Tom Colicchio Says Its OK To Use a Microwave On Thanksgiving

Leah Bourne

B 6745Easily one of the most famous chefs in the country, when Tom Colicchio dishes Thanksgiving cooking advice, let’s just say we are there taking notes. This year Colicchio has partnered with the search engine Bing on the Bing food & drink app which allows you to easily search recipes and tasting notes at the drop of a hat. To kickoff the app, Colicchio held a lunch at his restaurant Craft in New York City, and shared some of his top tips for cooking during the holidays. His thoughts, and one of his favorite holiday recipe, are below.
1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. “It’s really important to get all of your prep work done ahead of time,” Colicchio says. “We call this the ‘mise en place’–and by getting everything in place, doing all of your knife work and portions that can be completed early done in advance, you really save yourself time and have a much smoother cooking experience.”
2. Microwaves are OK. “People also shouldn’t be afraid to use their microwave,” Colicchio says. “There’s nothing wrong with heating up a puree in the microwave, it’s not doing anything to it, it’s just heating it. Heating a puree is actually better in the microwave than on the stove.”
3. Use Technology When You Can. “Use your phone, your PC or tablet to find recipes and organize meals,” Colicchio advises. “No one uses paper anymore, they have their phone with them, they have a tablet and its part of their everyday. Going to the store with a list generated from the recipes you’re going to make is perfect.”
Tom Colicchio’s Go-To Holiday Recipe: Braised Striped Bass
Makes/Yield: 6
For the broth:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and sliced
½ fennel bulb, cored and sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 quart fumet
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 sprig fresh rosemary
For the bass:
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 6-ounce, skin-on striped bass fillets (about 1 ¼ inches thick)
3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus additional for garnish if desired
For the broth:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion, carrot, fennel, celery, and shallot and season with salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until they are soft, about 20 minutes.
Add the coriander and fennel seeds, wine, and vinegar and simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Add the fumet, 1 cup water, the thyme, bay leaf, tarragon, and rosemary.
Simmer until the flavors in the broth blend, about 15 minutes; set aside to cool.
For the bass:
Divide the oil between two large skillets and heat over medium.
Salt and pepper the fish and add it, skin side down, to the skillet.
Add the thyme and cook until the skin is crisp, about 6 minutes.
Turn the fish, then ladle two cups of the broth with vegetables into each skillet, reserving the remainder.
Bring the broth to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer the bass until it is opaque throughout, about 5 minutes more.
To serve:
Bring the reserved broth to a simmer, then ladle it into warm shallow bowls.
Place a piece of fish in each bowl, garnish with fresh thyme, if desired, and serve.
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