Category Archives: Professional Chef Connection

Beer Can Chicken with Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce

Elizabeth Karmel makes Beer Can Chicken at Martha Stewart’s Home

Elizabeth Karmel makes Beer Can Chicken at Martha Stewart’s Home

Written by Elizabeth Karmel

Anyone who knows me, knows that Beer-Can Chicken is my favorite way to roast chicken. It’s more of a technique and less of a recipe. And, we all know that there are as many flavor variations for chicken as there are days in the year! So, the recipe bears repeating! This rich and savory recipe is novel because of the use of peanut butter, and that makes it a great topic of conversation at dinner. But the real reason to make it is that the combination of peanuts, rosemary and chicken is un-beatable! Use my chicken sitter to grill-roast the chicken and use my original angled barbecue basting brush to slather the bird with the Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce.

I first saw the idea for grilled peanut butter chicken in a collection of recipes from NASCAR fans. I loved the idea of a grilling sauce that was based on peanut butter—the fat in the peanut butter seals in the juices and flavors the meat as it cooks. The recipe in the book was filled with Asian flavors and as much as I love sates, I wanted to try the idea with a more Western flavor profile. I love the combination of rosemary and peanut butter, making this a sophisticated dish that makes you forget that it is based on peanut butter.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!



Beer-Can Chicken with Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce

©2015 Elizabeth Karmel

Makes 4 servings

Grilling Method: Indirect/Medium Heat

  • 1 Whole roasting chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, preferably Amish or organic
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1,  12-ounce can domestic beer or 12-ounces of white wine
  1. Remove the neck and giblets, and rinse the chicken inside and out if desired; pat it dry with paper towels. Coat the chicken lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Build a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill. Pour the beer or wine in the Chicken Sitter, making sure that it is only 2/3rds full. Place the Chicken Sitter in the center of the cooking grate over indirect medium heat and “sit” the chicken on top of the beer can. The chicken will appear to be sitting on the grate. Make sure the drumsticks are positioned in front of the Chicken Sitter and the wings are twisted “akimbo” behind the chicken.
  3. Cover the grill and cook the chicken for 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165°F in the breast area and 180°F in the thigh.
  4. Brush with the Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce during the final 40 minutes of the cooking time.
  5. Remove it carefully to a platter, holding the can with tongs. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.  Serve with extra Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce as a dipping sauce.

NOTE: When removing the chicken from the grate, be careful not to spill the contents of the Chicken Sitter, as it will be very hot.


Elizabeth Karmel's Angled BBQ Brush

Elizabeth Karmel’s Angled BBQ Brush

Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce

©2015 Elizabeth Karmel

Note: Use indirect heat for any food that takes longer than 15-20 minutes to cook—this includes all bone-in pieces of meat.

Uses: beer-can chicken, chicken thighs or chicken quarters, chicken tenders, boneless, skinless chicken breasts; duck, grilled shrimp, skirt steak

Makes about 1 ½ cups

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter, preferably natural—no sugar added
  • 4 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 4  cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2  Tbsp honey
  • 1  Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1  Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1  tsp ground dried rosemary
  • 1  tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • ½  tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    1. Place peanut butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over low heat. Stir occasionally, making sure the peanut butter doesn’t burn. When it is melted, add the garlic, honey, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, rosemary, paprika and red pepper flakes.

Whisk together and heat on a low flame for about 1 minute as the sauce comes together. Remove from heat and cover.



