Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Finale of Private Chefs of Beverly Hills Season Two: Time for Schmaltz and Honey

Wow. It seems like only yesterday we gathered at Smashbox to shoot these promo shots.

It was a warm February day and I put on Beyonce and Lady Gaga's "Video Phone" to get us all in the mood. Memories.

Tonight, the finale of Private Chefs of Beverly Hills season two airs on Food Network. Is it the last episode ever or just the last episode of the season? Only time will tell. But I'm left feeling wistful and nostalgic this afternoon, thinking back to the days when PCoBH was just starting; like when Chef Brian and I had just forged Team Awesome..

Or when we catered our own premiere party on the rooftop of the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills...

And all the people the audience never saw who made the show possible and kept us looking and sounding good...

It's been an amazing journey. Thank you to everyone who came along for the ride!

And, finally, a few recipes from tonight's show. How fitting that we would end on a schmaltzy note.

“What am I…” Chopped Liver with Schmaltz Fried Onions
make 12-16 servings

Reserved skin from 1 chicken, about 1 cup
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb chicken livers, trimmed and rinsed well
2 eggs, boiled and finely minced
matzo, broken into bite-sized shards
kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken skin until it releases its fat and the fat begins to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken skin and pour off half of render fat, or schmaltz. Add onions to pan with remaining chicken fat and cook until onions are translucent, tender and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Remove half of onions from pan and set aside. Raise heat to medium-high and add reserved chicken fat and chicken livers to remaining onions.

Saute livers, turning once, until cooked on the outside but still lightly pink inside, about five minutes. Roughly chop chicken livers by hand and season with salt and cracked black pepper.

Spoon chopped liver onto matzo and top with minced egg and reserved schmaltz fried onions.

“Land of Milk and Honey” Carrot Milkshakes with Saffron Ice Cream and Nutmeg and Cinnamon Cotton Candy
makes 10-12 servings

Saffron “Land of Milk and Honey” Ice Cream:
2 cups cream
2/3 cup half and half
½ cup superfine sugar
½ cup honey
2 large eggs
20-30 strands saffron (about a tablespoon, loosely packed)

3 cups fresh carrot juice
1 cup whole milk
2 cups cotton candy, preferably white or orange
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
edible gold for garnish (optional)

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together cream, half and half, sugar, honey, eggs and two-thirds of saffron. Bring to a simmer and slowly cook, stirring constantly, until cream mixture turns a gentle yellow color, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to steep as it cools, about 30 minutes.

Strain and pour into an ice cream maker. Add remaining strands of saffron and process according to manufacturer’s instructions, then freeze until ready to use.

In a blender, combine half of ice cream with carrot juice and whole milk. Blend until thick and creamy. Pour into serving glasses and top with a scoop of saffron ice cream.

Garnish with cotton candy dusted with nutmeg, cinnamon and edible gold (if using). Serve immediately.

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