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.