DC2: The Dinner Club

February 26th, 2012

I have always heard of dinner clubs, pot luck”s and the such and it always appealed to me in many aspects. I really dig the idea of connecting with people over food, It has always been a central focus for me growing up. Food was always the focus for gatherings with friends and family. The clubs I researched range from simple things like friends gathering over good food,  all the way to exclusive, private clubs that serve “forbidden” ingredients and can not disclose the location of the meeting until hours before. Pretty insane! This thought has always been something I wanted to do, but never had the time to really put it together. So last month while out with some friends, the idea came up to have a dinner club, everyone in the group is a foodie and what better way to make sure we see each other at least once a month with all of us having insane schedules? so The Dinner Club came forth, I figured DC2- because  it is the initials for The Daily Chews and The Dinner Club, very fitting for the new theme for my blog; cook, eat, spread the chews.

We started off the first club dinner with the theme of PACIFIC RIM CUISINE. and I have to say, the food was so good I forgot to even take before photos of most of the dishes! Here is what we came up.

Fried Cheese Won Tons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot & Sour Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pad Thai with Sate Grilled Chicken & Coconut fried Tofu: Was so good we forgot to take pics before eating it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mango Sticky rice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert Lumpia!

 

Valentine’s Day dinner

February 16th, 2012

 

by Scott Ingenito

I was never one for Valentine’s day, just another overly commercialized day for men to spend entirely too much money on things that really don’t mean anything. Everyday should be valentine’s day if you are with the right person. In perfect lazy, southern California fashion Dawn and I just decided to not make plans, I had to work, she had class, so we bumped our Valentine’s celebration to Wednesday. After a long debate over where to go for dinner, we decided to stay in and have me make a nice sexy italian dinner, Here is what I came up with:

Cannelloni Di Voglio (Cannelloni of Love)  With a Pesto Cream Sauce

A recipe I created especially for Valentine’s Day

Serves 4-6 people

Oven preheated at 350*

Ingredients

1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, shredded

1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 tbsp of butter

2 shallots, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup of Baby bella mushrooms, chopped small

2 cups of baby spinach leaves, Chiffonade

1/4 cup fresh basil, Chiffonade

1 pack of Won ton wrappers or fresh pasta sheets

1/2 cup of mixed shredded cheeses from above for garnish before baking.

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 350*, heat a saute pan over medium high heat. Shred all your cheese, Chop your shallots, mushrooms, spinach and basil.

Step 2

Melt your butter in the saute pan, add shallots and cook until translucent, add in garlic, saute another 2-3 minutes. Add in your mushrooms and let reduce until most of the butter in the pan is soaked into them. Then add in your spinach and basil, cook until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Step 3

Mix your cooked shallots with all your cheeses, add in a pinch of pepper and red pepper flake. Roll out your pasta sheets, spoon a bit of the mixture 2/3 of the way up the sheet, and roll tightly, leaving the seam under the bottom so it will bake shut. Place onto a parchment lined sheet tray with olive oil. top with your cheese garnish and bake for 20 minutes and 350*.

 I added some zucchini saute in olive oil, with Herbes de Provence & italian spice, seasoned with sat & pepper, topped with halved cherry tomatoes.

Pesto Cream Sauce

2 cups of heavy cream

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup of prepared Pesto ( I prefer to make my own, but the Trader Joe’s brand is stellar as well)

2 tsp of Italian seasoning

1 tsp roasted garlic powder   (I prefer Penzey’s for all my spices, just sayin’!)

sea salt and pepper to taste

Step 1

In a small sauce pan over low heat add your olive oil and cream. Once heated add in all other ingredients, mix to combine and let simmer on low until reduced down to 1 cup and thick.

Drizzle over cannelloni and enjoy!

 

White Chocolate Chip brownies with Vietnamese Cinnamon Vanilla bean ice cream

 

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups whipping cream

2 cups half-and-half cream

2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tsp of Vietnamese cinnamon

 In a heavy saucepan, combine the first five ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon and reaches at least 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat; cool quickly by setting pan in ice and stirring the mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight or freeze immediately. When ready to freeze, pour custard and vanilla into the cylinder of an ice cream freezer. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.

BROWNIES

1/2 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons water

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of white chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease an 8×8 inch square pan.

Step 1

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and water. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir in white chocolate chips, then stir into the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Step 2

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies set up. Do not overbake! Cool in pan and cut into squares. Or in my case for Valentine’s day I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the brownies.

” Blame Laird! ” … I do, but in a whole different way.

