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In the Zone

Posted: Friday, Feb. 01, 2013

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

Chef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including designing and developing his all-grilled restaurant concepts, a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers and competed in the Iron Fork competition both years. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season.For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple approach directed toward the home-cook/viewer.His feature on Rising began in August of 2007, and since has become the most anticipated part of the show. During that time Troy has prepare over one thousand of his creative original recipes live on-air and has made several cooking appearances on the night time show, WCCB News Edge. Chef Troy teamed up with The Fresh Market as a sponsor for “Troy’s Everyday Eats" in April of 2011. Troy shops each week at The Fresh Market for the ingredients used on the show, he says, "The Fresh Market sponsorship is something I have pursued for a long time. I love shopping at their markets because everything is always so fresh. They have a large variety of organic and sustainable food options. As a consumer and chef, I couldn't ask for anything more". Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

Here are a few recipes for the big game, or for any party that deserves something a little more than normal. For more great recipe ideas from Chef Troy visit www.cheftroy.net; and tune in every Tuesday to watch his live cooking show on Fox News Rising 7-9 am on Fox Charlotte. To watch the video of these recipes visit Tuesdays with Troy.

Whiskey Onion and Crab Cornbread Fritter Balls

Fritter Balls
• 6 Ounces-Crab Meat-claw or back fin
• ¼ Cup-Yellow onions (cut into half moons)
• 1/2 Tablespoon-Unsalted Butter
• 1/2 Tablespoon-Brown Sugar
• 1/4 Teaspoon-Kosher Salt
• 1/8 Teaspoon-Cayenne Pepper
• 1/4Cup-Jack Daniels Whiskey- black label

Corn Bread
• 1/2 Cup-Yellow Corn Meal
• 1/2 Cup-All Purpose Flour
• 1 Tablespoon-Baking Powder
• 1/2 Teaspoon-Baking Soda
• 1/2 Teaspoon-Kosher Salt
• 1/4 Teaspoon-Black Pepper
• 6 Ounces-Buttermilk
• 2 Each-Large Egg
• 2 Tablespoon-Unsalted Butter-melted

Directions
1. Preheat a large sauté pan or stock pot on medium high heat.
2. Melt butter and add onions, salt, brown sugar and cayenne pepper.
3. Continue to cook onions until reduce by half their size, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. When pan is almost dry add whiskey and reduce heat to very low heat.
5. Continue to stir and cook onions until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
6. Allow to cool slightly and chop fine.
7. Preheat a deep fat fryer to 360 degrees
8. In a large mixing bowl combine corn meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and black pepper.
9. In a separate bowl combine milk, butter and egg.
10. Slowly add milk/egg mixture to dry ingredients while mixing together.
11. Add whiskey onions to corn bread mixture along with crab and fold together with a rubber spatula
12. Using a 2 ounce portion scoop or a spoon begin gently dropping cornbread mixture fryer.
13. Fry in batches until golden brown, flipping during once.
14. Drain on paper towel lined plate and serve.

Fried Pimento Cheese Stuffed Risotto Balls

Makes about 10

Risotto
• 4 Cups-Cooked Risotto-cooled, or leftover rice
• 2 Tablespoons-Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley-leaves only, chopped fine
• 1 Tablespoon-Crushed Red Pepper
• 1 Each-Egg

Pimento Cheese
• 1 Cup-Sharp Cheddar Cheese-grated
• 1 Cup-Pepper Jack Cheese-grated
• 3/4 Cup-Mayonnaise
• 2 Each-Green Onion-ends removed, sliced thin
• 3 Tablespoons-Pimentos-chopped

Breading
• 2 Cups-Flour
• 4 Each-Eggs-beaten
• 3 to 4 Cups-Panko Breadcrumbs
• 1 ½ Quart-Canola Oil

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