Thursday, August 19, 2010
beating the heat
I can't believe how hot this summer has been. Unfortunately for me, the temperature in the kitchen at work is always hotter than the temp outside. It has been 100 degrees inside on some of the hotter days outside. Some of the girls have taken to keeping ice pops---the kind that are frozen in a stick inside a slim plastic sleeve---in the freezer upstairs to use as cooling agents. They strategically place the ice pops inside their chef coats to keep themselves cool. I just stick to drinking lots of ice water and making lots of frozen treats, like sorbet, at home.
Sorbet is so easy to make because it doesn't require any cooking if you use simple syrup instead of raw sugar. I ended up making this sorbet two times this week. The first time I used a ready made frozen blueberry puree. The sorbet came out very icy and I found it nearly impossible to scoop. The second time, I made my own puree with two pints of fresh blueberries. I threw them in the blender then passed my puree through a strainer to make it smooth. The sorbet came out with a velvety texture and tasted incredibly fresh. I want to try it again but with different flavors this time, such as blueberry basil or blueberry lime.
We are now serving the famed blueberry corn sundae at work. It has layers of blueberry corn compote, toffee popcorn, sweet corn ice cream and black pepper whipped cream. It also comes with a delicious little corn muffin on the side. Chef was invited on the Martha Stewart show in 2009 to demo this sundae: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/blueberry-corn-ice-cream-sundae?video_id=0. It looks so stunning in the sundae glass that it's hard to resist. People have been asking about for weeks now, but we couldn't put it on the menu until the extra sundae glasses Chef ordered came in this past weekend.
We've also been on high alert because the health department is expected to come in any day now for an inspection. We've had two drills in the past few weeks and it's funny to see everyone scrambling around to get things cleaned up in time. Our pastry department doesn't have much to worry about, though, because we run such a tight ship. The only thing we have to update is the way we label products used upstairs on the line for service. The label should have the date it was made, the product name, the time the product was taken out of cold storage, the temperature of the product in cold storage and the time we intend to discard the product. This insures that the everything we serve stays out of the temperature "danger zone." One of the chefs at work sings "Danger Zone" from Top Gun whenever that term is mentioned. Heh.