Best known as the host for A&E's hit series "Scraps," Joel Gamoran has become one of the nation's most well-known sustainability-focused chefs. In addition to his television show, Gamoran is the national chef for Sur La Table and the author of "Cooking Scrappy." With a passion for reducing food waste by utilizing ingredients that are typically tossed, Gamoran has shown viewers and readers around the world how to turn food scraps into delicious meals, thus reducing ecological footprints one recipe at a time. Gamoran’s passion for fighting food waste stems from his greater commitment to sustainability.
"Using locally grown ingredients is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. I turn to soy-based ingredients because I love the fact that soy is the number one crop produced in America, which means it's in everyone’s backyard, making it super local for anyone and everyone," Gamoran said.
When not hosting "Scraps" or cooking at Sur La Table, Joel stays busy creating delicious recipes that utilize sustainably sourced ingredients. Gamoran's most recent culinary creation is a Matcha Green Tea Beignet. The full recipe for this twist on a French classic is found below. Gamoran explains the importance of using the right oil for the recipe.
"When I fry anything, I don't want to taste the oil. I want to taste the food I'm frying. That's why high oleic soybean oil is the perfect match for these beignets, it lets the matcha flavor shine without competing with or overpowering it," Gamoran notes.
In addition to a neutral flavor profile, high heat stability is an important oil characteristic for chefs. Gamoran explains that flavor and functionality go hand-in-hand.
"Too many fats can't hold up to the temperature that I like to cook on. High oleic soybean oil has such a high smoke point that whether I'm frying the perfectly golden brown beignets, searing a really thick cut of meat or trying to get some color on eggplant, it allows me to do so," he said.
While Gamoran’s initial goal was to bring people together by cooking delicious food, he has evolved to one of the biggest names in the popular zero-waste food movement. As consumers pay more attention to sourcing and sustainability, ingredients like high oleic soybean oil can help meet demand for more sustainable foods.
High oleic soybeans are grown exclusively in the U.S. by farmers who are committed to preserving the land for future generations. In fact, over 95 percent of U.S. soybean producers have collaborated with the USDA to implement conservation programs on their farms. Additionally, the shorter supply chain reduces transportation, thus reducing the carbon footprint.
To learn how sustainably sourced soy can meet your fats & oil needs, visit www.QUALISOY.com/FoodDive.
Matcha Green Tea Beignets
Prep time: 30 minutes
Rising time: 3 hours
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Serving size: 8 to 10
Utensils: Stand mixer, bowl, Dutch oven, spider, thermometer, sifter, measuring cups and spoons, rubber spatula, knife, rolling pin
- 1 ½ cups warm water (about 110°F)
- 1 packet (7 grams, ¼ ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 cup sugar
- 7 cups pastry flour, plus ½ cup for rolling
- 1/3 cup high oleic soybean shortening
- 2 eggs, large or extra-large
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 6 cups high oleic soybean oil
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
- Whisk the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl until combined. Let the mixture sit until it gets foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Pour and scrape into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the pastry flour, high oleic soybean shortening, eggs and salt. Mix on low, using the paddle attachment, until the mixture comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes.
- Coat your palms with a splash of high oleic soybean oil and pull the dough out of the bowl; form into a ball. Place the ball in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 3 hours.
- Dust a clean work surface with the remaining ½ cup flour. Gently ease the risen dough from the bowl onto the floured surface, being careful not to deflate it. Gently roll the dough into a long rectangle that’s about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 3-inch squares, you should get 8 to 10 beignets. Don't worry about being precise. It's okay if they look rustic.
- Heat the high oleic soybean oil in a deep cast iron skillet or Dutch oven to 350°F over medium heat. Carefully lower 3 or 4 beignets into the hot oil, using a slotted spoon. Fry until puffed and golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning them once or twice to ensure even browning.
- Remove with the slotted spoon and drain on several layers of paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- When ready to serve sift powdered sugar over the top and sprinkle the matcha powder over that. Enjoy!