Weekend Activities–pre-Christmas–A reflection

Well I was to prepare for guests on Saturday the 18th. I had no idea who was really coming and we had changed the date to accommodate people’s schedule. What happened in the end was that we had 7 people almost by accident. Not even free food can get people out and decent food at that. I am not a mean person, but all I can say is “you only get a few invitations.”

You already know what happened in the end so now here is the beginning. I had planned this menu.
Appetizers:
Coconut Shrimp (they were not as I wanted but I learned that this kind of thing has to be served hot and cannot be kept hot-the crispness goes away and if you keep it warm in an oven it may get darker as the coconut continues to cook).
7 Layered dip-(I always alter it to be a 5 layer dip (bottom is meat n beans, then sour cream, then lettuce, then tomatoes, then cheese.) I was unsatisfied as I used a smaller container and it was not meaty enough. I also used two types of sour cream and the non fat one had a lot of water—maybe I did not mix the cream before I put it in the dish. Then it felt like too much sour cream so it was like a sour cream dip.
Home made tortilla chips to go with the dip- that was a little pain staking. I did that till about 4pm on the day of the event. It was before that, that I went to the supermarket to get more sour cream, which I should not have bought more of.
My last and I think the best was my EMPANADAS. I was so proud. I made the dough from a recipe I found in a magazine. It used cream cheese. I looked for my recipe from school and that was fruitless. This recipe had a portion of time in the fridge. I left it over night and then I rolled it out and added the fillings. When they baked they were amazing. Little ones would be excellent as finger food at a party, along with little chilly cups.

My dinner consisted of shells stuffed with pumpkin n squash with a pumpkin walnut sauce. Next time I need to go heavier on the fresh parsley, or fresh sage.
The second entrée was home-made meatballs—pork, beef and pepperoni in a basil, garlic tomato sauce. I needed more garlic and basil—maybe a pesto blend with the tomato would have made a stronger taste. I made these two nights before (then froze it, partly so that they stay fresh and also because there was no more room in my fridge).
The third entrée was curry chicken with garbonzo beans and rice. My curry is sad. I like to be able to have the juiciest chicken with a thick spicy curry. I still have a ways to go on that. This I made in a WOK. The wok is effective but I guess I did not cook the meat in really seasoned and fragrant oil–as that would make the difference.
My last entrée was painstakingly made with hot oil and the frying method. I am not sure how healthy it was after that. Cod with fries (potatoes and sweet potatoes). I had to fry that up so that it would be the fish and chips idea. I let the potatoes boil a little too much so it was kind of a mushy mess. I was going for the roasted potatoes look. (par boil then crisp up in the oven)

So I started cooking on Tuesday and stayed up late. Each night I was up till about 1 and that was a few days in a row so my body was retaliating in the day. I was so tired. It was like I had not slept in a week—coffee was not that effective.

My desserts were a pecan pie, some pecan cookies and a cake that I iced as my friend was on her way up to my apartment. That was some crutch work. In the end I ended up taking the pie to work, eating the cookies daily and sending the pie away.

Though 30 -50 people did not show up to my house I think with a little more careful planning and maybe an assistant I can pull it off. So who is ready to test me out!!!!! 🙂 🙂

I think I can handle 30-50 people. There would only be one or two entrees and I would make easier empanadas. I think it is possible to do a pasta, like gnocchi (I would have to make about 600 pieces and make them to order) and then a piece of red meat or plain mushroom sauce and then a stuffed chicken with pecans, apples raisins with roast sweet potatoes or rice and mixed beans. Dessert can be pieces of pie—individual, with individual brownies and then a scoop of gelato or regular ice cream. Lastly, there can be a cheese platter—might be too much unless they plan to linger for a few hours.

Fried anything does not last unless you fry on the spot–man I would have to have some good equipment and a few more hands to do that or pre fry the dish and then fry again–still I have to have a pretty powerful fryer so I can flash the food and send out. This is getting expensive. 😉

Okay, I am done for now.

