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By Brian Pember | February 28, 2008
A Short and Simple Sauce
I'm always excited when I find something so simple to make that turns out so darn good to eat. I hit on one of those moments last night. I took a cue from Jonathan Waxman's presentation at the International Builders' Show. He was roasting tomatoes and garlic in the oven. Then he'd mash them up into a kind of rustic sauce that topped a rack of lamb he had prepared. Jonathan mentioned briefly that if you went on to purée that tomato base, you'd have a pasta sauce "you'd be very happy with."
He was right. The result was fantastic. And so short and simple that its greatness came as a surprise. Four and half minutes in the oven, a quick turn in the blender, and we had a sauce that was not only fast, but fresh, and as good as any we could hope to find and pay for in a restaurant. So, since short, simple and savory are much of what TurboChef is about, I couldn't wait to share. Here's all you do:
Oven Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce
TurboChef Cook Time: 4.5 minutes
Conventional Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves 3 to 4 (depending on your appetite)
3 ripe heirloom tomatoes
6 garlic cloves - halved
4-6 fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Red pepper flakes to taste
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Please note that much of these ingredients are done to taste. Adding more here or there to your liking is encouraged.
Select Roast > Vegetables > Roasted Vegetables > 2 pounds. Press "Start" and allow oven to preheat as your prepare the dish.
1. Core tomatoes and slice in half, leaving the skins on. Place in a pyrex dish that can be covered.
2. Push garlic cloves into the tomato then top with olive oil, salt, red and black pepper and basil leaves.
3. Cover dish, place in oven and press "Start" to begin cooking. This will take 4.5 minutes in the TurboChef Speedcook Oven.
4. Remove from oven and mash tomatoes into a pulp. Add 1 tbsp butter and stir slowly until sauce begins to thicken a just a bit.
5. Pour into a blender or food processor (I added a touch more chopped fresh basil here) and purée.
6. Serve over angel hair or your favorite pasta. Add a sautéed shrimp if you want to get really fancy.
7. Repeat often - it's fresh, simple and delicious.
By Brian Pember | February 27, 2008
International Builders' (slide) Show
We've posted a handful of images from the International Builders' Show here. They'll provide a small taste of the daily demonstrations conducted for show-goers. Enjoy.
By Brian Pember | February 26, 2008
Charleston Food & Wine Festival
We'll be headed to one of my favorite cities this weekend as TurboChef sponsors the Charleston Food & Wine Festival. Charleston is a great culinary town and this certainly promises to be a red letter event as far as good food is concerned. We'll be doing our part as well, cooking up some great tastes in the Culinary Village at the entrance to the Grand Tasting Tent #2. If you're within driving distance, grab a few tickets and come on over. Good food. Good wine. And lots of it. Hard to think of a better way to spend a weekend.
By Brian Pember | February 21, 2008
Jonathan Waxman Cooks at the International Builders' Show
It was busy week in Orlando last week as TurboChef enjoyed its second annual appearance at the International Builders' Show. The conversations were many, the enthusiasm for the oven has high, and the daily live demonstrations – we conducted three each day – were standing room only. The highlight of the week for me was Chef Jonathan Waxman, who took the stage to cook an exceptional three course meal that included broiled diver scallops, roasted rack of lamb, and chocolate soufflés for 20 guests in about 18 minutes.
Jonathan is an exceptional chef and someone you'd be just as pleased to have as a guest at your dinner table as you would to have him preparing the meal. Concentrating on fresh, seasonal ingredients, his "less is more" philosophy delivers food that feels familiar but tastes absolutely exceptional. You can find a collection of his recipes in his recently published cookbook, A Great American Cook, or taste them for yourself on the menu of Barbuto, his Italian bistro on Washington Steet in New York City's West Village. I recommend the roast chicken.
