Chipotle Catering

Chipotle is a chain of fast food associated with Mexican cuisines. It was a dream idea of Steve Ells, the CEO and founder of the chain who while starting the first restaurant didn’t dream of opening more than a single restaurant. However, the type of fast food served in the restaurant became so popular that Chipotle has become one of the most famous fast food franchises in the world.

So, how did Steve start it all? After graduation, he worked at a restaurant learning to cook properly and to taste it critically. With a little help from his parents, Steve was able to set up the first Chipotle catering restaurant in Colorado in 1993. His restaurant became immensely popular and he was able to set up two more in just another two years. With rise in fame and stature and with cash flowing in, Steve was able to open five more restaurants in Denver 1996. The success story kept going on and today Chipotle catering restaurant is a well renowned group and is public on New York stock exchange as well.

For a true Mexican foodie Chipotle offerings in restaurants and in Chipotle catering for events are truly excellent! Most of the dishes from the kitchen of this chain have smoked chili pepper as it is a must to give the food a Mexican touch. The restaurant offers mainly five dishes including burrito, tacos, salad, chips and a specially prepared kid’s menu. For these items you have a number of options of toppings and meat which you can select.

The most popular item burrito comes with flour tortilla, cilantro-lime rice, meat (of your choice) salsa, cheese and black beans. A different edition of burrito is burrito bowl which is basically the same thing but is served in a bowl instead of being wrapped in a foil. Tacos, another specialty of the Chipotle menu comes in two varieties: crispy tacos and soft tacos. The crispy ones have corn shells stuffed with meat, salsa, and cheese and romaine lettuce. The soft tacos have the same stuffing but their core is soft and is made up of flour tortillas. The tasty Salads come with romaine lettuce, salsa, cheese, fresh chipotle-honey vinaigrette along with beans and meat. The kids menu consists of a tacos core and the stuffing is provided separately to allow the kids to make their own special tacos.

Chipotle catering supports the idea of raising livestock with respect and in an open environment. As of now all the pork used in by the company is naturally raised. Even the chicken and beef served are naturally raised. Moreover, to take care of your health, no trans-fat frying oil is used to cook. The company also takes measures to check use of antibiotics in ranching. So, whenever you go to a Chipotle restaurant or choose Chipotle catering for an event, you can be sure that you will get healthy food.

Asparagus on Toast

Get It Fresh While You Can Growers have a short window to harvest the tasty spikes. The plant pops up out of the ground and is snipped off. As more pops up they keep picking till the spears become fat and woody. Not as tasty and tender then. The plant will start to become bushy and go to seed eventually.

If you plan to add Asparagus to your garden it can take up to two years before you are able to pick and consume. I planted several year old plants this year so this spring I’ll be pickingĀ Asparagus.

There are many theories on white sauces. I say it’s just a fancy word to us down home people for gravy. I always add the rue element to any gravy or sauces. Browning the flour always gives it a nutty flavor rather than just having that raw flour taste.

No matter what you’re using for fat, butter, olive oil, or some of the fat from browning meat, I always cook my unbleached flour until it becomes a light golden brown even brick- red. If you have every made Jambalaya or Gumbo you know what I’m talking about.

This is easy and doesn’t take any time at all. Whatever fat you choose butter or olive oil work for me. Brown the flour, salt and pepper to taste and add skim milk. I use skim milk to help cut back on the fat.

You can poach, broil, or fry the fish some to bring out the flavor. At the ends just add it to your sauce. Shrimp or Scallops or both are wonderful too.

I like my Asparagus when it still has a little crunch to it. Boil, microwave, broil, or however you like to prepare it. Some good whole wheat toast (choose your favorite). Lay a few spears on the toast and pour on the sauce. Oh Yes!

Any white fish will work. I choose tilapia or cod when I have had little luck catching the Steal-Head.

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner this is a wonderful meal. I hardly ever have left overs and that’s too bad. As with many dishes it gets better when warmed up the second time.

Dedicated to Health, Nutrition, and Natural Pain Relief.

Food, not only, gives your body energy, food can give positive information to your genes. Food has the power to reduce inflammation and rid the body of free radicals.

