• April 2011

Culinaria Cooking School Chefs Are Emerging TV Stars

Since opening its doors last November, Culinaria Cooking School owners Stephen Sands and Pete Snaith have been hitting the air waves as celeb chefs. Most recently, they were featured on Channel 10’s Chef’s Recipes, a weekly TV show that spotlights rising stars in the DC area.

Previous guests have included The Inn at Little Washington head chef Patrick O’Connell, Galileo III’s Roberto Donna, P.F. Chang’s Robert Hile, and Heloise herself.

Chef Pete Snaith began this week’s episode by preparing Red and Yellow Pepper Soup.

“It’s so easy to make, but what impresses dinner guest is the presentation,” he explains. “Simply make each soup separately, then pour side by side into a pretty bowl. The last step is to take a spoon and swirl a bit of the soups together with a yin-yang flourish. The impact is terrific, and the soup is so good for you. It’s the perfect start to a meal.”

Chef Stephen Sands then prepared one of his signature dishes, Jumbo Sea Scallops With Basil and Lavender Essence.

“This scallop recipe is one of my favorites because it is quick to make and can be prepared any time of the year,” he says, noting that what gives it a special touch is the lavender essence.

“Be sure not to cook with the lavender essential oils that you’d use in the bath,” he cautions. “This essence is the kind you can cook with, and it can be purchased in gourmet shops and online. A few snips of the actual herb will also work. Simply puree it with fresh basil leaves, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a food processor. Slice the cooked scallops, not quite all the way through, and spread a dollop of the fresh herb puree inside. Finish in the oven, and voila — you will have a dish that you’d find in a four-star restaurant.”

For dessert, Chef Stephen prepared Chocolate Souffle.

“I know, people think souffles are impossible to make,” he says. “It’s not true. With a little patience, and some fine chocolate, this spectacular dish is the perfect ending to a great meal.”

Scroll down for the recipes. And click here to watch the chefs on TV.


Red and Yellow Pepper Soup
By Chef Pete Snaith

Serves 4

What you’ll need for the Red Pepper Soup:
2 red bell peppers, roasted, seeded, and peeled
2 T. of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 ripe roma tomatoes, seeded, peeled, and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste

What you’ll need for the Yellow Pepper Soup:
4 yellow bell peppers, roasted, seeded, and peeled
2 T. of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-½ cups chicken stock
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mascarpone, as garnish

To make the Red Pepper Soup:

1. Roast peppers on gas grill, charcoal grill, or under the broiler until charred. Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest until cool and peel the skins off and discard. Cut the bell pepper and discard the seeds. Reserve the peppers for later.

2. Place a 4-quart sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped tomato and cook about 5 minutes. And the garlic and the roasted red pepper and cook about 3 more minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook until warmed. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed.

3. Place soup in a blender. Puree until smooth, then return pureed soup back ton the pan and heat on low.

To make the Yellow Pepper Soup:

1. Roast peppers on gas grill, charcoal grill, or under the broiler until charred. Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest until cool and peel the skins off and discard. Cut the bell pepper and discard the seeds. Reserve the peppers for later.

2. Place a 4-quart sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 3 minute. Add the garlic and the roasted yellow pepper and cook about 3 more minutes. Add the chicken stock, cook until warmed, and then add the cream. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed.

3. Place soup into a blender. Puree until smooth, then return pureed soup back to the pan and heat on low.

To serve:

1. Place soups in separate pitchers, pour soups at the same time into opposite sides of a shallow bowl.

2. For a fancier presentation, using a knife, pull one side of the soup into the other.

3. Place a dollop of mascarpone in the center of the bowl. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Jumbo Sea Scallops With Basil and Lavender Essence
By Chef Stephen Sands

Serves 4

What you’ll need:
8 large sea scallops
1 lb. of basil leaves 

1 clove of garlic 

3 drops of essential oil of lavender
3 T. olive oil 

Salt and pepper

Here’s how:

1. In a blender, combine the basil, garlic, and salt and pepper and process until smooth. Add lavender essential oil and olive oil to the basil mixture and let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Cut two deep horizontal slits into the scallops, and fill with the basil mixture. Brush with olive oil and season with more salt and pepper.

3. Grill in a heated pan, turning once, until the scallops are golden brown. Transfer to a sheet pan and finish in a 350-degree oven for 4 minutes.


Individual Chocolate Soufflés
By Chef Stephen Sands

Serves 8 to 10

What you’ll need:
6 large egg yolks
8 large eggs whites
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup granulated sugar (4 oz.)
1 T. orange zest, finely grated (optional)
3 T. Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec
2 cups whipping cream
1 T. vanilla extract
¼ cup butter, for molds
¼ cup sugar, for molds
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Here’s how:

1. Butter and sugar the molds and refrigerate.

2. In a small bowl placed over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. When almost melted, turn off the heat and let the chocolate melt completely, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and 4 oz. of sugar together with the vanilla until the mixture is pale yellow and thick. Add in the orange zest, if used. Scrape the melted chocolate into the sugar/yolks mixture and continue to beat until well combined.

4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed, then increase the speed as peaks begin to form. Add the remaining 1 oz. sugar and beat for another minute or so. Beat until the whites are stiff, but not dry.

5. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk/chocolate mixture.

6. Fill each mold to the rim and bake (position the rack on the lowest part of the oven) on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

7. Before the soufflés are finished, place the whipping cream in a mixer fitted with beaters. Beat the cream to soft peaks, then add the Grand Marnier and 2 tablespoons of sugar.

8. When the soufflés are done, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Then add a dollop of whipped cream and serve immediately.

For more delicious recipes, and to sign up for cooking classes, log onto www.culinariacookingschool.com.

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