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Chef Jay

Q&A with Chef Jay: Go-to dish for potlucks

November 3, 2017 - Food and Beverage, Q&A with Chef Jay - , , , ,

by Chef Jay Kill
photo courtesy of The Art Institute of Tennessee – Nashville

What is your go-to for a fairly easy but very appetizing dish to take to potlucks?
What I love to take to potlucks is a fresh, cold broccoli salad. Here is what I do:
• 2 heads of fresh broccoli: break broccoli into bite size pieces
• 16 oz. block of Colby Jack cheese: cube cheese into half-inch squares
• 16 oz. package of bacon slices (any flavor is ok): Cook to crisp and chop into pieces
• 1 medium red onion: Cut into small dice
• 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes: Keep whole
• 1 bell pepper medium, diced (optional)
• 16 oz. Sweet and Sour salad dressing (I like the Kroger’s brand)
• Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all together and let set in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Finally, mix before serving. This will stay crisp and fresh for a couple of days in the refrigerator, so if you need to make it the night before, it’s not a problem.

How do you correct biscuits that are too crumbly?
You have your flour-to-fat ratio off. Which means, you either have the too much flour or too little butter. Be careful with the flour, and make sure you do not “pack it.” Sifting is not required, but do not pack your measuring cup. Use a knife to level your measuring cup. Do not tap the measuring cup. Also, remember if you use “whipped butter” instead of stick butter, it will yield less butter fat, which will throw your flour-to-fat ratio off. Always use unsalted stick butter and fresh flour.

What is the best foods to start eating a vegan diet?
What a great question. I feel most people will relate to my response to this question. First of all, creating meals without animal products is a comment that one should take seriously. For the beginners, you must learn and understand the benefits. I always suggest to create meals that are 4- out of 7-days-a-week vegan.
As for answering the question, the first task is to read! Research and learn what nutrients are in the foods you want to prepare. The main reason people get turned off by eating “clean” foods is that they end up with a colon cleansing. This happens due to the amount you eat, not the types of foods. When we eat animal proteins, we need to intake large amounts to get the benefits. Eating high-protein foods such as beans, grains, lentils and soy can cause your body to “flush out” if consumed too much. Monitoring the volume of intake, you should see weight loss.
You will find out that removing meats and replacing with other protein sources will save on your budget.

What does “proof” mean with liquor?
Proof is the measurement of ethanol. This system dates to the 18th century. A water and alcohol would be proven when it could be poured on a pinch of gunpowder and the wet powder could still be ignited. An easy way to determine what the ethanol percent is based on Proof is to divide the Proof by 2.
For example, 80 Proof Jack Daniels has 40% ethanol by volume. Look at a bottle of Jack Daniel, 40% of the bottle is pure ethanol. 151 Bacardi Rum is 151 Proof so therefore the bottle is 75.5% ethanol.
If you a “new” mixed drink consumer, know your what you are drinking. Most liquors that have flavors are lower Proof, you can drink twice as many 40 Proof flavored Vodkas then you can just drinking nice non flavored Vodka.

Thought of the day: 
I always say if your food does not come in its natural packaging, it is probably not good for you.