Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sausages, Crepes, Fresh Orange end to my paradise.

So here is the end of the sausage. First correction, he steamed them then fried them so the Vegans can "recognize" the sausages look. You want it or not they must miss the good meat or chicken taste. So we "fake" the look! Now today, a very nice man came from Springbill in California and made fresh squeezed orange and pomagranate (grenade in French)juices. You read well. So imagine...10 am a fresh glass of orange juice at work. Lunch was only a crepe made by Tito (he is not from Yugoslavia but the Philippines and he knows crepe' technique like a guy from Brittany!!!) filled with chicken, cheese, pesto, mushrooms and a glass of pomegranate. No I have not put on weight yet. Thanks for asking though!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sausages? Nutella? I know not together...

At 3 pm, I went to the bakery to check on Mario, well he was making Nutella from scratch...I could not help to put my finger on the food processor paddle. At the same moment opposing from him I saw John making sausages: in the good old days, before mad cow disease, animal casings were used (pork or cow intestines that were washed) John is using plastic wrap. He was making vegan (in French macrobiotic) sausages, the recipe is not important it is the process that is. And I am thinking of Mr. Hayat who is trying to make some special sausages for his grandson's barmitsvah! So you make your stuffing/meat mix and you use plastic cling wrap. You spread it on the table. You stuff it with your mix and your roll. Then when you have obtained a sausage, you use the string for turkey and every 4 inches, you tie a knot. See pictures. Then they are refrigerated to "harden" and cooked in water and unwrapped from the plastic casing!!! VOILA!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A wedding food extravaganza: Seafood...I love you.

I was asked to help the chefs this past Saturday. That was like a dream come true. Me, the unknown little cook from California, with a chef apron and having fun.
So here is the story: a wedding with no money limits (at least in terms of menu) when all the seafood on the earth (I should say in the sea) met on the table: from ceviche with fresh crab meat, gaspacho with chopped shrimp, small brioches stuffed with lobster, Cajun Jambalaya straight out of New Orleans (with crabmeat and Andouille sausage), fresh oysters coming from Maine a few hours before, the kitchen was an ocean of marvels. The menu chosen by the bride was all new to the guests (mostly Jewish)Potatoes, zucchini and pumpkin latkes with a creme fraiche (homemade by the Chefs), small tiny hamburgers with all the trimmings, roasted Vegetarian and Mozarella sandwiches (eggplant marinated in pesto, dried tomatoe stuffed in a rosemary shallot homemade foccacia (are you hungry now???)tomatoe, mozarella on a stick marinated in a pesto sauce (made by our chefs) Since I was working "cooking" I could not take pictures of all the items but I let you admire the cupcakes very fashionable now at weddings. A bientot!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My head is spinning: Mexican, Sushi, Homemade ravioli...

I arrived this am and as usual, go and see the bakers. Chris and Gil: Gil is specialized in pastries (complicated one) Chris makes the cookies, muffins, scones and cupcakes. Gil was making some "tuiles aux amandes fourrees a la mousse au chocolat au lait" Literally translated thin almond cookies in a cone shape filled up with milk chocolate mousse. I took the picture when she was spreading the dought with a spoon and the finished product. I should have come back but I was busy taking a complicated order for a client. Chris just finished pumpkin cupcakes with a butter flavor icing. Not for me but very pretty non?? Well today was another special day: a writer came and introduced her cookbook so they demonstrated some recipes around the cafeteria. They offered home made sushi (Yes, you read well!) and a delicious pasta recipe as follows: sautee a lot of crushed garlic. Add some diced dried tomatoes, some baby spinach (washed of course) when the garlic is golden and the spinach wilted, add some freshly cooked fettucine. I am sure he put some pepper too. And the surprise ingredient was black wild rice (pre cooked too) He added a handful when he was tossing the pasta. Add some feta cheese and sliced black olives before serving. It was so good!!! I passed in front of the Mexican area, the salad and wraps area and on my way back to my office, I stopped at the bakery: I found xx making homemade stuffed ravioli with ricotta and pumpkin squash for the vegans! The dough was homemade. You can see the picture. Now we are talking business!!! So I promised him I will try his area tomorrow. I have no idea if only one stomach can take all that. But wait a minute, can you imagine I discover another area for "staff and faculty" (moi!) with entirely different menu and hotel style serving! Chafers, real cutlery, tables with flowers Come on, this is more than spoiling this is insane!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cheeseburger: I plead guilty! Confession time

So Erik the grillmaster complained that I still did not taste his hamburgers. Well Eric forgot I have been working there for 6 days...since I don't want him to be disappointed I ordered a cheeseburger today. With onion rings..It was Angus beef, absolutely to die for. I did not eat the bun part. Too much for me. But I added a Caesar salad and I was in heaven. Better than any cheeseburger I have eaten. Then I took a look at the kitchen, they were making Chef Salads. And the baker was making scones, the way it looks (like Ice cream no??) is fun: they use an ice cream scoop for the dough. I met Nourredine: my new friend from Algiers. We, of course, speak French together. And we are longing for....couscous. So may be I talked to the Chef to make a real couscous. (but would it be Algerian style or Tunisian style???)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pizza dough, Roast beef, Cookies and all...I am in dreamland.

