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Friday, June 22, 2012

“Soup Seminar, Pt. XXXII: Cajun Corn Chowder—the Absolute Best Soup Around” by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall



Today, we veer off from SPIRIT and delve into a band formed by Spirit vocalist Jay Ferguson and bassist, Mark Andes plus his brother Matt on lead guitar and drummer William “Curly” Smith: Jo Jo Gunne. Their first album, self-titled and released in 1972, was their best and is still a classic to this day.  We love this band and know that you will, too, and suggest that you take the attached link to Amazon.com and buy “Jo Jo Gunne” now!  When the parent band reforms in a couple of years, we will return to them! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.  



COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR…


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 184 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 “Jimmy” Hall

END Commentary 06-23-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,791.



AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CULINARY POLITICS



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, June 23, 2012 by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

SOUP SEMINAR, PT XXXII—CAJUN CORN CHOWDER

 Soup Seminar, Pt. XXXII: Cajun Corn Chowder—the Absolute Best Soup Around” by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall



Bakersfield, CA, 06-23-2012 S: I mentioned yesterday my love for Spirit and what a great band they were when Randy California was alive.  The band we’ve delved into today is a spin-off band; one formed when the original Spirit broke up and went their separate ways.  Jay Ferguson and Mark Andes formed a great rock-and-roll band, Jo Jo Gunne that lasted for about 3.5 years and toured madcap across the world.  I love Jay Ferguson’s voice, he’s one of the all-time great rock-and-roll vocalists and listening to him was a pleasure that is still enjoyed today.  The band broke up in 1975 but reformed in 2005 and released an album called “Big Chain,” which was as good as any of the ones they released during their original career.  I would suggest that everyone at least check out their discography and take it from Chef Jimmy that all five of their albums are worth buying!  Honest-to-God rock-and-roll is always good and worth listening to so never overlook an opportunity to buy something worth buying!

Today, we are going to make one of my best soups, Cajun Corn Chowder, a soup that will not only stimulate your taste buds but will overpower them.  Based on my original corn chowder, it’s been spiced up in a Cajun-Southern Cuisine-sort-of-way and will grab you by the lapels and make you sit up and take notice!  The craze back in the 1980s was absolute and complete and people from one end of the country to the other were on the Paul Prudhomme bandwagon racing across the country.  I decided that I would have to hop on board, as that is what one does in the industry if they want to capitalize on the trend and make money and lo-and-behold, my soup exploded across the state of California! Talk about success! I wrote for the newspapers on the California coastline and was a noted chef at the time and it’s all because of this soup:

(#600) CAJUN CORN CHOWDER



Back in the 1980s during the Cajun craze, that was sweeping America; the customers could not get enough Cajun/Creole foods so this soup—developed by me—became an instant hit.  It allowed me to take my regular Corn Chowder recipe, spice it up and slap a new name on it and was it a hit!  The good thing about a soup such as this is that it can be transformed into a variety of different soups through the addition of crab, lobster, Tasso, chicken, even frog legs’ meat so don’t be afraid to create something new and surprise both yourself and your customers!

Yield:  2.5 quarts / Mis-en-place: 1.25 hours:



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
3/8
#
Peeled and diced white rose potatoes

1.5
Quarts
Water

1
Cup
Heavy cream

3.5
Cups
Chicken broth

1
Piece
Bay leaf

5/8
Cup
Melted butter

.75
Cup
Diced carrots

.75
Cup
Diced celery

.75
Cup
Diced yellow onions

.125
Cup
Diced pimientos

.75
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.25
Teaspoon
White pepper

.125
Teaspoon
Cayenne pepper

3/8
Teaspoon
Tabasco sauce

3/8
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

.125
Teaspoon
Whole marjoram

3/8
Teaspoon
Ground fennel seed

.75
Teaspoon
Ground coriander

.5
Cup
All-purpose flour

.5
Cup
Fresh or frozen bay shrimp

.125
Teaspoon
Hungarian paprika

1
Cup
Creamed corn

3/8
Cup
Sliced okra

1
Tablespoon
Freshly minced parsley

.75
Teaspoon
Lemon juice

1.5
Teaspoons
Madeira sherry

.75
Teaspoon
Worcestershire sauce

.125
Cup
Diced tomatoes with juice

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed
Spanish paprika




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! This soup is composed of different parts so everything needs to be ready when called for.  The first thing to do is to cook the potatoes in the 1.5-quarts of water until al dente-tender; the moment they are, remove them and reserve the liquid and then plunge the potatoes into a bowl of ice water to retard further cooking.  When done, drain and discard the cooling water and place the potatoes on a cloth-lined towel to dry.