February 6th, 2012

by Scott Ingenito

So, it has been 10 months since I moved from New York to San Diego and I am proud to announce a total weight loss of 42 pounds! I will attribute it to two things, I know for sure it is the combination of these things that are finally working for me; Moving and the activities it led to & Calorie management. made possible with the amazing smart phone application LOSE IT!. This amazing app, available on both Droid and Iphone platforms, has been an asset to me for years, but now in my new lifestyle it has become more of a training partner. It not only helps me set and achieve goals, but it also keeps a database of all my food, exercise, recipes, and holds me accountable to be my own coach and keep on track. 

MOVING: I always knew that moving to the west coast would be good for me, and I was right. Being here, in a healthier, warm, more active environment has me back into my old passions. It was hard in NY to really let loose and enjoy the things that once were so prominent in my life. But now that I am here, more laid back and in this beach culture I have made a commitment to get in the water for exercise, and/or out on my bike every day, for however long, no matter what. If the waves are good, grab the longboard and go out for some waves, if it is small or flat, take out my StandUp Paddle Board, and if it’s too windy or blown out, I can take out my bodyboard, and if all else fails and time is an issue, I can just grab my fins and bodysurf for a little while. If the conditions are not favorable or I am just not feeling it, I just hop on my mountain bike and do a nice long ride. I have got in the water or out on my bike for at least 45 minutes everyday, on days when I work late or have off I get out for nearly 2 hours.

StandUp Paddle Surfing History & Present

HAWAIIAN KINGS

The extra-wide surfboards, which are paddled like canoes, go by the name SUPs, or stand-up paddleboards.

Many think that Leroy Achoy, a legendary Hawaiian surfer, was the first to paddle a tandem surfboard, so he could take photos of his fellow wave riders in the break at Waikiki in the early 1970s. Others think that stand-up paddleboards trace back to Duke Kahanamoku, the father of surfing and an Olympic gold medalist in swimming.

But regardless of its origins, it is one man, LAIRD HAMILTON

Who is responsible for introducing stand-up paddleboards to the masses. A 6-foot-3, 215-pound Hawaiian big wave surfer, Hamilton has been featured on television commercials, magazine covers, movies and countless pages of surf history.

“In the islands, your gym is the ocean,” said Welte, who has trained with Hamilton. “Florida is not much different. Everywhere you turn, you have great water. Why not use it?”

OBVIOUS BENEFITS
 Welte, a lifelong athlete, has yet to find a better full-body workout than standup paddling.
The average male can burn between 800 and 1,000 calories per hour, with the average female burning about 500 to 700 calories per hour,” he said. “Compare this to running on a treadmill or an elliptical machine, where an average male burns between 600 to 700 calories and the average female burns between 300 to 400 calories.”
Beginners need not be intimidated. Stand-up paddleboarding is not nearly as complicated as surfing. Most paddlers can get up and going in less than an hour.
Once they do, it won’t be long before they start seeing the benefits of their labor. Stand-up paddlers strengthen the core, the large, deeper muscles that pattern themselves around the trunk, hips and buttocks.
“The core is the power generator of the body,” Welte said. “It is where we get most of our strength. Lower back pain, knee and hip pain can all be attributed to a weak core.”
Balance will also improve. “You are using all of the intrinsic stabilizing muscles that aid you in your balance . . . muscles that usually get neglected in the traditional fitness center sitting,” he added.
** source By Terry Tomalin, Times Outdoors Editor  **

It’s been 10 months total of this lifestyle change, just over 7 months of consciously  watching what i eat with fairly aggressive exercise regiment where i have been driven by the philosophy and advice from Laird Hamilton.  I have to say for once, I feel satisfied eating and exercising this way and I am losing weight at a nice steady pace. For the first time since I finished college (in 1999), I have finally dropped below my target weight, and comfortably under! My clothes are fitting big, Older clothes that havent fit in years now are too big, and I notice a change in the way I feel and function throughout the day.

Exercise is a huge factor.but I follow Laird’s advice from his amazing new book, Force Of Nature

“If you can look at one of these waves and you don’t believe that there’s something greater than we are, then you’ve got some serious analyzing to do and you should go sit under a tree for a very long time.” Laird Hamilton

I have also incorporated some philosophies and techniques from Tim Ferris, in his newest addition to the “4 hour” series of books, The 4 Hour Body. I changed the way I ”Fuel” my body in the morning before a workout. I started making more productive and useful shakes to start off my day and keep me energized and focused for my workouts. Using Pure Protein or Muscle Milk powder, and a new amazing product by Nutrion53 called NUERO1. A mental focus and brain function enhancing combination of vitamins made into a powder for shakes.

I have only been taking Nuero1 for a  short time, but I noticed its benefits right from the start. Increased energy, motivation, mood and overall demeanor. As if being in the water and using the beach as my gym has not energized me enough, adding this supplement into my diet has changed the game completely. Below are 2 of my delicious and charged shake recipes, I use these to start my day before a workout, or sometimes after for recovery. They are amazing, simple to make and well-balanced. Enjoy!

