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richard blais

Celebrate National BBQ Day with Calorie-Cutting Tricks from Chef Richard Blais

Written on July 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm , by

 

The mushroom/meat blend reduces calories and fat in your typical burger. Toss ‘em on the grill! (Photo courtesy of Mushroom Council and Chef Richard Blais)

Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern

Let’s be honest—summer isn’t really summer without a few awesome barbeques. Lucky for you, National BBQ day is this Saturday, giving you another reason to cook out (as if you needed it). To lighten up your grill this summer, we nabbed some tips from Top Chef: All-Stars winner Richard Blais to help you build a better, healthier burger this grilling season.

Buy the best ingredients. Make sure your meats and breads are fresh by either buying straight from the butcher or knowing what to look for. According to The Book of Steak, the easiest way to check the freshness of grocery store meat is to look at its plastic wrap. A sure sign that the meat has been sitting on the shelf for a while is if blood has pooled at the bottom of the packaging.

Know your temps.  One of the most common grilling mistakes Blais sees is cooking at the wrong temperature. As a good rule of thumb, big pieces of meat or fish should be cooked at a lower temperature for a longer time.

Don’t leave leftovers…for too long. You don’t have to chow down that day, but meat doesn’t keep for very long post-purchase. The Book of Steak notes raw beef can be refrigerated in the bottom of the fridge for 3-5 days, but ground beef should be eaten within 1-2 days.

Customize your condiments. Get more nutritional bang for your buck by adding a splash of pomegranate juice to store-bought ketchup for a quick boost of tartness and antioxidants. Top your burger with good fats and great flavor by adding a few slices of avocado before chowing down.

Pump up your patty. Cut the calories and extend the portion size of your average burger by adding finely chopped mushrooms to ground beef or turkey to create a moist patty that’s packed with vitamin D, B, and potassium. Check out the Earth & Turf burger, Blais’ specialty, which blends portabella, shiitake and button mushrooms into a tasty creation. Best of all, this mushroom and beef blend has 25 percent less fat and 130 fewer calories than its all-beef counterpart. Yum!

Click below for the recipe!

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Top Chef All-Star Winner Richard Blais Trims Down Thanksgiving Dinner

Written on November 12, 2012 at 9:40 am , by

If only we could get Blais to cook dinner for us every night. Sigh. (Photo courtesy of Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt)

While Thanksgiving is one of the most delicious meals of the year, it’s also usually the heaviest. Instead of chowing down on foods filled with oil, butter and mayonnaise, we searched for lighter fare that was still super tasty. What (or who) did we find? Bravo’s Top Chef All-Star winner, Richard Blais. We met the cooking extraordinaire at a recent Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt event, where he wined and dined us with dishes that left us feeling full and satisfied, without the “oh my gosh I need to go run 10 miles” feeling.

So what’s Blais’ big secret? Aside from the fact that he’s a top-notch chef who blows our aprons out of the water, he subbed the aforementioned ingredients with Dannon’s Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt. We didn’t miss any of the heavy-calorie items, and got to keep all the flavor. Win-win for us!

It wouldn’t be right to brag about the decadent meal this marathoner whipped up without nabbing some recipes, though. Check out the appetizer and dessert dishes below, then use them to start and end a perfect Thanksgiving meal in your own home.

Malted Panna Cotta

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 5 fl. oz. heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup Dannon Oikos vanilla Greek nonfat yogurt (or use a 5.3 oz. single-serve container)
  • 1 oz. sugar
  • 1 oz. malted barley
  • 1 gelatin sheet
  • Clementine slices for garnish
  • Candied ginger for garnish
  • Chocolate dusted almonds for garnish

Directions

  • Heat the heavy cream and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Remove liquid from the heat and add malted barley. Let steep for 1 hour.
  • Strain mixture into a clean pot and stir in Greek yogurt.
  • Bloom gelatin in an ice bath. Meanwhile, bring strained mixture to a simmer.
  • Remove strained mixture from heat and add gelatin.
  • Pour liquid into four small containers. Let chill for 2 hour or until panna cottas have set.
  • Garnish each with a few slices of clementine, a scattering of candied ginger and chocolate dusted almonds.

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