About Me

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Boston, MA, United States
Free lance Chef. A Middlebury, Vermont native, Chef Jon Sargent worked his way up through the ranks of kitchens starting as a dishwasher. His career in the kitchen has taken him across the country and back. Sargent moved to Boston first in 2005 where he helped open OM Restaurant | Lounge in Harvard Square, working under chef Rachel Klein. He then headed west to Wisconsin, taking a Sous Chef position at Stout's Island Lodge. Next he headed south, travelling to Naples Florida to work for the D'Amico Corporation with chef Andrew Wicklander. Back in Boston chef Jon worked as chef d' cuisine for Chef William Kovel at 28 degrees in the south end of Boston where he worked diligently on the restaurant's seasonal, globally-influenced menu. After taking up the ranks as sous chef at Catalyst restaurant in cambridge massachusetts, Jon has been on a journey of developing his style of cooking, and focusing on the development of his own restaurant.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hey everyone

Sorry it has been a while, I have been super busy getting things together for Catalyst restaurant in Cambridge Ma, we have been working night and day to get this project into a working state, not just with the construction but with everything else, I cant wait to share more recipes with you and other fun things, In this hiatus from 28 degrees I have had the opportunity to do some work with the ex chef of Villa Matta Mike P. here in boston as well as working closely with the chef owner of duexave in boston chef Christopher Coombes. Now that all of the construction is complete and there are only a few days to really call this place complete Chef William Kovel has had more of a chance to step into the kitchen and help Anthony Mozzatta and my self develop the up and coming lunch menu, and share his talents with ours to make a great menu and put some of our talents to work. I will be setting a day soon to write new recipes and photos for my face book. I hope we are all still cooking at home and really striving to bring back and older fashioned way of life, like dinner at a kitchen table!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Buttermilk Panna Cotta and Rhubarb Strawberry Compote

To Make Panna Cotta

1 cup well shaken buttermilk
1/2 cup Heavy cream
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
3 Sheets of Gelatin or 1/2 pack of powder

First thing is to soak the gelatin in just enough water to cover. While you are soaking gelatin bring the heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar up in a small sauce pot until bubbles form around the edges once this has been achieved the gelatin is ready, strain out the water from the gelatin and add the gelatin to the cream and sugar mixture, whisking until completely incorporated. Once this is finished pour in the cool buttermilk and mix thoroughly let stand in a cylindrical container with paper covering the liquid, this will make sure there is no skin developing on the cream. Let stand for 15 minutes then evenly distribute into small serving containers or one small sized pie pan and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour

Strawberry, Rhubarb Compote

1# Rhubarb washed
1#Strawberry's washed
2 each oranges
2/3 cups sugar
2 tbl water
1 scant pinch of salt

Slice rhubarb on a bias and slice strawberry's from top to bottom in semi thick slices about 1/4 of an inch. Once this has been completed put in a large mixing bowl pour in sugar. Zest 1 orange and add to the mixture, Juice both oranges and pour into the mixture, add the water and scant pinch of salt. Let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes and add to a large saute pan, over medium low heat cook for 12 minutes stirring constantly as to not allow the sugar to caramelize. Pour into a non reactive aluminum bowl over ice and cool rapidly.

Once all processes have been finished to the full explanation you can spoon the compote over the panna cotta's and serve. Don't put hot compote on cold panna cotta or they will turn back into liquid.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Corn Muffin, jalapeno, butter, cream cheese frosting.

I believe the vast majority of people in America can say the have had corn bread, or a corn muffin, but have they ever had a Butter, cream cheese, frosted corn muffin with candied jalapenos! If you haven’t had one of these you should try making it. Thwe recipe is as follows!

First lets candy those jalapenos!
1 frezno chili cut in half and seeded
1 jalapeno green, cut in half and seeded
1 cup 3 to 1 simple syrup (1/4 cup sugar ¾ cup water)

In a small sauce pot combine and bring to a boil for 5 minutes turn off and cool!

This recipe will make more than any house will ever need for muffins, scale this part down!

6 cups Flour
6 cups Corn Meal
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
7 Tbls baking powder
7 eggs
6 cups milk
1 ½ cups vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients together, whisk milk with eggs, in a mixer add the dry mix and mix in the milk and eggs slowly, alternate the oil and custard till all is incorporated
Let stand for ten minutes

In this time brunoise the jalapenos and fold them into the mix. When the ten minutes is up scoop the mix into greased cupcake molds and bake at 375 for 20-30 min rotating the pan at half time!

