New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

cooking basics

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi,

At times I do wonder if too many chefs together or maybe the availability of too many ingredients from too many countries confuses Chefs today to spoil the taste of food – of dishes they try to copy from an other country.

I followed the story about making fried rice brown.

Actually it saddened me, when chefs are recommending or supporting BBQ sauce and one even Hoisin Sauce. So I felt to post a recipe I learned from a Good 5 star Chinese Chef (in Chinese they call them 10 finger chefs) and I still use it today and please all Chinese of the region the rice dish comes form.

It is like a couples of years ago, when I saw a chef in the kitchen pouring soy sauce into the demi glaze. So I approached him as the Director as the Executive Chef was out and ask him what he was doing? He said; “it was not brown enough.” I asked him, are you in a hurry, do you have to go home. He said no, so I took the handle of the tilting kettle and poured the sauce on to the floor, I could read in his eyes, he will miss the appointment.

First I asked him to clean
Second I asked him to see me in the office
Third I ask him to see me and show me the finished sauce after X hours
Fourth I deducted the cost of the new bones and vegetables to make a proper demi glaze from his salary.

Well it worked wonders after explaining him again what it means to be a cook and to respect ingredients and basic recipes.

Therefore my question now?

How do you make your demi glaze with out soy sauce, hoisin sauce or BBQ sauce? Well simply the old fashioned way.

What bones you choose?
What are the vegetables and vegetable proportion to bones?
With the vegetables you choose, what ratio you apply?
What wine do you use for de glazing?
What liquid do you use to simmer the bones over some hours? (water or)
What are the other basic ingredients you add into the demi glaze?

Regards,
post #2 of 17

Who are you calling a chef?

Hey Chef Kaiser,
I re-read all the posts in the "fried rice brown" thread and confirmed I'm the only one who mentioned Hoisin.

First of all, I'm not a chef nor do I aspire to become one. I've said in other posts that I'm just an old guy trying to learn to live off his own cooking. When I'm done here I'll figure out how to make that display at the end of every post in order to avoid saddening anyone in the future. As I understand it, unlike the Professional Food Service Forums, this and the others, within the Food and Cooking Forums are open to everyone to discuss food and cooking.

Secondly, I had no intention of challenging any ancient culinary tradition. The idea was to share with another non-professional how I make leftover rice taste and look good (at least to me) on my own stove.

Thirdly, as to: Never having worked in a professional kitchen, my impression is that you should tell that story one last time, in the privacy of confessional, then let it go forever.

Lastly, I don't mean to imply that all opinions are of equal merit. I have learned a lot and become a much better cook from having read and participated in these forums. Sometimes the progesss comes from reading about a topic that I have no experience or knowledge about. I hope that you do that in this thread with regard to demi-glaze. Other times the learning takes place when someone with more experience or training expresses a different opinion or even corrects a factual error. Please feel free to do either or both in response anything I write.

I'm looking forward to continuing to learn from the knowledge and experience you generously share.
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
Reply
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
Reply
post #3 of 17
Skilletlicker, what you do at home is your own business: Having fun, experimenting, enjoying what you make. This is good, I try to do this as much as I can as well, and try to get my kids involved too.

What Chef Kaiser mentions is completly different, it's called running a business, establishing and maintaining a reputation. The cook in charge of producing a basic and expensive ingredient is cheating, and expects to get away with it. Let's say a box of veal bones cost $50.00, root vegetables, tomato paste, and assorted herbs and spices another $8.00, and labour, with the roasting, draining of fat, skimming, straining, etc, is around 11/2 hours for 40 liters. Sad thing is that you couldn't even start a remouillage with this new "invention", because the soya sauce has already tainted the bones and mirepoix. Alot of money and time involved and tied up. Yet the cook in charge does not follow the recipie, he starts to invent, spoiling the product, and if any customers were to taste the final product would know "something is different". Kind of like a worker in a Ford Factory deciding that a truck doesn't really need a V8 motor, but rather a smaller one because they're easier to install.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #4 of 17
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Chef Kaiser :)

I really do appreciate the thoughts, knowledge and creativity of the participants of this forum. Being a person that cooks at home, I think you have to look at influences. What influences are available to the home cook...and what's out there that we don't yet know about. It's a slow growth process for the homecook...and many times we could be sidetracked easily and have some poor influences that may be teaching us flare over good practices.


