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Friday, July 20, 2012

“Central Asian Favorites, Pt. XVIII: Chinese Steamed Fish served atop a Bed of Napa Cabbage—a Great Dish for your Saturday Evening Meal!” by James “JT” Tobiason



SPIRIT’S twenty-second album entitled, “California Blues Redux,” came out in 1996 as did the first one mentioned the day before yesterday. This great, two-disc recording, which features many awesome songs that will astound the listener, especially if he or she has never heard the work of Randy California, is highly worth purchasing. 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 156 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 07-21-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,506.



AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CULINARY POLITICS



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, July 21, 2012 by James “JT” Tobiason



CENTRAL ASIAN FAVORITES, PART XVIII

 Central Asian Favorites, Pt. XVIII: Chinese Steamed Fish served atop a Bed of Napa Cabbage—a Great Dish for your Saturday Evening Meal!” by James “JT” Tobiason

Bakersfield, CA, 07-21-2012 S: Today is Saturday and that is the best day of the week for me, I think.  Saturday is the busiest night for dinners and then Sunday packs them in for brunch.  Occasionally, Sunday evening can be a big dinner night but never as good as the day preceding it unless, of course, it is a holiday or something.  Normally, we do our best menus for the biggest nights of the week: Friday and Saturday and then move the leftovers out on Sunday.  If we don’t get rid of the food there, it will show up in Monday’s soup or on the luncheon menu special.  In restaurants, no one ever notices (or if they do, they are definitely regulars!) but in country clubs, it is all very different: people notice everything. Therefore, we have to be more innovative and occasionally, we will slip meats into the chili preparations and fish into the chowders on Friday.  If we have chowder every day of the week, we will slip the fish into it there.  With a fish like todays, however, it would stand out like a sore thumb in the chowder so you will have to make “Oriental Fish Tacos” and the customers will go wild!

The recipe for today is a simple yet elegant one, Chinese Steamed Fish, using delicious whitefish like cod, pollock, haddock, plaice, and even orange roughy and tilapia.  One could use halibut to be sure but then we would note that on the menu because we will get bigger bucks than just saying “whitefish.”  It is all about menu and money when one is writing menus and you always note the big money dishes and cover up the lower-priced ones by saying “whitefish.” People like “whitefish,” not because they know a great deal about them but they see Gorton’s frozen fish products in the fishmonger’s showcase at the grocery store and think that it is “swell.”  Today’s recipe uses “whitefish” but let me tell you this: it is delicious!

(#1674) CHINESE STEAMED FISH



Sometimes the best food is the easiest as far as preparation and cooking times.  Simple is good, especially if one is not motivated to spend an entire day preparing food.  In the case of Chinese Steamed Fish, all one has to do is prepare the marinade, soak the fish, and do other things while the marinade does the rest.  When it is steamed and on the plate, people think you worked extremely long arduous hours on their meal when in essence, you were off doing other things; what could be better?

Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: eight hours prep-time / Cooking time: 3-4 minutes tops 




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
4
7-8-ounce
Whitefish filets, rinsed

2
Teaspoons
Minced fresh garlic

2
Teaspoons
Minced fresh ginger

.25
Cup
Dynasty oyster-flavored sauce

.25
Cup
Lee Kum Kee soy sauce

.25
Cup
Water

.75
Cup
Peanut oil

1
Cup
Fine-sliced scallions

Cornstarch slurry

2
Cups
Shredded Napa cabbage

2-3
Cups
Steamed jasmine rice

2-3
Cups
Stir-fried vegetables

4
Each
Lemon crowns

Spanish paprika

.125
Cup
Finely-minced parsley flakes
Rinsed
4
Each
Sprigs fresh parsley




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Have fish rinsed and ready to go. Always use fresh, never frozen, and try to cook it within a day of purchase for best results.  Chill it thoroughly.

2.      Combine the next SEVEN ingredients in a bowl, mixing well, and then add the fish.  Allow the fish to soak for EIGHT hours; then, when it is time to cook, bring the bowl out to room temperature. 

3.      Fire up a steamer and spray the interior with PAM or some other food release spray.  Remove the fish from the marinade and transfer the liquid to a small saucepot.  Place it over medium heat and when it begins to boil, whisk the cornstarch slurry into it, thickening it, and then after boiling for 1-2 minutes, reduce the heat to LOW. Let it perk over low heat taking care to skim all scum that rises to the surface: this is the residual oil from the fish—discard it.

4.      Place the fish portions into the steamer and steam for 2-3 minutes or until the fish is firm to the touch and no longer opaque; this is the telltale signs of being cooked.  Pull it out immediately and prepare to serve:

5.      Place one-half-cup of Napa cabbage onto each of four plates at the six o’clock positions; then, place vegetables at the ten o’clock and rice at the two o’clock.  Place a lemon crown in the center of the plate and dust them with paprika and parsley flakes.  Pour sauce over each fish portion and finish with sprigs of parsley alongside each. Then, they are ready to serve.

This is an elegant yet quick fish preparation (as far as cooking is concerned) that is not only tasty but healthy, too, unless, of course, you have issues with high blood pressure.  You can fix this, however, by substituting low salt soy sauce for regular and further by diluting it with additional water.  Yes, it does not taste quite the same but when one has issues with hypertension, one must transform his or her diet and after awhile, it becomes accepted.

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

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.

Well, tomorrow is our final day and then I will be gone until…late November or early December but unfortunately, I do not believe that I will be here on December 21, 2012 to see if the world comes to an end or not.  I am fearful of events taking place in the world, however, and do hope that the government is not going to implode and fall apart due to the troubled times we are living in but if it does, I will move my family to New Zealand or Australia and get the hell out of dodge!  I hope for everyone’s sake that we either destroy our enemies or find a world full of peace and love.  In addition, one with plenty of restaurant jobs, right now, there are so many unemployed culinary and foodservice workers out there that many of them would be grateful to take the dreaded “hamburger-flipper’s jobs” that unfortunately are the only ones available for many.  You cannot tell me that this administration does not suck when it comes to jobs.  How many times do they lie to us? Ah well, screw it, I realize that political commentary is no longer “popular” here at the Elemental News of the Day so boo hoo! Oh, did I tell you that tomorrow is my birthday?  I was born in 1949 in the Panama Canal Zone, as that is where the U. S. Army stationed my parents. We will celebrate it tomorrow now that Stinkbug says it is “okay” to release some personal information.      

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 Saturday, July 21, 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 May 31, 1994 in Monterey, CA.

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This is #1208 an 8” x 10" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Desert Monsoon." It is 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 known around the world for both the beauty and timelessness of her artworks. Hanging in private and public galleries and followed by many fans encircling the globe—her works instill awe because of her artistic brilliance and personal beauty. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It is 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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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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IT’S YOUR CALL IN NOVEMBER!





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