John has been private cheffing on the upper east side of Manhattan. His process usually involves multiple phone calls between us in which we try and hash out the dietary needs of the client as well as how far can we push expectations in our discoveries and experimentation with people and food. This amounts to what we have found to be not additions or multiple random ingredients thrown together but subtractions or reductions to the simplest forms of flavors, textures and colors... A great example of this is John wanted to make a cookie with semolina flour, I found an elegant Italian recipe made with almond meal and semolina flour, brown sugar and butter, just that simple. This worked perfect for his client. However the greater success happened when after visiting the Amish farms last year we came across an outstanding hand ground toasted cornmeal and needing another cookie for our vegan cookie selections we decided to adapt the Italian recipe by substituting the semolina with this toasted cornmeal and the butter with vegetable oil... here is the recipe...
4 oz non hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup corn meal (I use hand ground toasted corn meal)
1/4 cup ground almonds
Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in flour and mix well. Add the cornmeal and ground almonds and mix to a firm and smooth dough. Pinch balls of dough, roll them into spheres, place on a lined or greased baking tray and then flatten each ball with a fork.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown.