Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Easy Entertaining-oven roasted organic dijon chicken

So the out of town relatives are staying by you for the holidays and from now till Chirstmas you need to prepare a few special meals? Effortless entertaining has never been so easy, my secret is oven roast_____ (fill in the blank). Roasting is such a simple, mess free solution to dinner party delight. I roast lamb, pork loins, short ribs, chickens, hams and turkeys. Roasts look beautiful, make the house smell wonderful and makes cooking for a crowd a cinch. Try my Oven Roasted Organic Dijon Chicken, it's  a sure fire hit

Oven Roasted Organic Dijon Chicken
1 (4-5lb.) organic chicken
1/4 cup of dijon mustard
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tbsp of paprika
2 tbsp of garlic powder
2 tbsp of black pepper
3 tbsp of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425
Combine mustard, oil and spices
Rub under skin and massage into bird
Roast chicken 1 hour and 45 minutes or until juices run clear (may be shorter or longer depending on your stove)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Butternut Squash with Pineapple and Slivered Almonds- Perfect sides

I was making my favorite but usual Butternut and Dried Cranberry side dish last night. I don't know about you but I'm starting to come down with a case of the winter blues so I decided to give my squash a summer spin by adding canned pineapples and almonds for crunch. Fantastic!  The pineapples caramelized beautifully with the squash and the crunchy almonds just took my dish to the next level. This is a great recipe to try out when you're snowed in or just looking to add a twist.
Jen DePalma's Butternut Squash and Pineapple Side
1 lb of cubed butternut squash
1 cup of all natural canned pineapple plus the juice
2 tbsp of brown sugar
2 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Combine all ingredients and place in casserole dish (cover tightly with foil wrap)
Bake 20 minutes, remove foil and cook 10-15 minutes more until golden brown
Bon Appetit!
Combine all ingredients

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Master Chef Try Outs this Saturday NYC

Think you have what it takes to be the next Master Chef? Want to win $250,000.00 plus a cook book contract? Master Chef try outs are hitting New York City this weekend (12/10/11 &12/11/11)  at 135 West 52nd street.
You better get there early doors open at 10am but contestants are usually spotted by 5am! Be sure to bring your signature dish and I repeat, I repeat only amateur cooks apply. If you have a a culinary degree(like yours truly) you will be disqualified otherwise I'd be a shoe in!

Want to learn to cook like a Master Chef? I offer private cooking lessons to NYC startign at just $250, email couturechefs@yahoo.com for details.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve

Hey Folks,
Yours truly has been MIA the past two weeks prepping for one of the biggest holiday's known to the industry.  I'm brining birds, rolling pie crusts and mashing potatoes till there's no tomorrow. I'll be back on Monday with tons of tales from the private chef.

In the meantime if you have turkey day questions, just email me at couturechefs@yahoo.com
Have a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cupcake Bath Bombs- Now Taking Orders

Chef Jen DePalma is now taking order for the hottest craze in event favors, Cupcake Bath Bombs. These sweet and fizzy bath treats are the perfect party take-away. Email me at couturechefs@yahoo.com for ordering info.

Homemade Beef Stew

The crisp days of fall are here and there's nothing like coming home to a steaming bowl of homemade beef stew. With the help of my pressure cook this three hour dish is done in almost 30 minutes! A pressure cooker uses steam to cook at super high temperatures and the steam creates a moist heat which helps tenderize tougher cuts of meat. If you're unsure which cut of beef to buy for stew asking your butcher what he has on hand is always the way to go.

To my pressure cooker I add in 1 pound of beef (cubed), organic carrots, celery and onions ( mirepoix, the fancy french term), yukon gold potatoes, tablespoon of tomato paste, beef stock, red wine, half a head of fresh garlic and two bay leaves- I seal the lid and when my pot begins whistling- dinner is done!

Chef Jen DePalma is now offering home cooking lessons to NYC, learn the secrets to making simple to spectacular suppers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sushi Samba, Park Avenue South

I stopped in Sushi Samba last night and just had to gab to you about the Yellowtail Tacquitos I tried. Imagine a crispy, crunchy flavorful taco stuffed with fresh yellow tail,a burst of lime, avocado and a tangy BBQ sauce that just pulls the whole dish together - this combo is surely going on my catering menu!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Traditional Apple Pie

17 days left until Thanksgiving! I thought this is the perfect time to post my favorite recipe for traditional apple pie. You know, the homestyle chunks of apples, sweet and tart with a hint of spice. I like using 3-4 tablespoons of tapioca pearls instead of flour to thicken my filling. The tapioca gives the filling a smoother texture and I believe it binds better. Use golden delicious apples for the best tasting results.

