Early Thanksgiving with Electrolux and Chef Brad Steelman of The River Cafe


If you thought that Electrolux only made vacuum cleaners, you were wrong. They also make amazing appliances, such as ovens and cook tops, which I saw used in action last night at the Foodbuzz event for featured publishers at the demo kitchen of Relais & Châteaux in midtown. I'm sure you have seen a few Electrolux TV ads featuring a peppy Kelly Ripa cooking and baking up a storm. Last night Chef Brad Steelman from the famed River Cafe and a few of his staff cooked up an exceptional early Thanksgiving meal.

The evening began with an introduction about the appliances from the friendly Electrolux staff. Following that we were given cooking demonstrations from Chef Steelman. And finally we enjoyed wonderful food. While we were getting to know our fellow bloggers, a mixed bunch indeed, we were offered wine and hors d'œuvres including truffled chicken salad atop puff pastry; tapenade, goat cheese, and pimento pepper crostini; and spoons of pulled pork, squash purée, and toasted marshmallow.

Chef Steelman's first demonstration was the mushroom risotto, cooked on the Electrolux induction cook top. The unique thing here is that the cooking pan gets hot immediately while the cook top stays cool to the touch. This is because the cook top uses the technology of induction, where a ferrous pan (a pan approved for induction cooking) is put in contact with the induction cook top, creating a magnet-like current that heats the cooking pan. Chef Steelman demonstrated the basics on how to brine, season, and truss a turkey. Then he showed us how the Electrolux oven uses a meat probe to accurately identify the cooking time and doneness of a turkey. There is actually a turkey button on the oven! It's simply Thanksgiving made easy. While we ate our risotto, Chef Steelman sliced up the turkey—the piste de résistance of the evening—while his staff assembled them into turkey sliders with stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. The sliders were truly delectable.

And last but not least, for dessert there was a simple crème brûlée, jazzed up by being placed inside a mini roasted pumpkin. Chef Steelman showed how to prepare the pumpkin for roasting by cutting the top off, spooning out the seeds, and rubbing it with autumnal spices and butter. Once the pumpkins are roasted, they can be filled with the crème mixture and be torched. What a night! If only I had the money to afford such luxurious appliances, I too would use them every chance I got.

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