Posts Tagged ‘Cook’

Honey Dijon Farro Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Fontina Cheese, Flat Leaf Parsley

Honey Dijon Farro Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Fontina Cheese, Flat Leaf Parsley

This is how you make a real bacon bowl!

This is how you make a real bacon bowl!

Gruyere and Caramelized Leek Couscous Stuffed Tomato with Porcini Mushrooms and Fennel

Gruyere and Caramelized Leek Couscous Stuffed Tomato with Porcini Mushrooms and Fennel

Arugula and Red Cabbage Salad with Maple Vinegrette, Roasted Pears, Caramelized Pearl Onions, Candied Walnuts, and Cheddar Chip

Arugula and Red Cabbage Salad with Maple Vinegrette, Roasted Pears, Caramelized Pearl Onions, Candied Walnuts, and Cheddar Chip

BACON!!!!!!!!!

BACON!!!!!!!!!

Grano Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Baby Kale, Red Onions, Diced Cherry Tomatoes, and BACON!

Grano Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Baby Kale, Red Onions, Diced Cherry Tomatoes, and BACON!

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Here are some of the things you need to do in order to have a hip and trendy new ‘food show’…

  • Make sure to talk extremely loud even though modern technology allows you to speak at a normal decibel level. Demand peoples attention.  (Thanks Billy Mays)
  • You need to walk around, drive, or take public transportation when traveling to your destination.  Make sure your camera man films you all jerky-like and off center.
  • Make fun of your guest or patrons allowing your ego to shine through to your audience.  You know how to cook their food better than them anyway.
  • Always make weird, loud noises when eating food.  Take gargantuan bites and allow food to drip down your arm.  Everything you eat is always the best ever!
  • Use descriptive words that don’t actually describe what you are eating.  ‘This is an extremely flavorful, super-awesome dish! It is bomb-diggity, monster-delicious, yum-yum food which will make you happy.’ (So what does it taste like?)
  • Let your audience know what the secret ingredients are to spoil the suspense.
  • Dip your unwashed hands into all of the items being prepared…sneezing would be better.
  • Interview all of the patrons who are most likely to give you a standard boring response. (This place is the best in town!)
  • Never discuss the long hours, hard work, low income, and failure rate of restaurants.  Your makeup person will hide the bags under the chefs eyes, and paint a smile on their face.
  • If someone isn’t as outgoing as you, make them feel uncomfortable.
  • If your guest doesn’t have a happy, sad, or funny backstory…don’t have them on the show.
  • Wear inappropriate clothing in the kitchen, such as excess jewelry, flip-flops, baggy cloths, and unbuttoned shirts.  Bring sexy back as well.
  • Don’t ever show anyone cleaning anything.
  • If it is not farm to table, it can’t possibly be good.

Does anyone else have any shenanigans to add???

  • We usually don’t have a ‘favorite’ dish, so stop asking.  We can cook whatever we want, whenever we want, depending on our mood.  What we have a taste for today, might change tomorrow.
  • Please continue to cook for us!  We are not judgmental and will not critique your food if you are doing it for enjoyment.  We didn’t pay to eat at your house so we won’t complain if our steak is overcooked.
  • We are more than happy to help, but don’t expect us to ‘man-the-grill’ every time you invite us over.  If we wanted to cook today, you would be at our house.
  • Cooking with the best and finest ingredients is expensive! Don’t assume we are eating foie gras, truffles, and saffron for every meal.
  • Most chef’s realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and personal taste. Don’t be afraid to tell us what foods you like, or DON’T like.
  • Some chefs cook ALL day and ALL night at work…we don’t ALWAYS cook at home.
  • Our specialty is knowing how to cook.  Don’t assume that a BBQ chef from the south doesn’t know how to cook classical French cuisine.
  • This amazing thing called the internet has a wealth of knowledge about food, cooking, and technique.  Feel free to use it instead of asking us.
  • We can clean stains out of white cloths, and wash dishes & floors much better than you.
  • I would give you the recipe, but we don’t use them. (Excluding bakers!)

Do you have any to add???

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Here are a few key items that can upgrade your cooking skills from amateur to PRO status:

•Mandoline – You can slice, dice, and even make french fries.  If you think a chef is spending time slicing that radish paper thin for your salad, you are mistaken.  If you need to get a perfect dice, or baton even, start with a mandoline slice, then finish with a chefs knife.  Need to sliced potatoes for a gratin…the mandoline is your best bet.

•Blender – I want to make an ‘xyz’ puree…BLENDER.  I want to whip up a vinaigrette or mayonnaise from scratch…BLENDER.  I feel like a pistachio cilantro pesto on my salmon…BLENDER.  I love cream of broccoli soup…BLENDER…blender.

Stand Mixer – No matter what brand you prefer, you can whip, blend, fold, kneed, grind and stuff all with the same piece of equipment. Multi-tasking at its finest, in some case you can set it…AAANNNDDD?

Ice – Being a master with something as simple as ice can make your ingredient prep. pro level.  In a fast, high volume restaurant, do you think they are always cooking your risotto or pasta from raw product to order?  Do you think every batch of sauce is cooked and held hot? Nothing helps with speed, and quality control than cooking and cooling food items in an ice bath.  Perfect for vegetables when wanting to keep a bright green color with a tender mouthfeel.  Holding foods hot changes its color, flavor, and appearance.  Cooling hot foods fast to refrigerated temperatures is also a food safety bonus!

Silpat – The most non-sticky bulletproof pan liner you can find.  It will hold up to high over temperatures, melted sugar and will keep coming back for more.  Baked goods don’t stand a chance, and neither does anything else for that matter.

•Strainer/cheese cloth combo – A chinois is also acceptable, but if you ever wondered how a chefs sauce or soup is nice and smooth with no lumps or grittiness, its because the strain out the bad stuff.  Is your gravy or cheese sauce a little to chunky?  Toss it into a strainer with a few layers of cheese cloth and save the day.

What are some of your favorite cooking tools that make you feel pro???

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We in the food industry love to figure out the best way to sell a product with a romance description, crisp food photography, and innovative packaging, because these are all the things that affect what you buy, before you have a chance to eat it.  However, there is always a bit of trickery in this process.  This could be hand placed fresh ingredients for the photo, an exaggeration of the flavor profile, and my personal favorite, playing with the standard of identity.

For instance, to call something ‘Greek yogurt,’ it’s traditionally a strained yogurt made with Greek milk with a high protein content, and thicker consistency with less sugar than standard yogurt.  This is the standard of identity which must be submitted and regulated before a product can be labeled as ‘Greek yogurt’.  You can throw all of that our the door if you label it as ‘Greek-style yogurt’.  Now you can add thickening agents, flavors, or other dairy products to have a final yogurt that tastes LIKE Greek yogurt, without having it produced in the standard way. Shenanigans.

There are many examples of this in both foodservice and retail establishments.  Andouille-style sausage, firebaked style flatbreads…the list goes on.  Whenever there is a a regulation in place for a product description, using the word ‘style’ gives us a little leeway.  If you are looking for traditional products or ingredients, avoid items labeled as ‘yada-style yada’.  The advantage of incorporating the word ‘style’ is that the product is usually at a better price point, last longer, better organoleptic properties over shelf-life, and it some cases, consumers aren’t concerned if it is authentic.  I am not saying either is right or wrong, just make sure you know what you are looking for.

There are also food items that have NO standard of identity, which then can use whatever they so desire as a descriptor.

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What are some of your favorite misleading food terms?

I would like to state right here and now, that I am the originator of the ‘Burger Crusted Steak’.  I used the same burger meat I created yesterday, and packed it around a beef filet, then made magic happen.  This is how you do it…(dun da dun da dun dunnnnnnn):

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First you make your bacon bleu burger mix:

  • 2 pounds of 90/10 ground chuck (90% lean)
  • 1-1/2 pounds raw applewood smoked bacon (pureed in food processor into a paste)
  • 8 ounces gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated garlic

Take a 6 ounce beef filet and flatten it to about 1/2 inch thickness, then season with salt.  Take your ground meat mixture, and liberally pack it around the steak:

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On a grill set to super high, grill for about 5 minutes on each side, turning 90° half way through:

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Place the burger-steak-beast on a small sheet tray, and bake in a 375°F oven for about 6 more minutes to have a nice medium-rare center (you can adjust your cooking time here to your preferred doneness).  Remove from oven and let sit for at least 5 minutes before cutting into this bad boy and having a party in your mouth!

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If  winning was a Bacon Bleu Cheeseburger Crusted Filet…this would be it.  Hopeful this starts a new trend with all the hipster-foodies out there, and I get the occasional shout-out.  \\..//

Bacon.

It is my favorite food group.  In a previous post I used bacon puree to make bacon chips.  I have taken bacon slime to new heights with what I like to call a ‘3B slider’.  I wanted to make the ultimate bacon slider using fresh blended bacon puree seen below. This is 100% real applewood smoked bacon pureed in a food processor.

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For the burger patty, I blended together:

 

  • 2 pounds of 90/10 ground chuck (90% lean)
  • 1-1/2 pounds of bacon puree
  • 8 ounces of Gorgonzola crumbles
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated garlic

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This mixture will be a lot looser than your average ground beef so I think it works best as a slider.  I formed these bad boys into small patties, then cooked them on a SUPER hot grill for about 1 minute and 30 seconds a side.  I assembled them on small dinner rolls with buffalo aioli, 2 hour caramelized onions, green leaf lettuce, and garlic pickle slices:

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Juicy and flavorful doesn’t even begin to describe these little nuggets of joy.  I also recommend cooking them to about medium well (yeah thats right!) to have a super nice crust to the patty.  You have a combo of salty and creamy from the bacon-gorgonzola patty, sweetness from the onions, and heat from the buffalo aioli.  You can thank me later.

Let me know what you use bacon puree in!