By: Chef Alan Zox
October 5, 2018
Spaghetti Bolognese is an Italian meat-based sauce or ragù, which is said to come from Bologna, that wonderful city of food located in Emilia Romagna. Curiously, spaghetti Bolognese is very popular outside of Italy, but is said to have never existed in Bologna itself.
Meat-based ragù, not meat balls, was always served in Bologna with local egg pasta like tagliatelle or lasagne. Spaghetti bolognese, on the other hand, is usually eaten with a wheat pasta or gluten-free pastas.
When the war ended, it’s possible that American and British soldiers who returned to Italy as tourists asked for spaghetti bolognese from the local Italian chefs who gave it to them, even though it was a foreign dish from America and Britain.
Former American soldiers came back to the U.S. with even more zest for the dish. Thus, a meat ragù dish, created by American chefs with spaghetti and ground meat became popularized in Italy by their Italian counterparts, leading to an even greater popularity in the United States and Britain.
Recipe: Spaghetti Bolognese
Serves 4 to 6
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz bacon or pancetta, diced
1½ cups yellow onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
Pinch of saffron
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1½ lb 80 percent ground beef
1 lb pork sausage removed from its casing
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 28-oz cans plum tomatoes with juice (ideally, Marzano tomatoes)
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 lb spaghetti, domestic Ronzoni or imported De Cecco brands
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Parmesan Regiona
1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring until browned and the fat is rendered for 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring until soft for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, saffron, basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, cinnamon, nutmeg and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the beef and sausage, and cook, stirring until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste and cook, stirring for 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, until half of the liquid is reduced, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the plum tomatoes with their juices, the remaining tomato paste and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until thickened and flavorful, about 1½ hours.
5. Add cream, butter and parsley, and stir well; simmer for 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
6. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of salted water in a large soup pot to a boil. Add the pasta and return the water to a low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Sauce can be kept in fridge up to 5 days. Freeze any extra sauce up to 5 weeks
Send comments to Chef zox at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We continue to pursue a shared lease Industrial kitchen. This is the most common method of operating a culinary incubator. This month we have found 3 different kitchens to consider using this model. One is a small town kitchen; another is a School cafeteria; a third is a restaurant whose owner seeks to sell or lease. All are located in the mid Cape area.
In all cases the costs are greater than our resources currently allow. So we are continuing to identify various means of raising capital. For example we are looking for Small Grants to augment our options. Simultaneously we are developing a variety of events that have been successful.
In the past several members of our board have run Pop-up Dinners, Cooking classes; Celebrity culinary events, and culinary business classes coming soon.
We also believe there is a calling for a larger board of directors or others that represent a greater cross section of interested parties such as restaurant owners, grocery stores, banks, realtors, community developers and non profits with vested interests in particular individuals. For example, we have identified seniors, youth in need, and farmer’s markets whose constituents may be interested in mutual efforts to collaborate.
Contact our Executive Director, Dr. Alan Zox if you wish to learn more about any of these initiatives. Call his cell number at 401-741-7459 or his email: email@example.com.
Since opening on Main Street Chatham in 2009, Gustare Oils & Vinegars has served as a hub for cooking discussion for everyone from local foodies with well-refined palates to fledgling chefs. With 180 original recipes on gustareoliveoil.com, guests have come to trust Gustare as a reliable source for the preparation of healthy, flavorful food using the highest quality, artisanal extra virgin olive oils, traditionally aged balsamic vinegars, and gourmet pantry items available on Cape Cod
Gustare recipes are innovated in the "Test Kitchen," the proving ground where co-founder/owner Catherine Ferraresi and Gustare culinary advisor Kelly Wright research and develop recipes to share with guests. Recipes range from fruity balsamic-infused breakfast smoothies to everyone’s favorite Dark Chocolate Chip & Pecan Cookies substituting olive oil for butter for a heart healthy sweet bite.
On gustareoliveoil.com, guests can search specific products to find corresponding recipes or filter the recipes page by type. For example, a couple of updated family classics such as Caprese Nuova with Herbs di Napoli balsamic or Wicked Good Wings using Gustare Garlic EVOO and Oregano balsamic for the most amazing flavor profile (which are, well, truly wicked good).
