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Everything posted by Reefpimp

  1. I don't remember you ever working for me... My first sous position, the owner was a retired cop. I'll never forget the time he buttonholed me on the line to tell me that he thought that one of the dishwashers was selling reefer, and I should just can his ass on the spot if I ever saw him acting even remotely suspiciously. I just smiled and nodded like a trained horse, tending my double boiler of melted butter and marijuana I'd just bought from the dish dog in question.
  2. Unbelievable. I mean, I believe that it actually happened, but it just boggles my mind that the Golden Arches are in bed with the Food Network like this. Unless this is some production or editing tech's idea of a practical joke... which is entirely possible.
  3. OKAY: Bobby Flay has two speeds: Grill and eat. The moon is not made out of green cheese. It's made out of beef ribs Bobby Flay has flung into orbit. Bobby Flay eats fire and craps charcoal. This is referred to as "the circle of life." One time he punched a hole clean through a cow just to see who his next "Throwdown" contestant would be. The coals in his grills don't just go out. They flatline. Bobby Flay's truck runs on mesquite charcoal and chicken drippings. Bobby Flay's barbecues sauce cures scabies, gout, dropsy, the vapors, the megrims, the fantods, and Guinea Worm. So far it has proved ineffective against bulemia. Bobby Flay can flip a burger so high it gets tracked by NORAD His grilling tools are custom-made from old samurai swords. Bobby Flay has eaten more beef than Kansas City. You know the ribs Fred Flinstone gets in the opening sequence of The Flintstones? Straight from Bobby Flay's grille. He was once offered a salad. There were no survivors. When Bobby Flay smokes meat, he reduces greenhouse gasses. The idea for the Miracle of Loaves and Fishes was originally Bobby Flay's, but he's cool like that. The theory of evolution is just a list of animals Bobby Flay thought might be good to smoke and grill someday.
  4. Tonight I drew the short straw and got to clock out early. Go Me! I don't mind closing the place most nights. I kind of like the ritual involved in breaking down and scrubbing up; it gives me a better idea of what I'll need the next day. Plus, I figure, I got my station dirty, I'll clean it. But every Friday, both as a labor-saving measure and a little morale boost, one person gets to go home a little early, so tonight that lucky punter was me. Just as well. I was about to sink a tourner into Chef's head. He's a good boss, as these things go; he's fair; he's got chops, too--he can take over anybody's station and work it just as hard and just as fast as the person he's replacing. Where he falls short, though, is that commodity not every cook has but all need: A level head. Put plainly, he's a choke artist. More than about 6 tables, and he starts losing his place. We weren't too terribly busy tonight--220 or so covers, spread out from 5:30-8:30--but he just could not keep the orders straight. He burned two of the specials, yelled at me for not reminding him, and then yelled at me again when he OK'd a comp on another table who got two bottles of corked wine in a row (how he could possibly lay that at my feet, I'lll never know). I think part of it is the Napoleon complex-- I'm 6'3" and I stand a full foot taller than he does, and he just hates having to ask me to reach him down more plates. So when it gets really busy, I become his whipping boy. And like the soulless bastards I know they all are, my fellow line-cooks aren't above goading him a little so he really starts to lose it. Good times. Good times. Still and all, for pure unadulterated whackadoo insanity, I'd have to nominate this cat I worked with back in the late '80s. Jairo, his name was, and he was a Basque separatist we all suspected was on the run from Interpol. Looked like something from out of the bilges of a pilchard netter--about five and half feet tall, the same around; tremendous hair farm going on and always had exactly four days' worth of beard. The only knife he ever used was an old carbon-steel scimitar--everthing from fluting mushrooms to boning pheasants got done with that toadstabber. He always wanted to see every surface absolutely shining, no matter how deep in the weeds we were, but we never got issued more than 3 towels a night each(I eventually went out and bought a stack just for myself). Always had a cigarette on the go which was always half-smoked and always had a tag of ash on the end of it. The owner was so cowed by him, she'd never say anything about it--one baleful glare from him and she'd scurry off on her high heels to ask the maitre d' to deal with him. HA! Like that was gonna work. Just to show the depths of the man's insanity, he wouldn't let me use the Robocoupe the first 6 months I worked with him--mortar and pestle, baby. I showed up to work after a long weekend to find the restaurant closed and all the furniture gone. Turned out he'd been embezzling the whole time. But goodness me, what that man didn't know about lamb wasn't worth knowing. Learned a lot.
