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Monday, October 15, 2012

“Side Dish Seminar, Part XXXVI: El Chilote resurrects a Middle Eastern Classic—Lentil Pilaf—bursting with Health” by Chef El Chilote



Today, we continue offering albums by SANTANA, both as a group bearing his name and as a solo artist.  Santana’s thirty-eighth group album, “Ultimate Santana,” came out on October 16, 2007, and is another beautiful collection of the guitar master’s career.  We love the album and know that you will, too.  Please go to Amazon.com right this minute and BUY it by using the convenient link above!






COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR



Here is the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 69 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 El Chilote

END Commentary 10-16-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,567.



AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CULINARY POLITICS



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Chef El Chilote



SIDE DISH SEMINAR, PART XXXVI—INSTITUTIONAL SIZES

Side Dish Seminar, Part XXXVI: El Chilote resurrects a Middle Eastern Classic—Lentil Pilaf—bursting with Health” by Chef El Chilote



Bakersfield, CA, 10-16-2012 T: Oye, amigos, today is Martes, the second-best day of the week as it a precursor of five days to come before we saddle up and hit the lonesome road out of town with the caballeros.  I always love visiting the state of California because there, one sees multitudes of Mexican restaurants whereas in the Seattle area, we have quite a few but they are not Mexicans with whom I am acquainted.  Not with them, not with their food, they are like “white Mexicans,” pseudo-Mexicans who think they are wowing the folks when in fact they serve them burro crap.  I love Mexican food; it is what I ate every day as my mom fixed breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We ate beans, rice, salsa—blessed Mexican butter!—and lots of corn.  Corn tortillas cooked on the grill night and day and my mama made the absolute best tortillas anyone can imagine!  I think that lack of authenticity is what drives true ethnic diners mad; they go into a place expecting to find pureblooded, authentic Hispanic foods and end up getting stuff out of bottles and cans and see a Russian back there fixing their guacamole.  It is depressing, mis amigos, I want to sink mis dentes into honest-to-God Mexican food and not some guano from a fake!  

Today, a Mexican is going to cook Middle Eastern food for you in an institutional size, namely Lentil Pilaf.   I would like to see an Arab comment on my recipe for Lentil Pilaf, as it would be interesting to see how he reacted to what I have said.  This is the problem when someone creates the recipes of another culture, they simply do not have the bolas with which to do it properly, instead, it comes out looking like an alien did it and I am not talking about those space aliens, the ones que no necessitan papeles, you know who I am talking about, the ones who come in silver disks across the night sky.  I am fearful of those guys, they seem to be everywhere but back to my point: it makes as much sense as a Mexican cooking Arab food as it does for an Arab to cook Mexican food but that is how it is.  I will not corrupt this recipe by loading it up with ground cumin and cilantro, I will do it the way Los Arabes have done it since the time of Mohammud, true to form.  I think you will enjoy it, as lentils are one of life’s greatest treats, ones that everyone can enjoy who enjoys eating beans.  This is an amazingly good dish; I guarantee you are going to love it!

(#0905) LENTIL PILAF



As a kid, I knew but one, rice dish—Minute Rice—as that is what my mother prepared but when I entered the world of foodservice, I discovered many different, exciting and to me—new—rice dishes.  Lentil pilaf is one of the better ones, it comes from the Near East of North Africa and the Levant and makes use of lentils, a highly nutritious legume little nugget of health that increases the attractiveness of the dish immensely.

Yield: 4-6 servings / Mis-en-place: 45 minutes



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
The Liquid
2
Quarts
Chicken broth

.5
Cup
Chopped scallions

.5
Cup
Fine-diced celery

1
Cup
Sliced mushrooms

2
Small
Bay leaves

2
Teaspoons
Whole thyme

The Rice
.25
#
Bacon, chopped

2
Bunches
Coil fideo or vermicelli, crumbled by hand

1
Quart
Jasmine rice

2
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

1
Teaspoon
White pepper

The Finish
2
Cups
Cooked lentils (red, green, or brown)

2-2/3
Tablespoons
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed well



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready to work with.  Preheat standard oven to 375°F or a convection oven to 325°F.