The Baking Bible – The Newest Cookbook from Rose Levy Beranbaum, and Rose’s Specialty Bakeware

The Baking BIble By Rose Levy Beranbaum

The Baking BIble By Rose Levy Beranbaum

The latest and most comprehensive baking book yet from best-selling author and “diva of desserts” Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Legendary baker Rose Levy Beranbaum is back with her most extensive “bible” yet. With all-new recipes for the best cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, candies, pastries, breads, and more, this magnum opus draws from Rose’s passion and expertise in every category of baking. As is to be expected from the woman who’s been called “the most meticulous cook who ever lived,” each sumptuous recipe is truly foolproof—with detail-oriented instructions that eliminate guesswork, “plan-aheads,” ingenious tips, and highlights for success. From simple everyday crowd-pleasers (Coffee Crumb Cake Muffins, Gingersnaps, Gooseberry Crisp) to show-stopping stunners (Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Tart, Mango Bango Cheesecake, White Christmas Peppermint Cake) to bakery-style pastries developed for the home kitchen (the famous French Kouign Amann), every recipe proves that delicious perfection is within reach for any baker. The Baking Bible will soon be available in fine kitchen shops nationwide.

The Baking Bible is all of Rose’s best work under one cover. Photographer Ben Fink has created a poetic masterpiece video, using the still photographs he shot from the book. An amazing collection of images woven into a moving collage of magical beauty. 


If you’d like to meet Rose, see her national book signing tour dates here.

Harold Import Co. and Rose Levy Beranbaum have a long-standing relationship, and have co-designed Rose’s Specialty Bakeware products.  HIC has teamed up with several bloggers to show how recipes from The Baking Bible can be made using Rose’s Specialty Bakeware; each blog post below features a recipe from The Baking Bible, paired with one of Rose’s Specialty Bakeware items. These products can be found in kitchen shops nationwide, and on Rose’s website.

From the blog Cookistry:  Rose’s White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Mousseline from pg. 67 of The Baking Bible, baked using Rose’s Silicone Baking Bowl.









From the blog Cindy’s Recipes and Writings: Rose’s Sour Cherry Pie from pg. 200 of The Baking Bible, baked in Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate.

Sour-Cherry-Pie from Cindy's Recipes and Writings

Sour-Cherry-Pie from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings








From the blog The Food Hunter’s Guide to CuisineThe Ischler Cookies from pg. 356 of The Baking Bible, baked using Rose’s Silicone Baking Bowl.

Ischler cookies from The Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine

Ischler cookies from The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine







From the blog Rants from My Crazy KitchenRose’s White Christmas Peppermint Cake from pg. 31 of The Baking Bible, baked using Rose’s Heavenly Cake Strips.

White Christmas Peppermint Cake from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

White Christmas Peppermint Cake from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen









From the blog Mad Rantings of Andrew’s MomRose’s Mud Turtle Pie from pg. 269 of The Baking Bible, baked in Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate.

Turtle Pie from Mad Rantings of Andrew's Mom

Turtle Pie from Mad Rantings of Andrew’s Mom






A luminary in the world of food writing, Rose is a Contributing Editor to Food Arts Magazine where “Rose’s Sugar Bible” (April 2000) received two prestigious awards: The Association of Food Journalists Award for the Best Food Feature in a Magazine and The Jacob’s Creek World Food Award for Best Food Article. She is also a contributor to The Washington Post, Fine Cooking, Bride’s, Reader’s Digest, and Hemispheres. Rose has been inducted into the James Beard Foundation/D’Artagnon Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

Contributed by Nicole Herman, of HIC.

C-CAP of Chicago’s Annual Cooking Competition in Pictures

Culinary Futures Chicago

Culinary Futures Chicago

The Chicago area Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) held it’s annual Cooking Competition for Scholarships, on Saturday, April 5th, 2014. This event is the culmination of the C-CAP high school program for underserved teenagers at risk of leaving high school without job or college prospects. The C-CAP program offers direction, a set of useful skills, scholarships and the potential for a fulfilling career in a growing industry. Scholarship dollars are raised in part, by Culinary Futures Events, (learn more here) proudly sponsored by Harold Import Co., Chicago Public Schools, Aramark, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois, DKB, Talisman Designs, and Fletcher’s Mill. If you’d like to learn more about becoming involved as a sponsor, please contact Culinary Futures here.

