Tuesdays are always a bit disorienting because of the start of a new week. Two days away does not sound like a long time but given the uncertainties of our industry (who knows when we’ll have an unusually busy Sunday night or a big party on a Monday?), I could come back with a full stocked pantry or with zero mise left. Yesterday was especially strange because the entire kitchen was topsy-turvy when I arrived.
It turns out we just received a delivery of a lovely new ten-burner cooktop for Hot-Apps. Like true MacGyvers, there was no installation tech to be found, just Chef himself and some of the guys. Removing the old plancha cooktop and lowboy refrigerator drawers, pressure washing the wall behind it, shutting off the gas line, mopping the floors, replacing the lowboys, mounting the new cooktop over it… it was crazy. While the boys did the heavy lifting, I was assigned to an equally important task — making coffee.
In addition, we had just been bug bombed the night before so everything was wrapped up and hidden away. We all scrubbed down the tiles, the walls, any exposed surfaces, before hunting down our missing tools and equipment. I think I spent more time cleaning than cooking yesterday. None of us started actually prepping until 12:30pm.
We decided to introduce the pig trotter terrine for yesterday’s special terrine of the day, but we had less than half of a terrine remaining. Depending on how service went, I would only get one, maybe two days out of it. And it seems that Pizza Guy K somehow lost one of my terrines — the remaining piece of the Gloucester spot pork pate. So Sous Chef J and I got to brainstorming ideas for the next terrine. Sous Chef S had already suggested wild boar but Sous Chef J didn’t order the boar for me so I could start marinating it right away.
But as luck would have it, Singing Hot-Apps Guy was making lobster stock today. At the end of the day-long process, he skims off the bright red fat floating at the top, oils rendered from cooking the lobster tomalley. He said he always wanted to keep it and use it for something, and Sous Chef J and I thought it would be cool to whisk into butter for capping a terrine. Hence this bright orange concoction he came up with.
I commented that the orange color was reminiscent of Cheetos, and Singing Hot-Apps Guy, Sous Chef J, and I all had a simultaneous light bulb moment — let’s try coating a chicharron with this stuff! It ended up tasting more like popcorn than Cheetos, but it was fun to experiment. We decided to use the pork liver I had stashed away in the freezer and make a pork and truffle mousse (very similar to our chicken liver mousse) that would be capped with the lobster butter. Truffle, lobster… sounds expensive ;)
The moment service ended, I had already placed the Vitaprep blender on my station and started pulsing the mousse mixture. Chef asked me what I was doing and when I told him we were making the next terrine, his immediate reaction was, “NOW?!” (It was only 9:30pm but everyone, Chef included, was already eager to go home.) I told him that Sous Chef J offered to wait around for the terrine and put it in the walk-in for me, and that we wanted to bake it off now so it would have sufficient time to rest and pop out the next day. I think he could tell I was excited about the lobster butter and about creating this new dish. I can’t wait to see how this turns out!