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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

“Central Asian Favorites, Pt. XV: Cantonese Chicken and Cucumbers is not only Beautiful to Behold, it is a Joy to Eat!” by James “JT” Tobiason



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COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 159 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!



STINKBUG 2012





James “JT” Tobiason

END Commentary 07-18-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,231.



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Wednesday, July 18, 2012 by James “JT” Tobiason



CENTRAL ASIAN FAVORITES, PART XV

 Central Asian Favorites, Pt. XV: Cantonese Chicken and Cucumbers is not only Beautiful to Behold, it is a Joy to Eat!” by James “JT” Tobiason



Bakersfield, CA, 07-18-2012 W: Yesterday, we did one fabulous Cantonese dish, Beef with Oyster Sauce, and today, we will make another, Chicken and Cucumbers, both of them being traditional wok stir-fried dishes.  I love this sort of cooking as it is quick, people love it, and whenever a fine-dining restaurant can knock out the favorites the clientele get at the local Chinese joint, it is a sense of fulfillment to hear their gratitude.  I love cooking oriental foods as not only are they fun, they are unique in the sense that they are made with basic ingredients which most household and professional cooks and chefs know little or nothing about.  Everyone knows soy sauce and teriyaki but that is about it when it comes to oriental cooking so let me share with you another great dish that I know you are going to enjoy!

(#1671) STIR-FRIED CHICKEN AND CUCUMBERS

This is one of the most unique and lovely dishes I have ever made and believe that you will find it to be that way, too.  Easy to make, quick to cook, it is perfect for oriental-themed dinners at either your place of business or at your home. 

Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: 30 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
#
Boneless breasts of chicken, sliced thin

2
Each
Large AA egg whites, beaten and strained

1-1/3
Tablespoons
Cornstarch

1
Large
Cucumber (see below), sliced

Sesame oil for frying

.5
Cup
Peanut oil

1
Teaspoon
Minced fresh ginger

.5
Teaspoon
Minced fresh garlic

.25
Cup
Kikkoman Aji-Mirin rice wine

The Sauce:
.25
Cup
Kikkoman soy sauce

1-1/3
Tablespoons
Granulated sugar

.5
Teaspoon
Lawrey’s seasoned salt

.25
Teaspoon
Lawrey’s seasoned pepper

Sesame oil

The Finish:
3-4
Cups
Steamed Jasmine rice

2-3
Cups
Stir-fried vegetables

.5
Cup
Slivered scallions

.5
Cup
Red bell pepper sticks (seeded and de-ribbed)




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Prepare the chicken breasts in the following way: place them between two sheets of plastic wrap and then gently pound them with a food hammer (masticator) on both sides.  Then, using a sharp scimitar, slice them in diagonal thin strips; set aside. 

2.      Beat the egg whites until frothy and then force through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl.  Whisk in the cornstarch, whisking well, and then pour this mixture over the chicken meat and toss well. 

3.      Combine the ingredients listed under the sauce and once combined, set aside until called for.

4.      Take the cucumber and peel of several strips lengthwise with a potato peeler so that you have a ribbony effect; then, slice the cucumber lengthwise in half and then scoop out the seeds and discard them.  Take the two long halves and slice diagonally into thin oblong slices; set aside.

5.      Heat the first measure of oil (Sesame) in a large heavy-duty skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken meat and quickly cook it, stir-frying it, and then when it is pour in the wine and quickly glaze the meat. Remove the chicken once blanched and wipe the skillet and return it to the flame.   

6.      Add the peanut oil once the pan is hot and heat it up.  When it is hot, add the ginger and garlic and sauté until aromatic and the essences rendered in the skillet.  Add the cucumbers and quickly stir-fry, tossing about with tongs or chopsticks. 

7.      Return the chicken slices and add the sauce.  Finish the stir-fry over medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked; then, drizzle it with some additional sesame oil and prepare to serve. 

8.      Serve either family-style or in individual portions.  To do the former, place everything in separate bowls and garnish with scallions and bell pepper sticks and to do the latter, do the same thing but place separate equal portions on each of four plates.  Serve.

9.      Always cool leftovers to below 45°F as quickly as possible and keep for no more than 2-3 days in your refrigerator, labeled, dated, and chilled in sanitized containers.  Always reheat to 165°F or higher.

This wonderful dish is one of the few that make use of cucumbers in HOT dishes.  It is flavorful, beautiful to look at and if you wish, substitute the cukes with chayote squash for a completely different effect.  Combine it with other Chinese dishes for your very own “Chinese Night” at your restaurant or fine-dining country club.

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

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.

All right, friends, you all know that tomorrow is HUMP DAY, correct? Of course you do, our vast readership awaits the first person to fail like Itzi Nakamura did on her debut cruise.  We kid her about what happened but now, it is no laughing matter as no one wants to fail and find him-or-herself having to do a second week.  We are all placing bets on one another in Las Vegas as to who will be the first one and believe me; I plan on collecting the big bucks.  Let me tell you this: everyone is betting that Stinkbug will be the one to blow it first, which would be fitting for the boss to be stuck with two weeks!  LOL.

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 Wednesday, July 18, 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 March 19, 1978 in Napa, CA.

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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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