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Everything posted by RAHiggins1

  1. Its a big country, He's got 40 minutes or so of playtime in a week. Hopefully, AB will continue discovering what's great about rural america.
  2. I'm starting the community college culinary degree program as well this fall (hopefully). I know what I want out of it. I expect to hone some skills I've let dull and immerse myself in more classical french training that I feel I've sorely missed. I also have figured out that the first two years of college to get the associate's degree can happen anywhere, so why not make it culinary. I plan on applying to a better known college to get a bachelor's in business to top it off. All the while working on progressing a part time catering gig if I can get that ball rolling. I've done a couple already. I learned alot just from planning and executing. I do think these days you need a diploma to be considered no matter what you do. It will cut years off of working up the chain in the food biz as long as you go get work experience at the same time.
  3. Is that mixing fresh drawn milk with beer or mixxing ginger ale and a light beer? It sounds familiar. I remember Louis P. Degouy's "Gold Cookbook" having had something like that in it. * I was close I'd say the milking the cow into the bowl part could be hard to pull off in a modern kitchen without much fanfaire.......
  4. RAHiggins1

    Bacon in the oven

    We always baked the bacon in the Marine Corps, can you imagine cooking bacon on the griddle for 1200? I once burned a whole industrial convection oven of it. I carefully panned it all off in a perforated insert and put it in the big steamer for 5 seconds and it saved the whole mess from becoming bacon bits on the salad bar and me being in the hot seat.
  5. *Update* Times-Picayune Story on Manuel's Times-Picayune story on History of Manuel's Hot Tamales
  6. RAHiggins1


    Your breakfasts sounds delicious.... too bad your average customer didn't want them. Just out of curiosity, how many diners can your restaurant hold, and are you in a city with a high population and high disposable income? Just wondering if demographics has a lot to do with it. ← Is your CC open to the public?
  7. RAHiggins1

    Chicken kebabs

    I like to cut the breasts into long strips and marinate them. When I skewer them I push through an inch or so and give the strip a half twist and skewer another inch. It looks good and it makes the meat an even thickness on the skewer. It takes 2 strips on the short bamboo and three on the long. Be sure to soak the skewers for an hour to keep them from burning on the grill. I mix med seasonings into the olive oil and rub the meat with it and let it marinate. I also take some of the seasoning and mix it into plain yogurt with some fresh citrus juice for a dipping sauce.
  8. RAHiggins1

    Pot Roast Recipe?

    I got this from the Military Recipe Index, I used to make it for 1200, but the recipe is for 100, so divide by 10 for a large roast and 20 for a small one. I found this to be excellent when prepared properly.
  9. I have to agree to a point. I really miss "A Cook's Tour". When people want to see what Thomas Keller is all about. I show them the French Laundry episode. When someone asks can Gordon Ramsay do anything else besides swear and yell. I show them the London episode. I have enjoyed "No Reservations" and look forward to new episodes. I think we all remember a time when the Food Network would show cooking show that the masses would not completely "understand" or enjoy, and I think "A Cook's Tour" is a very good example of one of those shows. ← Although between the 2 spain episides on NR and CT, I'm definately putting Spain down as the go-to country of choice for me. I've seen some other stuff (Rick Steves, a doc on HDNET) on Spain's festivals that adds fuel to the fire as well.
  10. What others have said, keep your station clean. Put stuff where it goes when not using it. If it's slow, keep busy. Clean out your refrigerators and line the bottoms with kitchen paper so clean up is easy at the end. Don't slop stuff around. Communicate a lot. If you need to restock something, ask if anyone else needs something while you are getting it. (expect off color responses when they don't) Never except food or drink from anyone else in the building.
  11. I liked the Spain episode from "A Cook's Tour" better.
  12. RAHiggins1

