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TheSugarChef

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  1. The usual argument of not being able to find quality servers if they don't make tips explains our lack of professional service in this country. Restaurant work isn't high-paying on the kitchen end but restaurants still attract good cooks. If tips are your servers' motivations for working for you, what will happen when the tips dry up or they can make higher tips somewhere else? They leave. In a few places that I've worked, the disparity between incomes created animosity and a lack of teamwork. Cooks did not want to help servers clean plates or set up buffets because "it wasn't the cook's job and the servers got paid a lot more than them just to move the food from point A to point B." I've been on the receiving end of a very short stick when I fix servers' orders, rush food, or send amenities for regulars...servers keep the tip. On occasion, I'll get a "thank you". And before you think it's not a big deal, one of those tables in one night will tip more than I make in a week. Ironcially, the best service cultures are ones in which tipping is not encouraged (i.e. France and Japan). Why? Because service is valued as a professional occupation and treated as such.
  2. Root vegetables such as parsnip or beets Sweet potato--many varietals: white (boniato), Japanese, Garnett Squash--many varietals: acorn, butternut, kabocha, spaghetti Eggplant--used in Italian desserts Tofu--used in Japanese desserts And as others have mentioned: corn, avocado, tomato, beer
  3. I've found it helpful to test my jelly on a chilled plate before I take it off the heat. It really drives me crazy when it's runny the next day and I'm doing double the work. And I've had enough disasters to practice this habit with all of my sauces, caramels and glazes.
  4. TheSugarChef

    Genoise

    Out of curiosity, why are you using all-purpose flour in your genoise? I've always used sifted cake flour. Sifting is important because cake flour tends to clump easily. It sounds as though your egg foam is not stable or the flour is not dispersing evenly and some of it is sinking by the time you fold it all in. Here is my method: Warm eggs and sugar just until sugar dissolves. Whip on highest speed until mix is thick and light. Lower speed to medium and whip for ten more minutes. Before you fold in the flour, the foam should be stable enough to hold a ribbon. Sift cake flour and salt onto parchment paper. Fold dry ingredients into egg foam in three additions and temper* butter into mixture. *Take 1/4 of the batter out of the bowl and fold in the cool but melted butter. Fold this buttered mix back into the egg-flour foam.
  5. Gelatin is best used to stabilize cold desserts. It loses its setting power and forms a skin once it's been boiled, hence the tapioca texture. Your best bet is to increase the amount of thickeners (i.e. starch or eggs) that you are already using in your recipe and experiment until you find the best ratio that produces the texture that you desire. If you have trouble obtaining Clear-Jel (which is really meant for fruit pies and canning because it won't break down under acidic conditions), then you can also use arrowroot.
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