The Quarantined Kitchen

Your Weekly Culinary Source

The Quarantined Kitchen shares ideas and recipes from Chef Steven Bright, Hospitality Coordinator at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 12, 2020: Jumbo Lump Crab Cocktail

Maryland blue crab season has ended, but now is the time to purchase jumbo lump crab meat by the pound!

Jumbo Lump Crab Cocktail

Makes about 8 servings

Ingredients

1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
½ c each: cucumber, plum* tomato, avocado, asparagus tips, diced small
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced, carefully
4 scallions, minced
Zest and juice of 3 fresh limes, about ¾ c
3-4 T good olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black peppercorns to taste
Cocktail sauce (optional)

Procedure

  1. Toss all (*any fresh tomatoes will do) ingredients gently together with 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil; salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Divide into 8 chilled cocktail glasses. (You can opt to place a tablespoon or two of cocktail sauce in the bottom of the glass before adding the crab mixture.)

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

August 5, 2020: Jumbo Lump Crab Beignet

Maryland blue crab season has ended, but now is the time to purchase jumbo lump crab meat by the pound!

Jumbo Lump Crab Beignet

Makes about 60 pieces

Ingredients

1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
½ c clam juice
¼ c evaporated milk
¼ t sugar
½ t instant yeast
1 ¼ c cake flour
1 egg
1 T butter, melted
1 ½ t black pepper
2 t salt
1/8 t celery seed
½ t red pepper flakes
3 scallions, minced
Zest of 2 lemons

Procedure

  1. Warm clam juice and milk to 105 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle yeast over clam juice milk mixture. Wait 8 minutes.
  3. Combine flour, egg, butter, seasonings, scallions, and zest.
  4. Add yeast mixture and gently fold in crab.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. Form 1-oz portions with a 1-oz scoop, fry in 315-degree oil until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
  7. Serve with chive yogurt.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

July 29, 2020: Pecan Pralines

Because of the molten sugar, this recipe can be dangerous! Be careful and enjoy!

Pecan Pralines

Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup light cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups pecan halves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a 3 – 4 quart saucepan, mix together sugar and baking soda. Add cream and place over medium-high heat. Cook, carefully whisking occasionally, until golden brown and mixture reaches 235 degrees on a candy thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully add butter, vanilla, and pecans, and mix together until butter has melted and mixture is well combined, about 1 minute. Using a tablespoon, drop mixture onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart; let cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

July 22, 2020: Lemon Herb Hummus

Try this simple and light recipe as an appetizer or TV snack!

Lemon Herb Hummus

Makes about 1 ½ cups

Ingredients

1 15.5-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1 large clove garlic
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
2 t tahini
½ bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 t ground cumin
Warm water and extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste

Procedure

  1.  In processor, add beans, tahini, garlic, zest, cilantro, and cumin. Pulse a few times.
  2.  With processor running, add lemon juice, then alternate warm water and olive oil.
  3.  Open processor and scrape down sides, season with salt, and continue processing, adding oil, water, and additional lemon juice to your desired taste and until very smooth. About 2 minutes.
  4.  Enjoy with fresh vegetables, fresh pita bread, or toasted pita chips.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

July 15, 2020: Honey-Lemongrass Ice Cream

This smooth, refreshing custard takes two days, but is well worth every minute!

Honey-Lemongrass Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients

2 stalks lemongrass
1 vanilla bean (split and scraped)
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
8 each egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 to ½ cup honey (more for sweeter, less for more refreshing)
Pinch of salt

Procedure

  1. Snip the lemongrass stalk to remove any leaves, leaving only the thick bottom portion of the stalk. Crush it with a meat hammer on a cutting board, and cut it into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Combine this with the milk, cream, vanilla, and half of the honey.
  3. Combine the yolks, sugar, and salt, and beat well with a whisk.
  4. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and beat half of this mixture into the yolks (to temper the mixture). Put the rest of the milk mixture back on the heat, turn it down to medium, and beat in the tempered yolk mixture.
  5. Cook while constantly scraping the bottom and sides of the pan until the mixture thickens slightly. DO NOT BOIL.
  6. Remove from heat and add the remaining honey. Pour into a stainless-steel bowl set in another bowl of ice, and stir until cool.
  7. Refrigerate this overnight to allow the flavor to ripen – this is important! Note: If your maker has a bowl that needs to be frozen – now’s the time to make sure it freezes for at least 24 hours.
  8. Once ripened, strain the mixture and churn in your ice cream freezer until the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Freeze until firm.
  9. Enjoy!

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

July 8, 2020: Pork Chop Marinade

Great on beef too!

