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Mac and Cheese for Saute Station

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

So the owner has had a mac and cheese on the menu for years and while it's not too complicated to make I do want to get consistent results and speed up the cooking process. Start with shallots, add cream and provolone, cheddar, american meunster and melt together. Then add ricotta, mascarpone and parmesan (the fake flaked crap that comes in a bag) and melt. Toss in elbow pasta and bake in a ramekin with crumbs. I can not take this off the menu (the owner's personal love-child of a creation) despite my hatred for it.

 

I need to speed up saute station and reduce the size of the mise in the fridge. Any ideas of making this less complicated to order but still use the same ingredients? I ideally want something prep ahead of time and simply reheated for consistency. I was thinking of making a mornay of sorts with sweated shallots, a roux, milk and cream, and the cheeses. Simply keep it in a 3rd pan chilled and ladle some into a pan and reheat gently. Or maybe just skipping the roux part all together and just melt the cheeses into the cream?

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 13
Direct melting of cheeses into cream works if your cooks control heat perfectly but will likely break at some point in the process. Here is something that may help. Make your own velveeta. Seriously. Melts like a dream and you can use any mix of cheeses
http://www.chow.com/recipes/30276-mark-mccluskys-diy-american-cheese
post #3 of 13

Omit the ricotta and mascarpone, for starts. That's not helping the flavor or texture, just more that needs to be reduced.

This is going to sound bad, but omit the shallots too. Or have them sauteed ahead of time at least.

And you have to make the sauce and then "bake" it on top of that? You don't have a cheese melter or salamander? That sucks.

 

I think that you can get away with omitting those items, but trying to use roux... it's just going to be a completely different product -the owner will be pissed, customers will notice. Reducing the cream a little bit before service is pretty useless too.

 

We use a cheddar/jack/fontina blend. Reggiano on top with the bread crumbs (croutons run through the robot coupe). It's <10 minute ticket item.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

left4bread,

 

Thanks for the input, most of what you just said I have already thought of but unfortunately the owner refuses to budge.

 

I know the ricotta and mascarpone don't belong in there, the owner simply will not listen however. It must be in there whether I like it or not. We use a good amount of mascarpone in there as well and it costs too much IMO. I don't think the shallots need to be in there either. We don't have a salamander, we are a bare bones setup, it has to go in the oven. This dish drives me nuts because it's simply not that good and it takes too long and my 8 burners are prime real-estate.

 

Anyone with some other ideas aside from a new owner?

post #5 of 13
Mornay is the way to go. Make a mornay with the shallots & cheese (following her recipe) and then toss the cooked noodles beforehand, with some extra cheese and cream. Then you can either pick it up by having them portioned in ramkins and placed directly cold in the oven (taking longer but saving stove space), or done in a pan with some cream
post #6 of 13
Try having the mornay warm in a bain marie on the line if you sell enough of it, then you can toss the pasta with the warmed sauce and finish in the oven.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthCack View Post

Mornay is the way to go. Make a mornay with the shallots & cheese (following her recipe) and then toss the cooked noodles beforehand, with some extra cheese and cream. Then you can either pick it up by having them portioned in ramkins and placed directly cold in the oven (taking longer but saving stove space), or done in a pan with some cream

This. We have done this for a year and it works just fine. I found heating it in the oven directly from cold was taking far too long though. Just heat the mornay in a pan with the cold noodles in it, toss into dish, top and bake. Nice and quick.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input everyone. I initially thought mornay was the way to so I'll give it a test run and let you guys know how it goes!
 

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by linecook854 View Post

Thanks for the input everyone. I initially thought mornay was the way to so I'll give it a test run and let you guys know how it goes!
 


Okay. I'm skeptical that the owner would notice the cheeses missing but not notice that you're using mornay.

More power to ya!

Also, now this NEVER happens at my place mind you, but I've heard of places that make a bunch of it, and make it a little soupy. Hold it off to the side somewhere, and then dish and bake from there. Just sayin', if the mornay is a bust. If you sell THAT much of it, just tuck some away somewhere. Time as a control. You got four hours to serve it or toss. Thats WA state rules, yours might be more lenient.

GL.

 

It's the simplest dishes that give the most headaches, it seems.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by left4bread View Post


Okay. I'm skeptical that the owner would notice the cheeses missing but not notice that you're using mornay.

More power to ya!

Also, now this NEVER happens at my place mind you, but I've heard of places that make a bunch of it, and make it a little soupy. Hold it off to the side somewhere, and then dish and bake from there. Just sayin', if the mornay is a bust. If you sell THAT much of it, just tuck some away somewhere. Time as a control. You got four hours to serve it or toss. Thats WA state rules, yours might be more lenient.

GL.

 

It's the simplest dishes that give the most headaches, it seems.


Thanks for the input.

 

Yes the simplest dishes are the most frustrating haha.

post #11 of 13

Sodium Citrate

 

 

your welcome ;)

post #12 of 13

Honestly the fastest way I can see it being done in my saute station would be making the cheese into the sauce keeping it in a pan. Shallots, sautee, cheese sauce, pasta, heat serve. Making the sauce a la minute with that many cheeses is crazy, when you are trying to speed up saute, a job i just did for my restaurant not but a few days ago. Melting the cheese into the creme works, but doing like 6 cheeses, sounds messy, inefficient and slow. 

post #13 of 13
Fastest way to do it is to hold the sauce hot. Bain marie as suggested before. Make the sauce without the ricotta, Parm or marscapone, hold it hot. Toss together the par cooked pasta, hot sauce, ricotta, Parmesan and marscapone to order, put it in your dish and pop it in the oven. No need to even use a burner other than to make your bain Marie if you don't have a steam table or sham to hold it in.

Make sure to keep the sauce covered to limit it reducing and add water back in as necessary if it does reduce.

Guess this thread is a little old for this to help, but maybe someone else will find it useful.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
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