This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
oN your PLatE By myLEs daNNhausEN Jr.

T e View From the Line

ome restaurant cooks bounce around the kitchen like a jit- terbug, as if the fl oor is made of hot coals and there’s a med- dlesome fl y buzzing around

their head. T ey hop from fl at-top, to fryer, to the prep cooler, then to the grill and back to the prep cooler. T ey shout instructions to prep cooks, fi nd seconds to question a server and double-check a ticket, then toss buns on the grill and cheese on a Philly.

Finally, in a fl urry a casual observer

would never see coming, they’re fl inging a line full of food into baskets and sud- denly eight orders appear in the window.

“Kari, YOU’RE UP!” T en it starts all over with the next

fl urry of tickets.

If those cooks are rattling through an eight-hour salsa dance, Big Mike, the veteran cook at Husby’s in Sister Bay, is


Here’s how I scaled down and modifi ed Big Mike’s restaurant-sized recipe to serve six people at home.


2 cups boiled corned beef brisket, cubed 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing 1/2 cup fl our 1/3 cup chicken soup base (paste-style) 4 tablespoons butter 6 slices dark rye bread 1 cup Door County Kraut 1 yellow onion, diced 3 stalks celery, chopped 6 slices Swiss cheese 3 pints heavy cream 1 pint milk Lawry’s seasoned salt White pepper

68 Door County Living Winter 2011/2012

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the corned beef brisket, simmering for 2 to 3 hours with seasonings. You can also use pre- cooked corned beef. Cut into small cubes. Once the brisket is cooked, start making the rest of the soup. Make your roux by whisking fl our into 2 table- spoons of melted butter on low heat. Set aside.

Sauté the onions and cel- ery with 1 tablespoon of butter until the onions are translucent. Season with a little Lawry’s seasoned salt and white pepper.

Chop the sauerkraut, then brown it in a frying pan on medium-high heat for 3 minutes.

While the onions and celery sauté, start the base of the soup by melting 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pot on low heat. Once it melts, add the heavy cream, milk, chicken base, and Thousand Island dressing, mixing with a whisk.

performing a patient waltz. Somehow it works just the same, as decades of expe- rience behind the line have created ef- fi ciency where he lacks fl urry.

Mike Meyer learned to cook at the foot

of his mother at his parents’ tavern, the Crowbar in Mishicot, Wisconsin. He was 10 and helped set baskets and soon was throwing burgers on the grill. But it was his older brother Doug, a culinary school graduate, who became his kitchen mentor.

“Anytime there’s something I don’t

know,” Mike says, “I call him up, and he’s always got the answer for me.”

T ere’s a lot to be said for fi ne din-

ing, for an exotic preparation and an eccentric server. But even in an age of health-crazed eating (of which I’m an enthusiastic participant) the lure of greasy comfort food remains irresistible.

T ere are few better to satisfy that craving than Big Mike. He’s worked just

about every kind of kitchen you can fi nd – fi ne dining, supper clubs, diners, even his own bar for a stretch. But at Husby’s, behind the tavern line, he seems most at home.

His red hair and scraggly goatee can

make him look intimidating, a trait all good cooks seem to develop – some by appearance, others by tempera- ment. When he gets control of the ra- dio (and when your name is Big Mike, that’s more often than not), he prefers to grill to the sounds of Rush, Metallica or Ozzy Osbourne (he once had a dog named after Ozzy).

But Big Mike is an approachable sort, especially if talk turns to cooking, grow- ing herbs, or good beer.

“I’m always picking up cookbooks,”

he says. “I love those little ones you get at the grocery store, too. You can always fi nd ideas.”

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84