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Another satisfied customer

June 24th, 2014

Dinner party for some friends down in Ocean Beach last week

You are what you eat- BUT it IS ok to be quick, cheap & easy…

May 29th, 2013

by Scott Ingenito

It has always been said; ” You are what you eat, Don’t be quick, cheap & easy” . While I agree, there IS ways to make healthy, delicious, from-scratch food and have it still be quick, cheap & easy. This is a twist on a recipe that Dawn made me a few months ago, I wanted to eat vegetarian and I did not want to go shopping so I tweaked it out and came up with this recipe. Definitely quick, for sure cheap,  easy and very satisfying.

Sweet potato & Refried Black Bean Taquitos


6-8 Corn tortillas,

2 sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered

1-2 tbsp Light brown sugar

1 can black beans, drained

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp spicy brown mustard

Generous pinch of each: Ground Cumin, Garlic powder, Onion powder, chili powder, black pepper

Garnishes: Fresh chopped cilantro, Sour cream, Tapatio hot sauce

Step 1

Peel, quarter sweet potatoes, place im cold water OR I use my microwave Lekue steamer. 7 minutes and they are done! Just take them out, sprinkle your sugar, salt & pepper, and mash up until desired consistency. I leave some texture to mine, and if you prefer you can also just dice them before cooking and use them that way.

Step 2

Drain, rinse & redrain your black beans. Start a small pot over medium heat, add olive oil, add beans, cook until softened, and then add soy sauce, mustard. Mash all together. I like to leave some of the beans not completely smashed to add texture. then add all spices (notice I omitted salt we are using Soy Sauce here instead), lower to simmer until desired consistency Just be careful not to overcook and dry them out.

Step 3

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, leave dry no oil or spray, add tortillas and warm/toast them to desired level.

Step 4

Assemble: I use a small offset spatula or rubber pastry spatula to spread out the Sweet Potatoes, then the beans, top with Sour cream, cilantro, then hot sauce if desired, roll them up  & Enjoy!


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November 23rd, 2011

Hello Foodies,

I apologize for any inconvenience with this, but for some reason, my subscribe widget is not functioning. If you would like to get email updates about the blog, please send me your email address: 

I can assure you that your information is kept confidential and only used for updating you on new blog posts or events.

Thank you all for your readership and patience.

I am Looking forward to a new post on black friday. Send your email to stay current on the latest chews!




March 23rd, 2011

Greetings from the land of Avocado’s!!!


Hello again my old friends, it’s been a while since my last post, and it is because I have made a huge move from Long Island, New York to San Diego, California!  I have wanted to move to California ever since I was young, and finally the opportunity came along and I was able to make it happen. Although it was on the back burner for many years, I was aggressively chasing the opportunity for the last 16 months, and it came along and now here I am… sitting in my favorite little coffee shop (one I reviewed for you all last year- Newbreak Coffee Company) writing to you from Ocean Beach California- My new home!

This decision to move was really hard for me, although it is something I have wanted so badly for years, I  was realizing what I would be giving up to be here; my band, Motorway To Roswell, my friends, and most of all, my family . I decided to take the chance and make things happen before I was too old and had regrets. So in going to my parents house to break the news I had a funny idea; bagels are only good in New York right? and of course my parents would not want me to move so far away, so- I joked and said I was bringing “Bad news & Bagels”.

There is so much to offer here in the realm of cuisine, the fruit and vegetables are so fresh, and of course the avocado’s are grown here so they are super fresh & ripe. In this beautiful little hippie town (the last little  “mom & pop” style beach towns) there is so many amazing little shops. There is an amazing local farmers market – The People’s Organic Farmer’s Market this is where I will be doing the bulk of my shopping as they have such amazing local ingredients. Once I am settled in I will start adding new recipes to the blog, so please stay tuned and check back often and I’m sure you will see some amazing new recipes from my kitchen here in my new home in Ocean Beach California!

My new Kitchen is coming along! new stove coming today! I moved into a historic 1939 mission style building in Ocean Beach, so it is slowly being updated by the property manager.



A Cookout for the Troops… Giving back to those who give everything for us!

