<![CDATA[The Roasted Fig Personal Chef & Catering Services - Blog]]>Mon, 13 Jul 2015 09:45:42 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Part 2: Gardening Tips:Reuse your market-bought vegetables and herbs!]]>Mon, 06 Apr 2015 17:51:39 GMT/blog/part-2-gardening-tipsreuse-your-market-bought-vegetables-and-herbsIn Part 2 of our series, Chef Freddy will go over reusing and planting your market-bought scallions, rosemary, and sage: 

Scallions

Picture
  • Wait! Stop before you toss out the bottom piece of your scallions and try this!
  • Cut 1 ½ inch from the bottom of the scallion and place ½ inch of water in a pot. Cut and place the scallion bottoms in the pot, so they all stand upright in the water.
  • Change the water every three to four days after enough roots have grown in a week. 
  • Pick the ones you think look the strongest and happiest and place them half way in vegetable potting soil in a 2-quart pot (4 -5 pieces per pot).
  • Eventually, when it looks like the same scallion bunch you bought at the store you can harvest the scallions by cutting the scallion leaves off one at a time a couple from each plant.  This way your, plant keeps growing and you will have a steady supply of scallion leafs.


Rosemary & Sage

Picture
  • Next time you buy a bundle of Sage or Rosemary from your local grocery store or organic market and you have picked off all the leaves (with out damaging the stem itself), sort through the stems looking for the thickest and darkest stems.
  • Separate them from the rest and snip off the very bottom (the size of about a nickel piece thick).
  • You will need seed starting soil or make a combination of peat moss and vermiculite mix 50/50 of each in 2-quart pots .  
  • I recommend you use a rooting hormone powder or liquid, although it is not necessary.  
  • Take the stems you are going to grow, cut off the very soft part off the end of the plant, and what you should be left with is a bundle of stems between 4 to 6 inches.
  • Fill your pots with soil and water and thoroughly let drain.  At this stage, add the rooting hormone and follow its directions.
  • In each pot, place a stem 1 ½ to 2 inches deep, spacing them at least 1 inch apart (4 to 5 stems per pot).
  • For about 2 weeks, keep in a well-shaded area, like under an oak tree or in a corner of a solid fence where it only gets partial sun through the day. Keep soil slightly damp at all times and NEVER let it dry out.
  • When you find that a few weeks have passed and your new plants have grown new leaves, you can move it out into more sun slowly.
  • Please Note: Sage has more delicate leaves, but the very small leaves that you did not use can be left on, which helps the plant photosynthesize, giving it more energy to grow roots.

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<![CDATA[Recipe - Shrimp Cocktail with Tomato Balsamic Marmalade]]>Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:45:31 GMT/blog/recipe-shrimp-cocktail-with-tomato-balsamic-marmaladeNeed a quick and easy hors d’oeuvre to serve within the hour and all you have in your fridge are a few tomatoes, onions and some shrimp - no problem!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lb. of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 plumb tomatoes, diced small 
  • 1/2 red onion, diced small
  • 2-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. sugar or honey
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Directions: 

  1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil with your favorite seasoning (old bay, lemons, coriander, cumin, garlic, etc.).
  2. Boil the shrimp for about 5-8 minutes, until they are cooked through.
  3. Once cooked, remove from water and set aside to cool, and then refrigerate the shrimp once they are cool.
  4. In a saucepan on medium heat, add all the tomatoes, onion, and garlic.
  5. Cook the mixture down until it resembles a tomato sauce, then add 2 .p. of balsamic vinegar and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on medium low heat.
  6. Lower heat to a simmer and add 2 tbsp. of sugar or honey and stir every few minutes as the mixture thickens and resembles a marmalade.
  7. Lay the shrimp on a plate and dollop the marmalade over the individual shrimp and garnish with lemon juice and serve.
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<![CDATA[Part 1: Gardening Tips: Reuse your market-bought vegetable and herbs!]]>Fri, 06 Feb 2015 18:41:02 GMT/blog/part-1-gardening-tips-reuse-your-market-bought-vegetable-and-herbsBelow are some great tips from Chef Freddy on how to reuse vegetable seeds from vegetables you buy at the market. Don’t panic!  There will be loss of plants, as not all will take, so the more you plant the better odds you will have.

Ginger

PictureGinger plant
  • You will need vegetable potting soil and a 1-gallon pot of your choice.
  • At the grocery store or local market, pick up a piece of ginger (with up to 3 fingers no matter how big or small it may be).
  • Fill pot 3/4th of the way to the top with soil, place you ginger root in the middle of the pot with all of its fingers flat on the soil’s surface, and then cover it with 2-3 inches of soil.
  • Water the seedling well, and keep the soil moist and well drained.
  • Place the pot in a full to partial sunny location and be patient. Within two months, sometimes longer if it’s in its dormant time of year like winter months, you will see growth.  After six months or longer you will see many new growths you can harvest and start the cycle over again.


Sweet Potatoes  / Sweet Potato Vines

PictureSweet Potato Plant
  • You will need vegetable potting soil and a rectangular deep planter, and in this case, you need a large surface area for the vine to cover all the surface of the soil, while not allowing it to hang off the edge too much.
  • Find a sweet potato (or more) with as many dimples and eyes on the skin as possible (nothing larger then the palm of your hand).
  • Fill the planter with soil to the top of the inner rim and saturate the soil with water and make sure it drains well. 
  • Then in the middle of the planter, place the sweet potatoes on the surface of the soil and press down gently creating solid contact between sweet potato and the soil.
  • Keep in a bright light area until you have vines of at least 6 inches, then move to a sunny location.  And as the vines grow, make sure they grow on the surface of the soil.  As they grow, the vines get thicker creating new roots, which is what you want.  The new roots eventually swell up into baby sweet potatoes.  
  • Please note: Each length of vine can be cut at 2 foot intervals to create new clone plants and faster growing potatoes. After six to eight months, a good vine should yield a couple pounds of young sweet potatoes. Be patient!

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<![CDATA[Rosemary Chicken & Potatoes Skillet Recipe]]>Tue, 06 Jan 2015 18:35:50 GMT/blog/rosemary-chicken-potatoes-skillet-recipeIngredients:
  • 2 to 2 ½ lbs. of boneless half chicken with skin-on (ask your local butcher) or 6 to 8 oz. boneless chicken breast with skin-on
  • 3/4 lb. Small red-skinned potatoes (halved, or quartered if large)
  • 10 oz. Crimini mushrooms (halved)
  • 2 Sprigs of fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic (smashed)
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed, halves reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 F. 
  • Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.
  • Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt, and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife or food processor. Transfer the paste to a bowl.
  • Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil.   Add the chicken and turn to coat.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken; add the mushrooms and potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining lemon.
  • Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, for 20 to 25 minutes.
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<![CDATA[Roasted Fig Style Ceviche & Vegan Alternative]]>Fri, 26 Dec 2014 18:32:31 GMT/blog/roasted-fig-style-ceviche-vegan-alternativeIngredients: Picture
  • 1 lb. white fish (Mahi, Corvina, Grouper, diced) 1 large Spanish onion (diced)
  • 1 bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 stalks of celery (minced)
  • 1 habanero pepper (minced)
  • 1/2 head of cilantro
  • 15 limes (juiced)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste) 
For Vegan Ceviche, use the following Ingredients:
  • 1⁄2 lb. oyster mushrooms (diced) 1⁄2 lb. eggplant (diced)
  • 1 large Spanish onion (diced)
  • 1 bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 stalks of celery (minced)
  • 1 habanero pepper (minced) 1/2 head of cilantro
  • 15 limes (juiced)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste) 


Directions:

  1. Mix all the minced/diced ingredients in a large bowl;
  2. Season the ingredients lightly with salt and pepper; 
  3. Squeeze lime juice into the bowl, topping off the ingredients;
  4. Stir ingredients gently;
  5. Refrigerate ceviche for four hours; 
  6. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning; and 
  7. Serve with your choice of saltine crackers, plantain chips, or yucca chips.
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<![CDATA[Black Pepper & Cardamom Seared Pork Chops with a Fig & Cranberry Chutney]]>Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:28:55 GMT/blog/black-pepper-cardamom-seared-pork-chops-with-a-fig-cranberry-chutneyIngredients:
[Services two people]

For the rub
  • 1 tsp of Cardamom
  • ½ tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of salt
For the chutney
  • 3 cups of fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup of dried figs (small diced)
  • ½ cup of sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 2 cups of water
For the pork tenderloin
  • 2-3 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 2 pork chops (3/4 inch thick)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine and blend all the rub ingredients.
  3. Season pork with the prepared rub and let the rub set in for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
  4. In a medium sauce pot, combine the cranberries, sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, honey, and water and bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a steady low boil until it slowly thickens up to a jam like consistency.
  5. Add the figs to the jam mix, stir in and set aside off the heat to let cool.
  6. Season chutney to taste with salt, pepper and honey.
  7. Heat skillet or no stick pan to a medium low heat.  
  8. Oil to the pan with the cooking oil, and sear pork chops to a golden brown, and then place pork chops in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until fully cooked.  


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<![CDATA[Recipe - Cumin & Ginger Sweet Potato Mash]]>Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:26:38 GMT/blog/recipe-cumin-ginger-sweet-potato-mashIngredients:
  • 5 lb. of sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. cumin seeds 
  • 1 ½ cups of whole ginger root
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 cups of whole milk
  • ¼ cup of oil (coconut oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil)
  • Salt and pepper (dash)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F;
  2. Peel and quarter sweet potatoes;
  3. Toss sweet potato pieces in a bowl with salt, pepper, and oil;
  4.  Lay sweet potatoes on a sheet pan and bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown;
  5. In a small saucepot, warm whole milk on medium heat;
  6. In a sauté pan, toast the cumin seeds until they are aromatic;
  7. Place all cumin, ginger root, garlic, and milk in a blender and blend until smooth;
  8. In a separate bowl, using a fine mesh strainer, strain the milk from the pulp;
  9. Add the strained milk mix to the sweet potatoes and mash together; and
  10. Season to taste.
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<![CDATA[What is a Personal Chef?]]>Tue, 29 Apr 2014 17:23:21 GMT/blog/what-is-a-personal-chefA personal chef is a chef who is hired to prepare customized in-home meals for clients with easy meal packaging, labeling, and reheating instructions. 

Personal Chef Process
  1. Customized menu planning with clients;
  2. Grocery shopping for high-quality, fresh ingredients;
  3. In-home preparation of meals;
  4. Packaging of meals with labeling and reheating instructions;
  5. Clean up and storage.

Source: Hireachef.com - What is a Personal Chef?

Personal Chef vs. Private Chef
A personal chef is different from a private chef, mainly because a personal chef is hired by multiple clients to prepare a number of customized meals in advance, while a private chef is a hired by one home/family on a full time basis.

Benefits of Hiring a Personal Chef
  • Saves time and money;
  • Personalized meals for taste preference and/or dietary restrictions;
  • High-quality, fresh ingredients.


Whether you are a busy professional, on a restrictive diet, or are just not fan of cooking,  hiring a personal chef will not only save you time, but also money in the long run.  Eating out at restaurants will eventually get expensive and mostly unhealthy.  Read this article, for more information on hiring a personal chef.
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