Imagine arriving in the morning and seeing pizza dough being made, pastries coming out the oven, meat being marinated...How would you feel? I LOVE IT!!! Even though I have never liked smelling food early morning but I am getting used to it.
So while the dough was being made and cut and all, I asked the baker for the recipe. So ready? Remember THIS IS THE BEST PIZZA DOUGH I HAVE EVER TASTED: 50 lbs of flour, 3 gallons of water, 2 lbs of yeast, 1/2 cup of salt....oh sorry, I should have asked for the recipe for a family of four. Well impossible. At Bon Appetit, we cook thousands of lunches, snacks and dinners. So you have to do with it : -)) Otherwise one good tip for roast beef (And they really make a tasty one) Take your roast beef, leave the fat on it. Put garlic, salt and pepper on top of it. Let it rest for 30 min. Turn on your oven very high (450 F les francais 230 deg C) when really hot, put your meat on. For the next 15 min, leave the meat in very hot oven, then turn down to 350 F (180 C) That is going to give you a very crispy outside. Cook until done. Matter of taste: if you want it well done, when you insert a knife, no juice should come out. I should have taken a picture of the cooked meat. It looks sensational.
Then I took a picture of all danishes, croissants, biscuits etc. Well, so far I am resisting...will I last??? My lunch was Chinese today: brown rice with sauteed vegetable and sweet and sour chicken and...broccoli (one of my favorite vegetable) Delicious!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It smells so good at 8 am...

I arrived earlier today and went to the baking area. Cheesecakes were coming out of the oven, fresh lemon tartlets were being made, chocolate muffins and cookies were just warm. It was the scent of Paradise! My lunch was Mexican tostada (salad of chicken, black beans, salsa, green tomatillo salsa, avocado served in a big Mexican tortilla shell.) Tonight I made a nice pasta dish, inspired by what was served: sautee some onions and garlic in some olive oil. Add some small pieces of marinated artichokes and some mushrooms, 2 or 3 tbsps of tomatoe sauce and cooked pasta. Served with fresh cut up mozzarella and fresh cut up basil!! It was heaven on earth. And just one hour before I left, a cook brought me some strawberries and red grapes. Do I need to say more?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bon Appetit pictures.... Voila.

Now today, I wanted to show you how big is the place, how nice is the clock and how wonderful is the kitchen. We make crepes every day at 4 pm. And we get ready for orders for the night for the following day. It is unbelievable to see all the chefs and sous chefs working. Can you see the sandwiches getting prepared for the students coming to eat tonight? Enjoy Chef Morano making small asparagus tarts with a custard he is adding. And remember to click on them to see the details.
Ah yes my my lunch: roastbeef with rooted vegetables, salad with a strawberry vinaigrette and a pear. Tonight I made spaghetti with homemade meatballs and some parmesan bread. We had salad but without any strawberry vinaigrette…I know that is not fancy enough. Enjoy!! And vote on the right if you want recipes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How beautiful is my San Francisco Bay?

Steve, Ava and I went to the city to see the Blue Angels (we saw them twice) Once in the city the second time at the airport. (See below). So I took pictures on the ferry because when you live across the bay, you might as well use the ferry...Now I am expecting you to vote. Please leave your comments: how beautiful is San Francisco?? Can you see the sailing boat "Maltese Falcone"? It belongs to T. Perkins, Silicon valley venture capitalist. Tom Perkins used to be Danielle Steele's husband too. He put this boat on the market for $179,000,000 but changed his mind lately. Click on the pictures to enlarge them. Now isn't it like being on a cruise???

Blue Angels Depart from the airport...and we were there!

So we got invited to see the fleet of the Blue Angels leave from San Francisco Airport. This was an invitation event only. We were so close to all the take offs. The day was splendid. Very hot. Very sunny, Very San Francisco for this time of the year. Unique experience. Enjoy the pictures, all taken with my blackberry. If you click on the pictures, you will have them bigger.