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Thursday, July 12, 2012

“Pasta Specialties, Pt. XXII: Pennette con Pollo e Gorgonzola—one of the Best Italian Pasta Dishes of Modern Times” by Chef Murph MacDougal



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STINKBUG 2012



FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH



Chef Murph MacDougal

END Commentary 07-13-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,079.



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Friday, July 13, 2012 by Chef Murph MacDougal

PASTA SPECIALTIES, PART XXII

 Pasta Specialties, Pt. XXII: Pennette con Pollo e Gorgonzola—one of the Best Italian Pasta Dishes of Modern Times” by Chef Murph MacDougal



Bakersfield, CA, 07-13-2012 F: One of the great things in life is the ability to work in a wide variety of different foodservice establishments from one state to the next and to be able to pick up and move within a few weeks’ notice of a job opening up.  I have had the opportunity many times to obtain some great positions as a chef and working in an Italian restaurant for several years during my early career is what allowed me to know each of the recipes I have shown you over the course of this week.  Being a master of a particular cuisine is a wonderful thing as it allows one to enter into the culture of another and to converse with them at their level.  One has to learn not only the different foods but the terminology, the language, the historical background, and the culture to be able to pull it off and that is something I relish doing whenever I get the chance.  It is the next best thing to joining the U. S. Navy and seeing the world!  The funny thing is, we normally deride military “chefs” as they do not have the knowledge they think they do.  Sure, they can work in institutional cooking but that is not the same as working in fine-dining restaurants.  Stinkbug always talks about the fool who runs the foodservice program at Bakersfield College, he is a military chef who trains cooks to become employees for other establishments in Kern County and not only is he ignorant, he does NOT know he is ignorant, which makes it funny.  I would like to meet this buffoon one day, I believe his name is Patrick Coyle.  Sounds like a real dope to me!

Our dish for today is the lovely Pennette con Pollo e Gorgonzola, a fantastic dish featuring a delicious Gorgonzola Sour Cream Sauce, tender pennette pasta, and marinated, grilled chicken breasts.  The chicken meat is then chopped up and the whole thing is sautéed together and then served in either our traditional pasta bowls or our casserole dishes.  It is one I know you will enjoy on this, our third Friday the Thirteenth of 2012. Please be careful out there in this dangerous world!

(#1655) PENNETTE CON POLLO E GORGONZOLA



This is another great pasta dish that is not only delicious but also beautiful.  We love combining marinated juicy chicken meat with tender pasta in a creamy sour cream-gorgonzola cheese sauce.  Always use the best ingredients and you will never go wrong!

Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: 8 hours / Cooking time: 10-15 minutes



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
4
6-7-ounce
Boneless breasts of chicken, lightly pounded

2
Cups
Lemon-Pepper Marinade (Recipe #225)

Kosher Salt and Pepper (Recipe #1324)

20
Ounces
Cooked pennette pasta

2-3
Cups
Sour Cream-Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce (Recipe #419-C)
.125
Cup
Olive oil

1
Cup
Sliced button mushrooms

1
Tablespoon
Minced pimientos

.5
Cup
Almaden chardonnay

2
Teaspoons
Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed
.25
Cup
Freshly shredded parmesan cheese

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed
Hungarian paprika




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! First, make the Lemon-Pepper marinade so you can marinate the chicken:

(#225) LEMON-PEPPER MARINADE





Yield:  about 3 cups / Mis-en-place: 4-5 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Cup
Lemon juice

1
Cup
Vegetable oil

5/8
Cup
Frontier Peppermill 3-pepper seasoning

3/8
Cup
Lemon zest

3/8
Cup
Poultry seasoning

1-1/3
Tablespoons
Kosher salt

1
Tablespoon
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed
.5
Cup
Best Foods’ mayonnaise




Method:

2.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Combine everything with the use of an electric mixer equipped with a whip attachment.  Blend well, taking care to scrape the sides, and transfer into a sanitized container equipped with a tight-fitting lid.  Refrigerate and be sure to use within 5-7 days.

(This mixture is good for marinating chicken skewers prior to roasting them as it instills marvelous flavor into the cooked product).

