Week 7- Sandwich

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This week Stacy and I were on the Sandwich station. The sandwiches we responsible were Pork Cemitas, Bratwurst, Fried Chicken Sliders, and Fried Green Tomato and Shrimp. I decided to be responsible for the Sliders and the Green Tomato sandwich since they both came off the fryer. This also meant I was responsible for the Sweet Potato chips that come as a side to the majority of the dishes that come out of the kitchen. (These photos are from the food show, again. I never seem to remember/have time to take photos this quarter.)

The sliders are served with AI Bacon, pepperjack cheese, sliced avocado, and a lemon remoulade with a side of pickled green tomatoes.

The Green Tomato Sandwich is served with a red pepper syrup, goat cheese spread, and smoked shrimp.

Monday was prep day, and we, once again, managed to get everything done that needed to be done in a timely and organized fashion. We always decide the week before what two dishes we will be in charge of so we can both make lists of what we need to get accomplished. I got the green tomatoes sliced, breaded, and frozen so they just had to be pulled out and into the fryer for service. All the spreads and garnishes were prepared. The only thing I needed to do Tuesday was breading the chicken.

Service went smoothly. I sliced the sweet potato chips a little too thin, but it wasn't the biggest deal in the world. At least they weren't overcooked like the time Marc and I visited the restaurant to eat. Chef CJ came through and tried my chicken and said *in a surprised voice, might I add* "This is really good!" It was definitely seasoned well (season the flour, eggs, AND panko, people!) and juicy due to NOT overcooking. Not rocket science, but I am happy that this is a skill I have learned.

The most annoying part of this station is breakdown because part of that includes cleaning/emptying the fryer. Once you do this, you smell and feel like used fryer oil. Sexy. (I think someone should invent a sarcasm font. It is desperately needed.)

Chef decided that this week our stations will be chosen by luck of the draw...Stacy and I both got "unlucky" and are serving.......A-freaking-gain. Ah well. Now I am REALLY glad I didn't throw out my shirt, tie, and bistro apron.

Week 6- Garde Manger

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This week Stacy and I were on the Garde Manger station. We had four dishes- A Lebanese Shrimp Salad, BLT Caesar, Duck Confit, and a Sous Vide Chicken Salad. Stacy took the Duck and Chicken salads, and I took the Shrimp and BLT salads. This worked out well because you, by now, should realize how I feel about raw poultry, and Stacy really didn't want to do the emulsions which I have really come to enjoy.

The Lebanese Shrimp salad is served on grilled pita bread, with Za'atar spiced shrimp, lebneh cheese balls, pickled red onions, and a lemon parsley vinaigrette.

The BLT Caesar is served with AI Pancetta, roasted tomatoes, fresh croutons, shaved parmesan (this week it was grated because we didn't have a block to shave), and of COURSE, Caesar dressing.
(This is the photo from the food show day. I didn't get a photo of one of mine)

Prepping is easy peasy for the most part. Stacy and I are both on the same page for the most part when it comes to organization and cleanliness, and on prep days we get to have some tunes playing overhead. This class has a good camaraderie, and many of us are about to graduate. We all are comfortable with each other and get pretty silly together.

Tuesday was service. I love how much I have picked up working in the industry as far as setting up stations for service. It's pretty much second nature now, which is comforting to feel. The one comment we got from the dining room was that the pita bread under the shrimp salad was hard to eat and a little impractical. Wednesday when I came in, Chef Thompson approached me and we said, almost together, that we should cut the pita into wedges. "You knooooow, Heather...You're alright." That is Chef's classic praise in this lab when someone has done something right or thought ahead.

Next week, Stacy and I will be on sandwich station. We will see how THAT goes, since they seemed to be in the weeds the whole class this week.

Weeks 4+5- Saute

Thursday, November 3, 2011

(This is my plating. The other photos are the ones from the food show on week 1. I didn't get the time to take a photo of my veloute this week.)

The last two weeks I was on the saute station for A La Carte. The four dishes that come off saute are:

a Shell Bowl (mussels, clams, and scallops)

Short Ribs and Chili Mac with Potlikker Greens (yes, that's spelled correctly)

A Mushroom Veloute (soup)

and Seared Scallops with Spaghetti Squash. There are two of us on the station, so we each are responsible for two dishes. I was in charge of the Veloute and the Scallops.

Prior to the first Monday, I made a list of everything that needed done and the time each would take. I also made a list of mise en place to gather. This ended up being a huge time saver, as well as helping us stay organized.

Mondays we prep everything for service. I made the Veloute, roasted the squash, and prepped all the items for the Bouillabaisse for the shell bowl. Stacy seared and braised the short ribs and prepared it's sauce, cooked the pasta, and cleaned her shellfish. The Roundswoman prepared the Bechamel for the Chili Mac.

Tuesday we have an hour prior to service to get everything ready. I, again, had made a list of everything left to do and the order we needed to do it in (IE, prepare crackers asap!), the utensils and pots I would need for service, and the plates we were going to need to gather. I realized how much I have actually learned working the line at Nippers when it came time to set up the station and get ready for service. I immediately set up a bain marie on the stove to hold all our hot items that are not prepared a la minute. I set up a sani bucket for my utensils in addition to the one for the station. I gathered our plates and put them in an oven at 175F to keep warm for service. I gathered all the pots and utensils I would need during service. Chef came by and began to tell us several items on that list we needed, and everything was already done.

We warmed our items that were prepared the day before, and I made the crackers and a buerre blanc, as well as thawed and panned the scallops. We set up the cold station and it was time for service!

Service is only two hours long and was over before I knew it. I stayed calm and my scallops came out so wonderfully. It was actually kind of fun working saute, and I enjoyed the experience. Our homework was to prepare a list of what we could do better to improve the flow of service.

The second week on the station was a little...well, absent. This quarter has just been a terrible quarter for being sick and the kids being sick. Such is life, I suppose, but I still felt guilty about leaving Stacy to manage a couple of the days with who(m?)ever Chef decided to throw on the station with her.

Next week we will be moving to Garde Manger!

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