Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kale & Sauteed Mushrooms

You will need
It 1 bunch of kale
1 carton of button/crimini mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp butter


1. Preparations
Prepare your kale, by first washing then cutting or ripping the leaf from the stem, and making them into bite size pieces. Prepare your mushrooms by wiping any dirt off, and cutting into slices. Mince your garlic.

2. Cooking
Place your pan with butter and garlic on high heat. As the Garlic begins to sizzle, add your mushrooms and cook. Once the mushrooms begin to soften up, but also before they are fully cooked, add your kale to the pan, and cover (A clear glass cover is best so you can see how cooked your kale is). The moisture in the kale will keep everything from burning also allowing the kale to quickly steam. After leaving it covered for about a minute, take off the cover and add shoyu, salt, and pepper to your own personal taste.

Kale is a nice alternative to vegetables such as spinach, and pairs especially nicely with mushrooms.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summertime is here!

Well, school has been out for a few weeks, and work has been less hectic, so I will be able to post some more! Just gotta get back into the groove of things. During my time working and not updating I've learned a few new things, and experimented with some other things, which will all lead to some pretty interesting new posts! Look forward to it!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Looking back on March

Well, it is a few days late, but march was a good month for me. I made enough money in March to pay for my Fall semester and I was able to save almost all of it because I didn't have time to spend any money.

Well my goals for last month were to get better at making tempura and cutting fish, and I think I achieved my goals though there is still a lot of room for improvement.

This past month, I barely had time to study for school (getting the required liberals out of the way before doing the rest of my cooking) and my grades really suffered because of it. The end of the semester is coming up fast, and I really need to get to working on my schoolwork. So instead of putting most of my extra time to practicing my knife skills and other things, I will be studying. I think I'll still have some time to put up some new posts, so see you soon!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Overtime work gets harder

Well sorry for my absence the past few weeks. With the end of spring break also comes the ending of working 60+ hour weeks. My boss is back, and we just hired a new worker, so I can "relax" by going back to my 40 hour a week schedule. Anyway if you ever think about working in a kitchen, you can expect to be working for long hours at least at some point in your career.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cross Contamination

Have you ever gotten a "stomach flu" or the "24 hour runs"? Well more than likely food poisoning is the culprit. There are a few major points that you should watch out for when you are cooking at home or at work. Toxins, spoilage, and cross contamination.

If you have toxic food. Don't prepare prepare it unless you are knowledgeable about it. Wild mushrooms may look tasty, but don't eat it if you don't know if its toxic or not. The same rules apply about many other foods, like fish (Fugu), plants, and insects. Toxins are simple and straightforward to avoid.

Spoiled food? We all know what moldy bread looks like, but would you be able to tell if other foods are spoiled, like soups, and meats? There are three ways to check if something is spoiled. Look at it, if it looks rotten, it probably is. Smell, unless its supposed to smell rotten its probably rotten. Also if it doesn't smell rotten, it may smell "sour" just like milk. Other than the "sour" attribute, that food obtains, I think everyone knows what rotten meat, and seafood smells like, so smell is pretty straight forward as well. Last, if the food looks, and smells alright, but your are still unsure, taste it. Taste it does not mean eat a whole mouthful, it means take a small bit and check the taste. If it is spoiled, spit it out. If you are at home and the food looks and smells alright, but your instincts tell you otherwise my advice would be to follow your instincts. At work, if you are still unsure after tasting it, get a second opinion from someone. 

If you are sure the food isn't poisonous, and not spoiled, the last thing you have to check for is cross contamination. The basics for this is, if you cut something like raw meat on your cutting board, make sure you wash your cutting board and knife, before cutting something else. The same rules apply to allergens, if you use one spoon to serve peanuts don't use the same spoon to serve berries to someone with a peanut allergy. With cross contamination it is easy to understand, but harder to put into practice, because you have to think about what you are doing.

It is easy to make sure you don't get food poisoning at home, as long as you follow those simple steps. If you are going out to eat you are placing your fate in other peoples hands, so be wary, but don't let it scare you away from going out to eat.

The reason I bring this up is the other day at work, I had my helper (whos been working for a good 6 months in the same kitchen as me, and over a year of previous experience) preset some bamboo shoots for the night service. Then before we opened, I smelled something "sour" and knew instantly something had past its prime and needed to be thrown out. So I searched for it and found that the bamboo shoots that he had set were the culprit, and threw it out, and asked why he was going to serve something spoiled, and the response I got was "I didn't know". I thought I did a good job teaching to always check food for spoilage because first off, it is dangerous to the customer, especially young children and the elderly. Second, its utterly embarrassing to have spoiled food leave the kitchen unless its in the trash. So I went back and made sure that everyone who is below me knows how to check for spoiled food, so that this kind of thing does not happen again.