Pork Chop Marinade

For 4 to 6 chops

Ingredients

¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup 0live oil
¼ cup vinegar (white)
¼ cup ketchup
1/8 cup brown mustard
1 tablespoon honey (or brown sugar)
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly minced parsley
1 teaspoon freshly rough-chopped oregano
1 teaspoon pepper

Procedure

  • Combine all ingredients in large plastic zip bag – then add pork chops.
  • Seal to remove air and massage bag to coat chops evenly.
  • Marinate in refrigerator overnight.
  • Remove to room temperature 1 hour before grilling to an internal temperature of 155.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

July 1, 2020: Lemon Posset

Another light and refreshing winner for your recipe books!

Lemon Posset

Makes 6 (six) 4-oz. portions

Ingredients

2-2/3 c cream
2/3 c sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

Procedure

  • Simmer cream with sugar 3 minutes while stirring.
  • Remove from heat, stir in juice
  • Pour into serving cups and chill overnight
  • Serve plain or with berries and whipped cream

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

June 24, 2020: Pavlova

Looking for something to do with egg whites? This dessert is cool, refreshing, and perfectly light for summer!

Pavlova

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 large egg whites (about 4 oz.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F*. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. With a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar in 2 additions, beating for 30 seconds between, then continue beating on high speed until glossy stiff peaks form, about 2 more minutes. The peaks should be stiff enough that you can hold the whisk upright and the peaks won’t move. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 1 more minute. The peaks should still be very stiff. If not, keep mixing on high speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cream of tartar and cornstarch.
  3. Spread the pavlova mixture into an 8-9-inch circle. You can create a shallow bowl shape with the back of a large spoon. Make sure the edges are relatively tall and there is a nice dip in the center.
  4. Place pavlova in the oven. *As soon as you close the oven door, reduce heat to 200°F. The pavlova will stay in the oven as it cools down to 200°F. Bake until the pavlova is firm and dry, about 90 minutes total. Rotate the baking sheet if you notice some spots browning. Try to limit how many times you open the oven as the cool air will interrupt the baking.
  5. Turn the oven off and let the pavlova cool inside the oven. Once the pavlova is cool, you can store it covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days, or serve right away.
  6. Once cool, top the pavlova with whipped cream and fresh berries. Slice and serve.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

June 17, 2020: Chocolate Pots de Crème

Cool, refreshing, and satisfying – it’s French chocolate pudding!

Chocolate Pots de Crème

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 cups light cream
* ½ cup whipping cream (garnish)
4 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped or frozen/grated
9 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate – coarsely chopped

Directions

Position your oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Combine the 3 cups of light cream along with 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer while you whisk. Stir in the ginger and add the chocolate and stir until it is melted and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the saucepan and let stand for 30 minutes.

Select a large bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks, remaining sugar, vanilla, and salt until it is well blended. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Strain the mixture into a large 4-cup measuring cup.

Place 6 pots de crème cups or small (6-8 oz.) ramekins in a large roasting pan. Divide mixture evenly between cups. Pour enough hot water in the pan to cover the sides of the dishes by half. Cover the pan with aluminum foil (or use pot lids if you have them). Place in oven and bake until the custard is just set around the edges, approximately 20 minutes. Custards will jiggle slightly in center third.

Remove the pan from the oven. Remove dishes from the pan and allow them to cool uncovered. Then, cover and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours and as long as overnight.

* Garnish: With the ½ cup whipping cream, whisk with ½ teaspoon sugar to semi-stiff peaks.

Enjoy!

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

June 10, 2020: Bacon Dijon Glaze for Scallops

Like scallops on the grill? You’ll love them glazed with the following recipe!

Bacon Dijon Glaze for Scallops

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

¼ # thick-cut bacon/small dice/fried until crisp/onto paper towel
¼ c honey
2T Dijon mustard
1t black pepper
2T butter/melted/browned
½ lemon’s juice and zest

Procedure

  • Brown butter/Strain solids
  • While still hot, whisk in honey, Dijon, pepper, and lemon juice and zest
  • Fold in bacon
  • Baste scallops during grilling. Drizzle with extra glaze before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

June 3, 2020: Four Helpful Hints and Hacks

  1. When picking onions at the grocery store choose a variety of onion sizes. Never buy the bag; instead, get just what you might need for a two-week period. At the store, remove any extra excess skins. Brush with hands to remove any fruit fly larva and never store your onions in the refrigerator.
  2. When grinding fresh pepper corns, add a half a bay leaf. Perfect for meats, fish, and vegetables!
  3. When choosing fresh limes, pick the ones with the smooth skins; they are the juiciest!
  4. When buying fresh ginger root, store in the freezer until ready for use. Grate ginger directly into your dish. Frozen ginger will melt right into your product. For even more ginger flavor, squeeze thawed ginger root to juice.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

May 27, 2020: Citrus Vinaigrette

Use this recipe to baste poultry and vegetables on the grill!

Citrus Vinaigrette

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

1 small shallot, cut in half
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 lemon’s juice and zest (about 1/8 c)
3 T orange juice (zest if you have it)
1 T honey
3 T sherry vinegar
2 t Dijon mustard
2 t kosher salt
2 t black pepper
1 ½ c quality olive oil or mixture of olive and grapeseed oils

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients except oils to a blender. Cover and pulse a few times, then blend on low speed. Slowly begin to add oil until incorporated and emulsified.
  2. Use on green, pasta, and potato salads, and also as a finishing sauce for grilled meats, fish, and vegetables.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

May 20, 2020: Thai Vinaigrette

I recently used this recipe as a fish vinaigrette for a crispy Barramundi filet, but it surely can be used on a Thai flank steak salad or any other sweet and sour dish.

Thai Vinaigrette

Ingredients

¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 T white vinegar
2 T fresh lime juice
2 t sriracha chili sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T each, fresh cilantro and Thai basil, minced

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Store in glass container in refrigerator, up to one month.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

May 13, 2020: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thin and crispy, yet chewy. This chocolate chip cookie recipe is a keeper!

Chocolate Chip Cookies by Chef Steven Bright

Makes 3 dozen

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, 1/4 cup water, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden brown 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to one week.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

May 6, 2020: Pasta Salad

As the weather is sure to warm up – this cool pasta salad recipe is sure to please!

Tuscan Pasta Salad alla Margherita

Makes 12 portions

Boil 1# Cavatappi (or other ridged pasta) just a bit past al dente; drain-remove to large bowl; cool slightly, then add:
¾ c. Balsamic Vinegar
1 ½ T. Honey
Zest of 2 Lemons – Juice of 1 – Toss together and set aside.

For Pesto, in processor or blender add:
8 oz. Fresh Basil Leaves
½ c. Quality Parmesan Cheese
½ t. Kosher Salt
½ t. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
¼ c. Toasted Pine Nuts
1 clove Garlic
1 ½ c. EV Olive oil

Vegetable Mixture:
6 Scallions – cleaned well/sliced longwise then crosscut thin
½ c. Red Onion – Julienne
1 ½ c. (oil-packed) Sundried Tomatoes – Julienne
2 c. Artichoke Quarters

Assembly:
Combine pesto with pasta mixture and vegetable mixture, then adjust with additional balsamic, honey, and parmesan to balance flavors.

Note: Prepare one day before serving for best result.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

April 29, 2020: Smoked Wing Dings

Should you find yourself with some downtime, and want to work on your food-smoking skills, here’s a great starter recipe!

Smoked Wing Dings

Makes 2 dozen

1 dozen whole chicken wings (or 24 wing dings)
1 t Garlic – minced
4 Scallions – white parts now – *save green parts for garnish
Zest of 2 Lemons
1 t Smoked Paprika
1 t Chili Powder
1 T Black pepper
1.5 T Fish Sauce or 2 t Salt
3 t Soy Sauce
2 T Honey
2 t Sriracha Sauce
4 t Dijon

  • Place all* in a large Ziploc bag. Seal and massage until evenly coated. Let marinate for 2 hours.
  • Slow smoke at 200 degrees for 2 hours (or 165 internal temp) or smoke 1 hour and finish in 400-degree oven. Or, fully roast in 400-degree oven 40 minutes.
  • *Garnish with green scallions.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

April 22, 2020: Chef Steven’s 12 Essential Freezer/Pantry Items

  1. Salt (kosher; sea; iodized; or fermented salt sources, like soy or fish sauce)
  2. Honey [agave, beet, or molasses (for a diabetic diet) raw or white granulated]
  3. Flour (or gluten-free rice or chickpea flour)
  4. Yeast (or frozen bread dough)
  5. Vegetables (frozen or canned)
  6. Fruits and berries (dried, frozen, or canned)
  7. Beans and lentils (dried, canned, or frozen)
  8. Grains (barley, farro, quinoa, bulgar, wild rice) and rice (long-grain, like brown or white; short-grain, like arborio or sushi; scented, like jasmine or basmati)
  9. Meats, poultry, seafoods, or plant-based protein (fresh or canned)
  10. Vinegar (white; red; cider; rice; or long-aged, like balsamic)
  11. Oil (olive, canola, grapeseed, nut, coconut, butter, or ghee)
  12. Chicken or vegetable Stock

With these staples in your pantry/freezer, recipe possibilities are infinite!

Each item listed has a shelf life; please take notice of expiration dates and treat items accordingly by using in a recipe or re-packaging and freezing.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright