Military Significant Others and Spouse Support - MilitarySOS.com
Page 1 of 11 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 104

Thread: Matchbox's Kitchen - Ask The Pro

  1. Plays with knives
    Matchbox's Avatar
    Matchbox is offline
    Plays with knives
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    785
    Lv. Percent
    2.47%
    #1

    Matchbox's Kitchen - Ask The Pro

    Advertisements
    I'm not working at the moment...but in my other life, when I am, I cook for a living. I've been in and out of professional kitchens since I was in my mid-teens (fifteen years and some odd months of experience; kitchen years are like dog years, and I'm OLD), covering everything from food trucks to fine dining.

    Gordon Ramsay? Not so much, but his world makes a lot of sense to me. You'd be surprised how well cooking synchs up to following a military partner around!

    I can tackle any and all questions about

    - food in general. Whatever went wrong with your last cooking experiment, I can probably fix it. If you've been given an ingredient you've never seen before and you have no idea what to do with it, I can probably help there too.
    - butchery and charcuterie in particular (it's a pet interest of mine, and I have some training as a butcher)
    - culinary uses for plants (again, this is a pet interest)
    - cooking techniques.
    - care and feeding of kitchen tools. Your knives and your cookware matter, and surprisingly few people care for them as well as they should. A chef's knife, well cared for, should last you years without needing repair or replacement.
    - how to become a professional cook, and the lifecycle that takes you from tiny scared baby commis to big, bad boss.
    - what restaurants are actually like behind the scenes
    - everything wrong with the culinary practices of any fictional universe you care to name...the Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire universe makes a great fuss about being gritty, "realistic" fantasy, but they should have starved to death a very long time ago!

    Either I'll know, or someone in my work-life (it's a sort of vast, complicated, semi-incestuous tribe) will know, so you'll get your answer.
    Last edited by Matchbox; 02-06-2017 at 10:35 PM.
  2. Senior Member
    Enthused Meerkat's Avatar
    Enthused Meerkat is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Bowie, MD
    Posts
    13,244
    Lv. Percent
    84.29%
    #2
    What's your absolute favorite dish to make?
    Scarlett Jean is almost 3!
  3. Team Rocket
    rocket_lizz's Avatar
    rocket_lizz is offline
    Team Rocket
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    San Diego!!!
    Posts
    8,984
    Lv. Percent
    10.84%
    #3
    I have a cherimoya in the freeze. Suggestions for what to do with it?
    WiggleWiggle~ is my Wifey
  4. Plays with knives
    Matchbox's Avatar
    Matchbox is offline
    Plays with knives
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    785
    Lv. Percent
    2.47%
    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Enthused Meerkat View Post
    What's your absolute favorite dish to make?
    For myself to eat? Or because it's comforting/satisfying to get it right?

    If I'm feeding myself, I'm unreasonably attached to the idea of a good toasted sandwich. They're so simple, but done right they can be so good. A nice bite-y cheese (think cheddar or colby), fresh apple, a healthy smear of onion jam...toast that, and I'll come running. You can do a LOT of experimenting with the humble toastie. Pizza fits into a similar category, as it's a blank canvas to play on. I made a fantastic Peking duck pizza once...

    It does help a little that I can get really, really excited about cheese


    If we're talking about things it's comforting or satisfying to do...I've always found it very soothing to make pasta from scratch. It was one of the first things I ever learned how to do; my grandmother would occasionally make it and she would have me (aged all of about three) standing on a box next to her so I could see the worktop, treating the pasta dough like playdough, using my thumb to make the right shape for orecchiette. I very rarely get to do it nowadays, but it comforts me to do, and it makes my sons happy.

    I'm also fairly attached to doing the basic charchuterie things. Making sausages (this is easy, and messy, and generally the kind of thing small children get really excited about because they get to squelch their fingers in everything!), curing bacon, quick hot-smoked fish. You can build a totally serviceable smoker (to fit your stovetop) out of a cooking pot and tinfoil, and then you get to play with fire...what's not to love?

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    I have a cherimoya in the freeze. Suggestions for what to do with it?
    There can only be one answer here. Ice cream. If it's been in your freezer, it's halfway to ice cream already!

