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Cheating... or chef's trick? - Page 3

post #61 of 89

 You are correct and I am a food snob. There is no way your stock from a can or paste will taste better than my homebrew stock made from fresh ingredients. Fresh tastes better...always.

post #62 of 89

You are entitled to your opinion as others are entitled to theirs. To bad we can't have a cooking contest .

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #63 of 89

 ...and I am a food snob.

 

At least you're honest about it. Most snobs, as evidenced just by this thread alone, are not.

 

Fresh tastes better...always.

 

A typical knee-jerk statement. But you don't want to stake anything important on it. Not in a blind taste test, anyway. I guarantee there are dozens and dozens of dishes and ingredients that, in an honest test, you would not be able to differentiate fresh from frozen. Or wild-crafted from farmed. Or, to put a point on it, enhanced stock from fresh-ingredients only (whatever that happens to mean).

 

That aside, I'm curious as to what you mean by fresh. I don't reckon it's the salt---that's a rock which has been around for ten thousand years. Can't be the peppercorns. Those were harvested and processed at least two years ago. Certainly not the chicken? Not unless you slaughtered and dressed it just before adding it to the pot. What's that you say? You buy your chickens already processed? Hmmmm. Just how fresh are they? No sense even talking about the onions, carrots, and celery. Unless you have grown them yourself and picked them just before adding them to the stockpot, they are not fresh.

 

Well what do you know? Turns out your snobbery is misplaced, because you aren't using fresh ingredients after all.

 

The fact is, PublicServant, I am a snob about certain things. But I remain true to my snobbery. For instance, I won't go anywhere near a "fresh" tomato for 8 or 9 months of the year. Can you say the same? Or would you rather use unripe, tasteless "fresh" ones while you sneer at somebody who uses canned ripe tomatoes that are bursting with flavor? After all, the fresh ones taste better---always. Isn't that what you said?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #64 of 89

I recenly made 12 gallons of lobster bisque and I used 90 pounds of lobster bodies I think thats cheating.

 

 

SooperSaucer

post #65 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

 ...and I am a food snob.

 

At least you're honest about it. Most snobs, as evidenced just by this thread alone, are not.

 

Fresh tastes better...always.

 

A typical knee-jerk statement. But you don't want to stake anything important on it. Not in a blind taste test, anyway. I guarantee there are dozens and dozens of dishes and ingredients that, in an honest test, you would not be able to differentiate fresh from frozen. Or wild-crafted from farmed. Or, to put a point on it, enhanced stock from fresh-ingredients only (whatever that happens to mean).

 

That aside, I'm curious as to what you mean by fresh. I don't reckon it's the salt---that's a rock which has been around for ten thousand years. Can't be the peppercorns. Those were harvested and processed at least two years ago. Certainly not the chicken? Not unless you slaughtered and dressed it just before adding it to the pot. What's that you say? You buy your chickens already processed? Hmmmm. Just how fresh are they? No sense even talking about the onions, carrots, and celery. Unless you have grown them yourself and picked them just before adding them to the stockpot, they are not fresh.

 

Well what do you know? Turns out your snobbery is misplaced, because you aren't using fresh ingredients after all.

 

The fact is, PublicServant, I am a snob about certain things. But I remain true to my snobbery. For instance, I won't go anywhere near a "fresh" tomato for 8 or 9 months of the year. Can you say the same? Or would you rather use unripe, tasteless "fresh" ones while you sneer at somebody who uses canned ripe tomatoes that are bursting with flavor? After all, the fresh ones taste better---always. Isn't that what you said?



GREAT ANOLOGY !

 

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #66 of 89

Thats a good ratio. Did you use a mortar and pestal to grind afterward?

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #67 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

One does not have to add gelatin to clarify a stock to a consomme. One may have to add gel to make it an Aspic

Ice cubes, mirepoix, herbs, chopped lean beef. egg white  and shells produces an excellent consomme ffrom the simmering stock


 


You say "have to" as if clarifying with gelatin is more work, or more expensive, or less thorough.  In reality you don't "have to" use a raft anymore.

post #68 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by benway View Post




 


You say "have to" as if clarifying with gelatin is more work, or more expensive, or less thorough.  In reality you don't "have to" use a raft anymore.



Not more work, but since the original method has been done for years , Why do it , it imparts no flavor and adds additional cost. I do believe in change, but not when I have been doing it the tried and tested ways for 40 years and it has not failed me yet. If someone can show me a better way, I will go it otherwise no I stick with classical methods.

