Spinach & Salmon Pastry Recipe

Looking for a flavorful yet light brunch idea? Try this Spinach & Salmon Pastry recipe. I made it recently at a cooking demonstration class at Bloomingdale’s. It’s easy to make and delightfully delicious!

SPINACH & SALMON PASTRY

Ingredients

Spinach & Salmon Pastry

1-17.3oz Pkg Puff Pastry Sheets

½ lb Smoked Salmon

10oz Pkg Baby Spinach

1/3 Tsp Roasted Garlic Powder

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

3oz Feta Cheese

Pinch Sea Salt

Pinch Ground Black Pepper

Dill leaves

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Remove smoked salmon from refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes

Thaw Pastry Sheets (on a floured cutting board for about 20 minutes)

Chop Spinach (rough chop)

Combine olive oil, feta, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl mixing together using a fork

Add spinach and toss. Set aside.

Using a paring knife, cut each pastry sheet lengthwise along folded crease (yields 6 cuts total)

Then, cut each strip in two along the width (yields 12 cuts total)

Using a fork, prick each pastry cutout about 4 or 5 times

Using a pastry bush, brush each strip with cold water

Place pastry cuts on a non-stick sheet pan

Using a fork or gloved hand, spread spinach mix on pastry sheets, leaving space at the edges

Place sheet pan in the oven and bake approximately 20 minutes.

Using a knife, gently break apart salmon (brush with a bit of olive oil if desired)

Remove sheet pan from oven.

Using a small tong, place a good wedge of salmon atop each puff pastry.

Dress each puff pastry with dill leaves and serve

 

Servings: 6

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From Start to Finish

It’s been said it’s not how you start but how you finish. It was last Sunday, October 9th at about 11:30am when I began loading my truck to head to Short Hills, New Jersey. I was on my way to Williams-Sonoma to teach a cooking demonstration.

The rain fell steadily as my son Robert and I packed up to leave. It wasn’t long before we were on our way. As we entered the New Jersey Turnpike, the rain began to pour. It did so the entire ride. Right up until the moment we exited the highway. What was a continuous shower for over an hour, subsided into a light mist.

The parking lots around the mall were fuller than expected. We entered Williams-Sonoma to tens of busy shoppers.

Cabbage Confetti

Cabbage Confetti

I began staging the countertop near the stove. My theme was Falsetto Cooking Demo: Fall Flavors that Make Your Mouth Sing. The menu featured Cabbage Confetti, a flavorful dish made with green cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, fresh thyme, a few spices, oil and water. Also on the menu was Sesame Chicken, an easy-to-make savory, Asian-style dish. I also brought along a couple dozen of my Rum Cupcakes. I hardly ever leave home without them.

The ingredients were laid out, so too were serving platters, pots and pans, and everything necessary for a successful demo event.

The class got underway with much chopping, slicing, shredding and seasoning. As the flame kicked underneath the frying pans, the fragrant flavor of freshly prepared food found its way out and into the mall. Within a few toss of the cabbage the demo area was littered with onlookers.

I cooked and served cabbage, chicken and cupcakes to an uber-satisfied crowd.

A dreary and damp day had turned sunny side up. We walked out of Williams-Sonoma and into a blindingly bright Sunday afternoon. It was a remarkable day from start to finish.

For recipes, entertaining ideas and more, visit www.jadegrill.com or email flavors@jadegrill.com.

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Crafty Cooking with Beer

There’s a distinct taste that comes from cooking with beer. The depth of flavor is unlike any other; a robust and sharp finish.

Adding beer can add an extra twist to an otherwise OK dish. Dark beer especially smacks full of flavor; a nuanced punch that lingers long after the first bite. Personally, I’m partial to Guinness Extra Stout. But any dark beer will get the job done. Here are four satisfying ways for crafty cooking with beer:

Baked in Beer

Roasting chicken or pork in the oven? Dress in spices and herbs per usual, then replace the water you would normally add with a cup of beer. Baste with the juices about every 20 minutes. Not only will the roast be palatable but you’ll enjoy a nice browning to the skin or exterior of the meat from the constant wetting.

These Ginger Beer Short Ribs were seasoned with sea salt and ground pepper and slow-baked with Guinness Extra Stout and fresh sliced gingerroot for a savory and saucy rib dish.

Ginger_Beer_Short_Ribs

Stews with Brews

Cooking a stew using beer boils down to a heavenly one-pot wonder. If you own a slow cooker a bottle of beer is a great ally to have in the kitchen. Chicken, beef, pork and veal come alive when simmered with beer. Add an entire bottle and let slow cook for hours.

Beer-battered

Perhaps one of the more traditional ways of cooking with beer is to marinate in or dip in a beer batter. It’s still a great way to extract that awesome beer taste. Try it on not just chicken, but on any fried or deep fried dish.

Crafty Sauces & Spreads

Dips made with beer are some of the most appetizing. And it doesn’t require much to get it there. A cup of dark beer, simmered with tomato puree, mustard, and select spices makes for a delicious dipping sauce. Or a couple teaspoons added to a vanilla or chocolate frosting is a deep and decadent way to top off dessert.

