Study Cooking With the Greats!

Rick Bayless, Melissa Clark, Jonathan Waxman and Nancy Silverton are just a few of the cooks you can learn by watching in videos from David Ellner's Summit-based video magazine, Panna.

Ellner founded Panna to help home cooks follow recipes more clearly. “I wanted to give people amazing recipes to cook and an unequivocal way to make sure they nail it," he says. "They’ll learn new techniques and tips that will make them more confident and better cooks.”

The real draw of the bi-monthly online magazine is the star-studded list of contributing chefs, like Mexican cooking expert Bayless, New York Times food writer Clark, author and restaurateur Waxman and La Brea Bakery founder Silverton

“They are all crafts persons in their particular genre," Ellner says. "They are all James Beard award winners with accolades from the culinary community."

The online faculty includes 15 chefs, 10 of whom are featured in the latest issue, No. 9, creating 16 recipes in 275 minutes of hi-definition video.

Waxman can be seen creating a browned Tartiflette, a baked gratin of potatoes, onions, bacon and cheese. You can spend time making Country Braised Chicken and Blood Orange Panna Cotta alongside Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern. Mixologist Jim Meehan will show how to make a classic Rusty Nail cocktail and an Irish coffee for dessert.

We are “highly focused on excellence, but the recipes are focused on the home,” Ellner says. “We’ve taken these super accomplished chefs and looked at them through the lens of a home cook.”

Waxman’s casserole came from summers in the French Alps. Anthony learned to make the braised chicken on his first day of culinary school.

Visitors to the website can view a free trial issue with recipes like Anita Lo’s Caramelized Cauliflower with Hazelnuts, Parmesan and Sage, and Bayless’ Mexican Shrimp Cocktail. A one-year subscription is $14.99. There is also a smart-phone version.

Ellner, 51, grew up on Long Island, graduated from SUNY Albany, then earned an MBA from NYU. He spent his career as a music industry and television production executive before cooking up the idea for Panna.

After moving to Westfield with his wife and two children about seven years ago, Ellner became interested in cooking. “I followed recipes from a book, but was never sure I was doing it right,” he says. Now he cooks everything before they film the chef making it.

"There’s so much subtlety in making something amazing," he says. "Even if it is simple, there’s a little bit of finesse, a little bit of detail, that’s very hard to transmit into words.” Hence video.

Panna is “video married with text in a new way, making it easy to follow the video, while having the recipe with you the whole way," he says.

“When you put the plate on the table, our objective is to have you say, ‘Wow that was just delicious!’”

pannacooking.com

COUNTRY BRAISED CHICKEN
by Michael Anthony

"This dish goes back to my first day of cooking-school years ago, and I have been in love with it ever since. It is all about crisping the chicken skin, then braising it in an aromatic, combining the best of roasting and slow cooking. All the ingredients meld and make for delicious flavor. This dish is not hard to do, and will please anyone."

PREP TIME
25 mins
TOTAL TIME
1 hr 15 mins
PORTIONS
4 servings

Vegetable peeler
Braising pan with lid
Chef’s knife
Cutting board
Strainer
Ladle
Saucepan

INGREDIENTS
3 T Olive oil
4 Whole chicken legs (bone-in, skin-on)
1 Onion, peeled and medium dice
2 Carrots, peeled and medium dice
1 Stalk celery, medium dice
1 Clove garlic, peeled and gently smashed
2 T Tomato paste
1⁄2 C Cognac
1⁄2 C White wine
1 Bay leaf
1 Sprig rosemary
1 Sprig thyme
3 Whole parsley sprigs, plus more for garnish
1 qt Chicken broth
Salt and pepper

RECIPE

STEP 1
Preheat oven to 350F. Put the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed braising pan, and place
over medium-high heat. Generously season both sides of chicken legs with salt and pepper.
When the pan is hot and the oil is slightly smoking, add chicken legs and brown, about 5
minutes per side.

STEP 2
While chicken is browning, prepare onion, carrots, and celery as indicated above.

STEP 3
Remove the browned chicken from the pan and set aside. Add vegetables to the pan, reduce
to medium heat, and sweat for 5 minutes, being careful not to brown. Season lightly with salt
and pepper. Peel garlic. Add garlic and tomato paste, stir in to incorporate. Deglaze pan with
cognac in a two additions. Allow the alcohol to burn off, and reduce the liquid until almost
dry. Add white wine to pan and let liquid reduce. Add whole parsley sprigs, rosemary, thyme,
bay leaf and chicken to the pan. Pour in chicken broth, and bring to a simmer. Note: You
may not need all of the chicken broth. Just add enough to cover the chicken halfway, but not
fully submerge. Cover pan and place in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

STEP 4
Remove from oven and placed chicken legs on a rimmed serving platter. Strain cooking
liquid into a small saucepan, reserving vegetables. Over medium heat, reduce liquid at a
simmer until it is a thick consistency that thinly coats, or naps, a spoon. Taste for seasoning.
Pour sauce generously over chicken thighs and vegetables. Garnish with torn parsley leaves
and serve.

 

SUZANNE ZIMMER LOWERY is a food writer, pastry chef and culinary instructor at a number of New Jersey cooking schools. Find out more about her at suzannelowery.com.

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