The Completed Dish

The Completed Dish Video Index

"The Completed Dish" is an advanced cooking series that puts into action all the techniques and concepts discussed in The Stella Culinary School Podcast and as demonstrated in other video series such as Knife Skills, Kitchen Prep, Sauces and Soups, etc. It is highly recommended that you understand the basic techniques used in each video before attempting to recreate one of these dishes. A list of supporting techniques can be found in the show notes of each episode by going to StellaCulinary.com/tcd[episode-number].

 
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Video & Show Notes Description
 
TCD 1| Pan Roasted Halibut

This video will teach you how to make one of Stella's top selling entrees of 2011; pan roasted halibut, baby tomato panzanella, lemon caper beurre blanc.

TCD 2| Ahi Sashimi

Learn how to make Stella's top selling appetizer for the 2011 summer menu; a+1 ahi sashimi, pickled cucumber, wakame salad, cantaloupe "caviar" and dehydrated sesame oil.

TCD 3| Butter Lettuce Salad

In this video, learn how to make one of Chef Jacob's all time favorite salads, the butter lettuce. Although this salad was served during the Summer of 2011 at Stella, you will find it on our menu almost year 'round with different ingredients swapped out as the seasons change.

TCD 4| Chicken Roulade

Learn how to take the chicken roulade that was demonstrated in Kitchen Prep Episode 11, and turn it into the same completed dish we're currently serving at Stella.

TCD 5| Fresh Pasta Pappardelle with Pancetta and Fava Beans

I'm really proud to present this video because it's a long time in the making; not necessarily the completed dish itself, but all the fundamental cooking techniques required to actually execute this dish properly...

TCD 6| Composed Cauliflower Soup In a previous video, we went over how to make a basic cauliflower soup base. In this video, we finish the dish with a composed soup plate up.
TCD 7| How to Garnish Food In this video we discuss how to garnish food and some concepts to take into consideration when planing a completed dish. This video was inspired by a question posted by a YouTube viewer regarding our "Composed Cauliflower Soup" video.
TCD 8| Steak Tartare In this video I'll demonstrate how to make a simple steak tartare using the head and tail trimmings of a fabricated beef tenderloin.
TCD 9| Sous Vide Rack of Lamb This video will take you through the process that we use to sous vide a rack of lamb at Stella. The nice thing about this process is we cook the lamb rack a second time in a reduced pan sauce which infuses both the lamb and the sauce with an amazing flavor.
TCD 10| Sous Vide Chicken Breast Sous vide crispy skin chicken breast with sauted spring vegetables and chicken jus.
TCD 11| Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad The summer heirloom tomato caprese is demonstrated.

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Heirloom Tomato Capresse - TCD

Heirloom tomatoes are a special crop that I look forward to every year. Unlike other common supermarket tomatoes that have had their flavor bred out of them (not to mention they're usually picked green and forced ripened using ethylene gas), heirlooms are true, unique strains of tomatoes that haven't been messed with. Each variety of heirloom tomato has it's own unique color, flavor and shape, just like nature intended. And did I mention that they're absolutely delicious and about to hit their peak?

That's right, heirloom tomatoes peak in August and September, and because most of the US had such a mild winter, the season promises to deliver a bumper crop.

Although there are many things you can do with an heirloom tomato, a simple caprese salad is hard to beat, especially when accompanied with a good hunk of bread and glass of chianti classico (hint: the real stuff never comes in a wicker basket!).

Further Information

 

This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

 

Sous Vide (Crispy Skin) Chicken Breast with Spring Vegetables

This video demonstrates how we prepare and cook our sous vide chicken breast that we're currently serving with sauted spring vegetables and a reduced shallot jus.

The chicken breast is first brined for 24 hours in a 5% brine and then rinsed. Next, the chicken breast is vacuum packed individually and cooked sous vide in 60ºC/140ºF water bath for 4 hours. On "the pickup," the chicken breast is cut out of the sous vide package and the skin is pressed into rice flour and then pan fried in chicken fat.

What makes this sous vide chicken breast great, is normally, chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF, which makes it safe to eat but will also dry out the meat. But salmonella and other food born illness can also be killed at 140ºF if held at that temperature for the proper amount of time.

To pasteurize the chicken breast at this temperature, you'll need to wait until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 140ºF and then hold it there for 20 minutes. The breast can also be pasteurize at a "medium rare" internal temp of 136ºF if held there for 30 minutes. Although with an internal temp of 136ºF, the breast meat is still slightly pink which will most likely get the chicken sent back in a restaurant. At an internal temp of 140ºF, the breast is white all the way through but still extremely moist and tender.

The 4 hour cooking time in the circulating bath will ensure that the breast has spent a prolonged period of time at pasteurization temperature, making the breast safe to consume.

Related Techniques

 

This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

 

Sous Vide Lamb Rack with Pan Sauce and Sauted Vegetables


This video will take you through the process that we use to sous vide a rack of lamb at Stella. The nice thing about this process is we cook the lamb rack a second time in a reduced pan sauce which infuses both the lamb and the sauce with an amazing flavor.

Supporting Video Techniques

Sous vide rack of lamb how to plus time and temperature

This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

 

Simple and Classic Steak Tartare - Video Recipe



In this video I'll demonstrate how to make a simple steak tartare using the head and tail trimmings of a fabricated beef tenderloin.

What is Steak Tartare

For those who aren't familiar with this classic bistro dish, steak tartare is lean beef that is finely minced (sometimes ground), seasoned and served along side toast points. Classic flavorings and garnishes include minced onions, mustard, capers, worcestershire sauce and a raw egg yolk, usually served right on top. It's common to see steak tartare accompanied with toasted rye bread, such as our European Style Brown Bread, but is also great with brioche, crostinis or crackers.

Steak tartare is sometimes also refered to as "beef tartare," "tartare steak" and is sometimes spelled without the 'e' (tartar).

Health and Safety Concerns

Since steak tartare is prepared raw, it's important to buy high grade, lean beef from a trusted source and use within a day or two. Because bacteria is only on the surface of the meat, some prefer to salt the exterior for an hour and rinse thoroughly before dicing.

One must also consider that once the beef is either diced or ground, it will have more surface area upon which bacteria can grow. I don't say this to scare you, but just to stress the importance of paying extra close attention to your sanitary practices while preparing this recipe. Steak tartare is one of my favorite "power meals," and I happily eat it without a second thought of food poisoning (which has never happened). This is because I trust the source of my beef, make sure that it's fresh, and follow a few simple guidelines.
  1. Make sure that your cutting surface has been properly cleaned and sanitized before and after dicing the steak tartare. Same thing goes with the blade of your knife.

  2. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling the raw beef, using hot, soapy water and scrubbing constantly for 20 seconds.

  3. Work quickly and efficiently, exposing the beef to room temperatures as briefly as possible.

  4. It's never a good idea to serve raw or undercooked meat products to young children or the elderly who tend to have weaker immune systems.


That's it! Other then that, give it a shot and enjoy!

Related Content

The list can go on, but instead, what are your ideas? How can you take fresh pasta and turn it into your own unique dish? Let me know in the comments!

This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

 

How To Garnish Food - A Quick Video Discussion

In this video we discuss how to garnish food and some concepts to take into consideration when planing a completed dish. This video was inspired by a question posted by a YouTube viewer regarding our "Composed Cauliflower Soup" video.

How to garnish food step one

YouTube User nvj944 asks: "When doing this 'pour in presentation' what's the trick to the  garnishes? Are there some that work better than others. Also, the sliced cauliflower doesn't float right? So, you need to use a wide, shallow bowl otherwise the soup would cover up your beautiful presentation."

First, let's address the serving vessel and the issue with the soup covering the garnishes, which honestly isn't really an issue at all. Part of the "drama" that comes with serving a composed soup is the vanishing garnishes; a plate that was made purely for the pleasure one gets from looking at it, and then covered table side before being consumed.

As far as choosing appropriate garnishes, that's what this video discussion is really all about.

How to garnish food step two

When choosing garnishes it is important to first identify the primary ingredient which all other garnishes will enhance. Once the primary ingredient is identified, start choosing garnishes that have complimentary flavors, colors and textures. In the example of the cauliflower soup above, the puree is a smooth consistency which can become quite one dimensional and boring after a few spoonfuls. When the same flavors and textures are tasted over and over, this quickly leads to "palate fatigue" and your primary ingredient becomes much less interesting bite after bite.

Properly chosen garnishes can prevent palate fatigue by introducing contrasting textures and complimentary flavors. When choosing complimentary flavors, take into consideration the overall texture and flavor profile of your primary ingredient. The pureed cauliflower soup contains fat in the form of cream and butter, which, while offering a nice mouth feel, fat is also known to coat the palate and deaden other flavors. This "deadening" effect can be countered by adding "brightness" in the form of acid (think vinegar, citrus, etc.), and/or by adding a little kick through the application of spice, in this case, togarashi.

