Dicing Garlic for Chili

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,700
    Firehouse chef Tom Papoutsis demonstrates how to chop garlic for the chili.

    Tom Papoutsis

    Tom Papoutsis is a “Firehouse Chef” that currently holds the rank of Lieutenant with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Tom’s experience in the Fire Service spans over 29 years, 19 of which have been with Fairfax County. The bulk of his firehouse culinary expertise has been practiced during his tenure there. He was a national finalist in the 2004 Tabasco Cook & Ladder Competition finishing in the top 10 of the nations Firehouse Chef’s, and traveled to New York City to compete in a cook off with his peers. He has also been placed on the “charity” auction block several times to prepare meals for the highest bidder. Tom likes to specialize in Italian and Greek cuisine being of the same heritage, but also enjoys preparing Asian and of course “Good Ole American” foods as well. He concentrates on entrées but also has a few hors d’oeuvres and dessert specialties as well, such as his versions of Bruschetta and Amaretto Cheesecake. For the past year he has been studying the practice of making homemade Italian deli meats and sausages. Tom’s motto: “It’s just cooking, not rocket science, take a chance…..you might like it!” Residing in Chambersburg, PA with his wife JoAnn, twins Jonathan & Katie and “Buddy” their Golden Retriever. Tom enjoys cycling, hunting, fishing, woodworking, raising his children and helping form today’s youth while volunteering with son Jonathan’s Cub Scout pack. Tom can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

    Lieutenant Tom Papoutsis: Garlic, we are going to need about probably six-eight cloves of garlic, but what I am going to do, I am going to take my garlic, I do a couple cloves here for you, and what I do is I basically take, strip that down. There are two ways you can do this, you can hit it, you can take this thing; you just smack it like that, and this peel, you can see how the garlic, if its good garlic it just falls apart, the peel comes right off.

    If you dont want to do that, you want to take the time to peel it. You can take the time to peel it. In the firehouse, we have to do things quickly. So guess what? Give it a whack that skin will come right off of there, just like that, there we go, and the other thing its going to do, its going to get you ready, here we go. Now, we chop this, just cut it up. Whether its big chunks, little chunks, its all going to get sauted, its going to get saut and all these ingredients are going to basically break down, because we are going to cook this chili for a while here today.

    Theres our garlic, we are good to go.