3.      When the marinade is ready, pour it into a baking dish.  Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound it gently with a masticator (food hammer).  When pounded, place it into the marinade, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or for at least EIGHT hours.  Prepare the Kosher Salt and Pepper seasoning:

(#1324) KOSHER SALT AND PEPPER SEASONING





1. Yield: One cup of seasoning:



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Cup
Kosher salt

1.5
Tablespoon
Coarse black pepper

.5
Teaspoon
Hungarian paprika

.5
Teaspoon
Dry parsley flakes




Method:

4.      Combine and store in an airtight container.

You will find many uses for this good basic, salt-and-pepper seasoning. Now, prepare the pasta:

(#1607) FRESH PASTA COOKING PROCEDURES        


Yield:  for ONE pound / Mis-en-place: 20 minutes:



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
3
Quarts
Boiling water

1
Tablespoon
Kosher salt

1
#
FRESH pennette pasta 

1.5
Teaspoons
Olive oil

For Seasoning Pasta AFTER Blanching:
1
Tablespoon
Olive oil

.5
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.25
Teaspoon
Black pepper

.25
Teaspoon
Granulated garlic



Method:

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

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

7.      Add the pasta and boil for 2-3 minutes or until it is JUST past the “crisp” stage; DO NOT overcook!

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

9.      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. 

10. 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 fresh. Finally, create the Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce:

(#419-c) SOUR CREAM GORGONZOLA CHEESE SAUCE



Like all of the other cheese sauces, each one has its purpose and this one featuring gorgonzola cheese, is a powerful one perfect for pasta dishes.  One has to either like cheese sauces or not but this one is perfect with most pasta dishes.  Gorgonzola is a delicious cheese and is great when combined with a variety of different ingredients. 

Yield: about one quart of sauce / Mis-en-place: about 30 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Quart 
Superior chicken stock

3
Cups
Whole milk

1
Cup
Sour cream

.25
Cup
Melted butter

3/8
Cup
All-purpose flour

2
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

1
Teaspoon
White pepper

2
Cups
Grated Gorgonzola Cheese




Method:

11. Have stock, milk, and sour cream on the stove in a heavy-bottomed saucepot at a high simmer. Reduce by half.

12. Combine remaining ingredients in bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until well blended. Pour then into a 1-gallon saucepot and place over low flame.

13. Cook this roux slowly until it begins to tan. Then, gradually begin whisking in the combined liquids a pint or two at a time so that the roux can absorb it without getting lumps.

14.  As you do this, turn the heat up almost all the way as you continue to add the remaining stock. At first, it should appear to be thin which is okay—it will thicken but as for now, make sure that there are no lumps.
Cheese Boards: always use cheeses leftover from cheeseboards.
 Allow sauce to simmer after reducing heat to low, which will gradually thicken it more. If not thick enough for your needs, make slurry of flour and oil and whisk it in or use your lie. Add the Gorgonzola cheese and allow it is incorporated.  When thick enough, let it cook just a little bit longer in order to incorporate the final additions. Check also for taste and modify as needed.

Final Preparation:

15.  When it is time to prepare the dish, fire up your broiler and when hot, broil the chicken breasts (after spraying them with PAM) on both sides until done.  Remove them from the fire and cut them into cubes on a sanitized cutting board.  Have ready for the next step.

16. Place a large heavy-duty skillet or rondeau over a medium flame and spray it with PAM or another food-release spray.  Then, add the olive oil and heat it up.

17. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and pimientos and quickly blanch.  Add the chicken cubes and then hit the pan with the wine.  Allow it to heat up, cook off, and when it is almost gone, add the parsley flakes, cooked pasta, and pour in the gorgonzola cheese sauce. 

18. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow the ingredients to become homogenized.  To serve the dish, tong individual portions of pasta into each of four pasta bowls or casserole boats and then top with the remaining sauce from the skillet or rondeau.  Try to distribute the ingredients evenly and then finalize the dishes with sprinkles of shredded parmesan cheese atop each serving followed by additional parsley flakes and paprika sprinkles.  Place underneath the overhead oven broiler or the salamander oven and gratinee the cheese.

19. Once a crusty golden-brown, the dishes are ready to serve.  Transfer the pasta bowls or casserole boats to doily-lined serving plates and place a sprig of parsley alongside each.  Tray the plates to the table and serve with hot bread and butter.

This is a classic and delicious dish that all who loves cheesy sauces covering pasta will definitely love.  Pennette is great pasta as it is much smaller tubes than regular penne.  Use nothing but the best and freshest ingredients for best results and you will be delighted with the rave reviews received.

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

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.

We have made it through two big things this week so far: HUMP DAY (yesterday) and Friday the Thirteenth (today) and done well on both days.  I am quite pleased that we are having a lovely time making all of our lovely pasta dishes and I am hoping that you are looking for reduced rate Rosetta Stone Italian language software so you can become an Italian and maybe take a visit there one day.  Not long ago, we added a great link to our website, Apron and Tennis Shoes, something to that effect in which you can journey with this person on her trip throughout Italy studying the foods and the cuisines of this very storied nation.                                             

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.

---30---

The END Commentary for Friday, July 13, 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.

REFERENCES:

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



Recipe created by Chef Murph MacDougal on July 16, 1989 in Fresno, CA.

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