Friday Favorites

My Obsession with Tyler Florence and learning to cook!

I am madly in love with Tyler Florence!  My obsession began about three years ago while watching the food network.  His show “Tyler’s Ultimate” soon became my favorite.  I DVR’d all of his shows and on Saturdays, I would watch the show and cook the recipes along with him.  I learned so much about cooking this way!  There are so many techniques I would have never learned without watching the show and following along.  I soon became a foodie and a home chef.  If you don’t know who Tyler Florence is, here is a bit about him, and his cooking.  I love his style, it’s easy, but gourmet at the same time. 

Isn’t he dreamy!

tyler florence in the kitchen with his two year old daughter

Chef Florence

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His restaurant in San Francisco Wayfare Tavern

Wayfare Tavern Dining Room

Wayfare Tavern Private dining room, 3rd floor

a chalk board in the kitchen of tyler florence with pid drawing
Tyler’s Kitchen was featured in House Beautiful
I love the chalkboard wall with the pig!

stainless steal large fridge in a kitchen owned by tyler florence

large stove and oven in the kitchen of tyler florence

I want this range!

Love the countertops and the knives on the wall!
He also designed the 2011 Kitchen of the Year for House Beautiful!  I loved the Jeff Lewis design last year, but I think I like Tyler’s more!

Love this butcher block!

And this outdoor kitchen is amazing!
And here are some of my favorite recipes from Tyler
Picture of The Ultimate Roast Chicken Recipe

The Ultimate Roast ChickenRecipe
Courtesy Tyler Florence

Ingredients

  • 1 (5 1/2 pound) free-range chicken
  • 1/2 bunch each fresh oregano, thyme, and parsley
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1/2 head garlic
  • 1 medium white onion, halved, plus 1 onion
  • 6 strips smoked bacon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • Serving suggestion: roast potatoes, watercress and gravy

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out. Pat it dry with paper towels. Divide the herbs, keeping 1/2 of them whole. Finely chop the other half. In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the chopped herbs, until combined. Rub the herbed butter under the skin, as well as all over the outside of the chicken. Season the bird all over with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the orange, garlic, 1 onion, and the remaining herbs. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine to help hold its shape. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in a roasting pan. Put the remaining onion into the pan, which will help color and flavor the sauce. Lay the strips of bacon across the breast of the chicken and roast for 25 minutes.

Remove the bacon and baste the chicken with the drippings and cook for another 25 minutes to brown the skin. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (the legs of the chicken should wiggle easily from the sockets too.) Remove the chicken to a platter and let stand for 10 minutes, so the juices settle back into the meat before carving.
Meanwhile, remove the softened onion from the roasting pan. Tilt the pan so the drippings collect in 1 corner, skimming off as much fat as possible, and leaving the drippings. Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over medium heat and take a wooden spoon to scrape up the flavor from the bottom of the pan. Stir the flour into the drippings to make a roux-like paste. Pour in the chicken broth in stages; continue to stir to dissolve the flour evenly to prevent lumps. Stir in the sherry and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, carve the chicken tableside and squeeze the oranges from the cavity over the meat.

Difficulty: Easy

Shrimp Scampi with Linguini

Ingredients

  • 1 pound linguini
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • 20 large shrimp, about 1 pound, peeled and deveined, tail on
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

Directions

For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the linguini. Stir to make sure the pasta separates; cover. When the water returns to a boil, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is not quite done. Drain the pasta reserving 1 cup of water.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta and reserved pasta water. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.
Ultimate Shrimp and Grits

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence, 2007
 Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence, 2007

Ingredients

For the grits:

For the shrimp:

Directions

For the grits:

Place a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the milk and cream. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal. When the grits begin to bubble, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, thin it out with a little extra cream. Season with salt and pepper.

For the shrimp:
Place a deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic; saute for 2 minutes to soften. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until there is a fair amount of fat in the pan and the sausage is brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to create a roux. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and continue to stir to avoid lumps. Toss in the bay leaves. When the liquid comes to a simmer, add the shrimp. Poach the shrimp in the stock for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are firm and pink and the gravy is smooth and thick. Add the cayenne pepper, Tabasco and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the parsley and green onion. Spoon the grits into a serving bowl. Add the shrimp mixture and mix well. Serve immediately.
Picture of Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
Spaghetti & Meatballs

Ingredients

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 thick slices firm white bread, crust removed
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups heated Pomodoro Sauce, recipe follows, or good quality jarred tomato sauce
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks
  • Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh basil
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Directions

Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are soft but still translucent, about 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let cool.

Pour enough milk over the bread in a bowl to moisten and let it soak while the onions are cooling. Combine the meats in a large bowl. Add the egg and Parmigiano and season generously with salt and pepper. Use your hands to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread and add that to the bowl along with the cooled onion mixture. (Hang onto the pan – you’ll need it to cook the meatballs.) Gently combine all the ingredients with your hands or with a spoon until just mixed together. Don’t overwork or the meatballs will be tough. Divide into 10 equal pieces and shape them into 10 nice looking meatballs.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a 3-count of oil in the frying pan over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes. Put them into a baking dish and spoon about half of the tomato sauce over. Shower with the mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. Put the meatballs in the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and put it onto a large serving platter. Pour on the rest of the sauce and mix well. Spoon the meatballs on top of the spaghetti and garnish with basil leaves. Serve immediately along with extra cheese.

Pomodoro Sauce:

1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand, liquid reserved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes) and about 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring for a few minutes with a wooden spoon to further break up the tomatoes. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil and season again.
Yield: 4 cups

Mac ‘N Cheese with Bacon and Cheese
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

 

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 or 3 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme

Directions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
While that bakes, heat a saute pan. Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy. Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture on each spoonful.

Source: Food Network

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