The diversity of Gustare’s recipes reflects a passion for regional culinary and farm-to-table traditions. Gustare recognizes how extra virgin olive oil, traditional aged balsamic vinegars and other gourmet food products can be integrated into Cape Cod culture and anywhere where great food is served. For cooks who prefer to go by the book, those who like to improvise, and others that are just learning – Gustare has a delicious recipe for you.
By: Chef Alan Zox
Mole is a very old and delicious sauce that continues to be as popular as ever. The town and State of Oaxaca is the home of mole that originates in southern Mexico. It’s eaten like other sauces but is even more unique and diverse in it’s ingredients. Like a sauce it can be eaten under or over an entree or a side dish or it can be used to braise your dish while cooking.
Among the 7 types of mole, all but two types include chocolate and multiple types of Chile peppers. Mole is so special that I have come to the conclusion that the subtlety and unique flavor of mole brings a beauty and virtual spirituality to the dishes they complement.
Red mole described below is terrific with chicken, duck or fowl as well as meat dishes The sauce keeps up to a week or can be frozen up to 3 months.
Recipe for Oaxacan Red Mole Sauce
Yields 2 cups
1 inch baguette
1 corn tortilla, torn into 1-inch strips
2 plum tomatoes, cut in half crosswise.
2 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded
½ cup peanut oil
1 ½ cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
½ head garlic, peeled and sliced
⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
⅓ cup raw, unsalted almonds
¼ cup raisins
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp dried allspice berries
1 Tbsp dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp whole cloves, ground
2 Tbsp dark chocolate
1. Stem and seed the chiles in a large pot; tear them into small pieces.
2. Toast all the chiles including the guajillos, anchos, pasillas and chipotle chiles in a dry pan over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Avoid burning.
3. Fill the pot with water at medium high heat filled with all the chiles in the pot stirring constantly, until warm and aromatic, about 15 minutes. Discard the water and transfer the soft hydrated chiles to the blender with all the chicken broth for about 5 minutes.
4. Dry roast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet until they are finished popping. Again avoid burning.
5. In the same dry skillet sauté the almonds over medium heat for 5 minutes in half the peanut oil until browned, not burned.
6. Purée the tomatillos, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, almonds, tortilla strips and baguette slices in a food processor or blender. Add the rehydrated chiles, raisins, garlic, 1½ cups of water, spices, salt and sugar and puree together until very smooth. Cook this sauce/mixture together in a saucepan at medium heat for 30-35 minutes at low temperature and strain through a sieve.
7. Heat the remaining peanut oil in another skillet until almost smoking. Add the sauce and fry for 10-15 minutes longer—stirring constantly.
8. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Blend into the sauce at the last minute.
9. If sauce gets too thick, add ¼ cup water and stir for 3-5 minutes. Set aside and cover until ready to use.
If you prefer, you may wish to braise the chicken in the red mole instead of saucing after cooking your main dish. Enjoy!
Chef Alan Zox, Ph.D.
Comments and questions will be appreciated.
Two different industrial kitchen options were discovered this past month. One is larger than the other and may be the lucky candidate given it’s size. The smaller kitchen presents less of a financial challenge however. We believe we can lease one or the other kitchens before summer’s end.
Results of Fund Raiser #2
The results of the Hyannis Golf Club held July 26 was encouraging. We are pleased to report that the turnout for the event matched the size of our first fundraiser at Mac's Seafood in Provincetown. Chef Scott Allen of the Hyannis Golf Club generously donated the appetizers for the event. Our thanks also go Liquor & More in Dennis, Chatham Bars Inn, Hy-Line Cruises, Chatham Monomoy Theatre, and Kim Greene for generous donations.
Check out this profile of CCCI Member Chukulati
Chef Alan's Monthly Recipe
This month Chef Alan shares a delicious Hawaiian Poke recipe.
August 15, 2018
Chukulati Chocolate Co.
