Easy Peasy Pasta + A Glimpse At My Life In A Restaurant

17 Jan

Easy Peasy. Dinner in a pinch.

Drop your pasta into salted boiling water. Add a few handfuls of frozen peas in the last 3 minutes of boiling. Saute a few minced garlic cloves in a skillet and add fresh spinach with a tiny splash of water. Cook down and add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chili flakes. Dump the pasta and peas into the skillet, mix everything together and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

For when you want a healthy, no fuss meal thrown together quickly by taste.

After spending most of my nights making the desserts at Print restaurant, on my days off, all I want is a quick home-cooked meal. I crave salt, I crave savory, but below I want to show you a tiny glimpse of some of the sweet things I do at work.

Every night before the restaurant opens, the staff has the opportunity to eat a meal together. We call it “family meal.” Usually the meal is something super simple that can be thrown together quickly: think chicken and rice or pasta. There is always a salad. The pastry team tries to offer something sweet for family meal, too, sometimes. Lately we have been making Horchata. Mexican Rice Milk with cinnamon. We based our recipe off of David Lebovitz. Just a yummy drink to start the night off.

One of the first things I tackle when I arrive at work is preparing for the next morning’s breakfast service. We (in pastry) make muffins and scones and coffeecakes, yogurt (from Argyle farms in NY) and fruit parfaits (topped with homemade granola), and fresh fruit plates. We offer two flavors each of muffins and scones every morning. The scone pictured above contains walnuts, Asian pears, and flaxseeds. Check out that seductive sugar sprinkle on top. Hellooooo coffee and a pastry!

After I finish preparing for the next morning’s breakfast, I begin to set up for dinner service. We currently have 6 desserts on the menu. Above you see our most recent addition to the dessert menu: Hazelnut Parfait, Maple Yogurt Mousse, Grappa Candied Chestnuts, Espresso Syrup. There’s all sorts of warm and cool, soft, creamy, and crunchy to this dessert. Mmm mmm winter wonderland.

And when you get your coffee or when you order some house made ice cream, you get to try our rotation of biscotti. We are currently serving pistachio polenta biscotti with dried cherries. Dip and go.

Sometimes there are large parties eating at the restaurant. We offer a special dessert menu for these parties. One of the desserts consists of chocolate hazelnut mousse, fleur de sal, hazelnut streusal, poached pear halves, brown butter ice cream, and chocolate decor. I would describe chocolate decor as tempered chocolate cut into shapes. There’s all sorts of heating and agitating and spreading and cooling. It’s a science that I have yet to perfect. But it sure tastes good along the way.

I feel like I have to leave you with a savory item from the restaurant. The burger is on our lunch menu and sometimes pops up on the dinner menu. This gargantuan meat stack has cornichons, pickled red onion, gooey cheddar, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, and a toasted bun. Ah, swoon.

So now you have seen a tiny glimpse into restaurant dessert/food. Tiny.

And people always ask me how I don’t gain a zillion pounds working in pastry. I answer with: the stairs, the heavy lifting, the stirring, the rolling…I get quite the workout. So a few nibbles and tastes won’t spiral me out of control. I am constantly moving. And we work with so many fresh, local ingredients that I feel pretty darn good eating what I want.


5 Responses to “Easy Peasy Pasta + A Glimpse At My Life In A Restaurant”

  1. Emma January 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    There was so much jargon/terminology I didn’t understand in this post but everything sure sounds/looks delish. Yum!

    • figsinmybelly January 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      Hehe, apologies for all the jargon. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you, Em!

  2. natasha January 25, 2012 at 4:49 am #

    photo cred for the pea pasta please echem

    and your instagrams are lookin good 🙂

  3. Jessamyn January 26, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    i made the pea pasta tonight! delish. i didn’t have garbanzos so i substituted with some toasted pistachios. yum!

    • figsinmybelly January 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

      Yum! Pistachios sound great with this! And add a lovely color, too!

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