Introduction: Restaurant Gourmet Pasta Secrets

Believe it or not restaurants don’t start to cook your meal when you order it most meals are prepared ahead of time so they can be served in twenty minutes or less. In fact many sauces are the same sauces you buy at your local grocery store just personalized by the chef. They simply can’t make five hundred meals from scratch every night and serve them in a short enough time to keep their clientele happy. These are some of the tricks I learned working in a gourmet restaurant.

Step 1: Seafood Pasta in White Sauce

I was going to make fresh Escargot and crawfish tails in white sauce, but when my wife saw what I was going to cook she put an end to that, and I love Escargots and crawfish, so I settled on the first dish I cooked for her Seafood Pasta in White Sauce. The recipes are almost the same.

In this part the first restaurant secret is the white sauce, making white sauce from scratch is very time consuming and buying gourmet white sauce base is expensive so many restaurants use cream of mushroom, potato, or broccoli soup. Fast and easy to prepare you just dump a can of soup in a pot add water and heat.

Step 2: The Sauce

First gather the Ingredients for the sauce.

1. 2 cups baby clams
2. 1 cup shrimp
3. 1 onion
4. 12 scotch bonnet peppers try to get a mixture of colors
5. 3 cloves of garlic
6. Fresh ground black pepper
7. Two cans 10 fl oz. cream of mushroom soup
8. 1 cup water

This recipe can be made your own by making substitutions, for the Escargot and crawfish tails in white sauce substitute 1 cup cooked snails and 2 cups cooked crawfish tails for the baby clams and shrimp, or you can use lobster, or crab instead of shrimp. You can substitute cream of potato or cream of broccoli soup for cream of mushroom.

Step 3: Cooking the Sauce

Scotch bonnet peppers are very hot so I dice and sauté the scotch bonnet peppers with half a diced onion and one clove of garlic crushed and add them just before serving or sprinkle them on top of my pasta.

In the slow cooker I add the cream of mushroom soup, one cup of water, the baby clams, the shrimp, the other half of the diced onion, two cloves of crushed garlic, and 1\2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Cook on high in the slow cooker for two hours.
Once hot the white sauce can be kept hot all day long in the slow cooker until needed.

Step 4: The Pasta

There are a couple restaurant secretes to pasta the first one is Olive oil, most people just through pasta in a pot of hot water and boil till the pasta is cooked. Then they have spaghettini or capellini stuck together or to the bottom of the pot.

Take a large pot of water and put it on to heat add a sprinkle of salt and ½ cup of olive oil. When the water comes to a boil add the 750g package of pasta slowly this allows the olive oil to coat the pasta and keep it from sticking as it cooks.

Once your pasta is cooked strain off the water and add ½ cup of olive oil and mix it into the pasta until all the noodles are coated. This is the second trick to pasta this keeps the pasta from sticking together when it cools and makes it easy to dole out a single serving.

Step 5: Reheating the Pasta

No microwaves in their kitchen just a pot of hot water, take the cold pasta and place it in a colander or strainer and place it in a pot of boiling water. The water will stop boiling for about 30 seconds, when the water boils again your pasta is hot and ready to serve.

Step 6: Service

In a restaurant you give your order to the waiter he takes your order to the kitchen and places it on a rack behind all the orders before yours and it waits for the chef to get to it. When he gets to your order it takes him 1 minute to heat your pasts place it on a plate add sauce and garnishes. Then your meal waits for the waiter to serve you. The average chef can make 60 plates an hour by himself and over 100 plates an hour with a helper.

Comments

author
darrenhall made it! (author)2013-03-19

Hi - i heard a really valid point on TV a while ago - most folks see seafood (shrimp, lobster etc) as a delicacy, yet we turn our face up at bugs (not quite the same with Escargot but ya know where I'm coming from) - now if a big ole bug eyed shrimp, with all of those legs and eggs is not gross then what's the problem with the little fellas in the photo.
I say - send your missus out to buy a bag or a hat (wink) and give us the dish usin them wrigglers.

take care.

