Knife Sharpening Made Easy

November 25th, 2011 by chefkevin

“How do I keep (or get) my knives sharp?”

That’s one of the most common questions I hear in my cooking classes, and even when I’m catering in-home dinners parties. Seems to be an on-going problem for most people.

Folks are always dazzled when I grab a steel and swish my knives a couple times to return the edge to “shaving sharpness”. That’s something that we, as Chefs, learn very early in our training. If not, well, it’s a life of torture working with dull (and dangerous) knives.

That’s not the whole process, though. Putting an edge on a knife is a two-stage procedure that involves sharpening (creating minute grooves along the knife’s edge), and honing (straightening these grooves into a fine razor’s edge). This process is usually done with a stone and steel.

However, most don’t have access to this kind of knife sharpening education, and for them it’s always a challenge to not only get a razor’s edge on their knives, but be able to maintain it.

Well, your wait is over folks! My VERY good friend and fellow Chef, Maurice Thiebaut, has the answer to your knife sharpening prayers. He has been providing the “sharpening solution” for a while now, and when I finally got my hands on it… I was impressed!

As I said, I’ve been trained in “the ways of the knife” for many years, and am always skeptical (at best) when I hear about the next best thing in knife sharpeners. They come, they go, and then there’s another one to follow. So when I tried this one I wasn’t prepared for what I found. Not to doubt Maurice, but how good can a simple hand-held knife sharpener be?

As it turns out, excellent, easy and efficient… three killer qualities for any product destined for long-term survival in the revolving-door of kitchen gadgetry. The CWP Ultimate Knife Sharpener is easy enough for the unskilled novice to master quickly, but efficient enough for a Master Chef’s toolbox (I know it will always be in mine). It’s even reversible for left or right handed use.

The CWP Ultimate Knife Sharpener comes with the dual-purpose tungsten-carbide/ceramic head for the sharpening AND honing required for maintaining a sharp knife.

It also comes with an inter-changeable dual diamond sharpening head, essential for the high-quality expensive knives that we use as Chefs. Get this… it evens sharpens ceramic blades… unheard of in other sharpeners!

I’ve checked around, and most hand-held sharpeners (which I haven’t tried) go for $40-50 and up. This complete, Chef tested knife sharpening system goes for $29.99 (plus tax and shipping of course).

I highly recommend The CWP Ultimate Knife Sharpener, and suggest you check it out yourself. My buddy Maurice has even added a special gift for all my Foodies that purchase one (for a limited time).

Drop on over to THE CWP ULTIMATE SHARPENER and see for yourself what a great deal this is. Did I mention you get a special gift for being one of my flock :)

Yours in Food & Friendship,
Chef Kevin


Posted in Catering Info, Food Facts, Foodie Ramblings..., Recipes & Repairs

Recipes For Life: My Memories – by Linda Evans

October 6th, 2011 by chefkevin

Warm Berries in Custard
By Linda Evans,

Author of Recipes For Life: My Memories

linda evans-recipes for life cookbookThis dessert is easy to make yet classic. Typically you make this with just strawberries or raspberries but I’ve added blueberries or peaches. Just be sure that the berries or fruit are cut or sliced small enough that you get a good combination of berry and custard flavor with every spoonful. You can assemble the fruit in the dishes several hours in advance and then add the custard just before serving.

MAKES 6-8 SERVINGS
4 cups berries or fruit, room temperature, cut or sliced
1 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
½ cup powdered sugar, plus a few tablespoons extra for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons Chambord (or raspberry-flavored) liqueur

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Divide the berries among 8 (4-ounce) oven-proof ramekins (or 6 (6-ounce) ramekins).

Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add the egg yolks, ½ cup powdered sugar and vanilla and continue whipping for another minute.

Sprinkle a little liqueur over each ramekin. Pour the custard mixture over the fruit in each dish and place the dishes on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake 3 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and preheat the broiler.

Transfer the ramekins to the broiler and broil until light golden brown, watching carefully.

Put a few tablespoons of powdered sugar in a sieve and lightly dust each ramekin. Serve immediately.

