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Culinary Ask a Chef: Or Zombie explains Cooking

Discussion in 'The Burrow' started by Zombie, Aug 25, 2017.

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  1. Story Content: Cheese Saving
    Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    What kind of cheese?
    This is what I use as a general rule of thumb. I make cheese every year because I have livestock so just depends on what you have.

    Hard, aged cheeses (Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged Gouda): First wrap in wax or parchment paper, then add a layer of plastic wrap.

    Blue cheeses, wrap in plastic wrap.

    Semi-hard and hard cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss, Gruyere): Wrap in plastic wrap.

    Soft, semi-soft, and stinky cheeses (goat, Camembert, Brie, Limburger): Place in a resealable plastic container.

    Fresh cheeses in water (mozzarella or Feta): Leave the cheese in the original packaging, changing the water every couple of days.

    I keep the above in a note reminder on my phone. I picked it up from a website somewhere and it's pretty useful.

    If you refrigerate use your crisper or where your store your veg. The temperature is more consistent due to its location and heat and moisture are less likely to cause spoilage.
     
  2. Paladin

    Paladin Second Year

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    So the company I work for has an annual competition in October for BBQ, and I'm on a team for my location. I know you suggested Alabama White Sauce and maple or cherrywood, but I'd definitely take any other advice or suggestions you can offer. This is for a lot of money, and I want the team I'm on to come out kicking ass and smoking those other teams out of the kitchen. :p
     
  3. Story Content: BBQ
    Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Alabama White Sauce BBQ Chicken

    Three step process.

    Cut the chicken into halves. If you have a breast, cut it.
    If you have leg quarters. cut them.

    You don't BBQ whole chickens if you can manage it.

    Smoke your chicken at a higher temp. It will finish faster, and it will come out more tender. Don't cook it low and slow, unless you want to be eating cardboard.

    Finally, spray bottle of apple juice. Helps regulate the high smoke heat, and makes it absorb more of the heat. Spray about every 5 minutes. Your cook time is usually 30 minutes per pound on the fire. So keep an eye on your hot and cool spots on whatever you're cooking it on.

    Dry Rub
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    White Sauce
    • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    For Spritzing
    • 8 oz. apple juice
    Other Supplies
    • Wood chips or chunks

    Use some kind of internal temp gauge, reference my post in the food safety thread about cook temps and when something is done.

    Split the Chicken: this is if you're using a whole bird. If you're using pieces then you don't really need to, but if the breasts are bigger than your hand, I'd suggest cutting them in half. It gives you a more even cook because not everything will be that big.


    Make Dry Rub, pat the chicken dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, and then apply the rub. The salt is going to draw more moisture out of the meat, and then the meat will soak it back in. It will keep it more flavorful and tender and actually season the meat instead of getting burnt off under open heat.

    You're going to use a process some people call dry brining. You're going to put your rub on, and then put it on a slotted rack, and put it in the fridge for at minimum overnight. Obey all safe/cool holding methods. Don't do this in a fridge that sees heavy traffic, otherwise, you're going to get someone sick.

    Make your sauce the day of, you're going to put them all in a food processor or use an emulsion blender to make sure its all smooth and consistent. So about a minute to a minute and a half tops. Refrigerate alongside the chicken, longer if you can manage. The taste just gets better.

    Prep your smoker and get it up to temp before putting the chicken in. You want it to maintain that heat for a good 15 minutes before putting your shit in. Use a wood of your choice. Maple and Cherry work well with about anything. If I need to talk about how to use woodchips for smoking, let me know. You're looking at about an hour to an hour and a half cook time. Towards the end, baste your chicken in the white sauce.

    At the end, before you serve it, dunk the cooked pieces of chicken into your bowl of sauce, or serve on the side. Traditionally, its dunked and then served. Don't let the people that eat it determine how much they get, or they won't get enough.

    For Brisket, instead of typing it all out. I've made this recipe before, to great success. So I'll just link it where I found it.

    Ribs:
    Rinse them first, and then skin and trim. You don't want them to be too fatty. But you also don't want to cut off too much and have dry ribs. Salt them. Just like with the chicken. Not too much, but enough to let it draw out the meat flavor and then soak it back up. You're going to air dry them like the chicken as well. Watch how much you salt because your rub is going to have it in it, so adjust one or the other.

    Spray the meat with a bit of water with a spray bottle, and then apply the rub, let sit for about twenty minutes and then smoke. You're going for some sersious bark on these so don't pull them out until the last minute.

    With your rub, you're going to coat it as evenly as possible. Get that shit everywhere. For competitive cooking, consider the Texas Crutch to get super tender ribs.

    Sauce, I'd use whatever you like best, because utilmately this is what you taste the most. I like something with a tangy vinegar after taste. But you may like something more sweet.

    A mustard sauce never hurt either.

    • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup paprika
    • 1/4 cup kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
    • 2 tablespoons onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons rosemary powder
     
  4. T3t

    T3t Purple Beast of DLP Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Let's say I want to have a party with 40-50 people and provide food - assume renting out a banquet hall or something similar.

    Do you have any suggestions for food that will fit the following criteria:
    1) Tasty
    2) Keeps well without heat
    3) Preparation difficulty level isn't insane, prep is doable in an average home kitchen (or two), and the prep time itself scales well for the number of people

    Looking for pretty much everything - snacks, appetizers, salads, soups, meats/seafood, maybe even dessert (though I'm considering outsourcing that). Starches I can probably handle too but obviously I'm not going to turn down suggestions.
     
  5. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I mean, it really depends on what you're looking for. I can give you some easy recipes that can be bulked and doesn't require much if anything in regards to hot/cold.

    If it's a birthday party, I'd go with something that you could prepare in advance. Sandwhiches, cold snacks that you can keep in bowls of ice to keep chilled, and quick. If you want a hot meal then let me know, but, here's some cold shit that's good for mid summer, early fall type deals.


    Side: Potato Salad
    • 15 pounds potatoes,
    • 4 cups mayonnaise
    • 1 cup sweet pickle relish
    • 1/4 cup prepared mustard
    • 1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 teaspoons pepper
    • 6 celery ribs, chopped
    • 8 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • Paprika and green pepper rings, optional
    Alternatively, here's another recipe to try for potato salad.
    • 15 lbs yukon gold/red potatoes
    • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard, I like brown
    • 1 cup pickle juice, divided
    • 3 large dill pickle, finely diced (1 cup)
    • 6 small celery rib, finely diced
    • 1 red onion, finely diced
    • 1 tblspoon table salt
    • 1 teaspoon celery seed
    • 1.5 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 8 hard-cooked eggs, cut in 1/4-inch dice (optional)
    This ingredient list is scaled for ~50 people with average portion size. That's about a serving spoon per person. Average serving spoon is like 4 table spoons in conversion. IIRC. Could be a little more, just depends on how deep they dig and how big of a spoon you get. I went with standard.

    Use red-skin potatoes, cube them with skins on. You may need more than 15 pounds. I think the red potatoes come in bags of 5 pounds, so 4-5 should be sufficient. Make sure they're clean and washed before cubing.

    Alternatively, stripe them, by peeling only a little bit, but not all. It adds some texture, because the skins on red potatoes are tender. You'll do this long ways.

    Put ~cup of white vinegar into your water when they boil, this stops the pectin from breaking down and it keeps your cubes solid and it doesn't turn to mush. You want creamy and texture, not mush.

    Once tender and cooked through, place into a bowl, add your other ingredients. You can chill this with a double bowl, one bigger than the serving bowl, filled with ice, rotate regularly to keep the chill regular.

    Chicken Salad
    • 9 cups cubed cooked chicken
    • 8 cups chopped celery
    • 8 cups seedless green grapes halves
    • 18 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped
    • DRESSING:
    • 4 cups mayonnaise
    • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup sugar go light on this, I like savory better.
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 cups cashew halves
    You don't have to cube the chicken, that's a style choice. Shredded works fine. Also, if you have some precooked rotisserie chickens, which you can buy at costco, wal-mart, kruegers, trader joes, etc. For a decent price, do that. It works faster, because then you don't have to cook, you just shred the meat. Do an even mix of dark and white for better flavor.

    Southern Chicken Salad calls for all kinds of fruit to be added. So, I left grapes in, because it's actually a nice contrast.

    Instead of halves, I'd do fourths, because I don't know about you, but sometimes I don't like biting into a lugi unexpectedly. You can add pasta if you want to serve it to eat by fork, or minus pasta if you want to eat it on some bread. I'd go bread myself, hand foods and finger foods are going to be great.

    Get some premade kaiser rolls for the chicken salad. It's the best bread to have with it (IMO). You can serve halves for these sandwiches and you'll have more than enough to feed 50. With the recipe above, you could technically feed each person 1 sandwich and a half.

    Add pineapple if that's your thing. Its a decent contrast. It goes good with roasted chicken, not so much with boiled chicken. As always, you can sub mayo for yogurt. And you can sub bread for lettuce wraps. Especially if you've got people that do the low carb thing. I'd suggest halving your lettuce prior to taking everything out. So do it right there, if you cut it, and then wait for it over night, it will brown. Lemon juice can slow this down, but its not necessary.

    Keep the lettuce leaves in a bowl of ice water. Rinse it before putting in the ice water, because silt. Same for the romaine. You're going to need about 6 heads of decent sized iceberg. You're going to need about double that for romaine. Depends on your price point at this point which you go with, they're both good. You can slice tomato for the sandwich, dice for the lettuce leaf. You can slice onion for the sandwich, dice for the lettuce leaf. Pickles, and whatever else that you may desire.

    The chopped eggs is personal taste. I like more because it makes the dressing creamier. You could halve the amount of eggs and it be sufficient.

    Instead of chicken salad, you could do shredded BBQ Chicken sandwiches. These work better cold. They're great hot, but you can eat them cold.

    Your sauce is however you want it, from a bottle or homemade. Reference my earlier bbq post about what I like as far as sauce for chicken. Its an easy sauce to make. You can also do traditional sweet or savory sauce.

    Some other options for cold meals, Shrimp Ceviche

    • 6 lb. cooked frozen shrimp (36-45 count), thawed, drained, chopped (get fresh, you can use frozen for speed, but you need to devein them yourself. You let the lime juice cook them in the marinade)
    • 3 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1.5 cup Italian Dressing (or buy the shit premade for quick, I put a recipe below)
    • 3 red pepper, seeded, chopped
    • 3 celery stalk, chopped
    • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • tortilla chips
    • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon white sugar
    • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
    • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
    You'll need to scale this. Use olive oil and vinegar as a base. A 2 to 1 ratio.

    Place shrimp in large glass bowl. mix everything else in. Pour combined lime juice and dressing over shrimp. Add red pepper, celery and cilantro; mix lightly. Cover.
    Let it refrigerate minimum of 30 minutes, but max of like 4 hours so that the flavors penetrate.

    Get some Brie, some Red Pepper Jelly and some fancy crackers. Then you'll all be fancy crackers. :) Brie can be expensive though.

    Garlic Hummus

    • 5 qt. plus 1 c. (2 - No. 10 cans) canned garbanzo beans or chickpeas, drained
    • 3 ¼ c. frozen lemon juice concentrate, reconstituted
    • 2 ½ c. peanut butter OR tahini OR sunflower seed butter
    • 17 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 3 ¼ c. water
    This recipe is from University of Mississippi, they really know their shit. It will serve 50 people.

    Directions But is found on a ND Uni website. /me shrugs
    Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree to a smooth consistency. Spread evenly into two 12”x20”x2 ½ “ shallow pans. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Portion with No. 8 scoop.

