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Thursday, October 6, 2011

“Side Dish Seminar, Pt. XVIII: Cheese Potatoes—what could be better than Hash Browned Potatoes mixed with Melted Cheese?”

The Grateful Dead’s thirty-ninth album, “Dick’s Picks Vol. V—Oakland Arena in Oakland, CA, December 26, 1979,” was released in May 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 442 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 10-07-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 969.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Friday, October 07, 2011 by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein


 Side Dish Seminar, Pt. XVIII: Cheese Potatoes—what could be better than Hash Browned Potatoes mixed with Melted Cheese?

Bakersfield, CA, 10-07-2011 F: Hashed brown potatoes are one of America’s favorite dishes and mine, too.  You can buy ‘em premade but the thing to do is to buy fresh potatoes and prepare one’s own.  Believe me, they taste so much better and compliment most entrees served at home, not just breakfast dishes.  When I was working at the country clubs, the chef used to make a couple of dishes out of them for banquets and for Sunday brunches, “Lyonnais Potatoes” and “Cheese Potatoes.” Both are hashed browns tossed with vegetables of some sort and cheese and are not only easy to make but a bonafide crowd-pleaser of a dish.  People gravitate towards them, eat ‘em up at buffets, lick their plates at banquets because they’re oh so good.  There is something about shredded spuds mixed with cheese, onions, and salt, pepper, and garlic that drive men—and women—wild with unadorned passion.  Our dish for today is definitely going to do that and you will keep this recipe forever and ever!

It’s best when one parboils either Russet potatoes or red potatoes, just till a paring knife slides into the center.  Then, remove them and chill them in ice water, chill them until they’re good and cold and then pop into the freezer so that they firm up.  Then, you can grate them by hand OR you can toss them into your trusty food processor and give ‘em a whirl, until they’re all grated.  Pop back into the freezer just till they’re stiff and then cook in hot skillet with vegetable oil until crispy.  Season, toss, and transfer into a casserole dish and top with cheese.  Bake inside a preheated oven and voila! The most gorgeous potatoes ever seen on the face of the earth in modern times!


Yield: 4 servings  / Mis-en-place: about 1 + hours:

Russet potatoes, steamed and grated

Kosher salt

White pepper

Grated muenster cheese

Grated Monterey jack cheese

Grated cheddar cheese

Parmesan cheese

Vegetable oil

Hungarian paprika

Freshly minced parsley


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready to work with. Heat a large, heavy-duty skillet over a medium flame or have a griddle heated to 350°F.  Preheat a standard oven to 400°F or a convection oven to 350°F with the fan “on.”

2.      Season the potatoes with the salt and pepper.  Pour the oil in the skillet or onto the griddle and get hot.  When it is, add the potatoes and cook them like hash-browned potatoes.   When they’re brown, transfer to a baking dish sprayed with PAM or some such other food release spray. 

3.      Cover the potatoes with cheese and then the parsley and sprinkle with paprika. Place inside the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is good and melted. Remove, allow to rest for several minutes and then serve.

These are good old-fashioned potatoes for accompanying entrees in coffee shops like pork chops, chicken fried steaks, and whatever else.  They're also a good way to utilize old cheese that you have no place else to use.  That’s one thing we always need to do in the restaurant industry—utilize old cheese—instead of throwing it out.  Granted, nowadays, we no longer can scrape off the mold, toss it out and use the cheese; no, we have to toss it out and lose money.  Therefore, it’s important to find ways to use it up in a money-making way that makes our food cost shine and provides us with our bonuses!

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.

Yesterday was my “Hump Day” so today is my “Day-after Hump Day!”  That means, we have but two more days to go and then I will be out the door and then my good amigo, Chef Pedro Munoz will come strolling in and no telling what series he will have drawn out of his hat.  We are always hoping for something totally out of the scope of the other guy-or-gal’s ability as a joke whereas we hope for the best stuff we know how to do whenever it’s our turn.  I don’t feel bad about having drawn the Side Dishes Seminar topic, however, as always, I’m prepared for no matter whatever happens.  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 Friday, October 07, 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 October 17, 1987 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 #755, a 24” x 36" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “A Dream of Romance." 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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