Friday, December 30, 2011

Jumbo Shrimp!

We got these babies in today.  They are 1-2 count shrimp, meaning there are 1 to 2 shrimp per pound.  Biggest shrimp I have ever seen.  Reminded me of a story I read in the Chronicle the other day about Asian giant tiger shrimp in the Gulf.  These are not the same as the ones here are freshwater.  Must be related though.  Pretty awesome, but too expensive for my blood.

I have been very busy at work, with the big block party for NYE, and our second concept opening tonight, I have been one busy butcher.  So, very busy, but very productive.  Tomorrow is going to be crazy busy though.  Busy is good though.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Stove!

When I bought my house, I did not have much in the way of kitchen smallware.  Really all I had was the cast iron skillet pictured above on the top in the center.  This has been rectified now.  My incredibly awesome girlfriend got me the All-Clad fry pan and sauce pan on the left and right in the top row in the picture.  I added the de Buyer French chefs pan on the lower left and the Lodge Pro Logic cast iron sauté pan on the lower right.  This collection is the best cookware I have ever owned, and really the best I have ever used.  Good pans do not a good cook make, but they can help make fantastic food when used by a skilled craftsman.

The de Buyer pan still needs to be seasoned, when properly seasoned it will be black and non stick, just like a properly seasoned cast iron pan.  I will probably season it this weekend, or maybe take it to work where there are industrial vent hoods.  I do need to get a hood at home, probably really will be my first real project I attempt.  I need to talk to an expert on how to vent it outside, and see if I can find an inline exhaust fan to get some good airflow.  I still have not decided on how I want to redo the kitchen, but with these pans, I am ready for induction, which is what I want.  To round out the collection, I want to add a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven, another All-Clad sauce pan, but a smaller one, an All-Clad stock pot and an All-Clad Windsor pan.  I also need to come up with a cool way to display all of them when not in use because they are worth showing off, not hidden in a cabinet when not in use.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

My little tree.  The lights in the window are shotgun shells.  Yes, I said shotgun shells.  I even have presents under my tree.

Busy few days, but very productive.  I was able to leave early and enjoy some downtime, and watched the Texans lose.  Some bad defense, too conservative of an offense and some really bad calls left the Texans out.  They had the number one seed in their grasp, and now they may not get the first round bye they really needed.

All my Christmas shopping is done, and most everything is wrapped and ready to go.  Time to spend some quality time with my awesome girlfriend.  Have to work tomorrow, but then I do have two days off to spend with her as well.  

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chef Jay's spicy nuts return!

Been awhile since I have made these.  I almost forgot how.  Well not really.  I actually forgot how easy they are to make, and so delicious.  Sometimes the simple things are the most rewarding.

It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted, I have been very busy with work, and am dealing with some stuff in my life.  It has been difficult, but I have great family, fantastic friends, and the best girlfriend who have all been helping me to deal with it.  

I also made one of my special meat creations for a present.  I do not have any pictures, but I will make another one sometime soon, and document it and share it here.

I did get a Christmas tree.  It is a three foot tall cypress that is alive.  Present from my girlfriend, who said first Chrismas in your new house, you HAVE to have a tree.  Have I mentioned how amazing she is?

I have been researching solar water heating, for both hot water and for radiant heat.  I think that over the spring and summer I will work on building a system for my house.  This will hopefully provide me with heat in the house so I do not need the space heater or the window unit for heat, as well as providing hot water for usage in the house.  This will be a long project, but I believe it will be a good investment in my house long term.  Plus, it will be fun to build and give me something to do on my days off.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


By request, pictures of my house.

Herb Garden

I HATE Paperwork!

Today was inventory.  About my most favorite thing in the world.  NOT!  Then I cut steaks and made andouille.  I tried the beef summer sausage.  Not my most favorite, but still tasty.  I think it needed more smoke.  Oh well, I will make notes and improve on it next time.

After making the andouille, I was costing recipes.  Right after inventory, that is my second favorite thing.  I just love sitting at the computer and punching in recipes and prices.  Well not really, but it has to get done.  It is all good.  I really need to write the database I have been working on for a couple of years that will do all of it for me.  Yea, I think that is what I really need to work on.

I have been playing around with blogger looking at how I can put pictures and recipes up as well as blog posts.  I think I have it figured out.  Maybe tonight when I am done with the recipe costing (yes, I am taking a break) I will see what I can do.

Still pondering my dream kitchen.  I need to look and see if I can find an inexpensive kitchen design program that runs on a Mac.  That would help me visualize how it might look.  Or I guess I can go measure everything and have the people at Home Depot do it for me.  Or maybe Lowes.  One or the other will do it I am pretty sure, I think I saw a sign stating that.

Tomorrow it is charcuterie Friday.  40 pounds of pickles, sauerkraut, pepperone and whatever else I decide to make.  Maybe some beef bologna too as I still have a lot of cow.