About chefcoffey

Certified Executive Chef with 30 years of culinary experience in the food service and hospitality industry, with a wide range of venues and talent. Experience includes: Extensive catering and private cooking for a variety of discriminating clients. Managing large hotel operations, restaurant and hotel start-ups, multi-unit food service operations, fine dining restaurants, high volume restaurants, culinary instructor, media chef cooking demos including radio talk shows and over 50 episodes of TV cooking demonstrations, cookbook author, award-winning recipes, national recognition as culinary presenter at a variety of culinary symposiums, member of the American Academy of Chefs, Bachelors Degree in Business Management. Specialties: A variety of cuisines with exceptional expertise in Mediterranean and American regional cuisines, menu writing, research and development, forte in taste and flavor profiles, fusion cuisine, culinary presentations, excellent communication skills, and cost management skills, certified instructor and proctor the ServSafe Food Safety Program. A long time advocate of the "Slow Cook" movement and sustainable food programs including Farm-to-table programs. Extensive work with farmers.

Recipe for Arancini

Note: This is a classic Sicilian dish, typically served with Pomodoro Sauce and shaved parmesan cheese
Yield: 18 Balls 6-8 Servings Prep Time 1 hour 50 min, Cook Time 50 min, Total Time 2 hours 30 min
Ingredients:
4 cups chicken broth
1.5 cups Arborio rice (Italian short-grain rice)
1 tsp celery salt
2 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted, chopped
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded Fontina cheese
2 tbsp. curly parsley, chopped
1 lb. Hot Italian sausage, cooked, crumbled (optional)
4 oz. Baby arugula
½ cup grated Parmesan
3 each eggs, well beaten
½ lb. Reggiano Parmesan cheese, whole
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 tsp Paprika
2 qts vegetable oil, for frying
Method:
1. In a 6-qt sauce pan bring chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat, add rice and celery salt. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove rice from pan when tender and spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cool completely.
2. Combine the pine nuts, parsley, mozzarella, and fontina, then set aside
3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and stir in the cooled rice, the parmesan and ¾ cup of the breadcrumbs, shape the mixture into 18 1-1/2” balls.
4. Put the remaining breadcrumbs and the paprika in a shallow bowl. Press your finger into the center of each rice ball and insert 2 teaspoons of the cheese mix. Then pinch the rice around the filling to enclose. Roll the rice balls in the seasoned breadcrumbs and place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
5. Heat 1” oil to 350o F in a large saucepan over medium heat, fry the balls until golden about 4 minutes, remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, season with salt and pepper, serve on top of Pomodoro sauce. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and fresh baby arugula.
Equipment Needed for Arancini

Slotted SS spoon
6-quart sauce pan
2-quart bowl
Wooden spoon
Peeler
Large SS bowl
Deep-Fry Thermometer (range 100o F – 500o F)
Shallow bowl
Parchment paper
Baking sheet
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Paper Towels
12” plastic film (Saran wrap)
6-quart fry pan
Tabletop fryolator (optional)

Recipe for Hard Boiled Eggs

Recpe for Hard Boiled Eggs
These eggs come out PERFECT every time no matter how many eggs you are cooking from 2 to 200 makes no difference. The technique is the same. The older the egg the easier they peel.
Note: As eggs age and get older their shells peel way easier than a young egg, and there is a scientific reason for that. After the egg shell’s protective coat wears off, the egg becomes more pourous. It releases some of its carbon dioxide, and absorbs more air. This makes the albumen more acidic so it does not stick to the inner membrane as well; which makes the shell peel a lot easier. I keep an eye on the age of my eggs and plan on hard boiling them when get old. Eggs have a shelf life of about 60 days from the time they are laid. The egg farmer has 30 days from the date they laid to getting them cartoned and to the market. The market can keep the eggs on the shelf for 30 days. So when they get older this is when to hard boil them!
. Yield: 8 Hard Boiled Eggs
Ingredients:
8 ea Eggs
2 qts cold water
1 tbsp. Salt
1 lb Ice
Method:
In a 4 quart sauce pan, place the eggs, cover the eggs with 1” of cold water and add salt. Place on stove on high-heat. Once the egg water comes to a rapid boil set your timer for 10 minutes, reduce heat a little until water is at a rolling boil, and continue to boil for 10 minutes. While the eggs are cooking; place your ice in a bowl with 1 quart of cold water. When your timer goes off, remove eggs from boiling water and immediately place cooked eggs in the ice bath for 6-8 minutes. Once eggs are cool, crack the eggs on a flat surface and peel. Rinse each peeled egg and place eggs in a container. They are ready to eat.