Are you a crafty cook? Share your beer infused cooking techniques here.

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Peppy Seasoning Blend

‘Tis the season! No, not holiday cheer and deck the halls. I’m talking sugar and spice and everything nice!

This Peppy Seasoning Blend combines sweet, savory and a little heat for just the right amount of pep. Here’s what you’ll need:

 1/4 cup light brown sugar

 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

1/4 tsp. sea salt

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind red pepper into smaller flakes.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together red pepper, parsley, sea salt and brown suagr.

Peppy_Seasoning_Blend

 

Tips for Enjoying

Perfect on sweet potato fries.

Great dry rub for a rack of ribs.

Sprinkle on fresh-baked savory pastries for added flavor.

Make larger quantity, store in airtight container, and use as needed.

 

Comment & Share

Questions or comments post them here. But don’t be a Grinch! Share this season with friends and family!

Want more food and flavor this season? Visit JADE and learn how we can add the merry to your holiday events!

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Thanksgiving Made Over Easy

Decisions, decisions, decisions! What to do with all the leftovers after Thanksgiving?

A few years ago I received a call from my friends at FOX Philadelphia. They were doing a Thanksgiving Leftover Extravaganza and were asking a handful of area chefs to come up with creative ways to enjoy the remains of the holiday feast.

The premise was to create a dish using four traditional Thanksgiving foods: turkey, stuffing, mashed potato and cranberry. To make it interesting, each chef could add one secret ingredient of their choice. Watch as I rolled over these four holiday staples and my secret ingredient into a savory gourmet delight – all while having a little fun with my spicy cohort Mike Jerrick, Co-host of Good Day Philadelphia.

 

How cool was that? Thanksgiving made over easy!

Want more to savor this holiday season? Start with these Tuna Pastry Cups. They are inexpensive, easy to make and are a great first bite to the festivities. Be sure to include my Candied Sweet Potatoes & Raisins – a savory side even the pickiest eater will love.

For still more ways to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers post your questions in the comments section or email flavors@jadegrill.com!

 

Brought to you by JADE… Food, Flavor, Fun!

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Tuna Pastry Cups

Tuna_Pastry_Cup 2

The holidays are fast approaching. Oh what fun it is serving up something new and exciting. Lucky for you, your foodie and chief flavor head at JADE has you covered! These flaky and flavorful Tuna Pastry Cups are delicate and delectable all in the same bite. Why not spread some gourmet goodness this season?

2 Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed

2-4oz. cans Albacore Tuna in Water, drained

2 Tbsp. olive oil

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tsp. spicy brown mustard

2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

1/4 tsp. paprika

1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch ground black pepper

Puff_Pastry_Crinkle_Cutouts

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, add tuna, paprika, salt, ground pepper, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, olive oil and mix evenly. Set aside.
  3. Using a round, crinkle cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds from each pastry sheet. (Yields fewer for supermarket pastry sheets. Refer to Note below).
  4. Stuff cutouts into muffin pan to form 24 cups.
  5. Using a teaspoon, fill cups with tuna mix. Press gently with finger.
  6. Bake pastries until nicely browned.
  7. Remove from oven and let sit 3-5 minutes.
  8. Remove from muffin pan and serve.

Baking time: 18-20 minutes

Servings: 8
Puff_Pastry_Muffin_Filled
Note: This recipe was made using two large, restaurant-style puff pastry sheets. When using pastry sheets from your local grocer, substitute about 8 pastry sheets to yield 24 rounds. Recipe requires a 24-cup Nonstick Mini Muffin Pan (or two 12-cup pans) and a round cookie cutter (crinkled or plain). 

 

Tips & Techniques

When thawing pastry, remove paper underneath sheets.

Dust cutting board (or other surface) with flour to prevent sticking.

Frozen puff pastry generally thaws within 10-15 minutes.

 

These Tuna Pastry Cups present like crab but for a fraction of the cost and are the perfect appetizer to get your holiday party started! Visit www.JADEGRILL.com for more Food, Flavor, Fun!

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Brought to you by…

Have you ever been on television?

I’ve been fortunate to do it both live and taped. My television debut began about seven years ago shortly after starting my food business. I had contacted my local PBS station WYBE-TV channel 35 about hosting a show on Jamaican culinary tradition. I pitched the idea of The Pepper Pot, a 5-minute cooking series. With the help of a few friends I hosted and produced seven episodes.

WYBE would later undergo a rebranding. When the newly formatted station launched as MiND TV, The Pepper Pot: Curry Chicken segment was the first show that aired.

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Since then, I’ve made numerous guest chef appearances on FOX Philadelphia and NBC-Philadelphia, and most recently PHL-17 TV with Jennifer Lewis-Hall. Actually, you could say my first stint on network television was brought to you by PBS. As luck would have it, one of my pepper pot segments caught the eye of the planning editor at FOX-Philly. It wasn’t long before I was spicing this up with Sheinelle Jones, Anthony Gargano, Mike Jerrick and the rest of the FOX-Philly team. I even did a live segment on FOX representing Cabot Creamery. FOX lead to quite a few delightful segments on NBC with Bill Henley.

