Leftover Rice Waffles and Secrets of a Private Chef

As a private chef, I need to impress in order to keep my clients. Its not like working at a catering company or restaurant because the food all come from your truly. And all the meals can’t be too redundant. I need to “spice” things up (pun intended, you’ll see why soon) and keep thing interesting.

So I thought I’d share with you some of my private chef secrets.

But after a lot of analysis, I realized there are LOTS of secrets! So this might be a weekly series I do. Unless you all hate it, then I’ll just shut up and go cry in the corner of my kitchen.

Zest (the rind, not the soap): Lemon, orange, lime, even grapefruit zest is all awesome. It brightens up flavor of dishes and actually looks pretty too! Steamed broccoli (although delicious) can be a little boring. But lemon zest on that and its suddenly less stinky and refreshing! Plus, lemon zesters or microplanes are never too pricy (most I’ve seen it for is about 7 bucks).

Kosher Salt: There are all kinds of scientific reasons for why chefs prefer kosher salt but basically it comes down to basics. Less flaky and overwhelming than flake salt, less cumbersome than sea salt, more flavorful than table (or iodized) salt; kosher salt has the perfect texture to pinch and sprinkle over dishes, the slightest crystallized crunch and a delightful briney flavor. Plus, it’s the salt of my people (as in Jews). I gotta rep The Tribe.

Befriending the Freezer: I’m quickly discovering that one of the keys to being a good personal chef is the ability to package and freeze food so that when you heat it up for dinner a few weeks later, it’s just as tasty as if you made it that evening. And this is knowledge that just about anyone can benefit from — what’s more convenient than having a freezer-full of meals that you can heat up for dinner when you’re kept late at work? I’ve always felt that the most freezer-friendly foods are ones that have some moisture to them, like stews, pot pies, braised meats, pastas and risottos. Dishes that do not freeze well include some sauces made with milk or cheese (they tend to separate), or dishes that are supposed to have a crisp texture, like fried chicken.

Those are my tips for the day. Yep, you only get three because I’m a tired and lazy chef. But like I mentioned, I’ll dispense more tips and maybe make this a weekly thing if this is well recieved. But I totally understand if most of you couldn’t care less. Believe me, sometime, I get tired of cooking! (gasp)

I don’t know why I feel the need to end with a question, I suppose its cause I want to hear from you! So I’ll just ask, is there any “secret” about your profession you want to dispense?

But you want to know whats great? Aside from the fact that the super bowl is over and done with? Having something to do with leftover rice!

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut or all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 cup cooked rice (preferably day-old)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk ( i used coconut to go with the theme, but any milk will do
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • Preheat a waffle iron until hot.

    Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg, then mix in rice with your fingertips. Stir in milk, yolk, and butter until just combined. Whisk egg whites until it just holds stiff peaks, then fold into batter gently but thoroughly. Lightly brush waffle iron with oil and cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions. Now, you’ll want to have extra rice hanging out in your fridge! 


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    17 thoughts on “Leftover Rice Waffles and Secrets of a Private Chef

    1. I love freezing things, because I don’t always want leftovers the next day, but usually a week later it sounds good again 🙂
      I like the new series idea!

    2. Secret to my profession: 1) drink water, lots of it, and then more; 2) concede that yes, you DO need to strip your clothes off if you get swarmed by army ants, no matter who is watching, 3) beware of the plants, they are often meaner than the animals even though they act innocent; and 4) if a job is too tedious, hot, or ant-risky, make the undergrad assistant do it. 😉

    3. I love freezing things as well. Mainly soups and pasta sauces. They last forever! Well, I have no secrets for sharing, except from never do a phd in electrical engineering! 😛

    4. I really like this series- it will help me as an amateur chef.

      In my profession, edit, edit, edit is the secret. I spend up to 15 minutes editing an email because I know it can and will be used against me at some point and I make sure that anything that has my name on it sounds like it came from a college educated person.

    5. Do you own a mandolin and slice things up perfectly? I catered with a private chef and was so jealous of his mandolin. I have no idea what I would do with it. Maybe wrap things in cucumber. Or slice my own deli meat.

      • Nah! I cut my finger once with a mandolin! I just use a good knife. Deli meat will NOT slice in a mandolin. you have to get a special meat slicer for that (dont waster you money, just ask the deli guy to do for you).

    6. “Rep the Tribe”

      I love you.

      Chef question: I know you can replace baking powder with baking soda+tartar (or something like that), but can you sub baking powder for baking soda? And baking soda sub?

      Secrets of the Journalism World!

      – A list of experts in every possible field will save your ass when you have a story that needs sources. Plus, if they’re “your experts,” you have better knowledge of their credbility. I have allergists, chefs, personal trainers, botonists, and engineers in my “stables.”
      – Phones are God’s gift to man. People are busy…sometimes they just don’t have time to meet with you, even if they’d love to have a quote. It’s sometimes much better to just do a phone interview–they’ll be happier about it. It’s not being a “bad journalist” to rely on phones.
      – Stuff gets winged. A lot. Quotes get “cleaned up,” or else the world would sound a lot stupider (as it is) and people would get pissy as being found out as such…at least when they open their mouths.
      – Why religion sections almost always feature Christian cover stories: America is still so Puritannical that they get legitimately pissy when other religions pop up more than just occasionally…and newspapers cling to subscriptions.

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