Archive for December, 2009

The Gift Of Food

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

If you are looking for a delicious personalized gift for friends and family this year, buy yourself some 1/2 pint mason jars and make some jam! The labor of love you levy into this project will be enjoyed by one and all.  Making jam is surprisingly simple and will surely bring a smile to the recipient.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season and Merry Christmas to all of my friends and family.  I hope this wasn’t a spoiler…

“C Is For Cookie”

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Looking to get ahead of the game with your baking this Christmas?  Make a batch of three or four of your favorite cookies in dough form.  Instead of baking them, spoon them onto a sheet tray and freeze the raw dough overnight.  Then place the frozen dough shapes in a freezer bag.  Label and date the bags and you are ready to bake as many or as few (yeah right) as you wish.  This is also a great solution for last minute guests or a special sweet snack.

Chef Jay Recommends

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

If you enjoy rice as much as I do, I highly recommend procuring a rice cooker.  It saves time, cooks evenly and it switches to a “holding” temperature automatically.  It is especially useful when cooking short grain rice for making sushi.  Last week I purchased a very humble 6 cup capacity device, and the rice comes out perfectly. You can find a decent cooker in most department stores between $20-$40.

Crab and Mushroom Chowder

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Yield: 8 Servings


5 Cups assorted mushroom
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
¼ cup onion, diced
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup leek, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup AP flour
1 quart chicken broth
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
¾ cup milk
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound crabmeat, picked over for shells


Cut the stems from the mushrooms and slice the caps.  Set aside.

Simmer the stems in ¼ cup water for 30 minutes.  Strain and set aside.

Heat 5 tablespoons butter in a large soup pot.  Add onions, celery, leek and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4-6 minutes.

Add flour and cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Gradually whisk in chicken stock.  Cook for 15 minutes then strain through a sieve, pressing on the solids to recover thickened broth.

Return broth to a simmer and discard the solids.

Add the potatoes to the broth and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and add the milk, sherry ,and heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes.

Add to the mushroom broth and stir mixture into the chowder.

Add the crabmeat and adjust seasoning as needed.

Glad To Be Wine-ing

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

So I have recently finished my first quarter of continuing education on wine making, and I must say I am better for it.  I am enrolled, part-time, in a food and wine pairing program and, having completed an Enology class, I am better equipped to service my clients needs in pairing wine with food.  I already had a great background, given my experience as a professional chef for 10 plus years, but I always strive to improve.

My next course is a sensory evaluation class.  I am looking forward to tasting wine every week and passing on what I learn to my clients.


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