

The event was full of chefs, media, and chocolate fanatics. There were seven booths set up for each company to showcase their product.

Marie Belle NY had a sweet and salty caramel hot chocolate. It was the first one I tried. It had a really nice flavor, and the kick of salt helped it from being overly sweet.

One of my all time favorite chocolatiers and brands is FIKA. FIKA is a chocolate brand from Sweden with bold flavors and some of the most delicious truffles I have ever had the pleasure to eat. At the showcase, FIKA made a hot chocolate with ancho chile and served a truffle with chile powder and lingonberry. It was beyond delicious and just the right amount of spice and sweetness.

Ladurée was there in full force. Armed with delicate patisserie and a luscious orange scented hot chocolate. Their offering was by far my favorite of the night. Delicate, complex, yet luscious – they transcended me right back to Ladurée in Paris. Je t’aime Ladurèe.

The best part of the event was catching up with my dear friend and talented Chef, Diane Stopford and drinking way too much decadent hot chocolate and sharing laughs with my husband and friend Kim.

To learn more about Valrhona’s new products and initiatives head over to Valrhona-chocolate.com and be sure to check out L’École Valrhona Du Grand Chocolat to be in the know about the latest happenings in the chocolate world.

Cheers

Chef Sean Patrick Gallagher

Chefseanparickgallagher.com

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Home-Grown Meal: Chicken Scarpiello

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I spent the last few days in Connecticut with my lovely family cooking, eating, and catching up. It was so much fun and my father wanted to spend some time cooking together. He had seen a Chef on TV make Chicken Scarpiello and he wanted to try it out. My Aunt Nancy makes a delicious Chicken Scarpiello, so rich and so spicy, its incredible! I wanted to make a version that was a little less fatty and eliminate the use of flour. I removed the chicken skin and fat from the dish and used cornstarch to coat the chicken in place of flour. The result was a less greasy dish with a very clean tasting flavor. It was absolutely delicious and spoke for itself. This is bound to be a new family favorite and I hope you try it out! It seems like a lot of work, but it was actually very quick and easy. It was so much fun cooking with my father and eating with the family. (Sorry for such low quality photos! Didn’t think I’d be sharing this post but have had so many people ask for the recipe!!!!) 🙂

 

Chicken Scarpiello

8-12 skinless, bone-in chicken pieces, thigh, legs, breast

6-8 hot Italian sausage links

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cornstarch for coating

1/2 cup olive oil

10 garlic cloves, sliced paper thin

Fresh oregano, leaves picked

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups dry white wine

3 red bell peppers, sliced thin lengthwise

2 Spanish onions, sliced paper thin

8 oz hot cherry peppers in liquid

Optional: Sliced cremini mushrooms

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  • Remove all skin from chicken pieces and remove any cartilage and fat
  • Caramelize onions until nice and brown, add peppers and garlic at the end and cook until just softened
  • Cook mushrooms on high separately and cook until browned
  • Roast hot Italian sausages until browned evenly and cooked though
  • Once the sausages are cooked and cooled, slice into pieces
  • Get a saute pan hot, add oil
  • Dip each chicken piece in seasoned cornstarch and coat evenly. Shake off excess
  • Place into hot oil and continue to do so until each piece is coated and browned on both sides
  • Remove chicken pieces and place in baking dishes
  • Remove oil from the pan and add white wine and chicken stock, cook on high for several minutes to cook out raw wine flavor
  • Scatter caramelized onions, garlic, peppers, hot peppers, picked oregano leaves, and mushrooms over chicken
  • Place pieces of sausage throughout the pan evenly
  • Season everything with salt and pepper
  • Pour wine and chicken stock mix over everything evenly
  • Cover pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes covered
  • Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes at 400 degrees to brown everything
  • Remove and enjoy!

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You can eat this with rice, spaghetti squash, or roasted potatoes. If you eat pasta you can enjoy it with that as well. 🙂

 

Effortless Early Fall Baked Penne with Garlicky Toast

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#EffortlessEarlyFallBakedPenne

I’ m often asked for super easy weeknight dishes, and one of my go-to meals is pasta. I like to use the pasta as a canvas to play with interesting flavors and textures. This dish is a combination of sweet, spicy, salty, and savory and I think it’s a home-run!

Try it out.

ImagePenne,

 Early Fall Baked Penne

1 eggplant, diced

1 head fennel, diced

12 small brussel sprouts, quartered

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tsp hot pepper flake

1 T chopped fresh oregano

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup grate pecornio romano cheese

1/2 cup pasta water

3 roma tomatoes, chopped

1 box penne rigate

1/4 cup aged goat cheese, grated (If you can’t get an aged goat cheese, use fresh and crumble into the pasta, it will make a different texture but will be delish!)

