Posts tagged ‘antipasto’

Oh, Snap!: Bonding

I worked station 3 tonight. It was really weird to be scheduled for 5pm, but hey, I’m not complaining. I mean, aside from my finding out that we were out of cheddar for the cheese plate. And that I didn’t have much in the way of salumi and ended up needing to slice more during service… but again. Not complaining. (And no one ordered foie tonight. Definitely happy about that!)

After work, Katie asked me if I wanted to go to Ian’s, to which I said, “Hell yes!”

Ian’s is this awesome pizza place Katie took me to one night after we didn’t feel like parting ways yet when she dropped me off at the train station. I’m sure they sell “normal” pizza when I’m not around, like plain ole cheese and sausage and stuff, but when she took me there, they had pizza with toppings like “lasagna”, “philly cheese steak”, and “cheese tortellini”. How can you NOT like a place like this?!

I had the chicken fried steak and chicken parmesan. Katie had the mac ‘n’ cheese and barbecue chicken. We split each of them and shared.

Of course, we didn’t just go to Ian’s to snack on pizza. We talked about work and shared our work stories. Katie’s definitely hands-down one of my favorite co-workers. Since she’s still a fledgling line cook, I definitely try to talk with her and see how she’s doing, or answer her questions as best I can, and coach her with what little experience I’ve earned. Or we commiserate about what we don’t like, or who we don’t like, or the night in general. Ahhh, super fun times to really connect with somebody! And it always feels like it’s never long enough!

I definitely look forward to bonding with Katie again.


Oh, also found out from Katie that people really liked the antipasto I made! YEAH! *fist pump*
Unfortunately, when I came into work today, I saw that someone had cooked farro and broccoli and added it to my antipasto, so it it looked like Franken-pasto =_= Geez, original much?
Now I’m even more determined to make another tasty antipasto the next time I open!

Katie also told me that Koren said some good words about my push last week with the shoulders and squid. Aww, yay! *^_^*

Monday Opener

It was a bit of a surprise when I saw that I was scheduled to open on Monday since KO has been the Monday opener lately (and I’m usually on Station 3). That was cool though; I had the next day off. Yay!

The point of openers is to get prep (especially major prep) done for the day’s service. After setting up the line, my next order of operations was to start cooking anything that needed cooking. I was at a bit of a loss for a little while though, because I’d checked the prep list the night before and a lot of stuff was crossed off. I’m so hardwired on cooking major prep items first that when there aren’t really any around, I’m thrown out of sync.

In retrospect I could’ve gotten ahead on certain things, like spiced carrots (for the shoulder) or making the Amatriciana sauce, but I was too busy having my head up my ass at the time to remember them. And later on when they did come to mind, a little bit of laziness in the form of, “Eh, they have enough to last for the night. It can be made tomorrow” came into play >_< I shouldn't think like this from now on ._.

One of the big ticket items I did make that day was the pasta. We've changed the pappardelle back to chitarra. My prep cook's heart is a little saddened at this change because I love making pappardelle (I'll have to have a photo entry to that sometime soon) but as a line cook, I'm happier because it was a bit of a pain to cook. In the past there was a pot of water to cook the pappardelle to order, which I'm sure was SO fun :/ And then we started par-cooking the pasta sheets but even after oiling them they stuck together. So the chitarra is really better, prep-wise and presentation-wise. After rolling sheets, you just run them through the cutter attachment. And on the pick-up, there's less of a worry of overcooking the pasta and having it fall apart on you when you're plating it out.
Anyway, I rolled and cooked all the pasta. There were two fish tubs worth, so hopefully I saved Tuesday's opener some hassle.

Speaking of pappardelle, since it was no longer on the menu, the remaining bit was consigned to the comida corner. And when I open, I try to make sure I feed Jorge, our butcher (and my best friend at avec haha), and Manuel, our day-cleaner/dishwasher. These two are definitely among avec's hardest working staff and I want to see them taken care of. When I was a kitchen slave prep cook and worked under an opener, I really appreciated it when I was fed because avec doesn’t do staff meals. On top of that, Jorge comes in to work at 4am and Manny’s in at 9am, and aside from coffee, it’s not like they can make their own food. Lunch break? Yeah right. So I’ve made it one of my priorities to make sure to feed them because I remember what it’s like to not be fed and be hungry for hours. And the sting of indignation of being hungry and then seeing a certain opener eating something he made for himself.

Anyway, I cooked off the leftover pappardelle in a tomato cream sauce with kale/spinach, chopped up chorizo (from some leftover dates), and a small handful of the menu’s “ravioli filling” (pork neck meat with grated pecorino).

Katie (who was on 1 that night) came in early and had some, saying it was good. Yay! Jorge liked it. He had two helpings. Double yay!

As opener, I also made the daily antipasto that day. Other line cooks probably don’t think much of it, but I thought it was another big step in my line cook life, having made up an antipasto of my own. The last time I opened and had to make an antipasto, I copped out and remade some more of the antipasto from the night before, which was marinated kale with roasted beets. Freakin’ delicious and definitely sells, but a cop-out nonetheless. This time, the previous night’s antipasto was farro, white aspargus, roasted broccoli, and pomegranate seeds. Delicious and all, but I knew that it was a remade batch from Saturday and I was NOT going to sell the same kind of antipasto for the fourth day in a row.

Tada! It’s red quinoa with shaved fennel, roasted butternut squash and carrots, parsley, with sherry vinaigrette. I hope no one hated it, and I hope at least a good amount of it sold. (You can never tell with certain antipasti.)

Anyway, that was my opener. Who knows when the next one will be, but hopefully it will be relatively stress-free and I’ll make more awesome comida!

Oh yeah, I also wanted to report that on Saturday my Wusthof knife came back! How it happened, no one knows, but Elliot found it in his box. Yay! Ironically, when I went to make pasta, my cheap Edward Don knife that I use for pasta production went missing :/