3821 Falmouth Rd Unit 3A
Marstons Mills, MA 02648
There is an old legend that has been handed down through Ecuadorian history. In the nineteenth century, a Swiss chocolatier was navigating the Guayas River in coastal Ecuador. During his voyage, he encountered a group of farmers transporting sacks of Nacional cacao that had an unusually rich and floral aroma. The chocolatier asked the farmers where this cacao had come from. The farmers simply replied “arriba” (meaning “upriver”) and pointed in that direction. Cacao grown along the upper regions of the Guayas river basin became one of the most highly sought sources of cacao in European chocolate and was given the name “Arriba.”
By the time the nineteenth century rolled around, Nacional was considered by many European chocolatiers the most coveted source of cacao in the world—prized for its floral aroma and complex flavor profile. This golden era of Ecuadorian cacao came to an end in 1916, when an outbreak of “Witches’ Broom” disease decimated the Nacional variety. This led growers and those sourcing cacao alike to cultivate and buy of a different genetic variety of cacao, much more resistant to disease and bearing more fruit. Although this may have been a solution to the sudden decrease in cacao at the time, this genetically modified cacao bared almost no flavor or aroma.
Until recently, through genetic testing, systems were put in place to preserve this almost extinct national treasure back into production with the help of small farmers and co-ops.
Chukulati was created with exactly that in mind. My mother (Liana Strider) and I (Fernando Lopez), both being natives to Ecuador, knew this was something needed to be shared with the world! Our travels back home in 2015 led us on the cacao adventure of our lives, where we were able to learn a great deal about fine cacao, the process, and people involved in making the amazing chocolate we all love to indulge in today. By working with Co-operatives, and sourcing fairly-traded cacao this also brings a great opportunity to help small communities and promoting organic and environmentally sustainable practices.
We do not claim to be the best chocolatiers (although constantly striving and learning to be better) but we believe the best chocolate comes from good sourcing. Our chocolate is all organic, single origin and single province, and made with four or less ingredients. This truly allows our consumers to taste the palatable differences in this fine Nacional cacao, from fruity and floral, to red fruits and wine notes, to creamy and vanilla undertones, or a very cocoa-forward flavor. You could compare this flavor phenomenon to that of wine and the effects of its terroir in which its grown. Our Artisanal bars and creations range from a dark milk chocolate of 43% cacao content, all the way up to 100% and several in between for all cacao preferences. We aim to promote more health-conscious recipes in our products to highlight the true goodness of cacao, there’s actually a reason it makes you feel so good when you eat it! While also, looking to offer some sweeter confections. We have so much in mind for what’s to come and very much looking forward to it. For now, you can find us at our little shop in the Windmill Plaza off of Route 28 in Marstons Mills. We will be opening our doors to the public by the end of this month, and very much look forward to seeing you there!
By Chef Alan Zox
“Poke Bowls” have become the hottest type of food on the market. They have become increasingly popular in Hawaii, California and throughout the larger U.S. The Hawaiian version of this type of food means “to slice or cut” and is most often served in styrofoam or portable containers. They are easy to make, diverse in their complexity, and wonderfully delicious in taste and texture.
I recently enjoyed a poke bowl in San Francisco with my son on our way to the Japanese Garden. We discovered a multitude of Poke Bowl options- from shrimp, to sushi grade tuna, to halibut and wild Salmon. There are other common ingredients besides seafood that virtually all Poke bowl recipes include such as:
Here’s my recipe. Hope you like it:
Salmon Poke Bowl Recipe
Serves 2 Bowls
a- Whisk together rice vinegar, coconut aminos, mayonnaise,
Sesame seeds, seaweed.
b- Heat the sesame oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add garlic, ginger and salmon. Cook, stirring occasionally until salmon is cooked through.
c-Toss the salmon together with the sauce.
d- Serve over cauliflower rice with the avocado and seaweed salad, if using. Drizzle with hot sauce and serve.
