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Friday, June 8, 2012

“Special Menus Index, Pt. LXII: Father’s Day Menu 2012, Pt. VI—Fabulous Bakery Desserts—High-top Coconut Cream Pie and Fresh Nectarine Betty—two amazing Desserts with which to bring Father’s Day to a Close” by Chef Itzi Nakamura



Today, we continue offering albums by STEPPENWOLF!   Their SIXTEENTH album—“Wolftracks”—was released in 1982 and was the latest studio album released at the time!  Of course, the band is pretty much a John Kay solo album but still, it has his amazing voice and the same driving hard rock the band was famous for.  This is a great album and one you definitely need to go to Amazon.com and purchase NOW!  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 197 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 Itzi Nakamura

END Commentary 06-09-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 3,340.



AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CULINARY POLITICS



ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, June 09, 2012 by Chef Itzi Nakamura

SPECIAL MENUS INDEX, PT. LXII

 Special Menus Index, Pt. LXII: Father’s Day Menu 2012, Pt. VI—Fabulous Bakery Desserts—High-top Coconut Cream Pie and Fresh Nectarine Betty—two amazing Desserts with which to bring Father’s Day to a Close” by Chef Itzi Nakamura



Bakersfield, CA, 06-09-2012 S: We have arrived at the weekend which, I’m told, is a time in which the readership is very limited so that whatever happens here basically is unnoticed and unrecorded by the general Internet crowd.  That’s a shame because today, we are going to make our desserts and desserts are something of which I’m very fond and enjoy making.  Needless to say, we will continue as though today is our biggest day and hopefully word will get out and more and more people will come to join us both today and tomorrow, Sunday.   

We are going to make two delicious desserts for Father’s Day, the first being a High-Top Coconut Cream Pie while the other is a fresh Nectarine Betty.  Coconut is a traditional food in the islands and is used in many different preparations whether they be entrees, desserts, salads, and even bread.  As for nectarines, well, they’re a specialty fruit, one that is “imported” to us from the Mainland which makes it somewhat pricey.  Then again, most everything used here on Maui—including the home-grown stuff—is costly and that is one of the prohibitive factors of living here.  It’s very difficult and that’s why families tend to live together generation after generation after generation, building cottages in the front and backyards, adding rooms to the main house, and even putting rooms on top of the house.  The ones who are fortunate and able to get out and find their own places are lucky if they find a cottage in someone else’s front yard or better yet, are somehow able to purchase their own home.  Most homes that have been recently built are put into a lottery of sorts for those with Hawaiian blood, the ones with the most being at the top of the list while those with less are towards the bottom.  The ones who lack Hawaiian blood have to wait their turn.

Anyhow, our two desserts are amazing, the coconut cream pie is a high-top which is made possible by plain gelatin but one must always remember that it is imperative to always heat it to a boil and keep it there for 30-60 seconds, stirring madly, before pulling it off and allowing to cool down to room temperature; then, it’s added to the rest of the ingredients and is the structure that keeps the cream standing tall without collapsing and caving in.  I love these pies, they’re so ono and the coconut is magnificent if one can use fresh that they’ve bought at the grocery store.  Of course, one must always be careful as every year, some dolt holds a coconut in one hand and attempts to slice it open with a machete held by the other; you’d be surprised at how easily a coconut can be split by a sharp knife and the dummy ends up having to go to the hospital to get his hand sewed back together: yuck!

As for the nectarines, what is “tropical” for one is definitely not for another and for those on the Mainland, guavas, pineapples, lilikoi, papaya, and mangos are exciting because they’re different as are star fruit, cherimoya, and whatever else one can find in the specialty sections of their grocery aisles.  Here on the islands, boysenberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, and sometimes even many brands of apples, pears, and other assorted stone fruits are “tropical” to us.  Blueberries are a very tasty item and when we go to the Foster’s Freeze in the middle of the summertime, there’s nothing better than getting a blueberry or a peach freeze.  So, making a fresh nectarine betty is somewhat unique and unusual and that is why it’s on our Father’s Day Menu 2012.  The important thing is that in cooking nectarines, one must always be careful and pay them close attention as to not do so is to end up with a pot full of mush much like poi.  They’ll be blanched in minutes, sometimes even less so pay them close scrutiny as they poach in the pot.

