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January 12, 2021 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand ambassador Chef Derrick Fox as he shares his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.  

As a private chef, I learn everything about the tastes and flavors my clients love and the ones that they don’t like at all. I also have to pay especially close attention to special diets, food restrictions and allergies, which can sometimes feel like a never-ending mecca.

That’s part of the reason that I am brought on board as a private chef. They need an expert that can take those restrictions and still make them something delicious. I go out of my way to make my vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and dieting clients delicious meals that take their diet restrictions into account, but also will wow their taste buds.

I’ve also noticed that cutting out gluten and dairy from my diet just feels better. I feel lighter and more energetic!

Whether or not you follow a gluten free, dairy free or vegan diet, this recipe is delicious! Plus, I’m sure you have a friend who follows one of these diets that you can impress with this masterpiece.

Let’s #cooklikeagod! 

Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
Crust Ingredients  Equipment 
10 gluten free, vegan chocolate cookies (any brand) Food processor
6 tbsp vegan butter, melted 2 metal mixing bowls
Chocolate Filling Ingredients  Pie dish
7 oz. 70% dark chocolate Small pot
16 oz. Kite Hill cream cheese Plastic wrap
10 oz. oat milk Blender
1 cup of raw cashews
6 tbsp vegan butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp monkfruit sugar

To prepare the pie crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor, blend the cookies on high to make cookie crumbs. Add the melted butter and cookie crumbs into a mixing bowl and combine into a wet, sand-like consistency. Press the crumbs into your pie dish to fully cover the bottom and the sides of the dish. Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

Once cooked, leave the pie crust in the dish and let cool before adding the filling.

To prepare the filling: Place the cashews in a small pot, cover them with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the cashews from the water and set them aside.

Break up the chocolate into a medium metal mixing bowl and add the butter and vanilla.

In a small pot, bring the oat milk to a scald (you’ll see small bubbles on the side of the pot). Once at a scald, pour the oat milk over the chocolate and butter mixture, then immediately cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 5 minutes, then mix until smooth.

In a blender, add the chocolate mixture, the cashews and the vegan cream cheese and blend until smooth. If you like your cake really thick, feel free to add more cream cheese!

Pour the blended chocolate cream cheese mixture into the chilled pie crust. Place in the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight and enjoy!

December 23, 2020 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Holiday Recipes: Rack of Lamb and Caviar

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand ambassador Chef Derrick Fox as he shares his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.  

Rack of lamb with caviar

Like all families, the holidays always reveal its most interesting dynamics, whether your family is large or small or made up friends: you know the family you choose. My family is all over the place, and I wouldn’t be able to explain all the different dynamics and personalities in one blog post, but I can assure you, you are not alone. I have had the entire family together, multiple family gatherings, the divorced household, the stepdad Christmas, the friends Christmas, a Christmas alone, and a Christmas with the family I have made with my wife and our dog and cat! Whatever your situation, there are wonderful memories that we all hang on to, most of which revolve around food.

I remember when I was young and living in Florida with my mom, biological father and younger brother. Around the holidays, shortly after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, my grandmother Rosalie would send a box of Pizzelle: little Italian cookies pressed and cooked in a waffle iron that looked like it was meant to make the cookie in the shape of a snow flake.

Pizzelle, photo credit The Kitchen

Pizzelle, photo credit The Kitchn

I come from a long line of strong Italian women, and in Italian families, most traditions involve cooking. Through my childhood, my life changed a lot, we moved a lot – I never had the opportunity of staying in one place very long, so that meant new friends, different family members, and never sticking around long enough to form a tradition….except those Pizzelle. It didn’t matter where in the country we were, I could count on that box arriving. Crispy, flat, almond or vanilla flavored cookies. We loved them. My grandmother years later passed the tradition down to my mom and my aunt. In my teens, I remember my mom and dad (stepdad) making them for a few years and we would take them over to my grandparents’ house to keep the one tradition we had alive. Needless to say, the tradition fizzled out when my brothers and I moved to different corners of the country and well, my parents stopped cooking them. I guess the moral of that story is that it’s a good memory and I can always try and start it up again.

Rack of lamb resting

Now that I am older and a chef, I have developed my own personal traditions. Traditions that stick with me no matter who is present. For Thanksgiving, I always make Beef Wellington – every year it gets better, and every year new people get to enjoy it. For Christmas I make a rack of lamb. I’ve always loved making lamb, but when I made it for Gordon Ramsay, I learned I made it very well. I’ve made it for many people at all different times of year, but it’s extra special on Christmas, and now I’m going to share that recipe with you!

Its simple, cook it like a steak. Salt & pepper, sear on all sides, based with garlic, thyme, shallots, butter, and finish in the oven for a couple minutes depending on how thick your chops are to your preferred doneness. I’ll break it down below. ⏬

Seared rack of lamb in a cast iron skillet

New Year’s…. As a kid, my parents changed the clocks in the house to 4 hours ahead and put on the ball drop from a time zone that worked for their plan and put us to bed at 8:30. I was not happy about that when they told us when we got older. They thought it was hilarious.

I’ve always loved New Year’s as an adult, because growing up there were times we didn’t have much, and New Year’s felt like a taste of the high life. Champagne wishes and Caviar dreams. I love them both. Below are some tips to enjoying caviar and impressing your friends with fun ways to eat it.  

Let’s #cooklikeagod!

Rack of Lamb
Ingredients  Equipment 
Rack of Lamb x2 Large cast iron pan or large sauté pan
4 tbsp butter Large pasting spoon
2 shallots
Fresh thyme
4 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper

When you purchase the racks of lamb, look for Frenched: it’s the way the fat cap is trimmed (If it’s not already frenched, ask the butcher to French it for you). Pull your lamb out of the fridge 45 minutes before cooking to come to room temp. I recommend slicing the rack into doubles, meaning two rib bones per piece of loin. If you like them single, you will skip the oven step.

Basting rack of lamb

Set up your basting mise en place, by slicing the shallots thick, peeling the garlic cloves and give them a quick smash, but do not cut them. You want the garlic to be whole pieces. Smashing them opens them up for the butter to run through.

Now heavily salt and pepper your lamb. Get your pan hot. Add grapeseed oil to the pan and sear the lamb for 1.5-2 minutes on each side. Left, right, then the fat side. Once on the fat side, at the garlic, thyme, shallots, and butter to the pan. Take a large spoon and baste the butter over the lamb for 45 seconds. Then put the pan with the lamb in the oven for 4 minutes for medium, and 6 minutes for medium well. Times will vary depending on the thickness of the lamb chops and how hot your stove gets when you sear. It might take you a couple tries to figure out your timing. Serve with mashed potatoes and a red wine sauce on Christmas and it will be talked about until the ball drops on New Year’s. 🎄🥂

Now let’s talk caviar! Its fancy, it can be expensive, and when you have it served at your party, it means that your party is at a different level! It says you have a sophisticated palate, a desire for nice things, and you are a generous host. The next day your guests will tell their friends about the caviar if you serve it right!

Caviar on ice, sour cream and your favorite salty potato chip

Classic:

  • On ice with sides of minced shallots, chives, and chopped hard-boiled eggs, crème fraiche, and toast points.
    If you want to make it a classic tray-passed app, you can serve the caviar on a blini with a dollop of crème fraiche. A blini is like a savory mini pancake. The easiest way to do this is get the paleo pancake batter from whole foods, make the batter and put it in a squeeze bottle. Squeeze out tiny little bite-size pancakes in the pan and cook on low heat on both sides. Top with a small dollop of CF, then top with a spoon full of caviar, and sprinkle chives.

Fun way to serve:

  • Caviar on ice, sour cream, and your favorite salty potato chips. Classic flavors in a fun hip way.

Classic caviar on ice

I hope you enjoyed learning a little about my journey and some helpful tips to elevate your holiday season. This year is a little different and your gatherings should be small, but these will impress regardless. Take photos and tag @ThorKitchen and @ChefDerrickFox so I can see all the deliciousness you create!

Cheers, Happy Holidays! …. And Good Riddance to 2020!!!!

November 12, 2020 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Ricotta and Artichoke Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.  

 Recently, I was preparing a family-style dinner and a few of the family members were vegetarian. As a chef, it’s hard to see people feel left out at the table because there are limited options for their particular dietary need.  

 I wanted to create a recipe with a vegetable as the star that could be both a satisfying entrée or a hearty side dish. Like a stroke of lightning, this recipe hit me!    

 Portabella mushrooms are delicious, healthy and very easy to cook with. You can grill them, roast them, marinate and bake them – there are so many possibilities! Pair these stuffed Portabella mushrooms with a full-flavored porter or your favorite IPA for a crowd-pleasing, vegetarian meal.  

 Let’s #cooklikeagod!

Ricotta and Artichoke Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
Ingredients  Equipment 
3-4 large Portobello mushrooms  Mixing bowl 
1 ½ cups Ricotta cheese Baking sheet
5 artichoke hearts
3 teaspoons capers
¼ cup shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese 
Juice of half a lemon 
Zest of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
Olive oil 
Optional: chives, basil (for garnish) 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

To prepare the mushrooms: Place the mushrooms in a mixing bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss lightly to coat the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms bottom up on the baking sheet. 

To prepare the filling: Rough chop the artichokes and add to the mixing bowl with the Ricotta cheese, capers, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Mix well. 

Scoop the filling into the mushroom caps and top with more shaved cheese. 

 

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn on the broiler setting, move the mushrooms under the broiler and cook for 1-2 additional minutes or until the cheese starts to turn golden brown. 

Remove from the oven, plate and garnish with chives, basil or a drizzle of balsamic reduction. 

 

September 18, 2020 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings with Basil Pesto

This Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings with Basil Pesto recipe blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.  

I have had many different chef jobs over the years, and this recipe comes from a time when I was working at a restaurant that had a great football crowd. 

The owner asked me to put wings on the menu, and I didn’t want to put just any typical recipe on the menu. So, created these garlicky, cheesy, deliciously messy wings and they were a hit!   

We had commercial fryers at the restaurant, so I altered the recipe to make it a little easier for you at home. Pair these with a crisp refreshing beer and you will be living your best life! Now that’s how you #cooklikeagod!

Watch how to make garlic parmesan chicken wings in this video and find the full recipe below!

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings with Basil Pesto 
Chicken Wing Ingredients Basil Pesto Ingredients 
lbs chicken wings  1 cup basil
2 tbsp baking powder  1 cup spinach
2 tbsp garlic powder ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
2 tsp salt   1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1 tbsp minced garlic 
Juice of half a lemon 
Olive oil 
Garlic Parmesan Sauce Ingredients Equipment
2 cups grated (not packed) Parmesan cheese  Baking sheet with rack
2 sticks melted butter  Mixing bowl
3 tbsp minced garlic 
Food processor

To Prepare the Wings
To get nice, crispy baked wings, combine baking powder, garlic powder and salt in a mixing bowl, then add your wings. Coat the wings evenly by tossing them in the mixing bowl, and feel free to use your hands! 

 Put the wings on a baking rack over a foil-lined baking sheet, then place in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. Increase the heat to 425 degrees and cook for another 40 minutes until the wings are cooked through and crispy. 

mixing garlic parmesan chicken wing ingredients in bowl

To Prepare the Garlic Parmesan Sauce
Grate 2 cups (not packed) of Parmesan cheese into a mixing bowl. Add minced garlic. 

 In a sauce pot over medium heat, melt the butter. You can clarify the butter if you’d like by letting the milk solids separate, then straining them out with cheese cloth. 

 Let the butter cool a little, and then pour the butter over the cheese and garlic and whisk.  

 Once the wings are cooked, toss them in the garlic parmesan sauce. 

To Prepare the Basil Pesto
Add the basil, spinach, toasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and minced garlic into a food processor. Turn on the food processor and drizzle olive oil through the spout until the pesto becomes smooth. 

When browned and crisp to your liking, take a slotted spoon and remove them to a metal mixing bowl. In the mixing bowl, toss the cubes with a little cinnamon sugar.  

 Now, Lets Put it on the Plate
Once the wings are tossed in the Garlic Parmesan sauce, pile them high on the plate and drizzle them with the Basil Pesto, then top with more grated Parmesan. 

garlic parmesan chicken wings on a green plate

Find more recipes like Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings with Basil Pesto on our blog: THOR KITCHEN BLOG

Watch more videos from THOR Kitchen on our YouTube channel: THOR KITCHEN YOUTUBE

August 13, 2020 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Enjoying A Backyard Cookout During Quarantine

Imagining a summer without a backyard cookout is like thinking of fall without pumpkin spice everything. Unfortunately, with so many states still battling new coronavirus cases, people are understandably being encouraged to stay home and keep the gatherings to a minimum. However, we know how hard it’s been, and some folks will host grilling events because they want to see friends and family. 

Luckily, new ways have come to light to help expand your personal quarantine bubble, and some restaurants are even beginning to open outdoor dine-in services. With these principles in mind, we want to offer some tips for enjoying a backyard cookout during the quarantine.

What Size Should My Cookout Be?

You’re probably ready to fire up your new grill and get your summer officially started with its first BBQ, but remember to keep the party within the maximum size for gatherings in your county. It is best to play this safe, both for the sake of safety and legality. A good rule of thumb is your party is too big if you can’t see everyone from wherever you’re standing.

Within that number, you want to make sure there is enough space in your yard for your guests to maintain six feet distance from each other. People living in the same household can be closer to each other so that proper seat planning can maximize your available space.

If you’re the party host, be sure to clean and disinfect everything, including tables, chairs, and common areas. Keep wipes and hand sanitizer on hand and available to your guests to maintain a sanitized space.

Should Guests Wear Masks and Gloves?

As a general rule, anyone serving food or drinks should wear masks and gloves. Everyone else should maintain restaurant etiquette and wear masks after eating, especially if they are within six feet of one another. Gloves are optional; they can help, but with snacking, dining, and drinking, people run the risk of going through endless pairs of disposable gloves.

Luckily, with the right products, the virus that causes COVID-19 is relatively easy to kill. Any household disinfectant should suffice for cleaning surfaces. Be sure to routinely disinfect during the cookout, paying particular attention to high traffic areas your guests will have access to, especially the bathroom. Make sure your hand soap and toilet paper are well stocked.

Keep it Outside

Most research states that you’re less likely to transmit or catch the virus if you’re outside, wearing a mask, and maintaining social distancing. The fastest way to turn your backyard cookout from a well-planned gathering into a safety hazard is to gather guests inside your house.

If someone must enter the house, make sure they know where to find sanitizing wipes and keep their trips to necessities, like trips to the restroom. 

If your cookout gets unexpected rain, do not invite everyone inside. It is in your best interest, and everyone’s health, to cancel the cookout and try another time. Conversely, if you’re at a BBQ and it starts raining, it’s fine to head home if heading inside will be too crowded for your comfort.

Best Foods to Serve and How to Handle Them

Treat your backyard cookout like a restaurant and follow the CDC guidelines for restaurants during COVID-19.  If you’re going to use top-of-the-line equipment, and professional-grade grills, you might as well maintain the same standards of practice that the best restaurants are following.

Avoid shared foods. We know chips and dip are a time-honored cookout food, but now isn’t the time for communal foods. Right now, sharing is not caring. If you must serve those snacks and appetizers, try to give guests a pre-prepared plate of chips and dip to avoid transmission via guests touching the same item.

As for serving up your favorite summer recipes, it’s a good idea to treat your professional grilling area like the kitchen of a restaurant. Keep it inaccessible and have a set number of food handlers. Remember, the fewer people that can come in contact with the food, the better. Designate one chef. We know it’s a tradition to check on the chef and have a talk by the grill, but give the grill master some space. If necessary, cordon off the grill area and have the chef and someone else prepare plates of food for guests, so everyone only just touches their individual dishes.

What’s the Safest Way to Serve Drinks?

What’s a backyard cookout without some cold drinks? It’s summer, it’s going to be warm, and people will get thirsty. The two absolute best options are:

  1. Buy individual beverages like cans or bottles instead of a communal drinking station.
  2. Explicitly tell your guests to bring your own beverages. That way, people can safely handle their individual drinks.

Now everyone knows that even if you’ve repeatedly informed everyone to bring their own drinks, someone is bound to “forget”. That’s fine because you planned for it. Hopefully, you’ve included some outdoor refrigeration into your grill station. While ice chests are a staple of the backyard BBQ, it might be best to keep them in the garage. Guests might find it hard to break from the habit of grabbing drinks themselves.

Having a built-in under-counter refrigerator drawer, or if you’re feeling a little fancier an indoor/outdoor wine cooler, will completely change your barbequing experience and will make it easy to keep things COVID safe. First, the units stay within the confines of the grill space, making it easy to control who has access to the drinks. Secondly, stainless steel is a lot easier to clean and wipe down when someone does touch it. So even if you have someone sneaking over to grab a drink, it’s easy for them to sanitize the handle and keep your space clean.

Conclusion

Your summertime might not feel complete without at least one cookout. After all, you didn’t spend all that time designing your outdoor cook space and perfecting your grilling techniques to not share it with your family and friends, right? 

With some proper planning and a few gallons of hand sanitizer, you should feel safe enough to dust off that grill, set a few beers and pops to chill, and enjoy at least part of your summer with loved ones. And with these guidelines, you won’t let COVID-19 crash your BBQ.

July 10, 2020 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Super Easy Peanut Butter Oat Bars

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.  

This recipe is both super easy and oh so tasty. With so many of us cooking from home, grocery store shelves can be a little hit-or-miss. This recipe uses just five ingredients, which are probably all in your pantry right now!  

