Chef John Guinivere prepares Tandoori Shrimp in Baby Pita
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I’m going to do three dishes today. The one is an appetizer and it’s going to be Tandoori Shrimp in Baby Pita. And we’re lucky in Vegas, we actually have baby pita bakery. And I hit the Greek store this morning and it was still soft and steamy and that’s why I left it in the bag. It’s not beautiful but in that way we’re going to have the freshest pitas we can.
Another dish I'm going to do, sometimes it’s called Chipped Beef. In the military, it’s called SOS. I won't give you the full acronym. And I'm going to do a gourmet version of that because a friend down here, it’s one of his favorite dishes so I decided to see if he likes the gourmet version.
And I'm also going to do another dish that it’s great for kids and for parties if you like. It’s sort of like chicken fingers but it’s really healthy. And I'm a diabetic myself so this is great for diabetics, for people who are trying to keep the calories down because there’s almost no oil in it and no sugar and no butter and no frying so where we’re going to start off first is get our pan nice and hot and we got the pan on. And I've got this large shrimp and I got the large shrimp today because they were on sale. And if you use large shrimp, it’s so easy to clean because you don’t have to clean as many and of course these are already deveined so all we have to do is pull the shell off. And the shell is already sliced in the back so the shell just comes right off from it. And I often will save my shells when I'm doing something like this. If I want to make a shrimp bisque later, you’re going to store it in a ziploc and throw it in the freezer. And when you’ve got enough shrimp bisque time and use the shells because the shells have so much flavor in them. But certainly, I'm not making a sauce or a hot sauce. I'm doing more of a mayonnaise-based cold sauce for this or spread almost you could say. So, today I won't be using the shells and nice we got shrimp also especially in the appetizers. They cook up so quickly that it’s a great dish to do.
Tandoori paste, if you're not familiar with it is definitely Indian and their most classic dish you'll see in restaurants will be tandoori chicken. And tandoori chicken is—what they usually do is take this paste which is a bunch of different spices, including food color. And there’s a little of food color and you make it look nice and red. And what they do is they take chicken and they’ll cut it into parts and score it down to the bone, right through the meat and you mix this with yoghurt and you marinate it for a couple days. It’s great. Throw it on the barbeque, a really hot barbeque, almost char-broil it. But the chicken is really nice and moist. That is like the flavor of this and when we mix it with the mayonnaise and the sauce with the mango chutney, you’ll see it has a nice balance of flavors. You don’t need too much of this sauce, a little bit goes a long way. And a little bit oil on the top. So, you’re going to pour that off. It’s easier to get to more of the flavor of the sauce. And really with the flavor of this and this, you don’t need much else to do with the shrimp. And you could marinate the shrimp for a half hour, 20 minutes before if you wanted to but it’s not necessary, you’ll see that the flavor gets on the shrimp just fine. Now, if you're just going to do tender shrimp, then you might want to marinate it for half hour, so before we let the flavor soak in, of course you could do the shrimp on the barbeque tandoori style as well, or if you have a tandoori oven which I love to have one but I don’t have it, pretty meat.
And just a little bit of oil in this, I'm not even going to add oil and just a little bit of tandoori sauce. And I cut the shrimp in half. I should use a wooden spoon since I'm doing a Teflon pan. I’ll just let those cook up. And shrimp really just don’t—the worst thing you can do to shrimp is overcook them. Sort of general, especially one of this is two or three minutes, your shrimp should be done if you use a nice, hot pan. And we’ll put a little bit salt on that. And for the sandwiches, get the wax of the cucumber, and just really nice, thin slices of cucumber. Two reasons I like the cucumber, one, it’s nice crunch and it’s just really light flavor that goes well with most Indian food. And I’m going to turn this down, we’ll use a little bit more stir so we get both sides cooked quickly. You see how this is char-broiling on this really well and that’s the nice thing about tandoori paste, it chars really quickly. And has that charred flavor to whatever meat you're cooking up. You could probably make your own tandoori paste but I don’t know even Indian chefs could do. They almost always buy all their mixes already done ahead of time because they're doing like a sambal or something like that. But I’m just going to get all those turned over. I got a little bit of flame there so that will finish off.
