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That’s What She Said

January 15, 2011

Breakfast was a bit on the boring side this morning, due to lack of time.

I am really starting to love the whole almond milk, fresh fruit and cereal combination.

For the life of me, I could not remember if I had to be at work today at 9 or 10 am.  So I went in between [around 9:20am].  Turns out I was suppose to be there at 9. Woops. No biggy though.

I had a busy day ahead of me.  It was not like there was a lot of things to do, just enough of the little things that make me feel like I’m in the weeds.

I did take some pictures today though!!

Fresh pears for roasting.

Active dry yeast for beignet dough.

Everyone was sorta silly today.  Lots of random gossip most of which ended with “That’s what she said”!!

Cooks are crazy. I’m telling you.  I would know, I’m one of them.

Remember the salmon I was curing from yesterday??  Well here she is today.  All I did was scrape off all of the coating I applied yesterday and placed it on a rack.

Technically the salmon is suppose to cure for two days, but since we usually don’t have the time I do it for one day.  I think it’s pretty good.

Then I made a molasses glaze that included bay leaves and cayenne pepper [I think that’s all].  Just throw it on the stove and simmer for a few, then remove and let it cool at room temperature.

Once the glaze has cooled, brush a generous coating over top the salmon.

Then to make it “pastrami style”, I whipped up a spice blend.  In this mix is: fennel seed, paprika, black pepper, coriander. [If I remember correctly, that’s it for the most part].

I toasted the fennel seed and coriander first, then ground them.  Then I added the remaining spices.

Lastly I rubbed the spices all over the salmon, covering the molasses glaze.

Then I just chill it in the cooler until service.  It’s a pretty cool technique, and although sometimes it’s a pain in the ‘you know what’, I like to know how to do things like this.  You never know when it will come in handy!

My next project was beignet croutons or bites.  Usually I make the dough the day before so it can chill overnight, but we didn’t have yeast yesterday [doh!]. So I made it early in the morning and it worked out fine.

I don’t have the exact recipe with me, I left it at work.  But the dough is a normal process.  Let the yeast sit in warm water for a few minutes.  Add eggs, sugar, blah, blah, blah.  Then add the flour and shortening.  I know this probably makes no sense to some of you and I apologize.

Anyways, here’s what the dough looks like.

Once chilled, I cut it into smaller pieces so it is easier to work with.  I roll it out super thin, like 1/8 inch thick.  Oh make sure you surface is floured by the way!

For the croutons that I was using this dough for, I cut them into strips.  Then from there, cut them into squares.

Then I stuck them in the fryer until they are brown.  Once you pop them in they will float to the top and you’ll usually have to flip them over so they cook evenly.

Then you get these little guys.

For this application, I ended up tossing these in a cajun seasoning.

Some salads from tonight [New and Old]…

Grain Mustard Potato Salad:  Red potatoes, hard boiled eggs, green onions, grain mustard dressing.

This was a nice twist on potato salad.  The dressing totally made it though.

Whole Wheat Penne Pasta Salad:  Whole wheat penne pasta, basil pesto dressing, mozzarella, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts.

This is a flawless combination for me.

Curry Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad:  Roasted cauliflower with curry and turmeric, chickpeas, endive, olives, toasted pine nuts, red onions, parsley, coconut curry dressing.

First time making this one.  It needs some tweaking but a great combo.  I mean coconut and curry??! Duh.

Barley Salad:  Black barley, roasted pears, toasted walnuts, green onions, roasted chicken, honey ginger dressing.

Another great combo. All the ingredients kind of play off of each other.

Here’s a horrible picture [thank you lighting] of the Salmon Pastrami

On the bottom is a bed of arugula tossed with a dijon dressing.  Slice the salmon thinly.  Accompaniments on the side were: Cucumber tomato caper relish, minced onions, egg yolks, and egg whites.

Creole Shrimp Salad:  Romaine lettuce, grilled corn, spicy, Creole shrimp, red onions, grape tomatoes, beignet croutons, remoulade dressing.

This ended up being a spur of the moment salad and went over really well with the crowd.  We are in the south, so I guess it had it coming.

Haricot vert and Tomato salad:  Blanched haricot vert, tomatoes, caramelized shallots, almonds, sherry vinaigrette.

Love this salad!! I think it’s the shallots and sherry vinaigrette.  I love it.

I snack on a hushpuppy fresh out of the fryer!!

Service wasn’t so bad today.  I was just feeling super rundown and tired for some reason though.  I couldn’t wait to get out of there and get home.

Before I left though, I needed to do something with the leftover beignet dough. So I fried it and tossed them with powdered sugar.


I’m not revealing how many of these I’ve had.  It’s far too much.

I have off tomorrow and Monday.  No clue what to do!! It’s not long enough to take a short trip anywhere.  Who knows. All I know is I am beat right now!!

Goodnight all!

Vanessa 🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2011 1:25 am

    This pasta salad looks awesome! I wish I had it today. Perfect for carbo-loading! 🙂

    • January 16, 2011 11:10 am

      It’s so easy to make!! You could always make it at the beginning of the week, it’ll hold for a few days. 🙂

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