Thursday, September 20, 2012

Amazing Pork Butt

Recently we cooked a 5 pound pork butt via sous vide.  If you do not have a sous vide system in place here is a recipe using a crock pot that should give you near the same delicious results.

5 Lbs of Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder), cut into large chunks.

2 Tablespoons of each Coriander Seeds & Fennel Seeds

1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds

1 Tablespoon Onion Powder

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon paprika

2 Tablespoons Kosher salt

Toast Coriander, Fennel and Cumin seeds in a hot pan for about a minute or two or until they become fragrant.  Then use a spice grinder and grind them into a fine powder mix in other ingredients in a small bowl.  Once well mixed, coat the pork with the dry mixture.

If you have a sous vide, vacuum seal the meat and place the bag in the water at a temp of 106 F for 24 hours to 36 hours.

If using a traditional crock pot place the with 1 1/2 cup of dry white wine or a bottle of a beer.  Set to high and cook for 8 hours or over night.

After the cooking process is finished, use two forks and pull the pork apart, taste for salt and add a splash of cider vinegar (2 Tablespoons).

You may find yourself eating it with your hands straight from the bowl, but a less savage way to enjoy would be on a slice of crusty baguette with a dill pickle, or serve over crispy potatoes.

You could also spice it up this way.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Don't fear the Chorizo!

Sausage is one of the oldest forms of preserving meat - finely chopping, salting and flavoring meat has been done for centuries by a varied and wide array of cultures. And people love them! Who doesn't (vegetarians need not reply) enjoy biting into a crisp juicy bratwurst at a baseball game? Or the tanginess of spicy italian sausage on a slice of pizza?  A breakfast burrito isn't the same without chorizo.  

But too often sausage is given the connotation, by those who seek fear, that sausage making is an ugly and vile process. There is a famous quote "the making of laws is like the making of sausages—the less you know about the process the better!"

But I disagree.  We are better off if we actually knew what was going on in those back room meetings  of lobbyists and elected officials.  And I have the same feeling about sausage, you should not fear the process but rather take charge.  Make sausages the way they should be made without fillers, using only the cuts that suit your tastes.  If you don't want to use the snout, you don't have to (it makes a better ingredient for headcheese anyway).  Sausage making should be an open, honest and fun affair.

Don't let the fear mongers scare you from making delicious, juicy, savory, tasty sausage!  Learn how to make basic sausages and say "Yes to openess!"  "Yes to freedom!" & "Yes to Taste"

Join Add Thyme on Thursday July 19th and fight back the oppressors, in a hands on workshop on the basics of making sausage.  Click here for more information.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Infused Bacon Potato Salad via Sous Vide

One of the many reasons to cook items sous vide is to infuse flavor.  As an example here we have added bacon to some potatoes to take potato salad to a whole other level of smoky goodness.  Hope you Independence Day celebrations are as fun as they are delicious. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Baked Goods & Summer Time Fruits So Good Together

Yesterday we were not only lucky enough to enjoy these summer time desserts were also able to share them with our dads on Father's Day. 

Summer not only brings us these delicious fruits and berries, it can also bring the heat, even in temperate San Francisco.  Keeping butter cool can be a challenge in the heat when making flaky tart and pie crusts.

But somehow we managed through our recent heat wave and were able to create this yummy summer time treats.  If you would like to learn how to make treats like these check out our Summer Time Fruits Baking Class.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Don't Passover Gefilte Fish

Gefilte Fish is a traditional course served during a Passover Seder.  Many people are unaware of what it is and those that are familiar with it only know of the gefilte fish sold in jars.  The jarred variety does not look very appetizing, as it tends to look like clumpy fish balls in a murky liquid.  But take heart, gefilte fish is an easy and delicious course to make from scratch, foregoing the murky fish balls.
Start by cooking tender some carrots and parsnips.  I cooked mine sous vide for 30 minutes at 180F. 
Traditionally gefilte fish is made of fresh white fish, like carp.  But living in California I opted for some local fresh caught cod fillets.  Here are two pounds of it.  You want to cut the fish into 1/2 cubes and then  place in freezer for half an hour.

While the fish chills, mince two cooked carrots and one parsnip, with one preserved lemon (skin only) and two tablespoons of minced tarragon. 
After the fish has chilled place in a food processor and pulse into a smooth paste about 1-2 minutes.

After the fish has been processed into a paste, place into a large mixing bowl and add the minced carrots, parsnips, preserved lemons, and tarragon.  To that add one egg and a quarter cup of matzoh meal.
Mix well to combine, then form into 3 equal sized logs about 2 inches in diameter.

