December 18, 2005

Pro Tip: #2 Parchment Paper

Pro Tip: #2 Parchment Paper

I found a case of 1000 sheets of parchment paper at GFS (Gordon Food Service) for about $30.00 and I continue to find new uses for it every week. Parchment paper has all but replaced wax paper, foil, and film in my kitchen and now that I've been using it for a while I'm not sure I could live without it. If you pick up a roll at the grocery store, you'll pay $3.00 or more for a few yards. The case I bought is 1000 sheets of 18 X 24, which translates to 2000 1/2 size sheet pans (shown above), or enough to last a part time chef a couple of years.

If you don't have a GFS in your area, check the internet for a foodservice distributor like Sysco or US Foods. Anyone can do a cash "will call" from a commercial carrier. Give them a call and ask for customer service, and ask for "parchment baking sheets, full size".

December 04, 2005

Pro Tip: #1 Bar Towels

Pro Tip: #1 Bar Towels

My kids make fun of me sometimes because I am known to walk around the house with a white bar towel over my shoulder, even when I'm not cooking. They're just so handy, and because I keep the cabinet stocked with them they are always in use and I don't mind going through 10 or so in a day. I picked up the habit working in restaurants and it has stuck with me. This is the essence of the "Pro Tip"; a useful technique, tool, or concept that translates to the home kitchen.

Both Costco and Sams Club carry a 4 dozen bag for $11.00 and I keep at least two bags on hand all the time. When they get stained or scruffy, they are demoted to a dust cloth or the garage. Posted by Picasa

November 25, 2005

Brined Turkey with a Fresh Herb Compound Butter and Maple Glaze

I brined the turkey overnight, then slid a compound butter under the skin. The cavity was stuffed with fresh herbs, a lemon, apple, and onion roughly chopped then heated in the microwave. The last hour I basted the skin with maple syrup to give the bird a sheen and glaze. The menu also included a fresh cranberry sauce, yeast rolls, green beans, roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar, cornbread sausage and apple dressing, whipped potatoes, and pan gravy.

My Mother's wedding china and my Grandmother's silver made their debut, and I'm pretty proud of the results.

This site is coming soon, and I'm excited to get started posting some content. The site will start as a promotional tool for my forthcoming book and work to fan my culinary fire. One day, I hope that it turns into a place where other "part time chefs" will visit and share memories and tips.

For more about me, visit Posted by Picasa

I'm not a baker, but I can manage a pie.

Not bad for the eighth or ninth pie ever. The edge is a maple leaf cutter inherited from my Mother in Law. Her pastry was better, but I'm sure this one would pass inspection. Posted by Picasa