Feb 28, 2012

French Omelet


Breakfast at the Firehouse can often be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of activity in the morning. The call of food often has to wait as we fire up the trucks, stock our equipment and clean the station. But when morning duties wind down, breakfast is the first order of the day. As some of you know, I view breakfast as the most important meal of the day so my thoughts often to drift to what should we throw down on the table.

Now when it pertains to breakfast I feel that the plethora of meals from which to choose from pails in comparison to lunch and dinner. That being said, I fell there are a lot of good things still to be had. But thinking ‘big picture’, keeping the cost down so as not to break the bank is on the mind, which typically brings us to the inexpensive but very versatile egg.

The egg has many an iteration, and is without a doubt, the most dependable multi-tool ingredient in the culinary world. But when taking the time for juggling multiple omelets or the thought of quickly throwing together some scrabbled eggs has gotten old, consider this recipe, which offers a creative and time saving alternative.




Episode 33 - French Omelet - In this episode we deconstruct 'fancy' when it comes to the culinary world's classic French Omelet. This technique is a great time and skillet saver and scratches the itch of a satisfying egg recipe. We also discuss the loved scrambled egg, the difference between parchment and wax paper and that there is such a thing as a Teflon coated baking sheet. For more, visit www.thefirehousechef.com.

Formats available: MPEG-4 Video (.m4v)



Fuel

Large Eggs (8 whole + 2 Yolks)
Half & Half (⅓ Cup)
Mozzarella (⅓ Cup)
Canadian Bacon (⅓ Cup)
Cilantro (2 Tbs.)
Cooking Spray
Salt (1 tsp.)
Pepper to taste

Tools

Baking Sheet
Parchment Paper
Large Bowl
Whisk

Tactics

Pre-heat broiler set to High with the rack set to 6” from the burner. Place eggs, Half & Half, cilantro and salt in bowl. Mix until for 1 minute.  Meanwhile, spray the baking sheet with the cooking spray ensuring to cover the entire sheet.  Place enough parchment paper to cover the entire sheet with at least 3-4” overlapped on each side. Press the sheet into all corners making sure it sits flat with the sheet.  Repeat another application of cooking spray on top of the paper.  Pour the egg mixture into the sheet then evenly spread the bacon and cheese over the entirety of the sheet.  Place the sheet under the broiler and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven when done and place on a cutting surface.  From one end, carefully and slowly begin to roll the omelet with your fingers until you can use the parchment paper to finish rolling the omelet.  Slice the omelet into equal parts and serve immediately. Enjoy.


Feb 22, 2012

Official Georgia Tough Mudder Video

Had a few ask how the Tough Mudder was so I just wanted to share with y'all the official video of the Georgia Tough Mudder event which, in my opinion, gives one a very good idea of what it was like (except the cold temperature!). Now, am I just giving you filler while I film a slew of upcoming videos? Well, um, no... but, I am busy filming more episodes that should be released soon. Stay hungry!

Feb 14, 2012

Tough Mudder and Valentine's Day

For those of you who follow me on Twitter (you can follow me by clicking on my Twitter feed to the right), you already know that this last Saturday, I competed in the 2012 Georgia Tough Mudder at the Anoia Motorsport Park. This was my first exposure to TM and I have to admit that it was awesome. I have included a clip so that for those of you who are unfamiliar with the competition so that you can get a general idea what it is all about.



The only drawback was that is was cold, unapologetically cold. We had to deal with temps in the upper 30's to low 40's and a brutal wind blowing at gusts up to 20 mph. Needless to say, I started to shake around mile 6 and didn't stop until I drove the two hours home after the event. Would that persuade me from doing it again, no way. The camaraderie and energy during the event is something to behold. I could not recommend it more. For those of us in any profession where teamwork is stressed (i.e.- Firefighting) this is a perfect teambuilding exercise (although, I admit, it takes a slightly crazed team to commit to running 12 miles in the mud).

Another huge benefit is that Tough Mudder is a proud supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project. To date they have raised in excess of $2,300,000! For those who would like to learn more about the project I have included a link below. Please give them a look.

Wounded Warrior Project

Lastly, today is Valentine's Day and I wanted to apologize for not getting out a V-Day episode but I thought the TM event was a worthy enough event to sacrifice an episode for and I hope you feel the same. For those that are planning on staying home and not running the rat race trying to find an open restaurant, I'll turn you on to three of my "dessert" episodes from the FHC archives.

Episode 21 - Biscotti (if they are hot chocolate or coffe drinker)

Episode 10 - Lemon Churros (if they love donuts)

Episode 9 - Strawberry Cream Puffs (if you're looking for an alternative to chocolate covered strawberries).

All are easy to make and will adequately display your affection for your chosen Valentine.
Stay hungry, my friends!



Feb 6, 2012

Chicken Stock


Chicken stock, sounds sexy, huh? I know it doesn’t, but what you can do with it sure is. Chicken stock is to soups what the backbone is to the body, it gives it something to hold it self up on. Stock is what a large assortment of sauces, soups and stews are built upon (risotto anyone?). What a lot of people don’t know is how ridiculously easy it is to make.

Seriously, all you need is the leftovers of a cooked chicken, some common (and inexpensive) root veggies, and herbs if you have them. That’s it. The cost is next to nothing and you know where all of your ingredients came from (no secrets here). And it impresses the guys in the firehouse to no end. “Homemade Chicken Stock, really? Man, that’s gourmet…” Cut to you nodding your head and smiling because you know the truth. Just don’t be stingy and share it.





Episode 32 - Chicken Stock - You have nothing but he remains of a roasted chicken after the Super Bowl and don't know what to do with it... Let's save some money and make our own homemade Chicken Stock. In this episode we discuss what binds a Bouquet Garni, that not all spiders are evil and that broth and stock are not the same thing. Visit www.thefirehousechef.com for more.


Formats available: MPEG-4 Video (.m4v)


Fuel

Cooked Chicken Carcass (bones and skin)
Onion (1 chopped)
Carrots (3-4 stalks chopped)
Celery (3-4 stalks chopped)
Garlic (3-4 cloves cut in half)
Rosemary (2-3 stalks)
Thyme (15-20 sprigs)
Bay Leaf (1 dry)

Tools

Deep Pasta Pot (with a strainer if you have one)
Spider (in the event you don’t have a strainer)
Cheesecloth
Ladle

Tactics

Place the herbs in the cheesecloth and tie together to make the Bouquet Garni. Add all vegetables, chicken parts and Bouquet Garni to the pot and add enough water to cover. Place on stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 3-6 hours (cooking time depends on the amount of gelée you want your stock to have, the longer cooking time the more gelée). Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool completely. Using either the built in pasta strainer or a spider, remove the majority of larger parts form the stock. Then place the cheesecloth over the container of choosing and using a ladle filter the stock over the cheesecloth. The stock will can remain in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months. When removed from the fridge, use a spoon or cheesecloth to remove the congealed fat. Enjoy. 

Feb 5, 2012

It's On! Super Bowl Time!

Super Bowl time! My family and I will be heading to our neighbor's house for the big game where we will be treated to our neighbor's famous chili, some casual Texas Hold'em, and good conversation all around. We'll be providing some good food in the shape of roasted garlic guacamole, fresh corn tortilla chips, and some lemon churros (yes, I did leave out my own recipe of Chipotle Chicken Salad Crostini as our collective palets are at their breaking points with all the trial runs).

Some have been asking what my Super Bowl pick is this year and traditionally I go with the under dog but the sentiment from most football pundits is that NY Giants are going to win. So against popular opinion, I am going to pull for the NE Patriots to win. I hope that you all enjoy time with family, friends and above all else, good food. Stay hungry, my friends!

P.S. If you did make the Chipotle Chicken Salad Crostini for the game (kudos), save the chicken carcass as it will come in handy for the next episode released soon... (hint, hint)
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