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Monday, October 8, 2012

“Side Dish Seminar, Part XXIX: Our Menu for Today features another Scalloped Potato Dish—Julienned Pommes de Tierre Birgette—a Mediterranean-style Dish” by Chef Stinkbug



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COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR



Here is the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 76 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 Stinkbug

END Commentary 10-09-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,892.



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Tuesday, October 09, 2012 by Chef Stinkbug



SIDE DISH SEMINAR, PART XXIX —INSTITUTIONAL SIZES

Side Dish Seminar, Part XXIX: Our Menu for Today features another Scalloped Potato Dish—Julienned Pommes de Tierre Birgette—a Mediterranean-style Dish” by Chef Stinkbug



Bakersfield, CA, 10-09-2012 T: Man, oh, man, here it is, another Tuesday and let us see, today is October 9 and what is going on? Tomorrow is my good friend and co-author, Bea O’Malley’s birthday, she is going to be sixty-three years old, I know most women hate for men to disclose their ages but around here, we talk about everything, talk about polyp removal, vasectomies, and breast enlargements.  We share it all because in professional foodservice, everyone knows everything about their co-workers, the bosses, the delivery personnel, hell, even the guy cleaning the crappers at night.  Let me tell you something, that is a very important position, as we do not permit filthy crappers in American kitchens whereas I am quite sure that in Angola, Namibia, or other places it is.  In fact, I recently took a tour of Africa and Angola was one of the main stops, it was once a Portuguese colony but now, well, the sanitary facilities leave a lot to be desired, it is no wonder people are dropping like flies.   I went there on vacation with my wife to see if I could incorporate African cookery into my notable repertoire and it turns out there was very little of interest.  I doubt American consumers are ready for hippopotamus steaks.  I am sure we can order them from specialty meat companies but I recall the hoo-hah over kangaroo burgers being served at McDonald’s restaurants a decade or so ago.   Our Australian friends would love to rid themselves of the glut of “roo” meat and do so by preparing it in the same way we dress steers and then shipping it worldwide.  Americans do not care for that sort of thing in the same way no one really sees hasenpfeffer on menus except for German restaurants.  Personally, I enjoy rabbit meat but lo and behold, let the kids know they’re eating “Thumper” and all hell breaks loose.  Wait until the world of The Hunger Games arrives, and then we all will enjoy eating rabbits!

Today, we continue with our institutional-sized side dishes with another scalloped potato item, Julienned Pommes de Tierre Birgette, although I have shortened the name.  The French call potatoes “pommes de tierre,” meaning “apples of the earth.”  That is their view of the noble spud; something sent eastward from the Americas due to the Columbian Exchange, the event that took place after Columbus “discovered” the Americas.  European and African products flowed westward as American products flowed eastward.  Everything from livestock, food, and disease went back and forth.  Potatoes became the mainstay savior of European and African populations in the way that rice has sustained Asians for centuries.  We must be thankful for the amazing foods not to mention quantities of those foods flowing around the world as without them; starvation would most likely have claimed half the globe’s population if not more at the time.

Well, today’s recipe is a Mediterranean-style potato dish, one all of you can love and enjoy if you have a taste for that sort of thing.  We try to be new and different here at the Elemental News of the Day and this recipe is one created by me based upon Julia Child’s French cookbooks back in the 1980s.  I think all of you will enjoy it, as it is something completely different from what most folks know.  Let us do it:

(#0858) JULIENNED POMMES BIRGETTE—INSTITUTIONAL SIZE

Master Chef Auguste Escoffier, 1846-1935: the King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings--the Father of Modern French Culinary Thought

This is a delicious dish suited for Mediterranean menus whether they are Spanish, Tunisian, Italian, or further east like Turkey, Syria, or Israel.  Use on International Night and it will do well.

Yield:  30-40 servings (1 two-inch full hotel pan) / Mis-en-place: 1-1.5 hours:



The Chef's Friend: Food Release Spray

Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
15
Medium
Russet potatoes, peeled and julienned

5
Large
Carrots, peeled and julienned

1
Large
Yellow onion, julienned

5
Large
Celery ribs, julienned

3
Each
Red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, de-ribbed, and julienned;
2
Gallons
Chicken broth

1
Gallon
(reserved chicken broth) from above

1
Cup
Clarified butter

1.5
Cups
All-purpose flour

2
Teaspoons
Minced garlic

2
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

.5
Teaspoon
White pepper

The Topping:
1
Cup
Sliced green pimiento-stuffed olives

.25
Cup
Freshly shredded parmesan cheese

Hungarian paprika

.25
Cup
Freshly-minced parsley flakes
Rinsed



Method:

1.      This dish is composed of numerous vegetable components tied together with a sauce, baked, topped with the final items, and finished underneath an overhead broiler.  Have everything ready with which, to work!

