December 13, 2000 - Issue 40

1. Holiday Baking
2. Favorite Family Holiday Recipes
3. Ina Garten's Holiday Breakfast and New Year's Lunch
4. Ask the Sommelier, Stephen Beckta of 11 Madison
5. Fit the world on your plate:'s featured products
6. Top Ten Recipes on StarChefs
7. Chris Broberg, Pastry Chef of Petrossian tells us the secret of GingerBread Houses
8. November Chocolate Lovers
9. Find your dream employee or dream job in StarChefs Culinary JobFinder
10. Culinary Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kumps) wins big
11. Recipe by Chef Tom Colicchio chef of Craft and Gramercy Tavern in New York City

If you like food. A lot. Visit

FIT THE WORLD ON YOUR PLATE has searched the world - from Asia to Latin America and all points in between - to bring you the highest quality authentic foods the world has to offer, delivered right to your home. Click on one of our 15 featured countries to embark on an international culinary shopping spree, or check out our authentic recipes and get cooking! Now the world is so small it fits on your plate!

Receive $5 off your next purchase of $50 or more. You must register to become an member and enter promotional code STARCHEF during checkout to receive this special offer.


Sixteen favorite recipes from some of the best bakers and pastry chefs around, plus some all-time winners.
Remember to leave some milk and cookies for Santa by the tree because, after all, he's the one deciding who's naughty or nice
We've asked some StarChefs to share their treasured family holiday recipes with us. We hope that you enjoy the recipes as much we do. From all of us at StarChefs, may your holidays be filled with good cheer, good food, and good memories
Learn to entertain from the master. Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, offers us a perfect holiday breakfast and a wonderfully casual New Year's Day lunch.

4. Ask the Sommelier, Stephen Beckta of 11 Madison
Stephen Beckta of 11 Madison Park answers your wine questions

Shop and receive
$5 off your next purchase of $50 or more. You must register to become an member and enter promotional code STARCHEF during checkout to receive this special offer.

Featured products:
White Truffle Oil - This intensely fragrant oil is infused with the earthy, transcendent flavor of the white truffle, an Italian delicacy. Native to northern Italian forests, white truffles grow at the base of certain varieties of oaks, and must be sought after by well-trained dogs or pigs. This fine oil should be used in small quantities to "finish" dishes; the delicate flavors would be destroyed if exposed to high heat. Serve white truffle oil in a mushroom risotto or drizzled over salads or grilled vegetables.

Italian Treat Gift Basket - Can't get reservations at that great little Italian place? Make it your place! It's all here in a charming wicker basket. Start with fusilli pasta (l lb.), its fun corkscrew-shape is perfect for holding this natural, no-sugar-added marinara sauce (16 oz.). To round out your meal, we've tossed together a rich and fruity extra virgin olive oil (8.5 oz.) with the mellow sweetness of aged balsamic vinegar from Modena (8.5 oz.). Just add a bottle of Chianti, a red-checkered tablecloth and good friends!


Mario Batali

Grilled Lamb Chops "Scottaditti" with Pom Pom Mushrooms, Garlic Confit and Mint

Joachim Splichal
Chocolate Croissant Pudding With Wild Turkey Sauce

Ina Gartner
Vegetable Lentil Soup

Waldy Malouf
Wood Roasted Trout with Chervil Vinaigrette

Hubert Keller
Stuffed Artichoke Heart Barigoule

Jean Georges Vongerichten
Roast Chicken Breasts with Pine or Rosemary

Bradley Ogden
Barbecued Shredded Pork with Corn Crepes and Avocado Salsa

José de Meirelles
Lamb Shanks with Fruited Couscous

Christian Delouvrier
Turkey Croquettes

Craig Shelton
Cervena Loin of Venison with Smoked Beets, Clove Gelée and Black Pepper Gastrique

This month's new recipes include Classic Fudge, Spritz Cookies II, Chocolate Decadence II, Espresso-Sour Cream Brownies.
Chris Broberg, Pastry Chef of Petrossian tells us how to keep the walls from tumbling down. Get the tips on how the pros do it.

Find the exciting culinary jobs on posted StarChefs. See below a few examples of what you will find in our improved Culinary JobFinder.

  • Private Yacht Club in Florida looking for an Executive Chef
  • Management company needs a progressive executive chef to guide the growth and development of a high quality food program.
  • Five star restaurant five minutes from NYC looking for an experienced pastry chef
  • Historic Country Inn featuring fine dining seeks a working head chef
  • Company looking for a new product development manager of specialty cheeses
  • Houston restaurant which won 'Best New Restaurant' and 'Best Interior Design' looking for a sous chef
ICE (formally Peter Kumps) won first place and two of three awards in the 2001 Food & Wine Magazine School Jam competition for "Best Overall Team" and "Best Dish". The New England Culinary Institute won for "Best Use of Technique". See winning recipes next month at

From Think Like A Chef, by Tom Colicchio, Chef at Craft and Gramercy Tavern in New York City, adapted by StarChefs

Salmon Braised with Mushrooms

Yield: 4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) center-cut salmon fillets, about 1_ inches thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 recipe Marinated Mushrooms (see recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Season the salmon with salt and pepper on both wider (cut) sides. Add the pieces to the skillet, with the seasoned sides down. Adjust the heat so the oil sizzles but does not smoke. Cook for about 3 minutes without turning (the cooked side will be golden), then transfer the salmon to a plate. Wipe out the skillet.

Add the chicken stock and the marinated mushrooms to the skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Nestle the salmon, cooked-side up, among the mushrooms. Gently simmer, basting frequently, until the salmon is cooked, 2 to 4 minutes for medium rare.

Transfer the salmon to serving plates. Stir the butter, salt, and pepper into the mushrooms. Spoon the mushrooms onto each plate and serve.

Marinated Mushrooms

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white part only trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, peeled, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 recipe pan-roasted mushrooms (see recipe below)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it slides easily across the pan. Add the sliced leeks, onion, carrot, and celery. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and coriander seeds and continue cooking until the vegetables are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Add the mushrooms to the skillet and season liberally with black pepper. Add the vinegar, let it bubble for a second or two, and then add the chicken stock, thyme and parsley. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes then remove the skillet from the heat. Add the remaining quarter-cup of olive oil and set aside, allowing the mushrooms to cool slowly in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Pan-Roasted Mushrooms

  • 4 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds mixed wild and cultivated mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and thickly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 or 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (optional)

Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it simmers. Add just enough mushrooms to loosely cover the bottom of the skillet (you should be able to see the pan between the mushrooms). Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, then gently turn the mushrooms over as they brown and soften.

Add a little chopped shallot and garlic, and some thyme and tarragon. Continue cooking the mushrooms until they are tender, about 2 minutes more, and then transfer them to a plate. Wipe out the skillet and repeat the process, cooking the mushrooms in small batches.

Just before serving, add a bit more butter or oil to the skillet and warm the mushrooms over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.

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