Exciting News!

Club SunFest

Club SunFest

I know I have not posted in over a month but this time I have an amazing reason! A long time ago I mentioned that I was working on a memoir/cookbook about my catering business Affairs to Remember Catering. Well I took a leap of faith and sent it to a publisher in December. And guess what? Okay I will tell you. It will be published. I have signed a contract with Motivational Press to publish my book which at this juncture is called Affairs to Remember: Catering with love. I am beyond excited but it still feels surreal. I am now hard at work to finish the book by my deadline. I have lots of recipes to test and pictures to take. And I am going to need a lot of hand holding but from what I can see the publisher is very good at that! Having my book published is something I had only dreamed about and now it is going to be a reality!

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21st Birthday Party for the grandson of Secretariat

 

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Charity banquet for Brain Injury Foundation 2003

 

Food Truck Road Trip

FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP—A COOKBOOK by Kim Pham, Philip Shen, Terri Phillips. Page Street Publishing/November 2014

FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP—A COOKBOOK by Kim Pham, Philip Shen, Terri Phillips.
Page Street Publishing/November 2014

Crab a Hold of Me

Crab a Hold of Me

Way back in 1989 my husband and I started our catering business Affairs to Remember Catering in West Palm Beach, Florida. When we were researching the name that we wanted to use we looked up ever caterer’s name in South Florida. The competition seemed daunting until we found out that the term catering was used to describe those lunch wagons that came around to construction sites and office complexes. At the time they were referred to as “roach coaches” which tells you something about the quality of their food. Pre-made sandwiches were the norm and they weren’t fresh or even very tasty. Fast forward about twenty five years and oh how things have changed. The roach coach of yesteryear is now the very gourmet food truck of today. Everything is prepared fresh and on board in these very tiny mobile kitchens. Now there are food truck parks and invasions in most cities across the country. In my small town of Wellington, Florida we are invaded every Thursday evening with a variety of very high end food trucks. And the food is spectacular.

Food Truck Road Trip is a new book by BehindtheFoodCarts.com bloggers Kim Pham and Phil Shen along with Terri Phillips. Kim and Phil did their research by setting out on a twelve city journey to meet the owners and eat the food from food trucks across the country. They visited sixty three carts in Portland, Oregon; San Francisco and Los Angeles, California; Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minnesota and New York City. And they did it all in two weeks! That’s a lot of driving and eating.

“No one decides to run a food cart for the glamour. Running a food cart means standing in a borderline claustrophobic space, sometimes with up to four other people, with a hot grill or oven for hours. It’s sweating it out on hot days with temperatures soaring up to 12o degrees F (49 degrees C) and watching the clouds for rain. It means dealing with equipment failure, limited storage and competition for parking spots. It’s figuring out how to challenge preconceived notions of the “roach coach” and serve high-end, restaurant-quality dishes out of a small box.”

The recipes they have collected are so fabulous that I had to hold back from eating the book. Which is a good thing because the actual dishes are easy enough to prepare when you have a real kitchen. I have cooked on boats and RVs and know how difficult it is to manage to prepare an amazing meal in a small space. If the owners of these popular food trucks can make these amazing recipes in their minuscule kitchens then you can certainly do it in your own home! To tickle your taste buds here is one of the many yummy recipes from the book.

CRAB A HOLD OF ME
Yields 1
Owner Brian Aflague’s love of grilled cheese came from homemade childhood meals in his grandfather’s kitchen. It was a nostalgic meal that never quite gave up its spot as his #1 favorite food. At Melts My Heart, Brian pays tribute to the classic grilled cheese by constantly looking for new ways to offer up the cheese and- bread combo. His favorite place of inspiration is his own crew, often putting their ideas into practice and creating instant favorites. One such favorite is the signature crab melt made with fresh crab, mild Cheddar cheese and a touch of Old Bay.
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Ingredients
1 (16-oz [454g]) can premium quality super or jumbo lump crabmeat (not imitation)
1 stalk celery, diced
¼ red onion, diced
1 scallion, chopped
Old Bay seasoning to taste
Black pepper to taste
2 to 3 tbsp (28 to 41g) mayonnaise
Butter
2 slices fresh sourdough bread
3 slices mild Cheddar cheese
2 slices tomatoes
Instructions
Combine the crab, celery, red onion, scallion, Old Bay and black pepper in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly again.
Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place both slices of bread buttered-side down onto the skillet. Add the cheese to both slices of bread. Scoop 4 ounces (112g) of the crab mix on top of the cheese on one slice of bread.
Place 2 slices of tomatoes directly on the pan and grill for a few seconds on each side. Place the tomatoes on the other slice of bread and toast for 3 minutes. Flip the slice of bread with the tomatoes onto the other slice of bread with the crab mix. Press down firmly and toast both sides for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
Notes
Recipe from FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP—A COOKBOOK by Kim Pham, Philip Shen, Terri Phillips.
Page Street Publishing/November 2014
foodandfondmemories.com http://www.foodandfondmemories.com/

