February 25, 2011 by Chef Ian
The 83rd Academy Awards are this Sunday and winning an Oscar means two things:
- You’re recognized as exceptional at your craft by your peers and colleagues.
- You get to go to an exclusive party catered by Chef Wolfgang Puck.
Guess which one I’m envious of?
This year the Governors Ball, the celebratory dinner following the awards ceremony, will feature a menu of sushi, tuna tartare, mini Kobe cheeseburgers, black truffle pizza and pan roasted Dover sole with vegetable paella just to name a few.
- Here I am making pizza for the Indy Charity Race Party.
Since most of us will not be included as one of the 1,500 ball guests, I thought I’d share my recipe for Hors d’ Pizza so you can create a Governors Ball experience at home. It’s been adapted from a dinner pizza I made for 40 VIP guests at the Indy Charity Race Party. This recipe is super easy which makes it great for an Oscar party. Giving you more time with your guests to critique red carpet fashions and debate the merits of each winner.
Recipe for BBQ Hors d’ Pizza
You will need:
- 1 can of refrigerated biscuits
- 1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce
- 1 package of smoked turkey or chicken lunchmeat
- 2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese
To make the pizzas:
- Preheat your oven to 400⁰
- Spread flour onto a cutting board. Open the can of biscuits and place each one in the flour. Cut each biscuit into 4 equal pieces.
- Take the pieces and press into small bite-size disks the size of poker chips. They should be thin.
- Place biscuit disks on a cookie tray lined with foil.
- Using a fork, poke the center of the disks to prevent the dough from rising in the center.
- Place on the middle rack of the hot oven and cook for 5-7 minutes until the biscuit disks have cooked but are not brown.
- Remove from the oven and brush each biscuit top lightly with BBQ sauce, just enough to coat.
- Dice the smoked turkey or chicken and arrange evenly over BBQ sauced biscuit disks.
- Top each biscuit with some (about a Tablespoon) of the shredded pepper jack cheese.
- Return the biscuit disks to the oven until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven, cool slightly before serving.
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February 21, 2011 by Chef Ian
So it’s Presidents’ Day and that got me thinking about how our presidents and their families have influenced American tastes and food preferences over the years. Here are a few fun examples:
- Martha Washington, the nation’s first, First Lady, published a cookbook of family recipes titled Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery. In fact, Mount Vernon, the personal home of George Washington, was fully self-sufficient. They preserved their own meats and fed their guests game, fowl, fish and produce from the land surrounding them.
- Thomas Jefferson studied French cooking techniques during his tenure as the American Ambassador to France. He brought these flavors and a Gourmet sensibility back to America. As the nation’s third president, he promoted global flavors in the White House.
- Andrew Jackson, from the great state of Tennessee and our seventh president, loved Southern food but had a French Chef during his time in the Oval Office. Sounds like Fusion cooking to me!
Modern day presidents have also influenced our taste buds:
- After writing “we can hardly start a meeting or make a decision without passing around the jar of jelly beans” Ronald Reagan’s influence on the gelatinous candies was surely felt. His proclivity for snacking on the jelly beans, which he started as a way to quit smoking, is one of his most widely known habits.
- President George H.W. Bush influenced cuisine not by what he ate, but by what he would not eat. He made a public stand against broccoli and inspired many children to dream of becoming President so they too could have the power to refuse one of the nation’s most popular vegetables.
- Bill Clinton was known to have a penchant for burgers and fries. During his time in office, it was rumored his wife, Hillary, now U.S. Secretary of State, told the Secret Service not to let him enter fast food establishments. Seeing as the former president underwent a quadruple heart bypass in 2004, one can assume those instructions weren’t followed. Click here to view SNL’s funny take on President Clinton’s eating habits.
Current President Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle, have actively taken a stance on today’s food. As part of a healthy lifestyle campaign, Let’s Move!, they have planted a vegetable garden on the White House lawn, promoted higher nutritional standards for school lunch and are in favor of restaurants displaying nutritional information. As much as I don’t think there should be a ban on tater tots at school, I do think that American youth are in danger. Foods that were considered a special treat when I was a kid are becoming main courses for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our children learn about nutrition in school, but can they make the right decisions with what they are being offered?
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