Now for the sauce, since I was doing this healthy dish a little bit later, I grabbed the non-fat milk. So, we might use it for this as well. A little bit of mayonnaise and I like to do grapes in this. It’s another compliment to the mango chutney. Mango chutney or any chutney is served as sweet and sour. It’s any fruit you take and cook it down. It’s so nice to make blueberry chutney or if I live in a house that happens to put out a lot of fruit, I’ll make some and usually I have too much fruit than you can eat. So, you can take plums or whatever and make a chutney out of it as well. There’s a lot of good recipes for chutney. But the essence, it’s something sugar and something sour is the balance you usually look for in the chutney. Mix this up really well. And our shrimp, they're done. I'm just going to give them a little bit of a stir in a second. Make sure that look good. Now the pita, sort of like if you have a gas stove, you can heat up your pita right on the stove. Now one thing, I always tell people, if you buy fresh bread, you know you're not going to use it, throw it in the fridge, it’s just going to—almost the second it comes out of the oven, it gets worst and worst and worst and that’s why they sell day old bread for half price the next day because it’s just—it’s half as good, it really is. But if you put it in the fridge, it will last a lot longer. And if you have say a baguette or a nice sour dough bread and you bought two for a party and you only used one. Always take a little bit of saran wrap and I wrap the heck out of it and I throw it in the freezer. And then when I'm ready to use it, I take it out of the freezer and I run it under water and throw it in a 375-degree oven, about 10 to 15 minutes later, it’s almost like fresh baked bread, it’s really nice. Nice little hint for you.
So these, you just heat up in two seconds. And these are just great for appetizers. I do these all the time for catering and parties. Actually one almost fits and they’re pretty good. And then get your mango sauce. Put that in there and some cashews for a little bit of a crunch and our greens for texture, little bit extra moisture in because it looks nice and that’s them. They're really simple, easy to do and they're also pretty tasty which I’m going to find out in a second. And these I always do just before I'm going to serve them. One of two things that happen is, if the sauce stays on too long, they’ll get too moist. The bread is no longer nice and fresh and it just doesn’t take long before you find that they lose the quality pretty quickly. So, this is one of those things I don’t usually do ahead of time. I might mix up everything. You can cook the shrimp ahead of time and make your dressing and everything but I wouldn’t put them together until we're ready to serve them. That’s pretty much it. Usually I do these as a past item when I do catering, a little garnishing. You guys want to try one?
Okay. So, we’ll start on our next dish and instead of doing a bisque or whatever, I decided to use some polenta. Personally, I eat a lot of corn. It’s one of those starches that doesn’t really spike my bud sugars. My brother is diabetic and it spikes his. So, you know everybody is a little bit different. But I eat a lot of corn, I eat corn tortillas, they don’t seem to bother me a bit. They are flour tortilla I used to raise my bud sugar so, okidok! So, I got our both pans going here. The polenta, which is Italian for cornmeal, and this is also one of those ethnic things that if you go to an ethnic store, maybe $0.75 for a box if you go to your Italian deli but if you go to ‘Albertsons’, it’s going to be $4.50. So, there’s so many things that—the little niche things that they just charge way too much for in the regular supermarket. I live on the sarachi hot sauce and that’s like $3.00 difference for a bottle of that, even soy sauce, some of the most basic ingredients. Throw that in there and I'm going to do a little bit of chicken bouillon for flavor, of course we need some water. Let’s just get that going. That’s just going to take a few minutes to cook, four or five minutes. Put that on high. And I seasoned my steaks with some salt but they really should have some pepper on them.
And seasonings on steaks, one of the things you can do a little bit too much because it’s not all going to stay on there. It’s going to come off in the pan. And if you do it in a grill, then you almost want to like triple the amount of seasoning that you put in because so little of it is going to make it on to the plate. And these are “Robbie’s”. I like “Robbie’s” because there’s a fair amount of fat in them. It’s nice caramelizing the meat. If you wanted to go low fat or low calorie, best of course is tenderloin. Tenderloin got a little bit less fat than even skinless chicken breast. It’s very, very lean. Turn that down. I got some cheese in there. I’m just going to give one more splash of water in there. When I do a dish like this and I use the chicken base, I use a chicken base as my salt. If it needs more salt, add more chicken base because you're going to get both the flavor of the chicken base which is going to make it little richer and it’s got salt in it so it’s a really good salt to use in my opinion. And let’s grab a fork, these guys are cooked. Now of course, cheap beef is usually done with really poor quality meat. It’s usually used to feed the masses. These mushrooms and thinly sliced mushrooms faster they’ll cook; fast the moisture will come out of them.
