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

Taste of Paris: Miznon

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11695902_844701115977_8803345370097266460_n.jpgThis past Summer I spent two months cooking for a private family abroad in France. It was my first time to France, and I arrived not speaking a word of the language and completely unaware of how life changing the experience was going to be for me.

About a month into my stay in France, I journeyed to Paris for five days. I took a beautiful train ride that cut from the coast of La Baule to the city of Paris.

When I arrived, a car took me to Ile Saint Louis, where I stayed in a stunning chateau. It had floor to ceiling windows that opened out to a large courtyard below and the quiet, quaint streets of the island.

I ventured out into the maze-like streets of Paris. I refused to buy a map, but discover the city of my dreams on my own. I memorized landmarks and navigated my way through the city.

My first day was overwhelming. Starving, I decided to walk through le Marais and find an authentic dining experience in Paris.

Everywhere I looked was filled with tourists. I walked through seemingly endless side streets and alleys until I came across a tiny storefront of a restaurant with patrons spilling out the windows and entryway. I knew I had to eat here. 11836827_844700831547_9000377625054051336_n.jpg

The smell coming through the door of the restaurant was amazing! It smelled of slowly cooked meat, char, and smoke. I pushed through the door and saw a room with fresh produce on wood shelves, big bowls of lemons and heads of cauliflower. The menu was scribbled on a chalkboard wall in bright colored chalk. The kitchen was completely open, and the cooks prepared the food right in front of you as you ordered. There was minimal seating, and the crowd was loud and joyous. It felt like I had entered someones home, like everyone there was family. 11796379_844701135937_8055135375021145522_n.jpg

I stood awkwardly- waiting for someone to wait on me, or take an order – it never happened. I felt so embarrassed, I almost left. Then I decided to step out of my comfort zone, and I plunged myself down at the counter bar, and sat next to a beautiful pregnant woman.

I sat a few minutes, and then pushed myself to talk with her. I nervously asked her if she spoke English, (which she did, thankfully), and then proceeded to ask her how to order. I then explained I was a NYC chef visiting Paris, and wanted to taste the best food the city had to offer. She explained to me that her husband owned the restaurant and that I was indeed in the right place for good food.

She brought her husband over, and the three of us spoke about middle eastern food, restaurants, New York, and Paris. It was one of those experiences you don’t forget, and then the Chef decided to order for me. 11846732_844700891427_8813675508574140144_n.jpg

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The man working the counter was a combination host, maître d, and comedian. He poured me some warm red wine on this balmy  95 degree day. The restaurant was open to the street, and the heat everywhere. My clothes clung tight and wet to my body. A runner brought over some fresh made pita with side dish of tahini with tomato water and spiced olive oil. I dipped the hot fresh pita into the cool spread, and it refreshed me. 11846620_844701190827_7939526496194403906_n.jpg

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11836825_844700991227_537711851019361455_n.jpgNext came out a fresh pita pocket stuffed with thinly sliced steak, fresh parsley, red onion, and tahini sauce. It was served with roasted green chiles on the side for spice. (They’re very spicy!)

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Next came out the most incredible boeuf bourguignon stuffed pita. The combination of french and Israeli flavors are absolutely delicious, and was the singularly most delicious and memorable thing I ate in all of France. At the same time, they brought out a whole roasted head of cauliflower. It was perfectly tender, roasted nicely with salt and oil. You cut off sections as you ate it, and it made for a perfect accompaniment to the meal.

11825810_844701016177_7969641697193079440_n.jpg11013217_844701056097_1822053214430203279_n.jpg11825795_844701066077_1189422550208118183_n.jpgI drank a few more glasses of wine, ate way too much food, and chatted with the owners. Before I left, I was treated to one last indulgence. Apple Tarte Tatin, stuffed in a pita. A classic french dessert, with an Israeli twist. It was so delicious, I’m not sure how it hasn’t blown up into a huge trend around the world. (Maybe it will now!) 🙂

11855844_844701210787_2959316317263413118_n.jpgIf you’re in Paris, and venture into le Marais, you must check out Miznon.

Miznon
Restaurant: Israeli-French Fusion
Address: 22 Rue des Ecouffes, 75004 Paris, France
 

Bon Appetit!
Sean Patrick Gallagher

Quick and Easy: Green Shake

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Quick and Easy: Green Shake

One of my favorite things to make either in the morning or for a boost throughout the day is a shake. Blending together fresh ingredients gives me a nutritious and filling snack/meal.

My favorite Green Shake is inspired by my dear friend Margaret Lunetta who turned me on to the Paleo lifestyle.

Here is a modification of Margaret’s delicious shake.

Green Shake:

2 Bananas, peeled and cut in chunks
2 large handfuls of washed Spinach
2 heaping tablespoons of Cashew butter
1/2 cup Almond milk
1 teaspoon raw honey

Preperation

Blend smooth, with ice if you prefer. If you like it thinner you can add more almond milk.