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Patricias of Tremont

well it was a last minute decision to order out
we had originally wanted to go out
i also sent my sister on a wild ride in the outer boroughs-first to the restaurant then not to the restaurant

all was well except my steak and onions and peppers wrap–that was some of the toughest steak i ever tasted, tough like taffy and rugged like a few days old bread
the 12oz ribeye was juicy and delicious–yummy
the shrimp salad was different and simliar to an item i produced at my restaurant

order the regular steak meal when you can

Ciao and happy red meat eating to you.

Week 11-Externship…See ya later aligators

So we have come to the end of the game show called “this it not your life.” I was ready to leave as soon as I got there in the morning on my last Saturday. I however was kept very busy doing my normal activities.
(make the dressing -had to fix the consistency on that, do the salsa, cut up lots of carrots and cucumbers, helped the chef clean out the fridge only to see that he would be gone on the day of his party the following day (weird).)

I was reflecting on my time at the restaurant and realized a few things or confirmed a few things rather.
1) I like to prep–solitary activity, though I forget that time is not on my side
2) when the meal tickets come out of the machine I get so nervous and I look at tickets a few times–may not be the thing for me
3) when people work over you, literally, try to ignore them, no matter what they say as they only serve to confuse you, throw off your flow and make it harder for you-not sure why people don’t realize that having someone over your back does not make you go faster and in fact can actually make you lose concentration which becomes evident very quickly
3) always have a competent staff–I listened to our chef complain about the guys and all I could think was–tell them about themselves
4) talkers never get work done
5) when you see a guy wolf down 5 fried shrimp that came out of the food for preparation and it was done in jest, then maybe there is a problem
6) trust no one–there are only a handful of people who can actually help you; be nice to all but don’t let someone else influence what you do–
7) don’t overwork yourself-it only makes you tired, groggy, less likely to be on your game and then you cannot function outside of work
8) feeding your staff is mandatory-especially if they work five or more hours and most important if they do eight or more hours–they cannot run on breakfast-even if they ate a lot (they will have the itis most likely after they gouge themselves after starving:) )

Other than that I will take a few new recipes with me to try out and then alter to fit my needs and tastes, and also take the shortcuts with me. One can never have enough ways to become more efficient. I may or many not eat at my restaurant in the future but now I know that I would like to be an integral part of how the kitchen is run, staffed and the interaction with the restaurant staff.

So until my next stint in a kitchen-happy cooking and FYI: ICE Culinary has lots of recreational classes==wine, sweets, breads, meats.

Ciao

Week 10 Externship–one more week to go

Here are the highlights!!

well it definitely was an eventful weekend
-had to make the sauces (tried and failed at the balsamic vinaigrette, made the mango sauce-hope it was okay, made some guava paste, did my salsa and whipped cream) (I bought my hand mixer from home–I am tired of spending a bunch of time trying to make this things with a half broken whisk-WHIPPED CREAM THAT IS) SHHH, DON’T TELL

got yelled at
– I used the wrong plate–it makes such a difference right????, too much mango salsa on the appetizer-this lead to Chef asking if I could follow directions-been a while since I had been called out-maybe since I was 12, off the cuff he says “you will be done soon-THANK GOD”-okay
-then chef cozy’s up to me later on (almost in a bipolar manner)

where the hec is my friend
-on Thursday my usual guy was not there, the lights were dim and the place was cleaned so he must have left a while ago–i am on my own here

restaurant management
-training people, why the hell are they training so many people-it may get busier but really do you need about 6-7 new people
-some new chicks and new dudes-all of a certain ethnicity–just an observation as it has nothing to do with me
-I get it “emergency staff”

who’s ur bi….h
-weird run ins with staff who thing i am their buddy and pal–that is all i will say about it

who am i
-really, some guy needed to point out who he was to me, then said good luck in your pursuits and then fluttered away, exact words, “i was here last night, I am a….’s brother, your boss”
-boy he has no idea that i don’t give a rats a— who he is, dont name drop to me and to point out specifically in a not nice tone,really, really now
(what would make a person say that)

finally made the salads okay–
-well when it is not busy it is better, i hope i fare well my last week so I can leave on a good note
-i was even asked to come in on Sunday to help with two parties–well i could not so oh well

still “cheating” says one employee
–yeah chick, still trying to memorize salad combinations
–why can’t i still look if i have time
–if we were busier then i may have memorized them all by now

One more adventure!!!