Keep the heat low all morning

There are days that I question why I made the choice to do this restaurant gig, and then there are days that remind me why I did.

It came via a simple cup of soup

I was breaking down a catering for a group of teachers on Monday, and one gentleman came in the teachers lounge to see if there was anything left. I said of course, and so he took a few minutes before his next meeting to eat a bowl of our Tuscan White Bean.

As I continued my cleaning up, he began to ask about our restaurant, … more »

More with malted wheat

Another easy application for malted wheat is at breakfast. Take these three grains:

½ cup malted wheat berries

½ cup pearl barley

½ cup long grain rice

Place the grains in a sauce pot with 3 cups water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once water boils, cover pot and turn heat down to low. Cook until grains absorb all the water, about 10 min. Leave the lid on during this process, as it will help keep the essential steam from escaping to quickly. When grains are cooked, add a tablespoon of butter and its ready … more »

Malted Wheat

I’m on a malted wheat kick lately.

Malted wheat is the base grain used in making wheat beer. The malting process initiates germination in the kernel, but then is halted 24-48 hours later. This creates useable starch that can be transformed into sweet wort that yeast can then convert to alcohol.

All this potential energy is why I like using it in cooking. It is an ample substitute for rice as a side dish. I like pairing it with savory flavors that benefit from a sweet component.

The dish in the photo is a Baked Butternut Squash Bulb with Malted more »

What did you do on your day off?

Monday is not really a day off for me, except that I normally don’t work in the kitchen on that day. Taking a real day off is difficult in the winter, because most of the diversions I would normally want to take occur in the warm outdoors. I’m the type that needs to move away from my normal environment to really relax. I would rather spend the cash to go to the cinema over watching TV or Hulu at home any day. It becomes more of an event that way and therefore I am less distracted.

Last Monday gave me … more »

86 the Pork Loin

10:17pm

You know you’ve been on your feet too long when it hurts more to sit than to keep standing. But all the planning and work paid off, with the exception of running a bit short on a few entrées. The woman that stopped by the kitchen and commented on the Chocolate Pasta made it all worth it. And when the amuse bouche gets as many compliments as anything, it’s a reminder that the attention to detail is worth it. My week is now over. Time for an Old Stock and collapse in a chair. Good night.… more »

Printer is out of paper…

7:15am

The morning staff is now here, which means less room to work in our tiny kitchen. The list is getting checked off. The blueberries are heated and strained, the béchamel made, squash is prepped, soup is on, tomatoes marinating, mushrooms sliced down on the mandolin, bacon is done, chx stock is reducing, pasta doughs are both resting in the fridge.

Time to deliver the cinnamon rolls, which were slow to proof today for some reason. This is another reason cooks find baking frustrating. Rising dough is feminine in gender. It is mysterious, requires love and attention, but can be … more »

Is the oven at the right temp? Check it again…

4:45am

What goes into getting ready for a special meal like Valentine’s Day? In addition to the regular prep that needs to be done, you start at an obscenely early time just to get it all done. While your guests are not even thinking about the meal they will eat tonight, you are. Down to the very last detail. The list is long.

Do I have to be up this early or am I some kind of masochist that needs to feel the burn of an obsessive personality disorder? Maybe, but ultimately it comes down to being at my best … more »