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Thursday, March 15, 2012

“Special Menus Index, Pt. XL: ‘St. Patrick’s Day Menu 2012, Pt. V—Side Dish Seminar—two Vegetable Dishes with which to compliment your Dinner—Carrots and Parsnips and Turnips and Peas’ by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein”



As with the past twelve days, we’ve been presenting the Doors to you for your listening enjoyment and now that we’ve completed their official albums, we enter the realm of the long-lost live treasure trove of albums that was always said not to exist when suddenly, they started coming out!  Their TWENTY-SIXTH album—“The Very Best of the Doors”—was also released in 2001 and was another great compilation album by one of rock’s greatest bands and was certified Gold by the RIAA!  You’ll definitely want to buy this one NOW!  [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 282 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 Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

END Commentary 03-16-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,449.



CULINARY POLITICS



ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Friday, March 16, 2012 by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

SPECIAL MENUS INDEX, PT. XL

Special Menus Index, Pt. XL: ‘St. Patrick’s Day Menu 2012, Pt. V—Side Dish Seminar—two Vegetable Dishes with which to compliment your Dinner—Carrots and Parsnips and Turnips and Peas’ by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein



Bakersfield, CA, 03-16-2012 F: Here it is, Day Five of our St. Patrick’s Day seminar and today, we will be finishing our vegetables in preparation for the Big Day tomorrow.  I’m glad that St. Paddy’s Day will be taking place on a Saturday this year as it’s what I said yesterday in closing about taking the chance of drinking and driving: DON’T do it.  Down in Bakersfield and I believe here in Delano, CA, too, there are towing companies that offer rides home and will tow your car just as there are taxicab companies who will give discounted or free rides to get you home safe and sound if you’ve consumed too much green beer.  I’ve learned from my own experiences and from those of the folks who’ve worked for me to always be safe because going to jail and staying in there with all the riffraff can make for a long, tiring night or two until the bail is set or the judge lets you walk on Monday morning.  No one should ever be victimized when they’re in the custody of the state but let me tell you, the Butt Rangers are always running amuck in the county jail and the guards let it happen.  I was able to fight them off but I saw some of lesser ability go down in misery.  Kern County Jail is a place no one should ever visit so remember: if you drink, don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink.  It’s not worth it, the cost of insurance goes way up, the legal costs are dreadful, your license is gone for two years or more, your car is impounded, and your personal safety is in doubt once you’re taken to jail.  The most important thing, however, is to never be the cause of injury to someone else especially a stranger or family member.  Always be careful and take advantage of the support offered by the community on a holiday such as this because if you don’t and you do get arrested, the judge is going to be mighty pissed at you and it won’t go well!

Enough of the community service message: today, we move on to make our vegetables for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner, two classics that feature carrots and parsnips and turnips and peas.  Parsnips and turnips are not considered to be the most exciting vegetable just as aren’t yesterday’s rutabagas but it’s good to be able to prepare everything as this allows you to become a chef.  There’s a fool who runs the foodservice program at Bakersfield College named Patrick Coyle and that guy does not teach his students the things they need to know to do the job right and yet he cranks them out year-after-year flooding the community with ignorant “chefs” who drive wages down in conjunction with the illegals who fill the rest of the jobs.  It’s a viscous cycle of lower wages, no jobs, and ignorant help.  Something must be done! What I am saying is that he doesn’t teach them how to cook these sorts of vegetables but I will!

Here’s our menu:

ST. PATRICKS DAY 2012 DINNER MENU

I.                  Colcannon

II.               Lamb Salad

III.           Corned Beef and Chicken Chowder

IV.           Irish Lamb Soup

V.               Corned Beef and Cabbage

VI.           Braised Lamb with Cinnamon-Rhubarb Sauce

VII.        Roasted New Potatoes

VIII.    Buttered Red Potatoes and Rutabagas

IX.           Carrots and Parsnips

X.               Turnips and Peas

XI.           Irish Soda Bread

XII.        Cranberry Scones

XIII.    Apple-Pear Shortbread

XIV.    Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake

******

Our first vegetable for the day is our Carrots and Parsnips in a butter sauce of sorts.  It’s tasty and will look scrumptious on the plates or in a serving bowl on the table.  Let’s do it:  

(#1315) CARROTS AND PARSNIPS





Yield:  4-6 servings  / Mis-en-place: 20-25 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1.5
#
Carrots, peeled and cut into half-moons (see Step #1 below)
2
Quarts
Chicken stock

2
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

1
Each
Bay leaf

1.5
#
Parsnips, peeled and cut into half-moons (see Step #1 below)
2
Quarts
Chicken broth

2
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

1
Each
Bay leaf

.5
Cup
Melted butter

1
Cup
Diced yellow onions

2
Teaspoons
Lawrey’s seasoned salt

1
Teaspoon
Lawrey’s seasoned pepper

2
Teaspoons
Whole chervil

2
Teaspoons
Summer savory

1
Tablespoon
Finely-minced parsley flakes
Rinsed
Hungarian paprika




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Scrub the root vegetables to remove any dirt and then peel them and trim the ends; discard the scraps.  To cut both the carrots and parsnips, this is what you do starting with the carrots first: try to buy carrots that are of uniform size without much variation in size from tip to end. Using a sharp French knife cut them in half lengthwise and then cut the two halves into half-moons.  Do the same with the parsnips but it’s more difficult to find ones that are uniform in size from tip to end.  Generally the tops are much larger and the tips much smaller.  Cut the smaller ends into whole moons while cutting the tops in half lengthwise and then cutting them into half-moons.  Do what works best for you.

2.      Have the two measures of chicken stock on the stove in large saucepots and add to them the salt and bay leaves mentioned in the list of ingredients.  Bring each to a boil and when it is, drop the carrots into one and the parsnips into the other.  The two vegetables will cook differently from one another so keep an eye on them: the carrots will take a bit longer whereas the parsnips will cook rather quickly.  DON’T boil them hard; rather simmer them gently so they don’t lose size and their appearances remain good.  As soon as each is al dente-tender—soft to the teeth but not mushy—drain and discard the liquid and plunge the vegetable into a bowl of ice water after rinsing it underneath cold running water for 10-20 seconds. Chill them completely.

3.      When the vegetables are chilled, drain and discard the ice water and transfer the veggies into a salad spinner.  There, spin off all residual liquid so that they’re completely dry.  If you don’t have a spinner, dry them using cloth towels to the best of your ability as it will help the butter adhere to them better meaning that flavor won’t be lost but will stick to the finished product.  This is always an important thing whenever coating something with fat, whether it be lettuce leaves in a green salad or vegetables in a sauté.

4.      Place a sautoir over a medium flame and heat the butter in it; as soon as it begins to sizzle, add the diced onions and sauté them until tender and translucent.  Add the salt and pepper but hold off on the herbs for a moment.  Place the combined vegetables in a bowl and heat in the microwave for a minute or two until they’re fairly warm and then dump them into the sautoir.  Heat all the way and when they’re close to done, add the herbs and parsley and blend well.  Use a wooden spoon and take care to NOT bust up the veggies any more than is necessary.

5.      Serve the vegetables family-style in a large serving bowl or dish them up onto serving plates in portions.  Shake a little bit of sweet paprika onto them and then serve.

This is a wonderful vegetable combination that allows one to combine sweet carrots with somewhat tangy parsnips for a sweet-and-sour effect.  Not many people use parsnips all that much so it’s good to find ways in which to utilize them.  The goal for a professional chef is to be proficient at using everything and here’s a good way to do just that.

This is our recipe featuring turnips and peas:

(#1316) TURNIPS AND PEAS





Yield:  4-6 servings  / Mis-en-place: 20-25 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
Cups
Peeled and diced turnips

2
Quarts
Boiling water

1
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

2
Cups
Frozen peas

2
Quarts
Boiling water

1
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.5
Cup
Diced green bell peppers
Blanched
.5
Cup
Diced red bell peppers
Blanched
.5
Cup
Melted butter

2
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

1
Teaspoon
White pepper

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Scrub the turnips prior to peeling and then dice them.  Do the same with the bell peppers but be sure to stem and to remove the inner seed pods first.  Then, cut what you need in the manner described above.

2.      Have the two pots of boiling water going on the stove and add the salt to them.  Add the turnips to one and the peas to the other and as soon as they return to a boil, lower the flame on each and simmer them until al dente-tender and done.  Drain and discard the water and plunge the vegetables in bowls of ice water in order to retard further cooking.  The salt in the cooking water and then the ice water will assure that the vegetables retain their bright colors. 

3.      Bell peppers: you can cook them separately or you can use the water you used to cook the peas prior to dumping it out.  Just remove the peas and then add the diced bell peppers and quickly blanch them; then, drain and discard the liquid and plunge them into ice water, too.

4.      When the vegetables are chilled, drain the cold water and discard it.  Add the vegetables to a salad spinner and spin any residual water out of them or transfer them to cloth towels and pat them dry.  You want them dry before they go into the sauté as this will help the butter and seasonings adhere to them better.  Either way, dry them the best you can.

5.      When it’s time to prepare them, heat the butter in a large skillet or sautoir and when it’s close to a sizzle, add the bells and the seasonings.  Heat the turnips and peas in a bowl in the microwave oven and then add them to the sauté along with the parsley.  By heating them in the microwave first, this also protects the color so that they won’t have to remain in the sauté any longer than is necessary. Heat completely and then prepare to serve.

6.      Serve in a family-style communal serving bowl or as individual portions on entrée plates. 

This is a great way to utilize turnips, a venerable root vegetable that is popular in some areas of the world and not in others.  Americans aren’t big turnip eaters but there are some.  This is a good way for you to introduce them to either your family or customers.

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

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.

Okay, tomorrow is the BIG DAY—St. Patrick’s Day—and we have most of our menu completed, just four recipes to go and since the desserts won’t appear until the day after the holiday, see if you can find the cheesecake at your local bakery.  Everyone has a bakery like Smith’s in Bakersfield, CA, a long-time fixture on the scene that makes just about everything and some items no one else makes.  Every town has their own bakery that the people love and that is a wonderful thing for each community.  I’ve traveled across the country and the first things I look for whenever I’ve gone to a new city are the restaurants, the local bars, and the bakeries, everything else can wait.  It’s the establishments like the neighborhood Irish bar or the Czech bakery or the Italian restaurant that speak highly of a community and of the people living in it.  My goal is to visit every single state in the country and to savor the aforementioned treats as descried.  Even living here in Kern County, each of the outlying towns has their own institutions that no one outside of those communities has any idea of.  That was the purpose of our bus trip around the county last year: to either rediscover places long since unseen or for those who live outside the area to experience what we’ve experienced.  I look forward to doing that again as it was a highlight of my life.  I know it seems silly to visit the outer areas of a county like ours but remember: Kern County is bigger than the state of New Jersey and several others—we’re humongous, varied, and exciting!     

 Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the DOORS and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  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. I am still working at one of the local hotels in the nearby town of Delano, CA, a place that’s been my home for the past 10 years. Our city has experienced marvelous growth and is fast-becoming a player in county politics.

---30---

The END Commentary for Friday, March 16, 2012 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.

REFERENCES:

This original essay was written by the one-and-only Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein.



Recipe created by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein on March 14, 1996 in Bakersfield, CA.

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STINKBUG AT THE COUNTDOWN TO THE END DAYS

                                                                         
                                                                   
                                                                              
This is #1391 an 11” x 14" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “In the Bath.’" 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 VII

                                                                                       

TOMORROW IS ST. PATRICK’S DAY!



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Charles Smithenstein, Special Menus, Side Dish Seminar, Irish Cuisine, The Doors, St. Patrick’s Day, Carrots, Fine-Dining, Peas, Parsnips, The Chuckster, Side Dishes, Accompaniments, Culinary Classics, Turnips,










                                                                                  
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