Metro Man & Metro Home

By Kendria Smith

It never hurts to have some help in the kitchen, especially when the main focus is on food. With a little effort, preparing and sharing a great meal can create a communal dining experience that can make complete strangers feel like family. On April 4, this sentiment created the perfect setting for a family-style gathering hosted by Bounty to promote its paper towels with new Trap and Lock technology. The event brought both foodie newbies and culinary connoisseurs together in a spacious kitchen studio in Midtown Manhattan. Donning aprons, we eagerly anticipated the night’s main attraction: an evening of cooking demonstration and dining with none other than Iron Chef Champion and acclaimed Midwestern restaurateur Michael Symon.

For well-seasoned New Yorkers who find their prowess lies more in the ability to pick a great restaurant than preparing a great meal, this environment could seem a bit daunting. But Chef Symon, armed with contagious laughter and a jovial disposition, had an uncanny ability to bring comfort and simplicity to the kitchen, while teaching us a few tricks of his trade.

Courtesy of TalismanPHOTO

As the class familiarized themselves with the utensils and ingredients at their workstations, Chef Symon began his lesson with a step-by-step demonstration of how to make Zucchini Fritters. The recipe, mainly consisting of coarsely grated zucchini, fresh herbs, flour, egg and feta cheese, has been passed down from the Greek matriarchs in his family. Chef Symon made the rounds to guide us through our recipe prep. Instead of focusing on perfection, he highlighted the importance of consistency at each step of the cooking process, testing along the way to see if the content was too moist or dry or if more seasoning was needed.

“A recipe is not the most important thing to learn,” Chef Symon emphasized. “If you learn the technique, you can make many different kinds of recipes and let your palate be your guide. This is how you’ll learn to cook and cooking will become a lifestyle.”

Using fresh, natural foods is another important factor that was stressed, and is imperative for providing the best flavor. Chef Symon recommended shopping local and organic when possible, especially for key ingredients such as eggs, milk, butter, and cheese.

Courtesy of TalismanPHOTO

When served with a dollop of Greek yogurt, the fritters were the perfect appetizer to compliment the evening’s main course: Pork Chop Milanese topped with Arugula Salad.

The class watched attentively as Chef Symon prepared the pork chop, instructing us to always season meat on both sides and to remember the acronym F.E.B.–flour, eggs and bread crumbs, as the procedure for breading. Once the pork chop was coated and ready for cooking, he shared his technique for assuring a non-stick surface every time. Heat the pan, add oil, and then add the meat by sliding it into the pan away from you. About ten minutes later, the pork chop had been fried on both sides and placed on one sheet of Bounty paper towel, which quickly absorbed excess oil. The result was what Chef Symon coined “G.B.D.”–golden, brown, and delicious!

Courtesy of TalismanPHOTO

As a celebrity chef with a full kitchen staff, Chef Symon makes a mean dish while keeping a clean kitchen. But he admitted that when there is no crew to back him up, he likes to keep things simple by using Bounty as his weapon against culinary chaos. With Trap and Lock technology, one towel is strong enough to do the job of many, which requires less work and waste. This leaves you with much more time to soak up an evening of good company and great food.

To get the latest on Bounty’s products and promotions, visit the Bounty Facebook Page.

Originally published April 2012
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