DZ

author
Josehf Murchison made it! (author)Josehf Murchison2013-03-19

I’m a bushman at heart and a couple years ago I was in the bush with my brother Gordon hunting. It was a little after noon when Gord asked what we were going to do for lunch.

I take my hatchet out and open a rotting log; inside the log are these big white grubs the size of my pinky finger. I pick one up and pop it into my mouth and eat it saying just like salt and vinegar chips Gord.

He hasn’t forgotten to bring a lunch since.

We keep the snails in an aquarium, there her pets now so we feed them the vegetable trimmings we would normally put in the compost. This spring I plan to video tape them mating.

author
cowcrusher made it! (author)2013-01-27

Personally, I like snails.
However, cooking them is another...it is easier to cook the other members of the phylum mollusca. How much oatmeal do you feed the clams and for how lomg?

author
Josehf Murchison made it! (author)Josehf Murchison2013-01-27

1 cup for four cups overnight.
change the oatmeal and water and their poop should be white by the time you prepair dinner.

author
cowcrusher made it! (author)cowcrusher2013-01-27

Thanks..how salty should the water be and is distilled water or through a charchoal filter ok since I am concerned about chlorine doing them in.

author
Josehf Murchison made it! (author)Josehf Murchison2013-01-27

I always used sea water even to cook.
Give it a boil and run it through a filter when it cools.
Otherwise 3% sea salt and do the same, don't use table salt.
jeas now I want to go down home and come back with a car load.

author
Josehf Murchison made it! (author)2012-11-05

I got a comment on my gourmet pasta in my email but it is not showing on the web site.

I did not take offence of his comments but I would like to answer them.

Thanks for proving my point for me, your chef friend spends 4 days making soup that will last one day in a busy restaurant, what are they going to serve for the rest of the week?

I hope that French onion soup wasn’t his only signature meal.

I was in Guelph Ontario Canada last year for a book signing of my book “Melodious Verse”, when I went to an Indian restaurant next to the hotel I was staying in. I wanted goat head soup curry goat and one dish I can’t remember, it was spicy hot and good. I hadn’t had goat in ten years and I was craving it unfortunately they did not have it on the menu. The chef was quite accommodating; however I had to wait two days for my goat head soup.

I have worked in restaurants on land and on ships since I left home at 17 and became a truck driver at 25, I have worked in the Brigadoon on the Rouge River the Mark Twain Show Boat while it was moored in the port credit harbor.
I like cooking and got along well with the chefs at the Mark Twain Show boat and the Brigadoon. At the Brigadoon one of the tricks the chef showed me was how to cook a beef stake. Believe it or not he taught me you tell whether or not the stake is cooked the way you want by poking it with your finger. Rare is like the muscles in your forearm with the hand open, medium rare is like your hand closed and well done is like your fist clenched hard.

This is about tricks some chefs use and tricks that you can use at home, let’s be realistic are your kids going to starve for 4 days for onion soup.

Try the recipe it is good and if you don’t like hot peppers go with sweet peppers this recipe is made to make your own.

And my wife though eating fresh snails was creepy. She bought a fish tank and now the snails are our pets. OK weird pets.

Love Joe

author
vanweb made it! (author)vanweb2012-11-05

The soup did not take 4 full days to make the process to 4 days at the same time the prep cook was also making beef stock, lobster stock, chicken stock, peeling veg, etc., etc.The trick one should lean in a restaurant kitchen is how to manage time and multitask.

He would make 20 gallons of onion soup at a time.. enough to last 1-2 weeks not one day... They would bake their own bread, make their own cheese, and cure their own meats.. He is from Toronto and would go to Kitchener to buy his meat directly from the Mennonites once a week. He had a schedule of prep and knew how long things took to cook and how long they would last in his restaurant and thus when to start making the next batch. (if you are ever in Toronto stop by Petite Thuet and buy one of Chef Thuets' jars of onion soup you will see how good it is)

His life did not stop waiting for one dish to be made.. just like I am sure you did not starve waiting 2 days for your goat. But would you have been satisfied if the indian chef had put some goat in the microwave and threw it in an instant cury powder sauce just so you could have the dish in 15 minutes?