By: Alan Zox
The term “brunch” was coined in Britain over 100 years ago to describe a Sunday meal for Saturday-night party- goers. The term has evolved to mean the wonderful meal we enjoy today between breakfast and lunch. It might be bacon and eggs, omelets and vegetables, or any number of lunch time dishes reflecting where the meal is taking place.
On Cape Cod seafood brunches are common in part because of the daily bounty of seafood readily available. Of course any combination of complementary dishes work well for brunch type meals. For example over the years I have come to love bagels, smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion and tomato slices after breakfast and before lunch. Of course, sautéed kippers (herring) with caramelized onions are no less wonderful. I am told this is common fair in the UK and Scandinavia. Another special brunch meal that doesn’t have to wait for Sunday to enjoy is soft scrambled eggs with strips of roasted and peeled poblano chile peppers.
But I have to say that David Eyre’s soufflé like pancake takes a backseat to no other breakfast or brunch feast, even though the competition is fierce. Made popular 50 years ago by NYT food critique Craig Claiborne’s original recipe and more recently by the current NYT Food Critique Amanda Hesser “the dish (behaves like a soufflé), and deflates like pricked balloons, in their journey from the oven to the table…You must be quick,” she tells us. “Be sure to sprinkle them with lemon juice and cilantro (or parsley) as you go”.
David Eyre’s Soufflé like Pancake
(Adapted Version of Craig Claiborne’s Recipe)
½ cup unbleached flour.
½ cup milk
Pinch ground nutmeg
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup diced cilantro or parsley
Juice of half a lemon
Send comments or questions to Alan — firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Chef Alan Zox
Date: May 22, 2018
Preparing Salad Nicoise is one of those labors of love. It takes a while to compile all the ingredients but it’s not difficult and the flavors are sublime. Tuna is often used as a center piece - usually it’s made from the best canned tuna fish you can find; or, if you wish to go “up scale” you may prefer fresh sushi quality tuna.
Today’s recipe uses Striped Bass because it’s one of my favorites and because the fish is becoming more plentiful this time of yearduring the late Spring season as the species begin to return to the streams and rivers of its spawning grounds.
The popularity of the Striped and Black Bass are particularly noteworthy among the Chinese and Asian communities on the East Coast who serve black bass as a centerpiece to their restaurant seafood menus.
Some of my most memorable fishing experiences have involved Striped Bass— sometimes catching them on headboats several miles offshore, in creeks and streams in the Hamptons and Cape Cod, and in back water tributaries of Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Early Sunday mornings come to mind when dreams of monster stripers in excess of 28 inches draw a smile upon my face. And every fishing trip triggers culinary memories of extraordinary meals we look forward to eating again and again.
Here’s one I believe you will enjoy.
Chilled Nicoise Salad With Roasted Striped Bass
Step 1 - Making the Vinaigrette
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1/4 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons diced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large shallot, minced
Combine all your dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until you reach an emulsion— where vinegars are suspended in fat like olive oil. Set aside.
Step 2- Preparing & Assembling the Salad
1 Fillet each side of the fish. Remove the skin and all bones including the center bone and the smaller pin bones on the sides of the fish. Place both fillets on a cutting board and cut each fillet into quarters and place on a plate in the refrigerator.
2 Next, season the Bass inside and out with the juice of 1/4 lemon, salt, pepper and ground fennel. Place on a sheet tray, covered with parchment paper, and roast at 425 F without turning for 15-20 minutes until opaque. Remove from oven and set aside until the fish can be handled easily.
3 Assemble Boston lettuce, romaine, arugula, radicchio, and water Cress- wash gently and air dry. Chop and cover with paper towels and refrigerate.
4 Wash and cut in half 6 new red potatoes and add to a medium size saucepan. Add water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat for 12 minutes. Do the same with the beans then drain, chill and set aside.
5 Boil the eggs in their shells in a separate simmering bowl for 5 minutes and remove to a separate bowl. Chill the remaining vegetables—capers, black sliced olives, and radishes sliced. And leave in fridge.
6 Peel the shells off the eggs and cut them in half, lengthwise and return to fridge in separate container to continue chilling.
