AM Line – Grill Station
The second of the five stations on the A.M. Line at the restaurant is the grill station. The grill station is pretty straight forward. You grill burgers, hanger steaks, and chicken. And the calamari steaks mentioned in the previous post.
I was VERY nervous about working the grill station, since people get to order meat cooked to a specific temperature. We have the four temperature choice, which is well done, medium well, medium, medium rare, and rare. Well, I guess that’s five. Some places just have two – pink or no pink. And apparently, some places have six, which I find mind-boggling because I have trouble with four. I don’t have photos of the burgers because y’all know what a burger looks like!
The hanger steaks, however, look pretty nice on a plate.
This a plate I cooked. On the steak, there is a caper relish. I’m still not a big fan of caper, but I will eat it if the chef puts it on a plate for me. If you’ve never had capers, they are the bud of a plant, and are pickled, so they taste sour and salty. You can also see the tomato Provencale, which is a tomato stuffed with breadcrumbs and herbs. Next to the tomato, there are some lovely pea shoots, and next to those a slice of potato roesti. My German readers will recognize “Roesti”, but for all you who don’t, it’s basically shredded potato baked into a cake with butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
By the way, if any of you are still wondering what “mise en place” means, it means all the food you prepare and put in place for the time of service, or when you start cooking. So, for example for my hanger steak, I need to prepare the tomatoes (stuffing and all, as seen above), the pea shoots, and the roesti (fully cooked before service), so that when I get an order, everything will take a shorter amount of time to cook for the guest. For the hanger steak, I put the tomato and a piece of roesti on a cake pan (basically a small pan for the oven) in the warm oven while I put the hanger steak on the grill. Since the steak takes a while to cook, the tomato and roesti have enough time to warm up in the oven. The caper relish is also prepared in advance.
Here is the potato roesti:
Here are some examples of mise en place for different stations:
You’ll hear about the other stations in future posts.
There is one more item that I prepare on the grill station: grilled chicken tartine.
This is a piece of chicken breast marinated in tarragon oil, then grilled and sliced and shingled on a piece of rye bread. The cherry tomatoes you see are smoked with garlic, and taste pretty yummy! Overall a nice looking dish. Chicken is usually cooked until well done, since it’s pretty unsafe to eat otherwise. The herb garnish is tarragon.
I learned a lot on the grill station, and got more confident every day about my ability to cook hamburgers and steak to the correct temperatures. It’s a little nerve-wracking, but we do also have thermometers to help us check the temperatures, in addition to poking the burgers every once in a while. Gently, of course, so as not to lose any juices.
Next station: saute.