Chef G. Garvin – He’s Back!

Georgia Road Trip

Recently I was invited to attend a private viewing of Chef G. Garvin’s new cooking show Georgia Road Trip which will premiere on Sunday, August 28, 2011 on the Cooking Channel.

I was over the top excited about the opportunity to personally meet Chef Garvin as he has been one of my favorite chefs for years (and not to mention…my make-believe boyfriend). His cookbooks are one of my main go to sources for menu development.

As cheerful and accessible as he is dynamic, Chef Garvin will be a welcomed addition to the Cooking Channel as he travels through Georgia exploring the tastes of the south.  He will be taking us on a culinary journey from Atlanta to Savannah visiting family farms, favorite local BBQ shacks, and shrimp boats. I can hardly wait for the premiere.  Don’t forget to tune-in or set your DVR.

Georgia Road Trip premieres Sunday night at 8PM EST on the Cooking Channel with repeats listed below. 

Monday, August 29th at 12am (EST)

 Friday, September 2nd at 10pm (EST)

 Saturday, September 3rd at 2am and 9am (EST)

 Sunday, September 4th at 5pm (EST)

 Wednesday, September 7th at 9pm (EST)

 Thursday, September 8th at 1am (EST)

 Sunday, September 11th at 7am (EST)

 Monday, September 12th at 8pm (EST)

 Tuesday, September 13th at 12am (EST)

 Special thanks to Chef G. Garvin for returning to TV with such an anticipated new cooking show, and to Coca-Cola and Remy Martin for sponsoring the event and inviting Blogalicious bloggers.

Herb and Fruit Vinegars

I’m hoping that you enjoyed my previous tips on preparing herb butters and oil.  I love preparing them both. Today’s recipe is on another one of my favorites: preparing flavored vinegars.

Seasoned vinegar is especially useful for making marinades and salad dressing due to its deeply infused flavors.

Herb or fruit flavored vinegar may be made by combining in sterilized jars or bottles:

  • 1 cup fresh herbs or fruit (bruise slightly to release their oils) or 1 to 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped herbs and
  • 2 cups of white or red wine vinegar (It’s important to find a high-quality white or red wine vinegar to start with, one with minimal levels of ethyl acetate, the compound that shows up in lesser-quality vinegars.)

Tightly cap the container and set aside to steep in a warm place for about two weeks checking daily. Strain and discard herbs. Repeat with fresh herbs/fruit for richer flavor. Decant into sterilized jars or bottles with a tight-fitting cap.

You can also add vinegar and herbs or fruit to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and slowly cook two minutes. Strain through a coffee filter inside a strainer and store.

Typical herbs to use singly or in a combination are: basil, dill tarragon, rosemary, celery seed, cranberry, mustard seed.

Add a couple of sprigs of herbs or a few seeds to the final product for a festive-looking bottle.  Remember to keep away from direct sunlight.

Some flavors to try:

  • Apple Spice
  • Tarragon
  • Raspberry, Nectarines, Peaches or Mangoes
  • Lemon
  • Garlic Chive

Have you ever made your own flavored vinegar? What has been your favorite flavor? Any particular tips to impart?

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef specializing in healthy cooking, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

Herb or Spice Flavored Oils

One of my favorite gifts I like to make and give is  herbal or spiced infused olive oil.  It can be used for salad dressings, cooking, or as a table condiment.
It is easy to make herb and/or spice infused olive oils at home. You do though have to plan ahead to let the oil steep for 2 weeks before using.
Herbal oils may be made with any oil but lighter oils allow the flavors of the herbs to be enjoyed more fully.
  • Light oils: extra light olive, extra virgin olive, corn, safflower, sunflower, vegetable
  • Heavy oils: peanut, sesame

To make an herb oil, first sterilize any size jar or bottle (I suggest boiling in water for approximately 10 mins.) then half-fill it with whole fresh herbs. Fill jar with oil (must cover all herbs) Tightly cap and sit aside to steep in a warm place out of sunlight for about two weeks shaking daily. Strain through coffee filter and discard herbs.

Taste the product and repeat steps for richer flavor and body. Re-sterilize container.

Decant final product into a sterilized container with tight-fitting cap. Add a couple of fresh sprigs of herbs and/or a few compatible seeds to final product for a festive looking bottle

Typical herbs to use: garlic, tarragon, thyme, various peppers (hot or mild), basil, rosemary, oregano or bay leaf.

I like to use my flavored oils when grilling vegetables or seafood.

What are some of your uses.  Send me your comments.

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef specializing in healthy cooking, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

Savory Herb Butter

      

 

HERB BUTTERS

Herb butter is great way to enhance the flavor of any dish that benefits from the addition of herbs: pasta, steamed vegetables, fish, etc. It is easy to make and keeps well in your freezer. Make some today to keep on hand for jazzing up those last-minute meals.

Here’s how:

Use unsalted butter soften at room temperature

Add two tablespoons finely chopped herbs to ½ cup (1/4 lb/1 stick) butter. Combine with fork or electric beater. Do not whip. Form into log on wax paper, roll up and refrigerate until firm. May be frozen in freezer for up to three months.

Presentation tips:

  • Slice log or butter into rounds
  • Use a melon baller to form balls.
  • Flatten between wax paper and use mini cookie or canapé’ cutters to form decorative pats.

Herbs and seasonings to try:

  • Parsley or cilantro for seafood and breads
  • Basil, oregano, garlic, grated parmesan (½ tsp each per ¼ lb) for Italian garlic bread.
  • Tarragon (1 tsp per ¼ lb) for seafood, mushrooms
  • Lemon or lime juice (few drops per ¼ lb) for seafood (add slowly so mixture will not separate).
  • Honey and mustard (1 tsp each per ¼ lb) for ham or chicken basting or as a sauce
  • Honey butter (3 tbs. per ¼ lb) for bread, toast

 

Savory Basil Butter

Chef Lynn’s Daily Cooking Tip

Here are some simple modifications you can make to your recipes to make it healthier:

Instead of using one egg, use two egg whites

Saute in broth or stock instead of butter or oil

1/2 cup of mayonnaise plus 1/2 cup nonfat of yogurt can be substituted for 1 cup of mayo

Use 1 cup of nonfat yogurt plus 1 to 2 tbsp buttermilk in place of 1 cup of sour cream

Instead of 1 cup of heavy cream try using 1 cup of evaporated skim milk

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

Chef Lynn’s Daily Cooking Tip

One of my favorite tips because I love the way fresh herbs smell and looks in my kitchen.

Fresh  basil and other fresh herbs hate to be chilled and will quickly become limp and blacken. Rather than refrigerating, put the stems in a glass of water when you get home and keep the herbs in a cool place in your kitchen.

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

Chef Lynn’s Daily Cooking Tip

For the flakiest pastry, freeze butter solid, then grate it with the grating disk of a food processor, or by hand, right into the flour.  Add whatever liquid the recipe calls for, and finish making the dough as quickly as possible.

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

Quick and Easy Garlicky Shrimp and Scallops with Artichokes

I purchased some fresh shrimp and scallops earlier during the week and didn’t have an opportunity to prepare them; so last night I had to make sure I cook them before it spoiled. I decided to make a quick and relatively simple meal that I could sit down and enjoy within minutes. After checking my fridge and pantry for ingredients and menu ideas I decided to sauté the shellfish with a little olive oil and garlic.  I didn’t follow any particular recipe but pretty much just combined the ingredients I had on hand by sight and taste.

Try preparing this meal and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me for more details.

I guarantee you will agree that it’s quick and easy to prepare and a relatively inexpensive last minute meal.

Ingredients:

  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Lots of minced garlic or add enough for your taste
  • Shallots
  • Lemon Pepper Olive Oil (my absolute favorite flavored olive oil is made by  Boyajian (http://boyajianinc.com/)
  • Canned artichokes ( I had some leftover in the refrigerator)
  • About one tablespoon of butter for extra flavor
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Mushrooms

Directions

  1. Sauté shrimp, scallops, shallots, garlic and artichokes in olive oil and butter
  2. Add mushrooms, and Mrs. Dash (or if you prefer salt/pepper) to taste
  3. Sauté for approximately 8-10 until done but not over cooked. You can always tell when shellfish is done by the way it looks. It usually looks opaque throughout.
  4. As an option you can add some fresh grated parmesan cheese for added flavor
  5. Add your favorite green vegetable for a well-balanced meal (I sautéed some fresh Broccolini)

Chef Lynn’s Daily Cooking Tip

Did you know that to peel onions easily and with minimal tears, you should soak them in plenty of cold water for 20-30 minutes first. You will find that this toughens the skin, so that it will pull off more easily, and the cold inhibits the gases that will burn your eyes.

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

Chef Lynn’s Daily Cooking Tip

Storage life of dry herbs and spices under optimal conditions is 4-6 months.  You should add a little more quantity of the older herbs and spices to account for the flavor loss.

To store dry whole herbs tie in loose bunches and hang upside down in a cook, dry, dark place. Herbs with seeds may be dried hanging inside a loosely tied brown paper bag to capture the seeds.

Refrigerating fresh herbs may be kept in the refrigerator in tightly sealed jars or zipper bags for up to two weeks. Hot spices such as peppers, curries and chili powder may be kept refrigerated up to six months or more to retain their flavor.

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

 

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