Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This Friday's Preparedness Event

I've been asked to teach a Bread seminar at Prepper Fest AZ this Friday at 4 PM!

 I'll also be sharing a booth with the legendary James Talmage Stevens (aka Dr. Prepper), best selling author of Making The Best of BasicsI grew up reading this preparedness Handbook. Seriously. Look at my copy from 1975...

 YES, I'm about over the moon excited!! I spoke with James on the phone yesterday afternoon and he was so complimentary of my new books. Wow!  That means I'll have my books, spices and lots of great ideas for bread in the same booth as James!!

 So I'll see you at the fairgrounds, come on by and see me! I'd love to give you a big-ol' chef Tess hug!  

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Monday, March 17, 2014

Traditional Dublin Coddle

Everybody does corn beef and cabbage for St.Patrick's Day. Boring. I really wasn't in the mood for it this year. Plus, I didn't really want to blow a wad of cash on a fatty beef-chunk. Saturday at the radio show with Jan D'Atri we had some beautiful Irish ladies in for the show! Neeve from Dublin brought us a traditional Dublin Coddle...I fell instantly in love (with her and her dish)! I love a good Irish accent. It's just so...swoon...cool.  You will not believe how easy this recipe of hers is to make!  Neeve informed us that this dish had been around for centuries and was different for every family. It originated in the pubs at the docks of Dublin. Classy stuff.  There were some basic ingredients that most natives would use: Potatoes, pork sausage, rashers (aka "back bacon" or in American terms "Canadian Bacon"), onions, sometimes cabbage, sometimes carrots, sometimes celery, and a hearty broth if you have it. If you don't have broth, you can just use water, and it is called a "blind coddle". You get the picture. Really it is a one-pot slow cooker dish that you throw together using whatever you have around as long as it fits those loose guidelines. I'm in love already.  

So I decided to make some for my family for dinner Sunday night. It got rave reviews. I didn't have to really do much to look like an Irish princess. Mission accomplished.

Chef Tess' Dublin Coddle
5 medium new potatoes, cut into cubes
2 large onions, diced
1 lb pork sausage, browned and drained
1/2 lb back bacon (Canadian Bacon), diced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1 cup new carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 cups vegetable stock (or water)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large gallon slow-cooker. Heat on high for 2-3 hours until vegetables are tender.  Serve hot with fresh Irish Soda Bread or 9 Grain Sour Cream Irish Soda Bread .

There you go! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Good Morning Arizona Easy Bread Segment

Yesterday some of my favorite ladies got together with me for some bread baking and a segment for Good Morning Arizona at Gena's house.  Sassy Cassie and her mom Stacie were there. 
We were celebrating the advent of my new book: Bread Art, and making some gorgeous bread!
We made:
5 Day Bread Dough and 4 Ingredient No Knead Bread

I actually got to do the segment without a TV anchor interviewing me so it was an amazing opportunity!

Here's the video of the segment:

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Mom's 5 Day Bread Dough...Updated Bosch Tutorial!

Homemade matters to us.  For my entire life, this recipe has been the standard of excellence in bread making. This is a bread dough recipe that my mother, Geneve, developed for her college Food Science final. I grew up with this bread and the smell of wheat grinding fresh in our family home.  I remember mom always testing the fresh milled flour to be sure the wheat had not gone rancid in storage.  Today...we milled wheat that I had put away when my first born son was born. Yup. 14 years ago.  I turned into my mom today. I got really giddy to find it was still perfect wheat, ready for bread.

  There was also only one bread mixer that she would ever openly praise.  It was our family Bosch mixer from the Bosch Kitchen Store.  It really was the only machine strong enough to handle this dough, because she made 5-6 loaves at a time. Repeat that several times a week. The machine lasted without a hick-up or need for a tune-up for most of my life. The last time I visited my mother, she was still using the same machine. She got the machine when I was about 2 years old...and I turn...(gulp) forty this year.  Yup. Bosch mixer are that good.

Gathering around Mom’s mixer and watching the dough form into supple perfection was the highlight of my week and the very testing-ground for what became a baking passion for me. We had to watch as it "spun gold out of wheat" and I was able to see first-hand what proper protein development should look like in the bread making process. Baking bread with mom made me what I am today. Some of life’s richest lessons were taught around that bread-board. 

 She'd always dissect the fresh loaves and make sure they were up to her standard.  I still do the same when I make mine. 

  • Is the crust thin, crisp, and uniformly colored? 
  • Is the crust tight to the loaf or did it separate?
  • Is the loaf rounded, uniform in width size, and well domed? 
  • Is the taste mild and sweet with the flavor of the wheat?
  • Are there any strong flavors?
  •  Is it overly yeasty, sour or salty?   
  • Is the texture silky and tender?
  •  Is the crumb fine? 
  • Are there any flour lumps or knots in the dough?
  • Are the air holes uniform?
  • Can you cut reasonable slices without the bread falling apart?

Life has taken me far from my mother’s home. If I think about it too much, I get misty-eyed.  Now as a pastry chef and mother myself, her recipe for this remarkable bread remains a classic.  I was reminded of this once again this week as we gathered around our mixer. Mine is the newest model, thanks to my friends at Bosch. The recipe...is still mom's. 

It is called 5-day bread, but the dough can be made up to 7 days ahead of time. I still use it every single week! The dough is stored in a large bucket or covered bowl in the fridge.  Sometimes I divide it between 4 gallon sized zipper bags.  I love this dough made into rolls, pretzels, pizzas and yes, decorative ornate braided bread loaves.  You’ll find this to be excellent dough to keep on hand for all your bread making needs. Don’t be dismayed by the number of ingredients in this bread, each one works with the other to make it perfect.
Chef Tess' Mom's 5-Day Bread
2 T active-dry yeast OR 1T SAF Instant premium yeast
4 c milk, scalded and cooled OR water (no hotter than 115 degrees)
3/4 c honey
1T salt
4 large eggs
3/4 c oil (olive or melted coconut oil)
1 1/2 c mashed potatoes, cooled to body temperature
1T baking powder
14-15 cups fresh milled whole wheat bread flour ( tutorial on making-whole-grain-flour-at-home )

Directions: Dissolve yeast in milk (or water) in a Bosch Universal Mixer.  Yeast does matter. I use this one because I know it works.
Stir in honey. Allow yeast to get foamy. Add egg, oil, mashed potato, baking powder, salt and 14 cups of fresh milled flour. Turn to speed 1 and combine about 30 seconds.
 Increase speed to 3 and mix 4 ½ minutes until dough is soft and well developed but not dry.
 It will look almost like spun golden yarn. That's what good protein development should look like in your bowl. 
Allow dough to rest 10 minutes in the bowl (this gives the wheat time to absorb moisture). Don't skip this 10 minute resting step. You'll end up using way more flour than you need to in your bread and your bread will be dry.  After 10 minutes, you should be able to pull a piece out and have it string 6-7 inches above the bowl without the dough breaking. 
Add enough of the flour remaining to make soft dough that is easy to handle but not dry. More often than not, I don't have to add any more flour at all. Turn dough onto a  very lightly floured surface.  Form into a ball. It should hold it's shape without melting into a blob on your counter-top. 
 Place dough  in an ungreased 2-gallon bowl or food-grade bucket, covered tightly. If you don't have a large enough bowl...use two smaller bowls. Or...just half the recipe if you are worried about the dough growing all over your fridge outside of the container.
Put in the fridge, tightly covered.
 Punch down after 2 hours (this may be faster if you use warm ingredients or flour). If the dough is over 85 degrees when you put it in the fridge, be sure to punch down sooner. 
Form into a ball again. Cover tightly and chill at least 8 hours.  This chilling step is what will give you the best taste in your bread.  Long, slow, low fermentations of dough  are unparalleled for flavor development and gluten elasticity. This fermentation process cannot be produced by adding artificial flavors or mixing longer mechanically.  Some people try to mimic this process by adding extra chemical dough conditioners or added gluten powders.  They are not necessary if you do this step correctly.  They happen naturally by slowly raising in your fridge. This is the single most important step in making this bread remarkable and clean from added chemicals. 