Chef JenDePalma is now booking corporate parties and holiday catering:email couturechefs@yahoo.com or call Chef Jen at 347-585-1057

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Celebrate the Sweeter Moments with Driscolls -11/4/2011

This Friday I will be live in the studio to Celebrate the Sweeter Moments with Driscolls. What a fantastic event this is going to be starring Chef Rick Rodgers food writer, cookbook author and guest chef (the man does it all). You can be a part of this fabulous event and tune in virtually by registering here: driscollsmoments.eventbrite.com

These are a just a few of the fabulous recipes Chef Rick Rodgers will be debuting:

Roasted Acorn Squash w/Raspberry Sauce
Eggnog Panna Cotta with Balsamic Raspberries

Holiday Berry Belinis
 Check out www.driscollsmoments.com for more info on this festive and fabulous holiday berry event!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1 Sale a Day website- The Ninja for $29.99

Hummus made in Ninja
Folks 1 Sale a Day, has the Ninja Master Pro Prep for only $29.99 today!!! This is a $119.00 item, what a deal! The Holidays are right around the corner and the Ninja is one very useful gift, it's BPA free too!

 In my Ninja I make hummus, it's great for crepe batter, use it for easy fresh salsa, perfect for smoothies or blending up soups and sauces- I can go on for days. I will say the quality of the parts is so-so, the plastic on one of my blades began peeling after just a few uses. Luckily, my set came with three different blades so now I'm down to two.

At $29.99 this is sale you won't want to miss!
P.S.- I'm not here to advocate for 1 Sale a Day but when I see deal, it's my job to let you know!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday Sauce

The best part about Monday, is the leftovers from Sunday. Sunday for me and the rest of my Paisanos means a nice early dinner of sauce, pasta, Italian bread, good red wine and of course meatballs. I make two different kinds of sauce a regular marina (meat free) and a 4 hour slow cooked meat sauce.
4 Hour Meat Sauce (short ribs & meatballs pictured)
If you go fishing in my pot of meat sauce you can pull up a hot Italian sausage, meatballs, short ribs and spare ribs. The sauce is full bodied, loaded with cabernet sauvignon, fresh garlic and the savory flavors of the slow cooking meat. It's a four hour process and cooked down on a low and slow flame. A meal for the body and soul and a passed down tradition you're family is sure to love.

Love what you see? Want to learn my secret recipe? I now offer cooking classes to the tri-state area- Great Italian Meals, French and Fabulous, Asian Fusion, Cooking for Kids, we can even personalize classes just for you!
email couturechefs@yahoo.com or call Jennifer at 347-585-1057 for more info!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mushroom Alfredo Tortellini- Batchelor's Kitchen

I think everyone should know how to make one impressive pasta dish. My simple Mushroom Alfredo Tortellini is an easy entertaining recipe your sure to love. There's only 4 ingredients in the whole dish-canned cream of mushroom soup, tortellini (of course), Parmesan cheese and butter. The flavor is fabulous!

Chef Jen DePalma offers private cooking classes in your very own home (NYC & 5 boroughs). Learn how to cook easy and healthy recipes and forget about take-out! Lessons starting at just $250.00 (plus cost of ingredients), email couturechefs@yahoo.com for more info!

Mushroom Alfredo Tortellini
1 can of  cream of mushroom soup*
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of butter
1 lb of cheese tortellini
Cook tortellini according to directions, set aside
heat mushroom soup in saucepan- bring to boil
add in Parmesan cheese and butter, stir to combine 1-2 minutes
Toss sauce with tortellini and Enjoy

* to make a low-fat or fat-free version of this recipe substitute 99% fat free cream of mushroom soup

Monday, October 24, 2011

Private Chef Services NYC, Jen DePalma's Catering

Hey Folks, it's fall in NYC and boy have the burners been on full flame this weekend. It's dinner party season and Jen DePalma's private chef services have been cooking up a storm! Here's a few fancy dishes prepared for this weekend's special events by Chef Jen DePalma :
Fresh Lobster Salad

Warm Crepes stuffed with Mascarpone & Grand Marnier Cream topped w/ Berry &Chambord Compote

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin & Sage Tortellini with Crispy Pancetta