And the best way to get really good at mushrooms, a good slicing as you have raised this against your friends or your kids. And so you time who’s fastest and then you count the amount of slices. We used to have contests in the culinary school where we had to close our eyes and see how many slices we could get, where we had to do cases and cases and cases of mushrooms so we got pretty good at it. Just a couple more seconds and then we’ll saut? up the mushrooms and we’ll make our sauce. Let me show you, I'm going to put one of these guys right here so I get my mushrooms going right now. And turn up the heat a little bit. See what alcohol we’re going to use today, a little bit of brandy. I'm just doing this stuff to show off. Catch that on fire. Actually, you want to burn off the alcohol. What we want is the flavor and we don’t want the alcohol in the dish not because we are against alcohol, because it doesn’t taste good in the sauce so that’s really why we do it.
Well what you don’t want to do is add alcohol to your sauce after you’ve made it. Like I say you’ve made a cream sauce and it’s thickened up too much, add a little milk, add a little water but the raw alcohol is just going to throw your sauce flavor off big time.
So, we’ll grab that plate back and I hope these guys stand. Most chefs really believe that once we’re doing a stew or something like that, this should be served fairly rare. And the reason we think that is because we’re right. It tastes better and I've had friends that I take in tenderloins off the grill and they’re like, “You can't serve that, that’s raw.” And I'm like, “Just have a bite.” Have a bite and they do grudgingly and they never eat their steak, anything with that ever again. Now, if you like your real burger and a lot of people are very conscious of like E. coli and stuff like that, what you can always do is grind your own meat. And all you have to do is sear that meat for a second, that will kill any E. coli and then grind the meat and certainly you can have your meat as rare as you like it.
I got some whipping cream here. Another way you could do this, if you wanted to, if you don’t have any whipping cream or sour cream, the only thing is when you add the sour cream, what you want to do is a lower temperature. You almost want to turn it off, let it cool a little bit, put the sour cream in it and then bring them up to temperature, or with cream, you can go ahead. And what we’re actually doing is just boiling off the water so that it thickens up. And we’ve got the juice of the steak in the bottom so that’s helped our pan. We've got the alcohol in there as well. And we can add a little bit salt to this. And it would probably be a good idea that I taste the platter, make sure it has enough flavor, make sure it’s not too dried out. I like it! I think you will too. Another thing I’ll do with leftover plants is I’m going to put it in a plastic container, pad it down and you let it sit up in the fridge and then you slice it and you could saut? it with a little bit of butter, it’s pretty tasty.
Now for our sugar, you see it’s sticking to the spoon and it’s still pretty runny. And we’ll get to a point where you’ll see the difference and that’s what I'm looking for in the sauce. Get a colorful plate, let’s go red. Make sure your plate doesn’t have any dishwasher spots on it. Presentation is everything. Now another secret that you know, most restaurants do is we warm our plates. And the reason we warm them is just makes a huge difference in how long the food is going to stay hot. It’s better to let someone have to wait until their food cools down than have them send it back because it’s not hot enough. Okay, that’s where I want it, especially on the sides, you can see it because more heat will come up on the side of the pan so it tends to thicken up on the outside a little bit more but this is what we want. And of course as the sauce cools down, so do the atoms and it will get thicker and thicker as it cools. So, that’s another thing to keep in mind when you're just getting to the point where your sauce has thickened up. If it thickens up too much, a little bit cream, just make sure you whip it in really fast so that you don’t have a problem with your sauce breaking. Okay. And the peas, these are frozen peas and that’s about the only frozen peas, frozen spinach and frozen corns are probably the only frozen vegetables that I ever use. Checking peas takes too long and these are just so good.
And I’m going to slice a few of these tomatoes for looks, color. Actually I have noticed that these plum tomatoes are pretty much the only tomatoes that taste like tomatoes that you get at the store anymore. Even the hot ones seem to have had all the flavor, nice out of them. Now the beef, you slice it, on slice we say sometimes in the restaurant business. Then you get these beautiful nice thin slices and it does two things, even a cut of meat that really isn’t super tender will be more tender just because there’s less to cut through and also presentation wise, that looks nicer. I always look to see which is the best side and if it needs a little trimming, if that doesn’t look so cute on that so let’s take it off. And so your first peas, you turn over. You fan it out a little bit. And then the sauce, I want to keep some of the color of the polenta. So, we’re going to go for half of the polenta. I'm going to cover with the sauce. And then also a little bit more sauce right next to the beef.
