National Cheeseburger Day at the Hot Stove Society

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ET demonstrating how to sear the perfect burger

Executive Chef Eric Tanaka celebrated National Cheeseburger Day at the Hot Stove Society last week by teaching folks how to make the perfect cheeseburger. Born and bred in LA, a major burger capitol of the US, ET, a self-described burger fanatic, has diligently eaten his way through this country’s burger joints and is now the guru of all things ground and served on a bun.

The class started by taking a look at (and a taste of) the 3 cuts of beef most often used for burgers: filet, chuck, and sirloin, and ET discussed the merits of each. Chuck is ET’s favorite cut of beef to grind for burgers because it’s a great mix of fat to meat.

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Filet, Chuck, and Sirloin, freshly ground

ET next demonstrated grinding each of the meats and the bowls of ground beef were inspected for color, fat, and taste.  Next up, the Umami burger.  Classmates were given some ground beef and an array of seasonings packed with the savory “fifth taste” of umami including: mushroom soy sauce, smashed anchovy, fish sauce, and pecorino cheese. Classmates were told to season half the meat with their own umami mixture and leave the other half plain. Then they seared both small burgers in hot saute pans over a bank of Hot Stove burners.  The classmates were showed how to build a crust on one side before flipping to the other side.

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Searing burgers in hot, hot, Hot Stove saute pans

Finally each classmate tasted the umami burger next to the plain burger to decide which one taste best.  (Hint: Umami won hands down.)

That was just the first segment of the class! ET also showed classmates how to make their own luxury DB Burger made famous by fancy French chef Daniel Boulud.  The DB burger has cubes of foie gras, shavings of black truffle, and chunks of braised short rib folded into the center of the ground beef before the burger is cooked. The last burger of the class was based on the Apple Pan Burger from the legendary Apple Pan burger joint in west LA.  This is the burger that ET used as a model for the ever popular Palace burger.  This burger was served with the special smoky onion sauce used on the burgers at Brave Horse.  ET demo’d these amazing burgers and the classmates got to make (and eat) all three of them!  The lucky people who attended this class are now certified burger experts! (That’s not all. Booze was served, too.)

If you haven’t had the good fortune to take a class at Hot Stove Society yet, you better hustle on over to the Hot Stove website here and take a look at the class calender!

 

September 25th, 2014 | No Comments »

Join us at SiFF Screening of the Breach and Save Bristol Bay

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Tom grilling wild salmon at a Salmon Chanted Evening fundraiser

Wild salmon are icons in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and they are a vital food source for the planet. This special screening of The Breach at SIFF Cinema Egyptian on Monday, October 6 at 6pm, presented by August Island Pictures, Jackaroo Pictures, and Tom Douglas, will both benefit SIFF and help save wild salmon in Bristol Bay.  For your $25 donation, you not only get to see this new movie about the fight to save wild salmon in Bristol Bay, but you’ll also have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with the film’s director Mark Titus and special guests including Tom Douglas and artist Ray Troll.  In addition, you’ll mingle with other guests while enjoying Tom’s delicious sesame roasted salmon in a bibb lettuce leaf with nuoc cham, carrots, and peanuts and a glass of beer or wine.

Bristol Bay is the world’s greatest wild salmon run. Period.

The Breach explores the journey of wild salmon and their precarious situation today as posed by the American river system in the Pacific Northwest and the proposed Pebble Mine.  Is there hope for the survival of the wild fish that remain and for the world’s most dynamic fishery?  Join us in the fight to save these ancient, iconic, and essential fish by purchasing your ticket here.

September 25th, 2014 | No Comments »

Grow: A Fundraiser for the Kids / by Kelsey Letcher, Dahlia Pastry Chef

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Dining at Camp Korey; Prayer flags made by the campers and their families

 

At Tom Douglas Restaurants, making a positive contribution to the community is important. In addition to participating in the large scale projects like the Croquet Tournament that benefits Food Lifeline or Salmon Chanted Evening which helps foster a thriving Victor Steinbrueck park in the Pike Place Market, each of Tom’s restaurant and bakery teams are encouraged to participate in a community outreach or charitable event that they are passionate about. The Dahlia pastry kitchen participated in GROW: a celebration for Camp Korey at Carnation Farms.

Located in the beautiful countryside of Carnation, Washington, Camp Korey is a “SeriousFun” camp dedicated to children and families living with serious life-altering medical conditions. It was founded by Tim Rose in 2005, and named in memory of his son, Korey Rose, who lost the battle with bone cancer age eighteen.

Camp Korey’s mission is “to honor the courage, strength, and determination of children living with serious life-altering medical conditions and their families; and to provide them with a safe, friendly, medically sound environment in which to simply have fun and be kids.” The camp is free to all campers and their families and provides a supportive environment with counselors, doctors, nurses, specialized food, medication, adaptive equipment, innovative programming, a comfortable place to rest, and all of the tools needed for adventure and growth. As an official member of Paul Newman’s SeriousFun Children’s Network, the camp serves thousands of children and families each year with week-long summer camp sessions, year-round Hospital Outreach (HOP), family weekends, young adult retreats, and more. Camp Korey, like all SeriousFun Camps, remains 100% free to all campers and families, relying on the generosity of the community for support.

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Autumn squash (Red Kuri) and pecan cake topped with whipped Delice cheese, caramelized apple, and thyme

GROW is an event to raise funds in support of Camp Korey’s programs. Celebrating for the sixth year in a row, GROW is a fun filled night of food and wine pairings, a Raise the Paddle auction, and special performances by campers. Nine Pacific Northwest wineries and restaurants were paired up to create a specially crafted bite to compliment a select wine. I participated representing the Dahlia Lounge with a little autumn squash and pecan cake topped with whipped Delice cheese, caramelized apple and fresh thyme. It was paired with a Riesling from EFESTE winery in Woodinville. A friend and former cook from Seatown and Dahlia Lounge, Shawn Iliff, was also there representing Dog Mountain Farms as their new executive chef. Executive Chef Brian Scheeher of Trellis Restaurant at the Heathman Hotel and his team provided the six-course dinner menu.

Camp Korey has an incredible three-acre garden where produce is harvested daily and healthy meals are thoughtfully created by Executive Chef Tana Mielke. Inspired by the wholesome goodness of farm fresh veggies, Tana provides breakfast, lunch and dinner for everyone at the camp taking special care to accommodate for the dietary needs and restrictions of each individual. Produce from the garden was used throughout the evening and as a key ingredient with each of the chef/wine pairings. I used Red Kuri squash and fresh thyme to garnish my cakes.

Chefs and winemakers who participated in the pre-meal pairings were graciously invited to join in the evening of festivities and enjoy dinner with the guests. My assistant and I were of course, thrilled to stick around.

The dining hall is located atop a huge hill at the top of Carnation Farm with a spectacular view of the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest at sunset. It was beautifully decorated with living centerpieces and colorful inspiring prayer flags made by the campers and their families. There were musical performances and a slideshow presented by the campers as well as heartfelt stories from parents that left many teary eyed. There were many generous guests in the audience donating amounts between $100,000 and $5,000. The whole evening was heart-warming and it felt great to be a part of it.

I look forward to volunteering at GROW again next year and participating in other Camp Korey events as well. It is a beautiful place with an inspiring mission that I encourage others to be a part of.

Camp Korey is always welcoming volunteers.
Please email jkitson@campkorey.org to get involved!
For more information visit their site http://campkorey.org

 

 

September 24th, 2014 | No Comments »

Dahlia Lounge Tote to Table Dinner

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Sous Chef Kyle Johnson created an extraordinary menu for the “Tote to Table Dinner” that took place at the Dahlia Lounge recently.  This dinner, focusing on produce from our own Prosser Farm, was a unique opportunity for the chef, the farmer, and the consumer to come together and enjoy glorious dishes like the Neah Bay salmon pastrami you see Chef Kyle preparing above. The salmon pastrami was served with Prosser Farm sour cucumbers, creme fraiche, and rye croutons.  Read the whole Prosser Farm post here.

September 16th, 2014 | No Comments »

Palace Beet Salad/ Norman Matt Broussard, Palace Line Cook

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I have been working at Palace Kitchen for a few weeks and can already claim Chef Desmond is a rustic genius. The dishes here are as honest as can be, from farm to table. This kitchen is filled with rock stars from the back to the front line, and it contains more heart/soul than a Coltrane jazz album. Art on a plate.

Everyone in here has a passion with a purpose, and when you dine here you can feel that. There is a reason why Tom Douglas is the best in Seattle.

Palace beet salad pictured above:

Marinated pink beets accompanied by plump nectarines, smothered with a spicy, velvety almond relish, topped with Prosser Farm‘s fresh basil.

September 15th, 2014 | No Comments »

Another Year, Another Dollar for Seattle Parks // by Eva Mrak-Blumberg

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Labor Day weekend marked our 5th Annual “Salmon Chanted Evening” fundraiser for Seattle Parks Department. We had beautiful weather—your typical late summer Seattle day. There was a gorgeous 3-masted ship docked in Elliott Bay as our background, and a wonderful host of volunteers who helped serve food to guests. This year, the event ran all day from 12-6 pm, and took an entire community to pull off.

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Joining in the fun this year, Blvd Park played a 3-person live bluegrass set. Over 400 people were served plates of Rub with Love salmon, donated by Orca Bay Seafood, and salads made by our chefs with produce donated by Charlie’s Produce and Merlino’s. Rachel of Rachel’s Ginger Beer joined us to serve up her delicious original ginger beer and mango tangerine flavor. Talking Rain provided additional sparkling  waters and sparkling ices for guests.  Pike Foundation set up a booth to show people the blueprints of the remodeling plans for their “MarketFront” campaign. And lastly, A Capella Joy sang in the latter part of the event, completing their set with a serenade to Tom of Sinatra’s “It Had to be You.”

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All in all, over $12,116 was raised for Victor Steinbrueck Park! Ever major and small downtown park has a community group that contributes to the success of each park, except for Victor Steinbrueck Park. As of now, these dinners are the only community involvement that engages and raises money for that park–and for that, we thank all of our volunteers, our team, our sponsors, and the hungry picnic-ers who helped create another successful event and raised money to maintain the beautiful and heavily traveled, Victor Steinbrueck Park!

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September 10th, 2014 | No Comments »

Get your vitamin ACE on with these home-brewed smoothies, juices, and mocktails!

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A few weeks ago, we asked Seattle Kitchen listeners and Tom Douglas Newsletter readers to send in their favorite home-concocted, most refreshing, favorite non-alcoholic summer drinks. We chose 6 winners and are including their recipes below! Each winner will receive a $25 gift card to Assembly Juice & Coffee. Thank you for you contributions!

 

Charisma Herrera’s “Sunshine in a Glass”

*Make sure to wash all veggies and store in cold fridge before preparation

1 medium-size carrot — cut ends and peel

1/4 of a large cucumber– cut in half (do not peel)

1 medium-size beet – cut ends and slice in 1-cm thick rounds

1/2 cup cilantro–cut ends

1/2 lemon

1 ice cube

Place a cold glass in the freezer. Place the carrot in your juicer. Grab a couple slices of beet and a bunch of cilantro and “sandwich” in between the beet slices. Adjust the size according to your juicer. Do this with all of your beets and cilantro. Now place cucumber halves in your juicer. Remove juice container and squeeze your lemon directly into the drink. Take your cold glass from the freezer. Place the ice cube into your small strainer and pour the juice over the strainer into your cup (the ice will make it a little colder as it runs over it). Use a teaspoon to remove blockage from your strainer if need be to keep the juice flowing.

 

Cara Hellings’ “Basil Rose Grapefruit Mocktail”

1 Tablespoon basil simple syrup

1 drop rose water

1/2-1 fresh squeezed grapefruit

Dash of club soda or sparkling water

Serve up or on the rocks!

