RetiredChef's Profile

Title Last Reply

Different types of beef

Monica,

You asked a great question but to be honest there really isn’t an answer because you are not comparing like categories.

>>>USDA Organic grass fed beef

Tells us nothing about what “breed” the beef is. In fact it could be USDA Organic grass fed Holstein (a milk producing variety that is not very good to eat)

>>> USDA Prime beef,

Tells us noghting about what “breed” the beef is again. All it tells us is that it was graded Prime but there are differences in tastes between breeds that can be quite notable. I am sure you have heard of Angus beef, this is an example of a breed.

>>>Wagyu beef.

Wagyu means Japanese Cattle and refers to all Japanese beef varieties. So again we don’t know which breed the beef is, only that it is a Japanese variety. For example you Wagyu beef could easily be Tajima which produces excellent meat or it could be Shimane which is rather low quality beef.

>>> Kobe style

You wrote “Kobe Style” but let me talk about Genuine certified Kobe beef. This beef only comes from the Tajima breed and raised in Hyogo prefecture. However true Kobe beef is very rare since there is only about 3,000 animals produced a year. Now Kobe Style is a completely meaningless term in the US since there is no standard. Any producer can call their beef Kobe Style no matter what the breed is however some of the more reputable ones will at least take a Wagyu (Japanese cattle), hopefully of the Tajima cattle and cross breed it with Angus cattle. I have seen Kobe style beef all over the quality map so I pay little attention to this marketing gimmick.

I hope this helps.

about 2 hours ago
RetiredChef in General Topics

Chicken Ballotine - roasting recommendations

You might want to check your definitions.

Ballontines can be made out of any meat although traditionally they were made only out of poultry items. A bollontine can be grilled, poached, roasted and is usually served hot as a main entree item.

A galantine is usually chicken or fish that is stuffed (usually with a forcemeat) and poached. It is then covered in Aspic and served cold in a ornate arrangement, hence the name derives from the term galant. Galatines are a favorite of charcuterie display competitions and can be found on high end banquets.

Cheers

about 4 hours ago
RetiredChef in Home Cooking
1

quiche questions

Yes to par-baing the pie shell. The browning of the inside of the shell will give a richer taste and flakier crust. The only drawback is you may need to shield the crust when baking the quiche so as to not over brown it. Also place a sheet pan on the rack below your quiche to catch any drips and to help the bottoms from becoming over-cooked.

Quiche is best the same day it's made, but it's best served near room temperature so let it rest several hours before serving.

Pho Attack

Sounds like an allergic reaction to Star Anise.

Dec 17, 2014
RetiredChef in Not About Food

A shortcut to making latkes?

Oh my goodness this was almost a decade ago but from memory all we did was create “riffs” on the latke using flavorings from different countries, for example

Mexican Latkes = Corn, Black Beans, Cumin served with a salsa dip
Vietnamese Latkes = Lemongrass, Cilantro, star anise with a fish sauce type dip
Indian Latkes = Curry flavored with a Raita Style dip
Thai Latkes = coconut curry, cilantro with a peanut dip
Caribbean Latkes = Jicama, Allspice, cloves, cinnamon with a jerk dip
Italian Latkes = Garlic, Oregano, basil with a tomato dip
Russian Latkes = Beets (shredded), caraway seeds, dill with a vinegar sour cream dip (top it with caviar if you want to get all fancy)
Chinese Latkes = Ginger, garlic scallion, five spice with a soy dip
Hungarian Latkes = Paprika, onions with sour cream

And on and on it goes, each year we would just come up with different flavor combinations so it was always changing, however the rules was we always had to serve traditional latkes. We (myself and my kitchen staff) actually had a lot of fun doing this party, it was something different and it allowed to be creative. Just FTI we would only do 4 or 5 different latkes plus the traditional one. It kept the cooks jumping because the key is to make them as fresh as possible so we basically cooked them almost to order so the quality wouldn’t suffer.

Dec 17, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking
1

Best fish to be served with a mushroom risotto.

