Archive for the 'tomatoes' Category

31
May
13

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes


One of my favorite summer appetizers, though I could make it at any time:

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

RiceTomts

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin oil, plus extra for oiling and drizzling
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Cut a slice of the stalk end of each tomato and set aside to use as lids. Scoop the pulp out of the tomatoes and chop.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, carefully so as to minimize any loss of tomato juices; add the garlic, rice and basil. Season with salt and pepper and stir in 1 tbsp of the oil. Cover and let stand – at room temperature – for one hour, for the rice to absorb the juices.
  3. Stuff the tomatoes with the rice mixture and transfer to an oiled baking pan. Top each tomato with the reserved lids and drizzle with remaining oil. Bake in a preheated 350 F. oven for 35 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and the rice is cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If available (usually in gourmet fruit and vegetable stores, use Brandywine tomatoes which have a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, for more sweetness use Spanish Montserrat tomatoes which have low acidity, but any large tomato will do. Arborio rice kernels are high in starch, shorter and fatter than any other short grown rice. They are great for risotto because the extra starch lends the dish a perfect creamy texture.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy

CS

21
Jan
10

The Making of a Corporate Chef


Chef David Kolotkin is no stranger to these pages, but every time he reveals more and more about the Chef’s art. This time I went with him to Manhattan’s Union Square Farmers’ Market.

Chef David Kolotkin looking at mushroom varieties

We looked at tomatoes, cucumbers and some interesting varieties of mushrooms as the Chef explained about their flavor nuances, how the various types differed from each other. Next we turned to stalls carrying mesclun, arugula, and a few other salad greens. I really got an education today! Before we left the Chef picked up about four pounds of fresh Jerusalem artichokes for The Prime Grill.

But who is David Kolotkin? What makes him tick? He was barely in his teens when his interest in cooking first manifested itself. His mother had taken him to a restaurant where the food was prepared table-side. David watched fascinated and decided right there and then that one day he too would join that profession.

After high school he attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America from 1991 t0 1993, he then went on to apprentice at the legendary Club 21Club 21 was a favorite meeting place for many of the rich, the famous, powerful politicians and entertainers. After a while he resumed studies at the CIA and returned to Club 21 for another 3 years.

Leaving Club 21, he became sous chef for the Restaurant Associates operated, very exclusive, Trustees Dining Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From there he went on to to become sous chef at Windows on the World, which occupied the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower at the World Trade Center.

After 9/11 he landed at The Prime Grill (60 East 49th Street; New York, NY 10017; 212.692.9292). He left in 2005 for his own venture in Miami, it didn’t work out and on his return to New York he worked for famed restaurateur Kenneth Uretsky, whom he knew from his RA days. Mr. Uretsky hired him for his Butterfield 81 restaurant. In 2007 he went back to The Prime Grill. Since then while still primarily at The Prime Grill he went on to became Corporate Chef for Joey Allaham’s restaurant ventures, including Solo and soon to open up Prime Ko, an upscale Japanese steakhouse.

Unlike others in his profession, Chef David is no prima donna, he puts on no airs, is well aware of his self worth without any need to toot it around. He’s totally dedicated to his profession and the people at his restaurants. Is it any wonder that he rose in the ranks?

CS




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