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Saturday, July 21, 2012

“Central Asian Favorites, Pt. XIX: JT’s Birthday Celebration saved the Best for Last: Chinese-style Fluffy Deep-Fried Shrimp with Homemade Plum Sauce!” by James “JT” Tobiason



SPIRIT’S twenty-third album entitled, “The Mercury Years,” came out in 1997 and featured the best of the band’s time at their second label, Mercury.  We always love the “best of” sets, as many times, there are unreleased gems. We definitely recommend the album as it is one of their all-time best—you can find it at Amazon.com by using the handy link so go there and BUY IT! 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 155 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 “JT” TOBIASON’S BIRTHDAY: 63 YEARS OLD!



James “JT” Tobiason

END Commentary 07-22-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,562.



AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CULINARY POLITICS



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Sunday, July 22, 2012 by James “JT” Tobiason



CENTRAL ASIAN FAVORITES, PART XIX

 Central Asian Favorites, Pt. XIX: JT’s Birthday Celebration saved the Best for Last: Chinese-style Fluffy Deep-Fried Shrimp with Homemade Plum Sauce!” by James “JT” Tobiason

Bakersfield, CA, 07-22-2012 Su: As I mentioned to you yesterday, today is my sixty-third birthday and let the celebration begin!  It has taken a long time to get where I am now: working in the beautiful growing city of Visalia, California, a nice, quiet place in which to raise one’s family and to write for the Elemental News of the Day with Stinkbug.  I love what I do, I love to cook, I love to write about it, and I love sharing it with each of you, my good friends.   

We have spent our entire week working on mostly Chinese dishes and to me that is always fun.  It is fun doing something that we normally do not do and what is special about it is that many times, we improve the originals.  One of the major issues that has plagued Chinese cookery and for many decades, the United States, has been the use of monosodium glutamate otherwise known as ‘MSG.’ It sounds like a drug, right? Well, in a way, it rather is because when added to food, it excites one's taste buds by making everything taste much better than it did prior to its inclusion.  Every restaurant at every level used the substance until it fell out of fashion and its use discontinued when sometime in the 1980s, culinary professionals became determined to instill their own flavorings in a natural way.  That meant that chefs had to work much harder to season and to flavor their dishes because it meant that their skill level had to increase.  For some, this challenge was overwhelming whereas for others, it was irresistible.  I am one of those latter chefs who enjoyed the challenge of dispensing with the MSG and working with herbs and spices in a creative, artistic way.  Always spice and flavor you foods with your own skills and you will find that you can become a master of the process and the profession.

(#1675) CHINESE FLUFFY DEEP-FRIED SHRIMP



Fluffy deep-fried shrimp is one of the most-requested dishes at any Chinese restaurant and this one will definitely knock them dead.  I serve it occasionally and whenever I do, the raves last for weeks at a time.  Perhaps, it will do the same for you.

Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: 45-60 minutes:


Swadeshi Ayurved ginger juice: the best in the world!
Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
24
Each
Jumbo 16-20 prawns, peeled and deveined
Keep tails on
.25
Cup
Gekkeikan Sake

.25
Cup
Swadeshi Ayurved ginger juice

Cornstarch for dusting

12
Each
Large AA egg whites

.75
Cup
Cornstarch

1
Teaspoon
Sea salt

Peanut oil for frying

2
Cups
Shredded Napa cabbage

1-2
Cups
Chinese Plum Sauce (Recipe #1676)
See below first
2-3
Cups
Steamed jasmine rice

2-3
Cups
Stir-fried vegetables

4
Each
Lemon crowns

Spanish paprika

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed
4
Each
Sprigs fresh parsley
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! First things first: make the sauce:

(#1676) CHINESE PLUM SAUCE



Buying prepared oriental sauces at the grocery store or from purveyors is simple, easy, and usually cheap but if one has any desire to be authentic, one should make their sauces from scratch. 

Yield:  about 3.5 cups / Mis-en-place: 4-5 minutes:



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
24
Ounces
Smucker’s plum jam

.25
Cup
Rice wine vinegar

.125
Cup
Dark brown sugar

.125
Cup
Finely-minced yellow onions

2
Teaspoons
Red chili flakes

.5
Teaspoon
Minced garlic

1
Teaspoon
Minced ginger

.5
Teaspoon
Chinese five spice




Method:

2.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepot sprayed with PAM or some other food release spray.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and keep there for 10-15 seconds; then, remove from the heat and transfer to a sanitized shallow pan to cool.  When at 45°F or cooler, transfer to a sanitized storage container.  Label, date, and refrigerate.  It will keep for seven days, so use it by then.

3.      For this recipe, transfer sauce to ramekins for individual service or place an attractive serving bowl atop the table.

It is difficult to copy bottled brands of sauces, especially oriental ones, but if a chef wants to be “authentic,” he or she has to try it and this one is a good facsimile.  Tasty, flavorful, and delicious, it will do the job.

4.      Peel and devein the shrimp.  To devein them, use a paring knife or other such sharp implement and cut a short slice lengthwise down each one’s backside; there, pull out the dark vein of the creatures’ wastes and discard.  Rinse the shrimp well and remember: be sure to keep the tails ON.

5.      Place the shrimp into a bowl and sprinkle with the sake and ginger juice.  Have a pan of cornstarch ready for dusting them and heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 350°F.

6.      Place the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft meringue-like peaks.  Add the cornstarch and the salt.  When the fryer is hot, dust the prawns in the pan of cornstarch and then one-by-one, dip them into the beaten egg white mixture and then drop them into the fryer.

7.      Do NOT overload the fryer: fry small batches at a time and take great care to jiggle the fryer baskets’ handles to loosen them and to keep them cooking.  They will not take long and the minute they are a light brown in color, pull them out and drop them onto a pan lined with cloth or paper towels to drain.

8.      Prepare the plates: place the shredded Napa cabbage at the six o’clock position and place SIX prawns each atop the beds.  Place rice at the ten o’clock and vegetables at the two o’clock positions.  Place a lemon crown dusted with paprika and parsley flakes in the middle of the plates and plant sprigs of parsley alongside each one.  Serve the plum sauce as mentioned above, either in individual ramekins or in an attractive serving bowl.  Then, they are ready to serve.

9.      Never save the egg white batter, always toss it out when finished with it.  Cool leftovers to below 45°F as quickly as possible and refrigerate.  Use as quickly as possible.

This great dish was always popular when we ran it during our days at a great country club.  Yes, people can get it at the local Chinese restaurant but when you can make it yourself, they will talk positively about you and your establishment for years to come.

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

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 is 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 we hear the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession —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 do not pay anything but give YOU full byline and that, my friends, is 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 will be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so Stinky says.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people do not care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It is sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

That will do it for me, my friends!  Tomorrow, Goldfish comes in and will prepare exciting foods for a weeklong slugfest and I am sure you will learn many fine things from her.  We all are specialists in what we do and when we break down our recipes, we do it wi6h the utmost care.  I believe at some point some of our muffin recipes will have to be changed but that is a matter for another time.  Have a great week next week and thanks for making my birthday week a good one! Thanks for all of the cards and letters you have sent!       

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/ Jay Ferguson and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  Allied with them, we are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

“JT”

James “JT” Tobiason

Professional Baker, American Baker’s Association, Certified Working Chef, ACF, CWC

This is me back in the 1980's when I was an Executive Sous Chef at a hotel Monterey, California. I originally came from Salinas, CA, spent time in Fresno and Bakersfield, and currently am working at a fine-dining restaurant in Visalia, CA. I began cooking in 1967 when I apprenticed under a top chef working in the Napa Valley.



James “JT” Tobiason writes from Visalia, CA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Sunday, July 22, 2012 by James “JT” Tobiason

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 James “JT” Tobiason writes this original essay.



Recipe created by James “JT” Tobiason on January 24, 1984 in Monterey, CA.

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