Jonathan's biggest crowd pleaser at the Builders' Show may have been his diver scallops, hand-harvested by divers off the coast of Maine and flown in that morning for the show. He broiled them in the TurboChef Speedcook Oven on a preheated grill pan to deliver a nice sear, then polished them of with Belgian endive and a fresh blood orange vinaigrette. While I'll concede the most important ingredients of genius, experience, and improvisation to Chef Waxman, here's a best shot on goal to recreate that dish for you to enjoy:
Broiled Diver Scallops with Belgian Endive and Blood Orange Vinaigrette
TurboChef Cook Time: 7 minutes
Conventional Cook Time: 30 minutes
Blood Orange Vinaigrette
2 blood oranges
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
4 heads Belgian endive, trimmed and cored
1/4 cup of vegetable broth (or water)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds diver scallops (about 20)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Peel blood oranges and remove all pith. Slice into cubes and place into a mixing bowl. Stir in red wine vinegar and olive oil.
2. Select Roast > Vegetables > Roasted Vegetables > 1 pound and let the oven preheat.
3. Julienne Belgian endive. Place in a 13x9 pyrex roasting pan with vegetable broth. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Place in preheated oven and press Start. Cook for 3 minutes. When done, remove from oven and place in lower oven on Warming setting until ready to serve.
4. Select Broil > Seafood > Shellfish > Scallops > 40 count and allow oven to preheat. While preheating, place cast iron grill pan coated with non-stick cooking spray in oven until hot.
5. Place scallops in mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
6. Place scallops on hot grill pan, flat side down, place in oven and press Start. Cook for 4 minutes.
7. As an appetizer, serve one to two scallops per plate, seared side up on a small bed of the endive. Dress with blood orange vinaigrette.
By Brian Pember | February 18, 2008
Food & Wine Talks TurboChef
By Brian Pember | February 7, 2008
TurboChef on Today
Look for TurboChef this Sunday on NBC's Today show. Food & Wine Features Editor Michelle Shih will discuss trends in ovens, based on an article from the magazine’s March 2008 issue that highlights the TurboChef 30” Double Wall Speedcook Oven.
8:00 - 9:00 AM on Sunday, February 10th (double-check your local listings).
Hopefully, we'll be able to post some behind-the-scenes stuff for you after it airs.
By Steve Beshara | February 18, 2008
New York Loves TurboChef
We love to cook. And with an oven like the TurboChef, we love to show and tell. So a few days ago in New York City at our premium authorized dealer – MCKB – we hosted a TurboChef cooking experience for over 100 interested New Yorkers who came to witness, experience and taste the TurboChef cook firsthand.
These events are great fun for us because we get out of the office and into a showroom where we can hear precisely what questions and comments people have about TurboChef. One gentleman, who had just recently ordered a TurboChef Speedcook Oven, came early to “see what else the oven could do.” He was delighted to learn more about the oven features, particularly the lower oven and how it compliments the speedcook oven. “So if I'm throwing a party, we can use the lower oven as a warming drawer. Perfect. I can hold all the entrées until everything is ready, then serve it all up nice and warm at the same time,” he exclaimed. His wife also joined us and wanted to study the design more closely. She was delighted to learn that the TurboChef Speedcook Oven had just won an award from Interior Design magazine's readers last month in NYC.
Other comments from the evening:
“The single wall oven will be a hit in NY because it gives you the TurboChef performance in a small kitchen.”
“This is the nicest chateaubriand I have ever tasted.”
“These cook times are hard to believe until you see the food go in the oven, then come out looking great, then tasting sensational. This is a wow product.”
“I'm a kitchen designer and I had to come see the product because many of my clients are asking about it. I can see why people are so interested. I have one going into kitchen in the Hamptons soon.”
“I wasn't sure about the design but now I see it working with other appliances in this showroom.”