4 oz pancetta

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

  • Heat a large pot of water to the cook the pasta. Cook the pasta to instructions on the box, drain and keep 1/2 cup of pasta water, drizzle the drained pasta with a touch of oil. Set aside.
  •  In a large saute pan heat 1 T of olive oil and add your pancetta.
  • Brown the pancetta over medium heat until crispy.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon, and leave the pork fat in the pan for flavor. 🙂
  • Add your eggplant in, turn the heat to high. Cook for several minutes to start to soften the eggplant.
  • Add in your fennel and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add in your sliced garlic and cook for 2 minutes, keep the heat high-medium high.
  • Add in your brussels sprouts, tomatoes, golden raisins, hot pepper flake, and oregano.
  • Cook for 2-3 to start to soften and brown the vegetables.
  • When they start to color, add in the pasta water.
  • Cook until eggplant is soft and brussels sprouts are halfway cooked.
  • The sauce should start to get thick, season with salt and pepper.
  • In a baking dish, mix in pasta, your sautéed vegetables, pancetta, pine nuts, pecorino and grated aged goat cheese.
  • Top with more grated pecorino and aged goat cheese.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. The cheese should be melted and golden brown.

Garlicky Toasts

1/2 loaf rustic italian bread cut into 6 slices

2 T butter

2 T Good olive oil ( I use Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

2 cloves garlic, grated on microplane

salt and pepper

sprinkle grated pecorino

  • Combine butter with grated garlic (minced if you do not have a microplane)
  • Mix in olive oil
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Smear compound butter on bread slices, top with sprinkle of pecorino
  • Bake until golden brown and delicious – about 4-5 minutes in a 400 degree oven

Hope you try it out! SO simple and delicious

Cheers

Chef Sean Gallagher

30 Minute Meal

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Fettuccine Bolognese

Fettuccine Bolognese

I know how tough it is to come home and cook. I cook all day long! If it’s a work night and I’m cooking dinner, it has to be quick or I don’t really have the motivation. Especially when you live in NYC and you can get any cuisine you can think up delivered to your door in 15-30 minutes.

I have to admit that I am a sucker for comfort food, and my number one is pasta. Of course I love to make fresh pasta, and if I’m feeling really up to it – make delish raviolis filled with all sorts of decadent things.

Nonetheless, at least once a week I make a pasta dish and I have to tell you its oh-so-satisfying and couldn’t be simpler. Last night I made a beefy Bolognese. Beautiful fat laden ground beef browned and stewed with onions, garlic, hot pepper flake, and San Marzano tomatoes.

 

Here’s one for your recipe book – the most simple weeknight dinner.

 

Fettuccine Bolognese

 

Prep time: 5-7 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

 

1 box fettuccine pasta

1 pound ground beef – (I like 80/20 for the fat content)

1 can San Marzano tomatoes

2 T tomato paste

Splash red wine – (If you have some open)

1 large white onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 T olive oil

1/2 t hot pepper flake (or 1 T if you like it hot!)

1/2 t dried oregano

2 T grated parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

 

  • Place a large pot filled with salted water on the back burner and get it to a boil first.
  • Have your onion diced and garlic minced ready to go.
  • Heat a large pot on medium-high heat, add your oil and allow it to get hot.
  • Add your beef and break it up, brown evenly. Remove the grease if you like, or leave it in for more flavor. 🙂
  • Add your onion and garlic, add the hot pepper flake and dried oregano.
  • Cook your onions until tender. Add the tomato paste and mix it thoroughly. If you have some open red wine – or have a glass while cooking, add in about a 1/4 of a cup now.
  • Let the wine cook out, then add your tomatoes. Turn the heat to medium low – low.
  • Boil your pasta, once cooked, drain and leave in colander.
  • Stir the sauce every 5 minutes to prevent scorching and let cook for 15-20 minutes. If you have longer you can let cook for 30 minutes if desired.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste – I also like to add in 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan or pecorino at the end.
  • Mix into your fettuccine and serve.

 

Easy weeknight dinner done! I served it with roasted broccoli and garlic, a glass of wine, a hunk of rustic bread, and great company – all in 30 minutes!

 

Enjoy!

 
Sean Patrick Gallagher

 

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Braised Pork with roasted mushrooms, roasted potatoes, watercress, lemon dill dressing

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Heres a different way to use a pork roast. Searing, slicing, and then braising the pork adds a ton of flavor and makes this a quick cooking dish. Flavors of fire roasted tomatoes, roasted mushrooms, dill, watercress, and citrus make this a beautiful summer dish.