Yes, I wasn’t really have to cook them more, just warm them up. I mean you could even put them right on there cold. And you always take the clean part of the towel, drips on the outside of your plate and black pepper. And there you go, there is your dish. You guys want to try some?
Okay. This can be considered a kids’ dish or a diabetic dish or whatever. What I try to do on this dish was imitate chicken fingers and make it a little bit more gourmet. So, I always get the chicken tenders and actually what I should have done and I’ll do that now, is you want to get that little piece of tendon out of there. And the way you do that is just hold the tendon down and let your knife just slice it off. And it just takes a few minutes to do all these. Do enough so you guys can each have one. You could just take a whole chicken breast and slice it as well. But chicken tenders for some reason tend to be a little bit cheaper than the whole chicken breast, don’t ask me why. Whatever is cheapest, that’s what I usually buy. It’s not going to make any difference or whatsoever on how it comes out, flavor wise. Sesame seeds are—I'm a big fan of sesame seeds, I use them a lot. I like sesame oil. I really like the flavor it adds. And it’s funny, when you start using a product and then you're looking at—if I was looking at mole sauce which is Mexican, there is sesame paste and I'm like, I never think of sesames in Mexican cooking, yes. So, there’s a lot of different—and another thing is if you buy this container at Albertsons, it’s $4.50. You can get a pound of it for $0.75 in the Asian market. And with these, you’ll notice and see the huge difference in color. I saut?ed these before you guys came in and/or heat them in a pan. And what you want to do is, you can use a low heat or a high heat. If you use a high heat, you literally have to stand there and stir them and keep stirring them because they’ll start to burn in two seconds, it happens so fast.
You want to preheat your oven around 400 degrees. And I’ll just put those in there and finish seasoning them. And soy sauce, and the sesame oil, I see if I have any fresh garlic in here. I’m sure there’s some fresh garlic in here. Someone already chopped it up for me. And I'm going to put a little splenda on this and kind of sort of a diabetic dish. Splenda is one of those ingredients unlike Equal, Equal doesn’t like heat and you can’t bake with it, you really can't. But Splenda doesn’t seem to mind the heat at all. And we’re going to crack an egg in here. Now, sometimes I’ll just do this and I’ll throw it in a Ziploc and let it sit in the fridge for, you can do it an hour, two hours, it really doesn’t matter. And then when I'm ready to use it, I’ll just take it out with my sesame seeds, throw it in the oven. Now the sesame seeds, the other reason you want to toast them is the moisture on the chicken won't allow these to brown. I should just roll one so that you guys will see; it will come out exactly like they’d look now. It’s just not enough heat is going to get on it and turn them brown in the time that it’s going to take to cook the chicken. Around there, because I usually—I like the serve these kids because they're always into chicken fingers and I always serve it with vegetables or all is a vegetable but I serve it with things that I know kids generally like from my experience. And really, we got a little bit of fat in the egg yolk, a little bit of fat in the sesame oil. But you compare it to a deep-fried chicken finger and there’s probably, I don’t know, two thirds of the calorie are missing, maybe three fourths of the calories here, just not even there. And because we’re going to use a fat-free milk, the same situation is you're not going to have the fat calories.
I used to be very much into low-fat cooking because I saw the value of taking calories out of a dish. If you wanted a Fettuccine Alfredo and you're using this much cream, or you're using some parmesan cheese, some chicken base, cornstarch, and it came out very tasty, you're way better off, if you're going to eat Fettuccine Alfredo, if you eat that version because you’ve eliminated some of the calories. So, that was my philosophy on the low-fat cooking but then when I looked to my low-fat cookbook, it was pretty much carb-based, so it wasn’t the right food for a diabetic to be eating. So, I don’t promote that book much anymore. I’ll just do a dipping sauce. One other dipping sauce I do with this is sometimes I’ll make a homemade barbeque sauce. And actually barbeque sauce is really easy to make and it’s onions and ketchup and vinegar and brown sugar and you know some seasonings and it’s actually a sauce that everybody almost buys. But it’s cheap to make and you make your own and you start playing with it, you’ll find that you will get a barbeque sauce that you like a lot and then start making big batches of it and give it to your friends for Christmas.
The plate, make sure your plate is clean again. We have some T-shirts that say “I’ll cook if you’ll do the dishes.” That’s what I use to use on a dating site, that’s actually where that came from. Okidok! Some mayonnaise here, once again this is the fat-free, you know fat-free is a mayonnaise. It just tastes a little bit sweeter but the overall texture I think is pretty darn close to myself. And use Splenda for the sweetness. If you're not worried about calories, you could use honey, you use whole mayonnaise, it’s perfectly fine. I definitely will say you use a Dijon versus French’s, it just—French’s is great on hotdogs, that’s it. It’s the only place it belongs in my opinion, they’re kind of—it’s just—Dijon has just so much better flavor, it really is. And this is one of those sauces you can make a big batch and put it in a plastic container, put in the fridge and every time you need it. I just want to say I like to use vegetables that kids generally will eat. I go for snap peas because snap peas are sweet and crunchy and tasty. You could blanch these for a second if you wanted to. Me, get a pot of water going and they’ll turn a little bit greener, if you do just throw them in there into a nice bath but I don’t know, I usually just rinse them and take off the little tiny white thing at the end. Peas are one of my favorites when I was a kid. I just always eat the vegetables first to get it over with so I can enjoy the meal and then didn’t take too long for actually I started really enjoying vegetables. And that bummed my mom out because she didn’t get my leftover asparagus anymore. My mom was an asparagus fanatic.
Sort of the bad thing about our supermarkets now is we can get anything all the time. Things aren’t special anymore, come to season they’re always—you know asparagus is coming out of Peru almost all year round now. So many of our fruits or vegetables aren’t seasonal anymore which is a shame because you don’t look forward to anything.
Yes, yes we've lost the seasons in food definitely. Really when Nouvelle cuisine came out which the guy who started it was a guy named Paul Bocuse. And he was like surprised, he goes “I don’t think this was going to catch them.” But the whole idea behind Nouvelle cuisine was getting back to that, using what’s grown in the garden that time of year, what’s local. And there's actually another—a revolution of the same sort by another name, its definitely getting big in California called slow food and it’s the same philosophy, “Hey let’s use the local stuff, let’s use the tomato seeds that were around a hundred years ago instead of the ones we’ve turned on tasting tomatoes.” If you go into the store and you see heirloom tomatoes, those generally are the tomatoes that are the older, older seeds that they grow a hundred, hundred plus years ago before the genetic guys got a hold of them. And really what happened with the genetic side of tomatoes is they’re trying to grow a tomato that they could pick and chip and wouldn’t bruise and unfortunately, just the flavor got lost. That’s all, just the flavor. That’s why if I'm driving along, I see a country farm that’s got some tomatoes on sale in a bag and you put $5.00 in the can, I’ll dry some, I’ll can some, I’ll do all sorts of things with them.
That was just about done. I got a couple of minutes before the chicken is done. Do you guys have any questions?
Well chicken, I mean if you're doing beef, we have—just to use this part of there. So, if you don’t clench your fist, see how soft it is, that’s rare. Crunch a little bit, you get some resistance, that’s medium, when you clenched fist, that’s going to be well. Chicken, you don’t want well. You don’t want rare than little chicken because that’s one meat we’re pretty sure we still don’t want rare. Pork, on the other hand, you know tricking those is gone. Another good trick and I do the softening, if I'm doing a roast is, say the roast is about this big, I’ll take the knife right in the center. I’ll hold there for about 30, 40 seconds and pull it out and you put it to your lip. Now, if it’s cold, it’s raw. If it’s warm, it’s rare. If it’s warm, warm, warm, medium, hot, you’ve overcooked it easily. That’s fail proof. It works better than a thermometer. I've never screwed up a roast using that method.
Oh really! If I can hold there, I know I'm okay. If I can't hold there, I know I screwed up through.
Yes, heirloom tomatoes, you can find heirloom tomato seeds online and—
Mary? You don’t see those here at all.
I just love a fresh slice of tomato with black pepper, salt on it. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s one of those things that just it doesn’t need any more than that.
It is by definition, yes.
Or fresh buffalo mozzarella, red onions, balsamic, really good virgin olive oil, fresh basil.
Yes, you got to do that, no doubt.
Smaller portions, yes absolutely.
Yes I mean, unfortunately Americans take the best of every society, like if you take pizza. Pizza was —little thin, little olive oil, maybe a little bit of parmesan cheese, some kalamata olives. Now, it’s this thick. It’s got an extra couple oil. It’s got extra two pounds of cheese on it, it’s got sausage, everything and—
There we go, that’s our Sesame Chicken and I’ll give you guys each a sample.