The three rules of garnishing

Three Rules For Garnishing a Plate

 

  1. Garnishes should always be functional. If you can't eat it, it doesn't belong on the plate. There are a few exceptions like skewers and specialty utensils, but these exceptions are few and far between.

  2. Garnishes should always enhance the primary ingredient. If the garnish doesn't enhance the flavor of your primary ingredient then it doesn't belong on the plate.

  3. Garnishes should always add contrasting colors, textures and overall interest. If too many components on a single plate share the same color tone, then your plate will look flat. Try to use garnishes with contrasting colors and textures that don't break the first two rules.

Related Videos

This video also recommends the use of "The Flavor Bible" for inspiration in finding complimentary ingredients when coming up with a new dish.

The list can go on, but instead, what are your ideas? How can you take fresh pasta and turn it into your own unique dish? Let me know in the comments!

This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

 

Fresh Pasta Pappardelle with House Cured Pancetta and Fava Beans | Video Recipe


I'm really proud to present this video because it's a long time in the making; not necessarily the completed dish itself, but all the fundamental cooking techniques required to actually execute this dish properly. When the thought struck to start a cooking "blog" (back before I even created FCS), I originally intended to chronicle advanced cooking techniques from a working chef's perspective.

Yet wanting everyone to be able to play along at home, I was concerned that I would constantly have to stop and explain that "the reason your knife cuts aren't accurate is because you need to use a professional pinch grip and utilize your guide hand properly." Or "your pan reduction sauce isn't turning out because you skipped a couple key steps in the stock making process and then later the reinforce and reduction stage.

So instead of jumping straight into advanced cooking topics, I realized it would be helpful to lay down a base curriculum, that started with the basics and progressed much like culinary school would. This is what led me to start podcasting, originally with The Free Culinary School Podcast, which latter morphed into this site, StellaCulinary.com.

What excites me is that for literally years now, as I've preached and posted off and on about technique being king and creating your own recipes. This pasta dish illustrates a new "baseline" of where we'll be going in the future. This isn't a recipe, but more of a collection of recipes and techniques brought together to create a delicious completed dish that I would be proud to serve to a paying customer. But more importantly, this video illustrates how you yourself can combine the techniques covered in our video tutorials and audio lectures to find your own unique style and develop your own creative recipes.

That is what Stella Culinary is all about.

Here are the techniques used in this video:

Just to illustrate the versatility this pasta dish allows, here are some ideas:

The list can go on, but instead, what are your ideas? How can you take fresh pasta and turn it into your own unique dish? Let me know in the comments!

This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

 

Butter Lettuce Salad with Tarragon, Pine Nuts, Orange Supremes | Video Recipe



Although restaurants love to tempt you with some of their more creative appetizers, sometimes you just want to start your meal with a good, green salad. When I want a great salad, this is the one I crave above all others.

Start by pulling off the outer leaves of the butter lettuce and stack, with each stem facing in opposite directions, while working your way into the crisp, inner leaves as you build your salad. The whole idea is to make the salad look somewhat like a flower while conveying height and structure. At the end of the stacking process, I like to gently press down into the center of the salad using my fingers. You will hear the salad "crunch" while compressing together, giving you a more stable presentation that can be carried from the kitchen to the table.

Using our sherry-shallot vinaigrette (or any vinaigrette you prefer), dress the salad on the plate. Having a squeeze bottle is important for this step because it allows you to work the nozzle in between the leaves, distributing the vinaigrette throughout the salad. Although you can use any vinaigrette you wish, I do recommend an "emulsified" vinaigrette because it will cling better to the butter lettuce and stand up to its "watery crunch."

Next, distribute toasted pine nuts throughout the folds of the butter lettuce. The pine nuts add a nice "meaty" flavor and crunch.

Pick individual leafs of tarragon and place randomly throughout the salad so that the tip of the tarragon leaves "pop" out from the salad.

Garnish with five orange supremes and season with fleur de sel. Serve immediately.



Supporting Recipes & Techniques



This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

Pan Roasted Halibut, Tomato-Panzanella Salad, Lemon-Caper Beurre Blanc | Video Recipe



We kick off our new recipe video series, "The Completed Dish," with a video on how to make our top selling entree. Not a night goes by that a guest doesn't request this recipe and the best part is, it's extremely simple. There are a few background techniques that you should understand first, like pan roasting a piece of fish and how to make a beurre blanc sauce.

We've shot video on all these techniques and some more that are mentioned in this video. For more information, check out the links below.

Further Information