Greatest feature of a Steam Oven

Whether you currently own a steam oven or thinking of specifying one for your kitchen, a daily routine pays dividens.

Re-heating leftovers. Sounds like no big deal but it is. When you use a microwave, the moisture is removed from the food resulting in toughness. When you steam reheat it looks and tastes like it was just prepared. In the photo I have a roast turkey breast and mashed potato. These are typical food items that take on a ‘refrigerator flavor’ once they have been packed and stored in the fridge. When re-heating in the steam oven there if virtually no flavor loss & no refrigerator flavor.

This saves you money in the fact that usually you may end up throwing away those leftovers because you thought that they wouldn’t taste good. This is not the case if you Steam reheat.

In my Gaggenau steam oven there are adjustments to moisture level and temperature. Many steam ovens may not have that versatility but you still have the benefit of re-heating with a refreshing benefit. It is a kitchen must have.

Lamb Chops, Port Wine demi

This past weekend I was fortunate to work the grill on father’s day.

It’s fun to help out during a semi-holiday that doesn’t get the same props as Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas or even St Patrick’s Day for that matter. Dad usually gets the shaft when it comes to accolades so it’s a good time to put him on a pedestal for a day.

A family ritual is grilled loin chops. For those unaware of cuts of meat, the rack is cut from the rib section perpendicular to the spine, including the rib roast cut. The loin is cut from the loin saddle that includes the loin and tenderloin roast. Either one you choose, you can’t lose, they are both excellent.

There is a difference in the cooking technique. The rack chops require a few minutes on each side of a hot grill. You don’t want to over cook because if you cook too much of the moisture out, they become tough and flavorless.

The loin is typically a thicker chop and having more fat, require a low heat due to the flare up you will get. I suggest you sear the loin chops for a couple of minutes on each side then place on a pan or in foil to continue cooking on an indirect flame so you wont get flaring or severe burning. The juices from the fat will be excessive so be careful. Season lightly with salt & pepper and add a middle eastern allspice.

Here is a recipe for a sauce for either chop.

2 tbl grape seed oil

1 yellow onion, peeled & sliced 1/2″ slices

5 ounces button mushrooms, chopped

3 ounces port wine

2 tbl steak sauce or demi

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp fresh mint, cut Julienne

1/4 tsp red pepper seed

Salt to taste

Heat pan over medium to high heat for three minutes. Add oil wait 30 seconds, add onion. After a minute add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic toss then deglaze pan with port.  Season with steak sauce or demi, mint & pepper seed. If too thick add a couple of tablespoons of water. Add salt to taste and pour over chops. Enjoy!

Baked Blueberry French Toast

This time of year we have graduations, weddings, weekend getaways and most likely lazy Sundays.

This is an easy recipe to whip together that will feed a crowd.

I used my Gaggenau combi steam oven with 60% moisture. This allows the egg mixture to rise slightly like a souffle. If you want to make a similar effect in your oven, put a pan of hot water on the first rack level when you turn your oven on.

5 eggs

2-1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup Maple Syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 Cups Dry French Bread

1 cup Blueberries

1 jar of Blueberry Jam

8 oz Cream Cheese cut in small cubes

2 tablespoons butter

Set oven on Convection Bake** at 350˚

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, syrup, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla.

Use the Butter to glaze a casserole pan.

Evenly distribute bread, cream cheese, jam and blueberries throughout the pan.

Cover with egg mixture.

Place in oven on second rack level.  Cook for 25-30 minutes or until firm. Slightly shake the pan to see if center is set before removing from oven. Remove then allow to cool in pan before serving.

Great with maple syrup, whip cream, ice cream or just a dash of powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

Notes:

This can be prepared the night before and kept in refrigerator until ready to bake.

Day old bread is great for this. Alternative breads are Challah, Portuguese, potato bread or cinnamon raisin.

*Use any fresh berries and jam for a variety of flavors

** If you don’t have a convection oven, use same temperature just increase the cooking time by 25%.


Allergy season, how ’bout some honey?

Pollen is killing me this season. Sure, the florals in the yard are looking great but I can’t breathe.

I coughed myself awake the other night dreaming that I was smoking.

Day two of the Neti Pot and my honey consumption is up. I no longer feel a migraine like headache.

If you want to try some local honey due to the immunotherapy concept. Being that consumption of some local honey will introduce the pollen in small doses to the body. Hopefully this will build an immunity to the airborne pollen. Check out this Boston site that is very informative.

http://eatlocalhoney.com/

Whether it works as a sugar pill or not at least my oatmeal tastes great!

From the Garden to your table

 Whether you have a garden or not. Try as often as you can to buy fresh vegetables. This time of year there are many farmers’ markets as well as tables set up at perhaps your neighbor’s drive way offering fresh tomatoes, squash etc.

Take advantage of this. It may inspire you to start growing something on your own. Start small, perhaps a starter of lettuce or herbs that you can tend to in the window of your kitchen.

“but Kurt that stuff is WAY too expensive and hard to find”

No way I say, if I can do it you can to.

If you care to adventure out to the markets check local listings. In my area of southern Massachusetts, there is Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP). Check out their website to see listings of local farms where you can buy fresh or bring the kids and pick your own.

http://semaponline.org/semap/where-to-find-local/

Fresh fuel for your body, you wont regret it. Get out there this weekend!