Butter,cream cheese frosting

1# room temperature unsalted butter
1.5# cream cheese
1 egg
3 ½ cups confectioners sugar

In a mixer fitted with a whisk mix together until incorporated and smooth, add a shot of lime juice and put in a pastry bag! Let it sit at room temp until the cupcakes have cooled then top them with the frosting.  

What is a samosa!

A samosa is a stuffed pastry and a popular snack in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Centeral Asia, the Araibian peninsula , the Mediterranean (Turkey), Southwest Asia, the Horn of Africa, North Africa and South Africa. It generally consists of a fried or baked triangular, semi-lunar or tetrahedral pastry shell with a savory filling, which may include spiced potatoes, onions, peas, coriander, and lentils, or ground beef or chicken. The size and shape of a samosa as well as the consistency of the pastry used can vary considerably, although it is mostly triangular.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Seared Aleppo tuna,

Anyone can do a seared tuna that knows how to cook, but can they add the finesse needed to do it right. I will explain how I made this Aleppo seared tuna with mango salsa, fried yucca, and coconut cream.

These are the things you will need.

1# of  loin  yellow fin tuna +2

For the salsa:
1 ripe mango
1 small red onion
½ bunch cilantro
1 TBL passion fruit puree
1Tbl brunoise jalapeno
2 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar

For the Aleppo seasoning
¼ cup dried Aleppo pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbls salt
1 heaping TBL fresh ground black pepper

Coconut Cream
1 can coconut meat in syrup
1 can coconut milk sweetened
1 Tbl sugar
½ cup cream

1 large yucca.

First thing you should always do when working on a dish accompanied by salsa, is make the salsa before you do anything, Salsas are always better after they have sat at room temperature for a while.
Dice the mango, small dice the red onion, bruniose the jalapeno, chop cilantro, mix all these together add the passion fruit puree, and vinegar, season and let set.
Now adding the dry ingredients for the rub in a spice grinder, grind them to be fine and completely mixed.
For yucca, always peel through the second layer this can be achieved by slicing length wise down the side of the yucca and inserting the blade parallel with the slice. In a prying motion get the blade of the knife to start removing the skin on the yucca. Similar to peeling an orange if you think about it. Once peeled cut into desired sizes, I tried to match my tuna and yucca in size. Boil your yucca parts until they have softened and cool till completely chilled.
Coconut cream: strain the coconut from the syrup, add to sauce pot, cover with coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 8 minutes, add sugar, cool completely, add to the blender and measure out the heavy cream. Blend the coconut with the milk until smooth. This part is important in order to get the proper consistency, while the coconut milk and coconut are blending add the heavy cream slowly to whip the cream into a solid state. Once you have added the cream turn off the blender immediately and poor the cream mixture into a metal bowl over ice and mix briefly.

Cut your tuna down to the desired size and season generously with your rub. You don’t want the tuna to be exposed through the spice mix. Get a pan hot, add canola oil, just enough to coat the bottom. Being very careful not to splatter yourself with hot oil place the tuna in slowly, sear for about 45 seconds on all sides and remove from the pan. You do not want to cook to deep in the tuna.

In another pan get hot with oil and sear your yucca till golden brown on all sides, finish in a 400 degree oven for about 4 minutes.

Now all the mies en place has been completed you can play with the plating all you want. That is how I did my tuna. It looks like a lot of work but really it is nothing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to cook a hard boiled egg!

On the rounded side of the egg poke a hole with a tack to open the air sack inside of the egg. Bring water to a rolling boil. Set a timer for 12 minutes, place your egg into the boiling water very carefuly and start the timer. Once the timer has sounded, remove the egg and cool in ice water until ready. Peel and eat! thats the recipe for a perfect hard boiled egg, if anyone needed it.

