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Saturday, August 25, 2012

“Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Part LII: Polynesian Bran Muffins—perfect for the Chuckster’s Birthday Celebration” by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein



Today’s James Gang album is their sixteenth release, “the Best of Joe Walsh and the James Gang 1969-1974,” which came out in 2002 and was yet another attempt by their record company to keep their memory alive. This is one of the great bands of the greatest era of ROCK-and-ROLL so please go to Amazon.com right now and BUY it by using the convenient link! Note: tomorrow, we offer the final James Gang album and then begin offering albums by: SANTANA!



COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR

Here is the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 120 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!



STINKBUG 2012



TODAY IS THE CHUCKSTER’S SIXTY-SECOND BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!



Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

END Commentary 08-26-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,519.



AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CULINARY POLITICS



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Sunday, August 26, 2012 by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein



CLASSIC QUICKBREADS AND MUFFINS, PT LII

Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Part LII: Polynesian Bran Muffins—perfect for the Chuckster’s Birthday Celebration” by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

Bakersfield, CA, 08-26-2012 Su: Sunday is here at last as is my birthday and after I present today’s muffin recipe, I am on my way to Morro Bay.  We love that part of the California coastline, it is among the most scenic and the rock standing out in the bay is simply amazing, it has weathered the world for hundreds of thousands of years, if not longer.  If you have never taken the trip down the California coast, you have missed one of life’s greatest joys as we have the best coast in the entire world, no doubts about it.   I have lived in this state for most of my life and find it beautiful when compared with any of the other states across the nation and no matter where I have journeyed, I always return. 

I was depressed when I hit sixty years old but now, it does not bother me that I am the senior member of my kitchen staff.  It is my kitchen and my staff and I have a duty to instruct and to teach those following me.  I am lucky in that I can tend bar, I can cook, bake, do just about everything ever done in a restaurant.  The fact that I live in Delano, CA, a once small but now fast-growing San Joaquin Valley city, is amazing to many thinking I should be in Los Angeles or San Francisco but this is home to me and will be until the day the undertaker takes me to the funeral home.  I hope that when I die, 30-40 years from now that God allows me into Chef’s Heaven so I can work in the heavenly kitchen there, it must be super-beautiful and full of equipment unimagined upon earth.  Maybe St. Peter assigns me to peel godly potatoes or something!

Our muffin recipe for today is my Polynesian Bran Muffins, simply “fab” as the Hollywood intellectuals say whenever they attend their fabled cocktail parties.  I like things that are new, different, or a takeoff on existing items and this is one of my favorites, I hope you like it: 

(#030) POLYNESIAN BRAN MUFFINS



Here is a great muffin everyone can enjoy: Polynesian Bran Muffins, delicious, healthy, and quite different from most of the rest of the pack so try them, enjoy them, and share them with everyone you know.

Yield:  12-14 medium muffins / Mis-en-place: 30-40 minutes / Baking Time: 18-24 minutes




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
Cups
Bran cereal

2
Cups
Buttermilk

5/8
Cup
Whole wheat flour

5/8
Cup
All-purpose flour

3.75
Teaspoons
Baking powder

.75
Teaspoon
Baking soda

.5
Teaspoon
Salt

2
Large
AA eggs

1
Cup
Brown sugar

.5
Cup
Vegetable oil

2
Cups
Crushed pineapple, drained

.5
Cup
Chopped canned yams

.5
Cup
Shredded coconut

.75
Teaspoon
Vanilla extract

.75
Teaspoon
Banana extract

.75
Teaspoon
Coconut extract

Powdered sugar




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! First, combine the bran cereal and the buttermilk and allow it to soak—at room temperature—for 20 minutes.  As this is taking place, prepare your stainless steel or aluminum muffin pans, never dark bakeware, by spraying it thoroughly with PAM or some such other food release spray, then by lining it with paper or aluminum baking liners, and finally by spraying those as well as the tops of the pan with food release spray, too.  The reason for this is that shiny bakeware reflects heat away from the muffins or quickbread rather than absorbing it leaving the finished product with light, tender sides, and no burnt flavor so always use them and never the other.

2.      Next, preheat standard oven to 375°F or convection oven with fan in the “on” position to 325°F.  Double-sift the all-purpose flour with the baking powder, soda, and salt and then stir in the whole-wheat flour, blending well; set aside.

3.      Then, with the aid of an electric mixer outfitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs with the brown sugar and oil, creaming the mixture at medium-high speed.  Add to that the bran cereal-buttermilk mixture as well as the flavorings, crushed pineapple, chopped canned yams, and coconut.  Rotate the mixer’s paddle on low speed until the ingredients are homogenous and combined.

4.      Now, fold the DRY mixture into the WET by rotating the paddle on medium-low speed just until blended.  I find it helpful to count down from “20” and then stopping once, I have reached ‘zero.’ This is to prevent the overmixing of the batter thereby toughening the flour’s gluten making the finished product tough and chewy.  The lumps bake out during the cooking process so do not worry about that.

5.      Once the batter is combined, allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes; then using an ice cream scoop (occasionally dipped in cool water to keep it loose), fill the muffin cups up to the rims but no higher; then, gently rap the pan to settle its contents, place on middle oven rack, and bake 18-24 minutes.  Check for doneness at the lower end of the bake time by inserting a paring knife into the centers of the middle row: if it withdraws “clean,” the muffins are ready to come out and if not, bake until time is up or they prove baked.    

6.      Remove the pan from the oven, place atop a cooling rack, and cool for 2-3 minutes; then, rap the pan’s edge—gently—to loosen them, then remove them and leave them atilt in the muffin cups.  If they are not quite “dry” enough in the oven, pull them out because the residual heat finishes the baking process so never worry if they are a touch underdone: it is better to pull them out a second or two early than late.

7.      Finally, remove them from the pan, set upright on the cooling rack, and heavily dust with powdered sugar sifted over them.  Serve atop a doily-lined serving tray, wrap leftovers in plastic wrap individually, and then zip up tight in freezer Zip-Loc bags.  Label, date, and freeze but be sure to use within 5-7 days for best usage; otherwise, cut up and toss into bread pudding or dry and grind into sweet crumbs.

I found these long ago in an old muffin book, baked them, improved them, and used them for the past 30 years.  Always a tasty variety of bran muffins, people are amazed at how good they are as will you be!

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

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.

            This is “farewell” for me, my friends—I am off to the coast for summer’s vacation with the family.  Two weeks are fabulous and after my birthday party tonight in town, we leave and will not be back until mid-September.  I will not be back until after the end of the Mayan Calendar so I hope all is well and that the world does not come to a smoldering end.                           

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 the James Gang 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!

Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein

The Chuckster
Restaurant Manager, Mixologist, Foodserver, and Cook
This is a photo of me back in 1973 while being the Food and Beverage Director at one of the hotels in Bakersfield, CA, located on Union Avenue. I was in my late 30's at the time. I am still working at one of the local hotels in the nearby town of Delano, CA, a place that has been my home for the past 10 years. Our city has experienced marvelous growth and is fast becoming a player in county politics.

Chef Smithenstein writes from Delano, CA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Sunday, August 26, 2012 by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein



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 Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein wrote this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef Charles “the Chuckster” Smithenstein on June 12, 1988 in Bakersfield, CA.

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