Be sure to punch down daily if keeping it more than a day or two (this not only expels gas, but also ensures even temperature in the dough). This will yield 4 standard sized loaves of bread. Yes. You can also use it for anything remarkable at this point. I have such a hard time not making it into at least a dozen cinnamon rolls...or apple pie rolls...
To bake a standard sized loaf: Divide dough in 4 equal portions, about 2 lbs of dough for standard loaves. Form each loaf using the loaf molding technique ( Loaf Molding Tutorial).  Lightly coat the top of the loaf with melted butter and then lightly tent the loaves with plastic or plastic bags OR place in a moist place to rise. Allow to rise (1 -1 ½ hrs) until dough is about 1-2 inches above the edge of the pan. Lightly slit the top with a very sharp knife. 
Bake in preheated 425° oven for 20 minutes then drop the temperature to 350 for the final 15-20 minutes of cooking.
Remove from pans and allow cooling completely before cutting.
I cut this loaf right from the oven. 
Awww. See how it looks fuzzy instead of a clean texture?
Wait 30 minutes...and it slices a lot cleaner and nicer. 
So now I have my dough, ready for the week. It is just part of what I do to make things run smoothly here and save money.  Homemade matters to us. I know what is going into our sandwiches and lunch boxes.  We're using fresh milled grain that keeps the nutrition right in my kitchen instead of a factory somewhere. Plus, saving money and eating whole food is just how we roll.  

Yes. Mom was right. The best things in life cannot come from a store. They come from the heart. As I watched my kiddos rip into this gorgeous bread (while praising my name) I thought to myself, "This is it. This is why I do what I do."   Make a memory. Share some love.  Get the goodness into them!  And by all means, move onward and upward!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cheese and Almond Crusted Tilapia

I shared this recipe on Good Morning Arizona yesterday. 

The crust is perfect. The fish is tender. The balance of the lemon and the pepper will make you so happy!

Chef Tess' Cheese and Almond Crusted Tilapia
1 eggs
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
½ cup almond flour
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets
2T cup all-purpose flour (or Gluten-free alternative) for dusting
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
¼ cup choped fresh parsley
lemon wedges
  • Beat the eggs with the lemon zest, pepper, and garlic and garlic until blended; set aside.
  •  Stir together ground almonds with ½ cup of Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish until combined; set aside. Dust the tilapia fillets with flour, and shake off excess. Dip the tilapia in egg, then press into the almond mixture.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook tilapia in melted butter until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium, and season fillets with salt if desired. Sprinkle the tilapia with the Asiago cheese, cover, and continue cooking until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the tilapia to a serving dish, and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges to serve.
There you go. Awesome Tilapia!
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Salmon Wellington and Good Morning Arizona Fish Recipes

 Lent is here. We don't eat fish often at my house. Ace just can't stand the smell of fish (or the taste) and I just can't stand the look on his face when the house is stinky. Without fail, whenever we go somewhere with salmon on the menu, I order it. I love it. When I go to Utah, I go fishing.  Ace would rather die than go fishing. How can we be so opposite and be so perfect for each other? I don't know.  The picky eaters in my house are not my kids. Ironic.

When the producer at 3TV asked me to do a fish segment this week to help folks with fish recipes for Lent, I had to bring in some of my best work.  Mind you, we don't eat a lot of fish. These are fish recipes I used as a chef cooking for other people.  Ace came home from work to a kitchen full of fish. He got a plate. He devoured this stuff...and he said, "I ate fish. I'd eat it like that ever single day!" So...we have a winner! This salmon is topped with a savory Dijon dill sauce, feta, and spinach then wrapped in a flaky layer of puff pastry. It looks amazing and it tastes even better! Yes. I'll be making this again. It is perfect for a fancy dinner or a simple night at home when you want  to make something special for your family.
 Tess' Savory Salmon Wellington
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
2 tsp dried dill seasoning
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (or Goat Cheese)
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
and drained
1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff
pastry, thawed
1 egg white, beaten
  • Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Sprinkle salt on both sides of the salmon. Mix dill, mustard, and mayonnaise in a small bowl and spread over the salmon, then sprinkle the feta cheese on top. Layer the spinach over the feta cheese.
  • Roll the pastry out wide enough and long enough to wrap around the salmon, about 1/4 inch thickness. Place the salmon in the center of the pastry and fold the pastry over the salmon. Place the roll seam-side down on a baking sheet. Cut several small slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Brush the egg white onto the pastry.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the pastry is golden brown and the salmon flakes easily with a fork, about 45 minutes.
There you go! Enjoy!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Onward and Upward. I will miss you Honeyville.

I know there are rumors floating around about me leaving Honeyville and today I am putting them to rest. Yes. The rumors are true. After 2 1/2 years as being their employee, I have had some changes come that I didn't expect.  Life is that way isn't it? Just when you think you know what is happening, things change. This is not goodbye however. This is just a change in how often I will be in the stores teaching classes.  Every now and then I'll be helping out with recipes as well.
How did it Start?  
Back when I started with Honeyville, I had no idea what a grand adventure I was going to have! It was almost mind boggling the first time I saw Honeyville setting up for a preparedness event that I would be speaking at in their Salt Lake city store. I adored seeing all the chairs lined up for the show! They had invited me to be one of the teachers and I taught eleven classes in two days at their Salt Lake location.