    The easiest way would be to scoop the fruit out, puree it and freeze it before eating it exactly as it is. This is the easy "fake" ice cream, and it's good, but...do you have a stand mixer? And can you get some dry ice? Because you can make ice cream using dry ice in about five minutes, and it's magical.



    Do this, with an ice cream base made out of pureed cherimoya, milk/cream/half and half and nutmeg/cinnamon. Or, if you can get limes (you're in San Diego, you probably can!) try cherimoya, lime zest, lime juice, some sugar (this works most easily if it's a liquid first before you add it; just combine equal amounts of sugar and water over heat for simple syrup) and just a little bit of salt. I know it sounds counterintutive, but salt makes ice cream taste better.

    You can do this with any ice cream base. Any juiced/pureed fruit, for instance, or a milky coffee base...
    Last edited by Matchbox; 02-09-2017 at 04:59 AM.
  5. Team Rocket
    rocket_lizz's Avatar
    rocket_lizz is offline
    Team Rocket
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    San Diego!!!
    Posts
    8,984
    Lv. Percent
    10.84%
    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    There can only be one answer here. Ice cream. If it's been in your freezer, it's halfway to ice cream already!

    The easiest way would be to scoop the fruit out, puree it and freeze it before eating it exactly as it is. This is the easy "fake" ice cream, and it's good, but...do you have a stand mixer? And can you get some dry ice? Because you can make ice cream using dry ice in about five minutes, and it's magical.



    Do this, with an ice cream base made out of pureed cherimoya, milk/cream/half and half and nutmeg/cinnamon. Or, if you can get limes (you're in San Diego, you probably can!) try cherimoya, lime zest, lime juice, some sugar (this works most easily if it's a liquid first before you add it; just combine equal amounts of sugar and water over heat for simple syrup) and just a little bit of salt. I know it sounds counterintutive, but salt makes ice cream taste better.

    You can do this with any ice cream base. Any juiced/pureed fruit, for instance, or a milky coffee base...
    Haha thanks, I DO have a stand mixed. And yes, limes in San Diego. I have a lime tree on my patio I will have to try something like this!
    WiggleWiggle~ is my Wifey
  6. Senior Member
    Guynavywife's Avatar
    Guynavywife is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    19,135
    Blog Entries
    2
    Lv. Percent
    56.75%
    #6
    Why is French toast made with donuts so absolutely decadent and good?
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
  7. Plays with knives
    Matchbox's Avatar
    Matchbox is offline
    Plays with knives
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    785
    Lv. Percent
    2.47%
    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    Haha thanks, I DO have a stand mixed. And yes, limes in San Diego. I have a lime tree on my patio I will have to try something like this!
    I did this at my son's school at one point last year. They had a series of "What Does Your Mum/Dad Do?" days, and one of them I happened to have a day off for, so I brought dry ice and a stand mixer. The room full of six year olds all went Huh? What's she do-WHOOOOOOOA!.

    I'm reasonably sure they think I'm a witch now. A nice witch in a white jacket (I don't often wear my cook's whites in public, it seems a little stupid, but just this once I couldn't quite stop myself; they're six, when they think "chef" they see Masterchef and Ratatouille - which is a great, surprisingly accurate take on things, by the way - and the whites are part of that image) who gives them all lemon gelato, but nevertheless definitely a witch.


    Quote Originally Posted by Guynavywife View Post
    Why is French toast made with donuts so absolutely decadent and good?
    Because everyone loves a hot cinnamon donut, and most people love custard. This way, you get both

