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I Never Met A Beet I Liked Until I Met Chef Ryan!

Posted on February 06, 2014 by Rebecca | 0 comments

As I've mentioned before, Derek and I have been enjoying participating in a Winter Farm Cooperative with Fresh Fork Markets, where once a week we get a wonderful delivery of all local, farm fresh seasonal produce, eggs and meat. But, I've got to admit - I've been a little stumped with some of these root vegetables and mounds of kale. I freely admit, I am not a beet fan. The thought of a jar of pickled beets is not my happy place. Fortunately, we have a wonderful, good friend who just happens to be a Culinary Institute of America trained Chef! Ryan wowed us at the Rebecca Ray holiday party with several creations including a beet and arugula salad that was fabulous. So now our great friend Ryan is also our Resident Rebecca Ray consulting Chef! So on a snowy day last week, with a counter full of root vegetable, I called Ryan and said help!

Ryan began my beet transformation by informing me that "beets (and all tubers) are naturally the gem of the winter". He added that beets are a "luxurious winter vegetable with an amazing versatility - they can be served raw, roasted, shaved and juiced."  Who knew? For beet beginners like me, Ryan suggested trying to roast a candy striped beet - available at most farmer's markets and quality grocery stores. They actually look like a peppermint stick when you slice them! Place sliced candy striped beets on a cookie sheet, brush them with a good quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle them with a little wonderful salt (his favorite is Maldon Salt - I used the smoked version), put a little orange zest over them, and bake at 350 degrees. Yum!! I'm already a beet convert. Then, if you want to move up the skill ladder, Ryan suggests shaving a raw beet and gently marinate it in a mixture of citrus and salt, and pour it over your salad or fish.

To get really fancy, here is another one of Ryan's roasted beet recipes: Make roasted beets by slicing them down and roasting them on a shallow pan. Brush with olive oil and squeeze the juice of an orange over the top before baking. According to Ryan, while these terrific tubers are roasting, they naturally convert their starch to sugar, which in turn caramelizes and turns to a sweet sauce (He advises trying the same thing with turnips, rutabagas, colored carrots, etc). Take out the beets, wait until they cool, peel the skins off, dice them, and arrange on a bed of Arugula. Then, take the drippings, add some more olive oil, and throw in some shallots and fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary. Whisk and pour over your beets and arugula; finish with some goat cheese. Absolutely fabulous. If you roast a rutabaga the same way, then mash it with some extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs, you suddenly have a unique starch to serve along side a meat dish.


The final eye opener for me is Ryan's kale recipe. So easy and so wonderful! Simply sauté some diced pancetta and shallots. Once they begin to caramelize, toss in the kale and a little chicken stock over low heat. Delicious! Ryan urged me to keep a few winter staples at home: Maldon Salt (or any other quality gourmet salt), really good extra virgin olive oil, sherry or champagne vinegar, brown sugar and fresh citrus to zest and squeeze (lemon, limes and oranges). You can make so many wonderful concoctions with just those items and fresh produce.

Derek, Lizzie and I now no longer are at a loss with the tubers!! We are enjoying roasted winter vegetables every night!! Thanks Chef Ryan!!

 

Meet Ryan!

Chef Ryan Young, of Pepper Pike, Ohio, is an undergraduate in hospitality Management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as well as a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Ryan's career has taken him all over the country and he has been fortunate to cook in many high profile venues, including Le Petit Bistro in New York City, Trio in Chicago, and and Fix at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Ryan has recently returned to his hometown, Cleveland, to join his family's business. Additionally, he is in great demand, creating fabulous charity dinner parties. Ryan is a big a believer in the farm to table movement as supports all of Cleveland's local farmer's markets. He can be spotted regularly shopping at the Shaker Square and Chagrin Falls' Farmer's Market as well as the West Side Market downtown, where he is scouting out the freshest seasonal ingredients for his artfully presented dishes! To see some of Chef Ryan Young's beautiful culinary creations, be sure to visit his Facebook Page: Ryan Young!

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Blizzard Chocolate Bread Pudding with Warm Kahlua Cream

Posted on January 25, 2014 by Rebecca | 0 comments

 

 

OK - If life hands you snow, make snowballs!!  We are buried under another blizzard and blasting arctic temperatures.  So, as a coping mechanism to get through this winter, I have developed a small coping mechanism: Making the most fabulous Chocolate Bread Pudding that is super easy and makes you feel nice and warm and snuggly!!  Here is the recipe, which I have been tweaking and perfecting.  You won't be sorry!!!  Stay warm and snuggly!!

 

Blizzard Chocolate Bread Pudding with Warm Kahlua Cream

 

  1. In the microwave, melt 4 ounces of quality semi-sweet chocolate- Bakers brand is find)
  2. Stir into the chocolate 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  3. In another bowl, put 1 1/3 cups of sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and a dash of salt. Stir well.
  4. Stir the chocolate mixture into the sugar.
  5. Tear up into small pieces one loaf of older bread - I prefer a loaf of Challah bread - but a loaf of French or Farm Bread would be fine - should be approximately 6 cups.
  6. Pour the bread into the mixture, toss and coat and let it sit a few minutes to soak up the liquid. 
  7. Pour the entire mixture into a Pam coated 9 1/2 x 11 glass dish.  
  8. Cook at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes.
  9. While cooling, mix equal parts Kahlua Liqueur and Heavy Whipping cream and heat it up in the microwave.
  10. Let it pudding cool for 15 minutes and then dish into small bowls.
  11. Pour the Kahlua and cream over the pudding.
  12. Top with Whipped Cream and watch the snow fall!!

 

 

 

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The Evolution of a Rebecca Ray Bag

Posted on January 20, 2014 by Rebecca | 4 comments

Everyone always asks me where we find our inspirations for designs and the truth is, the ideas come to me at the strangest times!!  Our new Burghley Tote is an example of an "in the moment" idea.  I was riding using a bridle with web reins, and started thinking about how neat it would be to incorporate those web reins into one of our designs.  So I tucked that idea away where it sat and brewed for a while.  

Then, along came a 3-day event. Derek, Lizzie and I were trudging along through the field walking the course when Lizzie handed me one more thing to carry.  (Because, if you don't know this, Moms are like walking tote bags!) Imagine my surprise when I get to a meeting and start looking for something in my purse, only to pull out 2 American Girl dresses, 1 half eaten granola bar and a geometry homework assignment.  Anyways, I thought to myself I need a great bag to carry to a three day event that is casual and practical... hey, I can use the webbed rein detail on it!!!  

The Burghley was born. It went through several prototypes, which we all carried and tweaked. We loved it so much, we put our Rebecca Ray Designs horse on the front.  We couldn't decide between the dark leather details and the green web reins verses the chestnut leather details and the khaki web reins, so it comes in two color choices. I named it Burghley after the famed four star CCI 3-Day Event in England, one of the six leading 3-day events in the world.  It just seemed appropriate after all, that the idea was hatched on a 3-day event course!

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New Year's Eve: Looking out on the Horizon of Possibilities

Posted on December 31, 2013 by Rebecca | 0 comments

Looking out on the horizon of the pasture this morning, I am giving thanks for the wonderful year with which Derek, Lizzie and I have been blessed. I am also appreciative for the marvelous year that we have had at Rebecca Ray. We give thanks to our many friends, family and supporters who make our efforts here such a joy. I hope that you are lucky enough to spend a few moments today reflecting on the year, crunching in the snow (or sand!), looking out on the horizon, and dreaming of the possibilities that 2014 holds. A joyous Happy New Year to all!

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Winter Harvest - Calling All Squash Recipes!!!

Posted on December 06, 2013 by Rebecca | 0 comments
This winter, Derek and I joined a Farm Cooperative called Farm to Fork that provides it's members with a weekly harvest from their crops.  It is a great way to get fresh vegetables, eggs and meat and we love knowing that we are supporting our local farmers.  We've gotten to try root vegetables that I might not have tried without receiving them from the cooperative and having really fresh greens every night is a treat.  However, we seem to have had an over-run on Squash - every kind imaginable.  They are beautiful, colorful and decorative, but I'm running out of innovative ways to use them!!  Anyone have some great recipes out there that you'd like to share with us and our readers?
To share your recipes e-mail them to info@rebeccaraydesigns.com and we'll select our favorite reader recipe for a Rebecca Ray prize.  E-mail recipes by midnight, Wednesday, December 11th.  Happy cooking!!

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