Marli Ave egg off

I have made 150 hard boiled eggs for this marli ave event today in downtown Boston. The challenge was to make them into a deviled egg of your choosing. What I did with mine is whipped the yolks in a food processor and emulsified a simple lemon black pepper aioli into them until they were creamy. I transferred them into a separate bowl where I folded in chives and alepo pepper to add that reddish speckling everyone is so used to seeing. I will finish them with chard scallions, sweet and spicy rocotto sauce and micro amaranth. I hope they are a big hit!!! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Roasting whole pigs head

Well it is apparent that I need more practice with this as I did not allow my self enough time to finish the cooking of the head today! I have had it in the oven for almost 6 hours at 350 degrees mostly covered and it still has a while to go. But on the other hand it does smell delicious and looks great so I’m on the right track. So far what I have done with it is, burned off all excess hair from the pigs head, made incisions and packed garlic into every spot allowed even in the eye sockets. I prepared a rub from 9 spices. Fennel, cinnamon, coriander, caraway, black pepper, alepo, cumin, cayenne, and ginger. This I then made into a thick paste by adding half of my seasoning to a pepper paste called aji Amarillo. Once incorporated into a paste I rubbed it into the pork on all exposed meat faces. I slit some of the fat between the skin and meat to create deep pockets where I proceeded to pack this paste into. I cut mirepoix and added tomatoes and 2 heads of garlic. About 1 ½ quarts of veg stock placed the head into the oven covered with foil and slit down the middle for the nose to poke out through. This is where Im at. Im thinking of doing a deconstructed el Salvadorian Papusa, ralleno style with Columbian and Peruvian influence.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Roasting Amish Chicken.

Now some people may not know what Amish chicken is, but it is exactly that, chickens that have been raised by the Amish people of America and bought in small batches from distributing companies to get them out to people like me.

Last night I made a roasted Amish chicken with a coriander, fennel, cumin, black pepper and salt, rub, turned out to be very delicious.
The first thing that I do when I roast a chicken is to; first wash down the surface that I am going to work on, get gloves and all my mies en place together. These items are
-Half hotel pan or a 10/12 roasting pan.
-Mesh rack
-Large Sautee pan
-Basting spoon
-1/2# butter
-1 Spanish onion
-1/2 head or garlic
-1/2 hand full of picked cilantro
-1 lemon
-Rub  mix
-Aluminum foil
-Butchering twine.
Next I wash the bird and pat it dry,
Now we trim up the bird by removing any of the unnecessary pieces. Look for the little nub, located at the back of the bird by the large opening; you can cut it off with scissors or a knife, the other part I usually clean up is the neck area, and the wishbone. For the wishbone, I like to slice around it before while it is still raw, then pack a half clove of garlic in each pocket made by slicing around the bone, then pulling on the excess skin with light jerking motions it will tighten up the breast, and slice off a thumbs thickness of the left over skin. Now season the bird generously, being sure to coat the entire chicken in every crevasse, even inside. Chop the onions and left over garlic in large chunks, skin on the garlic is fine no need to peel it. Pack these into the bird and close the hole with a half a lemon. Now tie the bird by making a large circle of twine tied together and loop it around the extremities. Once the wings have been secured, making a large X across the back towards the rear, loop the legs one by one going around the right leg in a clockwise motion and the left in a counter clockwise motion, pull the rope tight and loop around them both will complete the process. Tie and cut the remaining twine. Get the large pan smoking hot but over medium, medium high heat and lay the bird on its side. Cooks for about 3 minutes until there shows caramelization has developed, then flip the bird to the opposing side and continue to reach the said goal, once that had been achieved then onto the breast and repeat the same process. Then put the bird into the roasting pan fitted with the rack. Put remaining onion and garlic over the carcass and lob hunks of butter into the pan, being sure to put 2 or 3 in behind the lemon. Close up the roasting pan and cut an opening about 8 inches long down the top of the foil. Put the pan into a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Cook for 45 min, baste the bird several time, turn the heat up to 375 and cook for about 1 hr more basting every so often.

I hope you can follow all of that!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Recent Interview for a web based food article.

How did you get into cooking? Well to be quite honest I was young, younger than the legal age to work, but times were tough and i needed to have an income. So i got a job at a place in Middlebury Vermont called Angelas Restaurant. I started there as a dishwasher, moved on to gard manger, and prep within 6 months of my first day. The restaurant industry has come rather natural to me, it just seems to make sense to me.

Where was your first professional kitchen experience? Professional kitchen i would have to say was a place they used call Tully and Maries also in Middlebury Vermont. This place served food styles from every corner of the world. I had the pleasure of working with one of the ex-menu planners for N.E.C.I. and was able to really learn a lot from him.

What is your favorite dish to prepare? My most favorite item to prepare has got to be Ceviche! or even short ribs would be right up there.

What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job is getting to use my "creative juices" on a regular basis and constantly expand my knowledge of restaurant management.

Who is your favorite chef in Boston? You know Im not much for picking favorite people as they change so frequently, chefs rise and fall every day so tomorrow it might be someone other than today. But Chefs that I respect in this city are people like Rachel Klein, William Kovel, Chris Coombs, and Jeremy Sewall.

What do you usually make for yourself at home? At home I alternate between Hispanic food, classic rustic American, and rough french foods. One day i could be making Cousa Rallena, the next day chicken with mushroom cream sauce and fettuccini, the next day it could be steak and potatoes. I don’t have a most commonly cooked dish at my home. The one thing I do make on a regular basis is fresh bread. (its a silent passion)

If you could dine with any three people, who would they be? Anthony Bourdain, Gastón Acurio Jaramillo, and the president, whoever it may be at the time. Who doesn’t want to dine with the president!

How to cook an Egg

I feel like cooking eggs is one of those things every one says they can do, but really when you get down to technique and execution of it, almost everyone has a fault. Now there are several ways to cooking eggs you can, pan fry, poach, soft boil, hard boil scramble, sunny side up, over easy, over medium, over hard, as an omelet, as a custard and so many more ways.

What were going to touch on today is cooking the basic breakfast egg. Most often when people go to diner's and order eggs you have "Candi" or "Beatrice" asking "how do you want your eggs" my reply is most often "I would like my eggs over easy" this sounds easy but in fact can be one of the most troublesome egg to cook. I'll tell you why, an over easy egg is just that you have to turn it over easy to slightly cook out the white over the yolk. So from start to finish this is how i cook an over easy egg. Rule number one; NEVER ever cook eggs over high heat. Warm the NON stick pan over low to medium low heat. Once the pan has reached the desired temperature of about 175 to 200 degrees then you can add 1 tbls spoon of butter or oil, let it coat the pan. Rule number 2 Never and I mean absolutely never should your egg bubble up, pop, or splatter when you are cooking it. So with that in mind crack your egg and add it to the pan, the great thing about the egg is it is colder then the pan and can drop the temperature of the oil very fast, so if it starts to pop or bubble or splatter then you can pull the pan away from the heat and let it calm down, then adjust the heat and return it to the stove. Once you have a solid base on the egg and there is only the clear membrane around the yolk then using a rubber spatula break the egg away from the pan insuring that it is not stuck. Once you have determined that the egg is loose you can flip the egg either by motion of the pan or with the rubber spatula. Rule number three never abuse your egg treat it like your favorite pet or your girlfriend, be gentle and be respectful, don’t be rough and callous or you will break the yolk and ruin your egg. Once the egg is turned remove the pan from the stove and count to 33 seconds. Then again with the spatula turn the egg back over and slide it on to your plate. Enjoy it with some fried yuca and pico de gallo, or toast and sausage. Either way you eat it you will be enjoying a delicious egg.

Food will always taste better when you give it your undivided attention and passion. Treat it with respect and love and you will taste the differance.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lets get started with the basics " Veg Stock"

For some reason I really like to make sure everyone knows the importance of a correctly made vegetable stock. Another, "how you say" particularity of mine or rather pet peeve is that people are clear on the basics of cooking. Now before i get off on a tangent I will continue with the vegetable stock.

When making a veg stock it is extremely important that you use clean fresh vegetables, if you wouldn’t eat them why would you use them. What you use for your basic vegetable stock is just "mirepoix" (mihr-PWAH) this is a culinary term for the simplest of ingredients carrots, onions and celery. How you assemble the mirepoix is the most important. When  cutting the vegetables don’t cut them small, give them a medium chop. The reason for this is that vegetables when cut small and cooked for an extended period of time will turn mushy. When cutting the carrots it is very important to cut them thicker than the celery or the onions as these are your timer for stock. The next most important part of stock making in general is to make sure not to boil the water hard; a low simmer is the perfect temperature. If the water gets into a hard boil what happens is the vegetables begin to bump into each other causing small parts to flake off and the clarity of your stock is lost. Once a simmer is reached let it cook for about 15 minutes or until the carrots have turned soft. Once this is achieved then you strain the stock immediately reserving all the liquid and disposing of the vegetables. My ratio for vegetable stock is
3 large Carrots
1 large head of Celery
5 medium White or Spanish Onions
3 gallons of water.

If you are still unclear as to what I mean for a size cut you can find step by step instructions on Chef Jon Sargent at facebook.com.

Just getting my bearings

Trying to get the hang of this, I feel like an old man, damning the kids for being so much better than I when it comes to tech work. We will be up and running in no time.