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Sunday, July 8, 2012

“Pasta Specialties, Pt. XVIII: Delicious Linguine alla Genovese is on the Menu for today: Cream, Garlic, and Jumbo Prawns—what could be Better?” by Chef Murph MacDougal



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Chef Murph MacDougal

END Commentary 07-09-2012

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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Monday, July 09, 2012 by Chef Murph MacDougal

PASTA SPECIALTIES, PART XVIII

 Pasta Specialties, Pt. XVIII: Delicious Linguine alla Genovese is on the Menu for today: Cream, Garlic, and Jumbo Prawns—what could be Better?” by Chef Murph MacDougal



Bakersfield, CA, 07-09-2012 M: Hello, friends! I hope that all of you had a great Fourth of July week and that the fireworks were spectacular wherever you were.  Over here on the coastline of California, we have lovely summer holidays as people drive through San Luis Obispo on the road to one place or another.  Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Ventura are south of us whereas Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco are north of us.  While we may not be on the coast itself, we are not that far away should we want to be and if we want to head east to the valley and beyond, we can do that, too.  It takes us about two hours to drive to Bakersfield, which is normally what I do when it is my time to host the blog for a week.  I leave my sous chef, Mr. Charles in charge, and come to town and enjoy a week’s stay out here in Oildale, California, at our corporate offices.  Granted, Oildale is nothing like SLO but it is an interesting place to visit.  Where else can one live where the sheriffs are busy every night busting crack heads, junkies, child molesters, and prostitutes?  We certainly do not have that kind of action over on the coast.  I enjoy watching the sea of humanity swirling around me, the studs walking along sans t-shirts showing off their dope-reduced frames, the skanks selling their asses on the corner of Chester Avenue and Robert’s Lane, and the cars on blocks in the front yards of half the residents.  Everyone should visit this place at least once in his or her lifetime!

I am glad that Stinkbug has the corporate offices out here on Robert’s Lane, it is an experience that I enjoy coming to town when I do.  Bakersfield is a lovely place, replete with crime, rapes, robberies, and assaults that one simply doesn’t see over in San Luis Obispo!  I cannot imagine how restaurants survive over here with the amount of trash they have to hire but then again, most of the help here is illegal, which is what depresses the economy. 

Today, we will return to the Pasta Specialties category, one I initiated on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 with my recipe for lasagna.  We are going to make a fabulous linguine dish that features juicy, succulent jumbo prawns smothered in a pesto-cream sauce.  Pasta is a true joy that most every American appreciates and enjoys and believe me, once you have tried this dish, you will become hooked for life! 

(#1648) LINGUINE ALLA GENOVESE


This dish is a classic mix of Shrimp Scampi with linguine in a cream sauce.  Delicious, it is alterable with different ingredients but the original is the best.  This is from one of the best Italian restaurants in which, I have ever worked and was always among my favorite dishes.

Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: 30 minutes:



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
24
Each
U-10 prawns, shelled, deveined, tails left on

2
Cups
Scampi Butter (Recipe #1219)

2
Cups
Heavy Cream
Warm
.25
Cup
Pesto

.5
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.125
Teaspoon
White pepper

1.5
Teaspoons
Minced fresh garlic

20
Ounces
Cooked linguine (see below)

.5
Cup
Finely-shredded parmesan cheese

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed
.25
Cup
Toasted pine nuts

Hungarian paprika

4
Each
Lemon wedges

4
Each
Parsley sprigs
Rinsed


Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work!  Prepare the Scampi Butter:

(#1219) SCAMPI BUTTER


This is a good formula for making basic scampi butter, an important item that all line cooks who serve scampi should have on hand.  Consistency is what brings customers back time after time and this is one way to guarantee that your shrimp scampi always come out of the kitchen the same way.  Tasty, it is perfect, and usable with a variety of pasta and seafood dishes.

Yield:  about 1-cup / Mis-en-place: 10-15 minutes:


Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
.5
Cup
Drawn butter

.125
Cup
Gallo Chablis

1
Tablespoon
Lemon juice

1
Tablespoon
Freshly minced garlic

1.5
Teaspoons
Minced shallots

.125
Cup
Minced scallions

.125
Cup
Sliced button mushrooms

.25
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.0125
Teaspoon
Black pepper

3/8
Teaspoon
Hungarian paprika


Method:

     2.    Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Combine the ingredients over low heat in a saucepot.  Allow it to rest for 10-12 minutes; then, transfer into a sanitized container with a tight-fitting lid.      

3.      To use the Scampi Butter, add prawns to a skillet and add prawns.  This mixture is good for 3-4 orders of shrimp scampi. 

Shrimp Scampi Butter is a must-have for all line cooks.  It simplifies the process of preparing orders as it makes them virtually the same time-after-time.  Alternatively, it is usable as a base to which to add additional ingredients.  Keep it on hand for no longer than 2-3 days; it is best if used within 1-2 days.