 

Braised Pork with roasted mushrooms, roasted potatoes, watercress, lemon dill dressing

2 pound pork roast, boneless

1/2 bu dill, chopped

1/2 bu parsley, chopped

2 cups veg stock

1 large can fire roasted tomatoes, crushed

10 cloves garlic, minced/sliced

2 pounds small yellow potatoes

2 lemons, juiced

1 bu watercress, cleaned and chopped

1 portobello, sliced

4 shitake, stemmed and sliced

1 ct crimini mushrooms, quarted

1 cup crumbled feta

2 T capers, drained

 

 

1: Sear pork in 2 T olive oil on medium high heat, rotating once so both sides are caramelized.

2: Remove from heat and let cool. In the same pan, add you mushrooms, and 1 clove garlic minced. Cook over high heat to caramelize mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.

3: Remove mushrooms and add sliced onion and 2 cloves minced garlic.

4: Cook over medium heat until onion is cooked. Add vegetable stock, cook down for 5 minutes on high. Add tomatoes, crushing them in your hands as you add them to the pot, turn down heat and cook for 5 more minutes.

5: Slice your pork into 8 equal portions by cutting it in half, then fourths, then 8ths.

6: Lay pork into the sauce so they fit snug.

7: Add capers, top with mushrooms, and half the feta.

8: Place in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes.

10: When pork comes out, make sure it is cooked through, top with more feta and chopped parsley.

Roasted potatoes with watercress and lemon dill dressing 

1: Half potatoes, toss in olive oil with salt and pepper and 1 clove sliced garlic

2: Roast at 400 for 15 – 20 minutes until brown and crisp

3: Clean and cut watercress, place in bowl to side

4: In a container place 1 clove garlic, 1/2 bu dill, 1/2 bu parsley, and juice of one lemon.

5: Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 T water. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

6: When potatoes are hot out of the oven, toss in with watercress and dressing.

Serve hot or room temperature.

 

This recipe is delicious, healthy, and very flavorful. Try it out!

 

Cheers,
Sean Patrick Gallagher

Two Dishes, One Chicken

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Roasted Chicken has got to be my all time favorite meal. It is so simple and yet, so complex. I have roasted a chicken many different ways; with truffle butter under the skin, stuffed with sausage, or simply dressed with herbs. There are a ton of ways to roast a chicken, but this is how I do it.

1: Clean your bird in cold water, check the skin for any leftover feathers or abnormalities and remove them.

2: Remove the innards of the bird; you can keep them and roast them along side the bird or toss them.

3: Dry your bird completely dry. Moisture on the skin of the bird will prevent a nice crisp finished product.

4: Using your fingers, gently slide underneath the skin of the breast of the bird and loosen it, creating a cavity between the breast and the skin. Here you can place butter, herbs, any kind of flavorings you wish to impart on the chicken.

5: Cover the bird in freshly ground black pepper, a liberal amount of kosher salt, and drizzle olive oil all over it. Massage the seasoning into the bird.

6: Place the bird on a roasting rack or sheet pan. I like to make a bed of aromatics; carrots, onions, garlic, celery, thyme.. and place the chicken on top so the chicken is not directly touching the metal and the aromatics cook along with it.

7: Place the bird in a 400° oven for 20 minutes.

8: After 20 minutes, rotate the pan, lower the heat to 375°, and place the time for 1 hour. (This will be perfect for a 3 pound chicken, add an additional 20 minutes per pound for large birds)

9: Remove the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes.

10: I like to remove the breasts and slice them, then cut the chicken into pieces: thighs, legs, and wings.

11: Use the drippings from the chicken to create a flavorful sauce.

With this roast chicken, I caramelized one onion, a few sliced mushrooms, and chopped up the aromatics that roasted with the chicken. I then adds the drippings from the roast chicken to create a sauce. Served over a bed of whole wheat couscous and some delicious fresh pea shoots, this is a fantastic, healthy, easy, and delicious meal.

 

Every time you roast a chicken there is leftovers. With that leftover chicken I usually make soup or shred the chicken for many different dishes.. salads, enchiladas, tacos.. and so on.

In NYC I once ate a chicken salad that used avocado instead of mayonnaise, which for me was heaven because nothing in the world disturbs me more than that god-forsaken product! Here is a quick and delicious recipe to utilize left over chicken.

Avocado Chicken Salad

2 cups leftover roasted chicken, shredded or chopped

2 large avocados

1 lime juiced

2 T chopped fresh cilantro

2 T sour cream

1 t kosher salt

fresh ground black pepper

Corn or wheat tortillas

dash of hot sauce

1: Shred your leftover chicken, make sure there is no cartilage or bones. If you want to make this and don’t have leftover roasted chicken you can use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery, or roast chicken thighs and pull the meat.

2: Mash the avocados separately with lime juice, sour cream, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Mix in chicken and stir well to combine.

3: Toast whole wheat tortillas, serve the chicken salad cold on the tortillas with a squeeze of fresh lime and a dash of hot sauce.

This dish couldn’t be easier and is delicious, a much healthier alternative to traditional chicken salad.

Cheers,

Sean Patrick Gallagher

Albóndigas

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Whenever I have ground beef around, I challenge myself to make something different. I stuff peppers, fill tortillas, or  make hearty bolognese. Scouring through our fridge in Philly, I decided that I would make a style of meatball named Albóndigas, a spanish style meatball dish.

For this recipe I wanted to use what I had lying around and in the fridge, so you could substitute many of the items I use with what you have in your fridge.

Albóndigas – Serves 4-6 (Depending on how hungry you are!)

2 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup cracker crumbs

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

2 T chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon  ground oregano

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1 T ground cumin

1/8 t hot pepper flake

1/2 large white onion, small diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

Sauce:

1 can san marzano tomatoes, pureed

2 small carrots, peeled and shredded

1/2 large white onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T kosher salt

1 T white sugar

1 T vinegar

Mix together all items except the onion and garlic. Do not over mix or you can make the beef tough.

Separately, Cook onion until soft in 1 T olive oil, Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes

Let cool, mix into meat mixture.

In the same pan you cooked the onion add enough olive oil to fill pan 1/2 inch.

Roll the meatballs into golf ball size.  Once the oil is hot, add meatballs to brown, brown on both sides. remove from heat and add 1/2 white onion minced, 4 cloves garlic minced, 2 carrots shredded.

Once the onion and carrot are soft, add tomato puree. Add 1 T kosher salt and 1 T sugar, cook for 20 minutes over medium heat covered. Add meatballs back in and cook for 1 hour on medium low heat. Stirring every 20 minutes to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan. Taste the sauce for seasoning and finish with a splash of good vinegar to balance sauce.

Finish with a drizzle of good oil and chopped fresh cilantro and feta.

Try this recipe out! Super easy and delicious.

Cheers,
Sean Patrick Gallagher

Easy Cooking Tip #1: Roasting

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Everyone’s lives are busy. After a long day of work the last thing you want to do is spend hours cooking dinner. A good tip when grocery shopping and planning a meal is try to pick up things that can cook together. With a few helpful tips and this recipe, a home cooked meal has never been easier.

Today’s Tip: Roasting

Roasting couldn’t be any simpler. You can roast several things at once making dinner a lot quicker.  A roast doesn’t have to be a huge turkey or leg of lamb, almost anything can be roasted. This meal is an example of an easy roasted dinner.

Roasted chicken sausages with fennel, parsnips, and lentils

1 Package chicken sausages

4 Cloves garlic

1 Head fennel, cored and sliced into large pieces

1 Large parsnip, peeled and diced

½ Cup chicken stock

1 T Salt

1 t Ground black pepper

½ Lemon, zest and juice

1 T olive oil

  • Preheat your oven to 450°
  • To start, take an oven safe baking dish and drizzle 1 T of olive oil in the bottom.
  • Lubricate the entire base of the dish with the olive to prevent sticking.
  • Place your sausages, cut fennel, parsnips, and garlic in the dish.
  • Season the vegetables and sausages with 1 T of salt and 1 t ground black pepper.
  • Place in the oven and set your timer for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, turn over the sausages for even cooking and add ½ cup of chicken stock to the pan.
  • Set the timer for 15 more minutes and place back in the oven.
  • When the timer goes off, add the lemon zest and juice to the pan.
  • Serve sausages and vegetables over top the lentils and enjoy!

Lentils:

1 Cup lentils

2 Cups chicken stock

1 Pinch cayenne powder

2 Cloves garlic, minced

1 Small onion, diced

1 Roma tomato, diced

1 T olive oil

1 T Salt

1 t Ground black pepper

½ Lemon, zest and juice

To cook your lentils:

  • Add 1 T of olive oil to a saucepot with a lid.
  • Turn the heat to medium and cook your garlic and onion until tender.
  • Add your lentils and coat with the oil.
  • Add your chicken stock, cayenne powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Once at a boil, turn the heat down and reduce to a simmer.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes and stir your lentils.
  • After the timer goes off, come back and stir your lentils.
  • Set your timer for 15 more minutes.
  • When the time goes off, stir your lentils and taste for doneness.
  • The lentils should have texture, and be creamy on the inside.
  • If they need more time, set your timer for 5-10 minutes depending on doneness.
  • When done, add your lemon zest, juice, and diced tomatoes.
  • Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Your lentils are done. Serve them with your sausages!

This meal is delicious and couldn’t be simpler. You can have this meal prepped and cooked in an hour, and because it’s in the oven the whole time you can multitask and get things done while it’s cooking.

Don’t like sausages? Try this recipe with halibut or chicken thighs!

Making dinner during the week doesn’t have to be complicated, try this dinner one night and you will be roasting all the time!

– Sincerely,

Sean Gallagher