The Braising Technique

The Braising Technique

It’s wintertime… and it finally feels like winter here in Charlotte, NC. How about that 70+ degree holiday we just had? With the new chill in the air, I often turn to one of my favorite cooking methods: Braising. I find it brings forth the ‘comforting’ flavors we all often crave in cooler weather, and while usually used for certain cuts of meat, it’s also great for vegetables.

Braising is a long-time cooking technique that allows meats or veggies to tenderize over time using a slow-cook – after an initial searing to lock in juices and create charring notes. The trick here is you’re using both dry and moist heat to bring out the flavors. Here at Flatiron I often braise meats like pork belly or short rib in our nightly specials. (My favorites). They’re great to work with because of the inherent fats and richness in the cuts.

The best part of braising? Believe it or not, you can do this at home, too. I found this Bon Appetit article helpful for simplifying the technique so you can try it on your own. And if you can’t quite get it down yet, come join us here at Flatiron and we’ll cook something up for you!

Click here for the Bon Appetit article.

 

Visit to Adrienne’s Pizza Bar

Visit to Adrienne’s Pizza Bar

After the Starchefs International Chefs Congress, I took off my badge and hit the streets of NYC – specifically to go visit Adrienne’s Pizza Bar where my brother in law, Master Pizzaiolo Nick Angelis, makes incredible pies. With a line often wrapping around and crowds swelling throughout the day, it delights even those who claim to be “fussy” about their Italian food.

With all I had savored and experienced at the SICC, this was perhaps the highlight of the trip: Nick and I spent the afternoon with the dust of pizza on our hands.

There’s always something special about cooking with family. And I guess it’s even more special when it’s capped off with what many think is the best pizza on the planet.

Attending Starchef’s International Chefs Congress

Attending Starchef’s International Chefs Congress

For the past several years, I’ve taken an enviable trip to the Starchefs International Chefs Congress. It’s kind of a ‘who’s who’ of chefs from all over the world. This year, the event carried a Spanish theme – featuring chefs including Quique Dacosta and Mario Sandoval. Being in their presence was inspiring enough, but we had the chance to partake in lectures about unique philosophies of food, revolutionary cooking techniques, and sustainability in the kitchen.

I took an amazing Gluten Free Flower Power class, and an Advanced Pasta class. Both of which saturated my mind with ideas for our Flatiron kitchen process, menu development and seasonal dishes.

With our burgeoning foodie culture right here in Davidson, I relish any chance to cultivate our team… better food comes out of our kitchen. And that means we bring even better food to your table.

Seasonal Flavors

Seasonal Flavors

There’s something about the crispness of an Autumn day that somehow makes us crave warmth – and that warmth is often satiated by certain flavors.

For me, squash – whether an Acorn or a Butternut – is one of the quintessential ingredients of seasonal cuisine in the fall months. It’s incredibly versatile with it’s sweet notes, soft texture, and earthy colors. I find it accompanies entrees tremendously well as a side, and it also adds depth as an ingredient in Risottos or Raviolis.

With my moderate squash obsession, I’m pulling these flavors into a couple of dishes here at Flatiron.

  • We’ve got it alongside the Joyce Farms Chicken Breast.
  • We’ll also have butternut squash on the Ricotta dumpling (Gnudi) dish… coming soon!
  • From week to week, our team will also be utilizing the rich flavors in our seasonal soups.

We’ll look forward to having you in soon – and please stop one of us and ask if you’re coming in specifically to seek out those warmer flavors of fall. We’ll be happy to make some good, seasonal recommendations. See you soon!

Blog of Chef Bill Schutz