2.      Combine the first SIX ingredients together in a saucepot.  Place over medium heat.
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3.      Using a heavy-duty, ovenproof saucepot equipped with a tight-fitting lid and sprayed heavily with PAM, cook the bacon.  Place the pot over a medium-high flame and allow it to become HOT.  Add the bacon and allow it to sizzle and then begin stirring it around here and there.  Permit it to render as much fat as possible and to crisp up.  Add the coil fideo that you have crumbled by hand and brown it, stirring constantly, until it is a nice golden-brown in color.  Add the rice and seasonings and allow it to become opaque, stirring frequently.  Bring the liquid to a boil in the previous pot.
 
4.      When the grains are white, pour in the boiling liquid and note, you should have at least 1.75 cups of broth after heating it to a boil. If you do not have the required amount, add a little bit of additional water to the pot in order to bring it up to the specified measure.

5.      Cover the pot with a lid and allow it to boil for about 30 seconds and then insert it into your preheated oven on the middle oven rack.  Cook it for 20-25 minutes OR until the rice has absorbed the liquid and it is moist, soft, when it is, it is ready to go.

6.      Remove the rice from your oven and remove the lid.  Fluff it with a fork and allow the steam to escape for a minute or two. In the meantime, heat the cooked lentils in the microwave until hot and then fluff them and the parsley into the cooked rice and serve.

7.      Note: cooking lentils is an art because they cook quickly.  Cook the lentils in a pot of boiling, salted water, anywhere from 2-3 minutes to 20, depending upon both the type of lentils and whether or not you soaked them/did not soak them in advance of cooking. Generally, of all the legumes, lentils are QUICK cookers requiring observation at ALL times. As soon as they are cooked, drain the liquid (you can reserve it if you wish to substitute in place of the chicken broth) and plunge them into a bowl of ice water to retard further cooking. 

Lentil pilaf goes well with Mediterranean-style dishes, as they are very popular in the Middle East.  This dish does wonders with lamb, beef, pork, and poultry dishes.  In addition to tasting good, they are also very nutritious and a joy to use in many foods as an additional source of protein.
Parsley Knot: “always make sure you press as much excess green color out of fresh parsley as otherwise, it turns white sauces and cream soups “green,” an unprofessional and undesirable attribute.”
--------------------------------------------

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 love cooking rice dishes, amigos, it is what we grew up with living in the Southland as a kid, rice, beans, sometimes mush, those things are staples, we ate them every day as I said.  My mama would enter the kitchen at 5 o’clock in the morning to begin the day’s cooking and to make my father his lunch as he never ate on the job where he worked.  I learned a lot of my rudimentary cooking from that woman as well as mi tías, tíos, and other assorted relatives.  Life was a constant social network of friends, family members, and neighbors constantly popping in and bringing all sorts of exciting and new foods.  I am so glad I had the opportunity to remain at home or in its environs for as long as I did.  I hope I am able to impart the ways of the old world of my youth to you, my tireless and dedicated readers.  I am proud to be the one who is the most popular author here at the Elemental News of the Day, ever since I first arrived—quite an honor!                                 

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!  

Muchas gracias, buen amigos!

El Chilote

Santanamos “El Chilote” De Soto

CWC, ACF, Maui Chefs’ Society, Washington State Chefs’ Association.

__________________________________________________________________
This is a shot of me taken when I was a young cook back in the early 1960's. I served underneath a Master Chef for many years before striking out on my own. I went up the coast of the Western United States and Canada, working all the way, until I made it to Alaska. From there, I moved to Hawaii for a couple of years (1994-1997) before I returned to Washington State and it was there that I met Stinkbug.

Chef El Chilote writes from Mukilteo, WA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Chef El Chilote



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 El Chilote wrote this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef El Chilote on April 13, 1974 in Bakersfield, CA. (Chef Elvin C. McCardle created the original recipe whereas I adopted his and increased the quantity)

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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!

 

 

 
President Barack Obama

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TONIGHT IS DEBATE NUMBER TWO! BE THERE AND DO NOT MISS IT!


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