Friday, January 15, 2010

part 2...induction cooking and why duck fat deserves a hug

Part 2...Let's say you got an oven. In that oven is a 600 pan of duck legs taking a little bubble bath in fat, garlic, and star anise. What I want you to do is get real close. Like right up on it. Close your eyes. Exhale all the way. Now open it quick and inhale through your nose like Rick James at a free crack giveaway. (I claim no responsibility for disfigurement)..... it's probably the closest thing to what you'd smell at the hot dog cart outside the gates of heaven....What? There's probably a really long line and I doubt most people pack a snack. And why wouldn't there be food vendors getting in on a very lucrative venue. Probably no one selling watches though. I hear there's a big hello kitty clock on the wall. Anyways, why not let your first taste..ahh...smell of the afterlife be something as glorious as confit.

I love me some duck and more specifically, confit. I try to have it on hand at all times. Make a big batch, run some as a special, and pack the rest away for a rainy day. The best part, as far as my cooks feel I think, is when I shred it for lettuce wraps cause there, left behind is the epitomy of glutony, duck skin. I'll render a big mess of it in a nonstick pan, dump it onto a plate, and drench it in maple syrup. Oh my....

And I really have a problem with people that don't utilize fat. I read a little blurb in Saveur or something that asked Jon Besh what fat he uses for a roux. He said that he waited till chicken stock cooled and used the fat cap on top. GENIUS! Really, "should a cook squander anything." It's hard enough for us to make a profit in this business. But at the heart of everything, it's more than money. When I was crisping up duck legs last night, I kept a pan on the side to catch any extra fat that came off. Throwing away duck fat is just wrong. Like punching a baby wrong....ok, an ugly baby.

Now, induction cooking. Not sure where I was going with this part.

You ever been to a food show? Cheney Brothers, a florida food distributor had their north florida one tuesday. It's cool. They put you up in a nice place and have a reception the night before with shitty food and all the booze you can double fist. It's an opportunity for the elite, the degenerates, and the in between to mix and mingle and spawn another generation of misfits. Then, when everyone gets good and 8:30, they cut you off and say "be free, run, play, harrass and disgust a hotel full of employees, on the same side mind you, and destroy everything in your path. It's awesome!!

Next day there is a food show. 60 to 80 vendors displaying all their newest goodies. Convenience products, ass loads of fried crap, chemicals, warewashing, meats, seafood, you get the idea. Somewhere down the line a bunch of these company big wigs got together and said "we need people to represent our products, sell our products, and make us a household name.......I got it, whores." Seriously. Girls in bikinis near the seafood, cowgirls near the meats, and some random gogo dancer on a pole?

These kind of shows don't have much to see for cooks who COOK everything. Last year I was looking for par baked breads and specialty desserts but I spent the last 12 months working on bread and pastries so now I go for one real reason. Don't get me wrong there are some things to see and there are rebates on items the restaurant orders and it's a free trip but I digress. The one real reason starts with a duffle bag.

They give out bags for you to stock with goodies and samples. All of these vendors have nice displays of products but alas they are "for display only." Yeah right. I am right here and now admitting that my wife and I do laps, strategize, and case the whole joint before devastating the place. One particular booth, I shall name no names, carries all the specialty items, imports, etc. and that guy is good. Same with the Dececco pasta guy. These are free products the company sent out to be looked at and these guys have the nerve to be guarding them like schmucks at Alkatraz. We have our system which I will not discuss here and we always come out on top.

This year, I did an Iron Chef battle right in the middle of the show with an old chef and my Cheney rep. We crushed the competition and I got this bad ass induction burner. Induction cooking, that's right, the future, even though it's not that new. The end.

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