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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

“Appetizers—a Pain in the Ass, Pt. XVII: Crab and Artichoke Dip with Foccacia Cheese Bread—definitely the Best Appetizer I have in my Repertoire”

The Grateful Dead’s thirty-first album, “Infrared Roses,” was released in November 1991 and was a peculiar grouping of all sorts of instrumental interludes that only the Grateful Dead can produce in between songs and sets like the countless variations of “Space.” This album might have been released to meet contractual obligations as it is totally unlike any other Dead alum. Still, we love this album and highly recommend it and think you will be delighted with it so please take the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and buy it now! You won’t be disappointed!  Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.


                                                                                 
Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 450 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!




                                                                                      


                                                   STINKBUG 2011


                                                                            



Chef B. H. “BC” Cznystekinki

END Commentary 09-29-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,303.



CULINARY POLITICS



ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Thursday, September 29, 2011 by Chef B. H. “BC” Cznystekinki

APPETIZERS INDEX, Pt. XVII

 Appetizers—a Pain in the Ass, Pt. XVII: Crab and Artichoke Dip with Foccacia Cheese Bread—definitely the Best Appetizer I have in my Repertoire



Bakersfield, CA, 09-29-2011 Th: I am going to give you the best appetizer that I have in my entire repertoire today: Crab and Artichoke Cheese Dip with Foccacia Parmesan Cheese Bread.  This is a lovely mixture of Dungeness crab meat in a creamy blend of mayonnaise, cream cheese, artichoke hearts, and parmesan cheese bread and it will definitely make you flip head-over-heels.  This was one of the best appetizers I learned how to make in a restaurant in which I was working in Oak Harbor, WA, in the 1990’s and it became a staple of what I took with me to every single job I worked.  Not only is it good as a dip but it also makes a marvelous sandwich if you use Foccacia bread. That recipe will be divulged to you at another time so we can concern ourselves with making just the dip and the bread today.   

 Grocery stores have certainly simplified things nowadays by selling items such as Foccacia bread and fresh parmesan cheese that you can grate at home.  Prior to meeting Foccacia bread in the early 1990’s, I had never seen it before so I have no idea as to whether or not it’s something completely new or was something old that some enterprising chef discovered/uncovered and gave new life to. Either way, I am just glad that all I have to do is to either call my bread purveyor and have delivered to my job or go to the store and pick up a loaf or two for use at home.  I guarantee that once you’ve made and tasted both of these dishes, you will be hooked for life!

CRAB AND ARTICHOKE DIP


Yield: about 1.5-2# / Mis-en-place: at least 12 hours:


Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
.5
#
Cream cheese

.5
#
Best Foods mayonnaise

.5
Cup
Diced onions

.125
 Cup
Diced red bell peppers

2/3
Each
Scallions, minced

.125
Cup
Diced celery

.125
Teaspoon
White pepper

.5
Teaspoon
Minced garlic

.25
Teaspoon
Tabasco sauce

.5
Teaspoon
Freshly minced parsley

.25
Teaspoon
Apple cider vinegar

.25
Teaspoon
Balsamic vinegar

1
Tablespoon
Diced scallions

1.5
Cup
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

.75
#
Dungeness crab meat
Drained
7
Ounces
Well-drained artichoke hearts

1.5
#
Freshly grated parmesan cheese




Method:

1.      Place the cream cheese in a chilled electric mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy using a paddle attachment.  In another bowl, blend together the rest of the ingredients, beginning with the mayonnaise and ending with the scallions, and when the cream cheese is light and airy, remove half of it and place the second mixture atop the rest of it after scraping the sides with a spatula.

2.      Return the half measure of cream cheese you removed from the mixing bowl atop the mixture and beat to combine.  Add the parmesan cheese and blend well.

3.      Combine the crab meat with the artichoke hearts and the second measure of parmesan cheese.  Remove the mixture from the mixer and place the crab-artichoke hearts-parmesan cheese in the bottom of the mixer and return what you removed a moment ago atop it.  Begin blending slowly rotating the mixer on low speed as this is a somewhat messy procedure.  Blend well and as it’s blended, beat a little bit faster to fluff it up and then stop.

4.      Transfer into a clean storage container and refrigerate to below 45°F.  Refrigerate overnight before using for best results.

This is an exceptional base for appetizers such as dips or as a topping for seafood such as halibut.  You will use this one many times over and it’s adaptable to almost anything you can think of.  Be adventurous and take chances!

TOASTED FOCCACIA PARMESAN CHEESE BREAD





Yield: 2 servings / Mis-en-place: about 1 hour / Cooking time: about 3-5 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
9” round
Foccacia bread

3
Ounces
Shredded parmesan cheese 

6
Ounces
Extra virgin olive oil

16
Each
Wedges of Foccacia bread

2
Pinches
Fresh sweet basil, chiffonade

2
Ounces
Balsamic vinegar




Method:

1.      Take the 9” round of Foccacia bread and cut it into EIGHT wedges; then cut each wedge in half, widthwise. Brush each slice with olive oil and then sprinkle with both the parmesan cheese and the basil chiffonade. Place on a sheet pan sprayed with PAM or some such other food release spray and insert inside a hot (425°F) oven.

2.      Cook for about 3 minutes or just until the cheese is melted and the bread has begun to toast.  Remove from oven and cut each slice in half, lengthwise, so they look like long fingers.  Place on a doily-lined plate and serve with ramekins of the remaining olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.

3.      To serve this item properly, when the server presents the dish, he or she will pour the two ramekins into one bowl and stir to blend them together for dipping.

This is the classic way to serve Foccacia bread with its two accompaniments, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Be sure to keep this recipe on hand.

Method for doing the Crab Dip Appetizer:

1.      Heat 5-ounces of the Crab Dip in a Shell Dish or other attractive serving dish.

2.      Place four triangles of Foccacia cheese bread in a pie pan cut side up.

3.      Add additional olive oil and parmesan cheese if necessary. 

4.      Bake until bread and cheese are toasted.

5.      Remove the bread and cut the triangles in half to make 8 smaller triangles. 

6.      Arrange bread triangles on a serving dish against the crab dip.

7.      Garnish the crab dip with slivered red bell pepper strips and plenty of minced parsley flakes. Serve and enjoy!

That’s it, my friends; you will love this delicious dish!

As I told you yesterday, I have had a great time today and as always enjoy my opportunities to write for the Elemental News of the Day. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun!

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

I know everyone else is always crowing about having hit their “Hump Days,” so I think I will, too, I mean: why not? It is a great accomplishment, I remember being worked to death as a kid whenever the hotel in which I apprenticed couldn’t find enough help, we’d work seven days a week and get paid cash under the table.  The government made working overtime not worth doing so the owners always found ways to circumvent the IRS.  Bravo is all I can say, anytime one can get around the IRS, they’re doing the nation and their pocketbooks a big fricking favor.  Anyhow, please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Grateful Dead and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!    

Thank you, my friends!

B. H. “BC” Cznystekinki

B. H. “BC” Cznystekinki

Certified Working Chef, AAC, ACF


This is me back in the 1960's when I was a young sous chef working in a local hotel in Laguna Beach, California. I always loved to cook and apprenticed as a young man which is what most of have done who write for the Elemental News of the Day. We share a love for the culinary world and do our best to share that love with you. We hope you enjoy it!

---30---

END Commentary for Thursday, September 29, 2011 by Chef B. H. “BC” Cznystekinki



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.

REFERENCES:

This original essay was authored by the one-and-only Chef B. H. “BC” Cznystekinki

Recipes created by Chef B. H. “BC” Cznystekinki on June 15, 1997 in Oak Harbor, WA.

KEEP READING THE ELEMENTARY NEWS OF THE DAY FOR THE BEST OF CULINARY POLITICS!

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This is #1254, a 20” x 24" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Evening Nocturne." 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!

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B. H. “BC” Cznystekinki, Appetizers, Hors d’Oeuvres, Shellfish, Seafood, Sauces, Dips, The Grateful Dead, Fine-dining, Gourmet Cooking, Tasty Foods, Classic Cooking, Artichokes, Foccacia Bread,












                                                                                
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