  5. Not as funny as you might think. When I was attending an Ongoing Maritime Education class in New Bedford, Mass a couple years ago, (I think it was for my STCW cert), I had a couple classmates who'd worked on swordfish boats; apparently bluefin, like swordfish, bask on the surface with enough regularity that hunting and killing them with harpoon is nor nearly as rare an activity as you might think. Every possibility that that tuna had been killed with Ye Olde Harpoone. Crossing over the Acushnet river bridge every morning, I several times saw boats with bow pulpits so elongated that they were stowed folded up over the flying bridge. That would be, I guess, where the harpooner stands in the final moments of the hunt. "Swordfish pulpit" returns some 13,000 responses on everybody's go-to search engine.
  6. Part of that "production increase" is due to monocultural agriculture methods. Are we looking at billions of calories mostly derived from grains like wheat and corn, or does it include seasonal fruits and veggies? If the U.S. outlawed petroleum-based fertilizers (solving a majority of our dependance on foreign oil) where would that leave us? How about feedlots and their resulting manure lagoons? What if God forbid we had two years in a row with failed corn and wheat crops in the Midwest? How about if farmers just started planting non-sterile corn instead of the GM stuff--what effect would that have on the economy? There's more at stake here than mere production of calories; the US alone produces enough food to feed the world over again. I'm not a treehugger of any sort, but I would rather see the food I eat produced locally, and ethically, and maybe do without a few items, than to see Monsanto and Cargill get another thin dime off me. It's hard; but I'm trying.
  7. Did anyone else notice, during the Batali/Ray/DeLaurentiis/Flay battle on Iron Chef that Mario was drunk as a Kennedy? You gotta love the size of the stones on the guy.
  8. Bobby Flay can cook a cow just by pointing at it and shouting, Booya! Bobby Flay turned his own incubator into a smoker. It was the third barbecue grill he had made. There is no brain behind any of Bobby Flay's chins. There is only another grill. Bobby Flay once brought a steak back to life by giving it a prolonged massage with his jowls. The reason cows moo, lambs baa, and pigs oink is because they all know they have entered a world with Bobby Flay in it. Bobby Flay once went over Niagara Falls in a barbecue grille. The steaks were *perfect* by the time he got to the bottom. Bobby Flay has no need of matches or lighter fluid. The coals light themselves because they know what the f***'s good for them. Bobby Flay could cure hoof and mouth disease, Mad Cow, and anthrax if he wanted to. But he doesn't. That's just how he rolls. Bobby Flay's couch is made out of burning mesquite. Meat from the barbecue of Bobby Flay does not need to rest. It's been touched by The Master and that should be good enough for anyone. When Bobby Flay was in college, he had marijuana legalized so he could use his bong as a smoker.
  9. Three nights ago, I had a meal with lousy service and great food. I asked the manager to convey THIS ($1.00) to my snotty waiter and THAT (five $10 bills) to the cooks who worked so hard to get my yummy food out. I'll be eating peanut butter and jelly till payday but DAMN it was worth it.
  10. ← What I meant to say is, the top to the Le Creuset tagine--the cone--fits nicely on the LC 5 qt Dutch oven. I've not had an opportunity to check the fit on Staub. But an inch is an inch (except where inches are metric, and we call them centimeters LOL) everywhere, so it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what fits on what by comparing dimensions.OOH yeah: In other threads I've seen people griping about the new phenolic handles on Le Creuset pot lids: This can be easily remedied. Find a metal drawer pull you like and use that instead. They're pretty much all 1/4-20 threads, which can be found in any hardware store.
  11. The top to the tagine fits nicely on the 5qt Dutch oven.....
  12. Or maybe everybody in the country has ADD and an attention span is becoming a thing of the past. JEBUS AITCH CHRYSOPHASE ON A RED HOT PLANCHA!!! It's three hundred bucks for dinner!! take your damn time and enjoy it like the good Lord intended!!!!
  13. Well, thanks for taking the time to at least think about what i said. And consider this in re the re=boiling: Botulism is anaerobic, and C. Perfringens is a micro-oxyphiliac (I think that's the right term). So by the very act of boiling, even very gently, it aerates the stock quite thoroughly, and thus providing a hostile environment. No, stocks won't survive forever. But for safely storing glace for a few months, I think we're all gonna be okay if we follow HAACP guidelines and exercise a little common sense. Besides, it's healthy to expose your body to toxins every so often, right? Isn't that what Friday nights after close are for??
  14. The people working in those kitchens should be ashamed to call themselves cooks. And be damned glad they aren't working for me. My only regret is all those waitresses going to sleep on pillows unstained by tears spilt as they relive how I tore them a new one for not putting their orders in correctly.
  15. Correct me if I'm wrong, gentlemen, but the presence of those spores in the stock is contingent on the bacteria being there in the first place. Which-- given that the bones are roasted at 400, the vegetables are caramelized at 350 or so, and the water is chlorinated, UV-treated, and boiled--shouldn't be the case. This is why I love Classical cooking: If you do it right; if you perform each (in itself) very simple step right, you almost can't go wrong. Also, I would like to point out that commercial, feedlot beef and henhouse chickens are much more loaded with (for lack of a better term) impurities. I've been getting grass-fed bison and mixed-breed beef bones for my beef stock. It's cool, everything behaves exactly as Auggie E says it should; no need to correct or tweak at all. I buy free-range chickens from an Amish family 30 miles from here, and until the restaurant started getting in whole ducks, I sourced my duck bones from the sky. No overcrowding issues there I believe. I hope Wisconsin can get the Chronic Wasting Disease thing under control soon, because I miss my venison glace.
  16. Everything about that is just wrong, wrong wrong.
  17. In Wisconsin and Minnesota a parent can accompany the child into the bar and as long as the parent is on the premises, the kid can get just as hammered as they want to be. I had my first legal snort of whisky when I was 12, with my dad.I didn't start drinking at all heavily until I was 24 and out of the Army. And even now, when I've sworn off the sauce till 14 Feb, I don't *crave* it. Yes, it would be nice to wash down the meal with a good Zin or whatever. But I attribute being able to do that in a family with a strong history of alcohol abuse, to developing a healthy attitude as regards alcohol at a tender age. Too bad NYC isn't as enlightened as we hicks in the sticks are, eh?
  18. Sorry, I thought I'd included that but I see I didn't. I have to pay for chicken (we don't serve it at the restaurant), so none's around. I get duck bones for free.
  19. So where would that leave me vis-a-vis my idea for putting a restaurant on a ship? If I shop around, I can get a ship in the 180-200 foot range for around a thousand bucks a foot. The problem comes back to the old bugaboo: location. I need something fairly specific: I need seawall access, not too scabby, I need electrical and gas hookups available, sewer out and water in. And that's before I put any food on any plates. Now, I'm the son of two people who both served on my hometown's city council's; i know how to pitch myself to a municipality. The problem for me is negotiating the USCG regs (Because their regs take precedence: It does me no good to comply with local code if the USCG says I can't have "passengers"--i.e., customers--on board) and making upgrades to the vessel itself. Mind you, I think it's a good enough idea that I invest an hour a day into my business plan, and I'll soon be returning to sea to get enough time in to qualify to be able to test for my 600-ton Master's papers. And although everybody I've talked to says it's an absolutely stellar idea, I still come up short on money. I'm willing to take on ownership of the vessel itself (I really wouldn't have it another way) and that's nice, because it gives me, under Admiralty law, sole control of the ship itself. If I want to refit the bridge and the chartroom as my personal apartments, then I shall. So I'm obviously willing to put what will be my primary domicile up along with whatever investors want to chip in with. I really don't see a bank coming on board (heh heh) with this--it's a little too Out There for most banks I've spoken to. I am in very preliminary opening negotiations with a restaurant group, but they're 300 miles away; I may even think of adding a small floatplane into the budget so inspecting investors don't have to dick around with commercial travel. What amazes me is how expensive everything related to a restaurant is. It makes me feel like I'm free-falling through a Big Heist crime story! Forty tables and a hundred sixty chairs; all the stainless for the kitchen; the china, the glassware, and the silver not to mention the salt and pepper shakers; handicapped-accessible, woman-friendly bathrooms (Thank Crom I've worked as a welder, a tiler, and in general construction). Lord above, the kitchen (galley) revamp is just a drop in the bucket, even with the two 8-top Wolfs and the convection range. Plus hiring plus advertising plus liquor license plus inventory. Still and all, I learned a few things over the years; the salient point here is that you can move anything, if you're willing to move one corner of it at a time. If I get it together in two years, great. If it takes five, that's okay too. Ten years is stretching it, but I'll be ten years older any damn way, so why not?
  20. The other thing I do for stock/glace preservation is to make sure I add salt. I used to make all my stocks/glaces salt free and then add salt to the final dish, but their shelf life was cut way too short. So I add salt. Salt is a big player in this equation. If you can work with an extremely salty demi or glace (I can't) freezing may not even be necessary. Heck, refrigeration may not even be necessary. ← This brings us right back around to the original precursor to bullion cubes, ca. 1800: "portable soup," which readers of the Aubrey/Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian will recognize. One would take demi down to au sec, then let it cool into sheets, to be reconstituted as needed. I haven't tried this but I think it's a dandy idea. I've taken to reducing all my own stocks by 90%, plus or minus, and I go through them fast enough that shelf life really isn't an issue. However comma space: The restaurant at which I work has recently taken to ordering whole ducks (We confit four dozen legs at a time) instead of just the skin-on breasts, which (although it means I spend a morning a week in a pretty high state of grease, is great. We end up with a surplus of bones, so I am fairly soon going to have to make a great big batch of stock for myself (Chef, while testy, is cool like that. I just wish he'd ease up and let me use the RoboCoupe instead of the mortar for making Caesar dressing). SO I'm gonna try a 'spearamint: I'm going to take one batch of duck demi and salt it fairly aggressively. I'm going to take another batch and add a generous portion of Everclear to it off-heat, let it sit for half an hour, then re-heat and flame it, to drive off the alcohol. Both will be placed in 1-cup Tupperware containers straight out of the dishwasher and left to sit out on my kitchen counter until one or the other starts to grow things. We shall see if either or both helps.
  21. Oh do the hits keep rolling in!!! Got one of these bad boys at a local antique malle shoppe boutique place on the 23rd Dec... Thirty bucks with canning rack, but without the weight for the release valve. That's OK, it's a standard NPT thread, so I just plumbed in a 15-pound pressure release valve I bought at Home Depot. Works a treat; the gauge never shows more than 15 pounds or fewer than 14.5. Releases steam in about a two-second burst every fifteen seconds or so. Oh the stews and chili I shall make.
  22. For what it's worth: My first experience with goose was when I was about 13. Let me tell you, there are few things that will build character like lying in the middle of a frozen, cut-over cornfield, covered in wisps of corn straw and alfalfa and blowing snow, cradling a shotgun wrapped in burlap, all in the hopes that when the geese come circling in, your hands will not be frozen solid and you can pull the trigger when the time comes. But these are wild birds, they move around and swim and fly, and they don't have a lot of fat on them (outside their livers; my first experience with foie gras was from these geese, and good as the commercial product is, it cannot compare with the wild, free-range version). Imagine my surprise when I'd been out of the house a few years and decided to cook a goose for my roomates and our girlfriends for a holiday meal. The techniques learned at my mother's heel were useless to me: With the wild birds, fat and moisture are rarities, hoarded and guarded jealously. I ended up with a greasy, soggy mess. We all stared at each other when I put the plates down, prodded the goose (Douglas Sirk would have been pleased) a few times, and made a mutual agreement to fill up on potatoes and bread and spinach. Could it be, Mark, that your chef had cosied up to a hunter friend of his and got a wild Canada goose for your pleasure? Because if a wild bird is cooked according to conventional wisdon, it ends up a lot like you describe.
  23. Demi is best stored in my freezer. Send it to me.
  24. Oh, I'd just had a few at my sister's place last night; don't pay me no never-mind, I was just being pompous cause I think its funny sometimes. So we two at least can agree that we need to do further testing: Logically, to me, we should progress from dry into wet, and from cool into hot, and that means four different braises: low-temp no flour, lo-temp with flour, hi-temp no flour, hi-temp with flour. Pick the one that gives the best crust/texture/fond formation and then go to work on the question of liquid. I'd recommend everybody using a decent brand of bottled water, boxed/canned stock, and wine just so we're all on the same sheet of music. Obviously if I use good fresh beef demi as an ingredient in my braise, it will taste better than somebody who just sieved all the veggies out of a can of Campbells soup. Ya folla? Comments, thoughts, questions, concerns, complaints? Anybody got beef with me for this ?
  25. Sometime in the next week I will be able to do comparos: Flour v. no-flour/hi-heat v. lo-heat, and various permutations of same. We shall see. Don't know about pics because the chef at my restaurant is... well, "testy" is diplomatic, right?--but we shall see what we shall see. It would be a logical follow-on to Braising Lab #4. We can all try this regardless of whether or not its been sanctioned by the Admin Gods, right? Although it'd be cool if Chris stepped in and defined parameters since he seems to be pretty good at that sort of thing. That said: I think we need to see Braising Lab #5: Low heat sear V. High heat sear; and, after those results are in, Braising Lab #6: Floured V. Nonfloured (maybe with notes on different types of flour?) Maybe even a Braise Lab #7 for this topic, thickening of the braise liquid. Don't lets get ego tied up in this, gentlemen. There is no such thing as bad knowlege.
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