I can’t wait until the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” film hits the movie theaters this weekend! How about you? Anyone else excited? To celebrate the release, I made some Star Wars Cupcakes with Gaby (0hgaby) Bañuelos!
See how I showed her how to make Stormtroopers, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia Cupcakes! What a fun time! Make these cupcakes the next time you want to Awaken the Force and celebrate the new Star Wars movie this weekend!
May the Force, and these Star Wars Cupcakes, be with you!
My Healthy Summer Recipes were featured on ClumsyGourmet.com. I’ve noticed that healthy food is labeled as tasteless and boring. Don’t believe it, I’m here to set the record straight! Eating well doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste or flavor. Healthy can always be delicious. These recipes are mouthwatering and good for you!
Featured Recipes Include:
Shrimp and Tofu Pad Thai Noodles
Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille
These delightful recipes can be found on ClumsyGourmet.com – Full Article HERE
Are you looking to learn healthier ways to cook? My Healthy Cooking Class is not only delicious but fun. Cooking healthy has never been more accessible or enticing. Take the class with your friends or family and learn together!
Are you looking for a more in-depth lesson in all things healthy? My Healthy Cooking Series is a wonderful way to do just that! This 4 week series will transform you into a healthy-cooking pro. Eating healthier is much easier when you know how to cook healthier. I created this cooking series to share techniques and insight for creating healthy recipes that are tasty and use unique ingredients for extra flavor and fun!
Corinne Hanshaw of In Good Taste Magazine interviewed me recently about pairing beer and food for Fall and wrote up this great article!
How-To: Pair Beer with Fall Flavors
BY CORINNE HANSHAW
Fall has officially debuted and as it happens every year, taste buds begin to crave something new. Instead of craving cold beer and summer barbecue fare, pumpkin and stews are high on our radar. This leaves a lot of people wondering how to pair beer with fall flavors.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Eric Jacques Crowley, owner and chef instructor at his cooking school, Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom in West Los Angeles, about how we can incorporate one of America’s favorite beverages: beer with fall flavors. We also shared some of our favorite fall dishes with Crowley and not only did he provide us with some stellar beer pairing suggestions, but he gave us the why and the how, too.
YOUR GUIDE TO FALL BEER PAIRINGS
Pair a butternut squash soup with an ale, like Allagash Fluxus. You can roast the butternut squash in the oven before making the soup, if you wish to get a darker, sweeter soup, which the beer’s rich flavor will complement. You could also substitute some of the vegetable stock in the recipe with beer if you wish to cook with it. Pro Tip: you don’t want to roast the squash with the beer, because the beer would introduce too much liquid to the process and create a steaming effect. TURKEY Sam Adams Boston Lager is always a good option to when pairing or making anything with turkey. “This beer has the full body to stand up to the rich roasted turkey flavor, yet a crisp finish that won’t be too overwhelming on the palate as you progress through the meal,” said Crowley. APPLE
Apples are abundant during the fall season. “I would use any fall-spiced beer that contains cinnamon and clove, like Ommegang Scythe and Sickle. I always think of cinnamon and cloves when I think of cooking apples,” said Crowley. Applesauce, baked apples, apple pie all use cinnamon and cloves, which elicit the sweetness from apples while balancing tart flavors. MAPLE Bruery Autumn Maple pairs perfectly with any maple flavorings. “When I am pairing a beverage and a food, I often look for a complementary flavor profile,” said Crowley. “Autumn Maple is a great match for a burger with maple bacon on it or something really sweet, like a dessert waffle with maple syrup.”
Whether you’re drinking the beer or pairing it with the chili, use a pilsner or lager. “My dad uses Corona in chili and it tastes great,” said Crowley. “He uses one bottle of Corona beer for every gallon of chili and I find that the light, crisp body of a beer like Corona adds a nice contrast to the rich, meaty spiciness of the chili.” If you have some leftover, drink it cold with your finished product, too.
SWEET POTATOES Bruery Autumn Maple is great with sweet potatoes, too. “This beer complements the best way I know how to serve sweet potatoes. Whether they are mashed, roasted or baked, I often think of maple syrup,” said Crowley. “I also make a sweet potato pie that this beer complements the flavors of very well.” PUMPKIN
Make pumpkin ravioli with pumpkin beer dough and cook the ravioli in pumpkin beer.Southern Tier Warlock from Lakewood, NY is a great beer for this flavor profile. By making pasta with the beer instead of eggs, and then cooking the ravioli in additional beer, you will build up the pumpkin flavor profile in this dish. That, in turn, will be further complemented by serving the same beer with the finished meal.
