Archive for November, 2008

28
Nov
08

November Salami Harvest

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I harvested these local pig salami from the upstairs meat room.  They went in the drying room un-fermented, straight after being stuffed.  There are three different kinds here, all of them are as simple of a recipe as we could some up with.  They all include the same amount of salt, cracked black, and dextrose.  They are then split into a plain one with nothing else added,  a red wine salami, and a fennel salami.  Being as simple as they are the flavor of them is unbelievable!  The real flavor of the Tamworth pigs that we used really comes through, definitely a professional quality product.

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24
Nov
08

Dirty Rice

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Alright so yeah, I hate doing this but it’s so damn easy.  You don’ t have to be southern to cook good southern food! I’m from Jersey and overly proud of it so when I make something great that’s a southern dish I feel like I’ve accomplished something great.   Anyways, it was Sunday and I wanted to make something good so I went to the local IGA grocery store and got some really cheap ingredients to make dirty rice to go with some smoked pork loin and mueniere sauce.  Here’s what you need (no specific amounts sorry, not how I roll BRO! ) :

  • Chicken Livers
  • Chicken Parts(hearts and kidneys, aka pumpers and processors, make sure they look fresh)
  • Good quality rice (rinsed off starch)
  • Good stock, any flavor (preferably roasted chicken)
  • Small diced celery and onion
  • Bacon lardons and their leftover fat
  • A beer with no sneaky sips taken out
  • A few ripped sage leaves
  • Parsley, Worcestershire, and Tabasco sauce to finish

Get yourself two hot pans with a nice amount of oil in each.   When they are hot drop your livers in one and the chicken pumpers and processors in the other,  lower the heat on both, especially the parts because they are really hard to get brown on all sides so do it over very low heat.  The livers will start letting all of their juice out so lower the heat on them as well.  The pumpers and processors should start browning soon so watch them closely it is very easy to burn them,  cimg0351I also added more bacon fat to the pan as they absorbed the oil.  When the pumpers and processors are evenly browned including the bottom of the pan, add half stock and half beer to cover them and let it start reducing (remember to scrape up all the fond on the bottom of the pot!)  Meanwhile start cooking your rinsed rice in stock with salt, you want to cook it about three quarters of the way so bring it to a boil and put it on a very low simmer for about seven minutes with a cover on it the whole time, then put it aside to rest.  When all the liquid has reduced for your livers and they start sticking to the pan add your celery, onion, and  bacon lardons and let it cook out.  When all the liquid has reduced from the pumpers it will start browning again in the pan, wait until it has a good crust on the bottom then repeat the process again. I’ll admit this is a time consuming recipe but the end product is what it is all about and I’m sure you’ll be pleased! Once the onions and the celery are cooked through and there is a good crust on the bottom of the liver pan remove it from the heat and add your sage leaves.  Throw another pot in its absence that is large enough to fit everything in it and turn it on medium heat.  When the pumpers and processors have reduced down and have browned the bottom of the pan again add the rest of the beer and some of the stock and release all the fonds.  Bring the pumpers over to the food processor and pulse them until they are in very small chunks.  In that hot, empty pan add some oil or bacon grease if you’ve got it and then add the contents of the two pans. Fry it all out for a while until everything is mixed together and then add your rice.  Mix it all up until it is a even mixture then season it to taste with salt, pepper, worsh, Tabasco, and the parsley.  MAAANNNNN Dats Some Goood Ass FOO!!

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22
Nov
08

Breaking down whole animals

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Wow! Yea that is quite a scene to walk into! “So whats first chef” was my first reaction.  The chef had gone to a local farm in Barnwell SC, to pick our whole animals.  Hailing from Mibek farms the cow is pasture and humanly raised and had been slaughtered for us three days before.  None of us are even sure yet of what we will do with 700 pounds of beef and bone.  The pigs came from the same slaughter house and were raised by farmers in the surrounding area.  Sweet!  Four cases of boneless all natural raised beef ribs come to us at about five dollars a pound due to an over-order at one of our purveyors. Awesome!  And all that beef suet will be rendered to fry the potatoes for our filet dish and maybe saved to rest some steaks in.

