Wednesday, December 16, 2009

perfeckt cold weather dish

Short ribs stroganoff, winter root vegetables, poppy seed ricotta gnocchi, and mustard creme fraiche.
When I was growing up every week mom would make..salsbury steak, hot borsht and beef stroganoff ...sometimes goulash..perfect dishes to feed family all week long and easy to re-heat. A home all my braising I do in a pressure takes only and hour and 20 min or so.....preassure cooker is an amazing tool that every household should have.
At restaurant to make short ribs is 3 day process. We cut the meat , we salt and rub with goulash spices ( paprika, marjoram and caraway ) for 24 hours, then we braise in 160 degree oven for another 24 hours, then we chill and de fat...and then is only ready for service. We serve with local ricotta gnocchi, which we make with poppy seeds and winter root vegetables.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ketchup confusion

At Americano we make our own ketchup. Why ?? Well...people say its me it is not ! When we opened , I figured ..I just do not want Heins ketchup on a tables .. I know , that classic ketchup has no substitutes ...Ive seen people making it from peach and mango ketchups to ketchups where calls for tomato concase, requires peeling dicing tomatoes..even worked at a restaurant where Chef was doing that, end results, some goopie mess ...where last thing you want to do is to dip your fries in. So I knew, that last thing I need to make " fancy ketchup ". So one day, I bought bottle of Heinz ketchup, read back of the label just to see what ingredients are in it. I needed consistence, and you can not get that with fresh tomatoes, only fresh tomatoes I use through the whole year is cherry or grape new that fresh tomatoes its not an option to me. I have three favorite brands of caned tomatoes which I use all year around with good results. 6 in 1 from California, crushed tomatoes alway gives me the best pasta sauce I aso use that to make my house steak bourbon steak sauce. San Marzano to make my pizza, I like the ones labeled D.O.P. ( quality controlled by italian government ) and tomato paste to make my ketchup, I like Stanislaus brand.
I was reading some where , that secret ingredient in Heinz ketchup is clove oil, my goal was to re create close version to original, just little more tangy, less salty and fresher tasting...after many experiments I succeed , once in while I still find on emty burger plate ketchup packets...but I must say , that my ketchup at Americano, right now has more fans, than Heinz. Some body even bought gallon of it...when Bratenahl employees ask us to make lunch , they specialy ask for my ketchup...and yeas I do put cloves and all spice in mine...I also tried with curry or chineese 5 spice.
The other day...I open my mind and bought Heinz stuff for those unhappy whiners, just to make them happy, that gave me an opurtunity taste taste mine brand vs Heins...people who taste it .." Face to Face ketchup" ...selected clear winner...Ameiraco brand...little fresher, less salty and higher in spices content....but next time , when you come to Americano, if you prefer Big brand vs mine.....just ask ...
love to cook and cook a lot through the busy Holliday season..familly, friends and Americano costumers .