    Dinner! 2008

    Turkey Hash with poached eggs and with Scrambled Cheese Eggs.
  13. I'm trying it right now. I had 2 turkey carcasses from fried turkeys at Thanksgiving waiting for me to pick them clean and make a dark turkey stock to substitute for my nonbeefeater friends and wife. This is a 22 quart pressure cooker. I roasted the bones to get them nice and dark. Mirepoix, peppercorns, bouquet garni, and 5 gallons water. Lid is on, lets see what happens. My stove is an older hot surface type, so it will take awhile to get rolling.
  14. Crowder peas and rice, plantains saute'd in butter and oil like mentioned above, and possibly fried cabbage and carrots are all normal sides. Akees are a traditional vegetable dish. Callaloo (Amaranth) is a form of Jamacian greens, prepare it with okra and spinach water. Spinach can be substituted for the Amaranth as well. Baked papaya would work This is from "Time Life - Foods of the world" Cut a 5-6# green papaya in half, scoop out pulp and coursley chop it. Saute 1 cup of onions, and add the pulp and 4 medium tomatoes (that have been cored, peeled, and seeded) 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Let cook down until most of the pot liquor is evaporated. Stuff the papaya halves with the mixture, spread some soft butter over the top of each half and coat with a mixture of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake in a shallow roasting pan in a water bath for 20 mins or until the top is browned and the papaya tender. I suggest a 350º oven.
  15. I think I've always considered a chef to be the guy creating all the great dishes and the cooks simply replicate the dishes following the chef's guidelines. Which is why when I managed a Waffle House, I was a manager who cooked and not a chef, even though I had all the responsibilities that a chef has plus some others as well. I would never call myself a chef. I'm a cook who considers his food to be gourmet. I am however signed up to go a local community college culinary degree program (associate's) on the Hope grant here in Georgia. I then plan to find work in local kitchens in which I can stage and work on getting a ACF certification. The culinary program only excepts 5 candidates and I still need to take the compass to finish admissions. I don't intend to grind out 20 years starting at the age of 44, in other kitchens. My intent is to make myself more attractive to banks and investors and start my own business (catering) and grind out 20 years of working hard to make mine a success. I'll do this on the side of my good paying job like Gfron did and when it gets to the point I can do it full time, you'll see much less postings from me as well.
  16. Very well written, I enjoyed it immensely.
  17. I think we can count this episode as a confirmation of mcohen's and Fat guy's arguements towards eating sushi with one's hands. Original article on Sushi Etiquette can be found HERE
  18. I had to go back to the first page of this thread to remind myself the origin and topic. That being said, this isn't a east vs. west post. Its about how we eat sushi and what is "considered" proper etiquette. Proper etiquette as it seems to be defined here is to "Do as others are doing". If with friends, feel free to swirl in that whole glob of faux wasabi into your bowl of soju. Swathe thoroughly your california roll in it and give us a big Chairman Kaga grin. Alternatively, if you are at the Sushi Bar and ordering your sushi as you eat it, pick up with three fingers (pinkie out is optional) your nigiri, lightly roll it over and dap some soju on the protein. Pop it in your mouth and give us the same big Chairman Kaga grin. Either way it comes down to a matter of choice. I seriously doubt you will offend anyone in any case.
  19. You should "road trip" to Baton Rouge (et noir). We will be there and hopefully in our usual spot under the oaks in front of the student union. Six Feet Under "used to be"? Have they moved already? I thought that was not until later in the year. And just the Grant Park location if memory serves. Where is this place b/c I might be in the need for a good po' boy in the near future and can be persuaded to head to Grant Park. ← re: six feet under- I had heard they were moving and had heard something was going in their place via Micropundit and had assumed it had already taken place. As for Po'boys, my NOLA buddy just came back from his cousin's wedding and brought a treasure trove of goodies. Boiled shrimps and crabs, shrimp and roast beef po'boys, and Community Iced Teas. Now if only they had brought Barq's in the bottle. (can't get it in glass bottles here) The Po'boy place here is called Just Loaf'n 313 Boulevard, Atlanta, GA Phone 404-525-4001
  20. I've been contemplating checking the temp on my rice cooker in its warm setting. I won't be able to set the temp, but it might be slow enough to make it work. I suppose you could take a deep fryer that has immersion coils and a thermostat in it and get it low enough to sous vide in it.