Feelin’ Fruity Protein Shake

** Depending on the brands you use, this shake should be approx 275 calories per 20 oz serving **

1 scoop of Pure Protein, vanilla

1 scoop of Nuero 1, orange (can be subbed for another 1/2 scoop of protein if needed)

1/2 cup of Almond milk

1/2 cup of water

2-3 pieces of frozen mango, rough chopped

1-2 tsp of orange zest (can be omitted or even swapped for a drop of OJ, or orange oil)

Mix all ingredients well in a blender until mango chunks are dissolved and enjoy.

Feelin’ Decadent Protein Shake

** Depending on the brands you use, this shake should be approx 295 calories per 20 oz serving **

1 scoop of Pure Protein, chocolate

1 scoop of Nuero 1, chocolate (can be subbed for another 1/2 scoop of protein if needed)

1/2 cup of water

1/2 a banana, rough chopped

2-4 pieces of ice

sprinkle of each; cinnamon, espresso powder, nutmeg

Mix all ingredients well in a blender until ice is dissolved and enjoy.

Until next time, Eat, Drink, & Spread the Chews!

A work in progress

February 2nd, 2012

I saved up all the corks from every bottle of wine I have drank or cooked with since moving to.San Diego 10 months ago. A few more bottles

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and it’ll be complete!

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It gets cold in California…?

February 2nd, 2012

by Scott Ingenito

Now that I live in Southern California, with an average winter temperature of 60 degrees, it’s hard to cook winter type meals. Lately I have tried to invoke some of the flavors I used in recipes from back in New York to warm me up. Here is one I came up with, a simple stew, but kicked up with some far east spices. Instead of croutons or bread to dip, I replaced it with Flat bread that I spiced up with Zatar and smoked paprika. It’s somewhere between a soup, stew and indian chili.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Potato Stew w/ Zatar Flat Bread

Displayed in my new clay soup bowls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1” cubes

6 small potatoes, washed and diced into 1” cubes

Grape seed oil, for saute

4 small onions, thinly sliced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 15oz can of chic peas, drained and rinsed

2 cups of sweet peas

1 1/2 tbsp of dried cilantro leaves

1 1/2 tbsp of dried parsley flakes

2 tsp of ground coriander

2 tsp of ground cumin

2 tsp of Turmeric

2 tsp of red pepper flake

salt and pepper to taste

2 32oz boxes of organic low sodium vegetable broth

1/2 cup dry red wine

 

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 400*. Peel your butternut squash and cut into 1” cubes. Wash and cut your potatoes into 1” size cubes. Toss together into a bowl, coat with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder. place into the oven for 30-40 minutes, until browned and soft.

Step 2

Heat your dutch oven (or thick bottom pot with a lid) over medium-high heat. Add in your grape seed oil. Dice your onion, mince your garlic, Open up your can of beans & peas. Add JUST the onion to your pan and saute until translucent. Add in your garlic and saute until soft.

Step 3

Add in your chic peas and sweet peas. And ALL spices. Toss to combine and let cook for 5 minutes. Then add in your vegetable broth and red wine. Toss to combine. Cover, let cook for 45-60 minutes. (this cook time can be adjusted as to your preference. I prefer to cook my soups & stews down to really create layers of flavors, But this can be cooked for as little as 20-30 minutes.)

Step 4

Remove your Butternut Squash and Potato from the oven, Add into your stew, gently fold together trying not to crush your roasted veggies.

 

Zatar Spiced flat bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed

1 tablespoons each flax seeds (ground), White sesame seeds toasted (ground), black sesame seeds toasted (ground) ALL OPTIONAL but i feel it gives my flatbread a unique texture and layers of flavor.

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350.

Step 2

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl (I use a wooden spoon for this, although you could also use the bread hook on a mixer, or even a bread machine).

Step 3

The dough should form a ball — not too dry, but not too sticky either. If you have mixed for a long time, and there is still a lot of flour in the bowl, add a bit more water; If the dough is too wet, add more flour.

Step 4

Cover the ball of dough with a thin dusting of flour, so you can remove it from the bowl.

Step 5

Using floured hands, spread the dough onto a greased cookie sheet — The dough should be thin enough cover the entire sheet (make sure that the cookie sheet is greased so that the dough doesn’t stick when you’re trying to spread it). Sprinkle generously with Zatar spice, smoked Paprika and sea salt.

Step 6

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 (for a more “cracker-like” snack, bake longer).

Step 7

Transfer to a cooling rack to cool, and cut into 12 slices.

