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Everything posted by Qwerty

  1. Why are you surprised by that? Restaurant work is, typically anyhow, a labor of love. If you don't LOVE working in restaurants, it will never be for you. Working with food/being in the food business is a lot different than being a line cook. You make it sound like the only reason to get a culinary education is to go work in a restaurant. Lots of people study art who have no interest in becoming an artist...this is true of many different fields of study. A lot of people, especially on a board like this, seem to have some romantic image of a restaurant chef and/or cook as being the high point of a career in food. For many, many people it is not. I think that the number of people who want fame and fortune on FoodTV is still relatively small, but it is growing. And you know what, it's not like it was 10-15 years ago. Being a great chef with a great restaurant or two is no longer a path towards TV Cooking. It has more to do with being good in front of a camera and being able to market yourself. On almost any of those "new" crop of cooking shows, the cooking is secondary to just about everything else. I don't need to cite examples, I'm sure. Here's a statistic for you: I've been cooking for about 8 years and I've yet to crack the $40,000 a year mark. I might do it this year or next. We'll see.
  2. I guess what I'm really saying is that I'm lazy, and I wanted, more or less, a "cheat sheet" that I could tape to the kitchen wall or something like that. I almost think that there is such a glut of information I almost don't know where to begin sometimes. That's all. I've made many delicious things sous vide, I guess I sometimes just want to know if I did it "right," though I know that is not something that can be achieved. Thanks again guys...
  3. [Moderator's note: Click here for the original SV topic; click here for the index for that topic and more.] Just outstanding work by everyone. Thanks again for the index and closing the old thread. It was time. I know of the charts in the original SV thread, but does there exist an easy to read, time/temperature guide for various proteins? i.e., is there a compiled chart of, like, Salmon: 135F for 1 hour Short Ribs: 130F for 48 hours Pork Tenderloin: 138F for 2 hours Etc.... I'm just curious. I know that there are a ton of variables to take into account, but sometimes I just want a starting point to cook things. Does such a chart/list exist?
  4. Yeah, I agree...honestly just get over it. I agree that if it were a LOT of people, who like, peed or crapped all over the place constantly then it would be a problem. But if a couple people a day come in looking for a public restroom, and their only "crime" is not buying a coffee, that shouldn't be a big deal. Why would you run the risk of alienating potential customers by refusing service of a restroom...seems petty. Even if they don't buy something that one time, they might remember the cafe in the future and be inclined to return as a patron.
  5. Qwerty

    Truffle Oil

    It can be good to finish vinaigrettes as well...
  6. Also, caffeine doesn't just come in coffee. Soda, Red Bull, etc. all consumed in mass quantities.
  7. Qwerty