August 12th, 2010

by Scott Ingenito

I walk into my apartment after a long day at work, tired, frustrated, relieved that my work week is over, I look down at my table and see something that always makes me smile- The newest issue of FOOD NETWORK Magazine has arrived!  I do what I always do when it arrives, quick thumb through the pages to see what’s inside, so I know which pages to dive into later. I come across something that strikes me, A COOKOUT FOR THE TROOPS

Sunny couldn't stop crying when she got the call from the vice president's office; cooking for war veterans means more to her than just about anything. "When you're raised in a military family and you see up close how war affects everyone, you learn what it really is to be an American," she said. "Veterans hold a very special place in my heart."

Food Network Star Chef Sunny Anderson, an Air Force veteran who comes from a big military family, gets the assignment of life:

Cooking for wounded war veterans at the Vice President’s house

This was something I got really excited about; in my current job as a federal officer I have the honor to work side by side with some of the amazing veterans who have served our country, I also see the affects their service has on their friends and families when they leave for deployment. Some of these soldiers are even younger than me and going off to serve our country and no matter your view on the war, you have to respect and support these brave young men & woman. I read this article and was very impressed, it made me even more excited to seek out the goal I have had to put together an event like this for troops in my area.

” I’ve learned to keep it simple” Sunny says in the article, she wanted to make the food easy so she’d have time to talk to the troops. ” To meet people who are helping protect our country means so much to me” she said. “whether you are for or against the war, you have to honor someone who will go off and fight for us”

Below are some of the amazing dishes prepared by Sunny, the Bidens, and the special U.S. Navy Chefs who also cooked for the event.  Recipes courtesy of Sunny Anderson, Joe and Jill Biden for Food Network Magazine.

The Bidens' Home The picnic took place at One Observatory Circle, the vice president's residence — probably the most heavily guarded home in America after the White House.

An Emotional Invitation "Veterans hold a very special place in my heart.

A Crowd of Heroes The idea for the cookout came about after the Bidens visited a group of veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center—and casually mentioned hosting a party at their place. Not only did they come through with the invitation, they did the troops one better and asked Food Network star Sunny Anderson, an Air Force veteran, to help plan the meal.

Sweet-and-Spicy Pecans Recipe courtesy of Joe and Jill Biden for Food Network Magazine. Ingredients 1 large egg white 2 cups unsalted pecan halves 2 cups unsalted roasted cashews 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon ground cumin 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Kosher salt Directions Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon water in a large bowl until foamy. Add the nuts, sugar, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix well. Spread the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the nuts are mostly dry but still slightly sticky, about 40 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven and stir. Reduce the temperature to 200 degrees F. Return the nuts to the oven and bake until crisp, about 30 more minutes. Stir to loosen the nuts from the baking sheet; cool completely on the sheet.

Sunny's Vegetable Chips With Blue-Cheese Chips. Ingredients For the Dip: 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 8-ounce container sour cream 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled 2 scallions, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper For the Chips: Vegetable oil, for frying All-purpose flour, for dredging 2 medium to large beets (1 red, 1 yellow), peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick Kosher salt 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick Directions Make the dip: Blend the heavy cream in a blender until slightly thickened. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, blue cheese, scallions and garlic powder and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill 2 hours. Make the chips: Heat 1 to 2 inches vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Rest a cooling rack on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Spread some flour in a baking dish, add the beet slices and toss. Tap off the excess flour, then fry the beets in batches (don't overcrowd the pot), stirring occasionally to make sure they don't stick to each other, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the fizzling around the chips slows down. Transfer the chips with a slotted spoon to the rack and season with salt. Let cool at least 5 minutes; the chips will crisp up as they cool. Return the oil to 350 degrees F between batches. Replenish the oil, if necessary, and return to 350 degrees F. Dredge the sweet potato slices in flour and fry in batches, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the rack, season with salt and let cool. Serve the chips with the blue-cheese

The Bidens' Pasta Caprese. Navy chefs whipped up this Pasta Caprese salad using mixed heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese. Ingredients 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1 shallot, minced 1 small clove garlic, minced Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 teaspoon sugar (optional) 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 pound pasta, such as campanelle, penne or fusilli 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest Directions Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add sugar, if desired (depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes). Add the tomatoes and gently toss. Marinate at room temperature, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Add the pasta and mozzarella to the tomato mixture and toss. Stir in the basil and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, tossing occasionally, until serving.