 

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #69 of 89

When I say "Fresh" my intent is to say "as fresh as I am able to acquire at the time of year." I try to cook with the seasons, utilizing whats availible. I am from Jersey, where Tomatos grow triumphantly. My girlfriend cans (Mason Jars) in the fall from her garden for use over the winter, but I will find myself at shopright in January buying a mexican fruit...as I have no real choice in the matter if I want a "Fresh Tomato". Fresh, to me, chef, means Not from a can or pre-mix.

post #70 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1publicservant View Post

... Fresh, to me, chef, means Not from a can or pre-mix.

Regardless of flavor or taste?

 

For me, when "fresh" tastes better, then "fresh", otherwise, otherwise, whatever has the best flavor, canned, dried, frozen, pickled, preserved, etc., for most foods.

 

There are some proteins that I prefer "aged" over "fresh", inter alia beef.

 

There are some vegetables/fruits that are better "aged than "fresh", inter alia avocados, persimmons (Hachiya), bananas.

 

Getting "hung up" on one descriptive term at the expense of all others leads to less than optimum flavor/taste, IMHO.
 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #71 of 89

So what you're saying, PublicServant, is that the appearance of fresh is more important to you than actual taste and quality. I have to agree: that's a position that just about defines snobbery.

 

Let's compare those tomatoes.

 

On one hand, your galpal takes fully ripened tomatoes, at their height of flavor, and lovingly preserves them for later use. On the other hand, a fieldhand in Mexico picks a tomato while it's green. They ship it to a climate-controlled warehouse (read cold storage). Just before sending it on to market they run it through an ethylene gas environment, which causes the pigment to develop. The tomato, however, is still unripe and tasteless.

 

Given that choice, why would anyone choose the Mexican tomato?

 

The difference between us, it seems, is that you want the nebulous ego booste of bragging how you only use fresh. And I want to serve the most flavorsome dish I can.

 

Meanwhile, tell your girlfriend she can ship those jars down to me, where their contents will be appreciated.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #72 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

So what you're saying, PublicServant, is that the appearance of fresh is more important to you than actual taste and quality. I have to agree: that's a position that just about defines snobbery.

 

Let's compare those tomatoes.

 

On one hand, your galpal takes fully ripened tomatoes, at their height of flavor, and lovingly preserves them for later use. On the other hand, a fieldhand in Mexico picks a tomato while it's green. They ship it to a climate-controlled warehouse (read cold storage). Just before sending it on to market they run it through an ethylene gas environment, which causes the pigment to develop. The tomato, however, is still unripe and tasteless.

 

Given that choice, why would anyone choose the Mexican tomato?

 

The difference between us, it seems, is that you want the nebulous ego booste of bragging how you only use fresh. And I want to serve the most flavorsome dish I can.

 

Meanwhile, tell your girlfriend she can ship those jars down to me, where their contents will be appreciated.



KY!

Why waste your explanations on this guy, he is all to set in his supposed perfect ways. I think I see why he is a Former. Let him basque in his own little world telling himself  ""His is the only right way"" If Vatel and Careme came down to earth he would not believe them either.!

 

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #73 of 89

It's getting nasty around here.  Each person will have their own philosophy of cooking so who is anyone to go against that?  In the US and probably globally right now people are less and less aware of seasonal produce because everything is available all the time.  My friend called me a couple of weeks ago and asked me where can she buy figs.... uhm nowhere!  I thought she was crazy.  Yet last week when my mother came to visit from greece for a visit I tried serving her a juicy bunch of grapes to which she replied "I don't eat grapes in April!"  So I guess I fall somewhere in the middle.  If it tastes good I eat it.

 

Anyone else find that the produce sold at Costco tastes like absolutely nothing?

 

As far as using soup bases and other convenience products I'm neither here nor there.  I have never used them myself in my own stocks but I don't judge if anyone else does, maybe they know something I don't.  What's the big deal?  Oh by the way, I know someone who rubs MSG on their roast beef before they cook it.  Ick.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #74 of 89

Ah, MSG.  Another ingredient close to my heart.  How often are you tasting something and you've seasoned your dish but it still needs something.  The answer is MSG.

post #75 of 89

I embrace others opinions. How else am I going to learn and grow? I believe a good chef is always growing. KY, Pete, andKouk, make valid arguments that cause me to critically re-evaluate my perceptions, isn't that the purpose of a discussion forum?

As for my status as "former" I switched careers to something more cerebral to save my failing knees and lower back.

Now I'm a social worker who protects vulnerable elderly and disabled adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

By the way..what does db stand for anyway?

post #76 of 89

where can she buy figs....

 

Just as an aside, and having nothing to do with this thread: My 3-year old fig tree has just set its first one ever. Hooray! One for our side!

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #77 of 89

Anyone else find that the produce sold at Costco tastes like absolutely nothing?

 

Not always. Once, I was able to get these beautiful black velvet apricot that I've not seen elsewhere. I bought a box. Went home and tasted it and it was just gorgeous. Went back to Costco a few days later and they were gone. Haven't seen the same ones since. I usually get chanterelles from there when they are available. Flavor wise, they were no different than the once I picked up from the farmers market at double the price.

post #78 of 89

.....to critically re-evaluate my perceptions,

 

Does this mean I'm not getting those canned tomatoes? biggrin.gif

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #79 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

where can she buy figs....

 

Just as an aside, and having nothing to do with this thread: My 3-year old fig tree has just set its first one ever. Hooray! One for our side!


They do take time to produce, but then they produce more and more each year - I suppose you knew that already...

 

My biggest problem with our fig tree is timing: pick them a bit too early and they're not quite ripe, but wait for them to be ripe and the birds and squirrels will have eaten them all. We tried to put nets on top of them but then the birds and squirrels still get in, and then get trapped inside the net, what a mess.

 

But fresh figs are absolutely wonderful, I love them!

 

post #80 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by benway View Post

Ah, MSG.  Another ingredient close to my heart.  How often are you tasting something and you've seasoned your dish but it still needs something.  The answer is MSG.



 

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #81 of 89

MSG is a naturally occuring ingredient in many foods. It used to be derived from seaweed but today it is made from beets. In the 50 s it was called Agimotto powder and was over $5.00 a pound , quite expensive for that era. To this day MEDICALLY  it has never been proven bad for your health.. It will dry out your mouth and effet your tast buds.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #82 of 89
Salt's a naturally occuring ingredient, too. In levels that are actually beneficial to us. But we refine it, and add it, and pour it, and crust it... and the levels are no longer "natural" and become detrimental. Same goes for MSG. "Naturally derived" does not mean natural. I don't get splitting headaches from eating seaweed or beets... but I do from eating fake soup bases, BBQ peanuts, etc. The issue I have with the fake crap, is that it becomes a crutch. Weak stock? Add base! Tasteless sauce? Add aromat!! Bases aren't needed when the initial product is well made, using proper ingredients. I do second the attitude regarding "fresh vs. in-season", and given the choice, I'd rather not use anything that wasn't in season, however, living where I do, that's near impossible (especially when I factor in my customer demographic... I'd have an uprising if I couldn't get someone their breakfast bananas in February, or their orange juice. Oranges don't grow around here... ever ;) )
post #83 of 89

Most Banannas imported into US are gas treated to retard spoiling.California Table  Grapes are treated with sulphites. Wine is also treated with sulphite. NOBODY today knows exactly what they are eating organic or not.  What countries did the meat in your hamburger or chopped meat come from? Possibly 5 or 6 different ones then mixed. The food industry today as we knew it , is now the science, drug, chemistry, factory farming industry.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #84 of 89

Absolutely, We'll talk in the fall when it's cannin' time. We'll trade you some tomates for some fresh figs. we just bought a tree this year and don't expect fruit for a couple of seasons. They sell dried figs at the supermarket (Shopright) but they don't look very good.

I've been using fresh Mejool dates as a substitute for figs lately (Pork w/ pears, shallots, carmelized, then deglazed & reduced with a dash of POM, pomegranite infused balsamic vinegar, and Mejool dates. "Fresh" Figs are hard to come by here in south jersey.

post #85 of 89

Even when available, fresh figs are more of an autumn crop than anything else. They've been available, then, is some markets here. Terribly expensive, however. But I've found some dried to be more than acceptible. Depends on the usage.

 

When I was a kid I used to love the dried Turkish figs. They came strung on what I then thought of as a fig vine, but were more likely a section of grapevine. To me they were like candy. Haven't seen them in years.

 

Mejool dates are one of the most under-utilized fruits I know of. You can eat them just as them come, stuff 'em, or use them as an ingredient in other dishes. Try roasting them, sometime, for a whole other taste treat. In addition to subbing for figs, you can try subbing them when prunes are called for as well.

 

All in all, a great choice.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #86 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1publicservant View Post

 They sell dried figs at the supermarket (Shopright) but they don't look very good.

 

They don't look very good but you'd be surprised, give them a try.  I like to use dried figs to make fig jam or cut them up and put them on cereal or on toast with cheese.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #87 of 89

I love dried figs. Love 'em. I always have them on hand... some are better than others.

 

post #88 of 89

Looks like I'm going to buy me some dried figs and see what happens. More will be revealed...

post #89 of 89

Another pot of stock and what do you know, no 'base' needed.

 

2011-05-12145603.jpg

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