Upland Cress Salad by Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Chef Marcus Samuelsson
Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Meet Marcus Samuelsson. Born in Ethiopia, adopted to Sweden, and trained in France, Chef Samuelsson finally ended up opening his own restaurant in New York City. At 23, he was the youngest chef to ever receive a three star rating from the New York Times. Since then he has cooked state dinners for President Obama, written a book, opened 3 restaurants, launched two websites, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Today we bring you our favorite recipe from this accomplished chef, his Upland Cress, potato, herb, and asparagus salad. This delicious celebration of all things green is the perfect way to try out that new leafy green you’ve seen at the farmer’s market, as well as a chance to spend some quality time with Living Upland Cress. The addition of fried fingerling potatoes gives this salad a unique twist which is sure to delight your taste buds. Maybe your kids will even try it!

Here’s what you need:

Upland Cress and Asparagus Salad
Upland Cress Salad photo by Nicole Franzen
  • 1 bunch of Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress
  • 1 handful of chickweed
  • 1/4 pound of high quality mesclun mix(baby mizuna & mustard greens, sorrel)
  • 1/2 pound roseval fingerling potatoes(a reddish color fingerling, any fingerling would be fine)
  • fresh herbs (You can get still living herb from North Shore!)
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • parmesan(your favorite cheese)

Get the cooking instructions and the story behind this salad at Chef Samuelsson’s recipe page: http://bit.ly/10AKsBO.

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Chef Giada De Laurentiis Uses Live Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce

Chef Giada De Laurentiis

Chef Giada De Laurentiis is one of the most recognizable personalities on the Food Network, and also appears regularly on The Today Show. All but one of her 5 cookbooks have found their way to the New York Times best seller list, and she has starred in/created a number of very successful cooking shows.

With such fantastic qualifications we were thrilled to learn that Giada uses our Living Butter Lettuce! In a recent Today Show clip we spotted her grabbing a box of our delicious lettuce at Whole Foods while doing her daily shopping. You can check out the entire video by clicking here, or just check out the screen cap below:

See? We're not making this up!

What did Giada cook up with that head of our Living Butter Lettuce? Sadly, we can’t tell you that. What we can tell you, however, is that her website has a great recipe for a Butter Lettuce Salad with Parmesan Butter Crostini. To check out the recipe, click here: http://bit.ly/H8DPk0.

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Sara Moulton’s Favorite Cookbooks of 2011

Chef Sara Moulton
picture via twitter.com

Sara Moulton is a well known chef, author of many cookbooks, and hosts her own TV show, “Sara’s Weeknight Meals”. She recently appeared on Good Morning America where she presented her list of the best cookbooks of 2011. While we were disappointed at the lack of an all butter lettuce cookbook (just kidding), this list is certainly worth a look.

What sets this list apart is that it groups the cookbooks by categories such as “For the busy cook”, “For beginners” and “For the Man in the Kitchen”. Each cookbook is described in detail, making it easy to find the one that’s just for you, whether you’ve never touched a skillet in your life or you’re just looking to add to your skills. We’ve got you covered on the Butter Lettuce and Upland Cress recipes, but for everything else, there’s a book on this list that is sure to satisfy your tastes, whatever they may be.

To view the list, which is found on Good Morning America’s blog, just click here: http://bit.ly/sx4IfT. And for more about Chef Sara Moulton, you can visit her website by clicking here: http://bit.ly/cNAvPq.

Don’t forget, we want to hear about your recipes too! Drop us a line!
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Live Gourmet Chef Interview: Zach Hoffman

Lettuce tell you about Chef Zach Hoffman of Wilcox, Arizona who runs his own restaurant, called A Taste of Coronado. Zach posted about his love for Live Gourmet Butter Lettuce on our facebook page, and after checking out his awesome restaurant, we decided that we wanted to hear his story.

Here’s the interview:

What inspired you to become a chef, and did you always want to open your own restaurant?
My mother and my wife are what inspired me to become a chef. My mom is always in the kitchen, and, often as a child, I was her little helper. I didn’t become interested in the restaurant industry until I was 24. I was a Metal Spinner for a few years when I told my wife that I wanted to do something different for a living. I started going to college for an architecture degree, but it didn’t feel right. She said “What do you like to do that doesn’t feel like work?” I said, “Cooking, but cooks don’t make any money” Then, she said, “Chefs do. Find a great college and we’ll go from there”. I found Scottsdale Culinary Institute was one of the best in the country after doing some research online. Even though it was expensive, my wife encouraged me to pursue it. I have always wanted to own my own business because my parents taught me that the only money to be made in this world is the money you make for yourself.

