Two questions, many answers, Part 4

BY DEBBIE MATTHEWS, The Curious Cook
Posted 6/5/20

This time it’s personal.

I’ve known Chef Chrissie for approximately 147 years.

We met when I was 9.

He was my best friend’s big, jerky brother. For years I thought we had a mutual …

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Two questions, many answers, Part 4

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Posted

This time it’s personal.

I’ve known Chef Chrissie for approximately 147 years.

We met when I was 9.

He was my best friend’s big, jerky brother. For years I thought we had a mutual burning hatred, but I recently discovered that to him, I was just one interchangeable pesky friend among many.

Once I started dating Petey, his best friend, apathy transformed into active dislike. It took five or six years, but we got over ourselves and became good friends. He is now our closest family friend and surrogate big brother to The Kid.

Chrissie’s a chef and if I have any skill in the kitchen, the majority of the credit (or blame) goes to him.

I asked him my two pandemic kitchen questions. Here they are, with his responses...

Q: When it’s going to be a while before you make a grocery run, what’s your favorite pantry meal?

A: Two things. 1) I always have chicken in the freezer. I always have onions. I always have pasta. What I make is a kind of Chicken Mac & Cheese. One pan for cheese sauce. One pan for pasta. Pan for chicken and onions, etc. This meal is versatile. Change ingredients around. Substitute meats, veggies, pasta shapes. Make a casserole. Depending on the size of the batch, I can eat for days. Reheats beautifully. Add a little milk, nuke, stir, and eat. Can’t beat it.

2) The second is, I make standard spaghetti sauce. Then when you deglaze the pan, I’ll add the juice from two cans ( 6.5 oz. ) of chopped clams. Reserving the meat to mix in just before serving. Grated Parmesan and you’re good to go.

Q: What’s your best food-related activity suggestion for staving off boredom and the resulting insanity?

A: Experiment with new recipes. Perfect old ones. Practice cooking basics, there is time for that now. If you’ve been furloughed like I have, no rush to stuff your face. Get back in tune with your ingredients. Cook with love. Develop your style. Cook with soul.

Our second chef this week is William Teahan in Vermont. He attended the same culinary school as The Kid: New England Culinary Institute.

He’s a Four Diamond chef and expert in menu design, engineering, and implementation, as well as unusual, innovative, and cutting edge food, stylings, and presentation.

His favorite pantry meal: Roasted chicken thighs with absurd amounts of garlic, chicken demi, and Texmati (I love the glace you can buy now).

And kitchen activities to fight cabin fever? Baking! In all its forms from weighing and scaling to forming and baking, be it loaf, cookie, or whatever the little heart desires. And the results are nomilicious (a technical chef term). Savory, sweet, both: you make it as complex as you want it to be. Good time to start a sourdough mother!

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at dm@bullcity.mom.

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