Ingredient selection is another area that the home cook must overcome. In my own examples...it has taken me some time to start to appreciate good vegetables. This may seem silly to many chefs out there...but the ingredients that many home cooks are given (at the local grocery store) can be a major influence why we try to "doctor" things up so much.

I'm finding out that flavor in any dish has to start within EVERY ingredient. It must be fresh, of good quality and used within the right method. This can be said for fruits, vegetables, meats, bones, spices, herbs, stock...on and on. If one part of your ingredients are "off" (vegetables used) or not prepared properly (a bad stock)...you won't yield good results.


While posting, here at ChefTalk, I really try to listen more than I "talk". What appeals to me about this website isn't so much the quantity of discussion, but the quality and exchange of ideas. I really can't thank all you guys and gals enough! :D

It's not easy being a home cook. Sure...I could turn on Emeril and follow a certain recipe. I suppose in this respect we actually are lucky. But where will we learn the basics? Where does a complete novice/home cook learn how to do the basics? This may sound simple...but this is what makes the difference between a good dish and one that is so so. I still think there is a HUGE untapped market for teaching home cooks the proper basics in cooking and baking.

We want to learn...but where? from who?

what would you want to learn? (revisited)

I love to eat pastries and desserts, but I don't bake!


I have to say again...thank goodness for this site! I also appreciate Chef Kaiser wanting to share the correct stir fried rice recipe WITH the preparation method. For me...this is information I could just eat right up!

thank you!!!

dan
post #5 of 17
Ahh, the basics. What everyone should know, but no modern "cookbooks" will teach.

When I was 12 and making a mess of my Mom's kitchen, I recieved a copy of Jaques Pepin's "La Technique" for Christmas. It wasn't an expensive book, paper covers and b&w photos, but lots of photos, and lots of clear, precise instructions. If there ever was a book that influenced me, and gave me incentive to start on my long career in cooking, this would be one of them. It's still in print, I think, and definately worth checking out.

There are other good books, "Classical Cooking the modern way" by Pauli is another good one, one that all Swiss apprentices use, but it doesn't have as many photos and relies on apprentices seeing and learning simple techniques like knifework from other cooks. C.I.A's book (Culinary Institute of America...) is an excellent one. Lots of good colour photos and clear instructions, but a bit pricey. James Peterson's "Sauces" has no photos, but some very detailed and precise instructions with lots of why's and how's and what will happen if you don't's. Probably one of the best books written about stocks and sauces in the last 100 years.

Keep on experimenting and asking questions, it's the only way for any cook to learn.
While reading your post I see you've found out that EVERYTHING makes a difference: Ingredients, techniques, equipment, attitude. With this lesson in mind, you're already far ahead from alot of so called professional "Chefs " and "Cooks" that I have worked with, blissfully and intentionally unaware that a rubberband around a scrap of vegetable tossed into a stockpot will spoil the whole batch of stock...
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #6 of 17
It probably would have been better if I had omitted the reference to the story of Chef Kaiser's employee. I was reacting to the impression that the Chef found my post, and others, to be somehow analogous to the incompetence, disobedience or sabotage he described. Although quality control and employee discipline are both areas I have more experience in than I do cooking, they are not the point of this thread or the earlier one. Besides, what Chef Kaiser does at work is his own business.;)
Dan,
Like almost always, I agree 100%
I'm hoping the chef's questions were not rhetorical and that an informative discussion of demi glaze will soon follow.
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
Reply
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
Reply
post #7 of 17
Thanks for the advice foodpump. After looking around at the various cookbooks...I ended up with The Good Cook;by Anne Willan. I was tempted to get a couple of other books but refrained. I kept feeling as if I wanted something more advanced than the basics for a home cook (which this book was written for). But as you (all) know...THAT is what I am!

I didn't want to overlook some of the simpler things that may be passed by in some of the books written with the professionals in mind. I hope the book meets my expectations.

thanks all :)

dan
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

let cool down

Hi to All,

Ops my apology, I think the water is boiling here that was not my intention, therefore lets reduce the heat.

I traveled quite a few continents and always encountered that very traditional recipes were simply changed to the point that it was not rightful anymore to call them by the traditional name.

