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!
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!