Gnocchi

Recipe for Gnocchi      courtesy of Brian M Coffey CEC, AAC        Copyright © 2020

Note: Gnocchi is an Italian pillow shaped dumpling made from potatoes, eggs, garden fresh herbs and soft cheese. They make an excellent accompaniment for any meat dish.  I serve them with garden fresh peas, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. On a personal note; gnocchi loves fresh ground black pepper. A great way to use up left over baked potatoes!

Yield 4-6 servings   Prep time: 20 minutes,   cook time 10 minutes, total time 30 minutes     Degree of difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

2              each      Russet baking potatoes, cooked leftover (preferably warm)

¼             cup         Ricotta Cheese (whole milk)

1              each      egg, slightly beaten

¼             cup         A/P flour

1/2         tsp          fresh leaf thyme

1              tbsp.      olive oil

1              tbsp.      brown butter

½             tsp          fresh squeezed lemon juice

¾             cup         garden fresh peas, cooked (optional)

1              tbsp.      freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1              tsp          zested lemon rind

1              tbsp.      chopped parsley or chopped scallions, or a little of both

Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:  Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes into a medium size bowl, add Ricotta, flour, and thyme, mix well and create a hole in the center and add egg.  Using a fork mix egg into potato mixture, once blended knead by hand into a dough ball, dusting occasionally with flour.  Cut dough ball in half and roll dough into cigar shape dough rolls. Cut into ½” pieces, press finger into center of each to create small pillows of pasta.  Place pillows into boiling water, stirring occasionally, and boil until the pasta rises to the surface, and boil for an additional 30 seconds.  Heat cast-iron skillet on medium high heat and add oil. Remove pasta from water and drain, pat dry and place immediately into cast-iron skillet, reduce heat to medium; brown on all sides.  Add the peas, lemon juice and brown butter, finish with zest of lemon and parsley. Top with freshly grated cheese, serve and enjoy!

Gnocchi dough may be made ahead of time and frozen for future use.  You can also substitute asparagus tips for the garden green peas when the asparagus is in season.

Coconut Fried Rice

 

By Brian M. Coffey CEC, AAC

Yield: 4-6 Servings      Preparation Time 30 minutes    Cook Time: 10 minutes     Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1              lb            White or Brown rice, cooked

1 ½         tbsp.      Olive oil

½             cup         carrots, chopped fine

½             cup         chopped scallions

½             cup         Red bell peppers, chopped

½             cup         Yellow bell peppers

½             cup         Orange Bell peppers

½             cup         Red onions, chopped

½             cup         coconut milk, unswetened

½             cup         green peas, ( I use frozen ones, and thaw them)

¼             cup         toasted coconut, shredded and unsweetened

1              tbsp.      Spice Mixa

Method:  In a deep cast iron skillet or Wok heat oil over high heat.  Once oil is hot add carrots and then red onions, stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 1 minute, add all the peppers and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the spice mix and blend thoroughly.  Move the vegetable mix to the sides of the pan making a hole in the center, add the cooked rice and toss the rice with the vegetable mix and fry the rice for another minute.  Add the coconut milk and blend completely.  Add the peas, scallions, and toasted coconut flakes, toss and serve.

 

a Spice Mix:

2          tsp       Tumeric

1          tsp       Cumin

1          tsp       Black Pepper

1/8       tsp       Cayenne Pepper (optional)

 

Recipe for Coconut and Garlic Shrimp

Note: This recipe is part of the “Cooking at Home series of budget friendly, easy, quick, and fun recipes for the whole family

Yield: 4-6 Servings    Preparation Time: 15-20 Minutes    Cooking Time: 5-7 minutes      Total Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

1              lb.            U16-20 Shrimp, thawed

1 ½          tbsp.        olive oil

1              tsp           sesame seed oil

1              tbsp.        spice mix*

2              oz.           brandy (optional)