(#1055) DRY PASTA COOKING PROCEDURES  


It is extremely important that every chef and home cook know how to cook QUALITY dry pasta and then to handle it post-cooking.  If one follows this procedure exactly, then one will generate perfect pasta each time.  There is no point in cooking something by thumb, as it will largely create imperfect results each time one does it.  The way to make good food is to follow the same tried and true procedure every single time.  Doing this is the way one generates repeat business night-after-night.

Yield:  for 20+ ounces / Mis-en-place: 20 minutes:


Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
3
Quarts
Boiling water

1.5
Tablespoons
Kosher salt

.75
#
Barilla-brand linguine 

1.75
Teaspoons
Olive oil

For Seasoning Pasta AFTER Blanching:
1.5
Tablespoons
Olive oil

.75
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.25
Teaspoon
Black pepper

.5
Teaspoon
Granulated garlic


Method:

4.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work!

5.      Bring water to a boil and add salt and oil.

6.      Add the pasta and boil for 6-8 minutes or until it is JUST past the “crisp” stage; DO NOT overcook!

7.      Immediately drain well and place on a sheet tray in one layer to cool.  Do not rinse it!

8.      Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and season with the spices.  Toss gently by hand, being careful to NOT tear or break the pasta, until coated with the olive oil. 

9.      When thoroughly cooled, cover and store in a sanitized, airtight container in the refrigerator until called for.

This is a never-fail formula for creating perfect pasta from dry.

Master Preparation:

10. Place a large skillet or sauté pan atop a medium flame and add the Scampi Butter.  Heat it up to where it is beginning to sizzle and add the prepared prawns.  Always be sure to remove the veins down their backside as well as the shells BUT leave the tails attached.  Rinse them underneath cold running water and then dry them. 

11. Begin cooking the prawns and when they begin to whiten, they are close to being cooked.  Pour in the heavy cream and allow it to heat up and note that when it does, it will rise and overflow the pan if you are NOT paying attention so do so.  If you need temporarily to pull it from the heat, do so, but then return it. 

12. Add the pesto and the seasonings and allow the cream to reduce, thickening as it does.  Add the cooked pasta to it and blend well.  Use tongs to stir the ingredients but take care NOT to tear it all apart.  When the sauce has thickened to the appropriate thickness, check its flavor and readjust it, if necessary, using more of the same spices and herbs.

13. To serve the dish, using tongs once again, pick up equal-sized mounds of linguine and place it in pasta bowls or in casserole boats.  Be sure to top each mound with six prawns each and then dust with parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, parsley flakes, and paprika.  Place the lemon wedges on top and a sprig of parsley and then they are ready to serve.  Accompany with plenty of hot bread and butter.

14. Leftovers must always be cooled to below 45°F and then covered, dated, and refrigerated.  Serve as soon as possible for best results noting that the shellfish will spoil within 1-2 days at most.  

This is a classic pasta and shellfish dish that everyone knows and loves.

--------------------------------------------

As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this, as it is a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will become dedicated followers of the END.  Currently of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that we hear the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession —join us. We urge our readership to write to us, leave comments, and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously do not pay anything but give YOU full byline and that, my friends, is worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it will be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so Stinky says.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people do not care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It is sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Okay!  Monday is come and gone and I am excited!  I do hope that you have enjoyed our splendid dish for today’s installment.  Pasta is one of those foods that most everyone loves and enjoys and is one of the most-requested dishes in restaurants that feature it.  The great thing about it is that quality pasta is not very expensive, which makes it the perfect vehicle for a variety of presentations.  The only cost is the cream and the shellfish but the rest of it is “throwaway.” I realize that sounds sort of “crude” but it is true, the other things merely add flavor, beauty, and desirability when seen on the menu or at the next table.  It is important that all foodservice operations have these guaranteed moneymakers and this, my friends, is one that will make your cash registers sing!                                                      

Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by SPIRIT/ Jo Jo Gunne/ Jay Ferguson and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  Allied with them, we are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you, my friends!

Murph MacDougal

Murph MacDougal

Certified Club Manager, ACF Member, Foodserver/Bartender and professional Chef and Baker

_______________________________________________________________________
This is a picture of me when I was a young chef in the kitchen back in 1975. I apprenticed underneath my father and spent six years working for him in his British-Irish Restaurant in Fresno, California. I later moved to Frazier Park, California, and spent quite a few years working in the area and that is where I met Stinkbug. Anyhow, I am now working at a country club over on the coast near San Luis Obispo.

Chef Murph MacDougal writes from San Luis Obispo, CA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Monday, July 09, 2012 by Chef Murph MacDougal

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

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The one-and-only Chef Murph MacDougal writes this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef Murph MacDougal on June 17, 1983 in Fresno, CA.

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