I will repeat — the Charcuterie station is a whole lot of work. At least I didn’t end up staying until 1am yesterday (Thursday). A quick update before I go to the restaurant.
– The first thing I did when I got to the restaurant was start my pre-measured wine reduction for a full recipe of chicken liver mousse terrines. I had also weighed out the livers and the curing salt in advance, so while that came to up to temperature, I moved on to another task before coming back to blend everything and bake my terrines.
– The tongue braise I had left overnight was done and waiting for me in the walk-in. I strained off the braising liquid and reduced it to a thick gel, the binding agent of the tongue terrine. Meanwhile, I had the fun task of peeling the rough outer layer off the tongues.
– I unwrapped my three duck & walnut pate terrines which had been pressing for about 24 hours. They turned out great! Very smooth, straight sides, and the texture was just right. After re-wrapping them, I cut one open to see how it looked — and I was startled to see HUGE chunks of back fat embedded in the terrine. There was a mis-communication about how large I was supposed to dice the fat… Sous Chefs J and S said it would be fine and that I did a good job for my first.
– I dried out the potato slices that I poached yesterday and started on my next task — the smoked salmon terrine. This bugger takes FOREVER! There are so many layers and doing every part of it on my own (stacking and trimming the potato slices, filleting the blood line off the salmon, whipping the anchovy butter, not to mention layering!) was a daunting effort. I managed to finish it in just under two hours… but like Chef said when I told him I felt that everything was taking me longer to do because it’s likely to be my first time doing it, “Do it right or do it twice.” He knows I am trying my best and that I am taking a while because I want to make sure my terrines are good the first time. Anyway, the salmon terrine will have been pressing for 24 hours by the start of service today (Friday) so I’ll cut into it and find out how it looks!
– Service was dreadfully slow today, especially on Charcuterie, so when I was not floating on Pantry or Pastry, I started working on prep for the next day. I cut an extra loaf of country bread (the one I use for toast), finished dicing up dried apricots for orange marmalade, boiled backup hard-boiled eggs for the Happy Hour deviled eggs, I even started peeling and segmenting (supreme in French) oranges for the orange marmalade.
– Around 9pm or so, there was a knock on the back door. Honey Bunny and his BFF Z were here! Apparently they had gone out to dinner and decided to come to the restaurant for drinks and dessert. Bartender L took care of them for me and she asked me if I wanted to send them something on the house. I cut a slice of the chicken liver mousse (one that I have made) and sent it out along with the doughnuts they had ordered. At the end of the night, I rushed to clean down so I could leave and meet up with them at home… but not before “capping” (that is, buttering the bottom side) of my two chicken liver mousse terrines from today.
Thanks to all the work I put in Wednesday and Thursday, today should be a lighter prep day. Off I go!
(Fun Fact: Somewhere while writing this entry, I was distracted by the reveal of Pikachu in the very first episode of the Pokemon animated series. SO CUTE!)