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In The Kitchen

PastaCooking great pasta is as simple as:

1. Salt the water – you want to be able to taste salt in the water. Pasta by itself has so much flavor. Salting the water pulls out the amazing, natural wheat flavor of the pasta. This is one of the secrets to adding depth of flavor to your pasta dishes.

2. NO 0il in the water – I am sure you know better than that. Stir your pasta a couple times after you drop it into the water (make sure you have plenty of rapidly boiling water) and it won’t stick together. All oil does is coat the noodles and keep the sauce from doing the necessary embrace with the noodles. You want the sauce to sink into the noodles and absorb not bounce off.

3. Simmer the cooked pasta in the sauce for a minute. Pull your cooked pasta out of the water and drop it directly into the large sauté pan of sauce. Toss and simmer the pasta in the sauce so that the sauce can absorb into the pasta and the flavors marry. You want enough sauce to coat the noodles but you don’t want the pasta to swim. The noodles should stand tall and proud on the plate as if they are proud of their beautiful “coat”. They should not look like they are taking a swimming lesson 🙂

4. Finish with a small nugget of butter! Just a Tablespoon. Drop it into your pasta that is simmering in the sauce. Turn off the heat and toss or stir the pasta until the butter disappears. This small amount of butter brings the sauce together and polishes the flavors of the sauce. Your pasta will look silky on the plate and taste great!

DSC06204Spices!

One of my favorite curry blends:

½ teaspoon each of the following goes into the spice grinder:
Black cardamom seeds, cumin seed, coriander seed, fenugreek, green peppercorns, brown mustard seeds, black poppy seeds. Add ½ piece of cinnamon stick (I used an Indian cinnamon, any will do). Grind all of these in the spice grinder until finely ground.

I used:
1 ½ teaspoons of this ground mixture to
½ C heavy cream and
2 C of chicken stock to feed four.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the type and amount of spices. It is easy. Once you go on-line and buy them you will have them stock in your kitchen. As soon as you start playing with them you will discover great new combinations and flavors you did not imagine exist!

Quick Lasagna

I love lasagna but I dDSC06218o not like how long it can take to make a traditional one. I love to make this quick version of lasagna. You buy the Barilla par cooked pasta sheets. They are incredibly tasty. Barilla pasta always has that full wheat flavor. These are great for traditional lasagna as well. I boil them for about five minutes. Lay one sheet down on a plate. Top it with your sauce (meat, veggie, whatever you like) and some cheese. Lay another sheet over the top. Spoon some more sauce over the top and sprinkle with basil and Parmesan. You get the same stacked feel and look as lasagna. It has that great mouth feel of the layers of pasta, filling, sauce and cheese. The presentation is awesome as well.
You can also do just one sheet of pasta open face as I did in today’s blog.

Perfectly ripe tomatoes

Check out these perfect tomatoes. This is what a truly ripe, perfect tomato looks like.DSC06211 It feels firm but gives. It is almost like a small water balloon that you know will pop if you push too hard. When you cut it the slices stand on their own but they immediately give off their juice. They taste sweet and clean with just the perfect touch of acidity to balance the sweetness.

The magic of the Morel mushroom

These puppies always amaze me. I love their earthy, mild mushroom flavor but it is their texture in the mouth that makes them so interesting. The porous body allows them to collapse in your mouth giving you twoDSC06213 different taste experiences. They absorb sauce and flavor well. Unlike many mushrooms that I like to sauté to golden and then reduce with alcohol or stock these are great cooked fairly quickly in a touch of butter and olive oil. You want to keep their shape but just cook them to soften them and allow them to pick up the juice or sauce that you are serving them in. They love cream; they are great with just butter and olive oil. Over polenta they are heavenly.

Size does matter!

Having a great recipe does not always equate to a great dish as many of us have learned the hard way. You can also have a pretty good idea of what flavors taste great together which is the next level of cooking but that is not always enough either. What allows both of the above to translate into a great dish is an understanding of how the size, shape and texture of the ingredients you are using affect the final outcome of the dish. The following (which I will continue to add to) are some examples.

Bell Peppers – When left in large raw chunks that get briefly cooked or not cooked at all they are awkward in the mouth, have an acrid taste. I recommend the following:

For a salad or a pasta dish – Cut paper thin strips. This way you get the flavor of the bell pepper and the right amount of texture without having the bell pepper take over the dish.