Well that is the reason why I posted a very straight forward fried rice recipe cooked here in Asia.

Anyway we should not get into an argument. Foodpump said it right the use of good books, with the right basics is the most important and I could say that is for any type of chef, in the business or at home.

A good book is defiantly The Pauli (classical cuisine the modern way). Actually to share, that book was copied way back by many big schools, which today have their own books.

Again I would like to apologize if I did mention the Hoisin sauce. But please understand myself from a professional point of view, as Chefs we are the culinary ambassadors in this world, and therefore we – well difficult to explain – take enormous pride in the fundamentals and origins of food and recipes.

I can share just last time when I went back to Switzerland, I got invited into a Chinese restaurant. Well I tell you it was all but not Cantonese food. So I was curious and went into an Asian food store in Zuerich, were the restaurant is located and realized that they have all ingredients available to do it right. Well the chef must have worked with different recipes or learned form a chef who was definitely not Chinese.

Regards
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi dan,

did not mean to offend, Well that is the way Chefs are pritty straight forward. so lets look at the Demi Glace and lets forget the Hoisin sauce.

If you would need a specific recipe, you can always ask for it.

regards
post #10 of 17
Chef Kaiser,
Thanks for your considerate response. I meant no offense either.
Thank you also for the demi glaze recipe in the lets compare recipes thread. Starting the demi glaze conversation in a fresh thread was a good choice. I will be looking today for a veal stock recipe to use in the demi glaze (so far I've only done chicken stock).
Respectfully,
Bert
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
Reply
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
Reply
post #11 of 17
I'm short on time and have not read all the posts. Chef Kaiser. I absolutely understand what you are trying to say in your post. I haven't read the posts back but I'm sure there will be many. I will not say that your thinking is old school, because I have had classical training on both sides, but it's like that game when someone tells a story to someone, and then you pass it on to many , when the story is retold it's nothing like the original. Now this is in a matter of minutes, can you imagine how things can change in a century.
The lesson here was a good one but maybe the method could have had a little cushion built in for the pupil. I would have added up all the ingredients and charged them off to the person who trained him. I also think we have to keep our minds open to new things and maybe some time savers. I am not a believer in short cuts but I am very open to variations that may achieve the same if not better result. We have to keep in mind, when the classics were developed they used the ingredients they had available. Times have changed. This is the reason why I personally have a great appreciation for the younger chefs who actually learn the ingredients they are using and develop their own variation. I love some of the things the great US chefs are doing with food.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that a classical training for me was more doing then thinking. In the last ten or so years I have been able to use my brain (what's left) in the production of foods.
Just my thoughts.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

hi, fun shall it be to be a chef

Hi,

i agree with you regarding the new generation and new ingredients.

There was no need to train the cook anymore, as a standard recipe explained and guided him clearly what the organization wants, a base sauce (mother sauce) as natural tasting as possible. if the young chef wants to add soy sauce, he is free to do so and create a deviation form the mother sauce. But dont flavor the mother sauce with soy sauce from the start or for the purpose of giving color, because he did not roast the veal bones properly.

regards
post #13 of 17
Chef Kaiser,

I will be trying your traditional Fried Brown Rice. Is there anything in a ddition to the rice dish that you would recommend that would complete a nice traditional (true) Chinese meal?

The water isn't boiling at all. But thanks for your concern.

It may seem as though your being extremely frank (straightforward)with your thoughts...and you are. (For myself) This is not only welcomed...but appreciated and encouraged. :)

When someone is straightforward in what they have to say it leaves little room open for interpretation. Nothing wrong with that!

thanks,

dan
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

hi, fun shall it be to be a chef

dan,

what particular main ingredient do you like, beef, chicken, fish, vegetables let me know, i am sure i have something.

regards
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

hi, fun shall it be to be a chef

Hi Bert,

for the brown veal stock, just follow the same base recipe as for the demi glace, just dont add flour into the brown veal stock.

regards
post #16 of 17
While I like all of the above choices :) Beef sounds good to me :)

thanks!

dan
post #17 of 17
Thanks Chef, I wondered about that. Having problems finding veal. I'll post in
Veal Stock and demi-glace.
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
Reply
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking