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, 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.