A brief sauté with garlic and the sauce of your choice for pasta will be perfect. The peppers will soften and sweeten quickly without having to cook for a long time.

For bruschetta, pizza, sandwich, or soup garnish – Set the whole pepper on the open flame of your burner. Turn it with tongs occasionally until it is black. Place it in a bowl and cover with foil for 15 minutes. Remove the pepper and allow to cool. Wipe the charred skin off with your hands (don’t use running water or you wash away the precious flavor), cut in half, take the seeds out and chop into ½” pieces. This is a great pantry item that you can use in many dishes. Roast a couple peppers during the weekend and you can then use these sweet, charred yummy peppers all week long. You will have lots of flavor quickly when you are cooking on the fly.

Steak on the grill is another very size sensitive item. Last night’s dinner was a perfect example. Here is what you want to know:

1. Have the butcher cut your steaks 1 1/2 “thick. It is better to share one steak between two people that is thicker than to have two thin steaks. When the steak is thick you can get a really great, golden brown, beautiful, salty, mouth-watering crust and still have the meat be medium rare or medium if you like. If you cook it more than medium we need to talk. Sorry to be a food snob but the flavor completely changes when you go past medium. When you grill a thin steak by the time you have a nice crust your steak is overcooked. When the salt and pepper combine with the meat to form a crispy, salty, crunchy crust it is like nothing else. That is why a restaurant steak always seems better. But there is another reason…

2. Buy Prime which is the best grade of meat. It is the most marbled (lines of yummy fat running through the meat that melt and make the steak juicy and flavorful as it cooks!) It is more expensive but so worth it. My wife and I decided that we can not live without meat but we can eat it less often thus justify buying the best.

3. Be generous with the salt and pepper. Because you have a thick cut you can put a nice thick coating of salt and pepper on top. It will allow you to get that magical crust and it will not be too much salt because you have a lot of meat to back it up. When you have a thin steak you will not only overcook the meat by the time you have a crust but it will be too salty because the steak is thin.

4. Rub a touch of olive oil or canola oil on the seasoned steak before it hits the grill. This will keep it from sticking but most important aid in the development of that magical crust.

5. Make sure the grill is really hot. You are good to go! Enjoy!

Making ok tomatoes good and good tomatoes great!

There is no faking a good tomato. A perfectly ripe tomato reminds you that a tomato is a fruit! Sweet, luscious flesh with a touch of clean acidity and a skin that is just thick enough to keep it from exploding. When I can’t get great tomatoes DSC06521I like to oven dry them to intensify their flavor. This process removes the water and concentrates the flavor. It also changes the flavor to more of a “sun-dried” concentrated tomato flavor. It is so easy to do.
1. Set the oven to 200.
2. Rub a large sheet pan with olive oil.
3. Slice the tomatoes ½ “thick and lay them out on the sheet pan.
4. Drizzle them with a high quality olive oil and salt.
5. Place them in the oven for 4-6 hours.
It is up to you how dry you want them. Taste them at each level and you will be able to decide what you like best. I then use these to make a simple tomato and caramelized onion tart, in salads, chopped in pastas, etc. Enjoy!

The beauty of the seed!

I love cooking with spices. What I enjoy even more is cooking with whole seeds. Many seeds can add texture as well as flavor to your dish. Play around with one spice at a time. Eat one whole. See how the flavors develop in your mouth. See what the texture is like. Then try toasting the seed in a pan for a minute. Now taste it. See how the flavor and texture changes. You can add one type of spice in whole seed form to many of your favorite dishes and you will totally transform it. I have been adding fennel seed to my Chinese bean stir fry. Long Chinese beans, peanuts, chile arboles (the chile flake chile), garlic, hoisin sauce and a tsp of fennel seed. The fennel seed adds a mild anise flavor with a warming quality that balances out the sweet hoisin sauce perfectly. You get crunch, flavor and balance just by adding a small amount of fennel seed. Enjoy!

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60 Comments leave one →
  1. Nadia Saad permalink
    May 20, 2009 5:01 pm

    I would love to see more of these basic but crucial cooking techniques.

  2. Nadia Saad permalink
    May 21, 2009 12:09 pm

    This is great. Please provide more of these simple but extremely useful tips for making food that we make everyday more tasty.

