|Richard Azzolini, Chef Extraordinaire
Chef services & Cooking Classes, 2020
San Francisco and the greater Bay Area
featuring local produce, fish, shellfish, and meats with a strong preference for organic & sustainably produced ingredients...
Read There's a Chef in Your Freezer
Read There's a Chef in Your Freezer online... The following are available at this website:
You can also view the PDF file of the first 25 pages of the book exactly as it appears from the publisher, Universal Publishers.
In a perfect world everyone would have as much time as they wanted to prepare delicious meals for themselves and their loved ones. Unfortunately, most people today find it difficult to take the time to prepare meals starting from scratch. After a long day of work who feels like coming home and roasting a bunch of peppers or making a batch of fresh tomato sauce? But there is another approach....
If you are willing to do some preparation when the time is more convenient, you can have many delicious edible building blocks at your fingertips that you can quickly assemble into a superb meal. I call these building blocks "sunshine in the freezer." What are they? Blanched and peeled tomatoes, roasted peppers, sautéed wild mushrooms, meltingly soft leeks and onions, and lots of roasted garlic, purée of squash, aromatic chicken stock, purée of basil, and a rosemary and thyme marinade-all ingredients that freeze well and will facilitate your turning a steaming bowl of soup, some pasta, a chicken breast, or a nice salmon filet into a feast in short order.
I wrote this book for people who enjoy good simple food with a Mediterranean accent. The first part of the book focuses on how to prepare the edible building blocks you will need to create the recipes in the second part of the book. Every restaurant kitchen has its own mise en place, the chef's version of edible building blocks. This book will show you how to create a similar set of building blocks for your home kitchen. The building blocks can be used the next day, the next week, or kept in the freezer to be pulled out at a moment's notice from your frozen pantry. Unlike raw ingredients, the building blocks freeze beautifully, without losing their texture, flavor, or wholesomeness. The recipes in the second part of this book are designed to allow you to create delicious meals when time is at a premium.
While you can make building blocks at any time of year, during the late summer and fall, when produce is at its peak of ripeness and flavor, and at its lowest price, take advantage! Become a gourmand squirrel and stock up to make the building blocks for the dreary winter ahead. When preparing the building blocks, I encourage you to invite some fellow food lovers and make it a party. Why not buy a whole case of red peppers, shiitake mushrooms, Vidalia onions, or a pile of chicken bones, and process them together to the accompaniment of a good glass of wine and your favorite music? Then, you can divide up the resulting building blocks by weight or volume-everyone gets to take home their share. Another wonderful advantage of group cooking is wholesale buying. When you can buy produce by the case you will realize substantial savings.
You can drink, dish and groove while you prepare the ingredients for great meals to come. Such a party is like an updated quilting bee, except that instead of coming together to make a quilt from squares of material, you are creating edible building blocks. What a great way to spend a rainy afternoon-creating your own freezer-full of sunshine.
For more information, contact Chef Azzolini at