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Saturday, March 17, 2012

“Special Menus Index, Pt. XLII: ‘St. Patrick’s Day Menu 2012, Pt. VII—Fabulous Bakery Desserts—Irish Cream Cheesecake and Apple-Pear Shortbread—the Conclusion of your St. Patrick’s Day Feast’ 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-EIGHTH album—“Live in Hollywood—Highlights from the Aquarius Theater Performances”—was released in 2002 and was another great retrospective live album by one of rock’s greatest bands ever!  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 280 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!






HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY 2012!



                                                                                   



STINKBUG 2012



                                                                                        






Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

END Commentary 03-18-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 3,373.



CULINARY POLITICS



ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Sunday, March 18, 2012 by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

SPECIAL MENUS INDEX, PT. XLII

Special Menus Index, Pt. XLII: ‘St. Patrick’s Day Menu 2012, Pt. VII—Fabulous Bakery Desserts—Irish Cream Cheesecake and Apple-Pear Shortbread—the Conclusion of your St. Patrick’s Day Feast’ by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein



Bakersfield, CA, 03-18-2012 Su: Ah, my friends, as Jimi Hendrix said to the crowd at Woodstock, “we meet again!” How nice it is, our final day together before I ride off to the sunset and back to work in the beautiful city of Delano, California—I love it here, this is one of the nicest communities in all the state!  We have good food, good people, and a good life and when we want to go to the big city, we head south to Bakersfield or we go north to Fresno.  Either place is wonderful, there are bars, restaurants, and all sorts of other places to spend one’s time the day after a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day.  Just as long as it isn’t in the Kern County Jail in downtown Bakersfield because one got picked up for a DUI!  I’m hopeful that this year, the number of drunken driving arrests will have dropped considerably but who knows? Being on a Saturday night, it might have been worse than if it had been on a school night—not that drinkers worry much about school nights!  When I was a hardcore drinking man, any night was a good night to pop the top on a beer or to open a bottle of gin.  I didn’t need much egging on because when one begins working in the industry at a young age and are given to old chefs with whom to learn the ropes, you learn how to drink FIRST and foremost.  Nowadays, it’s not as easy because the community is more upset when young folks are led astray but back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, no one really worried about it.  I certainly don’t lead the young folks astray, I can assure you!

  I remember the old guy who once was a very popular TV personality and author of cookbooks, perhaps you remember him, too: Jeff Smith, the “Frugal Gourmet,” the guy died in 2004, I believe but his career and his restaurant business was practically destroyed back in the late 1990’s because a bunch of guys filed sexual abuse charges against him stemming from back earlier in his career.  I don’t believe he was ever punished for this, much less actually proven to have been a sexual abuser of his young employees but a charge like that can nowadays pretty much bring an end to one’s career unless, of course, you’re an educator, and then it goes onto your resume.  In the old days, however, chefs would teach their apprentices how to drink, would grab their asses depending upon their preferences and many times do far worse things to them than what Mr. Smith was alluded to have done.  What I’m saying is, things are much better nowadays and there are so many more controls and restrictions over what goes on in the workplace that these things almost never happen.  If they do, the perpetrators are punished for their misdeeds and their careers ended.  I feel sorry for Mr. Smith if he wasn’t guilty because it ruined EVERYTHING for him.  At least, he didn’t go to prison, he just died an accused man.

Now, how the heck did we get onto that subject and off course?  I have no idea but that’s what you get here at the Elemental News of the Day—a bit of everything, sort of like going to eat at a classic Chinese restaurant and getting one from Column “A,” two from Column “B,” and maybe one or two more from Column “C.” We give you a bit of advice, a bit of social commentary, a bit of political discussion, and even a whole lot of foodservice information designed to make you a more proficient chef.  So, today, we will conclude our St. Patrick’s Day menu by bringing you the final two recipes, our desserts.

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

******

The first item for your enjoyment is a classic pastry dish that features pears and apples in a pie gel with a shortbread crust rolled over them and baked in the oven.  The other one is a classic cheesecake made with the wonderful Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur which to me is one of the most heavenly beverages on the face of the planet.  Sure, both of them are a day late and maybe a dollar short but what the hell—they’re here and if you don’t do them this year for St. Paddy’s Day, do them next year or make them for Easter or Mother’s Day.  Oh, that’s right: next year might not come depending upon what happens on December 21, 2012 when the Mayan Calendar runs out. Hmmm?

