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Sunday, February 5, 2012

“Special Menus, Pt. XXIX: ‘Valentine’s Day 2012 Menu, Pt. I—Soup Seminar featuring Two Classic Soups: Corn Chowder and Cream of Onion’ by Chef James “JT” Tobiason”



Our new band for the next month or so is one of the best bands to come out of Los Angeles in the 1960’s: the Byrds.  They went from Electric Folk to Psychedelic to Country Music and shined each and every step of the way.  Their twenty-second album—“Never Before”—was released on December 01, 1987 and is still as wonderful today as it was then, more than 40 years ago but is difficult to find.  We love it and think you will, too, so go out and buy it by using the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and get it now! You won’t be disappointed! [Unfortunately, the link may no longer be possible due to the fact that the Amazon.com Associates’ Program’s status is up in the air due to the fact that our home base is in California—you can still go there and BUY it!] Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.



                                                                                    

Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 321 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!

                                                                                  


STINKBUG 2012

                                                                                  

Chef James “JT” Tobiason

END Commentary 02-06-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,959.



CULINARY POLITICS



ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Monday, February 06, 2012 by Chef James “JT” Tobiason

SPECIAL MENUS INDEX, PT. XXIX

Special Menus, Pt. XXIX: ‘Valentine’s Day 2012 Menu, Pt. I—Soup Seminar featuring Two Classic Soups: Corn Chowder and Cream of Onion’ by Chef James “JT” Tobiason



HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY 2012

Bakersfield, CA, 02-06-2012 M: Friends, it’s good to be back!  My last posts took place the week of 08-29-2011 to 09-04-2011 when I did a week of Classic Quickbreads and Muffins!  Four long months and here I am, once more, and am so proud to be back that I am simply speechless; well, no, not quite!  What can I say following last week’s Beverage Series conducted by my dear friend, Murph MacDougal, that was exceptional, especially yesterday’s MILKSHAKE special, wow, awesome!  But, I think I have something equally as good, a week-long Valentine’s Day series for what might possibly be our final Valentine’s Day ever.  What am I talking about? Well, as you all know, our dear friend and mentor, Stinkbug, is obsessed with the end of the Mayan Calendar on December 21, 2012 and what is going to happen to the world.  He’s convinced that something bad is going to happen and who knows, he could be right?  After all, why would the Mayans have a calendar that runs for centuries and then have it come to an abrupt end?  Nobody knows but if you watch the History and Discovery Channels on TV, then they propose all sorts of theories as to what might happen when all of the planets align across the solar system on that specific date.  So, our push at the restaurant is going to be the “FINAL VALENTINE’S DAY BASH 2012” and we’re going to do and “End Times” menu for our guests.  Yeah, I know, it’s sort of morbid but what the hell? That’s what everyone in business does, they capitalize on whatever’s going on and believe me, people will pour in to eat and drink knowing that it could be their ultimate time out with their girlfriends or wives. Don’t forget: we run a feed at the top of the blog each day and from today’s date, we have 321 days to go to that dreaded date!

            Here’s our menu for this fabulous holiday and it’s going to be designed to be a celebration for 6-8 people so that you can have all of the loved ones gathered around:

VALENTINE’S DAY MENU 2012

I.                   Cream of Onion Soup

II.               Corn Chowder

III.               JT’s Fresh Fruit Plate

IV.              Newport Salad

V.                Stuffed Cornish Game Hens with Sauce Supreme

VI.              Rosemary-encrusted Lamb Leg with Mint Demi-glace

VII.           Potatoes Amandine

VIII.         Rice and Fruit Dressing

IX.              Buttered and Parslied Egg Noodles

X.                Broccoli Normande

XI.              Spaghetti Squash Timbales

XII.           Rice Bread

XIII.         Apricot Muffins

XIV.        Boysenberry Mousse

XV.          Strawberry Parfaits

Okay, let’s make our soups today as that is what we’re going to start our dinner with:

(#583) CORN CHOWDER I





Yield:  about 3-4 quarts / Mis-en-place: 45-60 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Cup
Melted butter

1.5
Cups
Diced celery

1.5
Cups
Diced yellow onions

1.5
Cups
Diced carrots

.25
Cup
Chopped pimientos

1.5
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

.5
Teaspoon
White pepper

1
Teaspoon
Ground coriander

1
Pinch
Cayenne pepper


.75
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

1
Each
Bay leaf

1
Cup
All-purpose flour

3
Cups
Russet potatoes, peeled and diced

2
Quarts
Salted water

2
Cups
Heavy cream

2
Cups
Chicken broth

2
Cups
Canned creamed corn

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! First of all, par-boil the diced potatoes in the one quart of salted water just until tender and if need be, add more as you go along.  Just cook them until they’re easily pierced by a paring knife—as soon as that happens, drain and reserve the liquid and plunge the potatoes into a bowl of ice water to retard further cooking.

2.      Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy-duty saucepot over a moderate flame and as soon as it’s melted, add the next TEN ingredients and sauté gently until tender.  Make sure you add all of the seasonings at this point as this will allow them to be incorporated into the roux you’re forming without forming blobs.  There is nothing worse when eating soup, one bites into a clump of spice and suddenly, their taste buds are overwhelmed by the spice, whatever it is.  If you automatically do this each and every time you make a cream soup or sauce, you’ll never have any problems.

3.      While you’re doing this, be sure to combine the heavy cream, chicken broth, creamed corn, and approximately 1-2 cups of the reserved potato liquid in a second pot and set over a moderate flame.  Heat it up and when the roux’s formed, begin whisking this liquid into the roux—furiously—until the soup’s combined.  Allow it to come up to a boil and continue stirring, while keeping there for several minutes; then, drop the temp and simmer the soup over a low flame. Add the potatoes now and if need be, add additional cream and place the pot into a Bain Marie or double-boiler and keep warm. 

4.      Add the rinsed parsley flakes to the soup and allow it to perk atop the double boiler for 10-15 minutes for flavor to develop and for the starchiness to cook out of the roux.  Be careful to NOT over-stir the soup as it will quickly tear the potatoes down to mush—NOT good! Check and readjust the seasonings as necessary and prepare to serve.  Serve your Corn Chowder in a soup tureen at the table or in individual soup cups.

Corn Chowder is one of those delicious, old-time soups that is marvelous for something nice like a holiday when you want to instill a sense of hominess and tradition in the affair.  I always have enjoyed this soup since I first learned to make it and believe that you’ll enjoy it, too!

Now, let’s make our Cream of Onion Soup, another delightfully delicious soup that everyone knows and loves:

(#595) CREAM OF ONION SOUP





Yield:  about 3 quarts / Mis-en-place: 1 hour +:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
5
Cups
Chicken stock

5
Cups
Half-and-half

1
Each
Bay leaf

1
Cup
Melted butter

3.75
Cups
Minced yellow onions

1
Cup
Finely grated carrots

2.75
Teaspoons
Onion powder

2.25
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

1
Teaspoon
Ground coriander

1
Teaspoon
White pepper

.75
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

.5
Teaspoon
Ground nutmeg

1.25
Cup
All-purpose flour

1
Tablespoon
Onion juice

.5
Cup
Marsala sherry

1
Tablespoon
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work!

2.      Combine first THREE ingredients listed in a saucepot over a low-to-medium flame, once again, and allow it to simmer. 

3.      In a larger saucepot heat the melted butter to a sizzle over a medium-high flame.  When it is, add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme, onion powder and coriander.  Cook until veggies are slightly tender, stirring all the while. 

4.      When they are, stir in the all-purpose flour and cook 2-3 minutes stirring all the while.  Cook this mirepoix for a few minutes so the floury taste disappears and the veggies are tender but remember—stir frequently to protect it from scorching!

5.      When time’s up, pour in the contents of the first pot taking care to NOT scald you, either by splashing it or by steam.  Pour it in gradually whisking all the while to break up any lumps of roux. You want it to become a perfect marriage of roux and creamy liquid.  If the roux ISN’T dissolved in the proper way, there’s no way it can be fixed once it’s done.

6.      Upon successful completion of combining the two soup parts, bring it to a boil, stirring all the while, and keep it there for 2-3 minutes.  After it has boiled the required time, lower flame to a bare minimum and allow it to simmer 15-20 minutes.  As it simmers, add the salt, pepper, onion juice, and the sherry. Either when time’s up or by your best judgment that it’s done, it’s ready to serve.

This is one of the all-time classic cream soups and one that everyone knows and loves.  Be sure to use nothing but the best for the best results and you will be praised.

Well, there you go, next week is Valentine’s Day (possibly the last one if the world ends this December!) and we’re well on our way to the finish line!

---------------------------------------------

As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this as it’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will hopefully become dedicated followers of the END.  In this day and age of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. 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! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

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.

It’s so good to be back!  As I mentioned, I was here FOUR months ago which a phenomenally long time to say the least is and that means I will probably be here TWO more times this year.  It’s always nice to come in and write for the readership of this fine blog and Stinkbug is to be commended for having brought in three new people and for letting Moses do a week of his own while everyone was off over the holidays.  Here it is, holiday time again, Valentine’s Day in this case and granted, one of the most important holidays of the year.  More jewelry is purchased during this time of year just as more meals eaten out take place, too.  This is a chef’s BIG DAY, cooking for the lovers of all ages as they tend to spend a great deal of money on food, wine, appetizers, and desserts.  We offer special packages at our business and hope that you will discover the place in which I’m the chef and come on in.  That’s what Stinkbug wants to maintain the most—anonymity—because to him, each of us has the right to say what we want while not incriminating others in our stories.  We figure that you, dear reader, will figure it out!   Anyhow—all we ask of you, dear readers, is that you please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Byrds 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!   HAVE A GREAT MONDAY!

Thank you!

“JT”

James “JT” Tobiason

Professional Baker, American Baker’s Association, Certified Working Chef, ACF, CWC

This is me back in the 1980's when I was an Executive Sous Chef at a hotel Monterey, California. I originally came from Salinas, CA, spent time in Fresno and Bakersfield, and currently am working at a fine-dining restaurant in Visalia, CA. I began cooking in 1967 when I apprenticed under a top chef working in the Napa Valley.

---30---

END Commentary for Monday, February 06, 2012 by Chef James “JT” Tobiason.



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 written by the one-and-only Chef James “JT” Tobiason



Recipe created by Chef James “JT” Tobiason on June 17, 1982 in Monterey, CA.

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STINKBUG AT THE COUNTDOWN TO THE END DAYS


                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                             
This is #1161 a 16” x 20" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Thunderheads." 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 VI
                                                                              




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