OKay! Going to get this blog up and going again. A great way to keep track of all the amazing experiences I have been having with my new journey as an entrepreneur!
In December, I quit my job managing a café in Denver to pursue my catering business fulltime. It has been going very well every since. I’ve began to offer personal chef services for multiple families and soon to launch an organic meal service in Denver with my partner Ire.
Alongside of the catering career, I have began my personal training career. In November 2014, I passed my ACE certification to become a personal trainer and have begun to work with a few close friends on their fitness and health. One of my favorite and most successful clients is having her first fitness competition this weekend! I can’t wait to see her on stage, and the results! She has worked so hard since December to establish a workout regiment and solid nutrition plan to get where she is today.
M*BODY is basically the bridge between my two businesses. Obviously food and fitness go hand in hand, without the other, you are bound to fail. M, references my business “Mezcla Maggie,” while BODY stands for it’s own thing: Building or Designing You. Basically, I want to design each client’s program upon their needs and person as an individual. Everyone comes in at a different level, different experience, different background with different goals. Therefore, as a trainer, I need to recognize this and help support them in the ways that they need. There is no cookie cutter program for everyone!
I hope to inspire with my blog through recipes, sharing my catered events and promoting my clients successes! Please feel free to contact me and comment whenever you are able:)
I’ve been pondering how to truly continue with my cooking and baking since finishing the chef apprenticeship program in October. I am now successfully sous chef certified!:) I decided to spend a few months exploring the cuisine on Europe. Worked through a network called WWOOFing, world wide organization of organic farming, in Italy and Spain. In Salerno Italy, I worked on an organic farm making wine of aglianico grape variety and helped harvest honey straight from the hives! Then I continued to farms in Bari, Italy, where I learned to harvest olives and produce organic olive oil. It was an amazing experience. Please check out the blog specifically from the trip: http://www.maggieandty.wordpress.com for pictures and more details.
Now, since I have returned to the states, I am currently a nanny for four Israeli children. The opportunity to cook is less but my drive and inspiration continues. Every day I look forward I experimenting with ingredients. Now I have also set out on a few side endeavors, culinary related. I am hosting food tours, like a pub crawl, with a company called dishcrawl. You can find more information at http://www.dishcrawl.com/Denver, my first planned event will be march 19!
I also recently signed up for a profile with “thumbtack” an amazing network set up to help offer your services in your area, through an online quote system. Here is the link to my profile: http://tack.bz/OMpR when you visit you can make a request for a quote for catering business or personal chef. I am really excited about using thumbtack because my friend Ira was so successful!
Tonight I volunteered at the Governor’s Mansion for one of his monthly dinners with twenty guests. We worked with the chefs from Arapahoe Basin and the Governor’s executive residents to create a flawless dinner experience.
The dinner consisted of the following: Course 1- Pan Seared San Luis Valley Striped Bass, Goat Cheese, roasted Beets and field greens Course 2-Roasted Colorado Rack of Lamb with a truffle risotto and sauteed vegetables Course 3-Orange Creme Brulee with chocolate dipped shortbread cookie Hor d’oeuvres: *A-Basin Cured Salmon on pumpernickel toast, creme fraiche and chive and lemon *House smoked red bird chicken with forest mushroom bread pudding *Shrimp and grits with BBQ Shrimp and smoked cheddar polenta *Grilled Pork Loin with sweet potato pancake and cider vinegar reduction
Each course was also complementary paired with a wine: pinot gris, rioja and riesling.
What I found most beneficial about this event, was seeing the chefs plate everything and being able to ask them culinary related questions. I am finally familiar enough with food and cooking that I can understand the terms they used and the processes and be able to ask questions about their techniques because I have tried them with other dishes at my sponsor house or in other culinary situations. It’s great to see how much a year and a half in this apprenticeship program has shown me. I feel almost 100% more confident in myself and even more so in my choice to be in the culinary industry and to have this become my career.