2.      Combine the chicken broth, heavy cream and bay leaf in a heavy-duty saucepot or in the top of a double boiler and heat over medium-hot water.  Don’t boil until told to do so.  It is important NOT to break the cream but it is necessary to have it warm.  If it heats up too much, it might boil over the top of the pot so keep an eye on it—this is mandatory.

3.      Now, in a heavy-bottomed rondeau or soup pot sprayed with PAM or some such other food release spray, melt the butter over medium flame.  When it’s sizzling, add the vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, translucent, and aromatic.  Add the spices and herbs beginning with the salt and ending with the ground coriander and blend well.  This is an important step: if one adds the spices to the completed soup, the odds of getting clumps and balls of spice in the soup increase and if one happens to bite down on a blob of spice, it can ruin the experience.  Avoid this at all costs!

4.      When the mixture is as described, add the flour, stirring constantly, until your roux has formed.  Take your time and cook the roux, as it is important to remove all vestiges of floury flavor from the finished soup.  Cook—stirring constantly—until your soup’s roux is puffed up and fairly thick—then it is ready for the liquid.  While doing this, raise the heat under the stock-cream pot and bring it to a near-boil. 

5.      Raise the temperature under the roux pot and then with a wire whisk, combine the liquid with the roux by pouring the former into the latter taking care to stand back.  The liquid will roil up due to the heat so be prepared for it to possibly boil over the pot.  When this happens, it happens quickly so be on guard to prevent it.  Whisk constantly and briskly until a creamy soup has formed and then lower the heat and allow it to simmer for several minutes.

6.      Should the soup be too thick, begin incorporating the reserved potato liquid bit-by-bit until the proper consistency is apparent.  Keep the potato water warm so that you can add it quickly to thin the soup and note, too, that it can also thicken the soup if it’s too thin due to the residual starch from the potatoes—keep this valuable resource handy!

7.      Finally, add the rest of the ingredients beginning with the bay shrimp and ending with the diced tomatoes and juice.  Stir to blend them in and then allow the soup to cook over a very low flame.  Check the flavor and readjust it if necessary: it should be somewhat spicy-hot, flavorful, and Southern-style.  This is delicious soup and it will blow away the competition so keep an eye on it—you don’t want it discolored or scorched and that can happen with cream soups.  If you need to transfer it to the top of a Bain Marie, do so.

8.      Serve the soup either in individual soup cups or bowls or in a decorative tureen at the table.  Be sure to garnish it either way with additional parsley flakes and paprika sprinkles.  If you wish, garnish the soup with additional bay shrimp or corn kernels so find something that works for you and go with it!

This is among my top soups and always was popular whenever we ran a “Cajun Night” at the clubs or restaurants in which I worked.  Tasty, it makes an impression on those that favor spicy foods and will make your skills known far-and-wide.

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

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 become dedicated followers of the END.  Currently 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, 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.

Today is the second to the last day and then I will be gone.  Vladimir Gdansk will come in on Monday and who knows what wonderful things he will be doing?  As always, we here at the Elemental News of the Day want everyone to become “Elementalized” and to join us on our culinary journey to wherever the adventure next takes us.  Food is what life is all about and we want you to commit to being here each and every day and to send friends, family, neighbors, relatives, and co-workers to visit and become members and followers.  We would love to have you for supporters, why not commit to giving us a check for $500 every month so we can keep the END up-and-running! It would be a tax-free donation and we would put your name at the top of our page! Think about it!                                          

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 SPIRIT/ Jo Jo Gunne 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!

Jimmy Hall

James Hall

Cook III, CWC, ACF, CA273 Santa Barbara ACF chapter and HI033 Maui Chef’s and Cook’s Association

______________________________________________________________________

This is me as a chef during the 1980's when we took a group photograph for a Chefs de Cuisine yearbook. At the time, I was working at a hotel in Bakersfield, CA, down on Union Avenue. It was still somewhat nice and the area was still the original "restaurant row" of the city. I am now in my sixties and am working over in Santa Barbara, CA, as a food and beverage director for a country club.



Chef James “Jimmy” Hall writes from Santa Barbara, CA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Saturday, June 23, 2012 by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

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:

The one-and-only Chef James “Jimmy” Hall writes this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall on June 27, 1985 in Bakersfield, CA.

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BUY “JO JO GUNNE” BY Jo Jo Gunne ATAMAZON.COM NOW!




The Chef’s Culinary Nightmare: the end is indeed coming soon so beware of BOTH November 06 AND December 21, 2012!

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