  3. Nancy T. permalink
    July 15, 2009 7:08 am

    Love the cooking section In the Kitchen. I’m going to start making the quick lasagna all the time. The picture of the tomatoes looks just like mine from the garden. For some reason it was a prolific tomato year much to my joy. I have canned them, dried them, frozen them and made sauce to die for and of course, raw tomatoes with salads and just by themselves. Best of all, I’m an organic gardener so it’s all organic. I’m just a backyard gardener, but my pride is my herb garden which has made the sauces so yummy. Keep up your blog and see you Sunday on FN.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      July 15, 2009 7:12 am

      I love it! You are in the tomato club for sure! Enjoy those all year long! Thanks for reading!

  4. Jane J permalink
    July 15, 2009 11:02 am

    How do you store the dried tomatoes and how long

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      July 16, 2009 6:50 am

      Thanks for checking it out. I put then in a covered container with a touch of olive oil. They last a long time. I always eat them before they get too old but at least ten days. Enjoy!

  5. emma permalink
    July 17, 2009 4:08 am

    Do two posts in one day qualify me as a new fan or just annoying?

    Would you recommend toasting any of the seeds in the curry blend before grinding? I really like the flavor of lightly toasted black cardamom seeds so it was wonderful to see them in the ingredient list.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      July 18, 2009 7:55 am

      Hello Emma, you are not annoying, you are wonderful. Thank you. I love to toast the seeds first. Just until you can start to smell them but without adding any color. It is unbelievable how much better a curry is when you use the seeds and toast. (as you know 🙂 ). As far as the shishito go that is a good question? they are very unique because they are small but not really hot (unlike most chiles) and they also have a uniquely thin skin. Have a great day! Jeffrey 🙂

      • emma permalink
        July 19, 2009 2:04 am

        So it you cooking AND your sweet-talkin’ ways that captured your wife’s heart. Salud!

        One food question: Tonight I ate a wonderful restaurant meal that included spicy cantaloupe butter, sesame, and Japanese mizuna greens. I’m in heaven over the flavor of the butter but in hell over not knowing how to recreate it. It was served as a dipping sauce for fired squid frites. I’ve now added excellent butters to my list of what makes life worth living.

        Can you give a little lesson on some intriguing butters or sauces, you know, during all your spare time? I think the reason I’ve favored you on TNFNS is the way you describe your food, I literally listen to you and am famished after, no matter when I last ate.

  6. Nissa permalink
    July 20, 2009 8:42 am

    I found you! I don’t know where to comment her about the show but you did a great job, I would have made that host hold the mic. You were great under pressure and I hope you were chosen the winner. I bet it’s hard not to tell anybody if you won or not! If you didn’t win you should write a cookbook or review other chefs, take you whole family on a round-the-world eating trip and then tell us all about it. I would buy that book, DVD or read that blog.

  7. Robin permalink
    August 2, 2009 9:19 pm

    I am so disappointed that I will not be tuning in to watch your incredible and interesting recipes come to life on FN. Your passion for food is contagious! At least I found your website where, as usual, you clearly inform us. My very best wishes to you and your family. I think you are incredible and hope that you find the perfect venue to showcase your talent.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 4, 2009 6:45 am

      Thank you Robin!!! That means a lot!!

  8. June Davis permalink
    August 5, 2009 3:54 am

    I was so dissappointed that you did not become the next Food Network Star. You were by far the best!

    Question: After you demonstrated your sandwich on your “pilot” my husband and I both wanted to taste it. It looked so good. I have found a recipe to make Harissa at home (Harissa, mon amour, Los Angeles Times) and I intend to make it soon. If you could share a written recipe for the sandwich I would be forever grateful.

    If you plan any trips to Houston for cooking demonstrations, my husband and I, and several of our friends will fill the front row. Please keep us posted.

    Congratulations, for a teriffic stint on the NFNS. You have Houston fans for sure!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 5, 2009 4:40 pm

      thank you so much! I am going to post the recipe. Take care and enjoy!
      jeffrey 🙂

  9. Robin Allen permalink
    August 5, 2009 2:30 pm

    Like the other Robin said, I can admit too I was a bit disappointed, but I can also hold out hope you in some way will have another opportunity and the story isnt over with FN.. One can hope. I enjoyed watching your artistry in the kitchen and glad this website is available for us who enjoyed your flare and inventiveness with food and flavors. Best of luck to you and your wonderful, beautiful family. Where one door closes another opens. I have no doubt your success will continue. Thank you so much for using your gift to inspire people. You certainly are very gifted and appreciated. I look forward to checking in on your website for more of your wonderful cooking, and surprise ingredients we would never think to use.

