“Dish with Diane: Chef Inspired Healthy” with Todd English
Instead having you read the same intro over and over again…click HERE for the intro to my series:
“Dish with Diane: Chef Inspired Healthy”
Todd English has built a culinary empire! He is a four-time James Beard Award Winner, restaurant mogul, cookbook author and television personality. Todd and I first met while shooting a healthy cooking segment together at his digs at The Plaza Food Hall and had a blast. In addition to being a great chef and guy, there is something mystical about Todd. When you first meet him, his soft spoken nature and quiet charm leave you with a feeling like “Twilight” meets “Top Chef”. We whipped up a few of his delicious and healthy dishes for Good Morning America that you can check out here http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/todd-english-healthy-cooking-14459555#.Tphig0imkzY.facebook
Todd is a brand of his own and has his successful hands in a multitude of ventures which, at the core, is food. Todd has been an innovator of interpretive, rustic Mediterranean cuisine for over twenty years and is a fixture stamp in our culinary minds.
Click HERE to watch Todd & I whip up one of his fabulous, healthy dishes on Good Morning America
Now, let’s get Todd’s take on healthy cooking and eating
Diane: Do you see a trend with diners seeking better-for-you options on the menu?
Todd: I do but doesn’t mean there is still not a long line at the Shake Shack, he jests. We see a lot of diners requesting more proteins and salads and less carbs. I do feel that healthier options cannot be 100% of the menu because when people go out to eat is the time they are looking for a little bit more indulgent food than they would prepare at home.
Diane: What’s your definition of “healthy eating”?
Todd: I think most important is portion control and moderation. Try to stay away from processed food, exercise more and eat food that leaves you feeling satisfied. I believe in eating smaller meals more often throughout the day to keep the metabolism going. Don’t deprive yourself just make better choices. At 50 years old it is definately a lot harder to stay in shape then it was when I was in my 20′s.
Diane: What is your secret to cooking healthier without sacrificing flavor?
Todd: I use a lot of spices, fresh veggies and fruit, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, avocado, soybeans and organic ingredients as often as possible. We need fat in our diets and using the healthier fats is key.
For healthier cooking I have a line of GreenPan™ cookware that has breakthrough non-stick technology, called Thermolon™ which is completely PTFE-free and my cookware is also “green” for our environment. The non-stick eliminates the need for added butter and oils in the pan which means less fat and calories in your foods. http://www.hsn.com/search_c-qc_a-2117_xc.aspx
Diane: What is your favorite dish on your own menu?
Todd: Definitely my whole roasted branzino with spiced baby carrots, toasted quinoa, and brown butter yogurt. I love this dish because it’s such a delicious and simple recipe, and the elements on the plate provide an equal dose of eye candy and taste bud treat.
Todd English’s Pan Seared Branzino with spiced baby carrots, toasted quinoa, and brown butter yogurt
1- 3# whole Branzino (cut into two 6 oz. filets, skin on)
1 bunch baby carrots, peeled, reserve tops
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup macerated golden raisins
¼ cup cilantro leaves (half chiffonade, half whole leaves for garnish)
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon coriander spice
1 teaspoon cumin spice
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown Butter Yogurt Sauce:
6 oz. whole unsalted butter
1 cup Labneh yogurt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place baby carrots in a large roasting pan, add one tablespoon of oil and season liberally with cumin and coriander spices. Place in oven and roast until desired doneness, about 6 minutes.
To make the brown butter sauce: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until it begins to foam and brown, giving off a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes. Pour off 1/3 of butter and reserve for later. Once the butter cools, combine with the Labneh yogurt mixing well to incorporate all the flavors.
Place a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add a tablespoon of oil. Season both sides of the branzino with salt and pepper, and once the pan starts to smoke, add the fillet, skin side down, and press down with a spatula to ensure crispiness. Reduce heat and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip your branzino making sure not to break the crispy skin, and finish cooking 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from heat and place onto a paper towel.
For the cooked quinoa, add macerated raisins, one tablespoon of chiffonade cilantro, and mix together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, set aside and reserve warm.
Scoop a generous dollop of yogurt sauce onto the plate and top with a spoonful of quinoa, making a bed for your branzino. Place fillet on top of quinoa, skin side up, and top with a few roasted baby carrots. Garnish with remaining cilantro leaves and carrot tops.
Diane: How about an update on what’s new and exciting in your world?
Todd: I have some exciting ventures happening! I just re-launched two of my flagship restaurants- Olives Boston, my very first restaurant I opened back in 89’ in Charlestown, MA, and Olives NY, which was my first NYC restaurant I opened 11 years ago at the W Hotel in Union Square. Both restaurants underwent major renovations and I just re-opened both locations last month (May). I’m thrilled with the new design of both spaces, and I’m having a lot of fun creating fresh new menu items in addition to the Olives classics.
Also, my third season of “Food Trip with Todd English” is in the works for an air date next fall, and in this season I visit some exotic locales I hadn’t been to before such as Malaysia and Portugal. My fourth cookbook “Cooking in Everyday English” has been out since October and is a great basics book inspired by my “Food Trip” travels and love of global flavors, but every recipe is broken down into 10 ingredients or less, so it’s simple for the at home cook and features great recipes for the whole family! It can be purchased at – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cooking-in-everyday-english-todd-english/1103371870?ean=9780848734848&itm=1&usri=cooking+in+everyday+english