Preparing Alaskan King Crab

The bulk of Alaskan Crab consumed in North America is pre-cooked and frozen, a practice that would not be tolerated by seafood eaters in the rest of the world. Where the emphasis is on buying shellfish such as Crab or Lobster. Fresh shellfish does not benefit from being frozen – moisture, texture and flavour will all be reduced. You could ask yourself why is it pre-cooked and available frozen? Is it to maintain freshness? No, how can freezing preserve freshness. Is it because when landed the Crab are in a precarious state of life, if alive at all? Most forms of Crab do not take kindly to being disturbed from their natural habitat, and are not good travellers, especially in tightly confined spaces. At best a large proportion will be struggling for life and some will have died, cooking and freezing at the landing point is the only salvation.

When it is stated that king Crab has the best flavour in the world, a fact that many people around the world would dispute, why freeze the Crab? Buy it freshly and cook it right away. If fresh supplies do not exist, then try another form of fresh seafood, there are over 20,000 species in the world, so something else will available.

Your store or market might have holding tanks to keep the Crabs alive, if not make certain that the Crab shows some sign of life and was recently caught, and has no undesirable smell. If you are only interested in the legs and not the body then break them into even sized manageable pieces.

They can now be cooked in a various ways. In unsalted water, boil the legs for around six minutes if of medium size, or steam for the same length of time. Any flavourings added to the boiling water, such as sea salt will only distract from the natural flavour of the crab. To grill coat the legs in vegetable oil and under high heat grill for around eight minutes, turning over once. To bake place in a baking tray with 1 cm of hot water and several squeezed lemons, cover and at 180 degrees Celsius bake for ten minutes. Crack open and enjoy with whatever dip that you choose. However as with most things in life there are alternative ways to cook and serve a food ingredient such as Crab. Do not just rely upon the same old tried and tested ways, but some variety into your life.

Crab Cakes – with any remaining Crab legs make a simple nibble that you can bring out and quickly fry when unexpected guests arrive. For 30 cakes you will need 350 g Crab meat, 650 g uncooked Prawns, shelled and de-veined, 1 tablespoon of red curry paste, an egg, 2 spring onions, 2 tablespoon of coriander and lemon grass, 1 chilli. Blend the ingredients and form into thin circular disks. When needed fry in a lightly oil covered shallow pan until golden and serve with a dipping sauce. Pan fry from frozen.

Safely De-Vein Shrimp Before Eating Them

As far as Shrimp and Prawn are concerned, but they are from two different species the Shrimp (Caridea) and the Prawn (Dendrobanchiata). They fundamentally differ in size the Shrimp are tiny, whilst a Prawn can reach 330 cm in length and up to 450 g in weight. They also differ in numbers of claws, the bend in their abdomen and their gill structure. It is the latter that throughout the world are called Prawn, but in the USA as Shrimp. In fact in a US TV commercial the Aussie comedian Paul Hogan had to say ” I’ll put another Shrimp on the BBQ for you” so as to make it easier for the US audience to understand. If the use of the two words had not been changed then this distortion would not need to have taken place.

So to appease all nations I will now concentrate on explaining the de-veining of shellfish, or the removal of the intestinal tract!

For shelled cooked or uncooked shellfish the process is simple. Place the shellfish on a board with the back of the fish facing upwards. With a small sharp knife make a small cut from the head to the tail. The vein or tract will be revealed, it will resemble a small very thin tube. If the shellfish has recently eaten it will be dark in colour. It can now be easily removed with the knife or by washing under cold water. Repeat with the other Crustacea.

For un-shelled cooked or uncooked the process is marginally different. There is a specialist tool available, believe it or not called a “De-veining knife”. If you are a kitchen gadget fan and still have room in your draws and cupboards then invest in one, it will offer a great source of conversation at dinner parties! Hold the shellfish, back up, place the knife under the shell at the head end of the fish. Gently push towards the tail, the serrated edge will both collect the vein and cut the top of the shellfish. Subject to the, size you could use a small set of kitchen scissors and a knife. I would not suggest that you try this method with the conventional European Shrimp because of their tiny size. The fishermen, and their on shore assistants, in the Cumbria area of England have a busy life boiling and shelling the tiny catch before potting them in seasoned butter, to produce the excellent dish – Potted Shrimps.