    Robin Allen, Vancouver WA

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 5, 2009 4:38 pm

      Hello Robin,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I really appreciate it. I want to inspire so you have made my day! I will continue cooking and posting! Take care,
      Jeffrey 🙂

  10. Mitchell Boxer permalink
    August 5, 2009 3:32 pm

    Jeffrey – Where can I get that harissa steak recipe that you made on the finale – it looked great!!!! Sorry you didn’t win and good luck to you in your future cooking endeavors. Dr. Boxer

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 5, 2009 4:36 pm

      Hello Mitchell, Thank you! I will post it soon. Just waiting for clearance from the network. I appreciate your support!
      Jeffrey 🙂

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 6, 2009 7:34 am

      Just posted the harissa steak sandwich recipe. Enjoy! Jeffrey

  11. Patricia Domenis permalink
    August 6, 2009 5:08 pm

    Hello Jeffrey from Montreal, Canada

    First off, we are behind here on Foodtv, going on the 7th episode of the food network star. I watch it here on Wednesdays at 10 pm (eastern time). You are my favorite since the beginning of the season. I had a good feeling about you. you are a star. I figured it out, you did not win the competition. I could not prevent myself from finding out on the internet who won. I am happy for Melissa d arabian. I like both of you alot. Although, this should have been a tie. You deserve a chance at your own show.

    I am happy to find your website , this way we can continue to see or have news on Jeffrey Saad. I love your videos and I especially like the one about the salt while cooking pasta. Wow, that is alot of salt you put in there. I never put that much. I did not know that tip and I am Italian. Let me share something with you if you do not mind. You must have heard about that old rumor about rinsing the pasta when straining ? I have done it like this for years. It is a habit in my family because my father was from north-east Italy and he always rinsed his pasta. Now I found out it kills the flavor of the pasta. Recently , I have stopped the rinsing and only add the dab of butter to prevent the sticky pasta (sorry dad). I do tend to cook it a little more than al dente. It is my preverence. In my family we never mix the sauce and pasta when we serve it. We serve the pasta on the plate then pour the sauce over, with of course the parmesan. I do not want the sticky pasta. I have come to believe it is true, it looks more appetising and more flavorful when the sauce sticks to the pasta . My days of rinsing pasta has come to an end. Will be trying your recipes, now if only I could find Harissa. If not I will make my own ?

    Take care,

    Patricia

  12. vici permalink
    August 6, 2009 9:33 pm

    Hi Jeffrey, I am a big fan of yours, I have watched episode1 to final episode of TNFS. since then, I was hoping you would win but unfortunately the judges favored Melissa, but for me you are a truly winner not only as FOOD NETWORK STAR, but as a person, a chef, a gentleman, a family man. I could see you are a good guy, calm and truly a joy to watch on TV. I just hope and wish you could have a show on Food network, too. I am so thankful to Linda for sharing this site, because after the finale episode, I was really sad, because I could not watch and see you and learn from your cooking lessons, too. My husband is a good cook too, and, I even asked him to cook what your winning dish at Miami, we will try it for sure and the scallops, too. We live 3 hours for LA and I really want to meet you in person. I am on a leave of absence right now because of medical problems and you know what I’ve felt well, since I started watching you on the TNFS, maybe because I forgot all about problems and enjoyed watching you. Thank you and God bless you and your family. Keep up the good work.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 7, 2009 9:06 am

      Hello Vici,
      Thank you so much for the kind words and support. I will keep you posted via the blog and facebook of any events I may be doing in the area and hopefuly we can meet. Take care and I hope you feel better 🙂
      Jeffrey

      • vici permalink
        August 7, 2009 11:16 am

        Hi Jeffrey, thanks for your reply, you are welcome, I truly believe in you and I could see and feel it. I am excited to hear that I could see you in person hope it’s so soon. I have watched Susie answer most of the finale questions on her blog and she has kind words for you and she said, she would like to see more of you in FN How ’bout that! I will just wait for sure. Meantime, I just enjoy reading your blogs, too and have learned something new from your recipes and tips in the kitchen, all I need to do is to practice it. Thanks for the thought, too. Hope you would not get tired reading this. Thanks again and regards to you and beautiful family! Take care. VICI 🙂