Don't get me wrong shortcuts are great and I myself use prepared sauces. I just do not want people to think that "Every" gourmet restaurant where you are paying $40 for a dish is using a can of soup. There are many who still do things from scratch as a true gourmet chef should...

author
Josehf Murchison made it! (author)Josehf Murchison2012-11-06

2 weeks he does not have a lot of customers for 320 servings, at the Brigadoon that was how many servings of French Onion soup they served a day. And those are small servings.

What I want to know is does he keep it hot on the stove for two weeks or does he heat it up in the microwave when you order it?

Tell me his special way of reheating soup. That is what is called a trick and every chef has one or more.

If you think I am not being nice I am truly sorry but to quote your own comment, “For his lobster stock he would get the lobster shells from the seafood restaurant across the street and boil them from their flavor.”

He cooked garbage? My wife asked this is a high end restaurant? And my wife thinks eating fresh snails is creepy.

In all honesty he probably only made that for family and friends.

Tell me how he flushes escargots and clams I feed mine oatmeal until their poop turns white. This is important with some clams as their digestive tract can be full of sand. That is a trick.

I got to go now love

IMG_4343.JPG
author
vanweb made it! (author)vanweb2012-11-06

Just to answer your questions...

When someone orders a grilled lobster tail at a restaurant what does the kitchen do with the rest of the lobster? Throw it in the garbage? no, it is not garbage that is put aside and the claw meat is taken for soup or salad and the head and shell (that has never left the kitchen) is used to make lobster stock. This is not picking through shells that someone has discarded when they have ordered a whole lobster what this is is is not wasting food that has never left the kitchen.

French onion just like all soups takes time to develop flavour and then rest time for the flavours to mellow. I would never serve French onion soup on the first day after making it.... And to reheat cold soup (yes it is put in the frdge after it has cooked and cooled down) is no trick you just ladel the amount for the serving you need into a sauce pan over medium heat and warn until it is at serving temperature. then under the broiler to melt the cheese.. Easy.. no microwave needed.. His restaurant was intimate fine dining (I am assuming that the Brigadoon was huge banquet style restauarnt to be serving 320 portions of one soup a day along with the other 6 /10 apps on the menu.)

As for escargots.. he did not serve them on his regular menu so I do not know how he would clean them..

author
Josehf Murchison made it! (author)Josehf Murchison2012-11-06

I know what he cooks in fact I know the chef I met him when I was delivering meat for hollypark meat packers. They are called kitchen scraps the undesirable parts for the recipe the chef is preparing and it is common practice in many parts of the world to sell kitchen scraps.

To my wife and many other people it is still the gourmet coffee Kopi luwak.

Kopi luwak or civet coffee; well there is no other way to say it, made from Civet Cat poop. People pay over one hundred dollars a pound for coffee beans from a rodent’s backside and drink it?

author
cowcrusher made it! (author)cowcrusher2013-01-27

I would hope that someday someone would come up with a process that could replicate what happens to a coffee bean going through a certain animal's digestion tract. Picking through poop for beans and grinding for a cup of coffee seems way too time consuming....or is it just good "marketing" on their part? :)

author
Josehf Murchison made it! (author)Josehf Murchison2013-01-27

Have you heard of the new one, Black Ivory Coffee?

Some guy force feeds coffee fruit to an elephant and picks the beans out of the elephant poop.

Then this guy sells the coffee for $60.oo a brewed cup or about $6,000.oo a pound.

I use to wonder if there was some group that gathers in some dark medieval castle thinking of ways to separate rich American tourists from their money and get them to eat poop and say it tastes good. Now I have no doubt.

Escargot may be different but they are not poop.

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