  21. Yes, I'm under 30. As for my experience, I apprenticed under some of the best chefs in the country, and currently work as a pastry chef (just to round out my skillset) in an award-winning restaurant. I'm not sure what's up with your quote 'using what you have', sounds like sarcasm. A good restaurant can make do with average ingredients no doubt, but if you want to be great, you need to start off with great product. A chef isn't just a cook. A big part of being a chef is sourcing ingredients, finding the best of everything in season. Being able to adapt your cooking to suit the terroir, flowing with the seasons, etc... And then there's managing your staff, managing the business itself, etc... Cooking is the easy part. ← I'd be willing to bet that Thomas Keller takes more calls than he makes from vendors trying to get him to buy quality ingredients.
  22. My friends and I tailgate at home being as we are all LSU fans. It's a shame LSU is an away game, my friends are all from NOLA. It would be a blast to score some tix and join you guys for some tailgating, maybe bring something fun like mini-muffalettas with the bread shipped in from NOLA. You just can't get bread here like they bake there. Which reminds me, there is a snowcone place selling poboys down the street from where Six Feet Under used to be that brings in their french bread from New Orleans. Good Stuff.
  23. I had M-C at a party that Jacquimos catered in slidell, LA last fall, Chef Jack put crawfish tails in it as well, very good.
  24. It was our first trip and we didn't really get to see through the glare of the tourism to be the traveler the first time up to bat. Hopefully, my companions will allow me free reign next year to pick some more choice spots. Louisiana Lagniappe looked interesting, but we could not find parking and headed on down to Landry's instead. We were just cruising the strip lookig for a place to eat. It never dawned on me to go to Harborwalk. It's on my list for next year though. Sunday came too quick to even think about calling in a spot for the brunch. We went to Dewey's but my wife was not willing to roast in 95ºF for dinner. I guess the first week of August is the wrong time of year for outdoor seating.
  25. We just got back from my week in Fort Walton Beach/Destin. Unfortunately, my wife isn't big on taking a camera to dinner So I'll try to describe my experiences to you here. We left Saturday morning and drove straight there. We arrived at 5:00pm CST, checked in to our condo at the "Sea Oats" and then went to find some dinner. We drove up and down the "Miracle Strip Pkwy" and landed at "The Original Crab shark Restaurant and Marina". It was raining outside and they refused to seat us outdoors under the covered portion of the deck. We later watched someone one else get seated where we asked to sit. The wait staff informed us that they were unable to serve draft beers and we would have to order by the bottle. My wife ordered a Hurricane and ended up sending it back as it tasted of pure grenadine. The food however, was good. I ordered their any two platter with grilled mahi mahi and gulf shrimp and my darling wife ordered the shrimp and grits. My brother in law who came with us but followed us in his car, also ordered the same any two combination. Afterwards we went for a moonlit walk on the beach and played godzilla on whatever sandcastles we could find. On Sunday, we woke up, watched the umbrella guys set up the umbrellas and beach chairs on the beach from the balcony and sipped on some Community Coffee that we picked up with various other essentials at the publix the night before. We then headed out to play in the ocean and bask in the sun for the day while sipping on Landshark beers. Once the heat ran us back in, Mark (bro in law) and I headed out to find some fresh local seafood. We ended up at "Sexton's Seafood Market" where we bought 3 pounds of of huge head-on shrimps. We made a stop by one of the three over-priced grocery stores in the area and picked up what we needed to make Barbecue shrimps, parsley buttered red potatoes and a nice baguette to eat out on the balcony as we watched the sun set. Monday was pretty much the same itenirary, we ate dinner at Landry's Seafood House. This place was great. Food was excellent, service was everywhere it needed to be and our waiter was covering an extra station as well. I had the stuffed Flounder, she who must be obeyed's dish oddly enough isn't on their web menu. We can't recall the name of it, but it was shrimp, scallops, and mushrooms in a tomato sauce on penne pasta and she loved it. Mark had the fresh catch of the day which was Tilapia. How can you sit at a table not 300 feet from the ocean and order Tilapia? Its farm raised in guatemala or bangladesh or some other cesspool backwater fish farm. <Shrug> He liked it anyway. Tuesday we went fishing on the "Sweet Jody"! We caught 3 red snappers and 3 white porgys and a vermillion snapper. the crew cleaned them anbd we packed them on ice until I could prepare them. All day on a party boat watching a large asian family and most everyone else who came NOT prepared wretch for 6 hours will wear you out, in between reeling them in that is. We were tired when we got back and I crashed for a long noon time nap, after which I woke up craving steak and eggs and there was a Waffle House next door. After which Mark went and picked up his girlfriend at the airport. Wednesday was more beach time, followed by the most overpriced, undeserving restaurant I've ever had the misfortune to dine at. I guess it was the novelty of a place called "The Black Pearl". Our clique of friends enjoy anythng that is island or nautical related and a major portion of that is dedicated to pirates. So we could not resist. $9.00 for 2 oz. of Gordon's gin in a martini is in my opinion too much. Had it been on the drink menu for me to see they were actually pirates at this restaurant I'd have ordered the $5.00 beer instead. Mark's girlfiend Kimberly and I ordered the wasabi crusted tuna with a soy ginger reduction. The tuna was cooked rare as I asked for, but the wasabi crust was some hard crunchy concoction and I found the sauce bland while the wasabi was from a tube and overwhelming. Maybe that is why I could not taste the sauce. My wonderful bride had the mahi mahi which she liked and Mark had the grilled grouper and shrimp which he did not like, he thought it was not fresh and as he describes it, "Slimy". In any case none of us thought that the meal we received was worth on average $10-20 more each per person than the other seafood restaurants in the area. Two words - tourist trap. We headed to "The Track" after dinner and had much fun on the go-karts. The wood track wasn't quite as fun as it looked from the road. The small slick track was a blast as the karts were much faster. We followed this up with another moonlit filled evening of what we came to call "Godzilla'ing". Thursday brought more beach fun, a quiet day at the condo filled with many aloe applications and then my bride and I hit the shops on the strip in Ft. Walton Beach. There is a wonderful pet bakery called "Three Dogs and a Chick" where we picked up some treats for our fuzzy children back home. We also bought some doodads at the antique places and stopped in the Cigar Shop. That evening I prepared the red snapper we caught using the "Red Snapper Basquaise" recipe from AB's Les Halles Cookbook". You just can't go wrong with that recipe. I used Chateau St. Michelle in the recipe and also for libations. Its a $11 bottle of chardonnay that is actually very good for its price. I rate it with Simi as a good comparison. Friday we stayed in due to rain and then went for a Dolphin Cruise anyways. It was a nice boatride in the bay and we did get to see the dolphins. Afterwards we headed over to "McGuire's Irish Pub" Cathi, my wife, ordered an Irish Wake for the souveigner glass, Mark followed suite. We poured them in the car later on after they bought up the whole danged gift shop. For dinner I wanted Beef, so I ordered the New York Strip and was glad for it. Mark ordered the Irish Steak and Mushroom pie which he was mildly dissapointed in and the women ordered the fish and chips which appeared to be whiteing, they both thoroughly enjoyed it. We proceeded back to the condo to pack up since the whole day had been very wet. We were feeling the birth of the now present Eduardo in the gulf. Saturday was check out time and we stopped by a place I had seen on the way in that advertised fresh shrimp on the boat in Vaisparo, Florida. We bought 10 pounds of $4/lb fresh shrimp that had been passing their time in the bay not even 8 hours prior to our arrival. We also bought 10 pounds of $2/lb fresh sea trout that had been caught in the nets with the shrimp. We then drove home unloaded the car and ordered chinese. Sunday I woke up early and attended to a much dilapidated yard, headed off to the store after calling all of my close friends and inviting them over that evening to a fish fry. I sliced up a 5# sack of red skinned gold potatoes into chips and fried them in the outdoor frier, followed by the shrimp prepared ala *Justin Wilson and the trouts dredged in Zatarain's Fish Fry. We could only eat half of what we brought back and there were eleven of us in total. I also baked the remaining whole Red snapper we had caught. I stuffed/coated it with Boscolli's olive salad after trimming the fins and gills and a good salting. I also cut 4 slits to make it cook even and stuffed lemon slices in the slits as well as in the cavity. It made for a nice New Orleans Style Red Snapper Provencal. A perfect cap to a good week in florida. * Justin Wilson marinated his shrimp in a highly seasoned egg wash for a few hours and then tossed them in plain flour to fry. It comes out wondamous, I GAYR-on-TEE!
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