Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Favorite Cookbooks, Part 9, The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing, and Sausage Making

The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing, and Sausage Making: How to Harvest Your Livestock & Wild Game

The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing, and Sausage Making, How to Harvest Your Livestock & Wild Game, by Philip Hasheider, might have a title as long as some Panic! At The Disco song names, but damn, does it deliver.  It shows you in full color glory the butchering process from the killing of the animal, dressing the beast, and then preserving or cooking it safely.  This is bonafide post apocalyptic survival guide reading and also a must read for any chef worth their salt. 

I once worked with a guy that questioned my interest knowing how to pluck a chicken.  I was reading the La Varenne Practique, by Anne Willan, which was the first cookbook I'd read that began to delve into this type of process.  I looked at the offending cook and let off a rant that must've been quite embarassing for him at the time.  It's important to know how your food has been handled prior to your cooking it.  Safety being a chief concern, but it also allows you to see details into how your product was processed.  Was it with care or haste?  Was it a humane or inhumane kill? 

This text not only discusses domestic animals, but shows wild game as well... including raccoons & squirrel.  Heck yeah.  Let's get some burgoo on, eh? 

I especially liked the detail on the necessary equipment needed for each task, such as the number of buckets needed to defeather poultry.  The author also makes a point to include more than one option for certain tasks, and highlights the pros & cons of each procedure.  This was definitely written by someone who is truly passionate about the subject matter.  Read this book. 

May nose-to-tail eating never die.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Arizona Stories, Kitchen Idiocy

You ever see a guy walk through a kitchen with an 8" chef knife wrapped around his apron strings jogging through a hotel kitchen?  Mind you, the blade wasn't covered.  I have.

Have you ever seen two line cooks kiddingly box on the hot line until one of them accidentally stabs the other with a plugged in mini stick blender?  I have and yes, it did turn on.  I couldn't stop laughing either, even though a slight bit of blood was spilled.

Ever see a prep cook decide that sanitation buckets were the best thing to store raw chicken bones in for stock?

How about watched a cook get pissed off at another cook so much that they sabotaged the other guy's chicken stock with a pineapple & a handful of tumeric so they'd get yelled at by the Executive Chef?

Seen someone add sugar to another cook's salt?

Watched a saucier throw all of another cook's prep onto the ground because they decided to work on their prep table? 

Accidently emptied a faulty fryer full of oil onto the floor?  That was me by the way.

Also erroneously posted that Paul Bocuse had passed a way yesterday?   Me as well.  This link should clear that up.  http://ph.omg.yahoo.com/news/dont-believe-twitter-rumors-french-chef -paul-bocuse-110602928.html  The rumors aren't true.  I did try to confirm yesterday evening and found that Wikipedia even showed him as deceased.  My apologies to any who believed this because I reposted this.

Never a dull moment, eh?