These bars are perfect as a midmorning or midday snack to give you an extra boost of energy on a busy day. I came up with a version of this recipe for a superstar athlete. He loves Nutella and peanut butter and also needs to keep his protein and calories up.   

A busy day is a lot like training for a sport, or maybe you are training for something and need a great source of protein and good energy. These bars are a perfect go to, and of course the Nutella makes them nice and sweet.  

Just be careful not to eat the whole batch! 

Peanut Butter Oat Bars
Ingredients
12 oz jar of creamy peanut butter 
12 oz jar of Nutella 
2-3 cups of your favorite oats or granola mix 
1 Tbsp Pure organic maple syrup (optional)
2 70% dark chocolate bars
 Equipment 
Temperature safe rubber spatula 
Large sauté pan
Baking sheet 
Parchment paper
Small sauce pot for double broiler 
Grease free mixing bowl

In your sauté pan over medium low heat, add the peanut butter, Nutella and oats. With your rubber spatula carefully mix your ingredients until the mixture becomes well-mixed and pliable. If it becomes too pliable, add more oats. 

Once mixed pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and smooth out. Place in your freezer until frozen through, about an hour.

Right before you are going to pull your frozen mix from the freezer, you will want to melt your chocolate.  

If you’re not particular about the shine on the chocolate, you can melt your chocolate in the microwave. Break your chocolate bars into a microwave-safe glass dish and heat on 50% heat for 1-2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds.   

You can also melt your chocolate the classic way. Fill your sauce pot a quarter of the way with water and boil. Once it starts boiling, drop your heat to a low simmer. Break your chocolate into the grease free metal mixing bowl and place over the pot. Constantly mix with your rubber spatula until melted and shiny.

Pull your frozen mix from the freezer and place on a cutting board. Cut them into squares. Dip one flat side into the chocolate, and then place back onto the parchment paper with the chocolate side up. Do that for each bar and then place back in the freezer.

After a few more minutes in the freezer, they are ready to enjoy! Remove from freezer and let thaw a couple minutes before eating.  

#COOKLIKEAGOD

Pork Belly Taco

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.

We all love a good Taco Tuesday, and we also love Cinco de Mayo. I mean, is there ever a bad time to celebrate our universal love for tacos?!

This recipe is a way for you to impress your friends and loved ones by mastering the art of pork belly, which is one of my favorite things to cook. I cook it many ways, but the best way for tacos is taking the time to prepare it the day before.

During my time on Master Chef, I spent many days in what could be described as a quarantine. We were filming a massive cooking competition and it was important that we stay isolated to not reveal or disrupt the show. In those moments, I really discovered the importance of patience not only in the kitchen, but in our everyday life.

So, if you take anything from this taco recipe, other than its profound deliciousness, practice the art of patience. Making the pork belly a day in advance and knowing you have to wait to eat it will help you focus on the art of cookery. When you finally bite into these tacos, you will appreciate them on a whole new level. I encourage you to approach everything with this mentality, and I promise, every day will feel like taco Tuesday!

Pork Belly Tacos with Pineapple Pico De Gallo & Miso Slaw
Serving Size: 12 tacos 
·         2 lbs pork belly Pineapple Pico de Gallo Ingredients
·         Mission Street Taco Flour Tortillas ·         1 cup of pineapple, diced
·         1 Roma tomato, diced
Braising Ingredients ·         ½ white onion, diced
·         1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped ·         ½ cup green onions
·         2 apples roughly chopped ·         ¼ cup chopped cilantro
·         1 large carrot, roughly chopped ·         1 serrano chili, sliced thin
·         1 stalk of celery, roughly chopped ·         2 limes
·         1 small yellow onion
·         5 garlic cloves Equipment 
·         2 bottles of dark ale ·         1 braising pan or Dutch oven
·         2 baking sheets
Miso Slaw Ingredients ·         1 medium Sauté pan
·         2 cups of shaved cabbage ·         1 fine mesh sieve
·         1 cup matchstick carrots ·         2 small bowls for mixing
·         1 tsp white miso paste ·         Whisk
·         1 tbsp apple juice ·         Aluminum foil
·         2 tbsp mayo ·         Plastic wrap
·         2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

To prepare the pork belly: This should be done the day before you plan on serving the tacos.

Score the fat side of the pork belly and season vigorously with salt and pepper. In a braising pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of grape seed oil and sear the pork belly to a golden brown on all sides. Remove pork and set aside.

Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pan and leave all the bits stuck to the bottom. Place the pan back over the heat and add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic.for 1 minute, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the fennel and apples. Sauté for 2-3 more minutes until the onions soften and everything is really fragrant, then deglaze the pan with the dark ale. Bring to a simmer.

Once the pan reaches a simmer, turn off the heat and bring the pork belly back to the pan. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 5 hours at 250 degrees.

When the pork is done, remove it from the braising liquid and place on a sheet try to let it cool. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a separate container, then place the liquid into the fridge.

Cover the pork belly with plastic. Place a second sheet tray on top and place it in the fridge overnight. Place weight on top of the tray, such as something heavy from your fridge.

To assemble the Pineapple Pico de Gallo: In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients: diced pineapple, diced Roma tomato, diced white onion, diced green onion, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced Serrano chili and mix. Squeeze two limes over and mix. Season with salt to taste.

You can also prepare the Pico de Gallo the day before and refrigerate. The longer your Pico de Gallo sits, the more flavorful it will be!

To assemble the Miso slaw:  In a small mixing bowl, add miso paste and apple juice and whisk. Then add the mayo and rice wine vinegar and whisk. Finally add the cabbage and carrots and toss.

Using the braising liquid: Remove the braising liquid from the fridge and scoop the fat off the top. We will use the braising liquid by drizzling it over the pork belly while it’s searing to give it a nice glaze.

To finish the pork belly: Pull the pork belly from the fridge and slice or dice the meat—your choice! I prefer to slice.

In a Sauté pan over high heat, add the sliced pork belly and sear until crispy and golden brown. Just before the pork is ready to be pulled, drizzle the braising liquid over the pork in the pan until fully glazed.

To assemble: Warm tortillas to your liking. I love using the flat top to lightly toast them.

Start with the miso slaw, then place pork belly on top. Add the Pineapple Pico de Gallo and finish with a sprig of cilantro. Don’t forget to add your favorite hot sauce if you like your tacos extra spicy!

 

 

Crab Cake with Simple Guacamole

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.

I tell everyone that says they don’t like the taste of something that they probably haven’t had it prepared properly. I’ll never forget the time I was cooking a private dinner party, and the client was telling me his “hatred” for mushrooms. He started eating the dish I had prepared for him, paused, and asked, “What’s this brown stuff?”

“Mushrooms!” I said. We all got a good laugh.

I was never crazy about crab cakes and always thought they were boring or typical. Then I tried one made with Ritz crackers and, in that moment, I understood that I had just never had a good crab cake.

I encourage anyone to keep trying foods you don’t like prepared in different ways. You will be surprised when you learn to love an ingredient. Then again, I also say that lightly, because it will be a cold day in hell before you catch me eating canned black olives!

I gave a little SoCal twist to this crab cake with some heat, some guac and a lime wedge. Let’s #cooklikeagod!

Chipotle Crab Cake with Simple Guacamole
Crab Cake Ingredients Simple Guacamole Ingredients
1 lb. Dungeness crab meat 2 avocados
1 cup crushed Ritz crackers Juice of 2 limes
1 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Vegenaise) Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp chipotle seasoning 2 tsp salt
2 celery stalks, diced ½ shallot, diced
½ cup corn, cooked 1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 egg
½ shallot, diced Equipment
2 tsp lime zest 1 large mixing bowl
1 tbsp grape seed oil 1 small mixing bowl for guac
Salt to taste 1 large frying pan
1 baking sheet
2 sheets of parchment paper

Before we mix all our ingredients, let’s cook and chill the corn. If you want to go the extra mile, I recommend grilling the corn then cutting it off the cob.

I made this crab cake during COVID-19 quarantine, so I used a frozen bag of corn and sautéed it in a pan real quick. Once cooked, let chill or come to room temp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To prepare crab mixture: In your large mixing bowl, add the mayo and chipotle seasoning and whisk. Be sure to get the seasoning nice and even. Then add celery, diced shallot and cooked corn and mix. Add one egg and whisk. The egg will help bind the ingredients together during cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next add crab, Ritz crackers and lime zest and mix.

Feel free to add more Ritz crackers if the mix seems too wet. The best part about this recipe (besides the crab) is the buttery goodness of the crushed Ritz crackers. Think about when you’re eating crab legs and you’re dipping them in clarified butter. We are achieving that combination here with the crackers in the crab cake.

I blitz the crackers in a food processor, but you can also put them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with your hands.

