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By Brian Pember | February 1, 2008
“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.
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 21, 2008
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 28, 2008
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 Ellen Hanson | April 9, 2008
Ellen Hanson (Ellen Hanson Designs in NYC) and her associates enjoy a TurboChef Speedcook Oven in their office kitchen. Tired of the daily hassle and the countless boxes, wrappers and containers accompanying every take-out order, Ellen describes how their oven has bettered the lunch break:
Lunch at Ellen Hanson Designs is, as in most offices, a harried affair. We are very busy and suddenly realize we are starving. Until recently we would most often order in, but as our office has become increasingly 'green' we find we can't live with all the packaging that accompanies food delivered from a restaurant. Now someone from the office stops at the local health food store on the way to work and gets some good-looking organic produce. Shortly before we plan to eat, we pop it into the TurboChef oven. Within minutes we have a beautiful home-cooked meal with no wasteful packaging.
One of our favorites is roasted cauliflower. Sometimes we pair it with quinoa and plain yogurt. It is also good with pasta, rice or roasted potatoes. Check out how easy it is to make this vegetable!
Chop, slice, or break into florets a head of cauliflower. Place in a roasting dish and drizzle with olive oil to taste. Sprinkle with salt. The prep time is about 2 minutes! Cook it in the oven using the "Roast Vegetable > 1 pound" setting – 3 minutes. When the chime indicates 80% done, add walnuts and grated Parmesan to taste. Complete cooking cycle and serve hot or room temp.
If you'd like to share stories and experiences with your TurboChef Speedcook Oven, we'd like to hear from you. Email The TurboChef Blog and we'll review your submission for inclusion on the site.
By Brian Pember | May 5, 2008
As promised, we're sharing a couple of the recipes we prepared with Chef Waxman at K/BIS. These are easy, fresh and take only minutes to prepare and cook – making them perfect for a meal on any night of the week. Enjoy.
Pizza with Bacon, Parmesan, Scallions & Tomato
1 frozen 10" pizza crust
Note: Chef Waxman prepared his own crusts then froze them. You can prepare this doing the same thing, using store-bought crusts, or using fresh dough. Simply adjust your oven settings accordingly.
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
8 ounces Applegate organic bacon, sliced
¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Using your Cookwheel, Select Bake > Pizza > Frozen > Combo. Press “start” to preheat.
2. Roll frozen dough into a 10-inch round and place on metal sheet pan.
3. Press bacon gently into surface of the dough, distributing evenly.
4. In a large bowl toss the tomatoes and onion together. Drizzle with a tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Distribute tomatoes evenly to the edge of crust in a single layer. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and cracked black pepper, to taste. Brush the edge of dough with olive oil.
5. Place pizza in the oven and allow to bake 3 minutes. Scroll to "Cook and Brown More" if desired for a slightly darker bottom and crust.
You can find more great recipes like this in Chef Waxman's cookbook, available here.
By Brian Pember | May 6, 2008
Here's one more recipe prepared by Chef Waxman at K/BIS. Chef is known for his roasted chicken and, while the taste is exceptional, this recipe couldn't be more simple to create. Best of all, using organic chickens, you can cook up two in the TurboChef Speedcook Oven in about 12 minutes.
Roasted Organic Chickens
2 small (3.0 pound) organic chickens
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Using the Cookwheel, select Bake > Meat/Poultry > Poultry > Chicken > Unstuffed > 3-4.5 pounds. Press “start” to preheat oven.
2. Rinse the chickens and dry with paper towels.
3. Place the chickens in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a tablespoon of butter on top of each.
4. Place chickens in oven, press “start” to begin cooking. Allow to cook 12 minutes of the 22 minute cook cycle (organic chickens will typically cook more quickly than a non-organic chicken). Allow to rest about 5 minutes before slicing.
You can find more great recipes like this in Chef Waxman's cookbook, available here.
By Brian Pember | May 27, 2008
I'll start by saying that I'm somewhat intimidated by baking. While I am quite interested in it and admire those who do it well, it seems a bit delicate and intricate so I typically steer clear of the territory. At the same time, we are very often asked how the oven performs with baked goods. So, emboldened by the confidence in my oven's ability and inspired by a recent TurboChef-oriented post from The Knead For Bread, I stepped up to the challenge this weekend to illustrate just what the TurboChef can do when it comes to baking.
To begin my adventure in baking, I started with something familiar and comfortable. The Knead For Bread is a treasure trove of great baking recipes. What's more, for those who need a helping hand like myself, they offer a step-by-step "class" complete with visual representations of each part of the process. TKFB provides a nice twist to traditional banana bread with their Chocolate Banana Crunch Bread recipe. The recipe's ingredients are easy to procure and preparation is relatively simple (just be sure to have several mixing bowls ready for duty). Once everything is combined, baking is a snap. Using the oven's recipe settings, I selected Bake > Bread > Quick Breads > Regular Size. While there are also size variations for 3x6 mini loaves in the oven's menu selections, this recipe called for a standard 5x9 loaf pan. With this setting, TurboChef cuts the cooking time in half – to 30 minutes – while the original recipe calls for an hour. Crossing my fingers that I had combined everything correctly, I placed the batter in the oven, closed the door and pressed Start.
30 minutes later I was thrilled with the outcome. My creation came out with a golden brown and chocolaty marbled exterior. The inside was moist and filled with melted chocolate chip morsels and crunchy toffee chips. The resulting swirl of chocolate, banana and toffee is nicely balanced, sweet and delicious. With an ice-cold glass of milk, it's perfect.
Already, I see much more baking in my future. I've got me eye on another TKFB recipe to try out – far afield from this one. I'll share the results in a few days. In the meantime, let me know if you've got a favorite you'd like to see cooked in the oven by posting it in the comments section below.
By Brian Pember | July 1, 2008
Combining the last few posts, I've continued with my baking exploration and settled on a Martha Stewart recipe I came across this past weekend. I used the Cake > Scratch Recipe setting under the Bake menu and took the cake out at the 80% check point - reducing the final cook time from 45 to 18 minutes.
While Martha's looks a bit better than mine (no shock there), it tasted sensational. With a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, this cake is the perfect end to a summertime cookout. You can find the recipe here.
By Brian Pember | July 23, 2008
Summertime in Atlanta means fresh, juicy peaches are in plentiful supply. While a good fresh peach stands up on it's own, we've taken to baking our latest bushel in the TurboChef oven for a wonderful, simple dessert to end the evening.
Prep is simple. Cut two or three peaches in half and remove the pits. Drizzle with a little spiced rum, brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Don't bother peeling the peaches as the skin will separate during cooking. Place the peaches in an 8" x 8" baking pan and cook under the Roast > Vegetables > Roast Vegetables > 1 Pound setting. In less than three minutes (I take them out at the 80% chime) you'll have beautifully caramelized, warm and luscious roasted peaches. They are good on their own but I can't resist topping them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A down home Southern taste treat that couldn't be easier.
By Camille Burgoyne | March 2, 2009
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