Friday, August 23, 2019

Chef John is On Vacation and More

That's right! I'm on vacation for the rest of the week, and the beginning of the next, which usually means a lot of rest and relaxation, but not this time. That's because Michele and I are going to be working harder than ever on a major, top secret personal project. No, not a cookbook, or a TV show, or anything else that you'd probably guess, but major nonetheless. We can't share the details just yet, but I can say it's going to be an exciting Fall! In the meantime, enjoy a few reruns, and I'll be back with a new video before you can say, "Kismet."


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Baked Philly Cheesesteak Sliders – Go Giants!

The Philly Cheesesteak is a simple sandwich to make, as long as you’re making them in a restaurant. To make a proper one, you need a professional meat slicer, and a very hot flattop grill, which aren’t things most people have at home. 

That’s why I loved this baked slider method so much. It’s really close in taste and texture, plus, as I mentioned in the video, the small rolls make me feel like a big man.

I love the combo of provolone and cream cheese here, but if you’re a Cheese Wiz head, you can easily switch in some mild orange cheddar, and you’ll swear you’re at Pat’s. Of course, you could just skip the cream cheese, and actually use Cheese Whiz, but I really hope you don’t. 

Speaking of feeling like a giant, football season is upon us, and I can’t think of a better sandwich to make for your buddies coming over to watch the game. Especially if they’re from Philly, and don’t like the Giants, since you can share my theory with them. Regardless, I really do hope you give these baked Philly cheesesteak sliders a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 10 Baked Philly Cheesesteak Sliders:
10 mini sandwich rolls, or crusty not-sweet dinner rolls
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound top sirloin steak
salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup sliced, or chopped pickled peppers
1/2 cup soft cream cheese
1 1/2 cups provolone cheese for filling, plus at least 1 cup more for tops
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Note: Be sure to taste your filling for salt before stuffing rolls

- Bake at 425 F. for about 15 minutes.
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Friday, August 16, 2019

American Goulash – Just Like the Non-Hungarian Lunch Lady Used to Make

One of my all-time favorite comfort food meals growing up was the beef goulash served in my school cafeteria, which came with a slice of buttered white bread, and an ice-cold carton of milk. Little did I know that it wasn’t really goulash, but an Americanized version, invented, I’m guessing, to stretch a small amount of beef into enough food for a not so small family.

Real goulash is like a beef stew, and I’m pretty proud of this version we posted a while back, but while it’s a wonderful recipe in its own right, it just doesn’t hold the same place in my heart as this version. So, you can imagine my disappointment the first time I ordered beef goulash, and actually got beef goulash. Anyway, live and learn.

Not much can go wrong here, as long as you don’t under-cook, or horribly over-cook the macaroni. So, set your timer for 10 minutes, and start checking. We want the pasta very tender, but not falling apart. By the way, this goes by many names, including American Chop Suey, Chili Mac, Johnny Marzetti, and my personal favorite, Slumgullion. No matter what you call this, I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 portions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 pounds ground beef
4 cloves garlic minced
2 generous teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
cayenne to taste
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs (blend of oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, parley, basil)
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (24-ounce) jar prepared marinara sauce, rinsed with 1 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 rounded cups elbow macaroni
1 packed cup shredded white cheddar cheese
Freshly chopped Italian parsley
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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Cherry Tomato & Cheese Galette – Perfect for First Time Growers

When people grow cherry tomatoes for the first time, they often make the mistake of planting more than one or two bushes, which a few short months later usually means a ridiculously large harvest, as in more cherry tomatoes than you can possibly use. Well, this cherry tomato and cheese galette might help, a little.

While “galette” sounds a little fancy, they’re actually one of the easier type of pies to make, and above and beyond the simple technique, they are incredibly adaptable to whatever is in season. Whether that’s sweet fruit, or savory vegetables, there are very few things you can’t galette.

Just be sure to bake them long enough, since the bottom needs to brown, as well as you want whatever filling you’re using to dry out a bit. Your oven time will vary depending on the exact size and shape of your galette, so once you take it out, peak underneath to make sure it’s browned. Basically, you should bake this as long as you possibly can, without it burning, so be brave.

This will also work with larger, sliced tomatoes, but just be careful you let them drain on some towels first. Other than that, there’s not much else to worry about, except what to do with those other 5 pints of cherry tomatoes. Even if you have to go to the store to buy yours, I think this is well worth the trip, and I really do hope you give this cherry tomato galette a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one 12-inch pizza pan sized galette:
For the dough:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn meal
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed, frozen
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
8 ounces soft goat cheese or other fresh cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons sliced basil
For the rest:
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon
sea salt to sprinkle over the top once cooled, optional

- Bake at 425 F. for 30-35 minutes or until well browned. To be safe, place a foil-lined pan on rack under galette to catch any possible drips.
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