Now it’s time to mold and place your crab cakes. Use a large ring-shaped cookie cutter if you have one, or just use your hands to shape them into a patty. Then season with salt and pepper. Set the formed crab cakes on a sheet of parchment paper.

Place your pan over medium high heat. Once it’s hot, add oil to the pan and sear your crab cakes until they are golden brown on both sides. Place them on a baking sheet on a fresh sheet of parchment paper, then place them in the oven for 4 minutes at 400 degrees.

To prepare the simple guacamole: Peel your avocados, remove the pit and place in a small mixing bowl. Add lemon and lime juice and start mashing. The lime is great flavor and you want the flavor throughout. The acid in the lemon keeps the guac nice and green.

Then add the rest of your ingredients and mix. Add salt to taste and you are ready to plate and enjoy! Top with micro cilantro or radish sprouts and a lime wedge!

April 6, 2020 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Upgrading to a Professional Dual Fuel Range

 

Thor Kitchen 48" Dual Fuel Range

Every now and then something comes along that sparks our interest and cheers us up a bit. For some this could be receiving a bouquet of flowers, for others, it could be a trip to Paris. Yet, for those who genuinely enjoy all that the kitchen stands for, upgrading to a dual fuel range can be the icing on the cake.

Sure, it may seem silly to get so excited over an appliance – but don’t be fooled – this is not just any appliance. This is a professional style dual fuel range. And, if you are not too sure what that is just yet – you should keep reading. It is time you learn why you should be beaming with joy about upgrading your range. Dual fuel is a game-changer.

What a Dual Fuel Range Does

Just as its name suggests, this type of range works using two types of fuel – gas (either natural or propane) and electricity. But, you should note that this doesn’t mean you have a fuel switch on your range that allows you to choose which type of fuel you want each time you go to cook. They are not designed in that manner.

Typically, as is with Thor Kitchen’s design, dual fuel ranges have a gas stovetop and an electric oven. Because professional chefs everywhere will tell you that this is the best of both worlds, it is the most common type of dual fuel range on the market.

The Electric Oven

The electric heating of ovens tends to work much better than the fluctuating heat of gas when it comes to baking or roasting. This electric heat tends to be drier and distributed more evenly throughout the oven. Everything you bake, every time should come out baked evenly on every side.

Gas ovens do not give such award-winning outcomes. Since hot air rises, the higher racks will cook much faster than lower racks. Plus, because the heat is not evenly distributed, you will have to rotate your food as you bake it. This can be a bit frustrating if you are working on cooking other parts of your meal.

The Gas Stove

When it comes to the stove, gas is usually always the preference. And, it’s no wonder – it heats up instantly and gives you a very precise temperature. When you are done cooking and turn off the burner, it goes off. Just like that. You can even leave your pan on that burner and it will not continue cooking your food.

Electric stoves don’t do well. They are designed with heating coils which means they take time to heat up – and they take time to cool down. You cannot turn off an electric burner and leave your pan on the burner expecting it to not continue to cook.

Features You Will Want

Dual fuel ranges are designed with strong cooks in mind. They know what professional chefs want – and they want you to be able to have that in your kitchen. So, when it comes to upgrading your range to a professional dual fuel range, you will love these popular features:

  • An oven convection fan to ensure even baking.
  • Stovetop griddle with thermostat controls.
  • Extra-low simmer function to keep food warm.
  • Multiple burners, up to at least six burners, designed with durable continuous cast-iron grates.
  • Stainless steel finish for a stellar look that is easy to clean and fits any kitchen design.
  • LED lighting for energy efficiency.
  • Porcelain stovetop and interior oven for easy cleanup.

And the best part is that these are just a few of the features available. Remember, this professional style range was designed with those who love to cook in mind.

Why You Should Upgrade

If you want to make good food for your loved ones, family, and friends, then you require certain tools in your kitchen. Combining your gas range with an electric oven gives you a dual fuel option that gives you the best of both worlds – and simplifies your life.

No longer will you be stuck rotating your baked goods to make sure everything is baking evenly. And, no longer will you overcook your side dishes on the stove. Everything you do can be done with ease – when you upgrade to a dual fuel range.

And, you don’t have to be a professional to reap the benefits. Even novice cooks will look like pros with the use of a pro-style dual fuel range. It is amazing how much easier cooking a great meal is when you have the right fuel to get the job done, right?

