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CHEF The Sudden


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Divinely good cooking for the culinary challenged.


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ts ca n i liente Chillin’ With Chili Pg. 7-8

Also in this issue:

Contrary to expectations, one reader’s new chicken dish does NOT poison his fiancee. Pg. 4-5

Start creating easy, great tasting dishes tonight, without blowing up the kitchen!

OnThe Line

With Jimmy ”Fatback” Staub Welcome to the latest issue of The Sudden Chef, the food magazine for the culinary challenged. The Sudden Chef helps folks who want to cook, but maybe don’t even know where to start. Our team brings you exactly what you need to create easy, great tasting dishes without rare or costly ingredients or the need for advanced culinary techniques. You don’t need to be Serena Williams to enjoy tennis on the weekend or Albert Pujols to have fun with summer softball. And you don’t need to be a world class chef to create great, easy dishes for you, your family or your friends to enjoy. Just read along with us and you’ll see how easy it can be. My own introduction to the culinary arts was something of a fluke in itself. Growing up in rural New England the home cooking was good, if nothing fancy. Until I went away to school, I think I may have dined in a decent restaurant maybe three times in my whole life. I knew nothing about cooking.

In This Issue: Redemptions Pages 4-5

Me’s En Place Page 6

Chillin’ With Chili Pages 7-8

Who You Calling Chicken? Page 9-10

Just Desserts

Pages 11-12

Then, the summer before college, I landed work washing dishes in a local, seasonal restaurant at the summer stock theater complex. When, on day two, the sous chef stabbed the pot washer and both were deported, they hauled me out of the dishroom as an emergency back-up. I was really lucky; the executive chef that summer was also head of the culinary arts program at the regional vocational high school. Not only was he a great cook, but he was a great teacher too. I worked very hard that summer, but I came away with a life long appreciation of the food and some important lessons about working in the kitchen. There’s one special lesson I still take to heart each time I approach the stove. It is, be sure the pilot light is lit before gassing eighty pounds of raw roast beef for three hours then blowing yourself across the room and foregoing eyebrows for six or seven weeks after you finally open that oven door. So keep an eye on that pilot light, but have some fun with us as suddenly, surprisingly, you are a chef.


Divinely Good!

Secondi with Susan Virulent microbes, razor sharp knives, pressurized natural gas and open flames everywhere . . . What could possibly go wrong?

Before we begin actually cooking, here are some health and safety tips,

good reader, that will be worth keeping in mind throughout your time in the kitchen. The Sudden Chef wants to be sure that you are safely and happily hovering over the stove, not running willy-nilly to the Burn Unit nor suddenly calling ahead for a good micro-suregeon. Bon apetit! Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean. Your kitchen can never be too clean. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently as well as all prep areas, untensils and cutting boards. When working with raw chicken especially, clean twice as often. Use a lot of hot soapy water. Be meticulous. It will be very much worth the effort. And while a visit from your friendly neighborhood salmonella or its chum e.coli, can prove quite spectacularly dramatic enough to tip you to the fact that there’s something really, really amiss, if you want to know specifics about what to look for, simply click on this link to the Nassau County Board of Health, Knife Use. A slip of the knife is one of the most common kitchen mishaps. Applying some best practices to your knife work will greatly reduce accidents. First and foremost, keep your knives sharp. A sharp edge requires less effort and forcing, so you maintain better control. Keep your hands and your knives dry when in use as well. Keep fingers of your off-hand, the one holding the food, tucked under, almost in a fist as you angle the knife to cut away from yourself. Good idea to wear close-toed footwear in the kitchen too, gravity and a 9� carving knife being what they are. Dial down the heat. Get accustomed to dialing down the heat on your stovetop. Using only what is truly necessary will make for a better experience in many ways. For one, it should allow you to cook your food through evenly. Setting your burner to Flamethrower every time can leave your food with what looks like a charcoal briquet crust, with a warm, gooey under-cooked salmonella factory churning in its center. You will want to dial it down a notch and bring things more slowly to perfection. Thanks for joining us. All the best, Susan.


In every issue, we invite readers to send in their stories about how they “redeemed” themselves after earlier culinary disasters. Today’s tale of redemption comes from Jerry Moynihan and his fiancee Maria Sfavka, both of New Jersey. Following an unfortunate turn of events last summer, Jerry Moynihan faced selfimposed exile from his own kitchen. His selfless

“It was a nightmare,” said Maria. “We were all flopped about the ER, feeling horrible, while all the doctors were having chatty little debates on whether it was v.cholerae from the clams or s. aureus in the potato salad that did us all in.”

According to Jerry,”I was to meet Maria’s family and folks for the first time. We were just starting to get serious together and her parents wanted to come down to the Shore for the day. I decided that I’d impress everyone with a classic clam bake.”

“To us, it was sort of moot,” said Jerry.“We took turns all night crawling to the restroom, praying for immiment death.”

act in this regard saved all his friends and family the trouble of banning him themselves.

When the big day came, it began perfectly. The lobster, scallops, shrimp and chowder were all great. Then Jerry showed everybody how to eat the steamers, rinsing them in the broth and dipping them in drawn butter. “It was pretty sloppy,” he noted. “But everyone was laughing and just having a really good time.” “Of course,”added Jerry.“About an hour later the whole party, Maria’s parents included, were admitted en masse to the ER at Ocean County Medical Center.”

It took him seven months to get back into his own kitchen. Redemption came with The Sudden Chef’s Easy Honey Mustard Chicken (Details next page.) “It was great,” said Jerry.“Took forty-five minutes, most of that, us enoying some wine.” “It was amazing,” insisted Maria.“No food posioning this time!” EMERGENCY ROOM PARKING ONLY

“I took the Make It A Meal option as well,” noted Jerry, “With baked potato and some French beans.” As Jerry declared “Chef Jerry is back!” Maria agreed and took the advice on her fiancee’s apron. She kissed the cook.

The dish Jerry chose is very easy to make and full of flavor. “I did one large chicken breast for each of us,” Jerry explained. “I washed them in cold, running water, patted them dry, then coated them in a bit of olive oil. A little salt and pepper and into a 350 degree oven they went.”

“The potatoes went in at 425 degrees, so I had to turn it down again to 350 when it was time for the chicken,” said Jerry.“I even remembered to pierce the spuds before I put them in the foil this time. No more exploding potatoes! It was almost boring, nothing so dramatic as that clambake.”

me that “Amazing! No “Spare drama again,” said ER visit food poisoning Maria.“An is just not needed this time!” with every meal.”

“After maybe thirty minutes in the oven, I covered them all over with a mixture of one part honey, three parts mustard,” he noted, adding,“Next time maybe I’ll add some tarragon too.”

When the chicken reached 165 degrees per a meat thermometer, they were ready. Jerry set the chicken aside to rest for about five minutes before serving. “About thirty minutes before the chicken went in, we also put two potatoes in the oven, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, placed right on the rack,” noted Maria.


Jerry then gave her credit for the French beans. “Took them to a boil in lightly salted cold water. Two and a half minutes exactly, on the boil,” Maria explained. “That’s what keeps them bright green. When ready, I reheated them in a dab of real butter, added salt and pepper to taste and there we were.” “Delicious!” Maria and Jerry finally chimed in together, by then completely redeemed with The Sudden Chef.

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Spices of Life Coming Next Issue:

Spices of Life

The Sudden Chef  

Food Magazine for the culinary challenged.

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