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Monday, March 12, 2012

“Special Menus Index, Pt. XXXVII: ‘St. Patrick’s Day Menu 2012, Pt. II—Soup Seminar—two Excellent Irish Soups: Corned Beef and Chicken Chowder and Irish Lamb Soup—two timeless Classics’ 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-THIRD album—“The Complete Studio Recordings”—was released in 1999 and was another great compilation album by one of rock’s greatest bands which became certified GOLD by the RIAA.  Yes, we are backtracking a bit because we overlooked the BOX SETS.  We will make it all right! Anyhow, you’ll 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 285 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 03-13-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,453.



CULINARY POLITICS



ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

SPECIAL MENUS INDEX, PT. XXXVII

Special Menus Index, Pt. XXXVII: ‘St. Patrick’s Day Menu 2012, Pt. II—Soup Seminar—two Excellent Irish Soups: Corned Beef and Chicken Chowder and Irish Lamb Soup—two timeless Classics’ by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein



Bakersfield, CA, 03-13-2012 T: Yesterday was a smashing success as we continue on with our Special Menu for St. Patrick’s Day.  We have two more delicious dishes for your enjoyment today, two soups in fact from the Emerald Isle.  Both of them are good because they do what a good soup should: they utilize leftovers and allow us to clean out our iceboxes all the while making the customers happy.  People love tasty soups and the weather’s still chilly in many parts of the country this early in March.  Sure, in some places—like Hawaii!—everything is beautiful and even in Bakersfield, it’s not bad.  St. Patrick’s Day is sort of like the lead-up to Easter and Mother’s Day, it’s a tune-up that allows people to leave their winter quarters and head to a bar.  We have an Irish pub in Bakersfield out on Gosford Road south of Oildale that’s pretty nice.  Anyplace that serves green beer, corned beef and cabbage, and Guinness Stout is alright in my book—it’s worth coming down from Delano, California, for, north of Bakersfield by about 30 miles.  Besides, our town is the “Filipino capital” of Kern County so if we ever do a Filipino holiday, well, I should be the one doing the menu.  It used to be the bowling alley was the finest purveyor of Filipino food but now, I’m not so sure anymore.  But back to St. Paddy’s Day: the only thing you need to remember, my friends, is if you drive, don’t drink and if you drink, don’t drive.  It’s important to NOT end up in the Paddy Wagon (pun intended) as most old chefs have at one time or another.  It’s costly, it drives up your insurance costs when and if you get your license back, and it can wreck one’s job.  Trust me, I wouldn’t mention it if it wasn’t important: that’s our public service message for today! Let’s get started:   

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

******

Soup is on the menu for today and that is what we’re going to do, utilize the things in our ice box from preparing St. Patrick’s Day menu items.  The idea is we prepare things in advance so we’re prepared when the day comes and by doing it that way and not doing everything at the very last minute, we don’t work ourselves to death, run off our help, and go nuts in the process.  Chefs who know how to utilize their leftovers manage to have the best food costs, something you need to be able to do at home so you can stretch your food dollars better than most do.  It is important to utilize every single shred of leftover—within safe circumstances!—because that is how one saves up the money to pay other bills or to hire new help.  I’m a big believer in sharing the wealth but I’m also a believer in keeping what’s mine from the fricking government.  They get enough out of me as it is so it’s my intentions to reinvest, hire, and expand my business.  We’re going to do it by making the following two soups! Let’s go:

(#1309) CORNED BEEF AND CHICKEN CHOWDER





Yield:  about 3.25 quarts  / Mis-en-place: 60 + minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
Quarts
Corned beef broth

1
Each
Bay leaf

1
Cup
Minced corned beef (scrap pieces)

1
Quart
Water (and add to it):

2
Cups
White rose potatoes, peeled and diced

1
Cup
Melted butter

1.5
Cups
Diced carrots

1
Cup
Diced yellow onions

1
Cup
Diced celery

.25
Cup
Diced leeks

1.5
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

.75
Teaspoon
White pepper

1.125
Teaspoon
Minced garlic

.75
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

.25
Teaspoon
Nutmeg

.75
Teaspoon
Dry mustard

1.25
Cup
All-purpose flour

1
Cup
Cooked diced chicken

1
Cup
Reserved potato water

.5
Cup
Diced pimientos

1.5
Cups
Heavy cream

.25
#
Salted butter

.125
Cup
Finely diced parsley flakes
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work!  Note: this soup is meant to use leftover bits and pieces of meat that you’ve saved up from cooking corned beef and chicken.  You also have leftover corned beef broth from cooking corned beef so this is a good place to use it.  Should you not have enough or any, substitute chicken broth in its place.

2.      Place the first THREE ingredients in a pot and place over a low flame until called for.

3.      Gently simmer the potatoes in the one quart of water, adding more to it as necessary.  If you have a steamer, steam them just until al dente-tender but no more than that.  Add whatever additional liquid you need taking care to have at least ONE cup for the recipe. 

4.      Next, heat the butter in a large soup pot after spraying it with PAM or with some such other food release spray and when it’s sizzling, add the next TEN ingredients to it, beginning with the diced carrots and ending with the dry mustard.  Cook the veggies with the seasonings just until tender and then add the flour, stir in, and incorporate.  By adding the seasonings to the roux, you are preventing the possibility of spice clumps from forming, a very important step.

5.      Now, add the flour to the sautéed vegetables to form a roux.  Cook this roux—stirring constantly—over a medium-flame until it’s somewhat solid yet pliable and is smooth.  It is important that you cook the roux for 4-5 minutes as this will intensify the flavors and increase the strength of the soup so that it can sit in a soup well for hours if need be. 

6.      Combine the reserved potato water with the mixture in the first pot and check the measurement: you need about two quarts.  Bring it to a boil and then gradually—taking precautions by standing back!—pour it into the roux, whisking furiously.  Combine the liquid with the roux, whisking all the while, until a moderately thick soup has formed.  Add the chicken and the pimientos and continue whisking the soup.  Reduce the heat to moderate and allow it to simmer.

7.      Add the heavy cream to it and allow it to thicken gradually.  Enrich it with the .25# of butter and continue simmering over a very low flame.  This will develop the flavor and make it tasty.  If it’s too thin, reduce it by simmering until it’s the correct consistency, like split pea or navy bean soups. Finally, add the parsley flakes to it, check and readjust the seasonings as necessary, and serve!

8.      Always serve HOT.  Always chill leftovers as quickly as possible by pouring them into a baking dish or hotel pan and placing it on a wire rack.  Use an oscillating fan if necessary and allow it to blow directly onto the soup.  Stir occasionally with a spoon and get it below 45°F as quickly as possible.  Then, transfer it to a sanitized, airtight container with a tight-fitting lid, label, date, and refrigerate.  Keep on hand for no longer than 2-3 days at most; after that: toss it.

This is a classic soup, one we definitely enjoy around St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s also what we lovingly call an “icebox soup” as it allows us to empty the fridge of leftovers in a creative way.  This is what soup-making is all about.

That was a good one.  Let’s do our last soup for the day now:

(#573) IRISH LAMB SOUP





Yield:  about 2 quarts  / Mis-en-place: 60 + minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
Quarts
Lamb or chicken broth

.125
Cup
Melted butter

.5
Cup
Diced yellow onions

.5
Cup
Diced celery

.5
Cup
Diced carrots

.5
Cup
Diced leeks

.25
Cup
Diced carrots

.25
Teaspoon
Stinkbug Seasoning (Recipe #226)

.25
Teaspoon
Minced garlic

.25
Teaspoon
Tarragon

.25
Cup
All-purpose flour

.5
Cup
Heavy cream

1.5
Cups
Pearl barley
Cooked
.5
#
Lamb trim, cooked and diced 


Method:

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

2.      Place the combined broth in a soup pot on the stove and place over a moderate flame until called for.

3.      Heat the butter in a large soup pot sprayed with PAM or with some such other food release spray and get it sizzling.  Add the vegetables and the seasonings and begin sautéing the vegetables until tender and their aromatics have been released into the air.  Then, add the flour to form a roux and cook this roux for 4-5 minutes in order to develop its flavor.

4.      Stir the roux constantly; meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil and when it’s reached it, gradually begin whisking it in, stirring furiously, until the soup has formed and a medium-thick soup has formed.  Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer over a low flame.  Check and readjust the flavorings and fix, if necessary. 

5.      Add the heavy cream, the cooked barley, and the cooked lamb, stirring well to incorporate.  Allow the soup to perk along at a low flame, building flavor and texture.  If it thickens too much, add a bit of stock to reduce it and if it’s too thin, allow the process of reduction to reduce it to the proper consistency, like minestrone.

6.      Always serve HOT.  Always chill leftovers as quickly as possible by pouring them into a baking dish or hotel pan and placing it on a wire rack.  Use an oscillating fan if necessary and allow it to blow directly onto the soup.  Stir occasionally with a spoon and get it below 45°F as quickly as possible.  Then, transfer it to a sanitized, airtight container with a tight-fitting lid, label, date, and refrigerate.  Keep on hand for no longer than 2-3 days at most; after that: toss it.

This is a good way to use up any leftover lamb meat.  We always try to utilize everything so that we make our food costs that much better at the end of the month; however, if something doesn’t look or smell good or if you have a bad feeling about it and don’t think you should use something, DON’T! Throw it out and start anew, make a different soup.  Remember: only you can prevent foodborne illness so always use common sense!

Here’s the Stinkbug Seasoning blend:

(#226) STINKBUG’S SEASONING





1. Yield: One cup of seasoning:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Cup
Kosher salt

1
Tablespoon
Black pepper

1
Tablespoon
Granulated garlic

1.5
Teaspoon
Granulated onion

.5
Teaspoon
Hungarian paprika

1
Teaspoon
Summer savory

1
Teaspoon
Dry parsley flakes




Method:

1.      Combine all ingredients together in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix together well. Store in an airtight, DRY container.

This is a wonderful multi-purpose seasoning that can be used with most foods.

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

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.

That will do it for Day Number Two!   As always, I am appreciative to Stinkbug for having me here at the END as we’ve known each other almost from Day One when he was coming up the ropes.  Back in the day, the cooks of Bakersfield more or less knew one another as we would eat back and forth at one another’s restaurants and also worked part-time here and there around town.  Most of us spent time at Zingo’s Café out on Pierce Road at the Twenty-Fourth Street exit from the Freeway 99 because they were always in need of cooks because the place made MONEY!—something not seen too much anymore in the business in the state of California thanks to the massive amounts of illegals.  Anyhow, this blog isn’t meant to bash the illegals, it’s the fault of our state government that seems to be so enamored of hiring wetbacks that it can’t do anything for its citizens.  Sure, we could elect Republican governments but the state is lost as the illegals are the ones running it now.  But, back to the story, we knew one another from working at Zingo’s and at Milt’s Coffee Shop out on Olive Drive in Oildale and Stinky was a wonderful friend, a little bit crazy as a youngster, but a decent guy. I’m grateful to him for allowing me to do this. Thanks, ‘Bug!  

 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 Tuesday, March 13, 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 22, 1984 in Bakersfield, CA.

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STINKBUG AT THE COUNTDOWN TO THE END DAYS


                                                                                                                                       
                                                                              
This is #1388 a 24” x 20" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “The Rabbit Hole.’" 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
                                                                               
MARCH 17 IS 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.















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Beer: Smokehouse.






























                                                                            
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