Thursday, October 18, 2007

Weekly Specials

This weeks special's aren't necessarily ground breaking. There are just some basic principles behind them that I find intriguing to discuss. We have been doing weekly specials over the past few months, nothing too far from the norm, testing the waters. Basically, I decided to take the whole "specials" presentation out of the hands of the servers and present classy table notes which include the specials and a folded stock card upon which the drinks and wine are listed. I think there is one server among 6 on staff that actually eats meat, so explaining anything beyond salad is a stress for us all.

Potato gnocchi are as easy as taking some mashed potato pulp, about 4 egg yolks per large Idaho potato, and mixing about 1/4 cup flour into them; this should get you close. I don't know because every potato is different, and how long you cook it is different, and how soon you remove the skin is different so you must add the above recomanded ratios together and see if you get a ball of dough that can be rolled out, cut and boiled without dissolving. Add more flour if you can't roll it out, and if it disappears into the water add more egg yolk. Wow, big deal. Make sure to add salt and you're on your way.

Chicken potstickers are easy. Cook the chicken before you make the filling and all your worries are gone. Besides, your flavors will come together much better if you cook the meat with aromatics before wrapping it up. This way, all we have to do is crisp up the wonton skin and be on our way. Easy money.

It's been years now, and I don't know who to attribute the recipe to, but I've been making a butternut squash risotto with apple cider as the liquid for years, over the span of 3 different restaurants, and it's always a hit. I'll do the same this week but leave the rice a little runny and bake it with some cheese/bread topping. The flavor of this dish is always great. I like to grate the squash with the robo-coup so it essentially becomes a piece of squash that acts like a grain of rice or a bit of squash surrounding a grain of rice. Absolutely wonderful.

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