    Makes 50 servings.



    There's some ideas, sorry it took so long. Lemme know if you want something else other than that.

    Remember. Get bags of ice, get bowls bigger than the serving dishes, and place them in. Change the ice ever 45 minutes to 1 hour, drain some of the water, but not all, before adding more ice, because science.

    These are all great chilled.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  6. General_Max

    General_Max Squib

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    Great thread so far Zombie!

    I have been in the hospitality industry working all aspects of F&B from stewarding/room service/banquets/kitchen/FOH for a decade now with a leaning on more of the upscale dining with a focus or pacific northwest and french influences. Currently the restaurant I work in has a focus for seafood and a full vegan menu. If I can impart any knowledge please let me know.
     
  7. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I'm shit at French style cooking. Like I understand the technique, but anything that I've tried to cook that is wholly French has come out lacking. Think it's the manner of produce I'm using, because something that is distinct to me in French cuisine is the freshness and richness of the produce involved. So my question for you would be what's your favorite French dish. What about it is indicative of its French roots. Is it classical or a reimaging of old cuisine?

    Spanish style cooking went through a rennasiance at one point where a lot of traditional meals were modernized. Do you think that french cuisine is that prevalent in the America's or is it more a European staple?

    Figured since no one is asking questions, then I can and maybe spark some interesting discussion.
     
  8. General_Max

    General_Max Squib

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    To me French style cooking is about what you put into it. I love the versatility of the food can have. From spring and you can have such vibrant flavours and freshness of Seafood to the summer cheeses and berries and fruits to fall mushrooms and apples to the wonderful winter beef borguignon and coq au vin and throughout all this is the richness of butter. I tend to love these heartier meals more. They really show the ability of a good chef to manage all the sizes and cuts to meet in harmony and as well the wine. Give me a west bank Bordeaux with this and I go to my happy place.

    I had the opportunity to travel and France and see these small town vibes and small restaurants literally have no menu except what they find in the market that day. But that french cooking hasn't really translated as well to the america's. All most of us have the high society french cuisine into heavy mounds of dairy in every bite and its a cop out. My restaurant currently makes its mash with 40% butter to potatoes. It seems like alain ducasse jumped out of his books and onto our plates but we just cannot execute right.

    What is your opinion on Sous Vide and its predominance in kitchens these days? I have my own at home and I love the exactness it can achieve.it also makes protein freezing and meal prep quite a lot easier. But what point it too far and every restaurant the food comes out of bags to far?

    Not to change the subject too much but I just got eleven madison parks new cook book and it is lovely. I was able to find my dishes from a dinner I went to a year and a half ago. Its a beautiful book.
     
  9. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Jacques Pepin and Julia Child is all I can think about when I hear these recipes. America's Test Kitchen has a pretty decent adaptation of Coq Au Vin and and Beef Bourguignon.

    How so? I've not really went out and ate it, I've always did Italian so it's what I know the best. I've tried replicating some french recipes, and I always felt like they were missing something.

    That sounds about right. Is that wrong?

    Because they don't want to, or don't know how to? Are you a sous chef, or line cook, or are you a head chef in your establishment? What's the average skill level of your chefs?

    I just picked up Action Bronson's Fuck That's Delicious Annotated Cookbook looking to give it a try. Haven't picked up a new recipe book in a long time.
     
  10. General_Max

    General_Max Squib

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    The french "fuck you Im doing what I want" attitude adds an artisan flair to the dish as well the butter over there has a much lower milk fat % which adds a creaminess that is almost impossible to replicate.

    I was a sous chef from working my way from a second cook in the same restaurant then switched over to the front of house and now am one of the restaurant managers. The cooks we hire are judged in having quite a bit of experience. The skil level since I started has really deteriorated. I feel the old way of over working and yelling at chefs that has disappeared from North America due to labor laws and expectations of human decency. Because of this and the current generation, the work ethic has dropped leading to no consistency. Our current saucier cannot get temps right, our entremetier sends out under cooked vegetables and tries to sneak it by. Judging from last nights service, the entire kitchen has forgotten how to season food!

