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Sunday, 24 April 2011

This is the one that nearly never was..

A couple of things happened last week (not very interesting ones so I wont bother to elaborate) which had me a tad fraught and questioning the actual wisdom in posting these ramblings. Whilst pondering the absurdity of life in general  I chanced upon this in one of those shops which sell cheap imported repro tat from China quaint little antique shops in our local town.

I've hung it on the wall at the New Pub.Its my new mantra.
So,ever onwards and upwards...

Discussions re what type of menu to put on at the New Pub have been our main thrust.Though we've a successful formula at the Inn,we were conscious that the New Pub is only 11 miles away and not wishing to dilute our audience if you get my drift,Chef came up with a novel plan.
Well,says he,we already know that people love bad food,so how about we do exactly that,but do it properly?Pub grub,homemade pies,fish and chips.Mass market stuff with broad appeal,but it'll be the best bad food they've ever tasted..
A fanfare to the common man..
So we've employed a new Chef.Following our previous form with the younger generation, we decided to go for a more *mature*applicant.
He's been around the track a couple of times, had his own place in the past,classically trained and knows how to do things properly.I think he just wanted something non too taxing with not too much pressure,a bit of a wind down..
Needless to say I don't think he bargained on the 70 odd hungry diners who tipped up unannounced on our first Friday night.
To be fair he didn't flap,just kept his head down and ploughed through it,with me plating up AND doing starters and calling the checks.I'm sure he enjoyed it though,I may even have seen a twinkle in his eye..

We've been getting along quite famously.
Though admittedly last Thursday I did have to tell him his balls weren't big enough.

Ice cream ones of course..
Apart that is,form a couple of little niggles...


Lets consider Chips.
I'd set the standard a little bit having done the kitchen on my own the previous couple of weeks. Home-made chips blanched off at low temperature then crisped off in the fryer at a high temperature once the check comes on.This produces a nicely cooked crispy chip which is pleasingly golden and easy on the eye.
On the first night with PubChef, I duly noted his chips weren't as crisp as one would have liked.

'I think you need to crank up the fryer a wee bit' says I.
'No' slowly and with deliberation  'the fryers OK as its is' says he..
Hmmm...

That night as I related the days events,Chef advised caution.
'You want to be careful you don't piss him off upset him,otherwise you'll end up doing the whole lot on your own...'
At this point  my Violet Elizabeth tendencies came to the fore,I may even have stamped my foot.
'But I WANT crispy chips'(folding arms petulantly)
Chef grinned.
'Well' said he 'you know what you need to do don't you??'
'Already done Chef,already done..' says I (triumphantly)
'You turned the fryer up when he wasn't looking???That's m'girl..'

Desperate times call for desperate measures...

His reluctance to use the temperature probe is also a slight bone of contention.
Lets be honest there are two schools of thought with this one.There's the 'I can tell if its done by the touch of my finger' Which is true.To a certain degree.But to me its more about making sure that the food isn't overcooked than checking that its cooked(though obviously high on the agenda is not picking off ones diners with a tasty but suicidal  E-Coli casserole..)
If his pinky can tell him whether a piece of fish is at the optimum 50 degree temperature(look away now EHO Inspector) when the protein has  just set or if its gone beyond this by a couple of degrees then he's a much better Cook than me..
As Chef said he's probably too old school for a probe,even when Chef did his training(he's 40 FYI) the full extent of temperature testing involved inserting a skewer into said item,then placing the skewer on ones lip-if it burnt twas done..
I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
Anyhoo,as I said to Chef later,I do like a good probing....

In other news in the spirit of embracing the local community Ems and I decided an entry to the fortnightly quiz held at the New Pub was in order.
We looked forward to the picture round and subsequent shining with our worldly knowledge of current events aided in no small part by Ems encyclopaedic knowledge of all things *sleb* due to her ongoing subscription to Grazia.
Then this.


Need I say more?

PS I don't dare publish Chefs eagerly awaited daily  missive via the text message to the landline medium on this particular subject....

10 comments:

The kitchen princess diaries said...

I feel old now. I never probed steak or fish. Not that I did much fish beyond battered cod (where can a domestic cook get rice cones?) I used to probe burgers or chicken to keep the EHO records.b

Northern Snippet said...

KPD:No need to probe steak:)

TCFO said...

I like this particular rendition of the Keep Calm and Carry On - nice - and I love your blog! I used to read Diary of a Provincial Lady by E. M. Delafield (I think) and it had this same great tone and such a window into someone else's reality. Love it!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

you're never too old for a probe..........

Northern Snippet said...

TCFO-Thankyou-I will have to find that book!
Dom-Hahaha. Couldn't agree more!

Alison Cross said...

I think you're bang on with the food. I got great chips that were MASSIVE rectangles from a pub called Bar Bloc in Glasgow. They tasted great - I suspect proper lard was used!

*hungry face* it's 8.11am and I really want a plate of chips!

Love the 'Keep Calm and Carry On'. I have that on a postcard in front of the computer :-)

Ali x

legend in his own lunchtime said...

I hope he's got the fryer sussed as I will be in for a plate of those in a few weeks. We'll be over for dinner and stay over somewhere and maybe go for lunch at the new place. I'll give you a call. Probably 13th and 14th May unless you suggest a different few days.

Alison Cross said...

13th and 14th May???? But that's the day after I get my gallbladder out *whines like a wee sad dog*

I hoped it might be later in the month and I could maybe drive down and we could all have a nice chat and devour NS's food and drink.

Well, there's only one thing for it. A holiday to Vashon! AND I SHALL get to NS's place - possibly beginning of June? Depending on state of guts!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Dying to get my hands on a digital probe... ooer!

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Your plaque looks perfect on that stone wall.

I'm glad you've found a good chef, although I agree with you on the chips and the probe xx

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