Egg whites don’t have to be boring! Just sauté some diced onion, green bell peppers and sliced mushrooms, top them with salsa and you have a fiesta, my friend! I added golden pineapple and unsweetened coconut chips, because the egg whites were lonely on this big plate. #eat #food #cook #cooking #cooking #truecooks #eatwell #getfit #fitfood #fitness #healthyeating #healthy #HealthyEatsFN @foodnetwork #foodnetwork #cheflife #chef #enjoy #yum
Just cause you’re taking your lunch to work doesn’t mean it can’t be fresh, delicious and healthy! I topped this salad with a light BBQ ranch, delicious! #food #foodie #cook #truecooks #cooking #healthy #healthyeating #fit #fitness #getfit #cheflife #chef #goodeats @foodnetwork #yum
The other night, while cooking a requested dish for my mother, I had time to contemplate styles of cooking. As I contemplated glass after glass of Shiraz, my contemplation grew complacently congenial. I tried to pontificate to my dear mother, but she was deep into her third glass. As one who rarely drinks, she was more interested in the inner workings of my failed relationships and why, pray tell, at a local function, did I not go over and speak to a certain girl. Well, I went to my happy place, as I was cooking, which is thinking about cooking. And you, Dear Reader, are the benefactor of the results of three hours of building Meatballs and a scratch sauce. Let’s dig in, shall we?
As I see it, there are three styles of cooking. These consist of The Handyman, The Perfectionist and The Outlaw. Cooking is my greatest passion, followed closely by Cooking. A distant third is history and culture of cooking.
The handyman is a general purpose cook. Not to take anything away here, because the handyman (or woman) is a master at what he focuses on. For me, I love to make sauces. A perfectly balanced and constructed sauce will prop up any meal. It is the backbone of measurement when you speak the word Chef. But, my specialty is broth. Oh my my my. I love to create and craft broth. Starting with essentially root’s, and an oft chastised cut of meat, watching the water turn to Chef’s Wine. The translucence of the fat shimmering on the surface. Lovely laden globules of goodness. Small but part of a greater orchestra of flavor. The semi stickiness that glues to your lips as you caress spoon after spoon across your tongue. Yea. That’s sexy as hell. But, and more to the point, I can cook anything. Notice the use of the word cook. But, more on that shortly. An example. Recently, while out drinking with friends I met up with some old friends. People I used to bartend with in my younger days. We had a blast. Drank the night away laughing and telling stories of our glory days. I had started early and one of my buddies, Scott K, told me I should head back with him, versus driving. I eagerly agreed as I could drink more! Win/win yes? So later we head back to his house and I immediately take stock of whats available. We have apple cinnamon pancake mix. Cointreau. Fresh strawberries and bananas. Brown Sugar. And bit of maple syrup left. Keep in mind, im pretty much staring through one eye, trying to find the middle pan as I worked. I had been drinking all day and into the night. But, this was when I was at my best. See, I’m a cook. And a damn good one. And as a handyman, I am pretty versatile. 30 minutes later, we are diggin in to one of the finest meals you could possibly imagine. The almost crusty sear on the pancakes was indescribable. I flambéed the cakes with the bananas, brown sugar and cointreau, rolling my wrist with the confidence of a well seasoned professional. And this is the result.
Notice the small flaky bits in the syrup, thats from the deglaze. Yea, thats how we roll at 3am. But, the point of this article, a cook can do many things. And do them well, while still focusing on a specialty. Or not. They can just love to make it all. Next though, we have a dedicated anomaly of the cooking world. The Perfectionist. Oh my.
This, Dear Reader, is otherwise known as The Baker. And an art I am not privy to. I general grab some of this, two of these and a dash of those and toss it in and hope for the best. The folks are culinary ninja’s, taking their time in measurements and cups and exact counts. If the Dalai Lama was a cook, I bet he would be a baker. I have never been good at breads. At making cakes. Pastries. It’s just not my thing. And I stare at these people with all the wide eyed wonder I can muster, in awe of what they do. The patience involved sets my ADD on fire. This, this Dear Reader, this….is an art form like no other. So much so a special set of tools is required to bake. Levels and special instruments designed as if out of a medieval torture chamber. Give me my chefs knife (or any knife in a pinch) and a spatula, I am happy. But these folks…they work with precise temperatures and are willing to wait, without looking in the oven, to see their creation. I am humbled and honored by them. Of course, next up, well, The Outlaw’s. Afeared yet? You should be.
Grilling season is in full swing. Yes, I’ve had mine out. I have a great grill. It’s 3 parts. One part is gas. One part is charcoal (only the real stuff here, not that store bought shit with gas fumes built into it). The third part is a ceramic searing area that hits around 1500 degree’s. I love my grill. I dream of it when I am away from it. I gently fondle its….well anyway. To the point. Grillers are just a separate breed than the rest of us. They are still in the chef family, just a distant cousin, likely named Joe Dirt. Badass in every single way, they just don’t conform to the laws of physics we do inside our kitchens. And I love them for it. Grillers, purists at heart, study their grill with laser pointers long before applying anything to the grill itself. Like a coach in the NFL, a full game plan is mapped in their head before any sizzle is heard. You have to know your grill intimately. Where the cooler zones are, where the hotter zones are and where the sear will be. And, most important, where the bottle opener for your beer is going to be. Yes, my grill has one mounted to it, just to be on the safe side. These guys will stand in the hot sun, face down in an even hotter grill for hours, just to bring you that perfectly cooked flat iron steak, thats marinated to buttery soft perfection. When placed upon the perfectly heated surface, that wonderful sizzle and aroma scores the air around it. The Outlaw does not poke and prod. Its not moved around willy nilly while guess work ensues. It lays where its placed, until it develops that trademark crust we all love, but rarely get to eat. It’s not penetrated. Its lovingly and carefully separated from the cooking surface, and its turned over once. Then once more to get the score marks from that perfectly temperatured surface. Yea. These guys are the bad boys of the culinary universe. And as I write this, I pour out a little in a toast to you.
All three have their place. I dabble in all of them. I love to watch the masters at work. They don’t need formal training. Theres no initials after their name. All of these are craftsmen and women perfecting a trade that they love. All this is going through my head while I am making my home made sauce for meat balls. Welcome to my world. Want inside? You’ve been warned. I advise staying out of there. It’s a mess!
🙋 Miss Chubby-cheeks 🙈 My number one struggle as I became a cook has been finding the time and energy to do nice things (or even normal things!) for myself (because on the limited free time I have I prefer to sleep or not do a fucking thing). It has become suuuuuuper hard to do meal prep, eat consistently and HEALTHY, fucking exercise, have a regular sleeping pattern, and go out to enjoy the city like a normal person. Yesterday and today, I tried being human for a change, I’ll be tired but I can rest when i’m dead! Gotta dig up the energy to LIVE again 😊 #truecooks #cookslife #cheflife #imnochefthoughjustacookthatloveswhatshedoes
Link yourself to www.blogtalkradio.com/chefplum tonight at 10PM Eastern time and hear me chop it up with Mr. Cool @chef_plum and The General @TrueCooks I have a fatty rolled, six pack chilled and nekkid chicks! This is the show you don’t want to miss! @sweetmeatchef will be posting live updates on IG using @culinaryharassment account…..just like old tiiiiiimes…..awwwwww #CulinaryHarassment #TrueCooks #IWalkWithLions #BFFFS #Chef #Cook #Cooks #ChefLife #ChefsofInstagram #DessertMasters #Food #Foodie #Familia #FamilyMeal #FamilyFirst #IGChef #Kitchen #KitchenLife #Love #NYC #PastryChef #Queens #RestaurantWeek #ReturnOfTheJedi #SousChef #TrueStory #TrueFriend (at New York City - NYC)
That moment you spill 22 quarts of chicken stock in the walk in “😳😫😭 OMG OMG OMG OOOOMMMGGGG !!! @justalenna ” haha sorry girl you reaction was so funny I had to capture it #kitchenproblems #chefproblems #cook #chef #cheflife (at Juniper and Ivy)