The above is an excerpt from the book Recipes For Life: My Memories by Linda Evans. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2011 Linda Evans, author of Recipes For Life: My Memories

Author Bio

Linda Evans, author of Recipes for Life: My Memories, is an award-winning actress who has personified beauty and grace to American television viewers for over five decades, from her role as Audra Barkley on The Big Valley, to the glamorous Krystle Carrington on Dynasty, to Hell’s Kitchen, which she won in 2009 in London, England. She has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Drama series and has won five People’s Choice Awards for Best Female Performer. Linda was also nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. For her contribution to the television industry, Linda has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

After Dynasty, Linda moved from Hollywood to the Pacific Northwest, where she began an extraordinary journey of self-discovery. She has returned to performing frequently, starring in the stage play, Legends, and winning the Hell’s Kitchen competition while working under Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White.

Linda’s often lavish and luxurious life has rivaled Krystle Carrington’s. She has dined with queens and presidents, been romanced by the rich and famous, and today, what Linda treasures most is the wisdom she has gained along the way.Linda lives in Rainier, Washington.

For more information please visit http://lindaevansofficial.com, and follow the author on Facebook


Posted in Foodie Ramblings..., Recipes & Repairs

Sweet Chic Cookbook

July 7th, 2011 by chefkevin

DESSERT DRESSED TO THE NINES

Sweet Chic cookbookToday’s baker faces a great challenge: With little time and a limited repertoire, she often needs to whip up a delicious dessert that’s dressed to impress. Rachel Schifter Thebault, founder and head confectioner of Tribeca Treats in New York City, knows all about making a sweet statement. Combining a confectioner’s expertise with fashion sense, she shares a scrumptious cache of popular dessert recipes that can be accessorized to fit any occasion.

What’s more, transforming a basic dessert into a masterpiece brimming with personality and flair can be easy, quick, and fun. In the same way you’d plan an outfit, Sweet Chic pieces together a Devil’s Food Cake — the little black dress of delights — with such irresistible accessories as Caramel Buttercream (think knee-high boots) for ultimate decadence, turns Vanilla Cookies (the crisp oxford shirt) into Strawberry “Shortcakes” ideal for casual or dressy occasions, and blends brownies (the cashmere sweater of confectionery) with a swirl of mint for a showstopping number.

Gorgeous and appetizing color photos throughout reveal how a change of icing here and a substitute topping there can take a simple dessert from Sunday brunch to a date-night treat. Mix and match more than seventy recipes for cookies, cakes, and confections, including Peanut Butter and Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies, Brownie Sundae Parfait, Mini S’mores Cupcakes, Wasabi-Black Sesame Truffles, and so much more.

Whether you’re a novice baker hoping to master the basics or an experienced one looking to add a little versatility to your existing creations, Sweet Chic is a clever and practical guide for memorable desserts, a one-sweet-fits-all way to make a tantalizing impression.

Author Bio
Rachel Schifter Thebault, author of Sweet Chic: Stylish Treats to Dress Up for Any Occasion, is the founder of Tribeca Treats, and spent seven years as an investment banker before transforming her side hobby of making truffles for friends into a full-time career in confections. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, she opened Tribeca Treats in 2007. The bakery has won honors from American Express OPEN and entrepreneur organizations, and is a pillar of the Tribeca community. A sought-after speaker and panelist, she has also taught cooking and baking to children. She currently lives in Tribeca (and travels the globe) with her husband and their two daughters.

For more information please visit http://rachelthebault.com and Amazon.com,  and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

Reviews
“Rachel Thebault . . . has reimagined the humble Oreo as an indulgence that is spectacular as an afternoon snack or as the end to an elegant meal.”
– Food & Wine

“I’m telling you, Sweet Chic is so inspiring. It will make you want to break free of tradition and bake things you’re excited about. You don’t have to stress yourself out to make something fabulous — you have all the tools you need right here. Hooray!”
– Isaac Mizrahi, from the Foreword

“Thebault is on a mission to do for desserts what Coco Chanel did for the little black dress: re-create, reinvent, and pull it all together with exquisite details.”
– Leite’s Culinaria


Posted in Foodie Ramblings..., Recipes & Repairs