At his restaurant Maude in Beverly Hills, celebrity chef Curtis Stone creates seriously delicious, stunningly inventive tasting menus. The creative flavor combos he comes up with include everything from caviar with smoked chestnut and sabayon, to lamb with chamomile. But where does he get the inspiration for his out-of-the-box ideas? That would be his professional test kitchen, where he experiments wildly in a quest to figure out what works and, of course, what doesn't.
"Most of the contents found in this fridge aren’t reminiscent of what you’d find in a typical fridge, Stone told The Feast. "In the deli containers on the second shelf, you’ll find all kinds of strange and wonderful creations. I'm creating these dishes for a range of projects." One of them is his anticipated new restaurant Gwen, which he'll be opening with his brother Luke and co-chef Chad Colby in Hollywood this summer. So, what will you find if you peek inside his refrigerator?
1. Mutton Fat
Ok, so you're probably not going to find an entire sheep... but you will find mutton fat (a mutton is an older sheep, in case you were wondering). And if you're thinking you'll never be able to find a use for something like mutton fat (not exactly a common kitchen staple), try Stone's method: "We sometimes use it in place of oil when cooking lamb."
2. Pickled Radishes
While these zingy, crunchy veggies are often used as an accompaniment, Stone says he use them "to add a sharpness to shrimp salad."
3. Fresno Chiles
Though Fresno chilies can often be confused for jalapenos when they're green (the two also have a similar heat level), they eventually turn red and get hotter if left to mature. "They'll be folded into Calabrian sausage," says Stone. (n the photo above, the Fresnos are the red cone-shaped peppers.)
4. Shallot Confit
Confit is simply a food that's been preserved after cooking slowly for a long time, often in its own fat or in an oil. You've probably heard of the classic duck confit, but chances are you've never tried Stone's shallot confit. He'll be incorporating it into a delicious-sounding mushroom ragu recipe.
5. Garlic Oil
"The garlic has been roasted over an open fire outside," Stone explains. "Yum." Whether you make your own or buy it, garlic oil is extra-versatile. You can try it as a finishing oil on meat, fish or veggies; make it the base of your salad dressing; or toss it with pasta and a little parmesan for an easy meal.
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