    I have talked to other kitchens on the city and they have noticed this as well but it hits us especially hard because we are also a union kitchen as we are in a hotel and not independent so the maximum shift length is 8 hours.
     
  11. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I would hold accountability. If they want to be known for subpar food then let them start a shitty YouTube channel or restaurant by themselves. Even the Union has regulations on standards. If you can't perform the basics of your job then you either don't need it or need re-education. Unless the proprietor is okay with just throwing their money into the garbage and comping meals. Which I don't think they are.

    If you're manager, I'd start smashing faces until the quality is back to where you desire it. As long as you do it correctly, you can get away with doing pretty much anything as long as there is no perceived threat. I won't suffer anyones inability to do the basic job I hired them for.

    Fuck'em. Then again I've the privilege of not being in a right to work state. So they'd be getting the boot the first plate that came back. The biggest problem is that people are afraid to hurt someone else's sensibilities. But if you suck, I'm going to be the first to tell you. I will attempt to help you, but I can't make you want to do your job correctly, and I'm not going to try.

    It would be different if they were entry level, and didn't know, but if you're serving 100 -200 guests a night, then your food better be on fucking point. Taste to season, quality control at the window. Don't let it come back because a customer caught it, let it come back because someone else that enjoys their job caught it and knows it can be better.

    If anyone tried to sneak anything shitty past me, I'd have them out back beating them to death with my bare hands. There's two things you don't fuck with, my money and my credibility. Doing that is hurting both.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  12. momo

    momo First Year

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    Hey guys.

    What are your best recipes for cheesecake?
     
  13. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I'm partial to New York style.
    Here's a decent recipe. I'd spend more time talking about it but I'm about half asleep at the moment.
     
  14. VereorNox

    VereorNox Bomb Turban

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    My aunt from London sent me a slow cooker for some reason, maybe she got a new one and thought it'd be nice to surprise me. Do you have any recipes for that kinda thing that aren't "chicken breast with some flavor of the month sauce" or "chili"? Google isn't very helpful.
     
  15. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Stroganoff
    Alfredo
    Sausage Soup
    Ribs

    So, there's four. The trick with a crockpot is that you need to have stuff that can take a lot of cooking, at a low and slow heat and still come out just the same. Ingredients that can be subjected to constant heat without breaking down long term. Its why you see tons of dishes that are chicken based.

    Chicken cooks well in a crock because it allows the moisture of the meat to be retained. While infusing the flavor of the other shit in the pot. Its like a pressure cooker, but its not. because it can still breath, but one of the tricks of heat is that it allows things to seep into whatever your cooking because cell walls are breaking down, and fibers are loosening.

    One thing I'd suggest, and not many people cover is that any protein you put in, it needs to be defrosted, it adds additional liquid that will delay, or mess with your cook times. Most recipes give you this impression that you can throw it in frozen solid and like magic you got a meal in a couple hours.

    Some of the recipes above require you add the ingredients at different points in time. Very few. Generally speaking you can throw them all in, just cook it on low for a period of 4 to 6 hours, or medium for 2 to 4 hours, dependings on what your plans are for the day. Crocks are great for starting something in the morning and it being ready to consume in the afternoon or your dinner time.
     
  16. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Administrator Admin

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    One of the classics that will also be recommended a lot is pulled pork. Buy some Pork Shoulder (sometimes labeled Pork Butt) in a big chunk and let it cook on the low setting forever. Season however it suits you, salt/pepper heavily on both sides is the classic. Stab it everywhere with a fork, put it fat side down (one side will be like a sheet of white fat). I put mustard on it after and it's pretty good. You can make a mustard/vinegar sauce and add a bit of sugar/sweetener to it, maybe some garlic and paprika and thyme and have it come out pretty nicely.
     
  17. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I didn't know this until after the fact but he doesn't eat pork.
     
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