Chef George Grieser, along with TurboChef sales and marketing experts Tom Cutler and Leslie Hoffman, cooked several delicious dishes for the enthusiastic crowd. We cooked chateaubriand (in 11 minutes compared to almost an hour conventionally), roasted cod (4.5 minutes versus 20 minutes conventionally) with a tomato vinaigrette (4 minutes instead of 25 minutes) along with several other taste treats. Our good friends at Elle Decor also supported the event with some nice goodie bags for all of the folks who attended. The night was a great success and we enjoyed meeting everyone. We love you you too, New York. Here's to many more dinners together. Cheers.
By Debbie Gore | February 11, 2008
It has long been believed that we have four taste receptors on the tongue. Salty, sweet, bitter and sour were the ones we all learned about in grade school. You may have heard though that recently a fifth term has been added to describe what can be perceived by the human palate. It's called umami, derived from the Japanese word for "deliciousness." Items like cheese, tomatoes, truffles and mushrooms exhibit the taste sensation of umami more readily than the traditional salty, sweet, bitter or sour.
All of this may be a bit abstract without tasting foods that fall into this flavor category for yourself. To do so, you can find a number of great recipes at the Umami Information Center. (Just the existence of such an organization is proof enough that it's a slightly more complex flavor than its commonplace cousins. I mean, you're not likely to find a "Salty Information Center.") And we'd be remiss if we didn't offer up an umami recipe of our own for you to cook up in your TurboChef Speedcook Oven. Again, this one is courtesy of Chef Seeger:
Risotto with Wild Mushrooms
Conventional Time: 35 minutes
TurboChef Time: 12 minutes
6 ounces (3 cups) mushrooms (chanterelle, baby bellas, shitake)
4 1/2 cups (1100 ml) low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) risotto
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided use
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 4” sprig fresh rosemary
1 4” sprig fresh thyme
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons mascarpone
Fine sea salt
Select Bake > Prepared Foods > Casserole > Fresh> Rice (uncooked) > 1 quart. Press “Start” to begin preheat cycle.
1. Clean the mushrooms with a dry pastry brush to remove excess dirt. Remove the stems of the mushrooms to flavor the broth.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to boiling; add the mushroom stems. Let steep 5 minutes. Strain broth, discarding stems.
3. Butter the bottom and sides of an ovenproof ceramic or glass, covered dish (3 x 9 x 13-inch). Stir to coat the risotto with 2 tablespoons olive oil, one tablespoon butter, garlic and shallots.
4. Pour the 4 1/2 cups of broth and the wine over risotto. Stir to evenly distribute broth.
5. Place a sprig of rosemary and thyme on top of risotto. Cover; place in oven and press “Start”. Bake 12 minutes.
6. In a sauté pan, melt two tablespoons butter. Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until softened about 5 minutes.
7. Remove the risotto from oven and let sit covered 5 minutes.
8. Stir in the herbs after removing the stems. Add Parmesan and remaining butter. Stir in mascarpone with rubber spatula.
9. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Top with sautéed mushrooms. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and serve.
By Brian Pember | February 5, 2008
Out of This World Cauliflower
Wandering through Whole Foods the other day, I was stopped dead in my tracks by, of all things, a cauliflower. More specifically, a romanesco cauliflower. It sports a lime green fractal-like spiraling pattern that is absolutely beautiful and otherworldly. In my opinion, it is quite possibly the most well-designed vegetable on the face of the planet (or whatever other planet it might have originated on). I quickly gathered up half-a-dozen florets.
We use a simple recipe to roast the garden variety cauliflower in the TurboChef Speedcook Oven at home. It takes about four minutes. So we decided to do the same thing with these precious little gems. A little olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan, kosher salt and we popped them in the oven under the roasted vegetable setting. They came out just as beautiful, retaining their brilliant color while lightly browned on the tips. After a moment of hesitation, not wanting to disrupt the perfect pattern with knife and fork, we dug in. The result - milder, sweeter and more tender than standard cauliflower, the romanesco did not disappoint. It tasted as good as it looked.
