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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

“Side Dish Seminar, Pt. XVI: Russian Palov—Eastern European Masterpiece”

The Grateful Dead’s thirty-seventh album, “Dick’s Picks Vol. III—Hollywood Sportatorium in Hollywood, FL May 22, 1997,” was released in November 1995 and was another great offering in the Dick’s Picks’ series.  We have always loved the band in the 1960’s-1970’s forms and this concert is a damned good one!  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 444 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 10-05-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,372.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Wednesday, October 05, 2011 by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein


 Side Dish Seminar, Pt. XVI: Russian Palov—Eastern European Masterpiece

Bakersfield, CA, 10-05-2011 W: Today, we will be making another rice dish with which to excite your family, especially if you make your dinner a theme dinner.  This is one of the things that make a dining room experience memorable—putting on a theme-dinner—as people never forget it. If done right, it’s like going to a rock and roll concert, people don’t forget it, and they’ll talk about it for weeks and months to come and will come back the following year and do it again.  This is what’s important: giving one’s guests an experience they’ll never forget and that means doing something that will knock their socks off!   

I’ve worked in country clubs much like my cohorts here at the Elemental News of the Day and this is where theme-dinners fare well.  We’ve done French Night, Mexican Night, Italian Night, and even Polish Night. Virtually every nation’s cuisine has been done at one time or another at the club in which I worked in the 1990’s and was raved about for months on end by the membership.  Most of these people had never eaten Czech food much less Russian and that is what we’re going to concentrate on: Russian cuisine in the form of traditional Russian rice: Russian Palov.  It’s tasty, has a slight oriental twinge which is somewhat exciting, and is fun to make and eat much like everything else we’ve been doing.  This is one you will keep in your recipe book forever as the next time you decide to make something delicious from Mother Russia; you will have your accompanying rice!  Let’s do it:


1. To serve 4-6 / Mis-en-place: about 45-60 minutes: 

Chicken broth

Soy sauce

Whole thyme

Bay leaf

Ground ginger

Melted butter

Coil fideo pasta, crumbled by hand

Toasted sesame seeds

Toasted sliced almonds

Jasmine rice

Kosher salt

White pepper

Minced yellow onions

Minced green bell peppers


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready to work with.  Turn standard oven on to 375°F or convection oven to 325°F.  Put the chicken stock in a saucepot with the next FOUR ingredients and bring to a high simmer.

2.      In an oven-proof saucepot equipped with a tight-fitting lid, heat the butter and over a medium-high flame and add the crumbled fideo and brown quickly.  Add the rice, seasonings, and vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the rice has lost its opaqueness and has turned white. 

3.      At this point, pour in the simmering broth and stand back: it will roar up in the pan and possibly splatter the stovetop so be careful and don’t get burned.

4.      Stir for a moment and allow the liquid to boil and sputter.  When the liquid is about the level of the rice, slap on the lid, let it boil a second or two longer, and then insert inside your preheated oven on its middle rack.  Cook for approximately 25 minutes and then check it.

5.      If the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, it’s done so remove it from the oven, fluff with a fork, and allow the steam to escape for a minute or two; then, stir in the final two ingredients and fluff up with the fork.

6.      At this juncture, it’s ready to serve or if using it later, remove it from the pot and into a shallow dish to cool.  When it’s completely cooled, cover with a piece of wax paper and refrigerate until needed.

7.      Reheat in the microwave oven by taking four soup cups and spraying the insides with PAM or some such other food release spray. If desired, place some diced pimientos, minced parsley and a few sautéed yellow onions in the bottom of the soup cup. Then, pack the rice into each cup, place in your microwave oven and reheat for about 3-5 minutes or until steaming hot.

8.      At that point, remove the cups from the microwave and slap each one down on a dinner plate so that it will loosen from the cups and exit. You will be presented with a beautiful mound of steamed rice.  Now, all you have to do is to come up with the rest of the meal and you’re ready to go!

This is a great recipe that you will find useful whenever you have a need to present something new or are serving a Russian-themed meal.  This is a delicious rice recipe that you will enjoy for many years to come.  Keep it handy in your recipe box.

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.

I do hope that you have enjoyed our rice dish today as making rice is one of the most satisfying accomplishments in any kitchen.  There is something simple and yet elegant about this noble grain and the fun thing is, it comes in so many forms and can be made into so many different things that the possibilities are endless.  For me, learning how to make rice as a young person that didn’t require me to open a box of either Uncle Ben’s or Rice-a-Roni was a mean accomplishment.—that’s the kind of rice my folks fixed at home and when they did, we considered it a treat.  The only rice dish that I turn my nose up is rice pudding, something of which I’ve never been enamored.  Sure, I understand its origins, about how people in older times, especially the Great Depression, were not going to toss a single morsel of food into the trash can, hence: rice pudding.  My grandparents sure did love that dish but I always managed to feed mine to the dogs and cats. Sorry Grandma and Grandpa!   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 Wednesday, October 05, 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 May 01, 1978 in Taft, CA.



“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!



          ONYX, CA, STINKY

This is #537, a 20” x 24" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Autumn Woods." 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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Magnolia Hilltop Brewers and What's Cookin' Productions Trademark of Quality and Symbol of Integrity. Copyright 10-04-2011, 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.

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