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Thursday, March 21, 2013

On the Road with Danny Klecko (Kummelweck Recipe)

As of late, Klecko has been out on the road.

When I first entered this field 1000 years ago, i never would have envisioned myself being a sales rep.

During my career....standing in front of the oven, I would cringe every time a "suit" entered our shop.

Most people, in most kitchens hate sales reps, many times sales people have 2 obvious traits attached to them that diminishes their value amongst the eyes of 20 to 30 year old set that make up the majority of most American kitchen workers.

#1 - They couldn't cut it in the show, and had to take an easier way out.

#2 - They are old.

I never figured I'd fit into either category, but funny.....no matter how strong of a skill set one has....sooner or later option #2 will catch up.

I'm not saying I'm totally old....

Just kinda.

So a couple of weeks ago, I'm out on a call.

In my field, you are either pimping products to potential accounts, or rectifying some kinda problem with an existing account.

I was rectifying.

There I am, on the "tough" side of town, at a little ethnic joint. The woman who runs this place kinda-kinda has a Klecko-Crush right?

Within moment's, our problem is resolved, so now I tell her to make me something for lunch.

As Klecko sits down, his girlfriend asks....

"What do you want to eat?"

Whenever I am a guest at a restaurant, I always give the same answer......

"Whatever the pretty people are eating."

She laughs, and then smiles....."Turn around Klecko and say "Hi" to Shelly, she is my U.S. Food's Rep, she brings me almost everything we use here...but I told her that bread is hands off."

Klecko turns around, smiles at Shelly and within seconds the 2 of us are running down verbal check lists, comparing notes on sales,chefs and how lonely it can be on the road.

My unexpected lunch mate's plate was clean, but she said she had 30-40 minutes before her next drop-by. She was going to a deli, and she asked me if I had any hints on how she could kiss up.

I told her that when Klecko kisses a**....he always likes to do so inadvertently.

"Here's what I would do if I were you" I said "Look around to see if you can find a hamburger sized roll topped with caraway seeds and kosher salt. alot of deli's carry these, they're called Kummulweck rolls (pronounced Kimmelweck).
If they don't have them, ask why not? They are totally New York...west side I think. but if they do have them, chances are the bun will be topped with just the salt and caraway...but not the rye. People in Minnesota fear rye. A true-blue Kummelweck roll is topped with, and must contain all three ingredients in equal parts. If the rye isn't incorporated....the baker is a total poser.
Then, after you say that....change the subject before they corner you with 50 things you don't know."

We both laughed,

So now Shelly and I sat there in silence, the lunch rush had passed, but if life has forced you to "Go Kerouac" and exist alone on the road, sometimes it's nice to sit in silence with another like minded person who understands your plight.

Now the woman from the restaurant comes out with a feast on a tray (and I should report....she comped me....Saints be with her) and as she began to describe each course, I interrupted and told her how I went to pre-op to talk with the doctor about my surgery.

I have done this before, you go in for 5 minutes, answer 5 questions and then you are gone...right?

Well today they gave me this Harry Potter looking intern who made me take an EKG and then said since my father died of a heart attack, I should go to the "heart stress center" and shell out a wad of cash just to have the Doc tell me that Klecko runs like a top.

Dude....my old man died from blunt trauma in a car wreck, where are you getting your P.O.V???

So as I began shoveling in my lunch, the female restaurant owner in sitting all close like and says how sorry she is......and in true Klecko form, I did a good imitation of myself by alerting her.......

"I don't give a rats a** about being healed....I was just looking forward to the pain meds."

Girlfriend chuckles, resumes her duties, and about 9 hours later...when my meal was finally 1/2 finished, I got up to pay the bill, and  Girlio crumpled up the check and motioned for me to extend my arm, placing my palm upward.

I did.

I thought she was going to give me 5.......but she didn't.

Instead she slipped some percocets in my hand and sent me away with the knowledge that I had at least one friend who was willing to take the pain away.

Hah.....this Hospitality Industry never ceases to amaze me.

Nuff said..........................................................................

Wanna know how to make Kummelweck?

This is the King Arthur version, in my opinion...this is spot on.

Enjoy.

KUMMELWECK



Dough
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups Sir Lancelot Hi-Gluten Flour
1 1/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour
2 tablespoons Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons potato flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 egg

Topping
equal parts caraway seeds, coarse salt and pumpernickel flour, mixed until well-combined
In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients except the topping, mixing to form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough, by hand or by machine, for 10 minutes. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes, then knead for an additional 10 minutes, till it's smooth and supple. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and allow it to rest for 1 hour; it'll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk. You may also use your bread machine, set on the Dough cycle, to prepare the dough to this point.

Divide the dough into six 3 1/4-ounce pieces, and shape them into smooth, slightly flattened rounds. Place them on a baking sheet, covered, to rise for 1 hour, or until they're good and puffy.

Brush the rolls with a bit of melted butter, and sprinkle lightly* with the topping. Bake them in a preheated 425°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack; they're best served the same day they're made, though they do reheat nicely. Yield: Six large rolls.

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