    Veal stock

    When the stock is reduced as much as TFL stock, I would most definitely classify it as demi glace. Tomato (or some other acid) is almost always added to stocks to improve the extraction of gelatin from the bones. That, along with it's sweet flavor and color, is the main reason why tomato is used in veal stocks. It is also why white wine is a classic ingredient in fish fumet--the acid will help extract the maximum amount of gelatin from the fish bones in the short time you cook it. The neutrality of Keller's stock is key...it is a base for a lot of different sauces. That is why he doesn't roast his veal bones...you can always add the roasted flavors later. For example, if you are making a lamb sauce, you can add roasted lamb bones to the neutral veal stock and get the same, if not better, effect. It also reduces the chance of bitterness in the finished product if you don't roast the veal bones. As far as something like celery, I do indeed think it can add bitterness. You have to remember that the stock is getting reduced a TON, so that any flavor you add will become that much stronger. So a pound or two of celery might not be that big of a deal in a gallon or two of STOCK, but once that becomes a few cups the bitter component can come out quite a bit.
  8. Above posters are correct, the bacteria most likely would be killed but not any residual toxins they leave behind. It's probably not worth it to be honest. More than likely, you would be fine. I've known people that eat part of a pizza, leave it out at room temp all night, then go back in the morning and finish it, to no ill effects. But, as a victim of true food poisoning (not the "I have a little diarrhea and stomach cramps" but the "holding a bucket sitting on the toilet for about 18 hours straight" kind) I can assure you that, during the darkest hours of the sickness, you would trade your turkey carcass to not feel like that any more. Symptoms can take anywhere from 8-48 hours to appear, so the whole "taste it and see how I feel 30 minutes later" doesn't really fly. Again, the likelihood is that you would be fine, but why take the chance?
  9. eternal, It depends. Odds are you aren't doing it wrong, per se, but there are a few steps that you could take that might improve things. Are you searing post sous vide? Might be difficult for fish, I understand, but did you sear the hangar steak after you sous vide it? I find that people who don't like sous vide seem to have the most trouble with the texture. It could also be your seasoning...you don't want to go crazy but salt in the bad definitely helps. A little fleur de sel or similar salt after slicing can go a long way, as can herbs/garlic/aromats in the bag during cooking, just be careful not to overdo it as the vacuum makes the flavors quite strong. You shouldn't feel like you are doing it wrong if you don't love it. Trying in some way to add texture to the dish and making sure seasoning is up to par are two areas I would start. Searing things, especially beef, when they come out of the bag is almost essential. Just be sure to do it hot and fast and not to overcook obviously.
  10. I agree with Scotty Boy...don't try to do too much for your practical. I think that the idea would be to demonstrate fundamental cooking skills rather than blow the teacher out of the water with some fancy smancy preparation. Tenderloin is what it is...not outstanding flavor compared to some other cuts, but thats not the appeal really. Some words of advice: I would sear rather than grill, that way you have a chance to develop a crust and some texture and avoid the "mush" factor. Make sure you rest, I'm sure you know that. A full fat sauce like a bernaise is traditional because it will add some fattiness to the beef, but it's also nowadays considered very old school..not that thats bad. You could do a variation maybe like a brown butter bernaise or hollandaise, which adds a great nutty complexity that pairs well with beef. Some sort of red wine sauce would also be very good, and if you could get your hands on some bone marrow you could incorporate that into the sauce for a bordelaise or, simply, roast some marrow, or make a compound marrow butter. I think you should stay away from sous vide...not that there is anything wrong with it as a cooking method (I personally love it and use it quite a bit) but it probably won't demonstrate to your instructor that you can cook a piece of beef other than set the temp on a dial. If you even have access to that equipment at your school. Seriously man, just don't over think or over do it. I am like Scotty in that I saw students try to do things in school for practicals and such that they just weren't ready to do. A lot of stuff they tried to do sounded great but the execution was lacking. Concentrate on proper cooking technique (properly cooking green veg, potatoes, etc) and seasoning will set you much further ahead than the majority of your peers. You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) how many students let go of the fundamentals in the guise of creativity. Good luck, let us know how it goes.
  11. Seems like thats what I'll have to do. I'm surprised nobody has a workable recipe in larger portions though, oh well. I don't need it to be astronomically big or anything (like, hundreds of portions per batch) but I was hoping to avoid having to scale up a recipe several times cause that doesn't always seem to work. Thanks though...I'll just test a few recipes and see how it goes.
  12. Almost 100 views and nobody has anything?
  13. I'm in search of a restaurant scaled (preferably in weight) and delicious sticky toffee pudding recipe. I have a decent recipe but I would prefer one that is tested repeatedly in a pro. kitchen environment and hopefully is scaled by weight. Any help would be appreciated. Toffee sauce recipes would be welcome as well. Thanks all!
  14. Lol, why did Brennar give a false name/number for the reservation? Seems silly that she would need to disguise herself on a last meal kind of night, where I'm assuming she wouldn't review in an official capacity. I mean, there were stinking photographers there, it's not like they didn't know she was coming. Seems stupid to me. Why bother?
  15. Qwerty

    Tomato Confit

    I've seen tomatoes done both ways. They are both good. I would say that usually in restaurants we do the oven dried method, though to call this a confit is iffy. To be fair, calling tomatoes poached in oil confit is iffy as well, but it's common enough kitchen language to be used. I would think that a couple of hours would be sufficient. You could also do the oven method (drizzle or toss with oil, seasoning, etc). If you are going to do the oil method you may want to take the skins off first before you add them to the oil, because the tomatoes are likely to fall apart and the skins may get mixed in. The oven method you can just roast with the skins on and take them off of each individual "petal" after. It should slip right off. In all honestly, there isn't really a "wrong" way to do it...both will give you concentrated tomato flavor for a variety of purposes. My only advice for the oil poached is to watch the heat and don't use too much oil. But you'll most likely be fine either way.
  16. Qwerty

