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Sunday, May 22, 2011

“Kitchen Nobility—the Saucier, Pt. VII”

The group we are going to next offer is the Youngbloods, a classic band that was originally composed of four members but quickly became three: Jesse Colin Young, Banana (Lowell Levninger III), and Joe Bauer, bass, guitar, and drums respectively.  Jerry Corbitt was the fourth member but left after the first album came out. The first album, “The Youngbloods,” came out in 1967 and featured Dino Valenti’s anthem, “Get Together,” which at first, was not successful but then when it was re-released in 1969, became the hippie anthem of anthems.  This is a great first offering and features both “Get Together” and “Grizzly Bear” which is a fun tune.  Please take the convenient link to Amazon.com and buy this stellar album; you won’t be disappointed!  Thanks, the Elemental News of the Day.

Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 579 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!


                                                   STINKBUG 2011


END Commentary 05-23-2011
Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions
Word Count: 2,506

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Monday, May 23, 2011 by Stinkbug
Kitchen Nobility—the Saucier, Pt. VII
Bakersfield, CA, 05-23-2011 M:  You know, it’s been a bit cold lately and McFarland is no different than anywhere else!  This is such a nice little town, a place our band, the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, played back in 1976 and had a disastrous outing there.  The crowd wanted a soul review and we showed up and rocked the place out and they booed us like we were nothing but bums.  Yes, it was an embarrassing experience but these things do, indeed, happen, I can assure you.  What’s interesting to note is that this place is still as crappy in appearance as it was thirty-plus years ago.  Trash in the streets, winos staggering around, cops arresting people right and left, and yet, we still found time to go out and hit the bars and hang out with the local color! We went to the various dives and before long, we were too blitzed to find our way home so we ended up down on skid row and in a bar where everyone was listening to Mexican music and speaking in Spanish.  Oh, well, we got into the mood and spent the night hanging out with the folks!  
Well, let’s see, we’re supposed to be working on sauces I believe, right? I forget sometimes given what it is we’re doing down here.  I haven’t been sober in three weeks or so, so you have to forgive me my lapses of memory.  Sometimes, I cannot even remember the names of my kids, my ex-wives, or my siblings. Someone told me that too much alcohol can be a problem but I cannot understand how that can be, right? I started to drink when I was ten years old, my father gave me my first beer at a backyard barbeque and I think he thought it was funny but I snuck off and drank the entire thing and man, did I feel good. I think it was a Hamms or an Oly but it was a full king size can and little did I know what it was going to do to me.  I disappeared for the rest of the afternoon until my dad found me passed out in the bushes behind the garbage cans.  Of course he denied what had happened when my mom said what the hell was going on so not only did I get sick, I also got grounded thanks to my dad.
I went to work in foodservice at the age of 13 bussing tables on the weekends so I could buy a musical instrument to get into a band and when I was bussing tables at banquets, I used to drink the leftover wine in the wine glasses on the table as we cleaned the banquet rooms up.  I used to be so lit but I learned how to hold my liquor and the cooks always helped me out with more when they could so it was natural that I asked the chef to let me cook which he happily did. Like Brian (Carrick), I ended up working a graveyard shift and it was there that I began to meet some of my first girlfriends and some of my best buds like the Chuckster, Brother Skeezix, and Goldie.  Times were good and we always spent our days off smoking reefer and drinking beer to the point that if I didn’t do that, I felt sick. What does that tell you, eh?
Well, where were we, my beloved friends? We were going to talk about hollandaise, one of the most difficult sauces to make at the drop of a hat, it has to be a labor of love and that means that one has to remain sober enough to put together an interesting blog, well, that is the price we must pay!  So, today, I am in between, I am drinking coffee so I can explain how hollandaise sauce is made and to inform you about all of its numerous companions.  There are many, many more than just the original one so you had better pay attention, we might have a quiz at the end of the series and give away a new PT Cruiser or something! Of course, you would have to pick it up in Buenos Aires or someplace like that!
     Now we come to a group of sauces that are more difficult to explain and to prepare the uninitiated for. For me, they’re simple and if I have to, I can bang out 4-6 quarts in a fairly fast time although I don’t like doing it. Heck, I’d rather buy the Knorr-Suisse mix but if the chef wants it, he’s going to get it.
     Hollandaise is an emulsion based on egg yolks, acidity and melted drawn butter. It is a difficult idea but if you combine egg yolks with lemon juice or vinegar and whisk them over a heat source you’ll see them gradually thicken. If you go too far, you’ll end up with scrambled yolk but if you stop at just the right moment and begin whisking in melted drawn butter you’ll get a lovely foundation upon which to create a sauce.
     I have made hollandaise’s out of everything imaginable, from the traditional to pineapple, mango, blood orange, persimmon, blueberry, and coconut, whatever. In fact, I’ve never met one I could not do. Maybe, one of these days I’ll get some black squid ink and do a black hollandaise for Halloween... you, know, I am the greatest!
     Anyhow, here we go. Before I give you the basic sauce we’re going to use for the rest of our lives, let me tell you about the 2 cooking methods available to us: first, there is open flame and second, there is steam which I prefer. When I worked at Arnie’s in Washington state, the great Executive Sous Chef Mr. James Abbott used to bang out a gallon every night just whisking them over open flame without ever losing them and using a thin-metal bowl to do it in, no less. (Yeah, I know, he’s greater than me, what can I say, a damned good friend, no less...).
     Me, I’ve always gone for a pot of water on the stove just below a boil so there’s steam but no ACTUAL roiling water. I want a bowl that will sit inside the pot but not all the way in the pot and definitely not touching the water, JUST ABOVE IT! So, I find just the right bowl that’s going to sit comfortably around the upper circumference of the pot. And now, the recipe:
Yield:     about     3 cups____ (for big batches, BUY IT!!!!!)___
About 10-12 minutes:

Egg yolks
Cold water
Lemon juice
Warm drawn butter
Kosher salt
Cayenne pepper
Straight sherry

    1. Scramble the yolks with cold water in the bowl you’ve chosen. Place it over the steaming pot. Hold it so with one hand that the bowl is just above the water and with the other, begin whisking and don’t stop.
     2. At first, it will look like liquid as you whisk but then you’ll notice that it’s expanding and getting a little bit foamy. KEEP WATCH ON THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL NOW! 
     3. As you continue whisking, you’ll see that it is beginning to solidify and as soon as you see it showing the signs of scrambling, you pull it out of the pot immediately but all the while continuing to whisk furiously in order to homogenize it and prevent any damage from being done. Whisk in the lemju now.
     4. When it appears smooth, place the metal bowl inside a china bowl with a towel laid across it to keep it from slipping. Now, with one hand whisking constantly, begin to dribble the drawn butter in along the sides of the bowl using a ladle. Every time it shows that there’s too much liquid in the bowl and the yolks can’t handle it, STOP AND WAIT UNTIL THEY CAN! DO NOT RUSH THIS PROCESS! And if the yolks seem like they’ve had enough butter, don’t force them to take any more.
     5. When you have a light, velvety sauce, add the remaining ingredients and congratulate yourself on your luck. If you do this all the time, that’s cool, you’re OK, too. If your sauce begins to thicken on you during the evening, just whisk in a little bit of hot water until you get the desired texture. You can do this several times during the night.
     Now the big problem with sauces of the Hollandaise family is holding temperature. Technically, anything in the danger zone (above 45 F and below 145 F is considered dangerous. But, you cannot hold these sauces at the temp because the heat will break the emulsion. Therefore, we set them close to the steam table to try to keep them warm and make more during the night as we can but that is not always easy. I’m telling you this just so that you as a consumer in the public know what’s up.
     It’s for sure that you’re safe at banquets and places that don’t have anybody smart enough to make them like at chain-eateries. You only have to watch out at the country clubs and the fancy joints.
     At this time, we’ll discuss the members of the family as well as how to make the other, tropical ones I’ve mentioned before. There also is a Sauce Batarde that is known as “The Mock Hollandaise Sauce” which we’ll touch on.
     To the above recipe, add 1 TB of dry tarragon reduced in a 1/2 cup of sherry. This is a good, multi-purpose sauce.
     To 1-1/2 c prepared hollandaise, blend in 1/2 c of reduced heavy cream thereby enriching it as well as giving a little bit of body. This sauce is good for tender seafood dishes such as poached items as well as for vegetables such as asparagus.

     To 1-1/2 cups hollandaise sauce, blend in 3 stiffly beaten egg whites (meringue) which will give the sauce embodiment and lightness. Use this sauce for fish, soufflés, and vegetables such as asparagus and egg dishes like Eggs Sardu.
     Prepare your hollandaise the same as your basic but instead sub in OJ, OZ, and some form of orange-flavored liqueur. This sauce is one I employ as a fish topping as you will see later on in the section of menu ideas.
     Prepare hollandaise sauce as you normally would and then add in freshly chopped mint reduced in alcohol like Béarnaise sauce.
     Prepare your hollandaise in the same manner but instead sub in limeju and LZ.
     Flavor a hollandaise sauce with highly reduced fish fume for use in seafood dishes.
     Flavor a Béarnaise sauce with tomato paste. Season with more salt and pepper if need be to bring out the flavor.
     Sauce Colbert (“pronounced “col-BEAR”) is a béarnaise sauce that’s enriched with meat drippings that are reduced. Use for meat dishes such as braised beef or veal, steaks, and lamb or any other meat dishes that you think would be benefited by it.
     Simone is an onion-flavored béarnaise that is also flavored with herbs to give it a rustic flavoring that is just right for any kind of meat.
     Sauce Italiene is a sauce Choron with fines herbs (fine herbs of your choice) and garlic oil.
     And now, how about some new classics: when I went to Maui, I began to be influenced by the things growing around me as well as the people. The restaurant industry there is driven by tourism which in my humble opinion would account for at least 80% of the food service business there.
     So, we had Germans, Japanese, Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and whatever else visiting at almost all times of the year as Hawaii was a perpetual vacation destination. We who lived there always had a laugh at the tourists’ expense when they came too early or came too late and had their visit hampered by our rainy season.
     Well, as a Chef at my new job, The Waterfront in Ma’a’laea harbor, I began to catch on quickly. If they could serve drinks with parasols and all kinds of other crap sticking out of them, I’d better make the food unique and wonderful, too. If guys came to my back door every day with fish they’d caught that I had never seen before in my life and I bought, and I butchered, and I put on the menu every night, the food and the SAUCES had to be great!
     I consider myself to be one of the innovators of Hawaiian fruit salsa which after I introduced them at the Waterfront rapidly spread to all restaurants from Lahaina to Kihei, and from Kahalui to Upcountry. My new hollandaises flavored with island ingredients went over well, too, every night I got rave reviews.
So here and now, I’ll share with you the secrets of modern-day hollandaises, whether I created them in Hawaii or in Washington, whatever I made is good and continues to be good to this day. I only wish I’d taken patents out on them!
Well, that’s it for today, my friends; tomorrow, we’ll pick it back up with Gourmet Hollandaise Sauces, a real treat!  Be sure to be here as we’re almost caught up with our backlog of blogs due to our long-term vacation.  I expect us to be back on schedule within 1-2 days so we appreciate your patience as we get all of this taken care of. Have a great day and remember to keep boozing!  Life is much too short and chefs must maintain their traditional roles in the society in which they serve the public.
Thank you!
American Bakers’ Association, ACF, CWC

END Commentary for Monday, May 23, 2011 by “Stinkbug
Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.
This excellent original essay was authored by the one-and-only Stinkbug.
“Stinky” of the Elemental News of the Day for the best of the news, politics, sports, foodservice, hotel and restaurant business, the end times, the end of days, the apocalypse, armageddon, and whatever else happens to pop up!


This is #1216, an 11” x 14" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, "Mallards in Autumn." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!
Web Pictures I

This is a photo of Brian Carrick behind his Rodgers Drum Kit on 04-23-1977 at a live performance of the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers.  A gifted musician, he also had a set of pipes on him that rivaled Robin Zander's of Cheap Trick.

Bassist Victor Gaona shows the girls what it's all about: he's a stud. Vic always had all the girls and to the rest of us, had at least a 20:1 edge on the rest of the band. What a guy. Help us find Vic!

This is another photo of guitarist Jimmy Hall at the mike on 05-13-1977 at a gig in Bakersfield, California.

This is a photo of the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers on 05-28-1977 at the Holiday Inn. From left to right is guitarist Jimmy Hall, drummer Brian Carrick, guitarist and vocalist Vernon McMahon, and bassist Victor Gaona.

This is a shot of guitarist Randall Kyles on 08-21-1976 at a rehearsal of the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers at Shamrock in Bakersfield, California, the band's rehearsal hall and Stinkbug's home.

This is a shot of Victor Gaona playing his Fender bass on 04-23-1977 at a live gig featuring the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers.

This is a shot of Vernon McMahon on 04-23-1977 at a live gig in Bakersfield, California fronting the Magnolia Hilltop Brewers Vernon was a talented musician, songwriter, and vocalist and always got the jobs for the band.

This is a shot of Brian Carrick's famed Rodgers Drum Kit set-up at Shamrock, the band's rehearsal hall and home.

Chef Brian Carrick in Bakersfield in 1980 on the way to his Executive Chef's position at the famed Freddie's Top of the Hill in the northeast of the city. He was there for two years before going to the Stockdale Country Club.                                                                  


Magnolia Hilltop Brewers and What's Cookin' Productions Trademark of Quality and Symbol of Integrity. Copyright 04-26-2011, all rights reserved. No unauthorized reproductions of any of this material are permissible unless granted by written permission. Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.



                                                         Chef Stinkbug in 2009                                                                         

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