  13. Jaemye permalink
    August 9, 2009 1:48 pm

    Jeffery,

    My husband and I, along with our two kids were cheering you on the entire season! My stomach actually hurt when you were not chosen as The Next Food Network Star. My husband is a pilot for the United States Air Force, but in his free time he LOVES to cook. We have tried your Red Lobster dinner, your poached egg dinner, and we will soon try the steak sandwich as soon as I can find harissa! We are huge fans and we hope that you continue to post your recipes and tips online!

    Jaemye and Bryan

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 10, 2009 10:14 pm

      Hello Jaemye and Bryan,
      thanks for the awesome support! That is so cool you made it to both places. It means so much to me. Thank you!!!
      Warmly,
      Jeffrey 🙂

  14. August 10, 2009 2:56 am

    Hello from the Pacific! Glad to see this site and some tips and recipes. While I am not really a cook of the house, I enjoyed watching the FNS and shared the same interest with my kids.

    My question is until when will your winning dish in Red Lobster be featured. My kids and I will be flying to US mainland mid August and the first order of the day is to try your tilapia at RL (no RL in our part of the world 😦 Also, in one of the eposides, you also won the dish for one of the restuarants in one of the airports – hope is was in Newark, NJ – as we will also be there.

    Again, you were great in FNS and hope to your show in FN.

    Best Regards,
    EJ

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 10, 2009 10:09 pm

      thank you EJ! That means a lot. Have a great trip/ Maybe our paths will cross! Take care,
      Jeffrey

  15. August 10, 2009 10:13 am

    As one of your many foodie fans, I just posted this on FN, Susies answers for Aug 6th.

    Thanks Susie for your make up tips, was that to dodge the answers to our questions?!!!!

    You did give us a clue in your video answers that the judges were split. I am assuming you voted for Jeffrey and Bob & Bobby voted for Melissa.
    From a marketing perspcetive, they blew it!! Jeffrey would have brought in a huge, broad range of viewers!
    Foodies & Newbies, Men & Women of all ages, Gay & Straight viewers, and the huge Cooking without Borders audience!!!!
    Where now, your Melissa show – only appeals to a very small viewing market! Explain to me – how that makes sense Bob & Bobby?
    Anyway I just went to Jeffreys website and I am “inspired” again. Check it out: https://jeffreysaad.wordpress.com/

    You are awesome Jeffrey, and I am looking forward to your cooking show!!!!!!!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 10, 2009 10:07 pm

      Wow JC, this is awesome. That really means a lot. Thank you so much!!
      Jeffrey 🙂

  16. eva permalink
    August 14, 2009 5:02 pm

    Just wanted to say I really like your website . A wealth of information and you are a great teacher. I hope you will find time to continue it as you become “famous”. lol How are things going with getting a show with FN? Any news you can share? I’m sure all your fans and supporters are keeping their fingers crossed that you get the best deal possible.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 15, 2009 9:20 am

      Thank you Eva! I will continue for sure! I love it. Working on a show, we shall see…. Take care and thanks for reading!

  17. Julieann permalink
    August 16, 2009 7:58 am

    Continue to enjoy your cooking expertice. Do hope that Food Network or someone else will do a show with you. I really enjoyed your concept and looked foward to learning more about unique ingredients.

    My daughter and I faithfully watched NFNS and enjoyed strategizing who would ultimately win. She was a loyal Melissa devotee, but the night of the finale, I make a mussel soup with saffron. She loved the soup and that night totally understood why I was rooting for you to win.

    Keep up the interesting posts and hope to see you again soon on TV.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 16, 2009 12:09 pm

      Thank you Julieann! I want to go cook some mussels now! Yum! Jeffrey 🙂

  18. Pepper permalink
    August 19, 2009 12:40 pm

    Jeffrey — I’m so happy to see your videos on Food Network. I thought it was a real “no-brainer” that you would win TNFNS. The next day we looked everywhere for your steak sandwich recipe. All we could find was Melissa’s potato cupcakes!
    Would love to see your show on FN, but in the mean time, this is a great start. I have lots of perfect tomatoes right now — I’m going to try your recipe. What a great idea!
    Pepper & Richard

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 26, 2009 8:38 am

      Hello Pepper and Richard, thank you much!!! Enjoy, Jeffrey 🙂

  19. Lauren permalink
    August 20, 2009 7:53 am

    Hi, Jeffrey–My husband and I love your approach to food and will try just about any recipe you offer us!

    We made your Harissa Steak Sandwiches last night. They were delicious. Our supermarket does not carry harissa (oops), so we improvised with tomato paste and spices. How would you suggest making it next time, aside from just buying it online?

    Thanks!–Lauren

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 26, 2009 8:37 am

      Way to go Lauren. In a coffee grinder you can grind carraway, cumin and corriander seeds. I would do more of the carraway and less of the other two. In a food processor puree together the spices with sun-dried tomaotes, garlic and a little chile paste. Play around with it to get the heat level and spice combo you like. A touch of salt of course 🙂 Enjoy, Jeffrey 🙂

  20. Rosemary Schaffer permalink
    August 25, 2009 12:33 pm

    Jeffrey, I finally found your website under “food network addict”! Happiness is. Your website is most interesting and so informative. Food Network finally “woke up” to the fact that you are a genius in the kitchen and certainly these videos should lead to bigger and better (your own show)! Keep up the good work!! I look forward to more information from your website.

    Rosemary

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 26, 2009 8:18 am

      Thank you Rosemary! I am full speed ahead and appreciate the support!! Jeffrey 🙂

  21. Veronica permalink
    August 28, 2009 4:18 pm

    Hi Jeffrey,
    I hated cooking, until I saw you in the FN. I love eating good meals but didn’t like the idea of slaving in the kitchen to have a delicious meal. Fast forward to your participation in the show, and all of a sudden I realize having gourmet meals doesn’t have to be complicated. Your passion inspired me to get into the kitchen again, so I’m cooking and following your recipes. I loved the tilapia tacos with mole, and now I want to try your Pho without borders. However you don’t mention how much anise or ginger goes on the broth. In the past I have noticed that if I don’t use the right amount of ginger I kill the dish. How do I figure out how much to use?

    Thanks for your inspiration and I’m looking forward to more recipes!

    Veronica

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 30, 2009 8:59 am

      Thank you Veronica! I used two whole star anise pods broken up and 1 Tb of ginger in six cups of broth. I hope that helps. Thanks for your support!! Jeffrey 🙂

  22. Carol permalink
    August 29, 2009 2:57 pm

    Hi Jeffrey. I’m a very disappointed Canadian fan. How you didn’t win, hands down, is utterly bizarre. You’re clearly in a different league. I hope the judges’ tactical error gets corrected and you get your own show soon. I’ll definitely be watching!

    I’m a pretty decent cook and was–no, am–eager to try more of the exotic ingredients and techniques you used, but here in Canada we can’t get access to the webisodes from the network’s site . They’re not on Youtube either. Is there anywhere to watch them besides foodnetwork.com?

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 30, 2009 8:57 am

      Hello Carol, thank you for your support. I am working on getting them posted here on my site. Take care. I appreciate your support!! Jeffrey 🙂

  23. Becky permalink
    September 6, 2009 8:50 am

    Hello Jeffrey! I tried to post a comment on the FN site after your videos came out but something must have gone wrong because comments never did show up. I thought the videos were fantastic — all of the food looked quick, simple, and delicious! You really do deserve your own show — you are personable, your recipes are wonderful, and the kitchen you used in the videos was gorgeous! I was wondering if you could come up with recipes using Moroccan Ras el Hanout and Ethiopian Berbere — I have these spice blends in my refrigerator and don’t know how to use them. Thanks!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      September 9, 2009 6:27 am

      hello Becky, thank you for following! yes, that was a problem with the site. I plan to do as much as possible. We shall see… Ras el Hanout is the best of the curry spices and usually has a touch of smoked paprika and turmeric in it to give it the brillant color. I would mix some into a little yogurt. Marinade chicken in that mixture for the day. Wipe of most of the marinade and then grill it. It will be almost like a tandori. You could also use it in the cauliflower soup recipe I just posted. I will give it some more thought and post some recipes. Have a great day and thanks again. J

