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Video: Learn how to make global flavors at home

  1. Transcript of: Learn how to make global flavors at home

    MATT LAUER, co-host: This morning on TODAY'S KITCHEN STEP-BY-STEP , cooking with global flair. Chef Todd English is out with his first cookbook in over a decade, sharing 150 recipes using flavors from all around the world . It's called " Cooking in

    Everyday English: The ABC 's of Great Flavor at Home." Todd , welcome back. Good to see you.

    Mr. TODD ENGLISH (Author, "Cooking in Everyday English"): Great. No pun intended, Matt.

    LAUER: Exactly.

    Mr. ENGLISH: We might as use the name, right?

    LAUER: First cookbook in 10 years.

    Mr. ENGLISH: Yes.

    LAUER: Were you burned out on that side of your career or were you just looking for inspiration?

    Mr. ENGLISH: You know, it's amazing how fast 10 years goes by. But, yeah, it's just inspiration. You know, and I have this show on PBS called " Food Trip ."

    LAUER: Right.

    Mr. ENGLISH: And I 've traveled all over the world extensively and my first cookbooks are sort of based on my Mediterranean and Italian life, and now back with, you know, this more international flavors. And, plus, you know, what's really happening in America right now, which is...

    LAUER: And the -- go ahead, I'm sorry.

    Mr. ENGLISH: No, no. I'm just saying just from the standpoint, you know, we want to eat lower fat and we want to have, you know, but we want to have food that, you know, pops on our palate. You know, so?

    LAUER: This pops on the palate.

    Mr. ENGLISH: Pops on your palate.

    LAUER: I mean, the first thing you do is you have a spice blend.

    Mr. ENGLISH: Yeah.

    LAUER: Tell me what's in it.

    Mr. ENGLISH: Well, this is ancho chiles, this is red chili pepper, coriander and cumin seed. And I want you guys to learn. Like make your own spice blends. Buy the spices whole and then grind them in a coffee grinder.

    LAUER: That takes a lot of confidence, though, that you're going to get it in the right -- in the right, you know.

    Mr. ENGLISH: A lot of -- right, right. But the book has it in the right proportions and this is just a simple dish that I'm using this -- this is my Mexican chili spice. We've got Anaheim peppers, I've got onions, I've got -- this is a prime rib chili . So we have chunks of prime -- again, you don't want to prime rib we can use chicken, we can use ground meat, whatever it is. But chiles again, it's -- I added garlic, I added some chili spice, onions and the Anaheim . And, you know, I'm really -- if you make chili you understand that, you know, there's lot of ways to do it. Everybody's got their own chili recipe. But the idea is that, you know, it's about using those spices, letting them bloom in there.

    Mr. ENGLISH: And, you know, and this is something good. Look, it's football season, something that can be around.

    LAUER: Oh, I love chili .

    Mr. ENGLISH: You know? Chicken broth.

    LAUER: Is it possible to overcook the meat while you're browning it?

    Mr. ENGLISH: No.

    LAUER: No.

    Mr. ENGLISH: No, just get it nice and -- nice and caramel. Let all those spices cook in there, let it go long enough...

    LAUER: OK.

    Mr. ENGLISH: ...that it actually does get into something like this.

    LAUER: All right.

    Mr. ENGLISH: Then, at the end, let's just get this, you see how beautiful the color is.

    LAUER: Starts to thicken up.

    Mr. ENGLISH: And you can smell -- yeah, absolutely. The tomatoes thicken up. And then I add a bunch of different beans. I got black, kidney, red beans , pintos and white beans and, again, these -- you know, it's fine to open up a can. Make cooking -- canned beans are really nice and they make cooking simple, you know.

    LAUER: And, by the way, chili gets better when it's there like in the fridge for two or three days.

    Mr. ENGLISH: It's better the next -- it's better the next day.

    LAUER: You keep eating it up. You serve it with -- in little -- like little crocks?

    Mr. ENGLISH: Little crocks, you know, or just a bowl. It's not that big. But if you have these it's really nice. Just garnish it with a little bit of cheese, scallions, a little sour cream. Leave that all on the side.

    LAUER: All right.

    Mr. ENGLISH: Now...

    LAUER: Another thing you want to help us make is...

    Mr. ENGLISH: Right.

    LAUER: ...something called compound butter.

    Mr. ENGLISH: Compound butter. Now...

    LAUER: What exactly is that?

    Mr. ENGLISH: This may -- you know, this may freak a lot of people out. Oh, butter, you can add a lot of calories. Very simple, OK? This is something that is easy, you can keep it in the freezer like this. I have it wrapped up. This is a blue cheese almond butter with a little bit of panko. You just mix these up together like this, very simply, and a little salt and pepper. And you can keep this in the freezer.

    LAUER: But in what way -- how are we going to use this?

    Mr. ENGLISH: Basically, I'm going to put this on top of -- you can put it on top of pork chops, chicken, finish a pasta with it, or all that, right?

    Mr. ENGLISH: What I have here is, as you can see, I just did the lamb chops here that were cooking on the grill.

    LAUER: Right.

    Mr. ENGLISH: Just simply, you know, cut a piece of -- cup -- cut a dollop like this, you know, or you can put it on toast points and serve it garnished...

    LAUER: How long can you keep it in the freezer?

    Mr. ENGLISH: It can go for at least, you know, three months, easily.

    LAUER: Wow. It's good stuff.

    Mr. ENGLISH: So put it on top of there. And you can grill it, and you can see how the finished chili is and how gorgeous that is.

    LAUER: It's all about the flavor.

    Mr. ENGLISH: Got spoons there for you, Matt , just in case.

    LAUER: OK.

    Mr. ENGLISH: It's all about flavor, that's what I am, and I want you guys to cook at home and, you know, enjoy cooking and enjoy not having to spend hours in the kitchen.

    LAUER: We're going to dig into this on just a second.

    Mr. ENGLISH: That's what it's about.

    LAUER: Todd English . Always good to have you here, Todd .

TODAY recipes
updated 10/7/2011 3:51:58 PM ET 2011-10-07T19:51:58

Recipe: Prime rib chili

  • 2 lb.prime rib steak, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
  • 1⁄4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1⁄8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large finely diced red onion
  • 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 seeded and diced Anaheim chiles
  • 2 to 4 tbsp. Mexican Spice Blend
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups drained and rinsed assorted canned beans
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese,

Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Cook, in batches, in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a bowl, reserving drippings in Dutch oven.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to hot drippings, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chiles and Mexican Spice Blend, and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Return steak to Dutch oven. Add broth and tomatoes.

Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes. Stir in beans, and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice. Serve with cheese.

Recipe: Mexican spice blend

  • 2 tbsp. ancho chile powder
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature up to 1 month.


Note: Ancho chiles are dried poblano

Serving Size

Makes about 1⁄4 cup

Recipe: Blue cheese-almond butter

  • 3⁄4 cup toasted, slivered almonds
  • 1 cup softened, unsalted butter,
  • 3⁄4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Pulse almonds in a food processor 15 times or until consistency of coarse meal. Add butter and next 3 ingredients; process until combined. Add panko; process until combined, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.

Serving Size

Makes 2 cups

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