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Thursday, February 9, 2012

“Special Menus, Pt. XXXIII: ‘Valentine’s Day 2012 Menu, Pt. V—Side Dish Seminar: Spaghetti Squash Timbales and Classic Broccoli Normande—more perfect Accompaniments for your Valentine’s Day Spectacular’ 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-sixth album—“20 Essential Tracks from the Boxed Set 1965-1990”—was released on January 14, 1992 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 317 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 02-10-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,019.



CULINARY POLITICS



ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Friday, February 10, 2012 by Chef James “JT” Tobiason

SPECIAL MENUS INDEX, PT. XXXIII

Special Menus, Pt. XXXIII: ‘Valentine’s Day 2012 Menu, Pt. V—Side Dish Seminar: Spaghetti Squash Timbales and Classic Broccoli Normande—more perfect Accompaniments for your Valentine’s Day Spectacular’ by Chef James “JT” Tobiason


HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY 2012

Bakersfield, CA, 02-10-2012 F: We are going to make the vegetables for our gourmet dinner today and I’m stoked, I love vegetable cookery as so many of my fellow chefs look upon vegetables as at best a throw-away and at worst, as a pain in the ass, both of which are unfair views in my opinion.  To me, vegetables are one of the most important elements of any meal and nowadays, greater emphasis is being placed upon their cooking.  I remember as a kid working in my earliest restaurants, most vegetables came out of #10 cans to which salt was added and then served or at best were out of the freezer.  The cook would then proceed to overcook them and they’d end up looking worse than the canned variety.  I didn’t think anything about it until I went to work in my first hotel and the chef made a big deal out of vegetable cookery and was known to fire those who didn’t follow his explicit instructions as to how to do it and then how to serve them.  Seeing some of my fellows get canned around me stimulated me extremely well and from that point on, I made sure I followed Chef Gustav’s instructions to the “T.”  



So, today, you’ve gathered from the title that we are going to work with spaghetti squash and with broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, all top-notch vegetables—if prepared correctly!  I prefer utilizing steamers as they provide the best protection against overcooking veggies as long as one is vigilant, observant, and slightly obsessive-compulsive.  Always watch your veggies closely as there’s nothing worse than putting a great deal of time and sweat into making something and then have it turned to crap because you were outside on the loading dock smoking cigarettes with the bartendress!  Forget that skank and keep a close eye on the vegetables so you don’t get fired!

Here’s our menu:

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

Again, I cannot stress enough that you must keep a close eye upon the cooking of these vegetables as there’s nothing worse than wasting money in a foodservice operation.  Even vegetables cost money nowadays and parsley is no longer given away as a freebie, you have to buy it so it’s important to never waste anything! Follow directions and all will be well! Let’s get started:

(#1019) SPAGHETTI SQUASH TIMBALES





Yield:  6-8 servings / Mis-en-place: 30 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Medium
Spaghetti squash

1
Cup
Minced yellow onions

1
Cup
Grated carrots

.5
Cup
Melted butter

.125
Cup
Minced pimientos

1
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.5
Teaspoon
White pepper

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed
1
Teaspoon
Ground coriander




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! NOTE: despite how this vegetable may appear, spaghetti squash are very fragile creatures, they need to be closely monitored as they steam because it doesn’t take much to turn the fine spaghetti-like strands for which the vegetable has been given its name to be turned into mush, much like mashed sweet potatoes.  Please keep a close watch upon this vegetable lest you end up with an inedible mess!

2.      Cut the squash in half—lengthwise—and scoop out the fibrous, seeded center; discard it.  Have a vegetable steamer going full-blast and keep a close eye on the water—don’t let it evaporate. 

3.      Place the two halves upon a perforated pan, face down, and steam for 10-15 minutes OR until you can dislodge individual strands with a dining fork.  As soon as it exhibits this tenderness, pull them out of the steamer and then using the same fork, hull the strands lengthwise out of the shells and the stubborn ones with a spoon.  Cool them in a colander underneath cold running water to retard further cooking.

4.      When cool, place the strands into a salad spinner and then whirl it around until ALL of the liquid has been removed; set aside.  Meanwhile, place a Sautoir or a heavy-duty stainless steel sauté pan (Sauteuse) atop a medium flame.  Spray it with PAM or some such other food release spray and add the butter to it. 

5.      When the butter’s at a sizzle, add the yellow onions and the carrots and quickly sauté until tender.  Add the pimientos, salt, pepper, parsley, and ground coriander and sauté until combined, aromatic, and flavorful—add the spaghetti squash strands.

6.      Continue sautéing the mixture until heated through.  Now, using individual Jell-O molds that you’ve lightly buttered, press a mound of vegetables into each one and immediately de-pan onto your serving plates.  Do so after you’ve placed the entrée and starch on the plate and then add the timbale.  Serve!

This is such a deliciously, colorful vegetable that everyone is stunned when they first see and then taste it.  Even though it’s been around for a long time, a great many people still don’t know it so it’s almost always a surprise.  Expect a lot of questions as to what, exactly, it is and how you prepared it.  Of course, there are those who don’t care for squash but even they might be converted once they’ve tasted this!   