Here’s our Menu:

FATHER’S DAY 2012 MENU

I.                   Tomato and Green Bell Pepper Salad

II.               Tam O’Shanter Tortellini Salad

III.            Old-Fashioned Coleslaw

IV.             Fresh Steamed Artichoke with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

V.                Fresh Steamed Asparagus with Lemon Buerre Blanc

VI.             Crispy-fried Wontons

VII.         Boston-style Baked Beans 

VIII.      Saffron Potatoes

IX.             Piñon Nut Pilaf

X.                Three-Squash Sauté

XI.             Grilled Vegetables

XII.         Stuffed Zucchini

XIII.      Lime Butter Steak ala Juan

XIV.       Broiled Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa and Fish Juice

XV.          Coconut Cream Pie

XVI.       Fresh Nectarine Betty

XVII.   Mai Tai

XVIII.                        Malibu Cove 

XIX.       Cannonball

XX.          Angel’s Delight

XXI.       Cold Irish

XXII.   Jamaican Dust

We must get going here if we’re going to make our desserts so without further adieu, here we go:

(#1616) COCONUT HIGH-TOP CREAM PIE



Hi-top pies are not only tasty—they’re a marvel of foodservice technology due to the inclusion of the gelatin which is the structure that holds it all together.  Always be sure to activate the gelatin in BOILING water as if you don’t, it won’t work and the whole thing will be a mess.  This is a wonderful pie, beautiful, tasty, and a joy to behold.  The heavy cream gives it a rich, almost narcotic flavor and the coconut is simply scrumptious!

Yield: enough for 2 8-inch pies / Mis-en-place: 6-8 hours:



If you don’t wish to make the Graham Cracker Crusts from scratch, you can buy them premade at the grocery store.

Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
The Filling:
1
Quart
Heavy cream

2
Cups
Powdered sugar

1.25
Tablespoons
Plain gelatin

.25
Cup
Boiling water

1
Tablespoon
Vanilla extract

1
Tablespoon
Torani’s coconut syrup

1-2
Each
Graham cracker pie crusts (Recipe #1618)
See below
The Topping:
2
Cups
Heavy cream

1
Cup
Powdered sugar

2
Teaspoons
Coconut extract

1
Teaspoon
Vanilla extract

1-2
Cups
Toasted coconut




Method:

1.      Beat cream until semi-stiff in the bowl of an electric mixer equipped with a whip attachment.  Scale in the sugar and incorporate well.  Combine the gelatin with the boiling water and heat in a microwave until extremely hot: this is necessary to do so in order to activate the gelatin because if you don’t, it won’t go to work and hold your pie up. Allow it to cool for a few seconds and then blend it into the cream mixture along with the vanilla and coconut syrup. Pour into two prepared pie shells, cover with a piece of wax paper sprayed with PAM or some such other food release spray—sprayed-side-DOWN—and chill. Allow four hours to set up.

2.      When the pies have set up, prepare the topping: first, toast the coconut in the oven, standard: 400°F or a convection oven with the fan in the “on” position to 350°F.  At first, it will begin slow, but once it starts to brown, KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON IT AS IT WILL TOAST IN A MATTER OF MINUTES, POSSIBLY SECONDS. As soon as it’s toasted, pull it out and place the pan atop a cooling rack. 

3.      Next, place the heavy cream into the bowl of an electric mixer and begin whipping it at medium-high speed with the aid of a whip attachment.  Continue beating it and as smooth peaks begin to form, begin scaling in the powdered sugar and the flavorings.  When it’s fairly stiff, STOP whipping and transfer it to a large pastry bag equipped with a star tip. 

4.      Pipe it onto the pies beginning at the outside edges and with undulating, up-and-down movements, pipe a circular circle of whipped cream atop each pie.  Do it slowly and decoratively and when both are topped, top with the toasted coconut and then return to the refrigerator.  When it’s time to serve them, cut them with the aid of a sharp knife, transfer the slices to side plates, and then it’s time to serve them to the diners.  If desired, garnish each one with a sprig of fresh mint.

Here’s the pie crust recipe:

(#1618) GRAHAM CRACKER PIE CRUST



Everyone who aspires to be a baker needs a good graham cracker pie crust and this one’s it: use it for cream pies, cheesecakes, and whatever else you have need of it for.

