Throughout the year, we’ll be sharing interviews, stories, and recipes from the people who make Kitchit Tonight incredible. We’ll speak with various chefs and vendors to offer an insiders’ guide to cooking, eating, and entertaining. This week, Kitchit Tonight guest chef Andre Villahermosa joins us for a little Q&A session. Check-out what he has to say and why you want to bring his menu home tonight.Read More
If it isn’t clear by now, it should be that here at Kitchit we’re lovers of good food, dinner parties, and impromptu gatherings of family and friends. We’re also lovers of love. With Valentine’s Day approaching, we’ve curated our favorite list of both food and non-food items that are perfect for that special someone.Read More
Meet Kenny Belov, restaurateur, fishmonger, and environmental educator. Kenny, part owner of Fish restaurant in Sausalito, CA as well as sustainable fishing company, TwoXSea, has set out to change the way seafood is farmed, caught, and handled from fishery to plate. As a favorite supplier to many San Francisco Bay Area restaurants and chefs, Two X Sea is a go-to vendor for our Kitchit Tonight menus, which feature some of the best fish around. In our first of many vendor spotlights, we sat down with Kenny to learn more about Two X Sea and the fish that grace our waters.Read More
With the new year, inevitably resolutions follow, and there is no denying that post the indulgence that is December, many of our new year goals tend to lean toward health. Enter fermented foods. While they have long been a part of the human diet, there has been a recent resurgence in fermentation both in-home and out, with items like kombucha on tap popping up everywhere we look. We thought we’d take a look at some of the techniques surrounding this methodology and give fermented foods their proper stand atop a gold medal pedestal for healthy eating by examining fermentation, its health benefits, and sharing some of our favorite ways to enjoy these living fortifiers.Read More
With all due respect to Helen Mirren and her Golden-Globe-nominated turn in Oprah’s Hundred Foot Journey, 2014 was not a year of food-centric blockbusters. The closest we got to a mainstream “food film,” à la Ratatouille or Julie & Julia, was Chef, the road-trip-in-a-food-truck charmer helmed by Jon Favreau as writer, producer, and star.
But for the foodies among us, there was plenty more to salivate over, just a little off the beaten path. Here are three films you might have missed, in which both the actors and the food deserve accolades.Read More
RECIPES FEATURED IN THIS POST
Nut and Grain Loaf
Spicy Jackfruit Tartare
Chef John Campana knows a thing or two about healthy eating. After switching to a vegan diet, he lost 57 pounds within one year and learned how to maintain a healthy body weight for the first time in his life. Feeling fitter and fresher than ever, this now-vegan chef shares his thoughts on eating clean and how to feel your best in 2015.
- WHAT IS HEALTHY EATING ANYWAY? As one might expect, Chef John loves food, actual food. His passion for cooking means that healthy eating extends far beyond fancy juices, protein shakes, and energy bars. For him, clean and healthy eating centers on a diverse plant-based diet, a combination of cooked and raw foods, sometimes heavier, sometimes lighter. When changing your diet and lifestyle, Chef John recommends that you take time to research different options for a balanced diet.
- Pro-Tip: Know what your body needs and learn the best ways to deliver it to yourself.
- JUICING: FAD OR FAB? Juicing is a wonderful option that has recently come into trend. It is an excellent way to cleanse and provide our bodies with vital nutrients, though purchasing fresh juices daily or investing in a high-quality juicer does require a certain budget. Instead of juicing, Chef John prefers more of a whole food, budget friendly approach. He believes in creating smoothies and shakes, using the entire blended fruit, vegetable, or plant to keep the beneficial fiber and provide a more substantial meal replacement. As with most things in life, a balanced and diverse diet is always your best bet.
- Pro-Tip: Focus on consuming whole foods, plants, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and legumes combined with juices or smoothies.
