Cooking Classes


Friday, May 31, 2013

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients (serves 6)
3 tbsp olive oil
6 chicken drumsticks, trimmed of excess fat, skin on
6 chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat, skin on
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
150g sliced pancetta, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
125g button mushrooms, sliced
100ml dry white wine
800g can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
150ml chicken stock
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned all over. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the onion, celery, carrot and pancetta to the pan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes until the onion softens. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further minute.
Return chicken pieces to the pan, add the wine and allow simmering 1-2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, herbs and stock. Bring to the boil, and then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the olives and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a platter, then reduce the sauce over high heat for 5-6 minutes. Serve garnished with the parsley.

Thursday, May 30, 2013



2 slabs baby back ribs
***First Stage Dry Rub***
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup paprika
1/3 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cumin

***Second Stage***
1 1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup liquid smoke

***Third Stage***
1/2 cup First Stage rub

***Finishing Glaze***
1 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Combine First Stage rub and mix well. Generously apply rub onto the front and back sides of ribs. Gently pat to ensure that rub will adhere. Place ribs meat-side up on a broiler or sheet pan and bake for 2 hours.

Remove ribs from oven. Place each rib meat-side down on its own doubled aluminum foil square. Foil should be large enough to completely wrap rib. Pour the apple juice mixed with liquid smoke over each rib. At the same time wrap and seal each rib tight. Return to the oven for 1 hour.

Remove wrapped ribs from oven. Remove from foil and apply a medium coat of the Third Stage rub to the meat-side of the ribs. Place uncovered in the oven meat-side up for 30 minutes.

Remove ribs from oven and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Brush finishing glaze on both sides of ribs. Place ribs in oven for 10 minutes, or until sauce caramelizes. 


BY Chef Bentley Smith

2 pounds beef back ribs
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 dash hot pepper sauce

Cut ribs into serving-size pieces; place in a large kettle and cover with water.
Simmer, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, combine
remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Drain ribs; place in a greased shallow 2-qt. baking dish.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

All About Asparagus


Asparagus officinalis is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial plant species in the genus Asparagus. It was once classified in the lily family, like itsAllium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and asparagus in theAsparagaceaeAsparagus officinalis is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.
Asparagus is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 centimetres (39–59 in) tall, with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The "leaves" are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 mm (0.24–1.3 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, and clustered 4–15 together. The root system is adventitious and the root type is fasciculated. The flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-white to yellowish, 4.5–6.5 mm (0.18–0.26 in) long, with sixtepals partially fused together at the base; they are produced singly or in clusters of two or three in the junctions of the branchlets. It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, but sometimes hermaphrodite flowers are found. The fruit is a small red berry 6–10 mm diameter, which is poisonous to humans.
Plants native to the western coasts of Europe (from northern Spain north to Ireland, Great Britain, and northwest Germany) are treated as Asparagus officinalis subsp. prostratus (Dumort.) Corb., distinguished by its low-growing, often prostrate stems growing to only 30–70 cm (12–28 in) high, and shorter cladodes 2–18 mm (0.079–0.71 in) long. It is treated as a distinct species, Asparagus prostratusDumort, by some authors. A remarkable adaptation is the edible asparagus, while in the Macaronesian Islands several species, (A. umbellatusA. scoparius, etc.), are preserved the original form, a leafy vine; in the Mediterranean, the asparagus genus has evolved into thorny species.


Asparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. It is pictured as an offering on an Egyptianfrieze dating to 3000 BC. Still in ancient times, it was known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans would even freeze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. Emperor Augustus reserved the "Asparagus Fleet" for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression "faster than cooking asparagus" for quick action. A recipe for cooking asparagus is in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third-century AD De re coquinaria, Book III.

The ancient Greek physician Galen (prominent among the Romans) mentioned asparagus as a beneficial herb during the second century AD, but after the Roman empire ended, asparagus drew little medieval attention. until al-Nafzawi's The Perfumed Garden. That piece of writing celebrates its (scientifically unconfirmed) aphrodisiacal power, a supposed virtue that the IndianAnanga Ranga attributes to "special phosphorus elements" that also counteract fatigue. By 1469, asparagus was cultivated in French monasteries. Asparagus appears to have been hardly noticed in England until 1538, and in Germany until 1542.
The finest texture and the strongest and yet most delicate taste is in the tips.The points d'amour ("love tips") were served as a delicacy to Madame de Pompadour. Asparagus became available to the New World around 1850, in the United States.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Foodies Network Blog: Sauteing

The Foodies Network Blog: Sauteing


Sautéing (from the French sauté, lit. "jumped, bounced" in reference to tossing while cooking)[1] is a method of cooking food, that uses a small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Ingredients are usually cut into pieces or thinly sliced to facilitate fast cooking. The primary mode of heat transfer during sautéing is conduction between the pan and the food being cooked. Food that is sautéed is browned while preserving its texturemoisture and flavor. If meat, chicken, or fish is sautéed, the sauté is often finished by deglazing the pan's residue to make a sauce.
Sautéing is often confused with pan frying, in which larger pieces of food (for example, chops or steaks) are cooked quickly, and flipped onto both sides. Some cooks make a distinction between the two based on the depth of the oil used, while others use the terms interchangeably.[2][3][4]Sautéing differs from searing in that searing only browns the surface of the food. Olive oil or clarified butter are commonly used for sautéing, but most fats will do. Regular butter will produce more flavor but will burn at a lower temperature and more quickly than other fats due to the presence of milk solids, so clarified butter is more fit for this use.

Monday, May 27, 2013


Welcome to The Foodies Network Blog!!

What make's this Avocado Burger Flavorful is that I soak the avocados in lime for an hour giving a great tangy flavor to the burger.