2.      Parboil the carrots in the first measure of chicken stock for approximately FIVE minutes or until al dente-tender.  Add onions, celery, and red bells and boil an additional 2-3 minutes; then, immediately drain the vegetables through a colander (reserving one-gallon of cooking broth) and then plunge into a boil of ice water thereby to halt any further cooking.  Keep the veggies as firm as possible as they will complete the cooking process in the oven.  As soon as chilled, drain and dry them as best you can, remembering that excess water on them breaks the sauce.

3.      Place one gallon of reserved broth atop the stove in a large saucepot over a medium-high flame.  Meanwhile, prepare the roux by cooking the all-purpose flour, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper over medium flame.  Stir constantly to keep it from overbrowning and then when the broth boils, begin whisking it into it until a medium-thick sauce forms.  Continue whisking for another one-to-two minutes; then drop flame to a low simmer and allow the sauce to cook for 5-10 minutes.

4.      Now, fire up convection oven—fan “on”—to 400°F or standard oven to 450°F. Note that these sorts of dishes, convection ovens work best as they have added impact with the fan going full blast which cooks the potatoes so much more beautifully and quickly than a standard.  In addition, there is a differential between 400°F in a convection oven with the fan “on” as opposed to a HOT standard oven.  Normally, the sides get extremely crisp: top, bottom, and sides. 

5.      Spray a full-size two-inch hotel pan heavily with Crisco Pan Release, PAM, or some such other food release spray and set it aside.  Combine the blanched, drained vegetables with the sauce, mixing well, but taking care NOT to overmix it, thereby breaking the fragile contents.  Pour this mixture into the prepared pan, cover it with a sheet of wax paper, and then cover with a piece of aluminum foil sprayed with some sort of food release spray.  Press it sprayed-side-DOWN atop the potatoes and crimp the sides all the way around so that you obtain an airtight seal. 

6.      Place the pan atop the middle rack of the hot oven and bake for 45-60 minutes; check for doneness at the earlier point by lifting a corner, peering inside, and poking the contents with a paring knife.  If the potatoes are tender, pull them out and if not, recover and continue cooking.  When time is up, pull them out, remove the cover, top with the TOPPING ingredients and fire up the overhead oven broiler, aka the “salamander oven.”

7.      Place the pan beneath the overhead flame and gratinee the contents.  When golden brown, crusty, and delicious-looking, pull the pan out and allow it to air out for several minutes.  When the steam exits, it will set up, becoming firmer and ready to hold on the steam table.  There, you can dish it out order-by-order.

8.      You MUST cool leftovers to below 45°F as quickly as possible and should always be transferred into a new, sanitized hotel pan, covered with plastic wrap, labeled, dated, and refrigerated at or below the 45°F mark.  Reheat to order in the microwave or the whole pan in the oven, covered with foil, of course. Never hold a dish such as this longer than 1-2 days without usage; after that, toss them out.

This is a unique potato dish, a very delicious one but somewhat strange.  It is Mediterranean-styled, very good with foods from across the region, and a hit when run occasionally.

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

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. Nowadays, we promote the Nerds on Call computer service, these people are phenomenal and we want you to seek service from them!

            I hope you have enjoyed our foray into French cuisine today as it behooves me to share everything I know and my co-authors know with the World Wide Web, aka the Internet, so we can all pursue the culinary arts together.  The pursuit of culinary knowledge, lore, and expertise is an ongoing experiment that lasts lifetimes and that is why it is always fun to come across antique cookbooks.  The only thing difficult with them is that normally, the measurements suck, they do things by “hands,” “fingers,” and “pinches,” which is horribly difficult quantifying.  Let’s face it, if my smallest chef, Igor, five feet, two inches tall measures something by his hand and my tallest cook, Hakim, standing six-foot-seven measures something with his hand, I believe there is a cup or more difference between them.  That is why it is good when we have both volume and weight measurements as it gives us better consistency than if we do things the old way.                            

Therefore, 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 SANTANA 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!

Stinky

Stinkbug
American Bakers’ Association, ACF, CWC

This is I back in the 1980's when I was the sous chef of a large foodservice operation in Bakersfield, CA. I began my cooking career in the 1960's when I apprenticed underneath a great chef, Master Chef Ulysses S. Paz.  I have lived and worked in Hawaii, Washington State, Arizona, and California.  Even though I am in my late 60’s, I am still actively involved at a hotel here in Bakersfield, CA.

Stinkbug was born on April 01, 1943 in Pumpkin Center, CA to Lucy Mae and Alvin P. Pindeho.

Chef Stinkbug writes from Oildale, CA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Tuesday, October 09, 2012 by Chef Stinkbug



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 Stinkbug wrote this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef Stinkbug on July 28, 1987 in Oildale, CA.

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