I then bagged each log in its own vacuum pouch with 1/4 cup of frozen fish stock and cooked sous vide at 140 for 1 hour, then removed the cooked fish and placed in an ice bath to cool for half an hour before refrigerating over night.  
To serve the gefilte fish remove from the bags and slice into disks and serve immediately with minced tarragon.  Traditionally gefilte fish is served cold so there is no need to reheat.

Chef Mick is co-owner and Culinary MC of Add Thyme Cooking Classes

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chef Mick Making Porky Goodness

So not a vegan aka +0p$#!+: Don't be Pig Headed When it Comes to Headcheese: So looking for something a little more adventurous my cooking buddy David and I thought it would be cool to sous vide a pig's head.  They s...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mick's Corned Beef - Final Chapter

So you have brined and cured your beef and are ready to cook it up for St. Patrick's day - Chef Mick will show you how in this video.

What? You haven't brined your beef yet?  That's ok, watch Part One of this video (see previous post) and get started now - nothing wrong with having a bit of the Irish a wee bit late!

Add Thyme offers classes in the Bay Area.  Check us out online at

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mick Makes an Irish Classic - Part 1

A little video our own Chef Mick Dimas did last year, showing you how to cure your own corn beef at home. Besides a pint of Guinness is there any better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than with this Irish Classic?

You need to allow about 1 week to make the brine and cure the meat, so be sure to get started by March 10th if you want to enjoy the corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, which is March 17th.

Pink Salt is curing salt (not the pink Himalayan salt or pink Hawaiian salt!) and is available online at or in San Francisco at The Village Market in the Ferry Building

In this video Chef Mick shows you how to start the brine and cure a piece of beef brisket and turn it into corned beef.  It is really a simple process that just takes a little time and a few ingredients but it is really really simple to do at home.   And of course the taste is going to better than any mass produced corned beef you buy at your local mega-mart.  This video recipe takes you through the steps you need to take to make this dish in your own kitchen.

Cooking on your own not only makes food taste better, it makes food better for you as you put in the ingredients you want to put in your food, which in turn you put in yourself.  No need to worry about complex multiple syllable words on your ingredients label.  If you have a hard time pronouncing an ingredient do you ever think how will your body digest it if your brain can't even pronounce it?

Take a look at the video now if you want to have your corned beef ready for St. Patrick's Day, this isn't fast food, its great food.

Add Thyme offers cooking classes in The San Francisco Bay Area, check us out at

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sous Vide Pork Chops with Currywurst Dry Rub

I started off with a few pork chops I sliced out of a whole pork loin.  I left the fat on as I know even in the sous vide the pork can dry out, as the first time I tried out sous vide pork chops they were a bit on the dry side.  So there the fat and the temp will help control the moisture.  I think I just took my temp a little too high the first time I tried it.  This time I am using a 138 F temp for 2 hours.
 In my mind I wanted to do something similar to a maple brined chop, but since I had to have the chops ready for dinner time I improvised.  First thing was a dry rub, but sweet so I started with a base of kosher salt, brown sugar, dried garlic, dried onions, and a little cayenne.  But while pulling out the spices, I realized I had a little spice mix left over from some currywurst I recently made.  What a lucky discovery.

 After rubbing the dry rub on to the chops, they were placed in the bag and cooked for 2 hours at 138 F.   While not looking so great out of the bag, the aroma was fantastic.  After a quick dry off I placed the cooked chops in a smoking hot oiled grill pan and seared each side a minute, then rotated 90 degrees for another minute, before flipping over and searing on a cross hatch pattern on the opposite side.
 Ah, a nice and juicy chop is done.

Mick Dimas, Culinary M.C. Co-owner of Add Thyme, a great place to take cooking classes in San Francisco.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sous Vide Chicken Breast in Creamy Ricotta Sauce

What I love about sous vide cooking besides its amazing ability to keep meats moist and tender, is its convenience factor.  Now I am someone who likes to cook, really loves to cook, but those that are a little timid in the kitchen can take heart - cooking sous vide really simplifies things for you.  There may be a little bit of planning involved, but would you rather leave the planning to a food scientist figuring out a better way to add water weight to your frozen semi meat microwave meal?  It is cliché but it all goes back to you are what you eat, literally.  So why not take just a little bit of time out of your day and make something that is better for you and that actually tastes good as well.  OK, off my soap box.

One of the quickest meals to make is using chicken breast in the sous vide.  

This is a recipe for Chicken Breast in Creamy Spinach Ricotta Sauce.

Sous Vide Chicken Breast in Creamy Ricotta Sauce

For Sous Vide (Prep 5 minutes, Cook time min 1hour)
2 - 6 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
1 Tablespoon Butter
Kosher Salt
1 Bay leaf

For the sauce (Prep time 5 minutes, cook time 25 minutes)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
1 shallot or half an onion
2 cups fresh baby spinach
½ cup of chicken stock
½ cup Ricotta Cheese
¼ cup cream
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
A couple of zests of a lemon
Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Sous vide:
Generously salt the chicken breast with kosher salt and place in pouch, with butter & bay leaf.  Seal and add to water bath pre-heated to 146 F and cook for a minimum of 1 hour.

To make the sauce, dice your shallot.  Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat.  When the pan is heated, add the extra virgin olive oil, then the shallots and cook until soft about 3-5 minutes, taking care not to brown them.  Once the shallots are soft, add your baby spinach and with a wooden spoon move it around the pan until the spinach has shriveled and is limp.  Then add the chicken stock, turn pan up to high heat and bring to a boil and reduce the stock by half, about 8 minutes.  Once the stock has reduced, lower the temperature to medium low and stir in your ricotta cheese.  Stir to incorporate the cheese into the spinach and onion mixture, simmer for a minute and then add the cayenne and cream and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Just before serving zest in a couple of swipes of lemon zest with a micro-plane zester.

After the chicken has cooked for a minimum of an hour remove the breasts from the bags and serve with the creamy spinach ricotta sauce. 

Serving suggestion- Serve with a brown rice pilaf and broiled asparagus.

Recipe by Mick Dimas, Culinary M.C. and Co-Owner of Add Thyme a cooking school based in San Francisco.  For a list of cooking classes offered please check out

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Schedule up for Cooking Classes (Finally)

Well after a few months of planning we finally have our cooking classes up online and available for to purchase. We will be offering some great classes to begin with at our temporary cooking location at the Dacor Kitchen showroom in South San Francisco.

Barbara is ready to get back into instructing adults, as she has recently been only teaching cooking classes to children.  She is looking forward to handing knives back to the hands of her students, something she is unable to do with the children's classes.  Look for her knife skills class to kick off our schedule of classes.

 We will also be offering a Sausage making class, where we will be making breakfast sausage, chorizo, spicy  Italian and bratwurst sausages.  We will also be offering party classes that are part cooking and a lot of fun with our Festa di Pasta where every student will be making a pasta from scratch and a sauce or filling to go along to feast on at the end of the party.   We will also host a Paella Fiesta, that's right a Paella Party, where Spanish tapas and Valencian Paella will be made amidst music and frivolity.  The photos may not match now but there will be plenty of smiles and happy well fed people in the days and years to follow.

Cooking classes offered by

We hope to see you soon at one of our classes, we know you'll have a good time and learn a trick or two in becoming a better cook.  Our goal is to make you a better, happier more confident person in the kitchen that can produce not just a full belly but a smile and a sense of accomplishment.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sweet Scone Hearts

Many people think of scones as little dry hockey pucks.

What most people don't know that scones don't have to be that way.

A proper scone is a delicious sweet pastry.

Scones are simple.

Made with just flour, butter, sugar, cream, egg, vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Pick your topping from chocolate to cherries, cheddar to feta, scones are a blank canvas.

Made properly you'll cherish them and devour them.

And made with love they'll taste even better.

Check out to find cooking classes that will help you create delicious dishes for you and your loved ones.
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Heart Ravioli

Here's an easy Valentine's  Day recipe, to make for your sweetheart.  Start with your favorite ravioli filling recipe, the one we are using here is a simple mixture of Ricotta, Parmesan, Spinach, Egg, Salt and Pepper.

Place filling on your broad sheets of pasta, and use a heart shaped cookie cutter make sure your filling will fit within the ravioli.  Dip your fingers in an egg wash and moisten the pasta around your ravioli filling, then place your top layer of pasta over your filling and seal the raviolis.  Then use the cookie cutter to cut out your individual ravioli.

Pasta is a simple and easy dish for you to make from scratch at home.  Sign up for one of our cooking classes to learn how to make pasta.  If you don't have time to make your own pasta, you can use store bought won-ton wrappers, to create nearly the same effect.

Use the cutter and cut out your hearts and then place stuffing on the bottom layer.

With your finger tips moisten the edges and then seal the top layer.

The heart shaped ravioli are now ready to cook, place in a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the hearts float to the top of the pot.  Remove ravioli and serve with your favorite sauce.