The flavor of this drink is intoxicating and I love to have it several days a week. It gives me a boost of energy and satisfies hunger.

Hope you enjoy this quick post/recipe!

Cheers

Sean Patrick Gallagher

Pan-Seared Chili Lime Salmon, Sauté of Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Green Leaf Lettuce

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Delicious, crunchy salmon skin

Delicious, crunchy salmon skin

 

 

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “D” for delicious. This dish literally takes 15 minutes to prepare and so deliciously healthy and satisfying you will make it time and time again.

 

Pan-Seared Chili Lime Salmon with Sauté of Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes over a bed of Green Leaf

Cook Time: 15 minutes 

1 8oz portion of skin on, pin-boned Salmon

1/2 pint Cherry tomatoes, I love Satur Farms heirlooms

1 small shallot or vidalia onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T mexican oregano, I use Dean & DeLuca brand

1 T chili pepper blend, I use Dean & DeLuca brand

1 portion green leaf lettuce, can substitute for any lettuce 

2 T coconut oil

1 t kosher salt, divided 

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lime, juiced 

2 T hot sauce, I used Empanada Mama’s red sauce, always on hand 🙂 

 

  • Place a large sauté pan on high heat.
  • Prep all your ingredients and have them ready to go for a quick cooking session.
  • Mince the onion, halve your cherry tomatoes, mince the garlic.
  • Season your salmon with the salt and pepper.
  • Mix together the two spices and set aside. 
  • Once the pan is smoking hot, add 1 T of coconut oil. Remove from heat and place your salmon skin down into the pan. 
  • Hold the fish down so the skin is completely in contact with the pan. You can do this with your hand, a spatula or another pan. 
  • Place the pan back on the stove and reduce heat to medium high. 
  • Continue to cook until skin is golden brown and crispy. 
  • Remove your salmon with tongs and place into spice mixture. 
  • Cover both sides and return to the pan. 
  • Brown both sides of salmon with spice mixture. Should take 2-3 minutes per side. 
  • Remove salmon to the side to rest a moment.
  • Add 1/2 T of coconut oil to the pan, and add the onion and garlic. 
  • Scrape the pan to remove all bits of caramelized salmon and spices.
  • Continue to cook on medium high until onion has started to soften, about 3 minutes. 
  • Add your tomatoes and turn the heat up, add the juice of half a lime, season with remaining salt and pepper. 
  • Cook for a few moments to soften tomatoes and add your hot sauce. 
  • In your serving bowl, add lettuce tossed with remaining lime juice, coconut oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. 
  • Remove sauté from the heat. 
  • Place your Salmon atop the greens and cover with the sauté. 

 

The salmon will start to wilt the greens and sauté will mix with the seasoning on the salmon and create magic. 

 

Absolutely delicious and easy, healthy meal that you can interchange with many different flavorings.

 

I hope you try this out! 

 

Cheers,

 

Chef Sean Gallagher

 

Lemon Risotto Stuffed Swiss Chard

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Hello all! I had a delightful time doing a cooking demonstration at William-Sonoma this past Wednesday. It was a great turnout, and I really enjoyed speaking with the public. I prepared one of my favorite finger foods! Bite sized, lemon risotto stuffed swiss chard. This is a simple preparation, taking a standard risotto, stemming and blanching swiss chard leaves, rolling them up, pan sautéing them in butter, and deglazing with lemon.

Below is the recipe I have come to love! Enjoy!

Lemon Risotto Stuffed Swiss Chard  

2 cups Arborio rice

2 lemons, zested

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 sprigThyme, whole

1 shallot, minced

6-8 cups chicken stock

1 cup white wine

1 cup Currants

1/2 cup shaved pecorino

2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley

1 stick butter

2 bunches swiss chard, cleaned

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

1) In a large pot with a lid, add 1/4 stick of butter and 1 T olive oil.

2) In a separate pot, heat your chicken stock.

3) Over medium heat, sweat your shallots and garlic, add your sprig of thyme to the pan.

4) Once your shallots are translucent, add your rice and toast it in the oil and butter.

5) Toast the rice over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

6) Add your wine, and let it cook out for about 2 minutes.

7) Add one ladle of stock to the rice. Stir to combine.

8) Once the stock is absorbed into the rice, add another ladle.

9) Continue until the rice is cooked al dente – or still having a bite to it, remove thyme stem.

10) Remove from heat, add pecorino, currants, and 1/4 stick of butter. Stir to combine.

11) Taste the rice for seasoning, adjust as needed. Cool the risotto in an even layer in a baking dish, stir in chopped parsley as cooling.

12) Clean the swiss chard, using a knife remove the leaf from the stem.

13) Blanch stemmed swiss chard leaves in boiling water for 1 minute. Shock in ice water to stop cooking.

14) Cut leaves into 4×4 in squares.

15) Spoon two tablespoons of risotto into the leave, fold the sides in, and roll to close.

16) Keep rolling until you are out of filling. Should produce around 30 each.

17) When ready to serve, melt 1/2 a stick of butter in a large sauté pan. Place each stuffed swiss chard in the pan.

18) Lightly brown on both sides, squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon into the pan to create pan sauce.

19) Serve hot, and enjoy!

Cheers!

 

Sean Patrick Gallagher

 

 

 

Frozen Yogurt Protein Bars

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In our household there are about 10 containers of protein that sit atop our fridge. (The cabinet behind them is already full of them as well). Starting the day with a protein shake is something that I’ve learned early on from schooling and Nutrition courses, but also carried on through my day to day due to my partner. It’s seemed like a never ending search to find a protein powder that I enjoy. Most of the products I’ve tried are too chalky, or have an acrid-artificial taste. When I received my shipment of Grizzly Protein from Eat the Bar (ETB), I was thrilled.

Although blending up protein powder and water or milk is a great quick way to get your protein intake in the morning, the Chef in me needs more. It’s been 100 degrees everyday this week, and really influenced this recipe. I wanted to create something that was healthy and delicious and packed full of protein that I could take on the go in the morning. What I achieved was a delicious morning treat that was not only packed full of flavor but full of protein.

ETB Frozen Yogurt Protein Bars

2 level scoops ETB Ice Cream Sandwich

1/2 cup cold coffee, (I use whats leftover from that morning)

1 T cocoa powder

2 cups nonfat greek yogurt

1) Mix the protein and cocoa powder in with the coffee, whisking until combined. Make sure there are no lumps.

2) Mix in yogurt, stir to combine.

3) Fill a piping bag, or ziplock bag with the mix. You can snip off the end of a ziplock bag to achieve the same effect.

4)Pipe the mixture into 6 popsicle molds.

5)Freeze for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, and enjoy!

You could easily add in chopped up fruit, chocolate, nuts. Anything you would like to add. These pops are great in the morning or post workout.

Eat The Bear is an American made protein powder, that focuses on providing a high quality, delicious product and a good price point. I am a big fan, and will be creating recipes including protein to promote healthy living.

ETB’s saying is “Some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you.” Reminding us that we are in charge of our own lives and to ultimately take steps to better ourselves.

Take a moment to check out Eat The Bear and all their great products at ETBfit.com.

Cheers,

Sean 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

Welcome to The Epicures Dish!

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Catering a Wedding, Summer 2009

I will be moving to New York City next month and decided that this is a fresh start and I should journal or blog this whole experience. I’ve also been contributing monthly articles to Equal4all, a wonderful blog and that has been a great experience. So with their motivation, and tons of friends and family constant persuasion, I have decided that I should share my knowledge of food and nutrition with everyone and share daily and weekly recipes and advice.

For my first blog entry I will share with you one the easiest and healthiest recipes I have! Try this recipe and you will impress friends and family and you will be surprised with how simple it really is!

Curried Cauliflower with Quinoa and Avocado

1 Bell Pepper

4 Cloves Garlic

1 Head Cauliflower

1 Jalapeno

2 Roma Tomatoes

½  Lime

3 T Red Curry Paste

¼ Cup Water

½ T Hot Pepper Flake

2 T Salt

1 T Ground Black Pepper

2 T Olive Oil

Prep:

  • Dice you bell pepper and tomatoes into large chunks about an inch length. Slice you jalapeno thinly seeds and all into rings. Smash you garlic and chop it roughly. Take your head of cauliflower and cut it into small florets.

Sauce:

  • Mix the water, red curry paste, hot pepper flake, 1 T salt, and ½ T ground block pepper.

Sauté:

  • I like to make this in a wok, but if you don’t have a wok then use a large sauté pan. Get your pan very hot and add your olive oil.  Let the oil heat up for a moment and then add you cauliflower florets. Move them around the pan and let them brown. Cook for 5 minutes and then add your jalapeno, garlic, and bell pepper. Season with 1 T of salt and ½ T ground black pepper. Let the vegetables cook for 7 minutes over high heat stirring them frequently. Then add your sauce and cover with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn heat off and add your chopped tomatoes. Juice half the lime into the pan and stir to combine.  Serve hot over quinoa.

Quinoa

1 Cup Quinoa

2 Cups Water

½ Lime

1 T Cilantro chopped

1 t Salt

Ground Black Pepper

  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepot. Add your salt. When the water boils add your quinoa and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook until the grain has absorbed all the liquid and become tender. Add quinoa to a bowl and mix in black pepper, lime juice, and cilantro.

Serve your curry on a bed of quinoa, I like to serve it will some large diced avocado.

Try this recipe out! It is really delicious and very healthy for you. The only fat in the dish is from the olive oil and avocado and it is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. This dish is also vegetarian, which makes it very light and a nice change in the weekly menu.

So spice it up and try something different, you will be happy with the results!

If you have any questions about this recipe or anything at all, email me at Chef.seangallagher@gmail.com

Sincerely,

Sean Gallagher

Brooklyn Bridge, 3/10