Breakfast… The most important meal of the day

January 18th, 2012

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Enjoying my day off, had to get out of the apartment to be productive and work on the cookbook. So I walked over to my favorite cafe, Newbreak Coffee Co and made it my personal office. This is the “Veggie Bagel”: everything bagel with sundried tomato cream cheese, sprouts, thinly sliced cucumber, tomato & red onion. So good! And a delicious vanilla nut late to wash it all down

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Check out my first guest post

January 13th, 2012

Hello friends, I just posted a new article on my friends blog, Cooking with Wood, check it out via this link

http://woodartstudio.blogspot.com/2012/01/cooking-with-wood.html

 

 

That knife really ties the kitchen together!

January 12th, 2012

 

 

Everyone has things they really love and enjoy, something that no matter how many you buy, you are always looking at the next one your going to buy. For some it is shoes, bags, & hats, sometimes it is all of these things! for me it surely IS all of those things, and we can add Chef knives right at the top of that list. My brother has always had a love for knives as he has collected them for most of his life, I think that rubbed off on me a bit as I seem to have the same obsession with them, just that I prefer kitchen knives. With my new job we get to use every possible top of the line product in our classes, so I can not resist when they offer the opportunity to add these products to our home kitchen collections. This latest knife I picked up today, it is one I have used at work a lot and have absolutely fell in love with. Two of my favorite chefs, Morimoto and Alton Brown have been backing Shun Knives for a long time, but I was skeptical, and now I am a believer. It is hard to pick a favorite because I have knives for every job needed in the kitchen, each one is perfect for a certain task. I like to have my one go-to chef knife, and this being the fifth santoku to join my collection has made it hard. But for now the Shun will be my main knife at home, and I can rotate my classic Henckles to my knife kit for catering and personal chef gigs.

Here is some information on the knife, check out the website as well. These are truly some amazing knifes and comes with a fully backed warranty.

 

 Shun Classic 7-Inch Santoku Hollow Ground Knife

The Blade: Kasumi is a traditional Japanese style of knife making in which an extremely hard core of high-carbon steel is clad—that is, sheathed or covered—with an exterior jacket of another steel. The somewhat “softer” exterior cladding protects the inner cutting core. In Japanese, kasumi means “mist” and is so called because the exterior steel can have a lovely misty appearance when compared to the harder cutting core. 
 Kasumi construction provides an ultimate mix of properties: an extremely sharp edge and ease of sharpening. This clad construction is similar to how samurai swords are traditionally made.
  
The Handle: PakkaWood® is a premium handle material made of genuine hardwood impregnated with resin. The resin makes it moisture resistant, strong, and durable. Sanding and buffing brings PakkaWood® to a beautiful gloss finish. As with natural wood, no two pieces of PakkaWood® are exactly alike.

 

Look what CAT dragged in…

January 12th, 2012

My friend made this amazing cake and wanted to share it with all of you, so delicious, What is your favorite cake to make? leave it in the comments below.

Pear Upside Down Cake

by Cat D

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) plus 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing

2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 Tbs. maple syrup

2 ripe pears, preferably Bartlett or Anjou, peeled, halved and cored

3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cardamom

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

 Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, vigorously beat together the 5 Tbs. butter, the brown sugar and maple syrup until thoroughly blended. Spread this mixture over the bottom of the prepared cake pan.

Cut the pear halves into 1/4-inch slices and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the 1 Tbs. granulated sugar, the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and stir gently to coat. Arrange the pears in the bottom of the pan, fanning and overlapping them slightly, so that the tapered ends point outward; use the small slices to fill any holes.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour the milk and vanilla into a liquid measuring cup.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the remaining 12 Tbs. butter and the 3/4 cup granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.

 Scrape the batter into the cake pan and spread evenly over the pears. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes.

 Immediately place a large plate, at least 10 inches in diameter, upside down on top of the cake. Carefully invert the cake with the plate, then lift off the pan, gently shaking the pan if necessary to release the cake. Let cool for at least 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

Seared Tuna salad with hot peanut ginger dressing

January 11th, 2012

Here is a Quick, easy, and delicious dinner I made tonight after work. There was an amazing piece of tuna leftover after my sushi class and what better way to use it than this?

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Ingredients
4oz piece of tuna
Marinade
1 tbsp of ginger, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tsp of rice vinegar
2 tsp of sesame oil
{combine all ingredients above and drizzle over tuna, cover and set in fridge 1-2 hours

Step 1
Heat a pan over medium high heat, add in some coconut oil

Step 2
Remove tuna from marinade,and add marinade to a small pan over medium heat, add in 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter & 2 tsp of sriracha sauce. dry tuna with paper towel and add to pan. Sear until you get a nice thin crust all all sides but the tuna is still raw in the middle. Then remove from pan and let cool.

Step 3
with a super sharp knife, slice tuna into thin slices.

Step 4
Salad-handful of each: kale, field greens, sprouts, shredded carrots, broccoli, Mix together.

Step 5
Top with tuna & dressing then serve.

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