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Everything posted by DanM

  1. I was wondering if anyone has The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern and their thoughts on the book. I thumbed through it at Borders the other day and it looked pretty good. I have their last cookbook and have been very pleased with the recipes. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0307453596/ref=nosim/?tag=egulletsociety-20 Dan
  2. And I think you nailed it on the head. When people ask me what I do for a living, my wife usually informs them that I am a pastry chef. I quickly correct her (maybe one day she will listen)and tell them that I am a simple baker. I do not feel that I have the training or experience to be called a chef by anyone. While this may venture things off topic, what qualifies someone as a chef?
  3. Having worked in a few national chain restaurants back in high school, I now realize how heavily processed the foods are at many of them. It is not uncommon for the food to be frozen or shelf stabilized to make it easy for an unskilled cook to put together. Do I eat at chains? Very rarely. For the same price I would pay at a national chain, I can support local small businesses that typically produce better quality and less processed foods. Dan
  4. There was a kid in my culinary school class who was dumber than a box of rocks and occasionally left a knife in the sink. One day I found his knife in the sink so I threw it on the floor, put the blade under my boot, grabbed the handle, and snapped it off (cheap stamped knives). I got an ear full for doing it, but he got the lesson. Afterwards though, the chef thanked me for doing what she wished she could do. Dan
  5. It surprises me that none of them were prepared to do a dessert. Each of them owns or runs a restaurant. If you were in their shoes, wouldn't you have worked with your pastry chef to learn 2 or 3 impressive desserts? Dan
  6. Oh trust me... what his employees have on him will destroy him very, very quickly. I do admit it was satisfying watching him get his back end handed to him on Chopped in the first round. He was whining that the judges did not understand his culinary greatness. Dan
  7. If something is make in a non-kosher kitchen, even if it is made with kosher ingredients, would not be kosher. While some may accept it, you probably don't want to take a chance. Having dairy ingredients in a candy does not necessarily prohibit it from being kosher either. Dairy is often substituted with pareve, or neutral, ingredients so it can be served with either diary or meat meals. Glatt Kosher is a whole other story. It deals with the rigorous inspection of an animal to make sure it was healthy before being slaughtered. It would have no reflection at all on this subject.
  8. You can do the same... Just buy a can of Ghirardellihot chocolate (a kosher brand) and a bag of kosher marshmallows and leave them sealed. You should be able to find kosher marshmallows at Whole Foods or national grocery chains in large Jewish communities. It may not be as nicely packaged, but I am sure she would appreciate the thought.
  9. My culinary school specifically stated that externships were paid and assigned in their course catalog. The paperwork for externships between the school and the restaurant even stated that students were to be paid. In the end, 2/3 or more of my class were forced into unpaid internships and the school freely allowed the restaurants to change the terms of the contract to allow it. And yes, the guy I ended up working for was a hack and a fraud. He claimed to use origin specific chocolates, but it was all Cargill white box. He also claimed to use fresh ingredients when it was all pastes, extracts
  10. Are recipe names important?? Which of these two names catch your attention Chocolate Cake Better than Hot Sex Cake In some ways, the name of the recipe builds a level of excitement and expectation of the dish that can improve the experience of enjoying it... 3 bits... adjusted for higher food costs.
  11. The local independent grocer has started to label produce based on country of origin or if it is local. With this setup, I am able to buy more local produce. In an unusual twist, this has resulted in me buying organic garlic and ginger from US and Peru respectfully rather than conventional garlic and ginger from China. I know this may open a can of worms, but given the food safety issues of Chinese products (this can be a separate topic, if you want), I would rather spend twice the price for the organic stuff. Other than this, yes, I am currently in withdrawal now that the farmers markets an
  12. Umami - I am getting sick of hearing chefs, food critics and elitists throw this legitimate term around like they have reached a special level of culinary understanding that borders on snobbery.
  13. I spotted the book at Costco today, of all places. It was priced reasonably at $22.99. The book looks really good, but a little too porky for me to make useful in my kosher home. If I am mistaken, please let me know. Dan
  14. For everyday line lube at home, I use Trader Joes 100% Pure Olive Oil. It is decent quality and has a good taste, IMHO. I have been nursing a bottle of DaVero Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil that I was given as a gift by a chef at the James Beard awards ceremony for the help I gave her as a student volunteer. It is stunning stuff that I only use for salads and other applications where the flavour is noticable. I have not been able to find it locally, so I have reluctantly switched to Trader Joes Unfiltered Organic as my nice stuff. Thanks again for the oil, Chef! Dan
  15. Is everyone getting ready? Here are a couple of videos of one of my favorite chefs preparing a turkey. I hope it is inspirational for everyone. Dan
  16. DanM

    Beer and Food Pairings

    Thanksgiving is coming up. My personal choice, besides homebrews, is Ommegang Hennepin Saison. Any other thoughts for the turkey?
  17. DanM


    Chanterelles are back! Its now $10 per pound. I also found Alexia waffle fries for $6ish per 4 lbs bag.
  18. Thanks everyone and thanks for the recipe on Epicurious. In the end, I used Jamie Oliver's recipe due to the weight measurements (yeah, I am a pastry snob) but I only "wizzed" half of the dates and left the rest in chunks. It also gave me a chance to try out the cake spice mix from the spice house. In the end, the two Brits at the meeting were not familiar with sticky toffee pudding. Oh well, good deeds never go unpunished. Dan
  19. I am planning on making sticky toffee pudding tomorrow for a friend who is British and is hosting this months homebrewer's club meeting featuring English bitters and pale ales. I found this recipe by Jamie Oliver, but I have no experience or knowledge of this dessert. Does this look authentic? Does anyone have a better formula? Thanks Dan
  20. For an appetizer, you could serve Vienna Sausage with barbecue sauce
  21. We were at Costco the other day and purchased 9 lbs of cranberries and a 1 lbs of chanterelle mushrooms. The chanterelles look okay, but are not the greatest ones I have ever seen, but at $10/lbs, it is worth buying for use in stuffing or other mushroom dishes. I am going to give them a try tonight to see if they are worth buying for thanksgiving. Dan
  22. DanM

    Smoking a Turkey

    Yep. I plan on smoking one of my turkeys with apple wood on my kettle grill. I have not decided how to season the bird just yet, but it will be a dry rub. Dan
  23. It looks like we are in luck! Bravo has announced Top Chef: Just Desserts. There are very few details so far... http://www.bravotv.com/blogs/the-dish/bravo-announces-top-chef-just-desserts Dan
  24. First off, let me preemptively request that we keep this discussion civil. The proposed US government mandated health insurance law is a heated subject to many. Lets please keep the discussion to its affect on the food service industry and not the law itself. It looks more likely every day that congress will enact a law requiring all Americans to have health insurance through either an employee based health insurance plan or a government run program. I was wondering what impact the proposed law will have on the food service industry. How will it effect food prices and cost to your customers?
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