Since then, I've been digging around for other ways to fix these little guys. Simple and traditional steaming, roasting and boiling preparations abound, but here's a nice little preparation twist from Albion Cooks. Enjoy.
By George Grieser | February 3, 2008
Skins 'n the Game
If you have a TurboChef oven, you're going to find preparing for sporting events like today's Big Game allows for more time in front of the tube and less time cranking out snacks from the kitchen. The oven crisps up wings like they came from a deep fryer by using the Air Crisp setting. Crispy potato skins are also easy and don’t require frying either. Here's how:
Select Bake > Vegetables > Potatoes > Bakers > Quantity 4. Allow the oven to preheat. Brush your potatoes with a little olive oil, place them directly on the oven rack and hit “Start.” Four potatoes will take just 10 minutes to bake. This will give you enough time to prep any other ingredients you want to top them with later.
Quarter your potatoes (or halve them if they are smaller), and remove some of the flesh. To crisp the inside of the skins select Air Crisp > Appetizers > Unfilled > Fresh >Toasted. Place the skins on a baking sheet flesh side up while the oven is preheating. Once preheated, place the sheet in the oven and press "Start" to begin baking. It takes about two minutes.
When finished, the skins are ready to jazz up with toppings so select Toast > Cheese Melt > Count 6. Top the skins with grated Cheddar cheese, and place your baking sheet back in the TurboChef oven. Two minutes later, you're ready to garnish a perfect set of potato skins with salsa, sour cream, bacon and fresh minced chives. Touchdown!
By Brian Pember | February 1, 2008
Truffle Mac & Cheese
“Please tell me we get to eat this,” my wife says anxiously after I have spent what is apparently far too much time taking a photo of our new favorite mac & cheese recipe. You see, this is no ordinary macaroni & cheese. It is the ultimate comfort food creation from renowned Chef Guenter Seeger, currently collaborating with TurboChef to develop a collection of recipes for the newest installment of the TurboChef cookbook - concentrating on fresh, readily available ingredients and simple preparation.
For those who can’t wait until the cookbook is published (like myself), I offer a sneak peek of the good things to come. Guenter’s truffle mac & cheese has quickly become a favorite among the TurboChef staff working on the cookbook project. I tried it out this weekend and now have a guaranteed winner for any and all upcoming family gatherings. The thing that always strikes me about Chef Seeger’s dishes – and this one is no exception – is how you can taste each unique ingredient individually, yet they all work in perfect harmony together, even when you suspect they might not. I mean Panko bread crumbs, white truffle oil and nutmeg? Not your typical shopping list for mac & cheese, at least in my kitchen, where the southern cooking I grew up on often dictates the menu. But the result is nothing short of sensational. And the best thing about it? Even I can cook it now. In four minutes.
Enjoy the recipe:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 (17.5 ounce) package rustichella d’ abruzzo maccheroni or other tubular shape
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups (750 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces grated Gruyère cheese
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
¼ chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish
White truffle oil
Fresh ground nutmeg, to taste
1. Boil salted water for pasta and cook according to package directions. Stir occasionally so the pasta does not stick together. Drain and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat chicken broth to boiling and reduce to one cup. Add the heavy cream and with a whisk stir while bringing to boil.
3. Blend the butter and flour together with the back of a spoon to make a paste. Add to the boiling liquid and continue to whisk, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
4. Reduce the heat; add the cheese and stir to melt.
5. Pour the cheese over the pasta and stir to coat. Spoon into casserole dish.
6. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and dot with butter.
7. Place in oven and press “Start”. Bake 4 minutes.
8. Garnish with parsley and drizzle lightly with truffle oil. Sprinkle with fresh nutmeg, to taste.
Select Bake > Prepared Foods/Entrées> Baked Pasta > Macaroni & Cheese > 40 oz.
*Note: for this recipe – adjust the 3:30 cook time to 4 minutes. When the cookbook is published these adjustments will be included in your “Cookbook” settings automatically.