RUMFORD – “A cook in the house with a family has to be able to look inside the refrigerator and see a meal.”

So says John Glaus, who, thanks to his extensive culinary education, is able to see some wonderful gourmet meals in his refrigerator and pantry.

From 1973-1977, he attended L’ecôle Hôtelière de la Société Suisse des Hôteliers, one of the world’s best known and oldest hotel schools located in Lausanne, Switzerland. His hotel administration course was a three-year intensive training in the classroom, on the campus and beyond. His second year of school was devoted to cuisine – six months tending the pots and pans, learning how to prepare classic French cuisine.

“After completing the kitchen work, which also meant preparing the meals for the whole school of approximately 300, there was also an apprenticeship to a Swiss hotel or Swiss restaurant,” Glaus said.

When Glaus returned to the United States in 1977 after nearly 20 years in Switzerland and England, his first job was as an assistant restaurant manager at The New Leaf in the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Philadelphia.

Chef Frank Wisnowski had his hands already full with banquets and other responsibilities, Glaus related. “They found a young and very talented young man (born in 1959) from Massachusetts to help design, implement and execute the menu. This young chef was Emeril Lagasse.”

Philip Georgas, the general manager, wanted the signature appetizer to be a pâté de saumon en croûte (salmon pâté) and he wanted it displayed on a cart in the dining room, but he also insisted on having the pate flanked with two whole salmons.

“In today’s local supermarkets, it is common to see whole salmons; however, back in the ’70s, you could find salmons easily enough but the heads were scrapped. So Emeril and I set off on an adventure though most of Philly and Camden (N.J.) docks to find whole salmons. We did find them, but that was an adventure,” Glaus recalled.

Glaus and his wife, Prudence Schofield, owned the Linnell Motel & Rest Inn Conference Center in Rumford from 1988-2003.

His favorite dishes to prepare are “one plate wonders”: risottos, stews, roasts and especially vegetables. He leaves the baking to his wife. “Pru bakes stollen at Christmas. She does a great dough from scratch and wonderful things come out of her oven,” raved Glaus.

Despite all his culinary training, Glaus would still like to learn more about the techniques used in preparing Chinese food. “The Chinese are culinary masters who truly possess the mastery of using heat correctly,” he said.

Roast loin of pork with garlic and sage, wrapped in bacon

Ingredients:

2 1-pound packages of bacon at room temperature. Freeze what you don’t use.

Minced garlic, fresh or from a jar

Absolutely fresh sage leaves

Loin of pork (6 to 8 pounds)

Ground pepper

No salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover roasting pan with aluminum foil (to avoid extra cleanup). Lay out strips of bacon down the length of the pan. Make sure the strips touch one another. Crush garlic if fresh or spread garlic down the middle of the bacon. Place fresh sage leaves on top of garlic and season to taste with ground pepper. Place top of loin over garlic and sage and begin to wrap each bacon end onto the loin. Complete process down entire loin. When complete, roll loin toward you so that the top is up. Place loin in middle of oven. Have an aluminum tent ready to place over roast. Bacon should be cooked but not burned. When internal temperature at the middle of loin reaches 170F, remove from oven (about 1 hour and 30 minutes). Rest loin for 10 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise to 180F. Cut half-inch slices. Serve two or three per guest.

Serve with red potatoes that have roasted with the pork, whole or halved. They will be delicious. Crisp green beans round out the plate. This dinner can be downsized proportionally to 4 to 2 pounds of meat.

Apple pie chicken

A member of Glaus’ staff once called him the chef of “snip and pour.” In this case, it is open can and blend.

Ingredients:

4 raw chicken breasts or tenders equivalent

1 21-ounce can apple pie filling

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

For garnish:

1 Granny Smith apple

¼ cup any dried fruit (cranberries, raisins)

1 pinch cinnamon

Sliver of butter

Utensils:

Roasting pan, sauté pan, aluminum foil and meat thermometer

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking dish with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup). Place breasts or tenders in baking dish. In blender add apple pie filling and evaporated milk. Liquefy. Pour over chicken and place in oven. While the chicken is baking, make the garish by quartering the apple and slicing into thin segments. Heat pan with butter. Place in apple slices and allow to brown on each side. Add dried fruits. Heat thoroughly. Remove chicken from oven when internal temperature has reached 180F and the sauce is bubbling (about 35 minutes).

To serve, place on serving dish or on individual plates. Garnish. This entrée would be nice with white rice and some fall root vegetables.

Fresh medley of summer berries with star anis syrup

Star anis is the key flavor to this light and delectable summer dessert. Local strawberries, blueberries and blackberries can be washed and kept in the refrigerator before serving. The syrup should be served at room temperature so that the full intensity of the licorice flavor comes through.

Ingredients:

1 cup water

10-15 star anis pods

2 cups sugar or Splenda

2 pints mixed berries (strawberries and blueberries)

Method:

Bring the water to a boil; add sugar. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Add star anis pods; allow to cool. Syrup should be served at room temperature, so bring it out of the fridge at the beginning of your meal prep time. Any extra syrup can be stored in the fridge.

To serve, place the medley of berries in individual bowls and drizzle syrup over them. Garnish with the star anis.

NOTE: Prepare the syrup at least one day before use. Store in a tightly sealed glass or plastic container in the fridge. Leave the star anis in the container. It only gets better. When all the syrup is gone, you can suck on the star anis like candy.



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