UT Culinary Blog

Chef Greg Demonstrates How to Build the Perfect Trifle of the Pousse Café on WBIR

Posted by University of Tennessee Culinary Program on Aug 16, 2016 2:00:00 PM

Join Chef Greg and UT Culinary student Rob Petrone as they demonstrate how to build the perfect Trifle of the Pousse Café on WBIR. Watch the video clip here. If you want to try it for yourself, the recipe can be found below.

Trifle_WBIR-1.png

Trifle of the Pousse Café

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 1lb Mascarpone cheeseTrifle_of_the_Pousse_Cafe.png
  • 6oz honey
  • Juice of 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, small diced
  • 1 cup fresh kiwi, small diced
  • 1 cup fresh Blueberries
  • 2T fresh mint chiffon
  • 2 cups Filo dough cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 6oz sugar, granulated
  • 3 shots of liquors, chef’s choice
 
Method

Gentle blend Mascarpone, honey, and lemon juice with fine whip. Reserve, keep cool. Combine strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, and mint. Reserve, keep cool. Melt butter. On a sheet pan, spread out Filo dough, drizzle butter, sprinkle sugar, and bake at 325°F in oven for 30 minutes or until dough is golden brown and crisp. Reserve at room temperature.

Building the trifle:

  1. Layer 2oz of cheese mixture with pastry bag in tall glass.
  2. Top with 1 shot of liquor.
  3. Top with 2 tablespoons of berry relish.

Repeat three times, then generously garnish top with crispy Filo dough.

 

More Recipes

5 Salad Recipes That Aren’t Just for Summer

3 Candlelit Dinners for the Perfect Date Night

 

My Guide to Choosing the Right Culinary School

7 Vegetable Cuts Every Cook Should Master

Posted by Chef Greg Eisele on Aug 9, 2016 1:00:00 PM

 

“Show me seven perfect, unique cuts and you’re our next Executive Chef.”

All that’s standing between you and the career you’ve dreamed about is a basket of assorted vegetables. Your performance during this skills test could be the difference between being sent to the kitchen and being sent home. So, how would you do?

If you’ve had very little to no culinary training, probably not very well. In fact, many people who have never experienced culinary school know only basic vegetable cuts, such as rough chopping, dicing, and slicing. How you cut a vegetable greatly affects a dish’s cooking time and its final outcome. In order to be more versatile in the kitchen, here are seven vegetable cuts you should master:

 

Rough_Chopped_Vegetables.jpg1. Rough Chop

A rough chop is the most basic vegetable cut. It produces pieces that are “roughly” the size of a large dice (3/4 to 1 inch) without the precision. If a recipe does not specify how a vegetable is to be cut, chefs will use a rough chop to halve and quarter to make the pieces smaller. Onions, bell peppers, and squash are vegetables commonly rough chopped, especially when preparing kabobs and stir fries.

 

 

2. DiceDiced_Onions.jpg

Dicing vegetables helps food cook more quickly and looks more. A dice is a cube cut made by slicing a vegetable vertically and horizontally to achieve a checkered pattern.

  • A large dice produces pieces measuring about 3/4 inch.
  • A medium dice produces pieces measuring about 1/2 inch.
  • A small dice produces pieces measuring about 1/4 inch.

Most recipes that call for vegetables usually ask for them to be diced; potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers are among the most common.

 

Minced_Garlic.jpg3. Mince

A mince is essentially a very fine chop that when performed on a vegetable (e.g., garlic) will resemble a coarse paste. Minced vegetables dissolve quickly and are perfect for cooking broths and sauces.

 

 

 

Sliced_Tomatoes.jpg4. Slice

Slicing a vegetable typically results in flat, round vegetable discs. This makes layering and stacking vegetables on top of each other easier, like when making pizza or lasagna. The thickness of the slice will vary depending on the recipe. For example, you’ll use a thin slice when making fresh potato chips and a thicker slice when making eggplant parmigiana. 

 

 

 

Julienne_Potatoes.jpg5. Julienne

Often referred to as the “matchstick cut”, a julienne is used in recipes like coleslaw, spring rolls, and wraps when vegetables need to be thin and elongated. A julienne cut produces pieces measuring about 1/8 inch x 1/8 inch x 2 inches. A fine julienne cut produces pieces measuring 1/16 inch x 1/16 inch x 2 inches.