(#1320) APPLE-PEAR SHORTBREAD





Yield:  6-8 servings  / Mis-en-place: 1.5 + hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
The Shortbread:
2
Cups
All-purpose flour

.5
Teaspoon
Baking powder

.25
Teaspoon
Salt

1
Cup
Softened butter

.5
Cup
Granulated sugar

.25
Cup
Brown sugar

1.5
Teaspoons
Vanilla extract

1
Each
Large AAA egg, beaten

.125
Cup
Cold water

Granulated sugar

Apple-Pear Filling:
1.75
#
Sliced Fuji apples (peeled and cored)

1.75
#
Bartlett pears (peeled and cored)

2
Cups
Apple juice

1.25
Cups
Kern’s pear nectar

1
Cup
Granulated sugar

.75
Teaspoon
Table salt

3/8
Teaspoon
Almond extract

1.125
Teaspoons
Ground nutmeg

3/8
Teaspoon
Ground cinnamon

.75
Teaspoons
Lemon juice

.75
Cup1
Clear gel or cornstarch

1
Each
Bay leaf

The Finish:
Crème Anglaise Sauce
Optional (below)
Fresh mint sprigs
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place—the Filling: have everything ready with which to work! Let’s make the filling first by poaching both the apples and pears quickly in a pot of simmering salted water for no more than 30-40 seconds, just until al dente-tender and to blanch— NOT to cook—the fruit; it will cook in the gel.  As soon as they’re done, drain and discard the liquid and plunge them into bowls of ice water to immediately STOP any further cooking; then, drain and discard the cold water when they’re completely chilled. 

2.      Have the apples and pears set aside and combine the apple juice and pear nectar together and then place in a large saucepot and place over a medium-high flame.  Combine the rest of the ingredients together using an electric mixer equipped with a whip attachment. 

3.      When the liquid is boiling, pour some of it into the mixer and rotate the whip on slow speed until the mixture is liquefied and free of lumps.  When it is, add the remaining liquid to it and mix well.

4.      Place a heavy-duty, large saucepot over a medium-high flame and spray with PAM or some such other food release spray.  Place a fine-meshed sieve atop it and pour the liquid mixture through it.  Force through any blobs of gel, sugar, or spice and then raise the flame to high.  Throw the bay leaf into the pot, too, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

5.      As it heats up, it will begin to thicken and you must whisk continually lest you miss a corner and scorch the gel.  Be sure to scrape the sides, corners, top and bottom to keep the mixture from scorching.  Continue whisking until the mixture has thickened and has gone from cloudy to clear. When it’s both of those two requirements, the gel is done so remove it from the flame and set aside.

6.      Add the apples and pears and stir them in—gently—with a spoon, coating them with the gel as well as possible. Then, let the mixture cool down and when it has, transfer to a sanitized, airtight container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.  Always label and date your products prior to storing them as in this way, if you need to discard them, you’ll know when to do it.  This will remain usable for about 3-4 days at most.

7.      Mis-en-Place—the Shortbread: preheat your standard oven to 350°F or your convection oven—fan in the “on” position—to 300°F.  Double-sift the first THREE ingredients and set them aside. Place the butter into the bowl of your electric mixer and equip it with the paddle attachment.  Begin beating it until light and airy.  Then, beat in the sugars and vanilla and beat well.

8.      Next, combine the DRY mix with the WET using as few as strokes as possible just until you have a soft, crumbly dough.  Pull it out of the mixer and onto a lightly-floured work surface and quickly knead it—gently.  Then, using a rolling pin, roll it out until it’s large enough to cover the baking dish you’re going to use; allow it to rest for a moment.

9.      Bring out a baking dish large enough to hold the filling and spray it with PAM or with some such other food release spray and fill it with the pear-and-apple filling.  Place a sheet of wax paper atop the shortbread after spraying it with a bit of PAM and then roll it up onto your rolling pin.  Then, un-roll it across the top of the filling so that it slightly hangs over the sides. 

10. Beat the egg with the cold water to form an eggwash and then force it through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl.  Using a sanitized foodservice pastry brush, brush the top of the shortbread with it and then sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Punch some holes in the top using a French knife and pop it into your oven onto the middle rack. 

11. Bake the shortbread dessert for about 30-35 minutes or until it’s poofed up and is a lovely golden-brown.  Remove it from the oven and place it upon a cooling rack with a drip pan underneath it.  Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes so that it will set up before serving.  Here’s the recipe for the dessert sauce: 

(#1319) CRÈME ANGLAISE SAUCE





Yield:  about 1.5 quarts / Mis-en-place: 1.5 hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Cup
Large AAA egg yolks

.5
#
Granulated sugar

1
Quart
Half-and-Half

1
Cup
Gran Marnier liqueur

2
Teaspoons
Vanilla extract

1
Tablespoon
Orange zest




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! In a heavy-duty saucepot, bring the half-and-half to a boil and then remove from the heat—do NOT scorch!

2.      While half-and-half is heating, combine the egg yolks and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer equipped with a whip attachment, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. 

3.      Place the bottom half of a double-boiler/Bain Marie onto a burner to bring the water in it to a boil. 

4.      Meanwhile, pour the scalded cream into the egg yolk mixture in the mixer and blend together well.  Then, pour this through a fine-meshed sieve into the top half of the double-boiler/Bain Marie (that you’ve sprayed with PAM or some such other food release spray).  The purpose of the sieve is to (1) remove any possibility of remaining egg shells and (2) to make it a homogenous mixture sans any albumin.

5.      Stir constantly the combined mixture as the water boils below the mixture in the bottom half of the double-boiler/Bain Marie until the sauce begins to develop body, becomes shiny and bubbles (or foam disappears).  Note: the top half of the double-boiler should NOT be in direct contact with the boiling water!  The sauce should cook by steam alone and NOT by boiling water as if it does, it will COAGULATE which means you have to start over from scratch!

6.      When it shows the aforementioned signs, remove the top half from the heat and pour the sauce into a sanitized baking dish and refrigerate to cool down quickly.  Leave the lid ajar or the sauce will sour.  This cooling process will lead to the thickening of the sauce which is what we want. 

7.      When the sauce is completely cooled, remove from the refrigerator and stir in the remaining ingredients and then return to the refrigerator.  It will remain usable for several days and then, if not totally used up, it will have to be discarded. 

This is the classic Crème Anglaise Sauce that you see in many restaurants.  The sauce is used for a multitude of desserts so be adventurous and pay attention to your cookbooks and you will find many uses for it.

The dessert sauce is optional but it really makes the dessert even better.  You can also serve it with vanilla ice cream (a la mode) and always be sure to garnish desserts with a sprig of fresh mint!

Here’s the cheesecake recipe, delicious and wonderful, a slice of Irish heaven:

(#1322) IRISH CREAM CHEESECAKE





Yield: one spring-form baking pan / Mis-en-place: about 14 hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
The Crust:
2
Cups
Graham cracker crumbs

.5
Cup
Granulated sugar

.75
Cup
Melted butter

1
Each
Large egg white, beaten and strained

The Cheesecake:
1.5
#
Philadelphia-brand cream cheese

1.25
Cups
Granulated sugar

6
Each
Large AAA egg yolks

2
Cups
Sour cream

1/3
Cup
All-purpose flour

2
Teaspoons
Vanilla extract

Zest of one lemon

.125
Cup
Lemon juice

1
Tablespoon
Torani’s Irish Cream Syrup

1
Tablespoon
Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur 

6
Each
Large AAA egg whites
Whipped
1
Teaspoon
Cream of tartar

The Topping:
1.5
Cups
Sour cream

.25
Cup
Powdered sugar

2
Ounces
White chocolate
Melted
2
Teaspoons
Torani’s Irish Cream Syrup

The Finish:
.5
Cup
Chopped hazelnuts 




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready to work with.  Make the crust first by combining the Graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter, sugar, and egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer equipped with a paddle attachment.  Mix into a crumbly blend of butter and crumbs.  Spray a 9” spring release bake pan with PAM or some such other food release spray and gently press the crumb mixture into first the bottom and then onto the sides.  Do it slowly and gently so that it adheres to the pan but take care to have sprayed it well with the PAM, first. Note: the purpose of the egg white is to stabilize the crust so that it will hold together better when the cake’s been baked.  Preheat standard oven to 350°F or a convection oven to 300°F.

2.      Next, beat the cream cheese until it’s soft and creamy on an electric mixer equipped with a whip attachment and then add the sugar and beat thoroughly.  Blend in the egg yolks one-by-one until well-mixed.  Add sour cream, all-purpose flour, vanilla extract, Irish Cream syrup, Irish Cream Liqueur, lemon zest, and lemon juice and combine well.

3.      Beat egg whites until stiff and as you do so, sprinkle in the cream of tartar along the edges.  Fold the whites into the cheese mixture slowly, stirring by hand, until well-blended.

4.      Pour mixture into prepared crust and bake at 350°F standard oven for approximately ONE hour.  Check for doneness by noting the cheesecake to begin pulling away from the sides of the pan and for SMALL cracks to begin forming in the center of the cake—when you see this, check with a cake tester to make sure the center is almost completely dry. 

5.      Note: The trick is to pull it out before it’s completely done so that it will finish in the pan and NOT in the oven.  If you leave it in the oven for too long, the cracks will appear quickly and will be deep.  You can cover this up by putting a topping on top but you can’t do anything about the dryness so be careful!

6.      Allow to cool on a cake rack. As it does so, have the ingredients listed under “Topping” beaten together and combined and pour over the top of the cheesecake allowing it to drip into a pan beneath the cooling rack.  Sprinkle the hazelnuts atop it and gently press by placing a piece of wax paper atop it and pressing down.  Allow the cake to chill in your refrigerator for at least 12 hours before use.

This is a classic, macerated cheesecake with the alcohol and is a tasty one around holidays and such.  It is one that can be placed on the menu and featured as a special, depending upon the type of establishment you are conducting.

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

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.

All I can say is that time flies when one is having fun!  It seems as though we just started our week and here it is: Sunday already!  I am stoked that it has come and gone and that I will now be gone for 4-5 months.  Tomorrow, Pedro Munoz will be coming in to occupy the test kitchen here at the Elemental News of the Day offices in Oildale, CA, and who knows what my friend will come up with or the category he’ll draw from Stinkbug’s famed black chef’s hat.  I am sure that whatever he comes up with, it will be amazingly fun because in the past he’s done chili recipes, Famous Restaurant Recipes and even some Yeast Bread Seminar items which are pretty neat.  But as our list of categories keeps expanding and we keep having new authors come in the door, we never know who or what one will come up with.  Stinkbug has offered a prize of $10,000 to the person’s whose blog gains the most hits for an entire year and you can bet that is something I am bound and determined to get.  What could be more fun than having a competition much like “So You think you can Dance?” (My wife’s favorite show!) or “The X Factor?” Competitions are always wonderfully fun especially when one wins the prize and then is able to go to Hawaii or someplace else that’s very 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 Sunday, March 18, 2012 by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein



TOMORROW—CHEF PEDRO MUNOZ WILL BE COMING IN SO GIVE HIM A BIG, ELEMENTAL NEWS OF THE DAY, HAND!

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 October 18, 1979 in Bakersfield, CA.

KEEP READING THE ELEMENTARY NEWS OF THE DAY FOR THE BEST OF CULINARY POLITICS!

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STINKBUG AT THE COUNTDOWN TO THE END DAYS

                                                                                 
                                                                                   
                                                                                   
This is #1393 a 20” x 16" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Tea Party.’" 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

                                                                                  

YESTERDAY WAS ST. PATRICK’S DAY!



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.















CAVEAT:

NOTE: EVERYONE WHO WRITES FOR THE ELEMENTAL NEWS OF THE DAY DOES SO UNDER AN ALIAS DUE TO FREQUENT OPINIONS THAT MIGHT NOT ALWAYS BE ACCEPTABLE AT THEIR PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT. THANK YOU, Moses Scharbug III.




                                                                           



                                                                         
Magnolia Hilltop Brewers and What's Cookin' Productions Trademark of Quality and Symbol of Integrity. Copyright 03-12-2012, 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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