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Old 04-06-2009, 02:50 PM   #31
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Where do you find employment for R&D in the food industry?

Just wondering where to go for employment in this field if you're not a scientist; just a chef...I live in the NYC area
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:00 PM   #32
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exec, sous, hotel/restaurant management, apprentice, personal Chef, food stylist..... being located in the city gives you a plethora of options. have you gone to school? career services offers advice. i'm not a scientist; that's why i love cooking & not baking. :)

i'm currently a culinary student & struggle deciding where to continue after classes. i want to apprentice after externship, then be an exec. sous Chef.
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:42 PM   #33
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could red potatoes cooked and mashed be used as an alternative binder in place of egg and crumbs? my mom used to make cod cakes with leftover mashed potatoes.
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:47 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmofet View Post
could red potatoes cooked and mashed be used as an alternative binder in place of egg and crumbs? my mom used to make cod cakes with leftover mashed potatoes.
it depends on your dish.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:34 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by AllenOK View Post
So, a few days ago, my Exec. Chef is discussing with me what he wants to run for the specials this week, and that he wants to start developing a recipe for Crab Cakes WITH NO BINDING ingredients, if such a thing is possible. He gives me a few pointers, and tells me to play around with the concept.

Also, he mentioned that we aren't going to be buying the boxed Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild rice mix, but making it FROM SCRATCH. We have both kinds of rice, just need the seasonings.

Well, I got to playing around with crab cakes the past couple of days, since they're on the special menu right now. Now, the recipe I'm using has panko bread crumbs and egg for a binder. However, there's just as much crab as binder. They taste great.

Well, I took some of the lump crabmeat, sauteed some onions, added some seasoning, and VERY GENTLY mixed those together by hand. I shaped them up into patties, and froze them. That was yesterday.

Today, I did the same thing, but added a little egg white. That mix was shaped into patties and frozen.

The first mix, without any binding ingredients at all, was floured, egg-washed, and dredged in panko. I seared it off in a little clarified butter on one side, flipped, and into a 500 degree F oven for 6 minutes. Once cooked, I let the cakes rest a minute or two before we taste-tested them.

The second batch, with egg white, was also cooked in the same fashion.

RESULTS: Both types actually held together. I was expecting the one with egg white to hold together, but the first, without any binding, surprised me. The texture was very good, with the second version being a little tighter, due to the egg white. The Food & Beverage manager, GM, and my Sous Chef all tried them, and liked them.

I'll have to do a third run, probably with both kinds, to show the Chef.

This is all in preparation for a major function next weekend (the club I work for is celebrating it's 100th b-day).

I did a little looking around on the internet, and found a copycat recipe for Uncle Ben's. Since it was dead-slow, and I really don't like going to the boss without testing a recipe first, I did a trail-run on the recipe, verbatim from the website, with one minor change. The "original" recipe calls for 1 T chicken bouillon powder. We actually do have some, but it tastes like complete junk. I can't stand using that (one of these days, I may chuck it in the trash, if I can get away with it). I substituted some chicken base instead of the bouillon powder.

Results: Pretty darn close. The "original" recipe also called for 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, which I knew was going to be to much, and it was. 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon would probably be plenty. I'll have the Chef taste the stuff I made, probably tomorrow.

Whenever I'm doing a project like this, I always keep a couple copies of the recipe I doing, the original, and my "working" version, which usually gets updated each time. Sometimes, I've even been known to keep a log of what changes I've made each time, and the results.

Anybody else got any interesting stories about R&D for recipes?
I wish I had an interesting story, but I don't. I totally enjoyed your post though.
When I visited Baltimore, yes, they pride themselves on binderless (a selling point) crab cakes. And yes they are wonderful!
I'm reading your stuff, this has turned out to be a wonderful fact filled post. Thanks, ~Bliss
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:06 PM   #36
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Red face Crabcakes

I guess to me the greater "sin" is freezing the crabmeat. I'd much prefer a light binder and no freezing. Freezing affects the character of the crabmeat much more so than, say, an egg binder. Just MHO.
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:29 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmofet View Post
could red potatoes cooked and mashed be used as an alternative binder in place of egg and crumbs? my mom used to make cod cakes with leftover mashed potatoes.
surely you could use mashed potatoes as a binder/filler. But it definitely dilutes the crab flavor. So it depends upon what kind of product you are making, and for what purpose. Most folks I know, for home use will add some kind of filler to make the crab go further. Many restaurants want their crab cakes to be 90+ % crabmeat -- and they charge accordingly for them.

There is not a wrong or a right way in this case. It all depends upon your goal.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:36 PM   #38
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I'm never quite sure why people want to make "binder-less" crab cakes, or meat loaf, or whatever. Crab cakes (tuna, salmon, etc) cakes without any binder at all have a tendency to become bits of meat falling apart at the touch. The egg and the starch are what hold it all together, and make the seasonings stick to the meat. If you want flakes of crab, go for it. If you want cakes, by the very definition of cake ... well, you look it up. Yes, many of us grew up poor and we think of putting more bread/cracker/corn crumbs in it, with egg, to stretch it and make more food for more people. When I make "cakes" or meat loaves, or anything similar, my husband and friends actually like it better when I put a bit MORE bread crumbs and egg in it.
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