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Archive | COOKS!



sage and pumpkin encrusted seitan


2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup tamari soy sauce
½ cup Dijon mustard
10 peeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a blender, mix all the ingredients until smooth.


1 pound seitan cut into large chunks
1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons finely minced fresh sage
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
3-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Pour the marinade over the seitan and refrigerate overnight. With a large knife, chop the pumpkin seeds to form a powder. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the sage and combine.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip the seitan chunks into the pumpkin seed mixture. (Note that most packaged seitan already has some liquid so the pumpkin seed mixture will stick.)

Sauté the seitan until lightly browned and crispy on both sides. Remove from skillet and drain well.


2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
¼ pound diced peeled butternut squash
¼ pound diced peeled sweet potato
1 sprig thyme
5 roasted garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick
12 ounces vegetable stock

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a baking dish, combine the olive oil, butternut, sweet potato, shallots, thyme, garlic, and cinnamon stick. Bake approximately 25 minutes, or until the butternut and sweet potatoes are tender. When done, remove the cinnamon stick and blend the mixture in a blender with the vegetable broth until smooth.

Serve the seitan hot with the sauce.

Serves 4

Courtesy of Chef Marty – Veg-A Vegetarian Seafood Eatery

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salsa picosa

2 tomatoes
1 cup roughly chopped onion
6 jalapeños
1 pat butter
1 ounce dried chile arbol
2 ounces olive oil
½ cup diced onions
¼ cup cilantro
3 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons salt

Place tomatoes, onion, and jalapeños in a saucepan with water to cover and boil until vegetables are soft. Drain and let cool slightly, removing the tomato skins and placing them along with the onion and jalapeños in a blender or food processor. Process until well combined and then pour into a medium-sized pot.

Melt butter in a sauté pan, add chile arbol and grill until slightly soft. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add olive oil to the sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Sauté diced onions and cilantro until the olive oil is infused with their flavors. Add to the pot with the other vegetables and simmer to combine flavors. Serve warm over huevos rancheros or refrigerate until ready to enjoy with tortilla chips.

Serves 4

Courtesy of Chef Julio Narez – mi Pueblo

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Burrito de Alegria

Use this delicious and healthful spread to make burritos or stuffed peppers. It’s good as a dip with organic tortilla chips, or just eat it by the spoonful!

3 cups raw organic sunflower seeds, soaked in water for 4 hours and rinsed
¾ cup organic lime juice
¼ cup organic nama shoyu
1 clove organic garlic

Place rinsed soaked sunflower seeds in food processor along with lime juice, nama shoyu, and garlic. Blend until smooth.

Burrito de Alegria

Spread Alegria Salsa on a whole-wheat tortilla and layer with fresh organic spinach, diced tomatoes, finely chopped red cabbage, diced red onions, and clover sprouts. Fold into a burrito and let your tummy fill with happiness.

Salsa serves 4 Burrito serves 1

Courtesy of Chef Salvadore Chava Ruiz – mi Pueblo

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raw cauliflower "couscous"

Florettes from 2 heads cauliflower
¼ cup raisins, soaked for at least
15 minutes
½ red bell pepper, diced
¼ red onion, chopped
½ cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and diced
1 carrot, shredded
Juice of 1 lemon
1–2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only
Small bunch cilantro, leaves only

Chop cauliflower until it resembles grains of couscous. Set aside.

Drain raisins and place in a bowl along with red pepper, onion, cucumber and carrot.

Toss with mix all veggies and raisins in a bowl along with the lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt to taste. Toss in the parsley and cilantro leaves and serve over the cauliflower “couscous.”

Serves 4

Courtesy of Scott Nuss – Guerilla Chef

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Greening the Hub


{xtypo_dropcap}I{/xtypo_dropcap}n the kitchen, often the central-most room of a home, the balance of beauty, function, and eco-consciousness is becoming increasingly important to homeowners. A conscious kitchen considers these elements, but most importantly meets its users’ lifestyle needs. “A kitchen should be designed to make your life easier and ultimately enhance your quality of life,” says Sarasota homebuilder Josh Wynne. Wynne is recognized throughout the country as a builder of custom “green” homes; he is also passionate about creativity in the kitchen.

Wynne’s zest for cooking is noticeable in the kitchen design of one of his most celebrated projects, the ‘Power Haus,’ in Lakewood Ranch. His clients on the project happened to share his cooking enthusiasm, and worked with him to create a space boasting a functional layout, top-of-the-line appliances, and low-impact finishes that will stand the test of time. These features, according to Chef Jeremy Hammond-Chambers, are reminiscent of a professional kitchen. As a housewarming gift, Wynne hired Chambers to christen the space with a seven-course dinner party. “When you are moving about the space, especially when cooking, it is nice to be able to maneuver but only take three or four steps to get from appliance to appliance,” Chambers commented, adding that the kitchen is “visually stunning.”

High ceilings with exposed cypress beams connect the main living area to the kitchen, creating a central hub for cooking and entertaining. During the day, natural light pours through strategically placed glazing; at night, warm, energy-efficient LED lighting takes over. A wall of accordion-style doors open to extend the space onto the patio and pool, showcasing a view of the beautiful hardwood preserve beyond.

A large center island containing a sink with built-in cutting board, hosts easy prep action and cleanup while also serving as a social gathering point for guests. The concrete countertops are local artisan-made and contain recycled material. The sinks were poured as part of the counter, providing an easily maintained seamless surface. The high-end refrigerator, dishwasher, and hidden microwave drawer are Energy Star approved, and the bright orange, professional BlueStar range burns efficient natural gas.

A unique aspect of the space are the cabinets, designed by Wynne and his team to resemble furniture. Scrap pieces of exotic hardwoods from a local wood shop were panel-pressed, then placed on stainless steel boxes, creating a rich look with underlying strength and durability. The exposed upper shelving provides easy access and highlights the homeowners’ beautiful serving pieces and utensils. The Power Haus’s sustainable features extend beyond the kitchen. Smart-home integration and a superlative HVAC system make the list, but most notable is the rooftop solar paneling, which at full capacity provides the home with more energy than it demands. The home is certified Florida Water Star Gold and FPL Build Smart. All finishes, including the drywall coating, sport mold resistant clay paint, are low- to no-VOC, providing clean indoor air.

Josh Wynne Construction recently won the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Outstanding Single-Family Home of the Year” award for the Power Haus. The home is recognized for having the highest overall LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) score in a new home and the lowest HERS (Home Energy Rating Systems) score ever recorded. For Josh Wynne and the satisfied owners of the Power Haus, green never tasted so good!

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Poultry bones, like chicken, duck, quail, turkey (or rabbit)
Vegetables (carrots, celery, corn, garlic, leeks, onions, parsnips, turnips)
Herbs (bay, parsley, sage, thyme)
Spices (cloves, juniper, pepper)

Simmer for 2–6 hours


Fish bones and shrimp shells from non-oily, white-fleshed fish. Bones must be impeccably fresh.
Vegetables (carrots, celery, corn, garlic, leeks, onions, parsnips)
Herbs (bay, parsley, thyme)
Spices (coriander, fennel seeds, pepper)

Simmer for 1 hour


Meaty bones and scraps (beef, bison, game, goat, lamb, pork)
Vegetables (carrots, celery, garlic, leeks, onions, parsnips, turnips)
Herbs (bay, parsley, thyme)
Spices (clove, juniper, pepper)

Simmer for 4–10 hours


Vegetables (cabbage leaves, carrots, celery, corn, leeks, onion, parsnips, turnips)
Herbs (bay, parsley, thyme)
Spices (clove, coriander, juniper, pepper)

Simmer for 1–2 hours

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pots on stove

Let’s Talk Stock


{xtypo_dropcap}O{/xtypo_dropcap}f all the fundamental kitchen staples, stock remains one of the most mysterious and myth- shrouded. But the fact that more people aren’t combining essentially two items, bones and water, to make a nutritious, simple and delicious cornerstone of home cooking is probably due to a vast underestimation of how easy it really is (and you don’t even really need the bones).

Begin by repeating this mantra during stock-making to declutter the mind and set yourself free: “It’s better than water. It’s better than water. It’s better than water.”

Any flavor that’s not off-putting, when incorporated into water, will add more depth to your cooking and create a base note in a soup, or a more visceral flavor structure to a sauce. This is primarily achieved by extracting flavor and gelatin from bones, then supplementing with vegetables and herbs. Start with the bones. We often use leftover roasted chicken bones or ham hocks to make stock, and traditionally, the leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass is used to make a stock (or gumbo). Any bones will do, but large bones, cut to expose the most marrow and surface area, will yield a richer stock. Stock does not have to be segregated—feel free to mix chicken, turkey and rabbit bones together, though bones from richer meats (like beef and lamb) should probably be kept together. Fish bones and shellfish scraps, like shrimp shells, marry well. If you’re buying bones, be sure to get highquality, pastured-meat bones from a reputable supplier. Feedlot toxins can collect in bone marrow, and the good stuff—grassfed meat bones from local ranchers—is inexpensive anyway.

Step 1. Gather your bones. Collect bones and meaty scraps over a period of time—freeze them until you’re ready to make a big batch of stock that will last a couple of seasons—or simply buy a few pounds of beef marrow bones or flounder bones.

Step 2. Select your vegetables. We use vegetable scraps in our stock. Of course, you can go to the farmers market and buy pristine, locally grown vegetables—or you can use onion skins, celery leaves, carrot peels and corncobs to stretch the nutrition and economy from your purchase with little noticeable difference. Herbs are good, too. A bay leaf is indispensible—especially a fresh one (or four)—but dried will do. Thyme is good, as is parsley. Amounts? Whatever you have on hand. In the spring, the stock we make contains young onions, sweet carrots and celery (or their skins and peels), and maybe a parsnip if we’re lucky. A more austere summertime stock uses corn, onion and garlic. In winter, cabbage leaves, green garlic, carrots and turnip peels produce a subtle broth that suits the season. The point is to use what you have and what’s in season.

Step 3. Choose spices. Black peppercorns add a peppery flavor. Experiment with Szechuan peppercorns, juniper berries (especially with poultry stock and meatless stocks) and the judicious addition of spices like clove and coriander. A little goes a long way. Do not salt the stock; consider it a blank canvas that can be painted later, as needed.

Step 4. Add water. Use filtered water, or water you would happily drink. Pack the bones, vegetables, herbs and spices in a large pot and cover with cold water by a couple of inches. A little wine can be added for a gentle acidity and richer color—opt for white wine with poultry and fish and red wine for meats. Go easy on the wine. In the stock, I mean.

Step 5. Simmer. Bring the stock to a simmer, not a boil. Do not boil the stock. Do not boil anything except pasta, for that matter. Simmer. That means a constant, gentle bubbling. As foam rises to the surface, carefully skim the stock to clarify it and develop a cleaner flavor. How long does stock cook? The answer is generally for as long as you can stand. If you only have two hours, then so be it. Four hours is great for poultry stock, but beef, game, bison and lamb can go longer. Fish stock needs only an hour at a simmer. Now your house smells great.

Step 6. Strain. Allow the stock to cool slightly, then strain it through the finest strainer you have or a piece of cheesecloth. Be careful—this is hot.

Step 7. Store. At this point, the stock can be reduced by further simmering until its volume is reduced by half or more. This reduced stock is stronger and takes up less space if freezer real estate is at a premium. Reduced stock may also be reconstituted with water to make the base for a soup. As is, reduced stock is perfect for pan sauces and gravies. It can be frozen in ice trays and then parceled out as needed—one cube of dense, meaty goodness at a time.


  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Vegetable


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1 cup Siesta Key Spiced Rum
6 eggs
2 additional egg yolks
4 cups whole milk
¾ cup heavy cream
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar and salt in large soup pan until thoroughly mixed. Continue whisking while slowly pouring milk in until completely mixed. Turn on stove heat to simmer. Whisk for approximately 30 minutes until the temperature passes 160 degrees.

Remove from heat and strain into large open topped pitcher, removing any cooked pieces of egg. Stir in rum, vanilla and nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Whip the heavy cream and mix completely.

Serve with grated nutmeg sprinkled over top.

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