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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Goosewurst Soup Recipe & the Bolshoi Ballet

PART ONE

Friday Night / 9:22 P.M.

Klecko stood in the midst of the kitchen......alone with a bag of groceries, in silence.

He didn't have that customary humming of the television to lull him while he considered settling into the evening.

It had been a tough week for your favorite baker. Tougher than most.

Thank God it wasn't "Having a Dog Die" kinda bad...

But it was bad enough.

If there's one thing I've learned over the years.....

WHEN LIFE STARTS TO SPIN OUT OF CONTROL.......MAKE SOUP AND DRINK SCOTCH.

All day Friday, I covered the 4 corners of the Metro pimping a new breadline to potential accounts.

Chef's don't like it when you interrupt them only to show them retread baked goods, standards that they have waltzed with before, they want something fresh, something new, something a little sexier.

That's why smart bakers / salespeople will put together a bag filled with new and interesting items......

"What's up chef, do you have 30 seconds for me? I just want to describe the gift I've brought for you."

The word "gift" always seems to go over better than "samples".

The Bread Pimp continues.............

"I have seen the future of rock & roll, and its name is Bruce Springsteen, but the future of the Twin Cities 2013 bread is even going to be more spectacular."

In my bag I had 5 different items, and much like a fashion show, your presentation can add or lose appeal, buy what you show, and when you show it.

Harry Houdini once said "Open and Close with your 2 best tricks."

So Klecko opened with his 1 pound Old World Pretzel Baguette.

"Just smell that chef, you don't even have to open the bag, just press your nose to the plastic and sniff right through it."

While the smile almost automatically surfaced on my clients face, I did my best to keep the momentum going......

"None of that baking soda / savage strategy in this little gem. Each and everyone of these marvels is hand dipped in the devils brew by yours truly."

My closing piece I presented.... it was so such a show stopper.

Most chefs know how difficult it is to make a true pretzel bread, and although they admire it's complexity and the precision that it takes to produce this greatness......

The trick has been done before.

Sure, some chefs haven't had the authentic version, or maybe they haven't even witnessed it first hand.......but odds are, they've got around, they've heard stories.

Hells Bells, one of the first things they teach chefs at chef school is that hand dipped pretzel bread is pretty much like the Manna caste down from heaven to those cats that crossed the desert for 40 years.

So was is a Bread Pimp to do?

How does a Bread Pimp impress?

Well, it's interesting you should ask.

One the thing that really brings a the food community to it's knees is when somebody pops up with a product that not only have they never seen....but when it's a product that nobody has even heard of......that's when the culinary gears begin turning and the buzz will start.

Now if you've never been in "THE SHOW" you might say..............

"Klecko....why not bring a chocolate / peanut butter bread? Nobody is doing that in your city?"

Well kiddo, whenever you launch something new....it has to be more than presenting a something new.

It needs to be something relevant, something pertinent.  

You have to show your peeps an item that is obvious. When the client looks at the piece, they should be able to start counting the applications.

 They should have a look in their eyes that says.....

"Gosh Darn it......I just switched over my menu 2 weeks ago, this sucks, I have to use this piece right now."

Creating epic bread loaves is pretty hard.

In 30 years I haven't launched more than a 1/2 dozen level 10 concepts.

That guy in Italy who painted on ceilings didn't carve out a "David" every day.

The body and mind must be perfectly-perfectly-perfectly aligned if divinity even has a chance of escaping from the muse, and finding it's way into the oven.

This process cannot be rushed.

The outcome is almost always bigger than the components combined, that's why when you hit it, you simply want to scream out................

JACKPOT!

the bread I closed my presentation with yesterday.....it was simply Christ like, and I give thanks to Saint Faustina and all the Saint of Warsaw.

I'm not kidding you, I wrestled with the idea for over a year. I wrestled with the R&D like Jacob wrestled the Angel of Heaven.

But at much thought.....work......prayer......and much help and inspiration from Hennessy.......

The masterpiece arrived....

MUSTARD / DILL PICKLE LOAVES.

Actually this bread will be made in both loaf and bun forms.

First off, the color is awesome......it is canary yellow flexed with sharp green dill pickle chunks.

The flavor is indescribable.

When you take a bite off a slice, it's like angel feathers fluttering in your mouth.

But boy oh boy, there was challenges with this sucker.

To get maximum flavor I needed to be able to infuse as much mustard and pickle into the liquid base content as possible.

But this was so very tricky.

Just thissssssss much extra pickle juice, and the loaf would collapse from the acid shocking the yeast.

And if I put in too much mustard, the loaves/buns wouldn't get the proper oven spring.

Once I got, or thought I got the proper flavor ratios figured out, the next step was to surround these flavors with a body, equipped with an immune system that would let them flourish.

I checked baking books, cooking books, canning books and internet, but in many ways....little Danny was treading in uncharted waters.

My biggest highlight of yesterday was when I was pimping this loaf to one of the top restaurants in North East Mpls.

In the restaurant I ate dinner with my father after not seeing him for over 20 years (and then he died unexpectedly 6 nights later).

As I walked out of the kitchen into the dining area....a beautiful Polish woman who worked there pulled me aside....

She knew me.

She knew I was a Pollack.

And then she asked about the bread, and begged me for each and every detail.

Up until this point, my week had been tumultuous, but now, for this short moment....

Klecko smiled. 

-   the end   -

PART TWO

So here's how this works, Part 2 basically takes us back to the beginning of part one, where Klecko stands in silence preparing to make soup.

This recipe is going to be a test in faith since there were a couple ingredients that I had never worked with before.

The primary curve ball tossed at me was that my sausages were "GooseWurst".

Earlier in my day, while making sales calls I passed by the Pollack bakery that I worked at in December during my vacation.

After spending a few moments talking with ownership and my young baking disciple Frank, I stepped next door into the butcher shop where they have case after case of fresh sausages lined up.

"GooseWurst....what is that? Dude...that's gotta be a little rank huh?"

But the counter guy comped my a taste and to my surprise.....it wasn't heavy-greasy or gamey like geese can be. I was intrigued so along with my Polish Sausage....I got a pound of this GooseWurst.

GOOSEWURST SOUP

1 pound GooseWurst sausage
8 Baby Reds
1 big Onion
2 large Carrot
2 even larger Parsnips
4 ounces Baby Dill
8 ounces sliced Mushrooms
1/2 pint ButterMilk
Pepper
Salt
Garlic
Chicken Stock
Butter

Klecko Directions

The very first thing I do is cut the Baby Reds into small coins and place into boiling water

Nest I place the sausages into the broiler

Place butter into soup pot and place your fine diced Onions, Carrots, Parsnips, Mushrooms, Garlic, Salt and Pepper on top and saute.

While this is going on, your Baby Reds will be done boiling. Dump the "Coins" into a strainer, but reserve that Potato Water and dump the Baby Reds in.

Next add some Chicken Bullion.

Then take your diced GooseWurst and place it into the pot.

Bring to a boil.

Then add your Dill and the 1/2 pint of Buttermilk. This will give your soup some bite. Hennessy says she doesn't like to add Milk with water, she feels as if it cops an "Oil and Water" vibe, but you can stir some Flour into the Buttermilk if you want.

Then you just let the pot simmer. Your ratio of Broth to Buttermilk will be grand enough where you won't have to worry about burning your milk content.

While the soup simmered, I picked up the StarTribune and began reading an article about how the Ballet Chief at the Bolshoi had acid thrown in his face buy a guy wearing a mask.

The piece was accompanied by 2 photos.

The first one showed the guy in his prime. He looked all handsome, kinda like a brunette version of that blond guy with shoulder length hair that tried to kill Bruce Willis in the first Die Hard movie.

The second photo was a skull wrapped up in thick bandages, with eye holes and a mouth hole cut up.

Dude looked like the Mummy or maybe even a little like Creature from the Black Lagoon.

After stirring my soups contents and taking a large gulp off my Rusty Nail, I just shook my head and wondered.....

"What's wrong with people?"

I shave stood at the steps of the Bolshoi Theater on numerous occasions, over the span of several years, however my time in the Motherland coincided with the 6 year restoration of the iconic building.

Klecko has never been what I would classify a "Ballet Guy", but I have seen the NYC Ballet, and I've watched it on TV.......

But just standing in front of that building, was something special, It was taken up by the hype, pageantry, and maybe a Russian ghost or 2..

When I finished reading this ridiculous account the described how flawed human behavior can be, I folded the paper and tossed it into the plastic crate were I store the litter box dressing for my Chihuahua.

Now I shut the burner off -

Dipped a slice of Mustard Dill Pickle bread into the soup -

And now I knew I was nothing more than a pig for lamenting my week.

Danny Klecko has it pretty good and needs to remain thankful.


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