One of the things that first impressed me was that Lowell Sherratt Jr. (President of Honeyville Farms) and his darling wife were out in the warehouse along with all the rest of the employees to help move the buckets and prepare for the fair. Now, maybe it's just me...but I think it's a rare, beautiful pleasure to see a leader who is willing to lead by example and work late into the night at any age. I'm so very impressed by this attitude. Lowell's father started Honeyville Farms back in 1951. Now the Honeyville business has grown over the years to be one of the larger food manufacturers in the Western United States supplying Honeyville grains and mixes to customers all over the world!  
That preparedness event marked the start of a new friendship with Honeyville and the chance for my spice line, that had only previously been sold out of my home cottage business online, to be in Honeyville retail stores.

Within a few months, Honeyville hired me as "their face" and company chef.  I got to see behind the scenes how the company worked and I got to fall in love all over again with the people who make things work at their stores and in their corporate office. I loved the integrity of their employees. I loved the way the dealt with their customers.  It was incredible to part of the family.  Soon they had put together a new label and added my spices to the online store and all their retail locations. 

 I loved teaching in the Honeyville kitchen!The dearest experiences I had happened right in the Honeyville kitchen.It was amazing to see people connect new ideas, learn new skills, and connect with all of you. The love has been remarkable.
 I will never forget the ones who brought me bread.  It was their bread! Bread they had learned to make when they had come to my classes.  I saw many hands in the dough that had never been there before.  Usually those events ended with me driving home with tears of gratitude in my eyes. It was humbling to see lives being changed.  It was humbling to see you all taking home a skill and then sharing it with those you love the most in your kitchens at home.
 There are faces I will never forget. There are experiences that can never be erased. There are smiles that will never fade in my heart.
 I got to travel a lot.  Oh. And I must admit that I will really miss slipping over to the park in Brigham City, Utah, and fishing with my dad after a very eventful full day of classes at Honeyville in Utah.

The book signing events for the Honeyville books were memorable beyond words. Everyone made me feel dearly loved.
Writing Labels and Recipes!
Probably one of the biggest highlights of my job has been being able to write the words for the labels as well as develop recipes for the Honeyville products and cans! Full bragging rights...That was an epic part of the job.  

Preparedness Events!
Speaking at State-wide and nation-wide preparedness events in front of hundreds of people was life changing. This one for Utah State University was especially awesome. I got to have my mom there. Mom got her food science degree at USU around the time I was born. Ahh. The circle of life.
 Seeing dreams come true!
I loved taking part of the process.  One of the things Honeyville is known for is mixing and packaging for private labels.  I got to work with some of their biggest customers writing labels and sharing recipes.
I loved watching as my dear friends saw their dreams of getting their products mixed and packaged go from an idea to a reality...breathtaking.
Onward and Upward!
As for me, what is next?  Moving on from Honeyville will be hard. I'm not going to lie. I'm going to miss being part of the everyday workings. I've cried a lot.  You all have made such an difference in my life!  However, I will still be visiting periodically for a few classes.  You haven't seen the last of me yet darlings! What else will I be up to then?!
On TV!
 I'm still going to be doing Chef Tess stuff. I'm still working with television crews all over the country. Phoenix folks will get to see me at least once a week! There are rumors of a TV show...but I'll keep you posted.

A New Book!
In April, my new book, Bread Art will be released in bookstores nationally. I'm pretty excited about that. 

On the Radio!
I've been offered the opportunity to be on Phoenix Fox news radio every Saturday from 3-5 PM as a radio show co-host on Cooking with Jan D'Atri. Yes. that means you can tune in online nationally at  KFYI Iheart Radio .  I can't even put into words how blessed I feel about this.

This is not goodbye. 
All of that being said, this will not be farewell to Honeyville, it will just be a change in how often I am seen at the stores. I will miss all of you very much, but I will look forward to hearing about your grand adventures with food and life.  Nothing is ever going to take away from me the love that I feel in my heart for all of the events and people that came to me because I was a part of this company. You can still get my Honeyville books and spices in their stores and online as well. I can't tell you what it has meant to our little family over the last few years to have your support. I hope that will continue in the future. They will still be Here

That being said, this is not goodbye. This is "until we meet again!" I hope you are moving "Onward and Upward!"

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess