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Friday, October 7, 2011

“Side Dish Seminar, Pt. XIX: Polish-style Mashed Potatoes—so many tasty things you can do with Bacon Fat—don’t throw it out!”

The Grateful Dead’s fortieth album, “Dick’s Picks Vol. VI—Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT, 10-14-1983,” was released in July 1996 and was another great offering in the Dick’s Picks’ series.  Like its predecessors in the Dick’s Picks series, this is an excellent addition and definitely one that everyone should own.  We therefore recommend that you buy 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 get 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 441 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 Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

END Commentary 10-08-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,006.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, October 08, 2011 by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein


 Side Dish Seminar, Pt. XIX: Polish-style Mashed Potatoes—so many tasty things you can do with Bacon Fat—don’t throw it out!

Bakersfield, CA, 10-08-2011 S: Our dish for today is one that is a tasty type of mashed potatoes that utilizes the bacon fat you have leftover from cooking Sunday’s breakfast or from everyday in the professional arena.  In the old days, virtually nothing went to waste, not even the fat that was trimmed from the different meats by the butcher.  He or she (yes, there were a few female butchers in the old days) would compile all of the trimmed fat and then once or twice a month would roast it in the oven to remove the lard from it.  The cracklings that were leftover were generally thrown out while the melted fat was used in the French fryers for marvelous-tasting fries.  Nowadays, of course, you simply cannot do that anymore as the local county health department would shut you down quicker than you can blink your eyes.  While it might make some great-tasting French fries, the lard will harden your arteries faster than anything a normal diet of today could ever do.  For proof of this, next time you have roasted a cut of beef or pork, place the residual drippings in your refrigerator and look at it the next day: harder than a rock!  It does the same thing in one’s arteries.  

Bacon fat is also a by-product leftover from cooking tons of bacon for the breakfast and lunch shifts and this tasty condiment can be used to flavor biscuits and sauces and also potato dishes like today’s “Polish-style Mashed Potatoes.” The bacon fat is a marvelous addition; it imparts the flavor of bacon faster than anything else short of a pound of crisped bacon could do.  In this recipe, we use both the bacon and the fat and man, oh, man, do these potatoes taste exceptional! Try serving these the next time you make mashed potatoes and see what kind of response you get from your family!  Believe me, it will be a positive one unless, of course, your family is kosher Jewish or Muslim.  Then, they might not go over very well.  Anyhow, you be the judge of the situation!


Yield: 4-6 servings  / Mis-en-place: 1 hour:

Medium-size russet potatoes, steamed and peeled;
Hot milk

Melted butter

Chopped green bell peppers, seeded

Minced pimientos

Chopped crisped bacon

Bacon drippings, warm

Minced yellow onions

Kosher salt

White pepper

Melted butter

Hungarian paprika

Minced parsley


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work.  Using an electric mixer equipped with a whip attachment beat all of the ingredients, with the exception of the last THREE, until light and fluffy.  Then, when you’re done, they’re ready to serve.  Either portion them out on individual plates or place them in a large serving bowl.  Dribble melted butter over each and sprinkle with paprika and parsley flakes and you’re ready to go!  

These are a very tasty accompaniment that is enjoyed by all.  Bacon fat has all sorts of uses so it behooves you to always save it whenever you cook bacon.  Just put it in a jar and store it in your freezer!

Well, there you go: a classic, delicious dish that will go well with your next Eastern European-type meal.  Cook a whole hen with sour cream and paprika in your clay cooker and serve these potatoes alongside it with some candied parsnips or carrots and see what kind of reception you get.  Believe me, it will be stellar, I’ve been in this business for too many years that all I can say is, “I know my stuff!” Trust me, Chef Smithenstein would not lie to you!

As I mentioned 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.

Well, goody, goody, goody!  Only one more day to go and then Pedro Munoz comes strolling in.  He’s always a lot of fun and he is going to teach you some wonderful stuff.  I hope that our time together has helped you to become a better cook and chef and remember, we value your comments, your readership, and your friendship.  This is like a family operation, we try to be all-inclusive and to welcome all sorts of viewpoints as to what it takes to run a foodservice establishment and to be successful doing it.  Each and every day, it’s our goal to bring nothing but the best to you so that when you cook at home for your family or at your job, you shine like the rising sun.  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!

Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

The Chuckster
Restaurant Manager, Mixologist, Foodserver, and Cook

This is a photo of me back in 1973 while being the Food and Beverage Director at one of the hotels in Bakersfield, CA, located on Union Avenue. I was in my late 30's at the time.


END Commentary for Saturday, October 08, 2011 by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

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 original essay was authored by the one-and-only Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

Recipes created by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein on March 04, 1983 in Oak Harbor, WA.



“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 #800, a 40” x 60" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Sundown paints the Land." 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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Assistant Editor: Moses Scharbug III

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