My perception of firehouse cuisine...
* Holds well
<see...it all depends on the group youre with...some groups dont cook regularly...for some groups who have someone willing to suffer the slings and arrows of unsungness, dinner is a good experience...covering all three above points. Some groups like eating when a guy busts his butt to put a solid meal on the table from scratch...like a good bolognese over fusili. Others would wonder why he bothers. Ive been on groups where dinner was a plate of on sale pasta and a jar of ragu. The one time I was asked to cook someones vacation meal (tradition has it that the guy on his last tour before vacation pops for a heavy duty good dinner)..which consisted...per his request..of shrimp parmigian over pasta. Woohoo!!! said I....til he pulls this five pound jar of rrraaaggguuu (gag me!) out his car. He expected me to doctor it up and use it. Well..nice guy that I am I did. Kinda took something out of it for me. One of the things I looked forward to the most when I got called for the Patrol was getting into the kitchen and banging out good solid restaurant quality meals. Some groups would see a good roast beast as tantamount to chateau brilland. Of course, during the summer heat, when you know **** well you could be stepping into full enclosure bunker gear and sweating buckets before you even get to the job...then you look for lighter food.>
Now before you get your hose in a knot, I know it's come a long way since that first vat of chili hefted onto a burner by a big strapping man.
<heeeeeeeeee....believe it or not...in almost six years on the Fire Patrol ( http://www.nybfu.org
click skip intro then click fire patrol or the helmet) Ive only cooked the stuff once...only eaten it like thrice. One time it was awful. All heat no flavor>
The simple logistics of firehouse food must include holding power. We've all seen that shot of a bunch of firefighters leaping to their feet from the meal table at the beckon of the bell. Let's face it - souffles would not taste (or look) so good an hour or two after they come from the oven!
<that plus the fact that anyone who cooked souffles would probably never be allowed to cook again....though there was the time I stir fried marinated shrimp with lychee..and people complained their plates were starting...>
Casseroles of all different ethnicities - plus roasted meats with potato dishes...Italian ragus, eggplant parmagiana - Mexican Enchiladas - Irish shepherd's pie...While these might not be glamorous dishes, they all can be held or reheated without compromising flavor. Heck, some might argue they taste better after having sat for a while!
<not to mention such yummies as grilled Mako, grilled Lemon Swordfish, Crown Roast of Pork, my first pasta with a cream sauce...and better than Ive EVER had at a restaurant! Cheaper too! Oh and of course the best most tender creamy not crunchy round the edges lasagna E V E R !!!>
As far as the culinary talent level of firefighters - the contests and cookbooks speak volumes. The cooking contests really show off the talents of firehouse cooks because you can create a shee-shee dish for a panel of judges who don't have to jump if the firebell rings.
<see then Im one of the people that would question that being firehouse food. Its cooking...**** GOOD cooking by a guy or woman that happens to be a firefighter....but is it firehouse cooking? Know what I mean?>
I used to live in Bensonhurst - there was a house on 60th street near New Utrecht Avenue...I think it was 247.
<247 Engine it *is*!!!!>