Friday, September 01, 2006

Day Nine - Pasta

Well last night was pasta night. Needless to day I feel like I got my a** handed to me. I felt so unorganized. I know what part of it was - mising out the ingredients. As I was mising out mine, my partner assumes I'm mising out his. So I have to double measuring and weighing etc. Now I know what you're thinking...tell him to get his own darn stuff. But I have to be fair in that he went and got my onions and fresh herbs AND chopped them up for me. So he had my back as much as I did his. The worse part was rolling out the pasta. You have this big disk of dough (you remember it..we made it the night before). You take this disk and cut into fourths. ¼ of that is reserved for the lasagna, ¼ is for the ravioli, ¼ is for the fettuccini alfredo and the last ¼ is for the pasta carbonara. We have one pasta machine for the two of us. Time for shift work. Ok so you take your little ¼ piece and roll it out and ¼ inch thick. Cut that in half lengthwise. (So on your work area is 5 pieces of dough 3 chunks, 2 thin) Put first half through the machine. As it passes through twice it’s pretty long, cut in half. (now we have 6 pieces) Put one thin piece back thru and keep lowering the setting till you get to #1. Now put it through the cutter. Ok you just made 2 oz of pasta. Back to the other thin piece (not the rolled out half)….can you picture where the confusion started? That is for one person. The next person still has to do theirs. Along with that you have to start one of your sauces. Ok the trick is we have one large pot of boiling water between the two of us. But we can’t each cook our pasta at the same time.

So game plan – Scott (my partner this week) starts his sauce as it’s reducing he starts to cook his first batch of pasta. As his pasta is coming out I start my sauce, as it’s reducing he’s plating his first plate and my pasta goes in. Well that worked out pretty well. We have both presented. Time to reverse it. This time I start my sauce first then my pasta, then he starts his sauce, I plate he gets his pasta going, he plates and we’re both presented. Now during this we have to get our Bechamel sauce started for our lasagna later. So after he presented his first dish he started the sauce and after I presented my second dish I finished it.

Wait..we have to get our stuffing ready too for our ravioli. Time to sauté the garlic and onions, add the mushrooms, stir, do something else that slips my mind and get that stuff cooling!

It’s time for station clean up. We each have 2 cookie sheets out covered in semolina flour, 2 saute pans, 2 large mixing bowls. 4 wooden spoons, 1 million little mise cups (yes I’m exaggerating! It was only 116,432..sheesh), a pasta machine, rolling pin, 2 sets of tongs, 2 spiders (not the insect but the tool. Like a strainer with a long handle). Plus our work surface is covered with flour. 45 minutes of clean up.

Stop! Hold up…you thought after clean up this post was over until tomorrow didn’t you? You stay right there and just scroll down a bit.

Ok so after everything is cleaned up, because we’re graded on that, it’s time to get dirty again. You forgot we each had those 2 little chunks of pasta left didn’t you?

Off to the walk in to get our Bolognese sauce we made last night. It’s lasagna making time. If you want to know how to make lasagna noodles , please see said paragraph about the fettuccine, but omit the cutting into little strips. I’m too tired to type it all out. Hehe

So we have our pan, our Bechamel sauce, our Bolognese sauce, cheese. Work station is covered in flour again while we make our noodles. But assembly goes well. It’s now 10:45 (normally at 10:00 everything stops must be presented and clean up begins. We just had so much to do…) It’s wrapped up and put into the walk-in.

It’s time for the real clean up and a debriefing from the chef. Basically we are screwed up and need to learn to time our dishes. I’m so freaking tired, but I wanted to yell out “Well if this class had enough equipment for each of us, and the ingredients weren’t spread out all over the kitchen and the students who just lolly gaggin around taking their time getting stuff holding the rest of us up, and then the ones who don’t do their dishes and we have to wash extra…” but I know that’s the exhaustion talking and tomorrow will be a brighter day.

We’re making polenta….

See you then!


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