- FLAVOR-FULL: When eating a specific diet, whether it’s vegetarian, vegan, or centered around weight loss, a common complaint is lack of flavor. The key however to avoid this pitfall is correct (and oftentimes ample) seasoning. Many proteins used to replace meat or fish do inherently have less flavor than their animal counterparts, so it is that much more important to season. The more levels of flavors you can bring into vegan food the better, including a dominant umami profile, so season your dishes from beginning to end. Chef John also encourages that we liven up our diets by exploring and experimenting with different types of food. There is a huge diversity of edible plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers, seeds, spices, and herbs available and they have such intense, robust flavors.
- Pro-tip: look for an Asian, Indian, or African specialty grocer in your area and explore the lesser-known flavors of the world.
- THE VEGAN CHEF: Believe it or not, aside from a couple B-vitamins, the building blocks our bodies needs can be found in a plant-based diet. In fact, many vegan sources of fiber, protein, fats, and carbohydrates provide more nutrients than their animal counterparts and are more easily digested, absorbed, and used by our bodies. Here are some of Chef John’s favorites:
- Burmese Tofu: Made with chickpea flour instead of soybeans, this tofu has an amazing nutty flavor. Its uses are endless and can be flavored to match any recipe. Versatile, delicious, soy-free, gluten-free, and a low fat protein powerhouse.
- Jackfruit: Not to be confused with durian, the young, green, unripened jackfruit is available canned in brine at Asian grocers or well-sorted specialty markets (occasionally, depending on location, fresh or frozen jackfruit can be found). Both the meat and seeds can be eaten and are packed with protein, fiber, and endless vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Jackfruit's mild, neutral flavor makes it a perfect substitute for fish and seafood dishes as well as dishes calling for braised meats.
- Mushrooms: Another fantastic meat substitute, mushrooms are highly nutritious and lend a strong umami flavor to your dishes. They become surprisingly meaty in texture when braised or roasted and make a truly convincing bacon substitute.
- Pro-tip: If you need some supermarket staples that still pack protein and punch, look for seitan, soy tofu, and dried soy products such as curls, chunks, and mince.
- EAT WELL, FEEL WELL: It’s well known that what you eat affects how you feel and eating certain types of food can promote health. One of Chef John’s favorite snacks is raw, fermented sauerkraut. Great on its own or in salads and sandwiches, sauerkraut is a probiotic that can rebuild healthy gut bacteria levels. To add a healthy and cleansing boost to any dish, try fresh turmeric. When grated into dishes like soups and curries, turmeric cleanses and reduces inflammation. Fresh parsley and cilantro are great for absorbing heavy metals (a big concern for those eating a lot of fish and seafood) and fresh ginger and chilies help to boost the immune system.
- Pro-tip: Get the most out of your sauerkraut! Leftover juice is delicious when added to salad dressings.
Below, Chef John shares two vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free recipes: a flavor-packed, savory loaf and a spicy jackfruit recipe with multiple variations to mix things up.
NUT & GRAIN LOAF
Serves about 8 / vegan / soy-free / gluten-free
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- ½ red pepper, diced
- ½ yellow pepper, diced
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 8 leaves kale, julienned
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup mixed nuts, chopped
- ½ cup sunflower seeds, soaked in water for about 4 hours
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (for best results cook in vegetable broth)
- 4 tablespoons flax meal or ground chia seeds mixed with 6 oz. vegetable broth
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Olive oil for sautéing
- Maybe a splash or two of vegetable broth, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large pan and sweat onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. Add peppers and continue sautéing briefly. Add mushrooms, kale, and fresh herbs. Continue sautéing vegetables until the mushrooms and kale have lost most of their moisture. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and allow to come to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled vegetable mixture with the oats, quinoa, nuts, breadcrumbs, sunflower seeds, and flax meal. Mix thoroughly, adjusting the consistency with either more breadcrumbs, if too moist or more vegetable broth if too dry. The loaf should have the consistency of cookie dough.
- Press loaf mix firmly into an oiled 9 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. When the top of the loaf is golden brown, cover with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Allow loaf to cool slightly before slicing to prevent crumbling.
SPICY JACKFRUIT TARTARE
Servings vary / vegan / soy-free / gluten-free / nut-free
- 1, 20 oz. can young, green jackfruit in brine
- 3 sheets nori seaweed
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons Vegenaise (soy-free if possible)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ¼ - 1 tablespoon (or more) sriracha sauce, depending on desired heat level
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Drain jackfruit pieces, squeeze out as much residual brine as possible, and place pieces into a food processor.
- Crumble the nori sheets very finely, add to the jackfruit and pulse until finely chopped.
- Transfer to a bowl, add remaining ingredients, mix well, and season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
- The spicy jackfruit is now ready for a variety of applications.
Spicy Jackfruit Hand Roll: In a square of nori, add a small amount of cooked quinoa (in place of sushi rice), spicy jackfruit, sliced avocado, thinly sliced cucumber, and daikon sprouts and roll together from corner to corner.
Spicy Jackfruit on Crispy Rice: Mash cooked forbidden black rice with a touch of water and a few tablespoons of rice flour to create a textured dough. Fry cakes in hot oil until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Top with spicy jackfruit and garnish with onion sprouts, sesame seeds and cilantro leaves.
Spicy Jackfruit, Quinoa & Kale Bowl: Cook quinoa in vegetable broth and allow to cool. Place quinoa in a bowl, top with massaged raw kale salad and a healthy portion of spicy jackfruit. Garnish with onion sprouts and sesame seeds.
About Chef Campana
Chef Campana, who also calls himself the Monkey, has been in and out the kitchen since childhood. Born in Massachusetts to a german mother, raised in colonial Connecticut and educated in metropolitan Los Angeles, John has been influenced by wide variety of world cuisine. He now is a fully vegan, plant based chef. To view his menus and book him for your next event view his full profile here.
At Kitchit, we pride ourselves on having a team of talented chefs who can really deliver restaurant quality food in the home setting. We have chefs who have duked it out in Michelin-starred kitchens, hotel fine dining, and reality competition cooking shows. Chef Melissa King is no different. Not only has Chef Melissa spent the past decade killing it at restaurants around San Francisco, (The Ritz Carlton Dining Room, Luce and Delfina to name a few), but she is also one of the remaining 8 contents currently appearing on Top Chef Season 12. We caught up with her to learn what life is like working as a Kitchit chef, appearing on Bravo’s Top Chef, and preparing for what’s next.Read More
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a deliciously crunchy, savory, warm piece of fried chicken? We here at Kitchit are ready for this treat just about any time, any place. For as simple of a dish as fried chicken is, there is a definite skill level involved in perfecting the process. Here to help us master fried chicken cooking is Kitchit Chef Royce Burke. Below he lays out the 4 steps involved in making the perfect fried chicken.
RECIPES FEATURED IN THIS POST
Chocolate Fried Chicken
Korean Fried Chicken
Thanksgiving is next week and we’re gearing up to get in the kitchen! Here to share ideas, tips, and a chef’s perspective on this holiday is Kitchit Chef Vlad Niza. Having cooked around the world and run culinary programs for the popular kitchen retailer Williams-Sonoma, he knows what it takes to put on an unforgettable feast. Below, Chef Niza offers his guide for a successful holiday meal.
RECIPES FEATURED IN THIS POST
Beetroot Scented Salmon Gravlax with Horseradish Sauce and Potato Cakes
- Braised Chestnuts with Apples and Celery
Here at Kitchit, we take food and cooking seriously. That’s why we like to have an expertly stocked kitchen. With chefs in and out, regularly hosted events and generally practicing what we preach, we’ve honed our kitchen over time to make sure we’re ready, no matter what culinary mastery is about to happen at Kitchit HQ. We thought we’d share our kitchen staples, so you too are well equipped for culinary success.Read More