 

 

 

Brunoise_Carrots.jpg6. Brunoise

The brunoise is essentially a julienne cut cubed. It produces pieces measuring 1/8 or 1/16 inch depending on the size of the julienne.

 

 

 

 

 

Chiffonade_Herbs.jpe7. Chiffonade

A chiffonade is most often used to slice leafy green vegetables or herbs that are to be stirred into a recipe or used as a garnish. To properly execute a chiffonade, neatly stack leaves that are roughly the same size roll the stack from stem to tip. Slice the roll lengthwise several times to create beautiful ribbons.

 

 

 


Knife skills and safety are two lessons you’ll learn during the early weeks of earning your culinary certificate through the UT Culinary Program, but that’s not all. Check out this blog post for more information about the program or register for a free information session here.

 

Cook Like a Pro in 90 Minutes or Less  

Knoxville Mercury Applauds UT Culinary Students for Creating Impressive Dishes

Posted by Chef Greg Eisele on Aug 4, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Knoxville_Mercury_Applauds_UT_Culinary_Students_for_Creating_Impressive_Dishes.png

Recently, our culinary students were challenged to cook and serve a gourmet Latin feast to 40-60 guests after only seven weeks of training. As both a chef and an educator, I want our students to excel for not just the love of food, but for the sake of education. Participating in an intense hands-on culinary training program like University of Tennessee Culinary’s 12-week certification course is the best way to do so.

To set the bar even higher, I invited Knoxville Mercury’s food connoisseur, Dennis Perkins, to taste and critique our performance.

For the main course, guests had the option of choosing between pork belly tacos with charro beans or a beer-mopped strip steak served with Mexican street corn. For dessert, dulce de leche cheesecake and pineapple rum empanadas were served.

This catering event was an opportunity for me to throw real life kitchen experiences at our students to teach them dig deep, think on their feet, and keep a level head. Would they crash and burn or rise above the flames?

Let’s see what Perkins thought.

It was in fact a pleasant dining experience—for the record, my steak was beautifully done. The meal itself was a success with bold flavors, balanced seasoning, and attention to textural variation. There was certainly evidence of the team’s training in the menu itself with a thoughtful mix of levels of service difficulty—a balance of items that required immediate cooking with things that could either be finished easily or quickly plated.

Although the entire meal was nice, there was one thrilling moment for those of us who chose cheesecake for our last course. It was a lovely presentation that featured an exceptional salted pecan crust, but what made it so very nice was a light garnish of Mexican oregano—its light citrusy tinge gave the sweetness a lift, and the meal a very nice finale.

Read more about his experience in the article he published here.

Whether you’re fresh out of highschool or ready for a career change, the UT Culinary Program is designed to give students the tools they need become successful chefs and successful businesses owners. As the only ACFEF Quality Program in Tennessee, this is our pledge. To learn more about our 12-week certification program, register for a free information session online or call Pam Quick at 865-974-3181.

 

Want to open your own food business?

FAQ: What You Need to Know Before Applying to Culinary School

Posted by University of Tennessee Culinary Program on Aug 2, 2016 12:00:00 AM

FAQ-_What_You_Need_to_Know_Before_Applying_to_Culinary_School.png

Food trucks. Gluten-free cooking. Farm-to-table restaurants. Fermented foods. These are just a few of many reasons cooking class and culinary education attendance has exploded over the past several years and continues to be a great career path for people of all ages and backgrounds.

If you're a foodie interested in culinary education, then you may be wondering what pre-qualifications you need to meet before you apply. Check out these frequently asked questions for more information.

 

What kind of educational background do I need to begin pursuing culinary education? Do I need previous college experience?

Every culinary education program has its own unique set of requirements, but most only require a high school diploma or GED to begin and some don’t require either.


What kind of work experience would be helpful before enrolling in a culinary education program?

If you're interested in starting a career in the food industry, you have to start somewhere. Culinary education programs are meant to teach you the skills you need to become a great chef, so no previous kitchen experience is required (although it doesn’t hurt either!) The most important thing you need is a passion for food, people, and learning.


How can I finance the cost of my culinary education?

Financial aid varies depending on the culinary institution. The UT Culinary program offers several different financing and payment options which you can learn about here. If you’re eligible for education benefits through the GI Bill, you can apply them towards your culinary certificate with little to no out of pocket cost to you.


What kind of job can I get after I graduate?

When you graduate with a culinary certificate, the world is your oyster! Become a food truck chef-owner, open your own catering business, or work your way up the corporate ladder as a sous chef. Discover more food business opportunities and the average salary for each in this blog post.

 

The UT Culinary Program offers a 12-week certification course that includes hands-on cooking and business management training. Our students are challenged throughout the duration of the program with real life challenges, such as catering a large dinner party or running a food truck during lunch rush. Upon graduation, you’ll have the foundation you need for a successful career the food industry. Learn more about our program by signing up a free information session or contacting Pam Quick at quickp@utk.edu.

 

Download Chef Greg's Guide to Choosing the Right Culinary School

 

A High-Paying Kitchen Job is Not Just a Myth

Posted by University of Tennessee Culinary Program on Jul 28, 2016 4:09:56 PM

A_High-Paying_Kitchen_Job_is_Not_Just_a_Myth.png

If you want a job that pays big bucks, flipping pans in a kitchen doesn’t seem like the commonsensical way to get there. But it can be.

When you think about what working in a kitchen looks like, a line cook who makes $10/hour is probably the first thing that comes to mind. If you’re looking to make a sizeable salary, you’re probably not very impressed. However, a line cook is only one of the many positions in a kitchen and still one of many more than can be found outside a traditional restaurant environment. If you love to cook, but are concerned that a job in the food industry will keep you from adequately providing for yourself and your family, keep reading. While there are certainly an abundance of low-paying kitchen jobs, a high-paying kitchen job is not just a myth. Here are some you might be interested in:

  • Restaurant Owner / Operator
  • Food Truck Owner / Operator
  • Executive Chef
  • Executive Pastry Chef
  • Personal Chef
  • Catering Chef / Manager
  • Food Stylist / Photographer

Click here for a brief job description and estimated salary for each position.

For most kitchen positions, the more time you spend doing what you do, the more money you’ll make. But what if you can’t wait 10-20 years for a salary that’s really only a couple thousand above entry level?

Two words: culinary school. There is something to be said about formal culinary education, and it’s not just the diploma you receive upon graduation (although that’s pretty nice too). Culinary school teaches you not just how to cook, but how to chef. It takes everything you might learn sweating for five years in corporate kitchens and condenses it into two years (or even just 12 weeks). Not only that, a well-rounded culinary school includes lessons in business management, food cost reduction, order inventory, menu planning, how to hire a great kitchen staff, and other things you would never be able to learn working your way up on the line.

With formal culinary training, you’ll be able to open your own restaurant, food truck, or catering business immediately after graduation. If the corporate world suits you better, you’ll have the skills you need to start as a sous chef, which can lead to numerous other high-paying career paths.

Sous_Chef_Salary.png

Find out what other factors can determine your salary as a chef in this blog post.

A kitchen job isn’t right for everyone, but if you love to cook and enjoy these other things, then it might be right for you. Don’t let the fear of poor pay keep you from pursuing your dreams. Learn more about how the UT Culinary Program can pave your way to a successful culinary career.

 

UT Culinary testimonials

The Ultimate Guide to Cake Baking

Posted by University of Tennessee Culinary Program on Jul 26, 2016 2:00:00 PM

The_Ultimate_Guide_to_Cake_Baking.png

From birthdays to weddings to after dinner desserts, cakes are the sweet treat that everyone loves. So much so, in fact, that cake baking has escalated from a homemaker’s simple pastime to the subject of popular television shows like Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes. If you’ve spent any time on social media, you’ve probably seen a baker’s dozen worth of cake pins or how-to cake recipe videos. While these cakes seem to come out beautiful every time, any professional cake baker will tell you that cake baking isn’t something you perfect overnight. For this reason, we’ve come up with a sweet and simple guide to walk you through the most important steps of cake baking.

Step 1: Read the Entire Recipe

Baking a cake is fun and exciting, but be careful not to get ahead of yourself. Reading the recipe from beginning to end thoroughly will prevent easy mistakes and keep you from making an extra trip to the grocery store for a forgotten ingredient.

Step 2: Gather Your Ingredients

Setting out all of the ingredients and equipment on your counter before you begin serves two purposes. First, it helps make sure you have everything you need prior to baking. Second, it allows ingredients like butter and eggs to reach room temperature, which is important when mixing a smooth and consistent batter.

Step 3: Preheat Your Oven

Preheat the oven before preparing the batter. A cake will not rise properly if the batter sits at room temperature while waiting for the oven to heat or if the cake pan is placed on the rack before the oven has a chance to reach the correct temperature.

Step 4: Prep Your Pans

In order to make sure your finished cake takes the proper shape and comes out of the pan smoothly, you need to prep your pans before filling them with batter. You can read two easy ways of doing this here.

Step 5: Mix Up Your Batter

How you mix the batter will depend on the type of cake you’re baking. For butter cakes, the ingredients will typically be combined using the creaming method. For sponge cakes, eggs are usually beaten and then folded in. Learn more mixing methods for different cake types.

Step 6: Test for Doneness

Now that your home smells heavenly, it’s time to see if the cake is ready. Using a small knife or cake tester, poke through the center of the cake. If only a few crumbs stick to the knife or tester, the cake is done. If wet batter appears, the cake needs more time in the oven.

Step 7: Cool & Unmold Your Cake

Once the cake is fully baked, it needs time to cool before you can frost or decorate it. How and when you cool and unmold your cake depends on the type of cake you’re baking. Most cakes are cooled on a metal rack for even air circulation, but some cakes like angel food and chiffon need to be cooled upside down to keep from deflating. Watch this video to see how to properly cool and unmold a traditional sponge cake. 

Step 8: Decorate Your Cake

Last but not least, finishing the cake! From fillings and frostings to glazes and powdered sugar, your options are nearly endless when it comes to decorating your cake. While cakes like pound and crumb cakes don’t require any extra embellishment, English-style layer cakes can be filled and frosted and then adorned with buttercream piping and hand-crafted marzipan roses. Watch this slideshow to learn how to frost a layered cake like a pro.

If you love baking cakes and other sweet treats, you might be interested in opening a bakery. The University of Tennessee offers a unique, hands-on culinary program that is designed to teach you the fundamentals of baking and business ownership in as little as 12 weeks. For more information, sign up for a free information session here.

Not ready for a 12 week course? Check out our cooking classes!

 

Cook good food. Be your own boss. It's what you want to do.

3 Military Skills That Will Benefit You in the Kitchen

Posted by University of Tennessee Culinary Program on Jul 21, 2016 1:30:00 PM

3_Military_Skills_That_Will_Benefit_You_in_the_Kitchen.png

Military experience provides veterans with valuable training and practical skills that are beneficial in a number of career paths. For those working in the culinary industry, these learned traits help veterans become strong chefs in a corporate kitchen or one of their own. Here are some of the military skills we’ve found to be the most useful.

1. Teamwork

Almost all military activities are performed with the coordination of other people or units, so when veterans begin working in the kitchen, teamwork comes naturally. Whether you’re a prep cook or the executive chef, looking out for others and supporting the weaker links is fundamental to keeping a kitchen in good health.

2. Cool Under Pressure

Military servicemembers are trained to function in stressful environments in a positive and efficient manner. While working in the kitchen can’t compare to field operations, this kind of level-headedness is helpful when rush hour strikes and you’re responsible for accomplishing ten different tasks in a matter of minutes.

3. Adaptable

While rules and structure are an inherent part of military life, last minute changes are not uncommon. All veterans have learned to adapt to any given situation at any given time. This flexibility allows one to meet the needs of a mission without compromise. As a chef, being able to quickly adapt will help you succeed when things don’t go quite as planned (i.e. running the kitchen shorthanded, malfunctioning equipment, food delivery mix ups, etc.).

If you think a career in culinary is something you’d like to pursue, but aren’t sure where to start, this blog post will get you thinking about culinary jobs you might love. If you already have an idea of what you’d like to do, a culinary program will give you the training you need to become a great chef, manage a restaurant, or open a catering business. Register for a free information session here or call Pam Quick at 865-974-3181 to learn more.

Are you eligible for military benefits?

Fill out this form to jumpstart your application process.

 

The Top 30 Most Bizarre Ice Cream Flavors

Posted by University of Tennessee Culinary Program on Jul 19, 2016 2:00:00 PM

The_Top_30_Most_Bizarre_Ice_Cream_Flavors.png

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! While these ice cream flavors might not make you scream, they’ll definitely make you scratch your head in bewilderment, thinking “Who’s idea was this?".

The_Top_30_Most_Bizarre_Ice_Cream_Flavors.jpg

 

novice chef

What Working As a Busboy Taught Me About the Restaurant Business

Posted by Chef Greg Eisele on Jul 14, 2016 8:41:59 AM

What_Working_as_a_Bus_Boy_Taught_Me-1.jpg

At the spritely young age of 14 or 15, I got my start in the culinary industry on New Year’s Eve working as a busboy in the famous Seventh Inn Restaurant in St. Louis. Although my position was one of the lowest on the industry’s totem pole, it paved the way to where I am today. As a busboy, I took advantage of my position and learned a lot. Below, I’ve listed a few of my takeaways so that maybe you can learn something from my experience as well. It’s never too early (or too late!) to develop your passion, especially when your passion is food!

1. Pay attention to your surroundings. You will certainly be surprised what you can learn by just watching.

Dish-stacking strategies to clear a table in seconds, the proper response to a customer’s complaint, and excellent communication kitchen (“Hot pan! Hot pan!”) are a few little things I picked up on by simply being aware. During a rush, look at who is doing what, and ask them questions later. Not only will a good chef answer them, he’ll be impressed at your initiative and perhaps take you under his wing and teach you a thing or two.

2. Work super efficiently. Get your job done and help the other kitchen staff. Executive Chefs love this!

I didn’t realize how much thinking on your feet and having a free hand benefited the overall well-being of the kitchen until I was a chef on the other end needing some assistance. You don’t even need to know how to cook to be helpful, you just have to take the initiative. Dry mopping a spill, grabbing clean plates from the dishwasher, or stocking ingredients as they run low can go a long way when the kitchen is putting out a fire or trying to keep times down.

3. Ask to taste the menu items, even if you just get the samples or the mistakes. By doing this, you’ll know what the dish is suppose to be.

When a recipe is duplicated over and over again without being tasted, you’ll never know if your version really matches the original. Taste-testing is the best way for your brain to understand how a dish is supposed to turn out. Even mistakes will help you distinguish right from wrong.

4. Learn early on that restaurant business is a team sport, not a solo event. People come first!

When you work in a restaurant, you rely on others to do your job better, regardless of your position. Focusing on your responsibilities is all well and good, but when you forget to look up, not only will you miss out on opportunities to grow in unfamiliar areas, you’ll miss out on opportunities to build relationships and long term bridges. Remember, we all need each other to be successful!

5. Be actively involved in the restaurant’s operations. Never imply, “It’s not my job.”

Anything you can do to enhance your customer's’ experience is “your job”, even if you don’t think the specific task asked of you falls under your job description. Not enough can be said about the willingness to work a number of jobs under a wide range of circumstances. The more flexible you are, the better. In the restaurant industry, those who take initiative and prove they have the drive to get things done right are the people who receive the promotions.

6. Most importantly, wear your passion on your sleeve!

Never keep your passion to yourself, because when you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll become an inspiration to others. Always try new things, expand your mind, and learn all you can. Share what you love with the people around you. In time, you’ll see that your passion is the fire that fuels your success. If you let it burn out completely, it’s very difficult to rekindle.

For me, cooking is more than just a hobby or a means to pay the bills. It’s my way of life. That’s why I’m a big proponent for culinary arts education. As the culinary director of the UT Culinary Program and the president of the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation, I help students from all walks of life discover who they were meant to be. If cooking is your passion and you want to learn more about how to become a chef and/or open a restaurant or catering business, I suggest registering for a free information session. There, I’ll tell you more about the program and what to expect before and after graduation.

 

Download Chef Greg's Guide to Choosing the Right Culinary School

5 Salad Recipes That Aren't Just for Summer

Posted by University of Tennessee Culinary Program on Jul 12, 2016 2:00:00 PM

5_Salad_Recipes_That_Arent_Just_for_Summer.jpg

Summertime is prime time for juicy fruits and crispy vegetables, but why limit yourself when you can eat them year-round? With these five salads, you’ll enjoy the taste of summer you love so much even when the snow falls.

1. BLT Salad w/ Buttermilk-Parmesan Dressing

BLT_Salad.jpgCraving the deliciousness of bacon but don’t want the carbs of a sandwich? With savory bacon, fresh tomatoes, crisp lettuce, crunchy croutons, and homemade buttermilk dressing, this salad is sure to satisfy.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cubed white bread
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 12 ounces romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted fresh tomatoes, sliced
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • Flat-leaf parsley and torn basil leaves to garnish

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Prepare Croutons: Toss together bread, melted butter, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Place on a baking sheet, and bake 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside.
  3. Prepare Dressing: Combine shallot and vinegar in a medium mixing bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in buttermilk and next 5 ingredients.
  4. Make Salad: Arrange romaine lettuce hearts onto a serving platter. Top with sliced tomatoes and chopped bacon, and drizzle with 3 Tbsp. of dressing. Add croutons, parsley, and basil. Serve immediately with remaining dressing on the side.

Erin Merhar and Dawn Perry, Southern Living JUNE 2016

2. Chicken & White Bean Salad w/ Citrus Vinaigrette

Chicken_White_Bean_Salad.jpgPerfect for picnics and potlucks, this zesty salad is quick to make and travels well. You can even make it ahead of time because it won’t wilt when dressed!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons country Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 (15.5-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (6-oz.) bag microwave steam-in-bag snow peas, steamed according to package directions and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 2 oranges, sectioned
  • 6 tablespoons roasted sliced almonds with salt

Preparation

  1. Whisk together orange juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, shallot, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; slowly whisk in olive oil.
  2. Add the chicken, cannellini beans, snow peas, purple cabbage, and oranges to the bowl. Toss the salad in the dressing until all the ingredients are thoroughly coated. Divide salad among 6 plates, and top each plate with 1 Tbsp. sliced almonds.

Southern Living JUNE 2016

3. Strawberry Salad w/ Warm Goat Cheese Croutons

Strawberry_Salad.jpgWith sweet strawberries and creamy avocado slices, this salad is much too good to eat only during summer.

Ingredients

  • 2 (4-oz.) goat cheese logs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 ounces mixed baby greens
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Strawberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
  • Garnish: dill sprigs

Preparation

  1. Cut each goat cheese log into 4 rounds. Gently press each round to 1/2-inch thickness on a baking sheet, and freeze 20 minutes.
  2. Place the flour in a small bowl. Whisk together the egg and milk in a second small bowl. Combine the panko, salt, and pepper in a third small bowl. Dredge goat cheese rounds in flour, dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko mixture until coated. Place on a plate, and chill until all goat cheese rounds are breaded.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium until hot. Add goat cheese rounds to skillet, and cook until golden brown on each side, 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. To serve, arrange salad greens on a serving platter; top with strawberries, cucumber, onion, and goat cheese croutons. Drizzle with vinaigrette, and garnish with dill sprigs.

Southern Living MAY 2016

4. Georgia Shrimp & Radish Salad

Georgia_Shrimp_Salad.jpgPairing shrimp with radishes? Whoever heard of such a thing? After tasting a salad this scrumptious, you’ll be glad you did.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds unpeeled, large raw shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon table salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 (4-oz.) watermelon radish, cut into fourths and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces D'avignon (French breakfast) radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced fennel bulb
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus a few sprigs for garnish

Preparation

  1. Peel and devein shrimp, and pat dry. Sauté in a very hot cast-iron grill pan over medium-high 4 minutes.
  2. Combine shrimp, olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together orange juice, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pour over shrimp mixture, and toss. Serve chilled.

The Southern Vegetable Book, by Rebecca Lang, copyright 2016., Southern Living MAY 2016

5. Melon & Crispy Prosciutto Salad

Melon_Crispy_Salad.jpgIntroducing a salad as diverse as your tastebuds! From honeydew, cantaloupe, or seedless watermelon, this salad can be built with any kind of melon your heart desires and come out tasty every time.

Ingredients

  • 1 (4-oz.) package prosciutto
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 10 cup loosely packed baby greens (such as arugula)
  • 1/2 honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1 (4-oz.) package feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

Preparation

  1. Arrange half of prosciutto on a paper towel-lined microwave-safe plate; cover with a paper towel. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until crisp. Repeat procedure with remaining prosciutto. Break prosciutto into large pieces.
  2. Whisk together mint and next 5 ingredients.
  3. Toss greens and chopped melon with vinaigrette, and top with cooked prosciutto, crumbled feta cheese, and chopped pistachios.

Caroline Wright, Southern Living AUGUST 2013

 

Cook Like a Pro in 90 Minutes or Less