Many seafood lovers, including myself, eat Prawns and Shrimps whole, the shell of smaller versions adding flavour and texture to the lovely dish.

Main Course Ideas

Wrapped in a parcel with hidden delights

This version will offer mystery and surprise. From your grocery supplier obtain sufficient banana leaf, if they do not have it in stock they will have supplies in a couple of days. You will need a piece 25 cm square for each of your guests. In boiling water blanch the leaf for four minutes, to soften. Place the Salmon fillet in the centre of the leaf. Now you need to add the flavouring ingredients to give the visual and flavour sensation when opening the parcel. Try an Oriental touch with thin strips of ginger, lemon grass and spring onion with a touch of soy and Thai fish sauce. Fold up the parcel and close with a wooden kebab stick, or wrap together with long strips of spring onion. Steam until cooked, the core temperature needs to reach 62 degrees Celsius. Plate the closed parcel and allow your guests to open them. The choice of items to include in the parcel gives you a licence to thrill.

Cold cured with fennel herb and liquor

Curing originated as a way of preserving fish prior to introduction of fridges. It would start with a period of covering in salt or a salt solution, to start reducing the water content, following by drying and possibly smoking or further curing with sugar and salt. Nowadays we do not need to preserve fish, since we have daily sources of supply and the means of safe storage. Curing provides a method of adding extra flavour to the fish. Additionally the salt level in the dish will be low. You will need a container to store the fillets of fish tightly packed together in two layers. Place in the first layer flesh side up and cover with a small handful of chopped fresh fennel herb per fillet. Pour over 25 ml of a fennel or aniseed based liqueur per fillet. Add the second layer flesh side down. Cover with kitchen foil, top small weights to press down, such as clean pebbles or potatoes. Remove the covering and turn over and baste the fillets twice a day for five days. Prior to serving lay the fillets on a flat tray, cover with cling film and place in the freezer compartment for around an hour, until they begin to freeze. This process will enable you to cut the fillets in very thin slices and place on a cold plate, drizzled with the basting liquid and served with a chunk of lemon. This option can also be served as a starter with a smaller using a smaller fillet.

Grilled with Tandoori spices

Skin the fillet of fish, make cuts around 0.5 cm thick on both sides, lightly coat in vegetable oil and liberally coat with Tandoori spices, pressing the spicing into cuts. Allow to stand in the fridge for a minimum of two hours. Place on a tray under a very hot grill, turning the fillets once, until cooked to a temperature of 62 degrees Celsius. Serve on a bed of chopped cucumber in yoghurt flavoured with lemon juice.

The above three options are merely a drop in the ocean, pardon the pun, with what you can do with just one cut of fish. You can also try poaching and serve it cold with a salad, used as part of a fish pie with some white fish and Prawns, in a pate, in batter, as part of a fish curry, with asparagus and basil sauce, stir-fried, baked with a herb crust, fish cakes and many more. You can then consider other types of fish. With fish main courses there need never be any menu boredom.

Choose A Place To Eat

Are there any special dietary needs?

If you are eating with someone for the first time it is unlikely that you will know all of, or any, of their dietary needs. Are they vegetarian, vegan, fruit eaters, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Rastafarian, Sikh? Do they need food free of dairy products or gluten, low salt or fat, without nuts and suitable for diabetes sufferers?

What is the location for the new eating place?

Are you looking for somewhere new that is close by, in the country or the city centre? How do you intend to travel to and from the venue? Is there public transport, or satisfactory parking facilities?

How much do you in tend to spend?

If you are so lucky the meal might be funded out of and expenses claim, but they have limits and it is likely that your boss will not pay for a top priced meal because you did not realise that the eating place was three star Michelin. Set a budget.

Do you want to reserve a table?

Check that it is possible to make a reservation, and if there are any restrictions and limitations depending upon the number in your party. Do they expect some form of payment in advance, how is the booking confirmed by both you and them, by email? What are their cancellation terms both in terms of time and costs?

Check the menu and drinks lists

It is pointless ending up at a burger outlet if you want a romantic meal, and likewise sitting in a candlelit booth if you are with the bank manager. Although the latter might be a good idea if you are desperate for some financing! Does the menu change regularly or is it constant? Both of these options might be important for differing reasons such as, you like change or you want to rely on a particular item being available.

Tips Cooking Tuna

Pan fried Tuna

This method is very simple and quick. In a very hot and lightly oiled pan seal a 175 g steak for a couple of minutes on either side, then take off the heat and rest. This will produce a cooking level similar to medium rare in a Beef steak. If you prefer then cook for a little longer. Serve on a something of your choice. Try a chilli flavoured salsa, or chunky mashed potato mixed with chopped olives.

An alternative Salad

Cut strips around 1cm square and 6cm long. You will need five per serving Quickly fry in sesame oil, to cooler on all sides, place on top of the seasoned salad. Prepare the salad with some imagination. Use a small handful of leaves, small tomatoes, French beans, artichoke hearts, boiled egg and stoned olives. By not including the traditional anchovy fillets and capers the salt level will be dramatically reduced. The Tuna may be replaced by other types of shellfish. Try thin strips of Squid or chunky Prawns stir fried with a Chilli sauce.

Cured and marinated loin of Tuna

This dish takes some preparing but is well worth the time. For a starter or light lunch for four people you will need 450 g of loin of skinned Tuna from the thinner tail end. The first stage will consist of tightly wrapping the fish in cling and freezing at minus 18 degrees Celsius for five days Since the fish served uncooked this first stage i.e. necessary to kill any possible parasites, which would normally be eradicated during the cooking process. Allow the fish to defrost in a fridge.. Cut matchstick pieces of fresh ginger and stuff them into the length of the fish. Either use a larding stick or create a whole with a bamboo kebab stick. Separate the sticks of ginger by about 1cm. Do the same with thin strips of tender lemon grass. Rub into the surfaces 25 g of salt and sugar. Place in a small container, cover with fresh fennel shoots and drizzle with a liquor of you choice. Cover and place in the fridge. Each day turn over and baste with the juices. After four days it will be ready to serve. Cut wafer thin slices and place on cold plates, serve with lemon wedges and whole meal bread.

Tips On Cooking Cod

Plain and simple cooking

And what could be more ideal than Fish and Chips. Choose a prime fillet of fish of around 200 g, with skin on but pin boned, coat in flour and dip in your batter. The batter can consist of a whole variety of ingredients from just plain flour and beer, to herbs, or spices such as Turmeric or yeast to help the batter to rise. The simple flour and beer option is the most popular.

Fry at 180 degrees Celsius until cooked, and of course serve with chips, mushy peas and Tartar sauce. To make a traditional night of it, wrap in yesterdays newspaper!

With style and flair but retaining traditional

In Britain Cod is considered as a basic fish, now that the likes of Monk Fish, Sea Bass and other top quality fish are now more popular. So why not serve the dish as the main course for your Sunday roast. You will need a fillet of Cod, pin boned, from the mid section of a large fish, 175 g, per person. Season the fillet and lightly pan fry for a couple of minutes, skin side down to colour but not brown the skin, turn over and place in a medium oven to complete the cooking.

Serve on a bed of chunky mushy peas with a garnish of fresh pea sprouts, and of course don’t forget the Yorkshire Pudding, but make one with some Tartar sauce added to the mix.

Something a little different with Cod

Try Thai fish cakes. Those delicious little nibbles available in the street markets in Thailand. With 200 g of skinned and pin boned Cod, tail pieces or trimmings will do, add two chopped garlic cloves, one tablespoon of grated fresh ginger, one red chilli finely chopped, 25 g of lemon grass, 10 ml of Thai fish sauce, 10 ml of lemon juice, 25 g roughly chopped coriander leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pass the ingredients into a food processor, until bound together and smooth. Divide into 25 g portions and shape into a flat circle around 0.5 cm thick. Shallow or deep fry and serve with a dipping sauce, made with fish sauce, chopped chilli, chopped cucumber and spring onion and lime juice. Ideal as a starter or as a nibble.

Tips On Cooking Squid

Quick, simple and fresh.

Take the tube and wings of the Squid and thinly slice into pieces 3 mm thick. For a single starter use 115 g. Have ready thinly sliced garlic, ginger, spring onion, chopped parsley or coriander and fresh lemon. Place a Wok on a high heat and add a light coating of sesame oil, fry the Squid for a couple of minutes. Add the other ingredients, squeeze with lemon juice and serve. You will have created a very quick, refreshing a tender Squid dish. Ideal as a starter.

Stuffed Squid

Squid, unlike most other shellfish, should be cooked very quickly or slowly. For stuffed dishes the larger examples are ideal for slow cooking. Select a tube around 15 cm long with an opening of 5 cm wide. Prepare a stuffing mix with finely chopped tentacles and wings, rice, pine nuts, onion and garlic. Loosely stuff the Squid and seal the open end with a bamboo skewer or cocktail stick. Cover the stuffed fish with stock, white wine and chopped tomatoes. Cover and simmer very gently for around 30 minutes. Remove and place on a plate with the reduced and blended cooking liquid. Simply delicious. For larger Squid tubes extend the cooking time.

A jar of Squid nibbles

Collect as many of the small tentacles as you can. Quickly blanch and place in a glass jar of a suitable size. Top up with olive oil flavoured with chilli, ginger, fish sauce, lemon grass, garlic and fresh green peppercorns. Seal and store in a fridge. You will have created a lovely emergency jar of nutritious nibbles to offer your family and friends.

Tips Cooking Sea Bass

Plain and simple

What could be more simple served fish and chip shop style. One of the small farmed fish will be ideal. Scaled, cleaned, and pin boned a pair of the fillets will make a great ‘Posh Nosh’ fish and chip meal at a very reasonable price.

Make your own simple batter with plain flour and a measure of beer to form a moderately thick coating. Fry at 180 degrees Celsius until cooked and serve on a bed of home-made chips with Tartar sauce.

Cooking with style and flair

For this dish, I would suggest you invested in a prized fillet of wild Sea Bass, it will cost more than the farmed but will be worth it. You will need a fillet, preferably mid cut, of around 175 g, that has been pin boned and de scaled.

Choose a cooking method. Poaching, steaming, grilling and baking will all be fine. My own preference is steaming, because it retains the nutrients in the fish and keeps the wonderful shiny nature of the skin.

The choice to serve it with is now open to thousands of choices. But try serving it on a raised bed of blanched, then char-grilled slices of fennel, surrounded by a shellfish broth with two or three Prawns. It will look great and will make your guests well and truly pleased.

Something a little different

A total variation on the classic Scandinavian seafood dish cured with salt, sugar and herbs. Instead of Salmon use Sea Bass.

Take a whole wild Sea Bass, of a size as large as you need or can find or afford, de-fin, scale, clean, fillet and pin bone the Sea Bass. You now have the staring point to create your own cured piece of luxury. Since you will be preparing the dish to be eaten within a few days, the amount of salt, which would help to cure and preserve the fish can be reduced. The amounts of salt and sugar are in line with recommendations to lower intake to promote a healthy body.

For a pair of fillets of 200 g each (400 g total) use 25 g of sugar and 50 g of salt, a teaspoon of ground black pepper and a bunch of Dill herb. For smaller or larger quantities scale up or down the portions. Rub the salt and sugar equally into both fillets. Place the Dill on top of one fillet and the other fillet on top of the Dill, with both fillets facing each other. Fit into as tight a container as you can find. Turn over the pair of fillets each day and baste the flesh surfaces with the liquid from the container. At all times keep refrigerated.

After five days you will have created a great novel version of cured fish. Slice it very thinly and serve on a chilled plate. To add an extra dimension why not add a measure or two of a spirit of your choice, such as one of the fennel based liqueurs. Or even go a stage further and spice the dish with some dried chilli flakes. The world is your oyster, or in this case Sea Bass.