Here’s our second vegetable, if you’re ready:

(#973) BROCCOLI NORMANDE





Yield:  6-8 servings / Mis-en-place: 20-25 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
The Vegetables:
1
Bunch
Broccoli

1.5
Quarts
Boiling salted water

1
Head
Cauliflower
Small head!
1
Quart
Boiling salted water

.5
Cup
Whole milk

.125
Cup
Sweet butter

1
Each
Lemon, sliced

2
Each
Bay leaves

2
Cups
Baby carrots, preferably “nubs”

1.5
Quarts
Boiling salted water

2
Cups
Cheese Sauce
See below
.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed
1
Tablespoon
Minced pimientos




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Trim the broccoli florets from the stems and set aside.  Trim the cauliflower of all green and then break and/or cut it into segments.  As for the carrots, preferably use the NUBS available in most stores and NOT actual baby carrots as believe it or not, the nubs look better in this dish than the actual thing.  HAVE ALL VEGETABLES READY TO WORK WITH. Also, make the Cheese Sauce and have ready!

2.      Place one pot on the stove with 1.5-quarts of boiling salted water.  In this, blanch the broccoli florets until al dente tender and then immediately drain, discarding the liquid, and plunge them into a bowl of ice water to retard further cooking. 

3.      In a second pot, heat the one-quart of water with the milk, butter, lemon slices, and bay leaves and when it’s at a boil, add the cauliflower.  Cook also until al dente tender and then immediately discard the Court Bouillon (the cooking liquid) and plunge the florets into a bowl of ice water to—you guessed it—retard further cooking. Note: the purpose of the Court Bouillon is to both sweeten and to whiten the cauliflower. 

4.      Finally, put on the last measure of boiling salted water and blanch the carrots.  Drain them when al dente tender and plunge into ice water to end any further cooking.  When all vegetables are COLD, drain the liquid and remove any residual liquid by placing each one in a vegetable spinner and spinning it out of them.  When all are dry, proceed:

5.      Combine the vegetables in a bowl and either heat up in the microwave oven OR in a vegetable steamer.  When hot, remove from either cooking source and cover with cheese sauce.  Then, scoop up portions on each serving plate after having placed both the entrée and the starch.  Garnish each mound with freshly minced parsley and minced pimientos.  Enjoy!

Always closely monitor the cooking of your vegetables for best results as to NOT do so is to invite disaster! Here’s the Cheese Sauce formula:

CHEESE SAUCE





1. About two cups:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
Cups
Water

2/3
Ounce
Chicken base

1/3
Teaspoon
Granulated garlic

1/3
Teaspoon
Granulated onion

1
Pinch
Colman’s dry mustard

1
Pinch
White pepper

.25
Cup
Vegetable oil

.5
Cup
All-purpose flour

.75
Cup
Half-n-half

1
Ounce
Grated cheddar cheese

.5
Ounce
Shredded fresh parmesan cheese

1
Drop
Egg shade food color

1
Teaspoon
Kosher salt




Method:

6.      Mix chicken base with water and bring to a boil.  Add spices, simmer five minutes, and then thicken to a medium-consistency with a roux made from the combination of the oil and flour.

7.      Simmer a few minutes and then blend in the half’n’half. 

8.      Remove from heat and slowly whip in grated cheeses.  Add then the drop of food color to give the finished sauce a yellowish hue, add the salt, and then keep warm until called for.

This is an excellent all-around cheese sauce that you will find many uses for such as this classic vegetable dish, Broccoli Normande.

Okay, that’ll do it for today, friends, tomorrow, we’ll make our breads! Don’t miss a single day this week!

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

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.

Preparing vegetables is something I’ve always enjoyed doing whereas most chefs would rather have their pantry man or woman, prepmaster, or even the yard man make them which is such a shame.  Vegetables deserve creativity as well and ones such as what we’ve made here today are prime examples.  Devising new ways to serve old favorites and creating new favorites is something akin to a passion for me and I do hope that you have similar feelings within your chest.  My advice to you is to always look for the arenas in which you can shine, especially the ones that NO one else cares for because those are the ones that will help you make a name for yourself.  Anyhow, 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 FRIDAY! Thank you, Moses, for all your help today!

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 Friday, February 10, 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 November 04, 1987 in Monterey, CA.

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STINKBUG AT THE COUNTDOWN TO THE END DAYS


                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                     
This is #1356 a 24” x 20" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “My Dolls, My Cat." 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
                                                                              




PLEASE NOTE: WE HAVE BEEN STYMIED BY THE CALIFORNIA LAW TAXING THE INTERNET AND UNTIL WE CAN BEGIN POSTING LINKS TO AMAZON.COM AGAIN, YOU WILL HAVE TO GO THERE YOURSELF.  BE SURE TO WRITE GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN AND TELL HIM HE’S WRONG FOR WHAT HE’S DOING.  HE’S CRIPPLING BUSINESS BUT OF COURSE, HE KNOWS THAT! THANK YOU, THE ELEMENTAL NEWS OF THE DAY.















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