The first order of business is to get everything in the fridge.  Those legs alone must have weighed close to a hundred pounds each,  as well the whole, un-split, front saddle which must have weighed almost two hundred.  That beef is going in the walk-in to age in front of the fans for at least another week or so. (I’m not going to forget about you I’ll update you every step of the way!)  With the beef in the walk-in we get the pigs, there heads already came lobbed off ready to be made into our favorite pressed meat charcuterie.  The front shoulders and leg are taken off whole then the pigs are split, then we took off the hams and rounds off whole from the middle section.  Damn, that is a lot of meat! The collars are removed from the shoulder and the rest of the leg is deboned  and cubed to be made into sausage and sold to our sister restaurant.  The middle, being to big for porchetta becomes belly for roasting or curing an the chops are left with the bones on and the skin on to be brined then smoked, smoked, and then skin crisped ( a crucial part to me!).  At around a dollar fifty a pound, with meat almost as dark as our fresh cow, and skin perfectly cleaned we are happy then pigs in shit to have these guys!(Pun intended)

There is gonna be some great products produced from these products on the coming menus and I’m really looking foward to being part of it and seeing what happens.  The ribeyes have their caps taken off and sliced in fifteen ounce portions as we need them.  Due to the mix up at the warehouse they have already been aged for almost fifty days.  I’ll be sure to post all our finished products as they come on the menu and are fabricated. So here is all our animals at the end of the day..

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21
Nov
08

Welcome to Chefs Like Us

Hey Everyone!!!  Oh yeah wait this my first entry, ain’t nobody gonna read this one…  Whatever, So this is my new blog,  two days ago I says to myself I says “Self, I love reading food blogs they teach me a whole bunch about food, they entertain me, and let me know I’m not over-obsessed with food!  But you know what self?…  whats that self?  I do all the same stuff that these writers and bloggers do, why don’t we start our own blog?  Now you know what self that is a great idea!”   So here I am and here you are umm, sooner or later, and here is my blog.  But ya know, enough about me lets talk about a little more, about me.  My name is Justin, I’m from New Jersey, and I’m a chef who works here in Charleston South Carolina.  I’m a chef who’s been working in the business for eight years or so,(I’m no Jean George) but hell I’ve seen some good food, eaten at some great restaurants, met some great people, and learned a whole bunch of stuff along the way. I’ve learned that simplicity and attention to every detail of food whether it be browning the garlic slices for tomato sauce perfect golden or developing the perfect fond for that sugo is whats important in cooking.  Its all about taking you time to do things right and it definatly reaches to all aspects of the art, whether it be at home or Saturday night at 8:45.  Not everyone around me lives by this set of rules and I wanna try to persuade them that way. And for those of you who do, the numbers are definatley increasing, well hey, welcome to the club!  In my free time I like to listen to music and sometimes ride my mountain bike on the vastly flat terrain of Charleston low country.  But most of my free time is spent reading about food in books or on the internet, dreaming about food, and boring my girlfriend with all this.  I’m a sous chef at a restaurant in Charleston called Cypress, we do some cool stuff and then some stuff that I don’t agree with but I’m sure that you will here about all that!
I gotta tell you I am really excited to share all this great stuff with you and see what your take is on it.  I’m not gonna lie, I read a lot of food blogs and never comment on what is written,  but lucky for you reader I’m holding a black Friday sale a week before it really happens.  If you comment on these pages and mindless blogs I promise I will go out there and comment on everything you post on your blogs that I have something to say about!  Now that my friends is a deal!! Its nearing shower time (first in two days, what!, I’ve been away!) and that means it is time to go to work.  Although we did get a whole cow in on Wednesday from Mibek farms in Barnwell, so I am really excited to see whats going on with it today and maybe I’ll get a chance to have a couple stabs at it. But anyways nice meeting everyone, tell all your friends about your new favorite single entry blog.  I promise the next entry will be the, wait scratch that, I hope the next entry will be the funniest most interesting thing that you have ever read about food.!!!!
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O, and remember my favorite saying that I just thought of just now:

Live, Love, Eat, and talk a lot of shit!!
(especially about Wolfgang Puck)