So, now that you are going to upgrade, let’s take a look at a couple of your options:

Thor Kitchen’s Model Number HRD3088U

A smaller, space-saving model with great ability is this 30-inch dual fuel range in stainless steel with some awesome features:

  • Continuous, sturdy cast-iron cooking grates.
  • The porcelain cooktop under the grates makes cleanup simple and easy.
  • 4 gas range top burners, with heating ability as high as 18,000 BTU.
  • An oven with LED lighting with ample space to bake your favorite treats.
  • Porcelain walls are found inside the oven, as well, which allows for very easy cleanup.
  • Two moveable oven racks.
  • An electric broiler.

Thor Kitchen’s Model Number HRD3606U

This is a 36-inch dual fuel range with these great features:

  • Cast iron continuous burner grates for sturdy, durable cooking.
  • Six burners so you can be sure to cook all those tasty dishes.
  • Porcelain drip pan for easy cleanup afterward.
  • Oven with a commercial convection fan for even baking.
  • Blue porcelain oven interior for design and easy cleaning.
  • Blue LED illuminated knobs for that perfect final touch.

Thor Kitchen’s Model Number HRD4803U

If you need space, this 48-inch double-oven, dual fuel range is the upgrade you need. As if all the cooking and baking space wasn’t enough, check out all these features!

  • Continuous cast-iron heavy-duty grate.
  • Porcelain stove drip pan and inside of the oven for easy cleaning.
  • Not one, but two ovens – allowing you plenty of cooking space at multiple temperatures.
  • Commercial convection fan to ensure even baking.
  • Blue LED lights behind the control knobs for an elegant look.
  • Stovetop with 6-burners and a griddle.

Conclusion

Now is the time to upgrade to a professional dual fuel range. It’s simple: a pro-style by Thor Kitchen is a long-lasting investment for any kitchen.

April 1, 2020 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Ginger Glazed Salmon over Spicy Vegetable Succotash

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.

One question I am asked all the time is, “What do you cook for yourself at home?” Some people think I make complicated, time-consuming dishes and others really just want to hear that I love making frozen pizza.

Let’s be honest here… I do both! I truly eat to my mood and what my body is asking for. Some nights I can’t wait to fire up all the burners on my THOR Kitchen range and #cooklikeagod. Other times, I want whatever is easiest!

This salmon dish blends a little bit of both worlds and is a go-to at home, especially when I am super busy, because it’s so easy.

Enjoy!

Ginger Glazed Salmon over Spicy Vegetable Succotash
Ingredients Equipment 
4 8oz. pieces of King Salmon 2 non-stick sauté pans
1 purple potato 1 small sauce pot
½ lb. cremini mushrooms
1 large zucchini
1 shallot
1 Serrano pepper
2 tsp minced garlic, divided
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
Black sesame seeds
2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp cold water, mixed
Grapeseed oil for cooking
Salt + Pepper
Micro cilantro for garnish

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

To prepare the sauce: In a small dish, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water and mix well. You can also substitute arrowroot for the cornstarch. Set this aside for now because it will be added into your soy sauce mixture later.

In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, water, minced ginger and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Bring to a boil and then drop the heat to a rolling simmer. Add the cornstarch mixture and whisk. Sprinkle in some black sesame seeds which will add great texture to the dish.

Once the heat of the rolling simmer thins the sauce, turn the heat to low. This holds the sauce’s consistency so that you can brush it onto your salmon later.

To prepare the succotash: Chop all vegetables into small, equally sized pieces. Heat up the sauté pan, then add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil.

Sauté the diced purple potato first for about 1 minute. Then add shallot, mushrooms, zucchini, Serrano chili and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Sauté the vegetables until they are cooked but not mushy. You want them to have a little crunch. Taste the potatoes as you go to be sure they are softening since they need the most time.

Once the vegetables are cooked, add 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté the mixture until the butter has melted and coated the vegetables. Set aside until the salmon is done.

To prepare the salmon: Season the salmon on all sides with salt and pepper. Turn up the heat on your nonstick saute pan to medium-high. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil.

Place the salmon skin side down into the pan. After 1 minute of searing the skin, place the pan into your oven. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn the salmon over so that the flesh side is down and cook for 3-4 additional minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.

Remove the salmon from the oven and brush with the sauce. Feel free to add more sauce to the plate if you love a saucy dish!

If using Sockeye salmon for the recipe instead of King salmon, just cook on the stovetop for 2-3 minutes on both sides.

To plate: Make a pile of the vegetable succotash in the middle of the plate. Set the cooked salmon on top of the succotash. Drizzle more sauce, then top with micro cilantro. DONE! Enjoy!

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