 

Caroline Scott’s “AHHH Fruit of the Gods” Smoothie

In your blender, mix strawberries, raspberries, nectarines, cherries, pineapple and mango chunks. Drizzle in a little orange juice or pear nectar and enjoy!

 

Pamela Zoller’s “Berry Fresh”

3 cups watermelon (no seeds)

2 cups tightly packed whole strawberries

2 cups pitted dark charries, halved

Juice of one lime

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan (or other mineral) salt

Put everything through an extraction juicer, add salt, and chill. Makes enough for about 3 drinks. Serve chilled, no ice. (Also happens to be great topped with prosecco!)

 

Tonne Monroe’s “Day Started” Smoothie

This is the best way to get your ACE on (vitamins A, C, E)! Save the pulp after you blend- it makes a nourishing face mask for your skin!

Blend carrots, beets, ginger, pineapples, and kale (optional). Blend and strain into your cup. Enjoy!

 

Brent Roger’s Cold Melon & Peach Shooters with Serrano Ham Crisps

*Adapted from Pintxos Gerald Hirigoyen

Chilled melon and peach tastes like essence of summer. The melon variety changes the color and taste. Because there are just a few main ingredients, they all must be perfect. Cantaloupe, Crenshaw, Honeydew, and Canary melons are all good.

Makes 3-4 cups; enough for 6-8 shooters with a little leftover for breakfast.

1 ripe melon cut into large cupes (I use cantaloupe)

1 ripe peach, skinned and cut into cubes

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ancho or other chili powder–then to taste

Kosher salt, to taste

Piment d’Espelette for finishing

Combine melon cubes, peach cubes, and lime juice in a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth. Strain through fine-mesh sieve into a container, and season to taste with salt, chili powder, and Piment d’Espelette (When adding salt, keep in mind the ham is salty). Cover and refrigerate or place in thermos for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Pour the liquid into 8 small chilled glasses and dust each serving with Piment d’Espelette. Lay ham crisp on rim.

Ham crisps:

Place 3-4 pieces sliced serrano ham (about 1/16″ thickness) in a baking pan or skillet in a 225 degree oven for 80-90 minutes. Turning and blotting oil after 35-40 minutes. (Test crispness by cooling a small piece and checking for crisp snap). Cool on paper towels until ready to use.

 

We have beautiful melons growing at our Prosser Farm now, and being shipped to all our restaurants. What a wonderful recipe to try with them before summer is over! Thank you to all of our participants and their contributions!

 

 

 

September 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »

Does fat make you fat? Can fast food be revolutionary? Can you eat local in Fairbanks?

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Does fat make you fat? A new study financed by the National Institutes of Health may dispute the long held notion that dietary fat, particularly saturated fat, is harmful and will make you fat, according to this article in the New York Times.  The study suggests that by eating fewer carbs and more fat (with the exception of trans fat), participants  were able to both reduce their risk of heart disease and lose weight.  The individuals in the low carbohydrate group were allowed to eat mostly protein and fat, primarily foods with unsaturated fats like olive oil, fish, and nuts.  They could also eat some foods high in saturated fat like cheese, red meat and butter. The people in this group were also encouraged to eat vegetables and were allowed some beans and fresh fruit. Those who followed this low carb diet were able to reduce weight, reduce body fat, and lower their Farmingham risk scores, which calculates the risk of a heart attack in the next 10 years.  On the other hand, the people who followed a low-fat-high-carb diet did not lower their risk scores, and any weight they lost tended to be from muscle,not from body fat. One conclusion expressed by doctors such as Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of Tufts University (who was not involved in the study), is that “health authorities should pivot away from fat restrictions and encourage people to eat fewer processed foods, particularly those with refined carbohydrates.”

Can fast food be revolutionary? Daniel Patterson (Coi, SF) and Roy Choi (Kogi, LA) have teamed up to go into the fast food business with the goal of creating delicious food “with the heart of a chef,” according to this interview with Roy Choi in Eater.  Choi says their fast food concept, called Loco’l, will not be “Fast Food Plus,” in other words will not be semi-gourmet  food in a fast food format with higher quality but also higher prices such as Shake Shack, or Chipotle.  Instead, Loco’l plans to go “toe to toe” with uber popular fast food chains like McDonalds.  That’s why, though Choi says the Loco’l menu has not been determined yet, the cornerstone will be a 99 cent burger (though the meat may be cut with tofu and grains to get to that price point.) Choi says, of the dominance of fast food in society: “So the fact is, we’ve destroyed our whole eating culture and we’ve destroyed a lot of who we are as humans in America by the way we’re eating.  We poisoned basically the last two generations.” The idea of Loco’l is to give people the fast food they crave, but change things for the better little by little.  Who else is on board besides Patterson and Choi? None other than Rene Redzepi. For now, these three high profile celebrity chefs entirely comprise the board of directors of Loco’l.

Can farmers grow vegetables 200 miles from the Arctic Circle? Alaska imports about 95% of its food, and Fairbanks, located 200 miles from the Arctic Circle, has a short summer with frosts continuing into June and summer ending as early as mid-August. But according to this article in the New York Times, “advocates for local food are now pushing back against the widespread notion that eating food grown or raised in Alaska is impossible or too expensive.” The effort has been “boosted by a state program that is helping school districts buy local products, and food stamp incentives that are luring low-income shoppers to farmers’ markets,” and  “locavore warriors are teaching small farmers how to reach the public and consumers how and where to buy.”  Local products include salmon tamales for school lunches and cabbage and cauliflower as big as basketballs (from the long hours of summer daylight).  Don’t forget, there’s more here than cabbage: “in Alaska, local can also  mean wild, as in moose or seal meat.”

 

September 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »

Prosser Farm Tomatoes!!

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The Tom Douglas Restaurants are bursting at the seams with big, fat, ripe, juicy peak-of-summer TOMATOES!!  The heirloom varieties of Copia, Landis, Brandywine, and Goldie tomatoes from our own Prosser Farm are coming at us right now in all shapes, sizes and colors!  Read the Prosser Farm blog here to find out what the Tom Douglas chefs are doing with our favorite Prosser crop of the summer!

August 27th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Our Pellegrini Award Winners, Microbes, Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

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This year’s Pellegrini Award winners are…. (drumroll, please) our very own Tom Douglas and Jackie Cross!  According to All You Can Eat blog, this is the first Pelligrini award given to restaurateurs and the first to a couple.  Angelo Pelligrini was an Italian immigrant to the US who became a UW English literature professor, but his true loves were vegetable gardening, growing grapes, extolling the virtues of local and high quality ingredients, cooking straightforward, rustic meals to eat with friends and family, drinking wine, and writing a number of influential books such as The Unprejudiced Palate.  “I wonder what Angelo would think of me winning an award with his name tattooed all over it…” muses Tom, “I am truly inspired to carry forward his inspiring message. Angelo, you rock.” We say: Tom and Jackie, you rock!! Congrats!!

Ok, we’re getting used to the idea that we humans are happy hosts to all the beneficial microbes living in our guts, but are the little bugs actually running the show? Read this.

“Thirty-six year old Sandeep Byawali, who holds a job as a neuroscientist at UT, has a passion for the chemistry of baking,” says this article from The Austin Chronicle. Sandeep has been developing recipes for rustic breads using knowledge from “current research on dough science, natural leavening, and organic home-milled grains,” to create bread Claudia Alarcon, the author of this article, calls “the best I’d ever tasted.”  Now Sandeep is working on starting a community supported bread subscription with a few pick up locations around Austin.  Lucky Austinites.  I want to try those rye cookies with dark chocolate chips and bitters.

The Kitchn helpfully offers “10 pictures of your daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables” which will make you realize- you can do it!

Finally, one of the most gifted writers in the food blogosphere, Elissa Altman of Poor Man’s Feast, says farewell to the much loved Robin Williams with a poem by W.S. Merwin.

August 21st, 2014 | No Comments »