SOUPS AND STEWS
Use a beer that complements the soup. For a rich soup, use a rich beer. For a light soup, use a light beer. For a soup like French onion, an amber ale, such as Full Sail Amber Ale, will stand up to the richness of the onions and cheese and enhance the flavors. This soup is also traditionally made with a beef broth and the full-bodied-style of Full Sail will pair well with its rich flavor. For a lighter soup, such as a vegetable soup, Sam Adams Noble Pils will work well with the vegetables, due to the lighter style of pilsners. It is a natural complement to the lighter, cleaner broth-style flavors found in a vegetable soup and won’t overwhelm it. It brings out the many flavor profiles in the vegetables and enhances their natural tastes. FALL SPICES
Find a beer that uses cinnamon and/or nutmeg, like Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale for any dish heavy on nutty spicy flavor. “My traditional German spaetzle in Emmentaler cream has a nice hint of nutmeg that the ale complements nicely,” said Crowley. “Also, I often serve pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and this beer is a natural choice. Not only does it have cinnamon added to it, but it is also made with pumpkin.”
Both the flavors of the pie and the beer pair up to enhance the flavors of the food and the brew. The use of these spices in the brewing process helps to complement and bring out these spices in a recipe because the same spices are being used in both the recipe and the beer. The flavor profiles are similar, so they work together to create a wonderful taste on the tongue. FOUR QUESTIONS FOR CHEF ERIC JACQUES CROWLEY IGT: What is your personal favorite fall beer?
EJC: One of the local breweries near Los Angeles has a great ale, Foliage Pale Ale by Enegren Brewing in Moorpark, CA. They are a small brewery and they have great tasting ale. You should also try their Valkyrie IPA and if you are ever in Moorpark, feel free to stop by and ask for a [complimentary] tour. IGT: Do you have any suggestions for pumpkin beer?
EJC: Yes, Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin is widely available and the brewers there get beer right more often than small craft brewers do. While some beer enthusiasts feel that Sam Adams is a comparatively large brewery, they still make a great selection of well-crafted and creatively flavored beers. IGT: If you could choose one beer to pair with your Thanksgiving dinner, which one would it be?
EJC: Either New Belgium’s 1554 or Sierra Nevada Tumbler Brown Ale because they will complement the many favors of the meal. Since there are so many different dishes ranging from green beans to sweet potatoes and dinner rolls to stuffing, you need a beer that can fit well with the flavors of all of these dishes, as well as the turkey itself. These two examples offer a strong, but not overpowering flavor profile to work well with not only the turkey, but the mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and many other dishes you will find at Thanksgiving. Should you drink a beer that has a specific flavor profile, like an Indian Pale Ale with its powerful hop character, then all you will taste is that specific flavor. IGT: Are there any Fall recipes that contain beer that you recommend?
EJC: My beer-braised pork loin is awesome and is a great Sunday night meal (recipe below). Feel free to make this with a stout, like Guinness, or an ale, like Red Tail. I have also made this with a rich lager, like Kirin, with great success.
ROASTED PORK LOIN
Prep time: 2 hours Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 2 hours 45 mins Serves: 2-4
1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless pork loin, rolled and tied
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced shallot
2 whole garlic cloves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
8 ounces dark beer
Combine herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Coat the pork well with the mixture, wrap the pork in parchment paper and refrigerate 2 hours or more.
Preheat an oven to 325 degrees. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and pat it dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a casserole or heavy bottomed pot to fit the pork and sear the roast until it is well browned.
Transfer the pork to a platter or pan and pour off all but 2 T of the fat in the pan. Sauté the onion, shallot and garlic until aromatic. Deglaze the pan with the beer. Return the pork to the pan and bring the liquid to a boil.
Cover the pot and braise it in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until a thermometer reads about 140 degrees. Remove the pork from the pot and transfer it to a heated serving platter. Let the roast rest for at least 10 minutes.
Degrease the braising liquid and puree the liquid with a hand held blender. Season the liquid with salt and pepper. Serve it with the roast.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, The Daily Meal asked me to share some of my favorite Thanksgiving Pie recipes. The holiday season is a busy time so a simple recipe for a delicious pie is always useful. The Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes are incredible. The article can also be read HERE. I hope you enjoy these recipes and if you try any of them at home, let me know on social media by tagging me or using the tag #ChefEricsCulinaryClassroom. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. Chef Eric
Ask An Expert: Your Top Thanksgiving Pie Recipe
November 12, 2014
By Sharon Damon (CBS Las Vegas)
Have you ever wondered which dishes chefs enjoy preparing for the holiday season? Chef Eric Jacques Crowley is a seasoned, professional chef who brings his warmth and patience to his teaching classroom. Since 2003, his Culinary Classroom in West L.A. has helped students achieve their dreams of mastering the culinary arts. He is a teacher, mentor and expert in his field and has the experience to design and present some tasty treats that are well within most bakers’ and cooks’ capabilities. Chef Eric graciously consented to sharing two of his personal favorites. Be prepared to be dazzled as you have the opportunity to prepare these delectable dishes for your own family, fresh from the Chef’s kitchen to yours.