2              tsp           lemon juice

2              oz.           Marsala wine (can substitute Sweet Vermouth or Sherry)

3-4           tsp           butter, salted

¼             cup          Persillade (chopped parsley and chopped garlic) a               

2              tbsp.        Toasted Coconut, Shredded (unsweetened)

2              tbsp.         Chopped Scallions

 

Method: Thaw the shrimp overnight or under cold running water.  Blot shrimp with paper towel to dry. Arrange shrimp on plate or platter and sprinkle spice mix on one side.  Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, once pan is hot add both oils, coat bottom of pan, add shrimp seasoned-side down.  After one minute turn shrimp over and add brandy, flame the brandy to evaporate the alcohol, squeeze in lemon juice, and add Marsala wine.  Remove shrimp from pan and add butter, stirring constantly until butter sauce bubbles.  Add the Persillade and blend thoroughly.  Remove from heat and plate shrimp, top with butter sauce, and serve.

 

a Persillade is a culinary term for fresh chopped parsley and fresh chopped garlic.

                Recipe:  Mix ¼ cup of fresh chopped parsley with 2 cloves of chopped garlic, and ¼ tsp of kosher salt

 

 

Stocking your home pantry

Be prepared to STAYHOME!                                      April 8th, 2020

 

It is crazy how much life has changed in just a few short weeks. According to the health officials the next two weeks are going to be brutal as the virus spreads in the New England states especially New Hampshire and Maine.  Let us all do our part to help slow the curve.

 

With everyone sequestered to STAY HOME to help slow the spread of Covid-19 it is important to have a well-stocked pantry and a plan for how to use everything you have so you don’t waste food. For those that do most of the cooking divide some of the preparation into activities that your family members can help with.  As a chef and father I know that time in the kitchen with family can be fun and creative. Here are our suggestions for what to stock and what to cook for the next few weeks.

The list below covers a lot of ground, but isn’t exhaustive. Don’t feel like you need to stock up on everything. If your family doesn’t ever really eat yogurt or frozen shrimp, no need to stock those items. Double up on the items that you DO eat regularly so you know you’ll have good food choices for the coming days and weeks.

Remember that you need to account for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plan your shopping list and recipes accordingly!

 

Remember when you shop for groceries only pick up and touch items you are going to purchase.  PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS BY WEARING AS MASK.  Leave as many groceries as you can outside for a few days before bringing them into your home, and wash everything.  Remove items from paper and cardboard packaging when possible.  Wash all produce before use and wash your hands before and after you touch the food you and your loved ones are going to consume.

FRESH FOODS with long shelf-lfe

These items should keep for at least two weeks or more in your fridge or pantry. Also, remember that you can buy many fresh foods and freeze them for later, like berries and many vegetables, or turn them into freezer foods, like freezer burritos and casseroles.

 

 

 

DRY PANTRY ITEMS

 

    • Raisins
    • Cranberries
    • Pineapples
    • ginger

 

FREEZER FOODS

 

Maple Glazed Bacon

Recipe for Maple Glazed Bacon with walnuts

Author: Brian M Coffey CEC, AAC

Prep time: 5 minutes  cook time 10 minutes  total time 15 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients:

4-6      ea       Rashers of thick cut Applewood Smoked Bacon

½         cup     pure maple syrup

½         cup     Chopped walnuts

Method

In a cast cold cast iron skillet place bacon, place on medium heat and cook for approx. 9 minutes or until bacon is golden brown, turning bacon occasionally to keep it cooking evenly.  While bacon is cooking in another skillet over medium high heat reduce Maple syrup by half its volume. 

Remove bacon from heat, blot with a paper towel, and dip into maple syrup and glaze each piece. 

Placed maple glazed bacon on plate and sprinkle with chopped walnuts and serve.

Chicken Pot Pie

Recipe for Chicken Pot Pie                              by Brian M Cofey CEC,AAC

Yield: 1 Pie in a #8  cast-iron skillet

Time: 40-45  min preparation time, 30 min cook time; total time 1hr:15min

Ingredients: (for pie filling)

2              ea           6oz chicken breast, cooked and cut into ½” cubes.