    Brioche (that very rich, almost-cake French bread, with all of the butter and eggs in the world in it) is a good choice too. They're also both amazing in bread-and-butter pudding.
  8. Personally victimized by Regina George
    KittenMittens's Avatar
    KittenMittens is online now
    Personally victimized by Regina George
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    6,553
    Lv. Percent
    68.47%
    #8
    ooooh, tell us what REALLY happens when people at restaurants are annoying af with their orders and/or send it back for no good reason!
  9. Plays with knives
    Matchbox's Avatar
    Matchbox is offline
    Plays with knives
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    785
    Lv. Percent
    2.47%
    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by KittenMittens View Post
    ooooh, tell us what REALLY happens when people at restaurants are annoying af with their orders and/or send it back for no good reason!
    The short answer is, you'll get another one. No matter why you send it back, any kitchen worth the name will get rid of the returned food (either by throwing it out or - rarely, I've only occasionally seen this permitted - giving it to we starving animals in the kitchen) and make you a whole new plate more to your liking. We're professionals, and part of being professional is being willing to do it again (and again, and again if necessary) to get it right. Note that, despite all the urban legends about people spitting in returned food, I've never seen this done. No spitting in it. No peeing in it. No masturbating in it. We just don't, ever. If I ever caught one of my apprentices or my line cooks even contemplating anything like that, he'd be out on his ass so fast he'd skid when he hit the ground.

    We take the food back, we get rid of it, we refire the order as soon as there's room on the line (a cook may be juggling eight burners at once, but as soon as there's one free the refire takes that spot because it's more urgent than any of the other fifteen orders waiting to go) and we send out the new food with profound apologies.

    HOWEVER, the way the refire looks can be quite different depending on the reason for it being returned. If it's our screw-up (it's not what you ordered, it's cold, anything like that) the refire looks like this...



    "You fucked up. Do it again and get it right, or I'll rip your head off and shit down your neck."

    "Heard, chef. Sorry chef."

    It's remade, the order goes out, dinner service continues because there are too many other orders coming in to stop...and when a moment presents (during staff meal, or in the time after service ends when we're all outside the back door having a smoke before going back in to clean) an ass-chewing will happen.

    The luckless screw-up will be informed that he's a useless sack of shit, that the best part of him ran down his mother's hind leg and that he'll be in real trouble if this happens again. Some necessary (but monotonous and filthy) job will probably be found for him too, something he can really hate - something that involves salt water or lemon juice that might work into that night's fresh cuts, perhaps. ONE of us will have to do it regardless, and we're ALL carrying fresh cuts that will sting, so it may as well be the screw-up who has to suffer. Physical correction is becoming less and less common in general (and I do not generally do it...I had to take it as an apprentice, but I very, very rarely choose to deal it out) but isn't unheard of, especially in older kitchens; I've heard stories that I absolutely accept as true of young cooks being burned with hot spoons, pushed down a flight of stairs, chased around by a maniac with a knife who slashes at them until the back of their whites are hanging off them in ribbons. I've seen PROOF of the last one!

    It's nothing personal. It's half an hour's rant about how we're all worthless pieces of shit to reinforce that we MUST get it right.



    If it's YOU choosing to be difficult, the smoke break out by the rubbish bins will be spent badmouthing you instead. We will never do anything to your food, and we will never act on our fantasies of hurting you, but huge amounts of imaginary effort will be expended trying to decide how many bags of rotting syphilitic dicks you need to eat and it's highly likely that a week from now every cook in town will know you're a stupid asshole. The big incestuous freak tribe talks to each other, and some customers become legends this way. Kitchens are full of small gods and superstitions - I'm a devout Catholic, and I still make my sacrifice to the kitchen gods before I start work. You in the dining room become the small demons, who exist only to make us suffer and who it's completely fair to hate.

    Again, this is not personal. We don't even know who you are.We certainly don't care who you are, and honestly it's just cathartic.

    If, however, you're a repeat offender with your stupid requests...trust me, we know who you are by then.

    Repeat offenders who keep coming back make it personal very quickly. Most restaurant booking software has room for notes on it, you see. Normally these notes are there to cover ordinary little details that might be useful for either serving staff or kitchen staff to know, like severe shellfish allergy, or has an engagement ring for the kitchens, wants it hidden in dessert. Sometimes they're a little stranger than that - Is married, but every time he comes here it's with a different woman. Do NOT refer to any of them as his wife, we have no idea which one really is!

    Repeat offenders get SPECIAL notes. These are some I remember from the last place I worked.

    Gropes the waitresses. Male server only.

    Complete oxygen thief. Do not engage.

    NO. Just...no.
    Last edited by Matchbox; 02-10-2017 at 03:57 AM.
  10. Senior Member
    Guynavywife's Avatar
    Guynavywife is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    19,135
    Blog Entries
    2
    Lv. Percent
    56.75%
    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    The short answer is, you'll get another one. No matter why you send it back, any kitchen worth the name will get rid of the returned food (either by throwing it out or - rarely, I've only occasionally seen this permitted - giving it to we starving animals in the kitchen) and make you a whole new plate more to your liking. We're professionals, and part of being professional is being willing to do it again (and again, and again if necessary) to get it right. Note that, despite all the urban legends about people spitting in returned food, I've never seen this done. No spitting in it. No peeing in it. No masturbating in it. We just don't, ever. If I ever caught one of my apprentices or my line cooks even contemplating anything like that, he'd be out on his ass so fast he'd skid when he hit the ground.

    We take the food back, we get rid of it, we refire the order as soon as there's room on the line (a cook may be juggling eight burners at once, but as soon as there's one free the refire takes that spot because it's more urgent than any of the other fifteen orders waiting to go) and we send out the new food with profound apologies.

    HOWEVER, the way the refire looks can be quite different depending on the reason for it being returned. If it's our screw-up (it's not what you ordered, it's cold, anything like that) the refire looks like this...



    "You fucked up. Do it again and get it right, or I'll rip your head off and shit down your neck."

    "Heard, chef. Sorry chef."

    It's remade, the order goes out, dinner service continues because there are too many other orders coming in to stop...and when a moment presents (during staff meal, or in the time after service ends when we're all outside the back door having a smoke before going back in to clean) an ass-chewing will happen.

    The luckless screw-up will be informed that he's a useless sack of shit, that the best part of him ran down his mother's hind leg and that he'll be in real trouble if this happens again. Some necessary (but monotonous and filthy) job will probably be found for him too, something he can really hate - something that involves salt water or lemon juice that might work into that night's fresh cuts, perhaps. ONE of us will have to do it regardless, and we're ALL carrying fresh cuts that will sting, so it may as well be the screw-up who has to suffer. Physical correction is becoming less and less common in general (and I do not generally do it...I had to take it as an apprentice, but I very, very rarely choose to deal it out) but isn't unheard of, especially in older kitchens; I've heard stories that I absolutely accept as true of young cooks being burned with hot spoons, pushed down a flight of stairs, chased around by a maniac with a knife who slashes at them until the back of their whites are hanging off them in ribbons. I've seen PROOF of the last one!

    It's nothing personal. It's half an hour's rant about how we're all worthless pieces of shit to reinforce that we MUST get it right.



    If it's YOU choosing to be difficult, the smoke break out by the rubbish bins will be spent badmouthing you instead. We will never do anything to your food, and we will never act on our fantasies of hurting you, but huge amounts of imaginary effort will be expended trying to decide how many bags of rotting syphilitic dicks you need to eat and it's highly likely that a week from now every cook in town will know you're a stupid asshole. The big incestuous freak tribe talks to each other, and some customers become legends this way. Kitchens are full of small gods and superstitions - I'm a devout Catholic, and I still make my sacrifice to the kitchen gods before I start work. You in the dining room become the small demons, who exist only to make us suffer and who it's completely fair to hate.

    Again, this is not personal. We don't even know who you are.We certainly don't care who you are, and honestly it's just cathartic.

    If, however, you're a repeat offender with your stupid requests...trust me, we know who you are by then.

    Repeat offenders who keep coming back make it personal very quickly. Most restaurant booking software has room for notes on it, you see. Normally these notes are there to cover ordinary little details that might be useful for either serving staff or kitchen staff to know, like severe shellfish allergy, or has an engagement ring for the kitchens, wants it hidden in dessert. Sometimes they're a little stranger than that - Is married, but every time he comes here it's with a different woman. Do NOT refer to any of them as his wife, we have no idea which one really is!

    Repeat offenders get SPECIAL notes. These are some I remember from the last place I worked.

    Gropes the waitresses. Male server only.

    Complete oxygen thief. Do not engage.

    NO. Just...no.
    So true, love your descriptions though.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
Page 1 of 11 1234 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •