SEATTLE — Celebrity Chef Joel Gamoran said we should all stop wasting food, and get scrappy in the kitchen.
The Seattle native and Sur La Table national chef is also the host of the A&E series Scraps. He's an activist in the no-waste food movement.
Forty percent of the food in the United States is wasted, and 20% of the food purchased in the US never gets eaten.
The series follows Gamoran as he travels across the U.S. creating meals with foods and most people usually throw away.
Gamoran will show off some of his "scrappy" recipes at Brunch + Banter with Chef Joel Gamoran, part of The Stroum Jewish Community Center's 2019 Seattle Jewish Arts + Music (SeaJAM) Festival September 13–15.
He offers these clever concoctions on his website :
Star Corn Cob Polenta Tots with Truffle Dip
Serves 6 to 8
3 bare naked corn cobs, snapped in half
1-quart low-fat milk
1 teaspoon Morton® Fine Sea Salt plus more to taste
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1½ cups stone-ground coarse yellow cornmeal
½ teaspoon fresh ground white or black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
½ cup cornstarch
Vegetable oil for frying
1 recipe Truffle Dip or your favorite dipping sauce
Put corn cobs, milk, 1 teaspoon of the salt and the sugar in a large saucepan, and simmer, until the liquid is flavorful, about 20 minutes. Strain into a medium heavy-bottom Dutch oven put over high heat, and run laps till it boils.
Whisk in the cornmeal in a steady stream, whisking apart lumps as you see them: turn down to a simmer. Simmer until thick, about 15 minutes, stirring a lot to keep it from sticking. Take off the heat and stir in the pepper, butter, and cheese. Pour into a greased 9- X 13-inch rimmed baking sheet, smooth the top, and cool for 20 minutes before refrigerating until solid, about 1 hour.
Heat an inch of vegetable in a large skillet for a few minutes. The oil is up to temp when you stick the tip of a wooden spoon into the oil and it starts bubbling right away.
While the oil is heating cut the cooled polenta with a star cutter. Dredge the stars in cornstarch to coat lightly and cover any moist edges. Fry in batches (Don't crowd) till golden brown, about 30 seconds per side. Drain on folded paper towels and serve with dip.
Be Scrappier: Tear the polenta trimmings into bite-size bits and fry in the remaining oil until brown and crispy. Use instead of croutons on a salad or as a soup topper
Serves 6 to 8
3/4 cup mayo
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon truffle oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus some grated zest, if you're feeling scrappy.
½ teaspoon Morton® Fine Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Mix everything together. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Leftover Beer Cheese Soup with Rye Croutons
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped up carrot (Good use for leftover carrot sticks)
1 cup chopped up celery (Good use for leftover celery sticks)
1 small onion, chopped up
1 jarred bell pepper, chopped or ¼ fresh bell pepper, chopped up
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Morton® Fine Sea Salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 bottle light-colored beer, No IPAs or anything hoppy
1 cup cream or half & half
Pinch chili flakes
Big pinch mustard powder
Big splash Worcestershire sauce
2 slices deli-style rye bread (try and get it with seeds), cut into little croutons
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups shredded cheese (use your leftover scraps, but make sure at least half is sharp yellow cheddar)
Handful celery leaves, rough chopped
Turn the oven to 375ºF.
Get the butter melting in a soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and bay leaf and give it a good stir. Cover and cook until you hear sizzling. Stir some more and cook until the veggies lose their raw look, about 3 minutes. Season with Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt and pepper and toss in the flour. Stir to coat everything with flour.
Pour in the broth and beer and stir until it thickens a little. Splash in the cream, and give it the chili flakes, mustard powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to bring everything together and simmer until the veggies are soft, about 15 minutes.
While the soup is simmering make the croutons: toss the rye bread cubes and oil on a baking sheet. Bake until toasted, about 8 minutes.
Remove and throw away the bay leaf. Blend the soup with an electric blender until smooth and start it simmering. Turn down the heat to as low it will go. Stir in the cheese just until fully melted.
Serve right away in bowls garnished with rye croutons and celery leaves.
Note: Onion and garlic skin scraps can be saved for making stock or broth.
Fettuccini Carbonara with Yesterday's Charcuterie
Makes 4 servings
Big handful (about ¼ cup) Morton® Fine Sea Salt
4 ounces cured meat ends, salami, prosciutto, ham, etc., chopped fine
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound fresh fettucine or other long pasta
More Morton® Fine Sea Salt to taste
Put a big pasta pot of water over high heat. Add Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt. Don't be shy. Pasta water should have the salinity of sea water.
While the water is heating up put the fine chopped cured meat in a skillet over medium heat and cook until it's fat starts to melt. It will get a little shiny.
Beat the egg yolks, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and half the Parmesan in a large serving bowl. Stir in the meat.
When the water boils add the fettuccine, stir once, and cook to al dente, about 4 minutes.
Lift the al dente pasta with tongs into the bowl and toss with the egg mixture. The heat of the pasta will cook the egg yolks. Add some pasta water if it isn't saucy enough. Take a taste and add some Morton® Fine Sea Salt to taste. Serve topped with the remaining cheese. Eat right away.
Note: Leftover egg whites can be used for making omelets, quick breads, pancakes, or meringues.