1              cup         onions, small dice

1              cup         Carrot, small dice

1              cup         celery, small dice

1              cup         potatoes, medium dice

1              cup         peas, frozen

1              pint        half and half

1              cup         chicken stock

2              oz           a/p flour

2              tbsp       olive oi

4              tbsp       butter

1              tsp          thyme leaf

1              tsp          celery salt

2              tbsp       parsley, fresh chopped

½             tsp          black pepper

1              tsp          Dijon mustard

½             tsp          Worcestershire

¼             tsp          Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Method:  Preheat oven to 4000 F.  In a #8-  12” cast-iron skillet on medium heat add olive oil and butter, once hot add carrots, and onions, stir with wooden spoon, when carrots start to brow add celery and potatoes, and continue to cook until celery is cooked, about 8-10 minutes.  Add flour and mix thoroughly, slowly add chicken stock until thick, stir a lot.  Once bubbling, slowly add cream, stir. Add peas and continue to stir, add rest of ingredients, stir and reduce heat and simmer for 5 min.  Allow mixture to sit.  Place pie crust over top (pie crust should be 13” In diameter.  Crimp the crust too the edge of skillet, brush with melted butter, cut 4 vent holes, place on ridged cookie sheet and bake for 30 min, until crust is golden brown.   Remove form oven, rest 5 minutes and serve.

 

 

 

 

Red Pepper Fritatta

Recipe for Roasted Red Pepper, Leek, and zucchini fritatta

 

Yield 6-8 servings                                                                                 by Brian M. Coffey CEC,AAC

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium red bell peppers
  • 2 leeks, white only, cut into ¼” rings, washed and sliced in half
  • 1 zucchini, washed and sliced into half moons
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp leaf thyme
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • ½ cup light cream
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp Tabasco

Method

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly drizzle 1 tbsp of oil over leeks and bell peppers, coat completely.   Place on a rimmed baking sheet, season with salt. Roast peppers and leeks for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until softened and skins blister a little. Let cool slightly. Peel and remove seeds from bell peppers, then cut flesh into 1/4″strips.

In a SS bowl beat the eggs and add cream, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco.  Add the raw zucchini, season with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Reduce oven temp to 400o F.  Then in an 8″ cast-iron skillet; wipe the inside of the skillet with salt and 1 tsp of oil with paper towel.  Heat pan on stove to med-high heat and add the rest of the oil about 1.5 oz.  Once the oil is hot add the egg mixture, stir with a wooden spoon around sides and add the grated cheese.  As the bottom starts to cook, place the skillet in the oven for 20-25 minutes until top is golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 6-8 minutes. Serve warm with buttered cornbread.

.Do Ahead: Bell peppers and leeks can be roasted 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Remove from refrigerator when you start prepping other ingredients so that they’re not fridge-cold when you combine them with the eggs.

 

Easy Poached Eggs on Toast

Recipe for  Poached Eggs on Toast

                                                                                 By Brian M. Coffey CEC, AAC

Note:  1. Eggs should be purchased as fresh as possible from a reputable supplier.  Farm fresh eggs are the best, as eggs age once the egg farm cartons them. Once the egg is laid the farm has 30 days to carton the eggs.  The supermarket is allowed to keep the eggs on the shelf for 30 days.  Check the “USE BY DATE”. 

  1. You can poach multiple eggs at a time.

Servings: 2-4      Prep time: 10 minutes       Cook Time: 3 minutes       Plating time: 2 minutes          Total time: 15 minutes

Degree of difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

2-4          each      fresh eggs

2              QT          water

2              tsp          salt, for water

1              tbsp.      white vinegar (optional)

2-4          each      slices of toast

2-4          tsp          butter (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:  In a 3 qtr. stainless steel sauce pan add the water and salt, and bring the liquid to a steady 180oF.  Crack the eggs on a flat surface and place the cracked eggs onto a small plate.  Remove any runny egg white by straining the eggs, so that only the tight egg white around the egg is left (you only need to do this if the eggs are older).  Start your toast in the toaster.  Using a spoon create a vortex in the poaching liquid by stirring the water gently, then place the eggs into the slowly swirling water.  Using a slotted spoon remove any small pieces of egg white and foam from the surface of the water.  Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until the eggs float to the surface.  Remove the eggs from the poaching liquid with the slotted spoon, and blot with a paper towel.  Remove toast from the toaster and butter immediately.  Place toast on plate. Place eggs on toast and serve immediately.