Secret Restaurant Recipes

image002Secret Restaurant Recipes from the world’s Top Kosher Restaurants is the lasted in a whole series of books by Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek. For me it was the best one to date and I have loved everyone that I have read. The others in the series are Passover Made Easy, Starters and Sides, Kids Cooking and Dairy Made Easy. Each one offers truly delicious Kosher recipes to please any palate.image003

This book is different in that the recipes are from Kosher restaurants all over the world. This duo’s other books have recipes that were written by home cooks and for home cooks. The recipes in this new release are written by over 70 professional chefs. The type of recipes that make me want to eat the page with photos to match. The recipes are simple enough for a home cook to execute easily and perhaps the less experienced will learn along the way.

Chicken Fingers with Dipping Sauce, Shallots’ Beer-Battered Onion Rings, Sesame Chicken, Eggplant Chicken with Garlic Sauce and Mongolian Beef. Those are just a tiny sampling of the fabulous meals you can make at home. These dishes are delicious whether you keep Kosher or not. It is not too late to pick up a copy for someone special for Chanukah. I have included a couple of my favorite recipes for you to enjoy and make you want more of the amazing new cookbook Secret Restaurant Recipes from the World’s Top Kosher Restaurants by Lean Schapira and Victoria Dwek.

Sea Bass Spring Roll

Sea Bass Spring Roll

Eggplant Chicken with Garlic Sauce

Eggplant Chicken with Garlic Sauce

Sea Bass Spring Rolls
Yields 14
Parve
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Ingredients
½ lb Chilean sea bass, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 lb kani (imitation crab), shredded
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp mirin
½ tsp kosher salt
14 sheets feuille de brick or spring roll wrappers
oil, for frying
Instructions
In a medium bowl, combine sea bass, kani, mayonnaise, sesame oil, mirin, and salt.
Spread filling over the bottom-center of each wrapper. Fold in sides; roll up tightly.
Heat oil in a saucepan or deep fryer. Add spring rolls, a few at a time, and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
Notes
Mirin is a Japanese rice wine, a staple in Japanese cuisine. It’s the ingredient that’s traditionally used to flavor sushi rice. It has a very low alcohol content and a strong, sweet flavor, so you only need a little bit.
At Mocha Bleu, these spring rolls are served alongside sweet ginger sauce for dipping. To make your own, whisk together: 6 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger, and 1 minced garlic clove.
foodandfondmemories.com http://www.foodandfondmemories.com/
Eggplant Chicken 
in Garlic Sauce
Serves 2
Meat
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Ingredients
1 lb eggplant, cut into 1½-inch chunks
· kosher salt, for sprinkling
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 Tbsp cornstarch, for dredging
3 Tbsp chopped garlic
¼ tsp chili pepper flakes
⅓ cup shredded carrots
· canola or vegetable oil,
for frying
Dark Sauce
⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cornstarch
Instructions
1. Sprinkle eggplant chunks with salt; allow to rest for 20-30 minutes (this process will prevent eggplant from soaking up too much oil during frying). Rinse salt from eggplant and drain well.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, black pepper, and cornstarch. Set aside.
3. Prepare the chicken: Place cornstarch into a shallow dish; toss the chicken in cornstarch to coat very well.
4. Heat 3-inches oil in a wok or 1-inch oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add chicken to hot oil and pan-fry until golden, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from oil and set aside.
5. Add the eggplant to the same pan and fry until light golden, 2-3 minutes. Remove from oil and set aside. Discard oil, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the wok or pan.
6. Add garlic and chili pepper flakes and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Return chicken and eggplant to the pan. Add carrots and sauce and stir-fry for 2 minutes, coating all the ingredients well with the sauce.
Notes
"Of all the rules of the kitchen that I have learned and followed over the years, I feel the most important one is if you enjoy cooking, then you do it right. Try not to cook if in a foul mood. And just have fun."
-Daniel Gilkarov, Segal’s Oasis Grill
foodandfondmemories.com http://www.foodandfondmemories.com/