    Tomato Confit

    I would do thyme instead of rosemary...maybe some garlic and/or shallots. You can always add flavors later, you don't really need to add anything since the tomatoes are unlikely to be eaten on their own.
  17. I'm sure she's ready for some time off. Running a tiny restaurant like that, where you as the chef is one of the people cooking on the line nightly, in an intimate setting, takes a lot out of you. Like, she probably worked 12-15 hours a day 5 days a week. And even on her days off the restaurant is never far from her thoughts (I'm guessing) and there is still work to be done even if the restaurant isn't open. Deliveries, book keeping, etc. Couple that with tough economic times cutting into the sliver of profit that restaurants make anyways, I don't begrudge her a break. I'm guessing she'll come back in a couple of years with something bigger and (hopefully) better, though topping the charm and appeal of York St. will be tough. If I still lived in Dallas I would love to take over the space, never mind I don't have the money. It'd just be a dream...for about 10 years lol. Good luck to her...just hope she stays in Dallas.
  18. Any cool ideas for vegetarian entrees? I've seem to hit a wall...I'm just curious if anyone has any ideas about creative or different vegetarian entrees, what other chefs have done/are doing, etc. Obviously seasonality is important. I've done the usual risottos, bean stews, pastas, etc. This is a fairly busy restaurant so consideration for quick pick ups is always welcome as well. Thanks...
  19. They are often called broiler plates or sizzle platters. Here is a link to a website that sells them. http://www.kitchenandrestaurant.com/Sizzle-Platter-11-1-8-X-7-3-4-Oval-8-Gauge-p/jr-4481.htm
  20. Is the hotel, like, a converted monastery or something? Thats the only way that type of thing is even remotely justified, and then, even still....
  21. Finally made my first batch of homemade sausage. The Boudin Blanc turned out well, though the recipe is not as tasty as I thought it would be. I thought there is a bit too much nutmeg/cinn/clove and it also tasted a bit underseasoned. I did a quenelle test but thought I would do the recipe exact the first time. The kitchenaid sausage stuffer was a bit of a PITA to use with such a loose sausage, but it worked OK. Next time I'll use an boudin blanc recipe from an old job I had which was ethereal. I'll just have to convert the recipe to a smaller batch. It was fun just getting over the hurdle of doing this at home and getting some experience under my belt. I ordered some fatback from my local grocery store, and I specifically told the guy not to order the salted stuff (which they sell already) that they have out in the case, but he went ahead and ordered the salted stuff. I got the fatback like 4 days ago, but only opened the box today. Too bad, I was going to also make a batch of saucisson sec and get it hanging. I'm going to try and return the salted fatback tomorrow and see if they can order FRESH. Anyways, that's all for now. Thanks for the help so far guys and gals.
  22. thanks for the responses guys. The index was very helpful....thanks again. Its a lot of information to wade through. So, is it bad to just hang my sausages in the basement? Do I really NEED a wine cooler or mini fridge with a controller, etc. to do this? I've always thought I would just set them up on the rafters or something and let nature go to work...assuming the temp/humidity is relatively stable and within range. It should still work, right? Anyone ever just hang the stuff?
  23. No love for Craft? That place is quietly humming along, turning out some of the best food in town, IMO. But you can't go wrong with any of the above suggestions. Don't know if Nonna has been mentioned, but I'd add it to the list.
  24. I'm sorry if this has been asked before, so please forgive me, it's just hard to go through this many pages and try to get an answer to my questions. I soon will be attempting to make sausage at home for the first time. I'm not a sausage making amatuer, I am a professional cook, so I've done it before, just not extensively and never at home. Anyways, I currently live in New England and am thinking of aging my sausages in the cellar. I don't think it will be a problem, the cellar is chilly (though not cold cold). I'm not sure what the humidity is, but it's a little moist but not too bad. I THINK it should be perfect. What about storage of dried cured sausage after aging? I have a foodsaver, and was thinking just simply to vac. save it and keep it in the fridge. I figure the risk of botulism is slim to nil (since I'll be using nitrate). Is that an effective storage process? Any edvice from others who have tried it? I plan on making a couple of different types of dried sausage, maybe 10 lbs each, so I'll have quite a bit. What about fresh sausage? I have a great boudin blanc recipe from one of my old jobs. Is it OK to freeze fresh sausage? When should I freeze it? After stuffing and poaching? Or should I just vaccuum pack the raw farce and store it in the freezer? Store it stuffed and raw without poaching? Anyways, thanks in advance for the help. Again, sorry if this type of stuff has been gone over, but I can't effectively wade through 14+ pages of info.
  25. 30k a year stsrting as a chef? Try...20k per year starting out. If you are lucky. I also just wouldn't dismiss school right off the bat. There are lots of options...mayb e check out an ACF 3 year culinary apprenticeship program, or a school that is hands on (like NECI). Also, try to get a job in a kitchen before you commit to anything. Just knock on doors of the best restaurants in town and work for free. Odds are you'll know pretty quickly if you want to continue as a career. Seriously, 30k for a line cook in Mich is a lot. If you net 400 a week that would be good. Good luck!
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