NECAT has taken its instruction online! We thought we’d share some staple recipes from our curriculum that call for ingredients easily found at local stores. There are also some great demos and techniques to learn from on our YouTube channel. These are classic and essential culinary skills to keep you sharp. We hope you savor a taste of what our students enjoy learning every day!
Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
Chef Paige’s cookies are irresistible treats. Here’s a little bit of science behind why they’re so good: when you cream softened butter and sugar, the grains of sugar are forced through the fat, leaving millions of microscopic air bubbles in their wake and giving the butter a fluffy appearance. In the heat of the oven these bubbles expand, contributing to the lightness of the finished product. Room-temperature butter is best for aeration (we’ve found that about 67 degrees, or when the butter gives slightly when pressed is ideal). If the butter is too firm and cold, the fat won’t hold air; if it’s too soft and warm, the bubbles collapse.
Chocolate chips – white or dark
In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Add softened butter, brown sugar and sugar to Kitchen Aid mixer bowl, fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, stopping twice to scrap bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula.
Once the butter and sugars are creamed properly, keep mixer running on low speed and add eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add vanilla extract. Mix and scrape down bottom and sides of bowl.
Turn mixer off, lower bowl and add the flour mixture. Mix on speed #1 until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.
Add chocolate and cranberries, mix on speed #1 until just combined.
Use 1.5oz scoop to measure out cookies onto parchment lined sheet pans. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes, rotating sheet pan after the first 7 minutes.
Let cool on pan at least 10 minutes before serving.
Always a crowd pleaser and often a part of Chef Bob’s Breakfast Club menu. Equally great for breakfast or at dinner with some chili or barbecue.
Eggs – lightly beaten
10 fl. oz.
Yield: 18 muffins
Portion Size: 3 fl. oz.
Preheat oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine sugar, salt, flour, cornmeal and baking powder in the bowl of an electric mixer and stir to blend.
In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the remaining ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend until fully incorporated.
Spray muffin tins with non-stick baking spray.
Scale 3 fl. oz/85 g per muffin and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
Test center of muffins using toothpick at 15 minutes. If tooth pick is wet, cook for a few more minutes. When toothpick emerges with no wet batter, muffins are finished.
Let cool slightly in the pan. Remove from the pan and serve warm, or let cool completely, wrap tightly and store at room temperature for 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Chef Tom’s Glazed Carrots
These are favorite staple during Vegetable Week. Chef Tom’s secret: “add cooked diced bacon to this recipe so that even the pickiest of eaters will get their veggies!”
Carrot – peel, batonnet (batonnet is size/shape of a french fry)
Stock – chicken or vegetable
Thyme – freshly minced
Yield: 4 oz. (1 serving)
Place carrots, broth and brown sugar in sauce pan, bring to a boil. Simmer until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add thyme and lemon juice to pan. Cook for 1 minute or until liquid reduces and creates a glaze for carrots
Herb Pan Sauce
Chef Bob says “this is one of the most important sauces and techniques to learn. You will come back to it time and time again.” This recipe is good for seared/baked chicken. You can substitute beef stock if serving with steak. It can also be drizzled on top of roasted vegetables. If serving with seared chicken breast, it can be made in the same pan that the chicken was seared in. Pour off excess grease but leave the fond (the little golden brown bits on the bottom of the pan) in the pan after searing the chicken for extra flavor.
Garlic Clove Minced
Fresh Herbs Chopped
Cold Butter Small dice
Salt & Pepper
Yield: 4 oz.
Heat oil in pan over low heat
Add garlic and shallot, sweat 30 seconds
Add stock, reduce to nappe (to coat the back of a spoon)
Turn off heat and stir in herbs. Mix in cold butter to mount sauce
Taste and season as needed
The ultimate comfort stew.
Yield: 24 oz. (2 servings)
Dry meat on paper towel to remove excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper.
In medium sized sauce pot, heat oil over medium heat.
Add meat to pan, and sear until brown on all sides.
Add onion and garlic to pan. Sweat 3 minutes.
Add flour to pan, cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until you have developed a brown roux.
Add tomato paste, stock, bay leaf, thyme and celery leaves to pot. Simmer 1 – 1½ hours, until meat is tender and sauce is nappe. Add more stock if needed.
Garnish: saute mushrooms in butter until browned. Add mushrooms to stew and simmer 15 minutes until cooked through.