Monday, August 21, 2017

New Cookbook New Adventures



Cookbooks are really a labor of love.  So much work and so many details.  So many details.  I have wanted to publish this cookbook for a couple of years, but life gets in the way and it's hard to find time sometimes to do the things we really want to do.  

I love baking.  It is my passion.  I love whole grains, that really is my deepest passion.  Whole grains are amazing and the more I use them the more I see and understand the potential they have for really adding health and wellness to our diets without compromising good texture, taste, and results.  

I have found that with proper use and understanding whole grains are amazing and work well in all recipes.  I have also found that in today's world we all deal with someone who is gluten free or celiac
  This cookbook really is two in one.  Whole Grain at its best and Gluten Free.  First cookbook of it's kind out there.  

This book first is a whole grain baking book.  Using whole grains to create great breads, cookies, and cakes, etc.  I love the recipes and the information I was allowed to put in the book.  

Second this book is a gluten free book. So for every recipe that is in the book there is a gluten free version or instructions on how to make it so.  And the gluten free is whole grain and really good.

Most gluten free is full of garbage, processed grains, and tons of sugar.  This cookbook uses all whole grains and agave and coconut sugar in most recipes. Not only are the recipes good for you they taste good.  

The color version of the cookbook is really a treasure for me.  The stoneware in the book is lovely.  I have been a collector for 20 years and I have always dreamed of a cookbook featuring this stoneware.  It is from Poland.  The sturdiest stoneware I have found,  it is oven proof, microwave proof, dishwasher safe and naturally non stick.  And on top of all that it is absolutely lovely.  I love it and have used it for years with out chipping or breaking.  

It is featured in the cookbook.  My wife is the photographer and I have to say did an amazing job.  The pictures are great.  I also combined some USA pans for some contrast.  I love the look and I love USA pans.  

The feature I like the best in this cookbook is that there are QR codes on many pages to help you with certain recipes.  Just scan the code with your phone and a video will pop up of me teaching you how to make certain recipes.  

This book is a labor of love,  I hope you love it and enjoy it and share it with those you love. Go to my web site for the link on how to buy.  There are two versions, one color and one black and white. 




Gluten Free Bread. 

Fresh Baked Bread in Polish Pottery

Gluten free cinnamon rolls. 

Gluten free cake.  WOW

Biscuits are amazing gluten free.  I love these. 
I hope you enjoy this cookbook and the journey I was on to create it.  I hope the love and care I have taken is enjoyed by many.   We are already starting to work on the next adventure,  Pressure Cooking with Chef Brad coming next year.  It also will be a dual cookbook.  More information coming.

Have a joyous day and enjoy the Journey
Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy

Friday, August 4, 2017

Pressure Cooker Brown Rice Meatballs

 I love my pressure cooker.  In fact it is the most used piece of cooking equipment  in my kitchen next to my Wondermill and my Wondermix, and my Vita mix.  I use my pressure cooker often and every time I do I love it more.  Foods turn out ooh so tasty and quick.  And I love meatballs.  Well I have to say I love good meatballs.  Not the frozen ones you can buy and add sauce to.  I love moist, tender, flavorful meat balls made from scratch and cooked in the pressure cooker.

Pressure cooker foods always taste great.  Pressure forces the foods to open up and the flavors to explode.  Meats are tender and the pressure cooker never dries out the foods.  Once you start using your pressure cooker you will love it.

When I make meatballs I like to make extra so I can freeze them.  They are not  the same as the ones you buy.  I can make a batch up in my Wondermix and roll them into balls and place them on a flat pan on parchment and freeze them.  When they are frozen I remove them from the freezer and place them in serving size plastic bags. Back in the freezer and I am ready for a quick meal.

When I am ready to cook them I turn on the pressure cooker and add olive oil.  I place the frozen meatballs in the olive oil and fry them for a couple of minutes.  I place a good pasta sauce or stewed crushed tomatoes over them with Italian seasoning.  Place the lid back on and cook for 12 minutes on high.  If they are not frozen,  6 minutes work great.

Pressure cooking is a passion for me and the more I learn the more I love them.  In fact I am starting my new cookbook on Pressure cooking.

Enjoy
Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy


Cooked to perfection served over pasta. 




A few minutes in the pressure cooker are magic for meatballs.  