Chocolate and Walnut Cookie Pie
2 cups flour, all purpose
1 teaspoon salt
pinch baking powder
6 T+1 t butter or Crisco, cold
6 T lard, cold
4-6 T ice water (as needed)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 T flour
3 each eggs, beaten
6 ounces butter, room temperature or melted
1 1/2 T vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans, chopped Method
1. In a medium bowl, combine the 2 cups of flour, salt and a pinch of baking powder. Add the butter and lard. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the fat into the flour until the fat becomes pea-sized pieces.
2. Gradually add the ice water, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough comes together and can hold its shape. Do not knead the dough! This will cause the dough to become tough. Handle the dough as little as possible. Flatten the dough slightly, and let it rest, covered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough out on a floured board and with a floured pin until it is about 1/8″ thick. Line a pie pan with the dough, cutting off any excess that hangs over the edge.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 6 tablespoons of flour. Add the eggs, then the 6 ounces of butter.
5. Add the nuts, vanilla and chocolate chips.
6. Pour the mixture into an unbaked pie shell. Bake in the middle or lower rack of the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the pie is done. The pie should be chewy, not runny.
Serve warm. This pie can be made in advance and reheated for service.
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Chocolate Ganache Sauce
Yield: four – 4 1/2-inch cakes Ingredients
1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
5 T butter, unsalted and melted
1 T sugar
24 ounces cream cheese, room temp.
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 each eggs, large
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t cinnamon, ground
1/8 t nutmeg, grated
1/8 t clove, ground Method
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the outside of the cake pan(s) with aluminum foil. In a small bowl, mix the cookie crumbs, butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan(s). Bake the crust for about 5 minutes, or until slightly darkened. Remove from oven.
2. In a processor, blend the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and spices. Process until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl, keeping all of the ingredients together. Pour the filling into the crust.
3. Bake the cakes until the center is set and the edges begin to crack, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool inside the pans. For best results, allow to cool completely, then cover with a layer of chocolate ganache and refrigerate overnight.
4. When ready to serve, heat up additional chocolate ganache and drizzle over the cheesecakes.
Chocolate Ganache Sauce
Yield: 1 1/2 cups Ingredients
1/2 pound chocolate, finely chopped
3 T butter, diced and room temperature
1 cup cream
1 1/2 T light corn syrup
1/2 T vanilla Method
1. Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl and set aside.
2. Heat the cream and corn syrup in a medium pot over medium-high heat until it is scalded. Remove from the heat.
3. Pour the hot cream into the bowl with the chocolate. Stir with a spoon until the chocolate is melted. Add vanilla.
4. Cover the bowl and cool until the chocolate is set.
5. Use at room temperature. Thin with cream, if needed.
After months of testing and tasting, I’m proud to announce Chef Eric’s Savory Seasonings. Being a busy chef, I wanted something that I could rely on to give dishes flavor. Students have asked me about the herbs and spices I always reach for so I decided to create a personalized spice blend. Now Sizzle and Smooth are on the shelves in the Culinary Classroom.
Both of my blends are handcrafted here at the classroom using herbs and spices dried and ground by hand to ensure freshness and quality. You can buy my Sizzle and Smooth Spice Blends duo HERE! It is a great gift idea and comes with some delicious recipes, too. Recently, I was approached by KTLA5 Morning News to give a tailgating grilling demonstration and I knew that it would be the perfect time to unveil the seasonings. Barbecued chicken wings, mini tostada bites and vegetable skewers were just some of the delicious dishes I prepared. I also made chocolate cupcakes for our sweet tooth!
This was my third time appearing on KTLA5 Morning News and it’s always fun hanging out with the crew over there. Next time, I’d love to have them come over to the Culinary Classroom to prerecord a segment and see the anchors try their hand at following some of my recipes! I’m sure they would do well as they always enjoy eating with me and learning all the tips and tricks we talk about.
For those of you who missed the segment on KTLA, check out the video to see me in action and learn those tips and tricks.
Spice-Rubbed Carne Asada Mini Tostados with Guacamole
Lightly pound the steak, if necessary, to an even thickness. Squeeze lime juice over the steak. Season well with the Sizzle Spice Blend, salt and pepper. Let the steak marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature or under refrigeration if marinating longer.
When ready to cook the meat, bring it to room temperature while heating a grill pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, grill the meat for 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare.
Slice the steak against the grain, then dice the meat. Place the diced meat into a mini tortilla cup. Top with guacamole, garnish with sour cream, tomatoes and cilantro.
