Chef’s Tip: Flavia Rubenstein/Berardo Agudelo of DeCicco’s, Armonk ~ Easy Beautiful Presentation for Stuffed Lobster Tails

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This amazing grocery store has a magical second floor where you can sit at the bar for wine or beer on tap, play bocce, or take a cooking class in a beautiful test kitchen. This location has a spectacular hands on manager, Flavia Rubenstein who along with Seafood Chef Berardo Agudelo, shared cooking techniques at one of our classes along with the store’s recipe for Scampi Sauce (see recipe below).

Hi! Donna Monaco Olsen here, co-coordinator for the Taste of Westchester Continuing Education program for Westchester Community College to share with you from a past demonstration. All classes are held within Westchester restaurants, where local chefs share their talents and recipes with us in their own dining rooms. Over the years, I have attended hundreds of classes, and I always learn a new trick or two from our great chefs! All demonstration classes are listed below or click here.

Owner/Chef: ChefsFlavia Rubenstein and Berardo Agudelo, Proprietors John and Marie DeCicco and Family

Restaurant:  DeCicco’s Family Market, Armonk

Tip:  The interesting and easy method used to prep the lobster creates a fabulous presentation when stuffed. Our chef showed us how to hold the lobster tail in your hand. The curved shell upward and the flippers facing out. Using kitchen scissors cut the top of the shell, creating one long slit but not splitting it in two. Still in your hand slightly squeeze the shell on both sides to expose the tail meat and then pull meat upwards. Leave meat attached and in shell near the tail flippers. Devein and somewhat flatten the tail meat to expose more surface area and then stuff.

IMG_3473Slice back of lobster tail shell to expose meat.

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Our Seafood Chef taught us the cleaning tips for the squid (calamari). Their beautifully displayed and well stocked seafood department will also do the work for you if you are not ambitious.

IMG_3467Remove cartilage (looks like plastic) and the beak.

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Another tip from our chef was to soak the cleaned and cut squid in milk for one hour to tenderize it. This is the special technique the chef uses to prevent their fried calamari from becoming rubbery.

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IMG_3459After removing it from the “milk bath” it is drained before dredging in flour, baking powder and old bay seasoning. Then quickly deep fried to a crisp crunch.

IMG_3462   IMG_3465The lesson continued with instructions for linguine with fresh white clam sauce.    

IMG_3466The sauce and clams should be simmered on low so that the juices do not evaporate. Stir in cold sweet butter to slightly thicken the sauce.

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We were treated to a surprise sweet treat from their magnificent bakery courtesy of Marie DeCicco who along with her husband John joined in on our class for the evening. It was our extra privilege to have them there talking about the wonderful new and exciting things coming to the store.

IMG_3457A round of Bocce anyone?

We are thankful for the beautiful demonstration and DeCicco’s Armonk will be hosting another class this week in July and again in November for our Fall 2014 semester posted on-line this month. We hope you will join us for a spectacular class!

Care to get tips first hand? Check out the current offerings at WCC Continuing Ed, Taste of Westchester. Classes are only $15+ a sampling fee.  Sign up with a friend for one demonstration or a few by contacting WCC via online or by phone at 606-6830×1.

The new Fall 2014 semester will be out soon but Summer 2014 is going on now and has a few great classes still available to take registrations!

Join us at several of Westchester’s most exciting restaurants for a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds. Each chef will offer a private cooking demonstration, followed by a tasting of the prepared items. If you are a chef or restauranteur and are interested in participating in this program please contact the college at 606-6830 x1 and ask for Sarah.

There is still time to sign up for some great classes:

DeCicco’s Family Market ~ www.deciccos.com-Hands-On: DeCicco’s is a family owned and operated specialty grocery store chain, which has always valued buying local products and supporting local businesses. Each location offers full service, meat, seafood, cheese, produce, and bakery departments as well as an expanded selection of gourmet grocery and specialty beer. Their newest store in Armonk has an upstairs bar, a demonstration kitchen with a viewing screen, and even a bocce court. Learn the art of Shish Kebab in this interactive demonstration. Our treat will be to devour them with some “summer brews,” one light, one dark, and one fruity tasting. The proteins will consist of beef, chicken, and pork partnered with summer vegetables to create delicious shish kebabs for the grill. We will help the chef to prep and then skewer the tasty cubes and get great grilling and marinade tips. A well composed green leaf salad and coffee and cookies will round out our class. Thurs., July 24, 5:30-7:30 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #5970

Peter Pratt’s Inn ~ www.prattsinn.com-Outdoor Pig Roast: This colonial homestead, built in 1780, has been a local inn dating back to 1926. Set in a residential neighborhood, the area has historical presence, having served as General Washington’s command post. A special place to dine, it has been producing fabulous creations from master chef and owner Jonathon Pratt, who took over for his father, Peter, in the kitchen. Known for their summertime BBQ’s on the patio, this chef is a wonderful speaker and will delight us in his informative demonstration on doing a pig roast in the La Caja China (translated “the Chinese box”). This method dates back to the 1850’s when Chinese immigrant workers in Cuba toted this roasting box around to cook their meal as they toiled in the sugar cane fields. We will also enjoy a lesson on some of Jonathon’s favorite BBQ sides. For the dessert tutorial, the chef will surprise us with a summer treat. This class is a favorite so sign up quickly to reserve your spot!  Thurs., July 31, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #5971

Crabtree’s Kittle House Restaurant & Inn ~ www.kittlehouse.com-Outdoors: Since 1981, CKH has been owned by the Crabtree family. They have returned it to its former glory, including transforming the former stables into an award-winning wine cellar boasting some 65,000 bottles, making it one of the greatest collections in the world. It began humbly in 1790 as a barn, before the restaurant and inn were built. Many hands have touched the stately structure over the years. Executive chef Jay Lippin’s expertise and unique style of cooking will lend for a very special learning experience, starting with an outdoor (weather permitting) lesson on summer grilling. The chef will discuss various grilling techniques along with the types of wood to ignite to produce the desired results. We will begin with grilled pineapple salsa and a lesson on ceviche, consisting of diver sea scallop and Gulf shrimp. Next a tutorial on espresso and ancho rubbed, grilled prime skirt steak accompanied by a refreshing watermelon and corn relish. Our sweet treat will be the chef’s secret to their “shortbread magic bar blondies” made with chocolate, coconut, and pecans. Join us for a special evening! Wed., Aug. 6, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #5972

The Chophouse Grille ~ www.thechophousegrille.com-TCHG hand picks aged steaks to create a memorable meal while offering it at a reasonable price, making it sometimes difficult to get a reservation. Proprietors Matt Camerino and Toni Vulaj have over 25 years in the food service industry. Chef Michael Camerino will teach us some trade secrets, starting with their summertime wild cherry, pistachio, and goat cheese water cress salad for a refreshing treat. We will watch how he prepares a pan-seared Branzino with a citrus glaze, accompanied by a refreshing arugula pesto cous-cous. A demonstration on baked Alaska will complete our education with a classic and cooling dessert. Come out to see what everyone is talking about!  Mon., Aug. 11, 6:00-8:00 pm, $15 (+ $20 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #5973

Härth ~ www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-york/hilton-westchester-RYEHIHH/dining/harth-westchester-Saturday Night: With outdoor and kitchen views from every table, this restaurant is an innovative addition to the Westchester County dining scene. Chef Rafael Velazquez is committed to culinary innovation and believes in using the finest seasonal ingredients, featuring farm-fresh and locally sourced products. Our chef will show us how to make a quick coq au vin (a very traditional French dish that usually takes many hours of cooking) and translate it to the pressure cooker, to produce a beautiful dish in less than 35 minutes time. Our first course will be a lesson on a refreshing endive salad with candied walnuts, stilton blue cheese, and a tarragon vinaigrette. The accompaniment to our spectacular chicken dish will be roasted fingerling potatoes. We will end on a sweet note with a lesson on creating a traditional crème brulee with a summertime berry compote. Grab a friend for an interactive Saturday night dinner out on the town and then relax on the patio with a cocktail or two! Sat., Aug. 23, 5:00-7:00 pm, $15 (+ $25 sampling fee in CASH, payable to instructor). #5974

The Fall 2014 semester will appear online in July. Check it out and share with a friend!

Come out and learn with us!

DeCicco’s, Armonk ~ Scampi Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, cold, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced, pits removed

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, melt 1/2 of the butter and all olive oil, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add wine broth, and lemon. Let simmer and reduce, then whisk in cold butter to thicken sauce.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/07/21/chefs-tip-flavia-rubensteinberardo-agudelo-of-deciccos-armonk-easy-beautiful-presentation-for-stuffed-lobster-tails/

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About Author

As a contributing blogger and the author of "Chef’s Tip", Donna Monaco Olsen recaps great cooking demonstrations from local restaurants. As the the coordinator for Westchester Community College’s Continuing Education program, named “A Taste of Westchester,” she writes the program, which offers more than 35 cooking classes each semester, and recruits chefs to do cooking demonstrations in their restaurants. She holds a full time position in the education field, and in her off time develops and contributes recipes for cookbooks. She is an avid baker and a former cake decorator who created many custom designed specialty cakes. Along with her husband, she reviews restaurants on Small Bites during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.

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