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant, A Taste Of Coronado.
We are a small restaurant located in the beautiful tasting facilities for Coronado Vineyards which is off exit 344 of the Interstate 10 going through Willcox, Arizona. (Address: 2909 E Country Club) We are roughly an hour east of Tucson, an hour north of Sierra Vista, and an hour south of Safford. We lease the restaurant from the vineyard owners, Jacque & Mark Cook. We have amazing views from the windows of our restaurant, sort of a “diamond in the rough” feel.

I have a French Culinary Arts degree in Le Cordon Bleu, so I blend French & American styles. I like “Classic” French dishes and plate many entrees that way (Clean rim, no “frilly” garnishes). We set the tables formally along with nicely folded napkins. When the weather allows it, we have outdoor seating…

One of characteristics of the restaurant is that we like to create weekly specials of Fish, Soup, Entrees and Desserts. We strive to buy more and more organic and local food. We have started by purchasing food from local orchards like Apple Annie’s Orchard, local grass-fed beef and free-range chicken from Chiracahua Pastured Raised Meats and are buying more and more organic foods. I recently added vegetarian dishes and gluten-free notations to my menu too. We also have Local Willcox Appreciation Mondays where locals receive 15% off their dinners for just being a local patron. Kids eat free on Sundays and Mondays to promote a family-friendly atmosphere.

Running a restaurant is a lot of work! How have you balanced your personal life with running A Taste of Coronado?
What’s a personal life!? We are in the first year of the business, so I spend time with my wife and daughter when they are at the restaurant with me. And I have a couple of nights a week we are not open, but I normally use those times for sleeping in, marketing and business meetings.

Where do you draw your culinary inspiration from?
Georges Auguste Escoffier, one of the most inspirational chefs in French Cooking is a huge inspiration for me. His simplistic style is why I plate my food the same way. A few of the chefs from my work history inspired me in their own way too.

We love that you use Live Gourmet butter lettuce in some of your recipes. Can you talk a little bit about why you chose Live Gourmet and how you use it at your restaurant?
My wife purchased some Live Gourmet butter lettuce last year. She is picky about her salads and lettuce selection. She pointed out that the lettuce lasts much longer than bagged or head lettuce. After a couple of problems with the lettuce I was having delivered, I saw that Live Gourmet lettuce was available to order. I didn’t even hesitate; I ordered a case. I’ve always thought that butter lettuce has a wonderful flavor. I use it for my Grass-fed beef Cheeseburgers for brunch. I [use only Live Gourmet Butter Lettuce] for my house salads and César salads. There was even a week when there was a supply issue and the price dramatically increased, I never thought twice about keeping the same product. I love using this lettuce and hope you guys come up with more Live Gourmet products for me to use in the future. My favorite story to tell about Live Gourmet is that we had a freeze in February, for a week we were closed, the lettuce was still crisp and fresh for service a week later. I love this product.

Who do you admire most as a chef, and how have they influenced you?
Georges Auguste Escoffier and Alton Brown. They both wanted/want to learn as much as possible about food and culinary arts. Alton is an influence because he goes the extra mile to explain to non-foodies how & why you cook something a certain way. I do the same thing and have the same characteristics.

What has been your biggest achievement lately that you’re really proud of?
Besides owning my own restaurant, it would have to be: being the only person considered for a local Culinary teaching position. I love to teach cooking, [and] to be the only person considered for the positions is a great feeling.

What are some of your goals for A Taste Of Coronado over the next few years?
We plan to start ice carvings/ demonstrations of ice carvings in the near future, become an event destination place off I-10 in Arizona, open for lunches, and generally, be one of the best restaurants in Southern Arizona!

Do you know someone who you think deserves to be in our Chef Spotlight? We’d love to hear from you about it, or any other feedback you might have. Please connect with us, or leave a comment on this post.

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Live Gourmet Chef Spotlight: Chef James Sly

James Sly, chef and owner at Sly’s in Carpinteria, CA, has been working in kitchens for over 40 years – 20 in Santa Barbara alone. Chef Sly is wise in culinary ways and in 2008 he opened Sly’s with his wife Annie. Sly’s serves great seafood, steak, and cocktails.  Go to Sly’s for great food and great times, they are located at linden and seventh in Carpinteria, California (“the last great little beach town on the Central Coast.”)

Chef Sly also loves cooking with Live Gourmet lettuce and leafy greens, please enjoy his delicious recipe for Fredy’s Salad below.

Fredy’s Salad recipe by Chef Sly
Serves: 4

2 heads Live Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce
8 large cooked shrimp
2 roasted red peppers
½ cup cooked green beans
2 medium ripe tomatoes
4 oz. Roquefort cheese
2 ripe Haas avocados
8 strips cooked bacon
Optional: chopped Italian Parsley to garnish

1. Trim the roots off of each Live Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce. Rinse and shake dry. Cut in half and place each half on a serving plate. Sly’s uses very large shrimp; small bay shrimp would also work well.

2. Cut the shrimp in 1 inch chunks. Trim the ribs and stem from the roasted red peppers, and cut into large strips.

3. Cut the cooked green beans into 1-inch pieces. (In a pinch frozen green beans can substitute).

4. Cut the ripe tomatoes into 1 inch chunks.

5. Toss the shrimp, roasted red peppers, green beans and ripe tomatoes in Sly’s sherry vinaigrette dressing. (see next menu item below)

6. Pour equal portions of the vinaigrette over your four salads. Crumble the Roquefort cheese in large chunks.

7. Cut the ripe Haas avocados in 1-inch chunks. Warm cooked strips of bacon, and then cut
into 1-inch pieces.

8. Divide equally on top of the four salads. Toss with the chopped parsley to taste.

You can get more information about Sly’s here: http://www.slysonline.com/ and you can get Twitter updates here: @slyscarpinteria

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Also read about Live Gourmet Chef Jill Silverman Hough to get her Mini Butter Lettuce Taco Salads recipe.

Live Gourmet Chef Spotlight: Jill Silverman Hough

Chef Jill Silverman Hough is a food writer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor whose specialty is making food and cooking simple, special, and satisfying. 

“A recipe doesn’t have to be complicated to be indulgent,” she says. “Sprinkle a roast chicken with lavender, substitute dried cherries for raisins in a batch of oatmeal cookies, serve grilled salmon on a bed of arugula—all these things take almost no effort, yet they’ll make your otherwise ordinary dishes taste and feel like fancy food.”  With a fresh, friendly, and encouraging voice and recipes that quickly and easily deliver casual elegance, Chef Hough makes creativity in the kitchen and delight at the table totally accessible to home chefs.

Her work has appeared in Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, Country Home, Clean Eating, and Napa Sonoma magazines. Her recent cookbook, “100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy with Wines You Love” was published in April 2011.  Chef Hough also loves cooking with Live Gourmet lettuce and leafy greens, please enjoy her delicious recipe for Mini Butter Lettuce Taco Salads below.

Mini Butter Lettuce Taco Salads Recipe

    •    2 6- to-7-inch yellow corn tortillas
    •    1/2 cup canola or other flavorless oil
    •    Salt
    •    1 head Live Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce
    •    1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
    •    8 ounces cooked chicken, shredded or cut into 1/2-inch dice
    •    1 cup salsa
    •    3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (see note)
    •    2 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced

Instructions: Cut tortillas into 1/4-by-1 1/2-inch strips. In a 10-inch skillet over high heat, heat oil until a tortilla strip added to the skillet immediately sizzles. Add remaining strips and cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until golden and crisp (use a slotted spoon to turn occasionally). Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and generously sprinkle with salt. Set aside to cool.

Remove 4 large outer leaves from Live Gourmet Butter Lettuce and arrange on plates to resemble taco “shells.” Shred remaining lettuce, dividing it among plates. Top lettuce with beans, chicken, salsa, queso fresco, scallions, and tortilla strips, dividing ingredients evenly. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Note: These first-course salads are topped with homemade tortilla strips. If you’re short on time, substitute crumbled chips. Queso fresco is a fresh, mild Mexican cheese. If you can’t find it at your supermarket, try a Latin market or substitute shredded Jack.

You can follow Chef Hough on Twitter: @JillSHough or get Facebook updates on her page: “100 Perfect Pairings” cookbook.

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