  24. Karen S permalink
    September 9, 2009 11:11 am

    Hi Jeffrey! I too attempted to post a comment on the FN website and it was never shown. I assumed it was my error somehow. I just wanted to say how much I appreciate this website and your web videos on FN. I am a pretty fair cook, but my meals are what you would probably consider “plain”. I am inspired by your use of spices and ingredient combinations. I sincerely hope that the FN realizes their faux pas and gives you the opportunity you definitely deserve. In the meantime, I’ll stay tuned here. Thanks for revitalizing my desire to cook!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      September 13, 2009 1:11 pm

      Thank you you Karen S! Jeffrey 🙂

  25. Brian permalink
    December 22, 2009 11:49 pm

    Jeffrey, looking for suggestion for spices (and suggested quantity of) when making homemade venison/pork sausage. Thanks! 30 lbs of each meat.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      December 28, 2009 12:42 pm

      Hello Brian, sounds like a tasty day in your house! The gamey quality of the venison is a natural with juniper berries. You could do a pancetta style blend of juniper berries, black peppercorns and some brown sugar. I would do about 1 tsp of spice total per 2 lb of meat? Start off with less, mix it and cook off one little piece. taste it and then add more if you want. The pork by itself is an open book. It just comes down to what you are in the mood for. You could use almost anything. Cheers, enjoy!

      • Brian permalink
        December 28, 2009 2:30 pm

        Jeffrey,

        sounds delicious and simple. I ended up making South African Boerewors with a friend of mine from SA but will be getting a venision loin and will try your suggestion!! Strangely enough, I have juniper berries in my kitchen. No idea why. Thanks for the reply. I look forward to all your posts!

      • Jeffrey Saad permalink
        December 29, 2009 7:37 am

        my pleasure, have a great week 🙂

  26. Diane Ramos permalink
    April 26, 2010 11:51 am

    Saw you at Disney Cal Adventure for your cooking demo, totally awesome.
    Thanks for great tips
    WARMLY
    DIANE

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      April 30, 2010 7:49 pm

      Thank you for being there Diane! I appreciate it. Hope to see you next time! Best, Jeffrey 🙂

  27. Dana Scott permalink
    May 21, 2010 4:33 pm

    Hi Jeffery,

    I just got a bunch of morel mushrooms from a friend who goes out and picks them every year. I know that I probably shouldn’t complain because they are morels and they only come once a year, but I running out of ways to cook them! I’ve already ate my weights worth in breaded and sauteed morels, and I’m looking for some new ideas before they sadly expire in the refrigerator. Do have any suggestions on ways to cook morels? Thanks!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      May 24, 2010 1:40 am

      Hello Dana, I am jealous!!! They are one of my favorites. It sounds like you may have tried all of this: saute in butter and white wine, roll up inside a crepe with chicken and top with a morel cream sauce. Add them to a lobster pot pie with fava beans, tarragon and butter. Layer them (after sauteing) with ricotta cheese and filo dough “Spanokopita” style. Bake until golden. soup of course! Sauted on top of creamy polenta with a tripple cream cheese and fresh tyme… I wish many more of these types of problems on you 🙂
      Be well, thanks, Jeffrey 🙂

  28. Brenda Koester permalink
    June 5, 2010 8:13 am

    Hello Jeffrey

    what is your recipe for the steak cherizzo sandwich and the egg on brischetta you made for the airplane challenge. they both looked so fantastic I can’t wait to make it

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      June 6, 2010 12:50 pm

      Hello Brenda, thank you much! I will try to post that for you here shortly. Have a great day and thanks for reading! Best, Jeffrey

  29. Kari Ritchie permalink
    July 27, 2010 2:14 pm

    Hi Jeffrey! I was lucky enough to catch you on Bobby Flay’s Grill It over the weekend and I have to say it was by far my favorite episode. You are such a natural talent and bring a fresh, cheerful, charismatic feel to the screen and are a pleasure to watch. I would love to see you as a regular on the network! I really enjoyed the way your direction in preparation was perfectly clear and your word usage to describe flavor really grabbed my attention. Thank you for being such a delight!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      August 1, 2010 8:02 am

      Hello Kari, Thank you so much! Keeps an eye out. Good stuff in the works… Be well.
      Jeffrey 🙂

  30. September 27, 2010 11:21 am

    Jeffrey:

    Counting down the days to your show!!

    Your fan,

    Susan

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