Sunny's Sweet Minted Tea.. Sunny gives her sweet tea a twist with a simple mint syrup. Ingredients 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 bunch fresh mint, plus leaves for garnish (optional) 3 black-tea bags Lemon slices, for garnish (optional) Directions Combine the sugar, mint (stems and all) and 1 cup water in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep 30 minutes. Discard the mint; refrigerate the syrup until ready to use. Put 2 quarts water in a pot and add the tea bags. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then remove from the heat, cover and let steep 20 minutes. Discard the tea bags. Pour the tea into a pitcher and add the mint syrup to taste. Refrigerate until cool. Serve the tea over ice. Garnish with lemon and mint, if desired.

Sunny's Pulled-Pork Sandwiches. To turn out moist, flavorful meat for her famous sandwiches, Sunny cooks the pork at a low temperature for several hours. :: - Ingredients For the Pork Sandwiches: 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard 1/4 cup honey Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 7-to-9-pound bone-in pork shoulder, skin removed 10 crusty rolls, split Coleslaw, for serving For the Barbecue Sauce: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 medium onions, chopped Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 8 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 1 cup apricot preserves 1 cup ketchup 2 teaspoons hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha) 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar Directions Prepare the pork: Combine the mustard, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon pepper, the paprika and garlic in a bowl. Prick the pork on all sides (including the fat) with a paring knife, about 1/2 inch deep. Brush all over with the mustard mixture. Tightly wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours. Unwrap the pork, place in a roasting pan and bring to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Transfer the pork to the oven and pour 1 inch hot water into the pan. Cook 3 hours, adding water as needed to maintain 1 inch. Remove the pan from the oven, add water if needed and cover tightly with foil. Return to the oven and cook 6 more hours. Turn off the oven and let the pork rest inside, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Melt the butter with the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and paprika and cook 2 to 3 more minutes (reduce the heat if the garlic starts to brown). Stir in the brown sugar, preserves, ketchup and chili sauce, stirring after each addition. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the vinegar. Add salt to taste. Remove the pork from the oven and take the meat off the bone. Coarsely shred the meat using 2 carving forks. Toss with some of the barbecue sauce and pan juices and season with salt and pepper. Serve on rolls with coleslaw.

The Bidens' Grilled Pizzas. Everyone loves pizza! The Bidens' grilled version is a great choice for a picnic: It's low-maintenance, quick and hand-held. :: - Ingredients For the Dough: 1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast 5 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon sugar Kosher salt 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the bowl For the Toppings: 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced Pinch of red pepper flakes 1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves torn Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced and drained on paper towels 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese Directions Make the dough: Put 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F to 115 degrees F) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Whisk the flour, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a separate bowl, then add to the yeast mixture along with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium low and mix until the dough starts to look smooth, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 6 more minutes (it should stretch 3 inches without breaking). Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Let rise in the refrigerator overnight. Lightly press down on the dough, then divide into 6 balls. Put on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate until ready to grill. Meanwhile, make the toppings: Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Crush the tomatoes into the pot with your hands; add the juices. Rinse the can with 1 cup water and add to the pot. Add a handful of basil and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium and simmer until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly. Preheat one side of a grill to high and the other to medium. Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil; stretch each dough ball into a thin oval (about 8 by 11 inches) on the sheets. Brush the tops of the dough with more oil. Working in batches, grill the dough over high heat until bubbly on top and marked on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the dough onto the cooler side of the grill. Quickly top each crust with tomato sauce and mozzarella and cover until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pizzas to a cutting board; sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining basil.

Sunny's Patriotic Berry Trifle. ::This red-white-and-blue dessert comes together quickly and is the perfect way to showcase summer berries. Ingredients 1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 1 premade angel food cake, cut into 1-inch slices 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature 2 cups heavy cream, at room temperature 2 pints blueberries 2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced Directions Heat 1/4 cup sugar, the lemon juice and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract. Brush both sides of each slice of cake with the syrup. Cut the slices into 1-inch cubes. Beat the remaining 2/3 cup sugar and the cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and light. Add the cream and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and the consistency of whipped cream. Arrange half of the cake cubes in the bottom of a 13-cup trifle dish. Sprinkle evenly with a layer of blueberries. Dollop half of the cream mixture over the blueberries and gently spread. Top with a layer of strawberries. Layer the remaining cake cubes on top of the strawberries, then sprinkle with more blueberries and top with the remaining cream mixture. Finish with the remaining strawberries and blueberries, arranging them in a decorative pattern. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

As you can see, this event was well received and stocked with some great savory summer cuisine, what better way to honor our wounded veterans than to have such a high profile character like our Vice President set up this amazing event. I for one was very impressed, and I hope to one day be able to coordinate an event like this where I can gather our heroes and show my appreciation for the hardships they endure so that I am able to live the way that I do.

Thank you so much for reading this post, and I hope next time you see one of our brave armed forces soldiers you also thank them!

Culinary School: Week 17… The Destination…

June 28th, 2010

by Scott Igenito


Mission Accomplished!

Someone special made me this chef hat shaped iced brownie

My Certificate in Commercial Culinary Arts w/ my "Mise en place" award pin!

I have reached my goal and accomplished what I had set out to do. This goal I set for myself seemed so hard at the start, but because of my passion to learn more about cooking, and my motivation, it all seemed to fly by so quickly. I have been lucky to have the support of my friends and family to help along the process, and for that I have even more of a sense of accomplishment. I never really wanted to go to college after I graduated high school, I did it because it was the thing to do, and I figured it was best to have at least an associates degree under my belt. My father always says “Education is never wasted”. Even those who choose to go into a different career, but have degrees in another field, learn transferable skills that never go to waste. I feel that anything one can learn never goes to waste; no matter what you learn, those lessons stay with you in any field you work in. I know for sure that the things I learned about myself from setting this goal of furthering my education will stay with me always. I have learned so much about myself, cooking, and the whole culinary industry over the last 5 months and each lesson has opened my eyes up to a whole new world to explore. There is also something to be said about working in the field, as you may remember from earlier blog postings I set myself up with an externship at a popular restaurant- Tula Kitchen. I have learned so much working as a sous chef in that kitchen, not only did I use the skills I already had, but I got to put the skills I learned in school into real world action, and working side by side with some really talented chefs has not only enhanced my learning experience, but also stepped up my game that much more. Although I still have a lot to learn, I have taken huge leaps forward in working with this caliber of culinary professionals. Watching first hand how a busy, well-known restaurant runs on a daily basis is an experience that can not be put into words, the education I am getting from my new boss and colleagues further extends all the lessons I learned in the  class room setting.

I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all of you who supported me by reading this blog, thanks to those who sent emails and comments, your support means a lot. I also want to extend a special thanks to my friends and family, who week after week gave me the moral support to strive to chase after what I want. (and of course loved eating all my recipes and sampled from class- I have to say this class made me rather popular at work being I always had new recipes for lunch to share.) Here are a few pics of our last cook projects in class, we made some of these things over the last 2-3 days and had a huge graduation dinner for the class.

my Jeweled Gelatin tort

I made: Grilled chili lime shrimp on top of a Black bean cake with Coriander sauce

Huge fruit display that we did, with a watermelon peacock center piece

dinner side spread

dessert side spread

Stay tuned to the blog as I will be posting more reviews, recipes and stories as I continue on the road to becoming a chef!

Culinary School: Week 16

June 18th, 2010

16 weeks down, one to go… The time has flown past so quickly and now I am about to start my last week of culinary school. This week in class we delved into regional cuisine once again, I was tasked with some interesting recipes that I have never tackled before. Here is what I learned:

Sushi Crepes


4 eggs

1 cup short-grain rice

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon mirin or dry sherry

a little wasabi paste

4 ounce smoked salmon, cut into thin strips

1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1/2 avocado, peeled and cut into matchsticks

3 tablespoons pickled ginger, cut into thin strips

soy sauce, for dipping

Step 1

To make the egg crepes, gently whisk the eggs with 2 tablespoons cold water and a pinch of salt in a bowl until combined. Heat and lightly oil a small crepe pan, and pour enough of the egg mixture into the pan to lightly cover the base. Cook over low heat for 1 minute, being careful not to allow the crepe to brown. Turn the crepe over and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and cook the remaining mixture.

Step 2

To make the sushi, put the rice in a pan with 2 cups water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until small tunnels begin to appear in the rice. If using gas, cover and turn the heat to very low, and continue cooking for 7 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. If using an electric stovetop, remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave the rice to steam for 10 — 12 minutes (this prevents the rice from catching on the bottom of the pan and burning).