Pumpkin & Sage Tortellini with Crispy Pancetta

(1) pound of cheese tortellini
(1) 16 oz can of pumpkin puree
(2) tablespoons of butter
(5) sage leaves thinly sliced
(1/4) cup of heavy cream
(1/4) cup of pinot grigio
(4oz) of pancetta
(1/2) cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
Parmigiano Reggiano for shaving

Cooking Directions

Cook tortellini according to directions, drain and set aside

Dice Pancetta and saute in a large skillet over medium heat
When pancetta is crispy remove from pan and set aside
Add in butter and sage, cook 2-3 minutes
Deglaze with white wine, cook 4-5 minutes until reduced
Add in pumpkin, heavy cream,  pumpkin pie spice,salt, pepper, sugar and chicken stock
Toss with tortellini and shaved parmigiano reggiano
Bon Appetito

Snug Harbor Italian Harvest Festival

I would like to say thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday to The Italian Harvest Festival at Snug Harbor. What an amazing event showcasing the postive contributions of the Italian Culture. Here's some pics:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chef Jen DePalma Live cooking demo 10-15-11 at the Snug Harbor Italian Fall Harvest Festival, Staten Island

Happy Fall, friends! I am honored to announce I will be doing a live cooking demonstration this Saturday October 15th at the Snug Harbor Italian Fall Harvest Festival. This is going to be a fun filled festival embracing the Italian Culture and their contributions to the Arts and Humanites.

Come out and learn how to make my favorite fall dish- Tortellini with Pumpkin & Sage Cream Sauce, an easy entertaining recipe that's healthy. You will get to experience my new line of carrot & cheesecakes which are now available for delivery!

Venetian Carnival face mask painting, Learn a thing or two about wine making and fill your face with canolli's from the Cake Chef, there's even going to be a live rock concert with the lead singer of Journey- Steve Augeri!

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens
1000 Richmond Terrace Staten Island, NY 10301
Admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors & children, 5 & under free

Monday, September 26, 2011

Private Chef NYC- Jen DePalma's Catering at Work

Jen DePalma's Catering was hard at work this weekend serving up posh and perfect cuisine. Actually the biggest hit of the weekend was the Vegan Chocolate Shortcakes , you would not believe this fanciful dessert is vegan!

If you haven't experienced the luxury of hiring a private chef, you have no idea what you're missing. It's quite the experience to have a private chef come to your home and prepare five star meals for you and your friends to enjoy in your own dining room. No stress to impress just pure elegance. Here's a few snapshots from this weekend's dinner parties:

Braised Short Ribs, Roasted Garlic Potato Puree , Root Vegatable Puree with Pan Jus

Vegan Choclate Shortcakes with Vegan Vanilla Creme and Warm Dark Choclate Sauce

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jen DePalma's Catering

Hi Folks, since winning Rocco's Dinner Party on Bravo Tv  things have really taken off here at Jen DePalma's Catering. I apologize for the lag in posts I have been making it up for it in the kitchen! I thought you guys would love a sneek peek at some of my latest dinner party dishes!

Pan Roasted Halibut with Kalmatas, tomatoes, wilted greens and balasamic reduction

Dark Chocolate Souffle with Creme Chantilly and fresh berries

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Braising Short Ribs

Recently, Jen DePalma's Catering has been receiving requests for short ribs. Short Ribs the most succulent, tender piece of beef you may have ever tried- when cooked right. My first thought was "it's too messy for an elegant dinner party", my second thought was  "it's absolutely delicious". I've worked with short ribs many times before, I have a tried and true plating method for this classic bistro dish.

Short ribs are a labor of love, mine are done over a 2 day process. First a hot marinade is poured over the seared beef  then once cooled they are left to macerate overnight, only to be braised the following day. Have you ever been to someone home while there is a braise in the oven? Sorry, Yankee Candle my braised short ribs may just put you out of business.  Take a sneak peek at my secret recipe:

Lil' beauties

So it begins

18 minutes later

Amazing Braising

2 days later and worth it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

N.Y.C. Earthquake

How can I call this NYC Cooks if I don't talk about the biggest thing to hit NYC- literally. Yesterday in NYC we felt the tremors of 5.9 scale earthquake, it was like nothing I have ever experienced. I was sitting in my office when I felt my chair shaking, shaking hard. At first I though I was dizzy, next wondered if my office was possessed? Don't judge me this is NY, we don't have earthquakes! Then I look out my window and hear in the streets people just as confused as me going, what the hell was that an earthquake? Without a moment to spare I jumped on Facebook and Twitter (we all know that's where the real news happens), sure enough friends and fans we're experiencing the same thing! I though it was a coincidence yesterday post was about lobster tails and life's indulgences, I think we should indulge far more often because tomorrow is never promised.
After the dust had settled, I got to thinking- how many things did I put off because I 'm, too tired or I'll just do it tomorrow? How many places have I wanted to visit and just tossed it up to "one day" . Make today that "one day". Last night instead of lounging around because it's a weeknight and I have work in the a.m., I decided to take my mom and nephews to Coney Island for some rides and games just because!