 Brown Rice Meatballs
Meatballs with grains cooked in the pressure cooker are the best, the pressure cooker brings out the flavors of everything.  

2-lbs. lean ground beef or ground turkey meat
6 eggs
2 cups bread crumbs, can use gluten free
2 teaspoons garlic granules
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ onion chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups cooked brown rice
3 tablespoons Penzeys Tuscan Sunset or Italian seasoning
1 24 oz. can tomato sauce 
Mix all ingredients except Tuscan Sunset and Tomato Sauce, until well blended.  Form into 2-inch balls.  In pressure cooker add place 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Heat oil and add meatballs.  Brown lightly and cover with tomato sauce and 3 tablespoon pizza seasoning.   Cook on second ring or high pressure for 12 minutes.  

Friday, July 7, 2017

Annual Cousins Day with Favorite Uncle "Chef" Brad

For a few years,  don't know how many,  I have posted about one of my very favorite events every summer.  That would be the Cousins Cooking Day.  My family is large, lots of family and a whole bunch of nieces and nephews.  One of my greatest joys has been to be a uncle.   I love all my nieces and nephews.  When they were all younger I bribed, begged, tickled, and brain washed them that my name was "Favorite Uncle Brad",  not Uncle Brad, but Favorite Uncle Brad.   It took years, but I finally convinced them that was my name.  It's been years and now the second generation has come along and I did such a great job with the first generation that there is no question with this generation that I am Favorite Uncle Brad.  Add inviting them each year to a cooking day and there is no doubt, I win.  

My nieces and nephews are amazing, but their children are outstanding.  Wow.  Each year I have the best time as I watch them work together with each other.  I am amazed at how well they get along and how well they support each other.  The older ones support and encourage the younger ones and they listen. 

Last year we had a cake competition.  It was an amazing event.  The cakes were fantastic and so creative.  Each year that we do this we try to do a culinary outing.  The outing is usually to  some place fun that they don't go to often, we  buy ingredients and have a cooking challenge.  This year it was a salsa competition.  I gave them the rules and guidelines and off we go to a local store to purchase all they might need.  This year we went to Pro Ranch Market in Mesa.  After we purchase everything we go back home and they do their thing and then they are judged and in the process I teach them ways to improve or do it different.  It's a great time to teach and inspire them. 

Since we were doing Salsa this year, I took them to one of my favorite markets.  Pro Ranch Market in Mesa, Az, the corner of Stapley and Southern.  Its a great store.  We walked in and to our amazement the manager Ariel took over.  He was amazing.  He actually went out of his way to accommodate our group.  When he found out what we were doing he dropped what he was doing and did everything in his power to make sure we have a great time.  Best customer service I have seen in a long time.  He was delightful and captured the children's complete attention. 

The children had an amazing time.   So did the adults, I love doing this every year.  One of my best activities every year for sure.  Watching them create and discover what they can do is amazing. 

Below is a small photo visual of what happened.  Enjoy 



Arriving at Pro Ranch Market.  The children are so excited.  They are in teams of four
and there are four teams.  They were able to plan before we arrived.  Now
they get to purchase what ever they need to create their salsa recipes. 
                                                                    


Wonderful Group of Nieces and Nephews

The manager took over and feed them all samples of guacamole.  Actually amazing guacamole.  


Shopping and sampling. 

The manager, Ariel, showing off his roasted green chilies.  Come to find out they roast
all different variety of chilies.  They are amazing they have them all the time.  

My new good friend,  Ariel.  

In line to pay for the food.  So many ingredients, so much fun ahead. 

The baskets are full of flavor.  From fruit to juice they have a plan. 

This was the highlight of the day.  Ariel gave us a great tour of just how tortillas are made.  Did you know
this location makes over ten thousand tortillas every day.  Amazing.  And they are great tortillas. 

Enjoying the tour.  Look at those faces.  They loved it. 

Teaching moments. 

This machine is amazing.   They put the fresh corn masa in it and it rolls out tortillas.  They start with dry corn and
finish with great tortillas. 

Of course Ariel knows that feeding a group is the best way to keep them happy. 

They loved the tortillas.  Fresh and hot 

Does anyone want more?  Of course. 

I love those happy faces. 

Of course if you go there you have to try the traditional "Aguas"  fresh fruit or nut
flavored waters.  Ariel and his staff let my group try the flavors before they choose
their own drink.   I loved the pistachio and the cantaloupe.  

Even the big kids loved the experience. 

Back at the house the competition begins.  These children are so intent on what they are doing.
I love this. 

Creating a fruit salsa.  They were so creative.

Another group in the back room whipping up a great salsa. 

This group was hard at it.  I Loved it.

Ok, four groups and each group without any help created four different salsa's.  Top left, Black bean and corn.  Top right fruit salsa, with a hint of cinnamon.  Was so cool.  Bottom left, a wonderful traditional salsa with fire hot crumbled doritos.
Bottom right, a sweet tomatillo salsa.   Honestly they were all four amazing.  Hard for the judges to judge because they were outstanding, each one different, but amazing.  

Enjoying relaxing after a hard fun morning.  We enjoyed the salsa on fresh cheese crisps.  

Chillin 

Next generation of Chef Brad Foodies

Another treasured year.  I love being an uncle, great uncle so much.  can't wait until next time.  
Once again I am amazed at the power of food and just how it can bring us together.  Every time I do an event like this I am reminded that we need to take more time cooking and spending time with those we love in the kitchen.  Cooking can bring out the best in us and creates memories that last forever.

Every year I learn more and more about how much fun can be.  I hope in your personal lives you are creating opportunities with friends and family to create great lasting fond food memories.

Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy









Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Chef Brad's New Cookbook

"Changing the world one Grain at a time".



I have worked for a long time on putting together a new cookbook. Actually this cookbook is two in one.  Whole grain baking at it's best and Gluten Free like never before.  For most recipes in the book there are two versions.  Whole Grain and Gluten Free.  The recipes are back to back and easy to prepare.  

My main objective with this cookbook was to assist everyone who has a need for gluten free.  We might not be but we all know someone who is and we scramble when they come to make sure we have foods for them  So this cookbook works if you are not gluten free, if you are gluten free, or if you just like to bake.   I have covered all the bases.  

I wanted to create a really unique cookbook that offers gluten free foods that are whole grain and easy to prepare, not filled with white starches and sugar.   I was determined not to publish a cookbook unless the recipes were as good as I could get them making them healthy and tasty at the same time.  I feel I have accomplished both.  Of course when you use pure white flour and nothing but processed ingredients you will bet a different result then you will find with my whole grain recipes.  I am thrilled and hope you will too.  

One other feature that you will love in this book is the extra educational feature that I have added.  In this book you will find QR codes at the bottom of select recipes.  When you scan the recipe you will see a video of me teaching you how to do the recipe.  

The book comes out in July.  Over the next few weeks I will share photos of the book featuring the recipes in the book.  All the photos include polish pottery from my private collection.  I have formed a partner ship with Pottery Avenue.  They are offering all my followers a huge discount when you order from their site, www.PotteryAvenue.com,  just use the code chefbrad and get the discount.  

Below are a few photos of the food in the cookbook.  Actual baked and shot right away.   It was two weeks of very intense baking and photo shotting.  You can see there is not a lot of difference between gluten free and regular.  


Fresh baked bread.  Whole wheat, perfect bread.

Fresh baked Gluten Free Bread.  Actually one of the best gluten free breads ever.




Gluten free burger bunn.  Gluten free has never been better. 


Whole Grain Burger bunn 





Rosemary flat bread. 
Gluten free rosemary flat bread.   Texture is perfect. 


Sour dough cinnamon roll 




Gluten free cinnamon rolls.  

Please spread the word.  I really want this book to be a best seller.  I need your help in getting the word out.  It should be ready in July.  Make sure you are signed up for my news letter at www.chefbrad.com to get the facts.  

Chef Brad~America Grain Guy 





Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pressure Cooker Frittata



I love pressure cooking.  It's an amazing thing.  Every time I create a new recipe for the pressure cooker I am once again amazed at how well a pressure cooker cooks, brings out flavor, speeds up the time to cook, brings out flavors, allow us to cook every thing faster, better, and did I say brings out the flavors. 

I have to say that I have the same passion I have for pressures that I have for crock pots.  That is the debt of my passion.  As much as I love pressure cookers, I dislike crock pots.  For one Crock pot foods all taste the same.  The are mushy and horrible.   The flavor and nutrition leaves when foods are cooked for hours on end.   

The one thing and the reason we like crock pots is that we can put the food in and forget about it.  Come back later and the food is ready,  we love the convince so much that we don't care that the food is horrible.  At least most of the world fits that category.  Not me.  I don't own one and never will.   

On the other hand pressure cookers are amazing.  Today's electric ones are the best.   Pressure Cookers are Crock pots on steroids is what I call them.  They work circles around crock pots and have the convenience of putting the food in and walking away.  The difference is that the pressure cooker cooks quickly and keeps the food perfectly warm up to 12 hours.  Not slow cooking out the flavor or turning the food to mush,  it holds it in perfect form until you are ready to eat.   So you can cook dinner at noon and it will be perfect at 6:00. Never over cooked or mushy.  On the other hand have you ever forgotten to put the beans in or the roast on with a crock pot.  You are out of luck.  With a pressure cooker no problem, just toss in the food and in less then one hour dinner is ready,  cooked perfectly, quickly.  
Fagor is my personal favorite pressure cooker.




One of my favorite recipes in the pressure cooker is the frittata.  Normally a fritatta takes time.  About one hour or longer in the oven.  In the pressure cooker it can be done in 12 minutes.  Perfectly cooked and so flavorful. The Fagor is really special.  I have tried this recipe in other brands and in never comes out the same.   I love the large size of the pressure cooker.   It really heats up great and does great things.   I have used many brands of pressure cookers and so far this one is my favorite.

This recipe is good. Be sure and try it out.  Fast, easy, and tasty. 

Pressure Cooked Frittata 
The pressure cooker is amazing, from soups to meats and now egg dishes.  This dish is easy and so fast.  It can be done in minutes in the electric pressure cooker only.  This style of cooking is amazing and easy.  

1 small onion
2 to 3 small potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1/4 inch squares 
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup milk
12 eggs
2 cups spinach
3 tablespoons olive oil for potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper 
Turn on your pressure cooker to high pressure, 7 minutes.  Add onion and 3 tablespoons oil.  Sauté until onions are browned.  In separate pan on stove top, add oil and heat up.  Add potatoes.  Quick brown, do not cook until done, just quick brown.
In separate bowl whisk eggs, milk, cheese, spinach, and salt and pepper.  Place butter in pressure cooker with onions and add potatoes.  Dump egg mixture over potatoes and place lid on cooker and pressure for 7 minutes.  Enjoy.

If using the new Lux Fagor, just brown the potatoes in the pressure cooker. 









Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring Time, Time for Rosemary Bread




Nothing like the taste of fresh baked bread.  Especially when topped with olive oil and fresh rosemary.  Fresh rosemary is one of my favorite herbs  I grow it all over the yard just to rub up against and smell.  It is one of natures finest herbs.  So versatile and so flavorful.  From chicken to bread, it should be a staple in your garden.  It is easy to grow and easy to use.  It's one of the few that really works well dried also.  I trim mine and dry it.  Stored in an airtight container it's magical.  
This dough is filled with kaniwah, a wonderful grain from South America.  It's related to the quinoa family, only smaller.  It gives the dough a wonderful look and adds to the flavor and texture.  

When I make a bread like this I like to let it rise double, using my fingers I make little wells to hold the oil.  I drizzle olive oil over the dough filing the holes.s  When it bakes the oil draws the essence of the rosemary into the bread.  The oil also added to the amazing texture of the bread.   I top it with fresh or dried rosemary,  both work well.  

The final touch to the bread is to top it with kosher salt.  you can see it on the top.  Table salt does not work the same.  I love the Redmond Kosher salt.  It's texture is perfect and it is a good for you salt.    I love this style of bread and it's my constant go to bread when I need something fast and wonderful.   Everyone likes this bread. And its great cold.






Focaccia
Sour dough kaniwah dough is perfect and can be used for pizza dough.

1 ½ cups hot water
1 cup sour dough starter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup whole grain Kaniwah 
2 cups fresh ground spelt
Natural white flour clean flour 
3 tablespoons yeast

Place all ingredients, except the  white flour, in Wondermix bowl.  Add yeast on top.  Turn on Mixer and add the  white flour till it cleans the sides of bowl. Mix for 6 minutes. Take out. Let rise till double.  Punch down, divide into two pieces and roll out.  Place on parchment paper.  Let rise.  Punch finger holes in dough.  Pour olive oil over dough, brush till covered.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and dried or fresh rosemary.  Bake on pizza stone at 500 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove and enjoy.