This is a list of highlights and pictures from my last week on the job as pantry cook and also a great place to sneak inspiration for your next dinner or house party.
I find the more I have to come up with different amuse bouche ideas, the more I've realized, it's just a matter of taking flavors you already enjoy together and minimizing them into a single bite that is as beautiful to look at as it is to eat, while always remembering that eye appeal, crunch factor, savory and sweet should all be among the included components.
This week's Amuse Bouches included:
<-- My Pear, quince paste and manchego cheese Napoleon. Each piece was cut out using the same small leaf cookie cutter, layered together, topped with a candied walnut then garnished with a micro green at the top. A nice whimsical play on upcoming fall!
Picture to the right --> is a Peach & Prosciutto Roulade: I took a slice of juicy Florida peach and coupled it with arugula tossed in olive oil and black pepper then rolled the two in a thin sheet of prosciutto. Although a drizzle of balsamic glaze or something would have maybe made the plate a little prettier, I decided that the peach was juicy enough and the flavors strong enough to hold their own without a sauce; and anyone that tried one agreed.
<-- Smoked Salmon with Mediterranean Salsa on a bed of Feta Mousse: I first, blended together chunks of feta, cream cheese, chives & black pepper and spread it on the bottom of the plate. Then, using my fingers as a guide, wrapped a thin slice of smoked salmon into a hollow roll shape and placed it upright onto the mousse. Next, I made a Mediterranean salsa which consisted of a combination of small diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, a dash of minced garlic, parsley, and lemon juice. I filled each salmon roll with the salsa, making sure that a little piece of cucumber, red onion and tomato showed at the top and then finished the plate off with a splash of green from some micro greens.
Made a special request --> caprese salad for a customer but didnt have any mozzarella, so I made it using thick chunks of feta cheese, between slices of heirloom tomatoes and basil leaves. Topped with a lightly dressed artisan greens salad and olive oil.
There were two salad specials, since the specials change out every 3 days. The first one I came up with the night before I had 2 days off, so I was only able to prep the ingredients for it and never actually plated it - therefore, sorry, no picture. It was Red Apple and Blue Cheese over Mixed Greens with Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette. I took ultra thin slices of McIntosh red apples and tossed them with mixed artisan greens in a vinaigrette made from caramelized shallots, sherry wine vinegar and olive oil. Then sprinkled chunks of Asher blue cheese over it and topped with some crushed candied pecans. My ode to the beginning of fall with some classic autumn flavors. I was told they sold a lot of it the two nights I was off, but unfortunately, the next day I was in was very slow and so I never got to make one!
The next salad special was a test run of salad that is replacing another from the summer menu and consisted of <-- heirloom tomatoes, red leaf lettuce and frisée tossed in a berry balsamic vinaigrette and topped with crumbled goat cheese.
Other tasks of the week included the regular restocking of my pantry items (I have to make everything from scratch at least every 3-4 days to keep it fresh and tasty), the reorganizing of the walk-in fridge, and I also got to take a peak on the hot line side of things and see how they grill the ultra thick burgers, and plate some of the entrees. The picture to the right is of fried basil leaves which are used as a garnish on one of our appetizers -->.
And so concludes this weeks' pictures as a pantry cook. I am also currently working (on my day off) to update some new photos and pages of Florida restaurant reviews on my website - ever since I started the blog and my job, I have unfortunately neglected updating my actual website, so today's the day!
Stay tuned until next week's update!
And as always, please refrain from use of these photos, as they are copyrighted by me, without at least mentioning my website: NewAmericanFoods.com