One of the best places to connect is in the kitchen, so that’s where we met with Bravo’s Top Chef All Star, Jen Carroll. Jen spilled tea with long-time friend, and TripleLift Senior Director of Sales, Rita Kline, while she walked us through a favorite recipe that has a lot of versatility: Broccoli Tabouleh with Tahina.
When Jen isn’t giving private cooking demonstrations or competing on Top Chef, she keeps busy with her Philadelphia restaurant, Spice Finch, and catering consultancy company, Carroll Couture Cuisine.
Jen highlighted that in times when ingredients may not be easy to get, we should feel comfortable substituting fresh spices, meats and veggies. For this specific recipe, dill or tarragon could easily take the place of cilantro or mint. This flexibility and ability to deal with change is a quality that translates out of the kitchen, especially today. There are no perfect days, but keeping a positive perspective can navigate challenges gracefully.
- For meat eaters: when preparing a steak, season your quality cut one hour before and make sure your pan is very hot. You should also make sure the meat is at room temperature so it cooks evenly.
- If you are vegan: treat any vegetable like a piece of meat. You can marinate, roast, grill or event rotisserie everything from spaghetti squash to pumpkin.
- To avoid wearing goggles when chopping onions, make sure your knife is sharp and try storing them in the fridge.
- When using the box grater, reserve the smaller sized holes for food that is more fibrous and harder for your body to break down.
How Can You Help the Culinary Community?
Order take-out from your favorite local restaurant and if you are planning on booking an event in the future, try to do it now. Most restaurants are being lenient with cancellation policies amidst quarantine restrictions. You can also make donations to individual Go Fund Me funds or the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good fund.
Want to Connect with Chef Jen Carroll?
You can follow and DM Jen here:
- Instagram or Twitter: @ChefJenCarroll
- YouTube Channel: Cooking with the Carrolls
Broccoli Tabouleh with Tahina
- Special Equipment: box grater
- Serves: 4-6
- ¼ cup quinoa (or ¾ cup cooked quinoa)
- 1 head of broccoli
- ½ cup of small diced red onion
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
- ¼ cup of mixed chopped fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley, cilantro)
- ¾ teaspoon of salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flake
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemons zest and 1 tablespoon of its juice
- 1.75 Oz Water
- ½ Cup Lemon juice
- ⅔ Cup Tahini
- 3 each Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil & add the quinoa. Cook for 15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and the thread like tail uncoils from the grain. Drain and return the quinoa to the empty pot.
- Using the coarse holes of a box grater shred the broccoli florets. Peel the broccoli stems and grate on the fine holes so there is zero waste. You should get about 3-4 (packed) cups of shredded broccoli.
- In a large bowl mix all the spices and salt together. Add the shredded broccoli, olive oil, lemon, onion,cherry tomatoes and herbs. Mix well.
- Make the Tahina: In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until smooth (it might seize up, don’t worry just keep whisking).
- Spoon broccoli Tabouleh onto a serving platter and drizzle the Tahina over top. Serve immediately! Enjoy
Watch the video below