While the steak is marinating, make guacamole by dicing the avocado. Place the avocado pieces in a bowl and add enough lime juice to coat. Mix the avocado with a fork allowing the avocado to remain chunky. Season the guacamole with Sizzle Spice Blend, chopped cilantro, salt, pepper and the rest of the lime juice.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Pineapple, ripe 1 each
Bananas, ripe but firm 2-3 each
Seedless grapes, large 1 bunch
Navel orange 1 each
Wood or metal skewers 12 each Method:
1. Peel and core the pineapple. Cut the cleaned pineapple into bite sized chunks. Place the pineapple in a bowl and set aside. Wash and drain the grapes. Pick the largest grapes you can find, place them in a bowl and reserve.
2. Preheat a grill pan on medium heat or barbeque to medium heat. If using wood skewers, soak them in water for at least half an hour.
3. Just before assembling the skewers, peel and cut the banana into 1/2 inch thick slices. If you want to cut the banana ahead of time, toss the slices in a small amount of lemon juice to keep the banana from oxidizing.
4. Thread a piece of pineapple on a skewer. Be sure to thread the skewer just slightly off center. Take a second skewer and thread the pineapple again. Each brochette will have two skewers. This technique keeps the fruit from spinning as you cook.
5. Lightly coat the grill pan or barbeque rack with vegetable oil. Grill the brochettes until lightly marked, about 5-7 minutes. If you wish, you can sprinkle some turbinado or brown sugar on the brochettes, but this will increase the caloric content. While grilling the brochette, cut the orange in half and grill until nicely marked.
6. When the brochettes and orange are nicely marked, remove them to a platter and serve with two sauces.
Yield: 5 Servings
Pesto 1/3 cup
Baby Red Potatoes 3/4 pound
Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes 3/4 pound
Baby Purple Potatoes 1/2 pound
Grated Parmesan Cheese 1/4 cup
Olive oil 2 Tablespoons Method:
1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer the potatoes to the baking sheet and roast, uncovered for about 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost tender. Then add the pesto and stir gently to combine.
4. Continue to roast for another 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and add the cheese. Toss to coat and serve.
Yield: 4 Servings
NY strip steak, cut into 2-inch cubes 2 pounds
Small red onion, cut into eighths 2 each
Ground cumin 1 Tablespoon
Olive oil 5 Tablespoons Hummus
Chick peas, drained 14 oz can
Garlic, peeled and sliced 1 clove
Lemon juice 1 lemon
Olive oil 1/3 cup
Salt to taste Method:
1. Place the cubes of beef in a large bowl and toss with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the cumin over the beef and mix to coat the cubes thoroughly. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Remove the meat from the marinade and thread the cubes onto skewers, alternating meat cubes with wedges of onion – 4 to a skewer.
3. Brush the kabobs lightly with the remaining tablespoon of oil and grill on the grill pan, turning occasionally until they are nicely browned, about 10-20 minutes.
4. To make the hummus, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve at room temperature with the kabobs.
Yield: 4 Servings
Swordfish or other meaty fish, cut into 2 pounds 1 to 1 ½ inch steaks
Olive oil 1/4 cup
Lemon, zested and juiced 1 each Herb Butter
Unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 c/1 stick
Mixed herbs, chopped 1/2 cup
(Parsley, dill, chives, tarragon, chervil, thyme)
Salt and pepper to taste Method:
1. Brush the fish with the olive oil and lemon juice. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
2. In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the butter and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Prepare a grill pan on medium heat.
4. Spray the grill pan with oil and grill the fish for 7 to 10 minutes, turning once.
5. Remove the fish from the grill and place on a heated serving platter. Brush with the softened herb butter and garnish with the lemon zest.
Yield: 8 Shortcakes
Baking mix 2 cups
Milk 2/3 cup
Flour for dusting and rolling
Whipping cream 1 pint
Confectioners’ sugar 2 Tablespoons
Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1/4 cup
Strawberries, sliced 1 pint
Blueberries 1 pint
Fresh mint leaves Method:
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Blend baking mix and milk with a fork in a medium bowl – the batter will be a little lumpy. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with butter. Set aside.
2. Slice the berries and put into a bowl. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Pour 2 Tablespoons into a small bowl and set aside.
4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured board to 1/ 2 inch thickness. Use a 2 inch round cutter and cut 8 biscuits. Place on greased baking sheet 2 inches apart.
5. Brush the tops with 2 Tablespoons of the flavored cream. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes.
6. While the biscuits are baking, whip cream in a jar by shaking the rest of the bowl of whipping cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract together for 2 to 5 minutes ONLY, until stiff peaks form. Do not over shake. When finished, put the container in the refrigerator.
7. Slice biscuits horizontally and top the bottoms with approximately 2 Tablespoons each of the berries and whipped cream.
8. Place the tops on the biscuits and layer more berries and cream. Garnish with fresh mint and serve.