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This latest video, however, is a slightly different take. I produced this 3-minute clip recently as a special project. It’s not the usual recipe or how-to video as that was not the intent. The purpose was to produce a piece that highlights my cooking and on-camera skills while engaging the audience and viewer effortlessly.

Brought to you by Janet Davis, CEO, Executive Chef & On-air Talent.

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Working with Williams-Sonoma

As I sat at my desk outlining my fall calendar a few weeks ago it occurred to me how fortunate I am to be working with Williams-Sonoma. With two upcoming food events at the gourmet retailer, I began to reflect on how our collaboration began. So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share how it all came to be.

Our relationship is no accident. I had taught cooking classes at another chain store. After about three years, I decided to fold it into my own product offering as Pantry Parties – private, hands-on instruction in the comfort of the client’s home. So, I’d been there, done that so to speak.

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Seeking to establish my brand as a flavorful food venture- not merely a Jamaican one, I set my sights on a company whose name is synonymous with taste, quality, style and functionality.

If you’re a food connoisseur,           Williams-Sonoma’s high quality cookware, specialty products, gourmet foods, in-store culinary events and stylish home furnishings are familiar. And it’s not just passionate foodies; professional chefs are hot for the brand.

Not long after I formed my namesake JADE in the fall of 2013, I contacted the Princeton, New Jersey store to see whether they offered cooking classes and how I would go about getting on the roster. During our conversation I fired off my list of accomplishments – numerous television appearances on NBC and FOX, a cooking series on PBS, mentions in the local print press, having taught culinary demonstrations previously, and so on. They were impressed and we scheduled a meeting and site tour. I followed-up with an email, included the standard accompaniments – my resume, bio, head shot and media clippings.

We met, all went well and we booked my first cooking class. Thrilled about my score I wasted no time. I telephoned the flagship store at Columbus Circle in New York City. A similar scenario transpired. After a site tour the assistant manager and I discussed how we would incorporate my brand of flavor into the mix. Long story short, we settled on a date for demo number two.

My first demonstration was a success. So much so that by the time I reached out to the King of Prussia store the following Monday they were well aware of who I was and equally as excited about me doing a demo there.

Since then I’ve taught almost ten classes, in five cities and three states in under two years. I’ve loved every minute of it! And from the fact that they’ve invited me back numerous times – I think it’s safe to say they relish having me there too.

And that’s how the story goes!

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Candied Sweet Potatoes & Raisins

Although we can generally find sweet potatoes year round, they are synonymous with fall. There are a variety of ways to cook these root vegetables. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes for enjoying this savory super food. And as we inch closer to the holidays what better time to learn how to make this dish. It will undoubtedly make a great addition to your Thanksgiving and Christmas table!

2 lbs sweet potatoes

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 cup honey

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. water

Sweet_Potato_Slices

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and slice diagonally in half inch pieces.
  3. Lay potatoes in baking pan.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey.
  5. Cut butter in 4 and add to pan.
  6. Add raisins and water.
  7. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove pan from oven.
  9. Remove cover, spoon liquid over potatoes and bake uncovered an additional 10 minutes.

Candied_Sweet_Potatoes

Bake Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 4

 

Nutrient Note (Sweet Potatoes)

Two times the recommended daily dose of Vitamin A.

Has almost half the recommended daily dose of Vitamin C.

Good serving of dietary fiber.

No fat, no cholesterol!

 

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The Flavor of Fall

Summer hasn’t officially ended, but with Labor Day behind us and the weather already showing signs of cooling, I think we are well on our way to Autumn. The change in season ushers in much to delight in; fruits and vegetables in vibrant display, rows of apple trees ripe for the picking, hayrides through pumpkin patches, and the most fragrant of culinary herbs.

One of the things that bring me great appreciation this time of year is the peppy
glow of fall. To behold the leaves on the trees as they change color beneath the sun’s rays. The breathtaking view driving up the New York State Thruway – as I did in college – and seeing the warm hues of red, orange, yellow and brown as the trees slowly shed their summer green. The earthy fragrance of allspice mixed with cloves that awakes you each morning and lets you know, yes, it’s fall. For me fall just has a special way of coming to life. That’s the flavor of fall.
fall-foods-superfruit-redone

More than the vivid nature of the season is the food. Although you can find just about every eat year round in today’s global marketplace, nothing is as satisfying as enjoying it in season, at its due. Everything is better when it’s at its best. Pomegranate and cranberries are redder in color and richer in taste. Apples and pears are just peachy. Brussels sprouts and bok choy are crisper, and giant pumpkins serve up big, bold taste.

Oh, the dishes you can dig into this time of year. Soups, stews, compotes and cobblers rooted in home-cooked goodness. If there’s ever a season readymade for a hearty meal it’s fall. Chunky, chicken vegetable soup made with butternut squash, potatoes, carrots, turnip, and celery, and flavored with fresh parsley and thyme. And after dinner, a generous slice of Cranberry-Apple Pie or a heap of warm fruit compote to top two scoops of your favorite ice cream.

If home is where the heart is and there’s no place like home, fall is the season you get to come home. Welcome home.

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