Yield:  1—9” spring-form pan or (2-3) 8” or 9” pie crusts  / Mis-en-place: 30-45 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
3.75
Cups
Graham cracker crumbs

.25
Cup
Baker’s sugar

3/8
Cup
Melted butter

1
Each
Large AAA egg white
Beaten and strained



Heavy or Whipping Cream: use either one but note that “HEAVY” is thicker than “Whipping.”
Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Make the crust 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 crust has been baked. 

2.      Preheat a standard oven to 400°F or a convection oven with the fan in the “on” position to 350°F.  When the crust(s) are made, place them onto a sheet pan first and then into the hot oven on the middle rack.  Bake for 15-20 minutes OR until the crust(s) show they’re done by being golden-brown and holding together.  Remove them and cool them on a wire rack prior to filling them with whatever pie filling you’re going to use.

This is a great recipe for graham cracker pie crusts and has been in my repertoire since the earliest days of my culinary career.

This is an excellent high-top cream pie recipe that you will find to be very useful.  It can be used as the basis for many different types of pies so let your imagination go wild!

(#1617) FRESH NECTARINE BETTY



Nectarines are a luscious summertime fruit that are very similar to peaches with the exception that their skins are smooth and peaches aren’t.  They can be prepared in the same manner but with all fresh fruit, it is important to keep a close eye on the process and to just BLANCH the fruit for the filling as it will be cooked again in the oven.  Treat it with kid gloves as it will tear apart and there is nothing worse than an applesauce-like filling on one’s plate when he or she is expecting whole fruit slices.

Yield:  a pair of pies or a cobbler  / Mis-en-place: 1.25 hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
Nectarine Preparation:
7.5
#
Fresh nectarines, peeled and sliced 

2-3
Quarts
 Boiling water

2
Cups
Granulated sugar

1
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

2
Each
Bay leaves

The Filling:
1.5
Quarts
Fresh nectarine juice

2
Cups
Granulated sugar

1.5
Teaspoons
Table salt

.75
Teaspoon
Almond extract

2.25
Teaspoons
Ground nutmeg

.75
Teaspoon
Ground cinnamon

1.5
Teaspoons
Lemon juice

.75
Cup
Clear gel or cornstarch

1
Each
Bay leaf

1
Teaspoon
Red food color

1.5-2
Teaspoons
Yellow food color




Method:

3.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! First, let’s make our Betty topping and get that out of the way:

(#1535) BETTY TOPPING


Cherry Crisp: this is a photo of a cherry crisp, which is a cousin to the peach crisp.  This is how the finished Crisp should look but with peaches.

Cobblers, Betties, and crumbles were popular dessert items from the old days and always found in truckstops, coffee shops, and diners.  This is a beautiful, delicious topping for any fruit filling, whether it be apple or peach, cherry or rhubarb, or berry or pineapple.  Once you’ve had your first Betty, you’ll be a fan for a life!

Yield:  about 5 cups  / Mis-en-place: 6-7 minutes:



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
Cups
Brown sugar

1
Cup
Granulated sugar

2
Cups
All-purpose flour

1.5-2
Cups
Melted butter




Method:

4.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Combine the first three ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer; then, dribble in the melted butter until you have a crumbly topping. Store in a sanitized container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator.  Bring it out half-an-hour before use and to use it, heap it atop a pie or a fruit filling in a baking dish and bake in a 400°F standard oven for 15-20 minutes or until it’s browned off nicely. Always keep a close eye on it once it begins to brown as it will do so quickly. 

5.      Pull out the baked item and place it upon a cooling rack; after 5-10 minutes, it’ll be ready to serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or anything else you have in mind for it.

6.      Keep the topping refrigerated so label and date it.  It will remain fresh for 1-2 weeks.

This is an old-fashioned pie and cobbler topping so keep this recipe handy as its delicious.

7.      Place the first measure of water atop the stove and add the sugar, salt, and bay leaves—bring to a boil.  Peel and pit the nectarines and then slice them.  When the liquid is near boiling, add the fruit and keep there for 1-2 minutes; as soon as it shows the least amount of being cooked, PULL IT OUT AND PLACE IT IN ICE WATER.  As soon as it’s chilled, drain and place it on a cloth towel to dry.

8.      Meanwhile, reduce the liquid to 1.5 quarts of juice; then, drop the heat to low.

9.      In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the REST of the ingredients listed underneath the “Filling.” Rotate the whip attachment on low speed and then begin dribbling in some of the nectarine liquid after it’s COOLED DOWN.

10. Add enough to moisten the ingredients—mixing all the while—until you’ve formed sugar syrup.  Force it through a fine-meshed sieve into a large saucepot you’ve sprayed with PAM or with some such other food release spray.  When all of the fresh nectarine juice has been added to it and the syrup has been formed, place the pot over a medium-high flame and stir occasionally as it begins to heat up.

11. When it begins to thicken, begin stirring constantly as it will thicken fairly fast and the bottom will scorch rather quickly.  The gel should be fairly thick but if not, combine a bit more clear gel or cornstarch with any residual nectarine broth or cold water and whisk it in, whisking until it’s thickened to the desired degree.  A filling should be fairly thick as once the fruit is added to it and it goes into the oven as either a pie or a cobbler/betty/crumble, it will loosen up a bit due to the release of the fruit’s moisture.

12. When it’s thickened enough, gently stir in the fruit with the burner turned OFF. Stir until it’s coated and then transfer the filling into a baking dish sprayed with PAM.  Top it heavily with the betty topping and then place inside a preheated 400°F standard oven or a 350°F convection oven with the fan “on” and a drip pan underneath. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes OR until the topping has become golden-brown and the air smells fragrant with nectarines.

13. Remove the Betty from the oven then and place it atop a cooling rack.  When it’s cooled down a bit, serve it with either freshly whipped cream or with an ice cream of choice.  Leftovers should be refrigerated and can be used either warm or cold but note: they’re better reheated.

Here’s a great whipped cream recipe:

(#1587) WHIPPED CREAM II



Like many other standard products, the more one can make for him-or-herself and from scratch, the more individual your cooking abilities and the more they’ll stand out.  It is important to be able to make fresh whipped cream from scratch and to do it right, something more people than you’d ever believe know how to do.  I love fresh whipped cream and even though it doesn’t stand up for very long, it’s the best!  Try making this one and you’ll see precisely what I mean!

Yield:  about 3+ cups / Mis-en-place: 10 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
Cups
Heavy whipping cream

.5
Cup
Confectioners’ or powdered sugar

2
Tablespoons
Triple sec liqueur

.5
Teaspoon
Meyer’s light rum

1
Tablespoon
Vanilla extract




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Using your electric mixer once more with the WHIP attachment, whip the cream at medium-high speed until soft peaks begin to form, about 5-8 minutes and when they do, begin to scale in the sugar along the sides. Add the rest of the ingredients and stop when it’s fairly stiff.

This is a good whipped cream recipe to have on hand.

This is one of my all-time favorite cobbler-like desserts and the use of fresh nectarines is a great way to utilize leftover fruit.  You can substitute peaches or apricots in place of the original fruit for the same wonderful results.

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

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.

One  more day and then we will bring our debut week to a close unless, of course, Stinkbug means what he says about me doing another week due to not having mentioned the fact that Thursday was HUMP DAY, a tradition that seems to be very important here.  But if that is what must happen, then that is what must happen and I will be prepared to do another week.  At least in that way, I will be able to catch up in the numbers of posts with some of the other new writers here at the Elemental News of the Day.  Who knows, we might even work on some more Father’s Day items for the upcoming holiday and whatever we do will be immensely fun.  I’m learning the ropes around here as quickly as I can because as I’ve mentioned the entire week, I’m very excited about being here.                                

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 STEPPENWOLF 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!

Itzi Nakamura

Itzi Nakamura

Certified Executive Chef—American Culinary Federation, Inc.  
This is a photo of me back in the 1980's when I was the Executive Chef at a fine-dining restaurant out in Lahaina, HI, on the beautiful island of Maui.  I began my culinary career in the late 1960’s while living on my home island of Oahu and after spending some time in California during the 1990’s, I returned to my native Hawaii and am currently running a gourmet restaurant in Kihei, HI.  My experience has been in fine-dining but I’ve also spent time running a hospital kitchen as both a dietician and as a Cook IV.

Chef Itzi Nakamura writes from Kihei, HI.
---30---

The END Commentary for Saturday, June 09, 2012 by Chef Itzi Nakamura

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 Itzi Nakamura



Recipe created by Chef Itzi Nakamura on April 24, 1987 in Honolulu, HI.

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