Saturday, September 15, 2012

Amuse Bouche

Amuse bouche is defined as a 1-2 bite of food that will "amuse the mouth"; usually served before the table even orders as a gift from the chefs and a preview of the amazing meal to come.

At my new job we do a different amuse bouche every night, and it is MY job to come up with it each time. Our chef prefers that we make it more like 1 bite - and utilize any items in the pantry and fridge.

<--The first night (and my very first night on the job) I created the lobster poached in butter salad with kalamata olive crisp, microgreens and paprika.
  The second night (and my second night on the job) I noticed a tray of halved figs that had been leftover from one of our banquets. I took those and made a herbed cheese topping out of some mild goat's cheese called Lil'Moo (which at the time i thought was pronounced "LeMoo") and mixed it with some heavy cream to soften it, then added diced scallions and fresh black pepper. I then drizzled some balsamic glaze on each plate and topped the halved fig with crushed bacon and microgreens. My chef d'cuisine (supervisor) gave me a tip to keep the figs from sliding all over the plate by suggesting that I slice the rounded bottom half off so it laid flat! Great idea!
The third evening I had my training guy make up some white polenta with added lil moo goat cheese and I made up some Italian "salsa" with scallions, concaseed (parboiled, skin and seeds removed) red and yellow tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. We also made some Parmesan crisps to add height and grilled the polenta after it had a chance to set. Each plate got a sprinkle of parsley and a drizzle of blood orange olive oil.
 On my fourth night, I decided to utilize an already-open package of smoked salmon from the lunch crew. I julienned some peeled cucumber, and micro-greens and rolled them up with the salmon = salmon roll! Then made some creme fraiche out of sour cream, lemon juice, black pepper and chives. The creme fraiche went down first, with the salmon roll placed on top diagonally. A few drizzles of paprika oil and extra chopped chives to finish it off.
I must have missed photographing one of the nights, because the one on the left was done after my 2 days off, Yesterday. Yesterday I had some help from the Chef d'Cuisine who wanted me to utilize some cubed Ahi tuna sashimi. We paired it with a papaya ponzu that they were using in one of the specials and chives. This sat on a sugared blood orange chip (that we'd dehydrated a few days prior) and was garnished with Tobiko (yellow flying fish roe) and more microgreens.

Each night we make the amuse bouche, we determine how many reservations we have so we know about how many to make. I usually end up making enough to fill up one whole sheet tray- but I have a feeling once season hits, I'll be making a lot more!

Last night's ended up running out and I had to make more during service - mainly to please some of the members of the club that have come to "expect the amuse bouch every night", as a server pointed out to me.

It is nice to have a little creative outlet even though I am only the pantry cook.

If you would like to follow along on my amuse bouche ideas - check out my Pinterest profile and follow my "Amuse Bouche" Board!

What to make tonight ... I'm thinking something refreshing like maybe watermelon or pears with Gorgonzola, nuts, honey, and of course...microgreens, ha!

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