Tori Soper photographed this year’s competition. See her event coverage and beautiful photos HERE.

Connect with C-CAP Chicago on the Culinary Futures – Chicago Facebook Page.

Chefs of EaT: An Oyster Bar Put HIC’s Mortar & Pestle and French Beechwood Utensils to the Test

Our friends Tobias Hogan and Ethan Powell, the creative team of EaT: An Oyster Bar, in Portland, Oregon, have been busy making delicious winter drinks and dishes, a perfect welcome for their guests as they pop in to escape the chilly Northwest winter.

HIC's Marble Mortar & Pestle Used at EaT: An Oyster Bar to Crush Herbs

HIC’s Marble Mortar & Pestle Used at EaT: An Oyster Bar to Crush Herbs

They’ve been using HIC’s little mortar and pestle to crush herbs they use at the bar for some of their house made syrups. Here, Tobias crushed up green cardamom for a cranberry syrup to put in their drink called “A Long Bright Winter” made with the syrup, a little Combier orange liqueur, dash of orange bitters, topped with sparkling wine and an orange twist.

Braise of Rabbit with HIC's French Beechwood Spoon

Braise of Rabbit at EaT: An Oyster Bar with HIC’s French Beechwood Spoon

Here we have a braise of rabbit for a roulade Tobias is making as part of a dinner with R. Stuart Winery, a multi day process. HIC’s French Beechwood Spoons help scrape up the “suc” (juice) to create a “fond” (the tasty brown bits that build in your pan from cooking meat and vegetables) which builds complexity of flavor.

Learn more about Tobias and Ethan here, or say hello on their Facebook Page.

Interested in HIC kitchenware for your restaurant or home? Contact Us.

Contributed by Nicole H., of HIC, Harold Import Co.

Ethan Powell and Tobias Hogan – the Northwest Duo Behind EaT: An Oyster Bar & The Parish

As HIC, Harold Import Co. grows in the food service and restaurant supply industry, we see our products benefiting chefs across the country. Recently we spoke with two dynamic chefs that have been using unique smallwares to make their dishes stand out. Ethan Powell and Tobias Hogan opened EaT: An Oyster Bar, offering “A little bit of the dirty south right here in the Northwest” in 2008 and later The Parish, an upscale Cajun and Creole concept in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon, working direct with small family run farms to source their ingredients. They journey to estuaries from Northern California all the way up to South Western Canada to source oysters with flavor profiles unique to their habitat.

HIC is thrilled to see Ethan and Tobias work with many of our products such as our Porcelain Oyster Plate to display their beautiful dishes and HIC Essentials Silicone Spatulas to appropriately taste and develop their sauces. We’re excited to see them grow and be a part of their experience. If you’re an oyster connoisseur, with an interest in an establishment that values supporting local producers, you just might want to put EaT: An Oyster Bar and The Parish on your bucket list.

Oysters Served by Ethan and Tobias at FEAST Portland, a Northwest Culinary Event. Porcelain Oyster Plater Made by HIC.

Oysters Served at FEAST Portland, a Northwest Culinary Event. Porcelain Oyster Plater Made by HIC.

The Interview – Getting to Know Ethan and Tobias

Nicole Herman, of HIC: Let me start by thanking you for taking the time to share with me. I think our readers are really going to enjoy meeting you and learning about your experience. Let’s start by learning more about you and how you became involved with cooking.

N: When did you first know you wanted to be a chef?

Tobias: When I was a kid, I used to cook meals for the family and I was always in the kitchen with my Great Grandmother and my Grandmother cooking instead of the den with the rest of the guys watching football. I guess it was always in me I just didn’t realize it until the late ’90’s.

Ethan: I used to cook for my family on Tuesday night in elementary school. It consisted of slice pickles, tomatoes and sliced Kraft cheddar for appetizers, beef stroganoff Hamburger Helper for entree, and angel food cake with Cool whip for dessert. I was 8. I guess about that time.

