Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ugh....It's Crunch-Time baby!!

....whatever. So last night I did a very simple special that was so delicious! I basically just made a gazpacho and mussels over linguine with some garlic herb crostini.

I came to work and started the Gazpacho right away and check to see if we even had mussels in stock to begin with.

For the Gazpacho, I took ten tomatoes, 2 large jalapenos, 1 long "seedless" cucumber, 5 cloves of garlic, 1 bushel of cilantro, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin seed, half of a fennel bulb, the zest and juice of 1 lime, 1/2 cup olive oil or so, and 1 tbsp of sea salt. I removed most of the excess tomato seed and all of tomato cores, the jalapeno seeds and cucumber seeds as well. If you want it a little more spicy you may add a little cayenne. I roughly chopped all these ingredients and added all the the food processor and pureed it all thoroughly.

I then took a hot saute pan and threw in about 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp of garlic minced and 1 tsp shallots minced and cook for 30 seconds or so, until the scent is released from the garlic and shallot mixture. Then I dropped in 12-13 fresh live mussels and splash it just a bit with some white wine. Then I poured 2oz. of fish stock over the mussels and then 6oz. of Gazpacho over that and cooked for 2-3 minutes. I dropped in 8 oz of fresh linguine and tossed thoroughly. I chiffonade(very very thin slicing) some fresh basil for a garnish on top and two pieces of garlic herb crostini. Yummy as hell!!

We had a meeting this morning for the kitchen staff only and it pretty much went as usual covering all the basics, except that my boss(one of them) tells me that it should take no longer than 20-30 minutes to come up with a special....hmmmm, so that would mean I would have to try and guess what me might have in stock. The other day I bought some watermelon from Publix (I was reimbursed for of course) and somebody ate it, or took it home or whatever. It's almost becoming like my own nightmare version of chopped(my favorite cooking show). I get a mystery basket(of sorts) and have between 20-30 minutes to complete the dish. It has to make sense, taste amazing, have a great presentation, and be something that we can easily produce during high volume... I must say, I do love a challenge:-)

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