Saturday, September 6, 2008

Chef Etienne

>>>> Appendix de Grenouille #34 <<<<

Tres bien. Today we will demonstrate the technique gastronomique of Chef Etienne, who put down his drawing pencil at 1:00 this afternoon, in order to cook a dinner for his family. This notorious chef creates meals from passing fancy, or what he sees while passing the front door, as in today's meal, which began with these pods rouge, grown in the Italian pot by the front porch.

After hollowing out the pods, le chef prepared a filling for them. By great good fortune and fore thought, boeuf, ground et browned with onion, was frozen in packages for the main filling ingredient. Le chef thawed and combined these with things found in the ice box, including Pace salsa (medium), and ricotta cheese. When I asked the correct portions to use, Chef Etienne simply replied that he planned to use what was left in each container. He hates to measure ingredients.

Mire poix was the next concern of le chef, to create sweet subtle under flavors in the filling. Again, happily, the onion and celery had been chopped previously, and were frozen. Some finely chopped fingerling carrots and, voila, mire poix. This is saute'd in butter for fifteen minutes and stirred into the filling with cilantro, sweet basil, and a heaping teaspoon of garlic. The herbes are simply sprinkled in until they look tres bon. He hates to measure ingredients.

Chef Etienne prefers to create dishes which overlap. Here, for example, is the side dish le chef created and consumed during preparation of the main dish. The lime was to be used in the filling of the main course, and some went into the neck of this gourmet bottle, brought to le monde gastronomique by Jacques Buffet. Le chef noted that, bon chance, the beer was already pre-measured to the precise balance required for the slices of lime inserted.

The other side dish was the family's favorite maize, which comes from Trader Joe's. These frozen kernels are the best available off the cob, says le chef and his youngest son. They were tres froid beneath my petite grenouille toes. Chef Etienne cautions that no salt is added to the water for the cooking of this maize amazing. The adding of salt will bring out the starch, instead of the sugar. Not adding salt suits le chef, for he hates to measure ingredients.

Here, ready for the oven, is the final dish. The pods are stuffed. The remains of the lime were squeezed and stirred in, as were two eggs (another happily pre-measured ingredient which le chef uses with liberalite). And salt, which le chef sprinkles from a large jar, without any of the hated measuring. Part of this dish is free from pods in deference to the youngest eater, who will not want one in his portion and looks gravely on the plates of his siblings, who gladly consume the result, which was baked in a 350 degree oven for half an hour. The pods retained some of their crunch. The youngest son was concerned that one of the pods did not seem completely ripe, but Chef Etienne reserved that one for himself and sounded appreciative when he consumed it.

Bon appetit!



Anonymous said...

That looks delicious. We were discussing our green peppers just this afternoon.

My compliments to the chef!

Mathman6293 said...

I could comment and say the food looks delicious but why should I repeat Dcup? But I did notice your pan. I looks like my mother's old pans and that in itself brought back instant pleasant memories, except when I was stuck cleaning them.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Ha! Pace medium is my favorite in a jar when I can't make my own or buy the ultra-fresh, tres-expensive type at the food co-op market.

We haven't been growing veggies here at Riverview Estate; only flowers. You're inspiring me to grow something in a pot next year.

I'm not a gifted gardener, so potted things are less intimidating.

Liberality said...

I like your approach to cooking. I hate measuring too. :)

Steve Emery said...

Monsieurs et Madames, le chef was gratified to receive all these comments on his powers gastronomique.

DCup - Personally I would have preferred green peppers, myself, but Chef Etienne insisted that these pods were to be rouge, not vert. Quelle dommage.

MathMan - Le chef is fortunate that he does not have to wash the dishes. Cooking is one thing that has no underside in this house. Or perhaps it is that the same child servitude you recall is being practiced here...

Pagan - Chef Etienne says that he has read that Pace is the best choice after the tres-expensive or home made... and he says that pots may be the ultimate ruse for fooling the little evil spirits that prevent growing vegetables.

Liberalite - Madame, you have put your digit on the very thing le chef most wished known - about the measuring (non! non! non!). Together we shall storm the Bastille of teaspoons and measuring cups.

Distributorcap said...

um.... would you like to cater my very next cool dinner party