Coney Island has really cleaned itself up and us Brooklynites are lucky to have a famous landmark in our own backyard. First stop, Nathan's for some hot dogs and cheese fries. Then off to Luna Park for a few games and some rides. To top off the night a long stroll on the boardwalk embracing the summer breeze. Carpe Diem, my friends.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lobster Tails 1,2,3

I can't think of a more indulgent food than lobster tails, it's so glitz and glam. You wouldn't believe how many emails I receive from readers' asking for suggestions on cooking these lil' guys. I have a method that's filled with flavor and fuss free.

Take four lobster tails and beginning at the tail, make split downward. Using your fingers stuff the the crack with butter, fresh herbs a squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper. Place into a preheated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until bright orange. Serve with mashed potato, rice pilaf, orzo, egg noodles (you get the hint). Most of all.. ENJOY!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Thompson LES

Today I had a business meeting at one of the sexiest hotels in NYC, The Thompson LES. The decor is slate, dark and the essence of Gotham City. I absolutely love the plush black velvet couches and glass chairs in the lounge. It's the perfect spot to hit you're in the mood to go for a drink. .The rooftop lounge is ultra sheik, has a clean feel and stunning view of the Bowery. As soon as I publish this post, I am making reservations for an overnight trip- The Thompson LES  my kind of place.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Creamy Mac & Cheese

Hey fans, your favorite contributer has been MIA working on my latest cookbook, coming this fall. Yesterday, I was feeling under the weather and in desperate need for some food tlc. I was so in the mood for the ultimate comfort food- creamy mac and cheese. I have no idea how boxed macaroni and cheese came to be because really you only need a few obvious ingredients, macaroni, cheese, butter and cream. I only use medium size shells becuase I just adore how the creamy cheese gets lodged inside and bursts when you bite down.

I think everyone has there own interpretation of mac and cheese. There are those who love the crunchy top and those who don't (like me). There's gourmet versions drizzed with truffle oil (fantastic) and those who still swear by Velveeta. Depending on my mood  I can go either way although I still to this day have never tried Velveeta cheese. I was in a down home authentic mood this week and just wanted good ol' fashioned creamy mac and cheese no crunch, no truffles no chunks of lobster- just soul satisfying goodness. What type of Mac and Cheese-er are you?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Emerilware Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle Review

One of the first items I added to my bridal registry was this Emerilware Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle. You've seen these fancy grills on all the hottest cooking shows, they just slide it over two burners and presto you have an indoor grill or flip it over for a griddle. It's genius!

After seasoning the pan a few times (I'll save the art of seasoning for another post), I began testing out the item. The first time I cooked four pancakes at once and five slices of bacon. I loved being able to cook all the pancakes in one shot. It was great to sit and have breakfast with my husband the whole time enjoying our meal and not running back and forth to flip pancakes.

Last night, I cooked three, twelve ounce ribeyes and one pound of shrimp all at the same time. Totally fabulous. The cast iron gets really hot and puts a nice sear on the meat. The shrimp just basked in the flavors rendered by the rib eye, so succulent.

I've only been using the griddle side, I find the grill side is just way too much work to clean. Particles get stuck in the grooves- sorry I just don't have time like that. The pan is very heavy so be really careful when you're picking it up it has to weigh at least 6 -8 pounds. So far, So good- keep em coming Emeril!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rocco's Dinner Party Recipes by Jen DePalma- Perfect Summer Party

Everyone's asking for the recipes I prepared on Bravo Tv's hit new show Rocco's Dinner Party so here they are, plus Rocco's input on them. Winning Rocco's Dinner Party is such an achievement and the experience of a lifetime!

The Chicken Amore- Signature Dish Winner

Rocco has this to say- "Jen brought her Chicken Amore to the table, although a few seconds late. I forgave her tardiness (and the fact she made a huge smoky mess in my kitchen) after I tasted her dish. In a word: Spectacular. More words: The wonderfully flavorful chicken breasts were sautéed accompanied by spaghetti in a delicious red sauce. It’s a dish I have had a million times, and I know they say familiarity breed’s contempt, but not this time. Against all odds her dish was heart warming and delicious"

The Coco Loco Spritzer

Rocco's says- "Jen started us out with her Coco Loco Spritzer, made with vodka and coconut water. Everyone loved it too, and Joe said that if you want to drink alcohol and still diet, vodka is your best bet because it is the lowest of the low in sugar and carbs."

Matzoh Brei 

Rocco says-"But the best dish of the night was what she prepared to accommodate Jeff: Matzoh Brei. This traditional Passover dish is an omelet-like mixture of eggs and pieces of matzoh fried together. You can put other ingredients in it, like vegetables. It’s open to interpretation, and Jen’s was as Jeff put it: “Matzoh brei’s greatest moment!” It can be fattening too, but Jen brought hers in at 190 calories and 8 grams of fat.

Seared Shrimp with Tequila Agave Glaze and Avocado Mousse

Rocco Says- " It's a restaurant quality dish". (ps, this is a good thing)

BBQ Pork Tenderloin with Spanish Rice and Chicken Andouille

Rocco Says- "Jen’s Pork Tenderloin was a good choice. Pork tenderloin is moist and lower in calories and fat than other cuts of pork. But too much ketchup in the sauce can ruin the perfectly good taste of the meat, and in the opinion of a couple of my guests that’s what happened here. I loved the dish."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wild Salmon Teryaki and Endive Crunch Salad

The theme of tonight's menu is delicious and nutritious. I love food that feeds the body and the soul. My motto is "we only get one body so take care of it". Since food is the fuel that fires the soul picking the right foods to eat affects how we feel.

Wild salmon has been dubbed a super food, loaded with omega 3 and protein, salmon does so much more than just fill you belly. Whole Foods has this to say about the benefits of salmon "Several recent studies found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness and control of inflammation in the digestive tract." Need I say more?

If you're wondering whether to buy wild salmon or farm raised salmon? There's no question, wild salmon is best. Wild salmon contains less contaminants such as mercury, pesticides and P.O.P.S (persistent organic pollutants. Cornell University published a study in 2005 discussing the  benfits of wild vs farm raised salmon. It turns out that farm raised salmon has more omega 3's than it's wild counter part however farm raised is loaded with contaminants.

Here is a favorite recipe of mine for Wild Salmon Teryaki, I promise you even the most picky eater will lick their plate. I'm recommending Soy Vey Island Teryaki since it is perservative free and full of flavor. Serve a crunchy salad as a side, nutrtious and delicious has never been so easy.

Jen DePalma's  Wild Salmon Teryaki and Endive Crunch Salad
4 wild salmon fillets
1/2 cup Soy Vey Island Teryaki
1/4 cup of organic golden honey

1 package of mixed endive salad
2 tbsp of toasted chopped walnuts

Whisk together teryaki and honey, pour oven salmon let marinate 15 minutes or up until 3 hours.
Preheat oven or toaster over to 425 degrees
Place salmon in oven for 12- 15 minutes or until cooked through
Serve over salad and Indulge!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rocco’s Dinner Party: Exclusive Interview with Jen DePalma : RealityWanted.com

Cheesecake Factory's Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Today my husband surprised me with the ultimate indulgence Cheesecake Factory's Peanut Butter Cheesecake.  Literally it's like a snickers bar/reeses peanut butter cup candy bar topped with cheesecake topped with some more candy bar and a dollop of peanut butter mousse. It's so rich and delicious and just satisifies every craving you could pratically desire. Then again.it's really hard to call it cheesecake with all the craziness going on inside the cake, truthfully I prefer good ol' fashion NY style creamy cheesecake topped with nothing more than some cherry pie filling, that's just the plain jane in me. These Cheesecakes run close to $50.00 a pop which is quite the hefty price tag since I can bake three cheescakes for $20.00 but that's neither here or there.  If you're into crazy cheescakes this one's for you!

Something this sinful, should be illegal!

Ziti Rigati with Fresh Pomodoro Sauce

Ziti Rigati with Fresh Pomodoro Sauce the essence of  simple to spectacular. A Pomodoro Sauce should be light and clean the perfect accompinment to bold ziti. Ziti makes a great choice for this pasta dish because the lines in the pasta help the sauce adhere to it. A simple shaving of Parmigianno Regiano and dinner is done.
FYI- always good to keep some handy!