Step 3

Combine the rice vinegar, sugar, mirin and 1 teaspoon salt in a jug and gently stir through the rice until well coated. Spread the rice evenly over a baking tray and cool at room temperature.

Step 4

Place one egg crepe on a sushi mat or a piece of baking paper. Spread 4 tablespoons of the sushi rice over a third of the crepe, using a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Step 5

Spread a tiny amount of wasabi along the centre of the rice, taking care when doing this as the wasabi is extremely hot. Place some smoke salmon, cucumber, avocado and ginger over the wasabi.

Step 6

Using the sushi mat or paper to help you, fold the crepe over to enclose the filling and roll up firmly in the mat or paper.

Step 7

Trim the ends with a sharp knife and cut the crepe roll into 3/4 inch rounds with a sharp knife. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

Carrot Burgers


1 1/2 cups diced carrots

2 cups crushed cornflakes

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Hamburger buns

Step 1

Place carrots in a bowl and cook 2-3 minutes or until tender, let cool.

Step 2

In a bowl, combine carrots, cornflakes, eggs, celery, onion, salt, sugar and pepper, and ALL spices. mix well. Form into six patties.

Step 3

Preheat oven @ 350*, place patties on a greased sheet pan; cook patties for 20 minutes, flip over half way through until browned. Serve on buns with garnish of lettuce and sauce.

I made a Cayenne Ale mayo for my Carrot burgers:

2 tbsp of mayo

2 tbsp of dark ale

1 tbsp of cayenne pepper sauce

pinch of salt, pepper, cinnamon, tumeric.

The whole batch for the class

Thanks for tuning in for this week’s update, Tune in next week for the finale of my Culinary school blog.

CUlinary School: Week 15

June 11th, 2010

This week in class we focused on combining all of the skills we have learned in the class. We are down to the last 3 weeks, and the Instructor has decided to focus the remainder of the classes on applying our skills and we will be doing that through some regional cuisine. Our first task was a Food Network “Chopped” style cooking competition where we had to create one appetizer and one entree within a certain time limit. This activity was a lot of fun because not only were we applying all the skills we learned; knife skills, time management, seasoning, sanitation, plating and presentation, but we were also able to make anything we wanted from the ingredients in our class kitchen. This task was challenging, however, with the skills I have learned at the restaurant combined with the vast things I learned in this class, I did a great job. My appetizer earned me 2nd place, and my Entree earned me 1st place. Here is what I presented for this task:


Tomato Bruschetta

by Scott Ingenito


1 1/2 cups of chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup of large chopped black olives

1 cup of chopped roasted red peppers

2 tsp of sweet california basil

3 garlic cloves minced

1 cup of crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup of quality extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp of fresh cracked sea salt & black peppercorn (taste and add more if desired)

Step 1

Chop all ingredients, toss into a bowl and coat with the extra virgin olive oil. Set aside in the fridge so all the flavors can fuse.

Step 2

Serve on top of 20-24 crackers, crispinis, or garlic bread. Drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil.

** I serve this on top of mini whole grain cocktail bread that I coat with roasted garlic & toast in the oven.**


Indian Curry Stir Fry Over Sweet & Savory Quinoa salad

by Scott Ingenito


Stir Fry

1lb of Beef strips, cut for stir fry

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 green frying pepper, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1 cup of baby cut carrots, Julienned

1 cup of string beans, cut in half

1/4 cup of tahini sauce & 1/4 cup of sour cream (whisk together to make garnish)

Chives, for garnish

1 lemon

1/4 cup white cooking wine

3 tbsp olive oil

Spices: Yellow Curry Powder, Cinnamon, Cloves, Tumeric, Allspice, Cardemom, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper. (to taste- But use a decent amount of the Yellow Curry as this is the main flavor in this flavor profile)

Quinoa Salad

1 cup of whole grain quinoa

1 cup of water

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup of almonds, chopped

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

Step 1

Marinate your beef: open & clean it. Lay it in a tray, coat with the juice of 1 lemon, white cooking wine, and ALL your spices. Coat liberally and toss. Set aside on ice or in refrigerator.

Step 2

Chop your shallots, peppers, carrots & beans. Heat pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook shallots until translucent. Add the rest of your vegetables. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add your marinated beef, toss and let cook over medium heat until browned. Remove from heat, plate over the Quinoa salad, garnish with cream sauce. Serve

Quinoa Salad

step 1

In a small sauce pan, add the quinoa and water, let cook for approximately 10 minutes (until all the water is soaked up and the quinoa doubles in size- similar to the way you cook rice)

Step 2

In a small pan, toss your almonds and raisins with salt, pepper & oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add to the Quinoa, toss with Sherry vinegar. Set aside.

Thanks so much for tuning into this weeks post. I am down to my last 3 weeks of class, it is going to be bittersweet; I am looking forward to having some free time to actually relax and do my favorite summer activities, but I will miss the learning experience, the instructor and some of the friends I have made in this class. Check back with me next week for more updates on my Culinary School venture.

Culinary School: Week 14

June 3rd, 2010

WHERE FLAVOR WAS BORN – A menu designed from Africa and the America’s

This week in class we delved into the world of spice and did a lab assignment. We were tasked to taste 10 different dishes and pick out the spices that our chef Instructor used. Some of these menu items were hard to pick out because they were very flavorful and also used spices you would not think of in recipes that normally use simple spices. Overall this was a very eye-opening lab, and everyone in the class did fairly well. We then prepared our own African dishes to present to the class, here is what I made:

Fish in Coconut Curry (from Zanzibar)


1 pound of mackerel or other white fish

1 tsp of finely grated fresh ginger

1 tsp of finely grated fresh tumeric

2 cardamom pods

3 tsp cumin seeds

3 cloves

1 1/4 inch piece of cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp of chili powder

1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 tomato, chopped

juice of 1 lime

1 red chile, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup of fresh coconut milk

1 cup of fresh coconut cream

( both of the above ingredients can be yielded from 1 fresh coconut)

Step 1

CLean & rinse your fish, cut four slashes in the side of the fish or fillets. Rub the fresh grated ginger and tumeric into the slashes (wear gloves, tumeric is a terrible stain maker). Set fish aside.

Step 2

In a spice grinder or pestal, combine the inside contents of cardamom pods, cumin seed, cloves, cinnamon stick. grind until combined well.

Step 3

In a small skillet over medium heat, roast the freshly ground spices, stirring frequently. For 2 minutes to release flavors. Set aside.

Step 4

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet with a lid.  Add the onion, tomato and lime juice. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Step 5

Add the coconut milk, roasted spices, and half of the chile pepper, let simmer gently for 10 minutes. Make sure the pan does not boil dry. If necessary add a little water.

Step 6

Add the fish and coconut cream, then add more of the chile to taste. Let simmer, covered for 8-10 minutes. Until the fish is cooked.

Remove from the pan, cover with the curry mixture, garnish with fresh chopped Cilantro.

Thanks for tuning into this week’s Culinary School update. We are going to be studying some interesting regional cuisine for this last month, so stay tuned!

Culinary School: Week 13

May 28th, 2010

This week in class we did a salute to summer, first class we cooked some refreshing summer style meals to welcome in the warm weather. The second class we did a memorial day barbeque, all in all- a great, fun learning experience. Here is what we worked on:


Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: SERVES 4-6 OR 2-3 as Main Entree


  • 1 lb (.454 kg) white-fleshed fish fillets (I like cod)

  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, snipped into thin strips with scissors

  • 3 Tbsp. coconut milk

  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce

  • 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste

  • 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder

  • 1/3 tsp. ground cumin

  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander

  • 1/2 tsp. brown sugar

  • 3 green onions, sliced

  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, grated

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 red chili, sliced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cucumber (to accompany cakes)

  • oil for high temp. frying

To SERVE: Thai sweet chili sauce, lime wedges, handful fresh coriander over a bed of mixed greens.

  1. Rinse fish and pat thoroughly dry (if using frozen, the fish will be more moist so be sure to dry it as well as you can). Cut into chunks and place in food processor or large food chopped.

  2. In a cup, combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, shrimp paste, chili powder, cumin, ground coriander, and brown sugar. Stir with a fork to combine, then pour into the processor over the fish.

  3. Add remaining ingredients (green onion, galangal/ginger, garlic, and chili). Pulse to create a thick fish paste.

  4. Picking up a small amount in your hand (about the size of a golf ball) pat the paste into a small cake and set on a clean plate. Note that traditional Thai fish cakes are small (about 2 inches in diameter and 3/4 to 1 inch thick) and not too thick. Tips: If your paste is too wet to easily form into cakes, add a little flour or breadcrumbs to the mix. As you continue making the cakes, it helps to rinse your hands every so often with cool water to prevent paste from sticking.

  5. Set plate of cakes in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, prepare your pan for frying as well as your garnishes. Pour oil into a small frying pan or wok (at least 1 inch deep).

  6. Cut the cucumber length-wise, then dice up into small cubes. Set aside

  7. Heat oil. When hot enough (a bread crumb should sizzle and cook immediately when dropped in), gently place cakes in oil. Allow to fry 30 seconds to 1 minute before turning, gently lifting cakes from the bottom of the pan (they may stick a little). Fry until golden-brown and drain on paper towel.

  8. Serve fish cakes immediately with the chopped cucumber and Thai sweet chili sauce drizzled over. Top with fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime juice just before eating. Excellent like this, Served over a bed of mixed greens garnished with fresh chives or served with rice for a main course dish. ENJOY!

The Memorial Day Barbeque menu


Spicy Hummus with Grilled Pita

Open Faced tomato, Mozzarella, & Basil sandwiches

Prawn Cocktails

Side Dishes

Garden Potato Salad

Carrot slaw

Spinach Salad with Grilled Peaches

Cilantro Lime Rice

Main Dishes

Chicken Burger with Tarragon Mayo

Spicy Burgers with Avocado Salsa

Pork Sausage Burgers with Mustard Cream

Hot Sausage & Pepper Skewers


Caramelized Pineapple Gratin

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream


Berry citrus Iced Tea

Costa Rican Mocktail Punch

I was in charge of getting the grills prepped and ready, organizing the menus for proper cook time, making both beverages & the Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream.

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream


  • 2 cups half-and-half

  • 1 cup whipping cream

  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons peach preserves (not jelly)

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

  • 1 (10.5 oz) bag of mini marshmallows


Toast marshmallows: Place on a lined baking sheet spread out, place into a 400* oven for 4 minutes, pull out and let cool for 10 minutes, then place back into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove when they have doubled in size and are browned. Let cool, then break into pieces, set aside in a bowl.

Combine all ingredients (including the bean and its pulp) in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Attach a frying or candy thermometer to inside of pan. (see note below) Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the hull of the vanilla bean, pour mixture into lidded container and refrigerate mixture overnight to mellow flavors and texture.

Freeze mixture in ice cream freezer according to unit’s instructions. The mixture will not freeze hard in the machine. Once the volume has increased by 1/2 to 3/4 times, and reached a soft serve consistency, add in your toasted marshmallows, mix, then spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.

Berry Iced Tea

Berry Iced Tea on left, Costa Rican Punch on right


For the tea:

  • 4 berry-hibiscus herbal tea bags (recommended: Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger)

  • 4 cups water

  • 1/2 cup simple syrup

  • 1/2 orange, cut into wedges

  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges

  • 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

  • 8 frozen raspberries

For the simple syrup:

  • 1/4 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Put tea bags in a heatproof pitcher.

In a saucepan bring water just to a boil and pour over tea bags. Steep tea 5 minutes and remove tea bags. Cool tea and chill, covered, until cold, about 1 hour.

Stir in simple syrup, to taste. Squeeze orange and lime wedges into tea and add wedges. Serve tea in tall glasses. Garnish with frozen raspberries.

To prepare the simple syrup:

Add sugar and water to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute; stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Let syrup cool.

Scotty’s Costa Rican Mocktail Punch

12oz of Sugarcane juice

12oz of Guava nectar

12oz of Coconut water

32oz of Pineapple juice

1 Liter of Seltzer

20 fresh mint leaves, broken

2 sprigs of fresh Lavender

Place the mint & lavender leaves into a pitcher, place in a hand full of ice, muddle down to break the leaves & open up the essence. Pour all the liquid ingredients into the pitcher, mix thoroughly, set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve over ice, garnish with fruit.

* due to the fact that this was served in school I omitted the Rum, Add in Rum to taste *

Thanks for tuning into this week’s update, more to come next week. Only 5 more weeks and I will have my ACF Certificate in Commercial Culinary Arts!