N: Who or what has been the most influential factor in your life, personally and professionally?

Tobias: I’m always thinking about Nona (Great Grandmother) and my Grandmother when I’m working on new recipes. Professionally my business partner Ethan is very influential.

Ethan Powell

Ethan Powell, Oyster Shucking

Ethan: Personally my parents have been the most influential in my life. They gave me every opportunity to do what I wanted to do in my youth. Professionally, Jels Mcauley I worked for in the NYC and in Portland, OR. I worked for him longer than anyone else in my career. He also gave me the opportunity to run the busiest kitchen in the busiest restaurant in Portland at Andina Restaurant. That was a wonderful learning experience.

N: What is your favorite meal to make and to eat?

Ethan: Ceviche for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Peruvian style and this is important. Take fresh Ono, fresh squeezed key lime juice, habanero, red onion, cilantro, really cold distilled water, and salt. Make the leche de tigre first and it marinates only for a few minutes. Serve with roasted yams and fresh corn.

Tobias: I really enjoy making fresh pasta and sauce when I can carve out the time I bake bread as well. It’s probably the meal that’s most soul satisfying for me and I find myself cooking for most big events in life.

N: Where were you raised? Does that have an impact on your cooking style today?

Ethan: I was raised in Texarkana, Arkansas. It borders Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. I do Southern food so yes it has an effect on my cooking style and my pallet.

Tobias: I grew up in Eugene, Oregon but I don’t feel like that has any impact on my cooking. I feel like the way my mother raised me has more impact on my cooking than where i was raised. She was very good about using raw ingredients in all of our cooking at home and we always had a garden so I’ve always used fresh ingredients because we didn’t have processed food in our household.

N: What is your cooking philosophy?

Tobias: Simple, don’t try to make things too complicated, let the ingredients show through.

Ethan: I believe in big, bold, and balanced flavor and utilization of the entire product. The insides of the animal taste the best.

N: I know that supporting local producers is important for you. Do you find that supporting local growers is catching on in and outside of Portland?

Ethan: I think the Portland area is the leader when it comes to local, organic, and sustainable. There are hundreds of small farms in the Portland metro area alone. I believe this is the direction the country is going. Some areas will be a little slower to catch on however.

Viridian Farms

A tour at the local Viridian Farms in Dayton, Oregon

Tobias: It certainly is important to us at the restaurant and in Portland overall. When my girlfriend and I are traveling through France and Spain we love to stop at rest stops along the motorways, that’s where you find a lot of cool stuff, regional products. That’s the way I feel we’re heading and it’s great. People are starting to take real pride in their regions around the country. We were just visiting some family in the mid-west and all we heard from the restaurants was about what farm this or that was coming from. I feel the local grower producer thing is really the new trend, and that’s amazing!

N: What do you see are the biggest challenges chefs face when trying to support local growers?

Tobias: Prices. It’s still very difficult to pay some of the prices these local growers are demanding. It’s one thing to load up at the farmer’s market and head home to cook dinner than it is to make something at the restaurant when you still have to make your margins to stay open. There’s price resistance from the consumer who is still getting pummeled by Applebee’s selling “local” or “organic” food for $11 an entree that’s big enough to take home an additional portion. These farmers are growing amazing product and they deserve to be paid for it but the consumer is putting huge pressures on the restaurant for pricing.

Ethan: When using small farms you are working with really small businesses, some of these with only one employee, so they tend to be less efficient than some really large purveyors. They also work on smaller economies of scale so the prices tend to be higher. That being said you are almost always getting a better product. Some do delivery and some don’t which can sometimes be a logistical issue. However, supporting a local small business is a win-win in my book. (Pictures from a trip to Hama Hama Oysters on the Olympic Peninsula.)

N: What ingredients are you enjoying experimenting with right now?

Tobias: Right now Ethan just picked up these tiny Spaghetti squash from a farm in Forest Grove that are fantastic. We’re roasting them and scooping out the meat, and serving it back in the shell with an heirloom tomato sauce, it’s delicious.



Ethan: Chilies. We have been fermented chilies for hot sauce for a while now. They are all given to us by one of our farms. They ferment in salt and get really stinky for 2 months. Then we strain and bottle. When all is done you have a hot sauce with a delicious and unique flavor full of healthy pro-biotics. We give a third back to the farm and they sell them at a farmers market.

N: Are there unique tools that you rely on in the kitchen?

Tobias: Obviously we have a lot of tools in the kitchen but good spoons and tongs are so important and often overlooked. When you have a really good spoon that you can use for saucing a dish it makes a big difference in speed and accuracy.

Ethan and Tobias' Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Prepared for the FEAST Portland Food Festival. HIC Essentials Silicone Spatula Used to Prepare.

Ethan and Tobias’ Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Prepared for the FEAST Portland Food Festival. HIC Essentials Silicone Spatula Used to Prepare.

Ethan: Sharp chefs knife is a must. Also Japanese mandolin and spoons. Tongs are great also.

Oysters Spotted on a Trip Through France

Oysters Spotted on a Trip Through France

N: Are there any tasks that you haven’t found a perfect tool for? (If you could invent a perfect kitchen tool, what would it do for you?)

Ethan: An oyster opener. They come in all shapes and sizes so a uniform opener doesn’t exist

Tobias: Wow, that’s a good question. If I could invent the perfect kitchen tool I guess I’d sell it to Harold Import to market. We’re still working on that one; we haven’t found a task that good knife skills can’t handle yet. Tobias Hogan teaches us how to shuck an oyster.

N: Do you have favorite cookbooks or kitchen tool that you would recommend every home cook own and why?

Tobias: I would say that every home cook needs a good Mandolin, it can make things a lot easier. Also, a lot of people just have regular old knives, I think that everyone should invest in a couple of good knives at least, again it make things a lot easier. We have so many cookbooks at home it’s hard to recommend a good one for everyone, some of our favorites are French books we’ve picked up traveling. One of my girlfriends favorite is from the ’70’s and has an entire section on flaming foods, it’s awesome! We’re having a party in January where everyone coming has to cook something from the flaming section!

Ethan: Again a sharp knife and books that teach technique. If you are at home how do you learn technique without studying?

N: What was the last meal you ate? 

Tobias: As with many of my colleagues, the last meal I ate was on the couch last night at 10:30 p.m. I took home a new addition to the dinner menu at The Parish, Wild Boar Gumbo with Wild Boar Sausage. It was delicious!

Ethan: House made Chaurice ( a spicy fresh pork sausage) with oven roasted broccoli, kale, brown rice and some fermented hot sauce. It was goood!!!


You can enjoy locally sourced oysters and the Cajun and Creole creations of Ethan Powell and Tobias Hogan at EaT: An Oyster Bar, and The Parish, in Portland, Oregon. If you don’t live in the area, enjoy tuning in to their culinary adventures and local sourcing journeys on their Facebook page.

Ethan and Tobias’ approach and energy is so genuine, and their medium – the freshest Oysters, along side Cajun and Creole cooking – is close to my heart. Raised on the Gulf Coast, fire-roasted oysters on the half shell became my first semi-solid food. Dad would build a barbecue from a metal drum cut in half lengthwise, with wire covering the opening to make a surface to hold the shellfish, spreading buckets of shrimp, crab, and oysters, over the top. Neighborhood friends would gather with us to enjoy this feast; consuming fresh shellfish sitting at papered picnic tables, the sweet juices running down to our elbows.

Interested in learning more about HIC? We’d love to speak with you. For Customer, wholesale, or press inquiries, please reach us here. Or, shoot us a note via Facebook.

Contributed by Nicole Herman, of HIC, Harold Import Co.