I agree, "my" mushroom Risotto, while not being terribly cheesy would over power the salmon and you would have two competing rich components. A lemon or asparagus risotto, something with a little acid/bitter in it would pair nicely with the salmon.

However grilled salmon and sautéed mushrooms and a nice plain white rice do go together very nicely. This really depends upon the risotto.

Dec 17, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

Best fish to be served with a mushroom risotto.

I agree I also would want a firm texture. If the mushroom risotto is good enough to stand on its own I would suggest a mild fish. Grouper, halibut, yellowtail all fit the bill.

For something different why not top the risotto with a seafood sausage?

Dec 16, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking
1

Best fish to be served with a mushroom risotto.

He is a pescetarian not a vegetarian.

We don't eat meat, they don't eat fish.....

Your idea of making one base is good. But I find your comment that cooking Indian food takes a lot of effort, perplexing. Most of the dishes are simplistic stews, they get thier complexity of flavor by the use of spices. But the actual prep on most dishes is under 15 minutes and if you are making several dishes, prep time drops because you use many of the ingredients.

Dec 16, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

A shortcut to making latkes?

Of course, otherwise I wouldn't have said "yes you can". I used to do a yearly "latkes from around the world" event for a large synagogue using frozen potatoes. The beauty of frozen is much of the water has been removed and you don't have to worry about discoloration.

Cheers

A shortcut to making latkes?

Yes you can and I bet no one will know the difference. Just defrost them and add your other ingredients. Test fry one and flavor balance. It's s easy and doesn't effect the quality of the product.

Dec 16, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

White Worcestershire sauce

Shhhh it's one of my 'secret' ingredients.

It wad originally called white wine Worcestershire sauce and has been rebranded into marinade for chicken. I use it to finish veges, seasoning in white based soups, background flavor in salad dressings, etc. Etc.

Btw, I don't think I've ever marinated chicken in it but I use it all the time as a flavoring component, it's really good stuff IMHO.

Dec 16, 2014
RetiredChef in General Topics

Need help for Christmas menu

You have received some excellent advice.

If you want to use potatoes and fish why not do a potato crusted fish, mashed potatoes doesn't really go with fish.

Dec 16, 2014
RetiredChef in General Topics
1

Veal Pot Pie

First off a pot pie is an all in one meal, the starch is the crust and the veges are in the pot pie itself. As far as what veges a Veal pot pie screams for leeks and mushrooms in my mind. I too would make a velouté with veal stock, if you don't have that half beef half chicken for a heartier flavor. Onions, carrots, leeks, mushrooms would be my veges and I would use dry vermouth (white wine is ok if you don't have any). Seasonings could be thyme and sage.

I concur with serving a starter salad with a vinergarette based dressing since pot pies are richer meals. Dessert should also be on the lighter side.

Dec 16, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

Help! Need nobake dessert recipe to travel 5 hours in car

Chocolate Terrine, classy, rich, and can have background flavors to match the theme of the party. Plus when you plate it a little sauce painting and a garnish you will have a 5 star dessert.

Dec 16, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

Christmas Dinner: in charge of turkey and ham and mashed potato -- but traveling 5 hours to get there, arriving just 2 hours before scheduled dinner time

I would skip the whole turkey and make turkey ballontines a couple of days before. For variety you could do 3 or 4 all with a different stuffing. Then you roast them when you arrive. As for the ham, why not make it easy and get a honey baked (or something similar) that is best served at room temp ( or slightly chilled)?

Mashed potatoes are easy to make ahead and they hold just fine, reheat in a Bain Marie so you don't scorch them.

Dec 16, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking
1

Suggest a soup (or side) for this menu.

That's a very rich menu so I would want a broth style soup. A lemon orzo or even a light italian wedding soup. You may also want to serve it as a soup shooter rather than a full bowl.

Xmas Eve menu with a standing rib roast.....serve with rolls for sandwiches?

This is what I would do. I would not let the guests carve thier own.

Dec 16, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking
1

We don't eat meat, they don't eat fish.....

Sounds like it's time for an Indian feast. The great thing about Indian food is it reheats wonderfully so you can make it ahead of time. Since you have so many great and tasty vegetarian options, I'm not going to make a suggested list. You can also serve individual dishes such as a chicken korma to them and a prawn curry for you.

Dec 16, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

What's your go-to method for roasting a chicken?

I don't have a "go-to" recipe since I change the flavouring almost every time I cook chicken. However my regular "cooking" method is to skip the oven and do it on a rotisserie grill. No mess, no smoke in the house and it allows me to add real wood flavouring if I choose or, for example, I can add lemon rinds to the grill to get a more intense lemon flavor, if that is my choice.

BTW want to have great duck with super crispy skin, do it on the rotisserie too.

Dec 12, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

Where do the locals eat in Florida Keys?

It's closed :(

Dec 12, 2014
RetiredChef in Florida

What to do with mixed shellfish/arthropod medley?

Cioppino
Caldo de Mariscos
Seafood Yosenabe
Moqueca
Caldeirada
Cotriade (untraditional since you have shellfish in your mix)

Dec 12, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking

Christmas Day Dinner

Lobster Stew - it's elegant, festive, colorful and can be made ahead. You could serve it in bread bowls, put those on paper Christmas plates and that would cut down on the dishes.

A nice salad can prepped the day ahead and tossed with dressing just before service, again use paper plates.

Dessert - make a pie, cheesecake, cookies, chocolate terrine, etc. All of these can be made the day(s) before.

Dec 12, 2014
RetiredChef in General Topics

I figured out why In/Out fries suck

Their fries are pretty pathetic - as other people have pointed out it's the method they use to cook them and also the fact that they use vegetable oil which imparts no flavor. If they would use peanut oil (much more $$$) the fries would be better but still not as good as blanched and then fried, fries.

A way to choke INO fries down is to order them animal style or better yet skip them altogether.

Dec 12, 2014
RetiredChef in Chains

Favorite off-menu In-N-Out orders

I get a double hamburger (no cheese) grilled onions, extra lettuce, extra tomatoes to help mask the saltiness of their meat. For me to eat their fres they have to be animal style, so it depends upon my mood and if I want to waste my calories on them.

Dec 12, 2014
RetiredChef in Chains

Cut Strawberries and new blueberries left out

Exactly! Eating sun warmed strawberries right off the plant is always a great joy. I have been known to bring a bowl and some aged balsamic vinegar to my garden. And after that I eat some sun warmed blueberries right off of he bush.

Dec 12, 2014
RetiredChef in General Topics

Cockscombs

Cockscomb do not have a lot of flavour so they are generally added to other ingredients/dishes or used as a garnish.

There is some prep work involved to get at the edible portion. You need to pierce the tough outer skin with a needle and then you want to soak the comb in cold water, squeezing it to release the blood. After that you need to blanch in boiling water and remove the tough outer skin layer. After that you get to braise the comb for about 30 minutes to soften it up.

One of the most famous dishes with cockscomb is Cibreo an Italian sauce for pasta.

Dec 12, 2014
RetiredChef in General Topics

Should I bring a whole fish to a dinner party?

What he said + mackerel has a strong flavour and sometimes a strong odour so I would opt for another fish if it's within your budget.

Dec 12, 2014
RetiredChef in General Topics

Baked stuffed potatoes ahead of time

I would absolutely do this ahead of time. After you pipe the filing in wrap them in saran wrap and they will easily last 24-48 hours and I doubt anyone will know the difference.

Holiday cocktail party menu ?

Personally when I do a appetizer/cocktail menu I tend to do have my apps revolve around a regular menu.

Appetizer = Seafood item (pick one)
Salad = Endive, mini caprese, caesar salad cups, etc.
Entrée = Tenderloin
Starch = Twice Baked Potatoes
Vegetable = Baked Zucchini Chips, spanakopita, ratatouille skewers, crudité plate, etc
Dessert = mini coconut cupcakes/Sea salt caramel fudge

Nobody knows that I am serving a mini-meal but it allows something for everyone it's a little more balanced and colorful.

Bottom line is people will love whatever "you" make them. It's the holidays, enjoy and relax.

Dec 12, 2014
RetiredChef in Home Cooking