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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

“Side Dish Seminar, Pt. XXIV: Riz Cassoulet—South of France Side Dish Magic—and a Classic to Boot!” by Chef Fritz Schlependrecht



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COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR…



Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 220 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 Fritz Schlependrecht

END Commentary 05-17-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,558.



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Thursday, May 17, 2012 by Chef Fritz Schlependrecht

SIDE DISH SEMINAR, PT. XXIV

 Side Dish Seminar, Pt. XXIV: Riz Cassoulet—South of France Side Dish Magic—and a Classic to Boot!” by Chef Fritz Schlependrecht



Bakersfield, CA, 05-17-2012 Th: Here it is: the classic Elemental News of the Day “Hump Day,” a day that must be mentioned by each and every one of us hosts as it is a tradition.  Yes, it is Hump Day and that means after today, we will have but three more days to go and then it will be time to leave until the next time.  We have a lovely thing here, we can work very hard for a week and then we can go off and do our thing for 5-6 months and then return to a brand-new ballgame.  I love writing for Stinkbug and see it as one of the finer points of my culinary career which is surprising to many as this is not a well-read blog averaging only 30-40 page views a day.  But I am excited about being on the ground floor of something that I feel is destined to take off and will destroy every other competitor out there once our readership is expanded. 

Today, we are going to make a rice dish that hails from the South of France much like our Pommes de Tierre Magdalene from earlier in the week, Tuesday, I believe.  This is served with tomato dishes featuring pork, chicken, even lamb and has a Mediterranean flair which is wonderful.  That is the lovely thing about living in a nation like the United States: we have many different regional cuisines and not just one like most nations.  The same is true for France in at least, it has the two cuisines, Classical and the Southern Cuisine.  The great thing about the southern is that it is much like Italy and Spain, made with similar products, most of which hail from across the waters in North Africa or from the New World like the tomatoes and beans.  Put together, they’re very similar but then when inspected closely; there are a great many differences between the cuisines of the southern Iberian Peninsula, Italy, and elsewhere in the region.  Fascinating to say the least, my friends!  It is important to be aware of both the histories of the areas in which we find our foods as well as the foods themselves.  That is why I love the job and it’s also interesting to note that I have a Master’s Degree in History.

Here’s our recipe:

(#898) RIZ CASSOULET



Riz Cassoulet is a classic French dish that generally accompanies South of France dishes replete with tomatoes, beans, onions, and fresh herbs.  It is a tasty accompaniment for spicy foods whether they are French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese traditions.  This one takes more time than the normal rice dish because of the beans but if you have leftover beans, you can use them.  The dish is supposed to have small white beans but what the heck! Be creative, inventive, and make things work for you!

Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: 8-12 hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
.25
Cup
White beans, soaked overnight
Cooked al dente
1.5
Quarts
Water

.75
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

2
Ounces
Link sausage, sliced thin
Cooked
.5
Cup
Diced yellow onions

1
Cup
Jasmine rice

.5
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.25
Teaspoon
Black pepper

.5
Teaspoon
Ground coriander

3/8
Teaspoon
Minced garlic

1
Cup
Chicken broth

.75
Cup
Tomato juice

1
Each
Bay leaf

.125
Cup
Reserved bean cooking liquid

.125
cup
Minced celery
Blanched
.125
Cup
Diced fresh tomatoes

.75
Teaspoon
Whole sweet basil

.75
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

2
Teaspoons
Minced fresh parsley
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Soak the beans after having picked through them in cold water at room temperature.  The next day, cook al dente, about 30-45 minutes, possibly way less, depending upon how much they’ve soaked.  When they’re showing signs of doneness, drain and reserve liquid, and plunge the legumes into ice water to retard further cooking. When cold, drain and set aside on a paper-lined pie pan.

2.      Preheat standard oven to 375°F or a convection oven to 325°F (fan on) and have ready.  Place a heavy-duty 1.5-quart saucepot equipped with a tight-fitting lid atop a low flame and spray it with PAM or some such other food release spray.  Add the sausage and begin to cook it over low flame, stirring occasionally, to help it render its fat much more quickly.

3.      In the meantime, beginning with the Chicken Broth and ending with the Bean Water, combine these ingredients together in a saucepot and put over a medium flame.  Have the celery, tomatoes, basil, and thyme combined together in another bowl; set aside.

4.      As the sausage begins to render a lot of grease and begins to cook, add the yellow onions and the rice and cook quickly.  Season with the salt, black pepper, ground coriander, and the garlic.  Raise the temperature of both pots and when the liquid is boiling, combine the two together in the sausage pot, taking care to step back in order to avoid the onrushing gust of steam.  Allow the liquid to boil down to the level of the rice and then clamp the lid on tightly and boil a final 15-20 seconds.

5.      Place the rice inside your preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the liquid.  Remove from the oven then, place on a cooling rack and fluff with a large kitchen fork. After a minute or two of allowing the steam to escape, fluff in the bowl containing the celery, tomatoes, and the herbs. Fluff in the parsley and the cooked beans and then, your Riz Cassoulet are ready to serve!

6.      Note: all rice dishes can be made earlier in the day you plan on serving them or even the day before and then cooled in a shallow pan.  Reheat by doing so in the microwave oven.  You can heat the rice portions up in individual, buttered ramekins for good effect or altogether in a bowl. Do whatever is easiest for you and enjoy.  

7.      As for leftovers, it is important to always cool them to below 45°F as quickly as possible so that they don’t become targets of foodborne-illness-causing microorganisms.  Always put hot foods in shallow pans atop cooling racks and once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and then label, date, and refrigerate.  The rice will remain usable for 2-3 days but must be reheated to a temperature of 165°F or higher for safety concerns.

This is a classic French dish from the south of the country so it features quite a bit of Mediterranean-style influences and is a tasty accompaniment to course from the region.  This is different rice by American standards but one that you and your family or your place of employment will quickly adapt to and come to love.

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

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.

Well, there you go: Hump Day has come and gone and we have but three days left to go.  Spectacular, to say the least, don’t you think?  Tomorrow, we will pick back up with more delightful dishes from who knows where; it’s always a secret until you’re advised as to what we’re going to do.  See you then!                

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 HOT TUNA 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, my friends!

Chef Fritz

Chef Fritz Schlependrecht

American Culinary Federation, Inc., CMC

This is me in 1985 at an American Culinary Convention back in 1987 taken as a collage of sorts.  I began my culinary career at age 10 working under my father, Chef Fritz, Sr., at his German restaurant in Southern California.  I moved to Bakersfield in 1982 and went to work at one of the hotels and remained there for the next 24 years prior to retiring.  Now, I spend my time writing culinary articles for various magazines enjoying the good life.  I’ve dedicated my entire lifetime to promoting the foodservice industry and in educating the young folks.

---30---

The END Commentary for Thursday, May 17, 2012 by Chef Fritz Schlependrecht



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 Fritz Schlependrecht



Recipe created by Chef Fritz Schlependrecht on February 09, 1986 in Oildale, CA.

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This is #1286 a 12” x 16" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Contemplation." 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!

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