7 Wash and roast the whole beets—40- 45 minutes covered with aluminum foil or place in an oven friendly ceramic bowl until a knife can easily be inserted. Cut beets into quarters with a drizzle of the vinaigrette. Set aside and chill.
8 Using a large serving platter, place chopped lettuce in the middle of the serving platter with a tong. Using a long spatula carefully layer each of the Striped Bass quarters on top of the lettuce.
9 Arrange each ingredient in separate rows on the platter. Drizzle vinaigrette over all ingredients including the Striped Bass quarters. Season with salt and pepper, tossing basil and scallions over the entire salad. Cut the lemon into quarters and distribute around the fish. Complete your design by placing the egg halves next to the lemons. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the platter, including the fish and serve. So beautiful and delicious.
There are several steps here but it’s worth the time and attention it takes. It looks great and it tastes even better. A cup of warm potato —leek soup is a nice starter. Chill the soup if it’s very warm outside. This changes the name of the soup to become Vichyssoise. Lemon squares and espresso are complementary sweets for dessert.
Contact Chef Alan Zox with comments or questions at email@example.com
By: Alan Zox
May 2, 2018
Dover Sole is a delicious, nutritious fish that is beginning to be available in East Coast markets. Further it has not been overfished either. The National Marine Fisheries Service which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), tell us that a 3 ounce portion of sole is said to have one of the highest concentrations of Omega 3. This is a very healthy to eat and is low in mercury.
Yet there is confusion about Dover Sole but not about the flavor. First off there are at least two types of sole. The most prized is the one found in the Eastern Atlantic ocean, from Norway to Africa to the Mediterranean Sea. Called Dover Sole, these sole are sold in supermarkets around the world and are considered a prize catch for their mild, buttery, sweet flavor and for their ease of filleting.
Another variety of sole caught in the Pacific and sold in East Coast, United States markets are also called Dover Sole perhaps because of the name’s prestige associated with the Mediterranian variety.. These are smaller fish with a distinct flavor— also delicious—but not considered a “great fish”. Yet when filleted the Pacific version look like flounder and have the characteristics of the larger Dover Sole. Both are found on the sea bottom, are glistening white and remain a pure white color when cooked and are easy to fillet with few bones.
Dover sole is sold fresh and frozen whole, and can be headed and gutted as well. Dover sole from the Pacific has a mild taste and delicate texture, although it is not as mild as European Dover sole. Availability of fresh Dover sole varies throughout the year while frozen or thawed Dover sole primarily from Alaska is available year-round.
The key to cooking all sole or flounder is not to over cook. Rather prepare at a high temperature to achieve a crispy coating but be vigilant for the fish will become dry and shrivel up if too hot. There are many ways to cook Dover Sole: Bake; Broil; Deep-Fry; Grill; Poach; Saute; Smoke; Steam; or Sushi.
The choices are many but my favorite Dover Sole recipe, a version of which I have adapted below, was first described by Julia Child. It’s elaborated here and is not difficult nor complicated. Give it a try. You will enjoy the dish I feel confident. But remember the key seafood caveat: It it has an odor of fish, before or after cooking, toss it. It’s not fresh nor eatable.
Recipe: DOVER SOLE A LA MEUNIERE
Adapted from Julia Child
2 filets of Dover Sole, Grey Sole, or Flounder, rinsed (1/2 Lb)
1 cup flour
Pinch of salt and pepper (for flour)
2 ounces Extra Virgin olive oil
2 ounces whole butter
1/2-ounce dry white wine
1/2 lemon, juiced & seeded
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Further pinch of salt and pepper to taste
1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2- Lightly dust Dover sole in seasoned flour.
3- Heat 2 ounces of olive oil in a medium pan until it begins to smoke.
4- Saute sole or filets until golden brown on each side (about 1 to 2 minutes per side). Finish in oven for 4 minutes. Debone sole if whole or remove any bones from fillets..
5- Sauce: Add 2 ounces of whole butter to a small fry pan and heat until the butter gets lightly brown. Add white wine, lemon, parsley salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over sole. Enjoy!