Thursday, November 20, 2008

Inside the Culinary Field

Restaurants are businesses, did ya know that? They are just like any other business, trying to cut costs and increase income. A big way that they do this is by using the motto "No Waste!" In other words, no scraps go unused. Vegetable peels and animal bones are used to make stock, cake crumbs can be used for decorations, old berries can be pureed, etc....It's actually a very good habit to use in your own household. And if you are good at managing money, a house can be run like a business also- trying to cut costs and increase income.

How many times have you thrown away half a baguette because it was to stale to eat? As I have mentioned before, my first culinary job was for Whole Foods Market. Every morning we received deliveries of fresh bread from bakeries all over the city. Every night, there was inevitably leftover bread that would not be fresh enough to sell the next day. It wasn't bad or moldy or anything, just not top quality.

So, did you know that putting bread back in the oven softens it up and makes it edible again? Even better, you can do what we did at Whole Foods. The day old bread got smothered with garlic butter, wrapped up, and sold as "garlic bread". With the holidays fast approaching you, yes YOU, can do this too! And you don't have to pay $5 a pound for it like you do at Whole Foods.

So I don't know if I'm breaking some law here, but this is the smaller version of the garlic butter we made at Whole Foods:

Mash up 2 sticks of butter at room temp. Using a garlic press, smash 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, depending on the size and your taste, and mix it in with the butter. Mix in about 2 teaspooons of herbs de provence, and salt and pepper to taste. Cut your leftover (or new) loaf of bread in half long ways, and spread the garlic butter generously on cut sides. Bake at 350 on a baking sheet until the butter is melted and the bread is getting toasty and golden.

And there you have it! You are welcome!

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