Well actually it was not the night tonight. Or I guess I should say last night. Anyways, work was slow and just plain boring. I don't mind it being slow from 4-5pm, or even 6(in some cases) because it gives me time work on my special for the night. I'm scheduled in at 4 in need to have my specail prepped and ready to go by 5:30. Not easy when I have to stop every other minute to cook orders while other people are just kinda off in their own little world. Speaking of which, I featured a porkchop special for tonight. I took one of our 11/2 inch cut pork chops and grilled it medium and served with a delicious stuffing, next to a smile pile of deliciously seasoned carrot slices.
I sliced the carrots at a bias (about 1/4" thick slices) Without blanching them first(which is to cook them slightly in boiling water and then cool down in a bath of ice water), I mixed some morrocan style spices(cumin, curry, lemon, thyme, coriander), minced garlic,white wine, and finished(of heat) with some tarragon butter. The carrots came out with a nice crisp to them while being coated with a delicious sauce that formed with the combination of the ingredients.
The stuffing included fresh ciabatta and sourdough bread diced evenly(1/2" x 1/2" pieces), tossed in olive oil and baked in the oven, fennel bulb diced, fresh sliced cremini mushrooms, crumbled sausage minced, onion diced and dried cranberries,fresh sage, chicken broth, lime juist and lime zest, fresh thyme. I wanted apple in it as well but we do not ever have any apples in the cooler....don't ask me why? Amazing.
Anyways, I threw into a large saute pan, about 1/2 cup of olive oil(and got it nice and hot!) While that was happening, I was baking my croutons in the oven. I then threw in the hot pan, the diced fennel, and diced onion and deglazed the pan with white wine. Then I tossed in my sausage, sage, thyme, lime juice and zest, dried cranberries, salt and fresh black pepper and periodically deglazed pan with 1 cup chicken stock and white wine between(about ten minutes).
In a 4 quart mixing bowl I slowly stirred in together the toasted sourdough and caibatta croutons with the other 2 cups of chicken broth. Then I mixed that with the contents of my saute pan. I mixed it well and covered with plastic and aluminum foil and baked in oven for 30 minutes at 375.
While the stuffing was baking, I gathered up some marsala and cabernet(2 cups each), 2 cups of veal stock, 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, 3 bay leaves, about a half cup of minced shallots, 1/2 cup of sliced scallion, 1/2 cup of fresh cremini mushrooms, about 1/2 cup fresh diced carrot, 1 tbsp. mixed peppercorns, 1/2 cup of kalamata olives minced, a pinch of kosher salt and a lb. of butter(just in case)lol
I took a large saute pan(4 quart) and got about 1/2 cup of olive oil real hot. I dropped into the pan, the minced shallots and diced carrots until liquid from the shallots and carrots is au sec(almost gone). Then I deglazed the pan with about a cup of the cabernet and a cup of marsala and added in the cremini mushrooms and cooked for 1 minute and added remaining wine. Then I added the scallions, bay leaves, rosemary, peppercorns, kalamata olives and reduced the liquid by half. I then strained out the juice completely and returned it to the pan. Then I brought the liquid to a boil and added in the veal stock and reduced liquid by 1/4. I then removed it from the heat and slowly over the next few minutes I stirred in 1"x1" cubes of unsalted butter (about 1 1/2 stick) until the sauce thickened.
I then took a 2 1/2" diameter by 2" deep ring mold and packed it with the stuffing. I placed this on a square plate in one corner and slid the ring up and off. I then placed the center cut pork chop up against the stuffing mold so that the end of the bone stopped directly over the top center of the mold. I then placed my carrots off to the one side in another corner, drizzling leftover sauce onto them.
As it turns out, my olive/wine sauce was a little too thin, so I returned it to the pan and added some dark roux I had made before jazz fest (originally used for my gumbo) and brought it to the perfect consistancy. I used this sauce to drizzle over the top of the pork chop as well as the stuffing underneath.
Ugh...didn't sell a single one. Now yes, tonight was pretty dead but I have never had a special, (especially a delicious one like this!) not sell a single order before so I was a bit upset. Then again, what ever. Try again tomorrow I suppose.
I got a half-ass plan for an indian spiced polenta crusted mahi for tommorow. Perhaps I will use the talapia for that, with a fresh pineapple jalapeno salsa and a citrus ginger beurre blanc drizzled across the plate. Would I use the grande cous cous or basmati(rice)? Not sure yet. Not even sure if I want to do it that way. I may also, instead, make a spicy gazpacho, similar to chefs a couple months ago, and make fish tacos infusing some mexican flavors into the talapia. If I do this I may try to serve it as deconstructed fish tacos, leaving room for crisp and clean presentation. You know, that high dollar shit!haha Goodnight!