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Everything posted by mklynch

  1. mklynch

    Foie Gras: The Topic

    I know this is controversial, but I helped another chef cook for a catering and he used a George Forman grill to sear the foie. While I was skeptical, it actually worked ok and given the lack of equipment, was really an inventive solution. The fat drained off and was saved for other uses. MMMM...foie gras fat!
  2. I used to travel alot in Texas and it is hard to beat their Q. I've done brisket at home in my New Braunfel's smoker - bummer is getting up before 5:00 am to get it going as I agree it takes at least 10 hours - 14 is better. Saw in the paper today a woman I worked with last year is opening up a place to be called Tucci's Q American Bar-B-Que on Russell in the old Doris' Cafe spot. Dinners starting 1-5-04 with lunches to follow. Probably worth checking out.
  3. Breakfast in Montana at my aunt's house. She was out of milk, so made the waffles with water. No syrup, just her "homemade" jam made out of green tomatoes and raspberry jello. Her tomatoes never ripened in Montana and she thought this was a great way to use them. Or maybe my mother's Yorkshire Chicken casserole with undercooked, still bloody chicken pieces. I won't travel any further down this bad memory lane!
  4. I was reading "It Must've Been Sometihing I Ate" on a plane gong to San Diego last month. The piece on Chinos' inspired me to volunteer to cook dinner for the folks I was staying with. Fortunatly my friends live about 10 minutes from the farm, which they had never been to. I went with no idea what I was going after. First thing I saw were the most beautiful pumpkins so the first course of pumpkin soup became apparent. While I was off picking one out, my friend got blabby with Kay and told her I was a chef visiting from Oregon. We chatted a while - everyone there was most gracious and the produce stunning. I finished shopping, filling 2 bags and asked how much I owed. Kay wouldn't take a dime - She gave us the bags with a wish for a wonderful meal! Certainly an unexpected treat. I know my friends will be back and I only wish they had a farm in Oregon. Thanks for writing about them. Mary Kay PS- I enjoyed the rest of the book as well!
  5. mklynch

    A Chef's Beer

    I've brewed for over 10 years - all grain and mostly original recipes. I grew my own hops and cultured many strains of yeast. The last place I was a chef let me use the kitchen on weekends (yes, I worked M-F) to brew in exchange for occasionally teaching a brewing class. I was able to knockout 35 gallons in about 7 hours. Of course, I kegged. The magic fridge was in my music studio and my band had free access to the brews, so I had willing helpers for the brew. We'd bring our instruments in and jam during the slow parts and I'd cook up some lunch. Was really funny when the security guards came through to check the walk in temps! I'd ask what the band felt like drinking next and write a recipe. When I was in culinary school a million years ago, I brewed 5 gallons every Monday, kept notes and learned how various grains affected the outcome. I changed jobs, quit the band, moved, and drink mostly wine these days, but still have a deep love of the process. I love the smell of the wort when the hops start going in. The most important thing, above everything else (I mean WAY above EVERYTHING else) is sanitation. I think a wort chiller or some method of chilling the wort to yeast pitching temperatue as fast as you can is essential. The wort is a perfect gowing medium for all kinds of beasts that want to eat your yeast's food and turn your beer to slime. You want your yeast to have the best head start. I always fermented all the way in glass with blow off tubes going into a bucket, then when fermentation slowed down, plastic air locks. I had a big enough storeroom for 7 carboys. Not enough walkin space to lager though. I have a new neighbor who is setting up his brew system, so I hope to get my brew spoon wet again soon. Best of luck!
  6. I once had to make a Cobb salad on the fly - had everything but the bacon. The deep fryer was on, and it worked pretty well. I told all my cooks who saw me to NEVER do this!
  7. Been a few times and loved the calimari! The clams and pork sounded strange, but was delicious. Ate off the specials board for everything else and was very happy. The wine list is very reasonalbe - good wines for under $30. Get there early - before 6:00 as they don't take reservations and fill up quick.
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