Brie with that whine?

This morning I’m down with a jammed Achilles tendon and worried about work today. While I’m not afraid to ask for help if I need it, everyone is busy doing other work and getting ready for service.

My current job, doing appetizers for the 15th floor concierge and the restaurant buffet, puts me outside the line cook structure. It gives me a lot of freedom and lets me play with food in an intense way, but I have to deliver two apps, 200 pieces total, by our deadline and the line cooks count on me to get it done so they don’t have to screw with it.

(Yeah, the number keeps going up and so does the attrition rate. I was making chicken and brie empanadas, dropping four at a time into the basket and then frying them off while I went around the corner to assemble four more. So I’d come back to pull the basket, and there’d be … three. This went on for like, an hour. Couldn’t catch the guy who was wolfing them down.

(When I made crab and corn fritters last week, I had to make 35 extra just because they were disappearing inside the kitchen. OKAY, IT’S A COMPLIMENT, BUT JEEZ.)

Enough talk. Minus the repeats, here’s last week’s effort:

Cheddar Wrap — Cheddar tortilla filled with pulled chicken, sauteed mushroom stems, house cheese mix and black bean salsa, dressed with mustard vinaigrette. Cut each tortilla into four wraps.

Ricotta Tartine — Split baguette into two sides, coat interior with orange marmelade cut with allspice. Mix roasted pine nuts with dried cranberries and ricotta. Spread mix on marmelade, put in 350 oven for 5 minutes, cut baguettes into 1-inch pieces.

Hummus Mushrooms — Fill mushroom caps with hummus, place sauteed small-dice mixed bell peppers on hummus, top with dab of goat cheese. Broil briefly to warm and color goat cheese.

Smoked Chicken Empanadas — Cut empanadas in half, spread halves with egg wash. Fill one with smoked chicken, shredded cheddar, crushed almonds and sour cream to bind. Place other half on top, crimp edges and deep fry.

Apple Cheddar Crostini — Grate half a dozen peeled Granny Smith apples, mix with three cups of grated cheddar, mayo, honey and Dijon. Add pepper to taste. Spread on 2-inch toasted rye rounds,  broil to warm.

Asparagus Rolls — Remove crusts from a loaf of white bread and roll pieces flat. Top with a 3-1 mix of cream cheese and Bleu cheese. Place lightly cooked asparagus spear at edge of bread slice and roll up. Drench in melted butter, roll in black sesame seeds and bake for 10 minutes in 400 oven. Cut each roll into three pieces.


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