Thursday, October 18, 2007

Spending more time in the kitchen

Well, it's been a long hard week. Today was a slammed day which is always good in the restaurant business. We don't have but about 60 seats so we're not a huge restaruant. Since we're small, when we get started before 11am we know that it's going to be a big day. We are training someone new in the kitchen and to her credit she did a great job, worked hard and tried harder. It's always an interesting process. Even people who know how to cook, can make anything out of almost nothing don't just know how to work a line. If you've been in the kitchen, you know what I mean when I say that its easy to get in the weeds and loose pace. Today was a prime example of that in the weeds feeling. It's overwhelming if you're new in the kitchen. It's worse if you've been doing it and can't get it under control.
In my past professional life I did hospice as a social worker. Every day I was faced with issues surrounding a family member's dying process. I was "the girl who came to talk" about dying. You see, with this as your first professional experience, it's pretty hard to get worked up about 8 tickets sitting in line waiting to be completed. Oh I freak out. But I'm lucky in that I don't freak out then. Dad came out front today and said "Leslie, go make a loop and pull some weeds," and 3 minutes later we were done. I'm a chronic list maker. I've been known to make a list of my lists. I will rewrite a list 10 times. Orders waiting to be filled are just small lists. You see, these folks are hungry, but they aren't dying!

Today I did a rescue on some meat for my dad. Last year we had a function serving roast beef and grilled chicken. Daddy got some beautiful shoulder clod roasts and burned them right up. They were tastey, but as moist as a cardboard box. Daddy freaked a little and said for me to do something. So I made a beef veloute. Before that day, Daddy wouldn't bother learning the word 'veloute'. He said it was nothing but gravy. This delicious velvety mother sauce is more than gravy! This sauce can serve as a vehicle for anything you cook. Keep in mind that I'm used to making this for the masses so I make it a couple of gallons at a time, so I'm whittling this down as best I can.

Chicken or Beef Veloute

Equal parts BUTTER and FLOUR. Melt butter and add flour. If you use 2 tbsp butter, use 2 tbsp flour. The butter/flour mixture becomes a roux. Let this cook for just a little bit, at least 30 seconds, so that the flour and butter can bind. Add 1 cup BEEF OR CHICKEN STOCK. watch out for steam will hurt! Wisk this together well. You will probably have a paste, don't freak out. get the lumps out and add more stock. repeat. The sauce will not reach full thickness until it comes to a soft boil. Once you've got the sauce going add whatever you want. With a chicken veloute you can add cooked potatoes, bacon, cheese, scallions, salt, pepper, seasoning and you've got a rockin potato soup. Or add chopped rosemary, parsley, salt, pepper and seasoning and serve over grilled chicken. With the beef, add some worcestirshire, soy sauce, garlic and spices and do a rescue on your dry ole roast, dry ole meatloaf, or add potatoes, carrots and browned stew meat and have lunch.

Oh yeah...In Yazoo City this weekend? for our specials. I'm sure I'll be in the kitchen.


avnish said...

hi,guys I think about "Spending more time in the kitchen" It seems like there is never enough time for you to cook and gather the entire family around the kitchen table to sit down and eat a nutritious, well-balanced meal.

Mississippi Treatment Centers

wanda1234 said...

thanks for sharing.....

Entertainment at one stop