Wow, I’ve never been so excited to play with food. Maybe that’s my problem. Or not a problem at all. I’ve been reading “Mastery,” by Robert Greene and came across the chapter about pushing through norms and acting based on instinct and intuition. That’s exactly what Ian does with his culinary endeavors. He gets a thought, an urge, a curiosity, and he acts upon it. He works with lab professionals to understand the science behind the compounds and ingredients he is using in order to create what he has envisioned. It’s amazing. He’s taken food to a new dimension, it’s playful and it’s brilliant. One of his current innovations is trying to create flavorful snow; similar to snow outside, his snow would be edible, flavorful and still dissolve when it reaches the earth’s surface. How crazy would that be? Yeah, it’s like Willy Wonka, but for real.
Kleinman became curious in molecular gastronomy while working at the Westin, in Westminster Colorado. He also looked to world famous chefs like Ferran Adria at El Bulli in Catalonia Spain(Check out these pictures!http://www.elbulli.info/gallery.htm) , Wylie Dufresne at WD-50 in New York or Grant Achatz at Alinea in Chicago, for inspiration. He’s currently doing a lot of experimenting with “miracle berries,” which change taste to sweet or sour that are usually the opposite((http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synsepalum_dulcificum). Crazy!
Check out his website and blog, if you’re interested in some really inspirational stuff!
Grandma always used to make home made meatloaf. There was a time period that I wouldn’t touch the stuff. Why? Who knows, kid issues. Today, I realized I really like it!
Generally, meat loaf is made of ground beef, egg and bread crumbs in a loaf form. Sometimes it is made from lamb, pork (scrapple invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch), venison, and or poultry. I found it interesting that the recipe for meat loaf is similar to any meatball recipe, it is simply the shape that is altered. There are many international variations; the differences really are in the way the egg is cooked and combined, such as the Czechs who hard boil their eggs and put it in the middle of the meat loaf, or the Austrians who wrap theirs in ham.
I would like to attempt my own meatloaf with an American twist,, maybe wrapped in prosciutto, because that seems to be the trend.;)
For our class appetizer practical we were asked to make a dish that was unique to us. I chose to make a Spanish tortilla with chorizo. I studied abroad in Spain, and this was where I became inspired by food and the culinary world, so a Spanish dish is most representative of my cooking.
The dish is pretty simple, but delicious. Here are the ingredients I used:
- yukon gold potatoes cute 1/8″
- white onions, finely chopped
- 2t. smoked spanish paprika
- 8 eggs
- salt & pepper
- 1/4c. parsley chopped
- 2c. manchego, shredded
Heat the olive oil and cook the potatoes until they are lightly browned and soft. Add the onion, and paprika and cook two more minutes. In a separate dish, whisk the eggs and stir in the chorizo over the potato mix. Heat over medium heat till the eggs are almost set. Loosen the edges with a spatula and flip into another pan for 3-4 more minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese. Cool and serve.
*We also spoke in class about the difference between appetizers and hor’deurves. They are both items served to stimulate the appetite. Hor’deurves tend to be one-bite size passed items and appetizers are a larger portion of food set at a table for sharing.
Veloute is one of the five mother sauces, used as a base for many secondary sauces. It is recognized as a white sauce thickened with roux(equal parts fat to flour). The word comes form the french word “velour,” meaning velvet.
Standard Ratio and Recipe for Sauce Veloute
4 ounce blond roux (2 ounces clarified butter and 2 ounces all purpose flour)
1 1/4 quarts hot, White Stock (Veal, Chicken, or Fish)
- Heat up your white stock in a heavy bottom sauce pan.
- In a separate pan, cook roux to a blond stage.
- Allow roux to cool slightly before adding it to the gently simmering stock.
- Whisk stock and roux together and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Allow to simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Adjust consistency by adding more hot stock if necessary. Recipe should yield 1 qt of sauce at the “napé” stage, meaning the sauce should thinly coat the back of a spoon.
- Finish by straining through a chinois or a strainer lined with cheesecloth.
** Do not season your Veloute. Veloute is always used as a foundation for other secondary sauces and small sauces, at which time you will season the sauce as a whole.
Copied from: https://www.stellaculinary.com/blog/how-make-sauce-veloute-and-its-derivatives
After making the base veloute you can adjust to make any secondary sauce such as: Supreme, Allemande, Poulette, Bercy, Normany, etc.
In this recipe, I made a lemon thyme veloute. I used the following ingredients:
1/2# diced yellow onions
1/2 c. minced garlic
1/2 bottle white wine
2c. lemon juice
1/8# fresh thyme
2.5 gal. water added to chix base
2.5 c. blonde roux ( or in my case potato starch for thickening)
I simply sauteed the onion until they were translucent, added the garlic, and deglazed with the wine and reduced till au sec. Then I added the thyme(unpicked since it would be strained), chicken base and allowed it to simmer for half an hour or so. After the flavor profile was where I wanted it, I added the lemon juice and potato starch to thicken to the consistency I wanted.
Coulis comes from the french word “couleis” and latin word “colatus” meaning “to strain.” It is typically a sauce made from pureed and strained fruits or vegetables. Sometimes they are used on desserts, but usually they are served on meat or as the base of soups.
Our red pepper coulis was made with the following ingredients:
5# diced yellow onion
8# red bell pepper, seeded
1/2 case roma tomatoes
salt, white pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion
2 gallons vegetable base
Sweat the onions till translucent in oil and then add the vegetables and simmer with liquid. I used a vegetable base so the sauce could be used for vegan dishes. Simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain with china cap and thicken to desired consistency.
By definition gravy is the fat and juices obtained from cooking meat. Like other sauces, it’s purpose is to flavor the food it’s coating, tenderize or moisten, and give a more pleasing visual appeal to a plate.
The term “gravy,” usually means the thickened liquid in a dish. It seems the word “gravy” derived form the French term “grane,” and simply was mistaken as “grave,” by english cooks. Perhaps, the term alluded to the “grains” that were used to spice the sauce.
Gravies vary by the cook, the region it’s made in, the application, etc.
To make a gravy is very simple. Most times gravy is made with roux and then the liquid is whisked in. Sometimes gravy is made with other starches such as cornstarch and arrowroot. I wanted a brown gravy, so I used equal parts flour and butter and waited for it to carmelize a bit before adding my liquids(half and half and whole milk because we didn’t have any cream in house). Once the consistency was to where I wanted it, I simply added spices and let it simmer. I added salt, white pepper, granulated onion and granulated garlic till it had the POW I wanted.
Pretty successful, we served it with chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. Classic.
(And if you’re even lazier, there is always granulated gravy! Just add water!)
There are a few ways to do curry: Asian, Indian or a blend. One can recognize it as an Indian curry is usually served with a grain, like rice or potatoes. Asian curries usually use coconut milk and are a bit more watery, versus the Indian curry which is thicker and more stew-like. Curry itself is a blend of spices, typically including, turmeric, cumin and coriander seeds and sometimes, fenugreek, ginger and cloves. Yet, each region and country has completely unique preparations and ingredients, so it is difficult to generalize.
For my dish, I decided to do a blend of Indian and Thai curry, producing a mild creamy curry. Here are the ingredients I used:
- vegetable oil
- chicken tenderloin, cubed
- fresh garlic, minced
- shallots, minced
- white onion, small diced
- chicken stock
- Red curry paste
- ginger (fresh and powdered)
- lemongrass, rough chopped
- dry coriander(fresh would have been better)
- chili flakes
- cinnamon stick
- garam masala
- russet potatoes, small dice
- heavy cream
- potato starch
I first browned my chicken in the vegetable oil. Once lightly browned, I removed the cubed chicken, but reserved the oil to saute my shallots, onion and garlic. Once softened, I added the chicken stock, ginger, red curry paste and all my spices and simmered for 15-20 minutes. Once the flavor was close to what I wanted, I strained the liquid in a china cap and put it back over the heat. I wasn’t content with the first strain, so I did it again with cheese cloth, removing the smaller particles. The liquid was too salty for my taste, so I diced some potatoes (a tip given to me by a classmate). I allowed the liquid to simmer for another few minutes while the potatoes softened. Again, I strained the potatoes form the liquid and added my cream. Once the flavor was where I wanted it, I whisked in my potato starch slurry until it was a thicker consistency. Then I added my reserved chicken cubes and allowed the chicken to braise until I was ready to serve the dish.
Delicious! It had a beautiful curry flavor, but not too overwhelming. My dish was the class winner:)