Product Reviews

OLIVE OIL, SEA SALT, & PEPPER

During culinary school the importance of using salt was drilled into my head from the first day that i stepped into the kitchen. I can remember back in my sauces class when I had to make an orange gastrique, a sweet and sour sauce if you will, for duck, and I was so proud of my accomplishment that I ran over to the chef for him to try it. His response was less than impressed, he asked “did you season this sauce?” I told him “no”, he then proceeded to throw the pot away and told me to start over and to properly season it this time. At this point I realized that whether sweet or savory salt was a key ingredient.

The best way to test salts flavoring abilities is to make a base for creme brulee or ice cream, a nice and rich custard with vanilla, before you turn it into ice cream or creme brulee, taste the base, add a little salt and taste it again, add a little more until you start to notice the flavors of vanilla stand out and the richness of the cream get deeper. This lesson has been very valuable in my career in being able to train my staff properly and to taste food and season it properly.

Aside from salts ability to enhance I have realized, over the years, that salt can do more than enhance favors, sea salts from different regions can create an experience unlike any other. Aside from flavor, sea salts contain different minerals and nutrients that you cannot get from ordinary table salt. The simplicity that is salt can help us live a healthier life, and with OLIVE OIL, SEA SALT, & PEPPER we can .

What I love about this book, from the first few pages that I read, is that it teaches you what I teach the interns that come to my restaurant, in order to eat healthy you need to learn to cook healthy, keep it simple and use what you have, try not to over think it. At our Christmas buffet we had people left and right complementing our baked yams, everyone asked how we did it and my response to them was “Do you have a piece of paper and a pen? You will need olive oil, salt, and pepper”. Their response was always “That’s it?!” and I would reassure them that that was all they needed to cook a great meal. A good steak takes a grill, a good quality well raised cow, salt, pepper, and olive oil. In the summer we go out to our garden to pick fresh arugula that we toss with olive oil, salt and a little lemon. Simplicity is where we need to start, and this book demonstrates how easy it is to cook simple, great tasting food. I feel that this book will provide a great outline for everybody to live by to have a healthier life.

Product Review: ARO Pistachios

Orandi Ranch Pistachios, ARO Pistachios, Inc

This 10th generation family of pistachio farmers are located in Terra Bella, California, and let me tell you, their pistachios are flavorful and addicting. The pistachios are more addicting than the tub of Marcona almonds in my desk.

Their pistachio trees descend from the same Persian stock that were harvested by their ancestors. The pistachios are left on the tree until they pop open, they are then handcrafted with Himalayan pink salt. This salt lends a very clean enhancement to the nut and contains over 84 minerals.

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Now its time to put these little green nuts to use, I have tasked myself with creating three unique recipes that will help complement their great product.

~~Pistachio Mustard


13.5T Yellow Mustard Seed

4.5T Brown Mustard Seed

1.5C Hefeweizen

1.75C Champagne Vinegar

1.5C ARO Raw Pistachios

4.5t Brown Sugar

1T Salt

1T Palm Sugar

  • Begin by combining the mustard seeds, the hefeweizen, vinegar and the pistachios. Let these sit at room temperature for two days.

  • Combine mustard seed mixture and the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. The longer you blend it the thicker the mustard will get.

The mustard is great with cured meats and charcuterie boards.

~~Pickled Pistachios

1C White Balsamic

1.5ea Shallots

.33C Sugar

1/4t Pink Peppercorns

1ea Cloves Garlic

.5ea Sprig Tarragon

1/4t Anise

1.5C ARO Raw Pistachios

  • Slice the shallots in rings

  • Combine all except the pistachios and bring to a simmer.

  • Pour over pistachios and cool overnight before use.

  • As the pistachios blanch in the warm liquid they begin to get more green.
  • Let the pistachios cool over night and enjoy.

You can pulse the whole mix in a food processor to make a pistachio relish that goes great with scallops.

~~Pistachio Vinaigrette

¼# ARO Pistachios – roasted

1ea Shallot

1ea Garlic Clove

5ea Green Onion

1/4C Champagne vinegar

3/4C White balsamic

1t Ground Mustard

1T Palm Sugar

~~

1C Water

1ea Lemon – Juiced

2C Blended Oil

TT S&P

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender except the lemon juice, oil, water, and salt and pepper.

  • Blend until smooth, stream in the oil until it begins to thicken, as it thickens you may need to add the water to thin it back out.
  • Once all of the oil has been added transfer the dressing to a bowl and season.

  • Balance with the lemon juice.
  • This is a great vinaigrette for all seasons, it went very well on the ivory salmon, and the duck prosciutto appetizer dish that i served in the restaurant.