Friday, July 07, 2006

Ready To Roll

Everything's sitting at home, waiting in the fridge (or cabinet) for me to start whipping together.

First up will be the panna cotta. Gelatin is amazingly cheap, by the way. We'll just have to see how cooperative it is. (The garnish will NOT have white chocolate. I forgot to put it on the shopping list, and I'm not going back out to buy a stupid block of coagulated cocoa butter just for a garnish. But it'll still include high-quality bittersweet chocolate curls. Because I have that in the cupboard already.)

As the panna cotta is cotta-ing, I'll pull together the detailed schedule for Saturday. I'll probably be doing the soup tonight, since it's chilled and an overnight sit could help flavors meld. Which, of course, is code for "I want less work to do tomorrow."

Also up tonight is the filling for the ravioli, also to "let flavors meld," if you know what I mean. It also gives me a chance to spend some time fooling around with the filling. Will start with the ricotta (yes, it's fresh ricotta -- made just a few days ago, but not by me) and herb it up. Dried basil and organo, plus white pepper. (No, white pepper isn't made of coagulated pepper solids.) Taste. Add fried pancetta crumbles. Taste. Add salt, if needed. Taste. Put in the fridge.

So....that's dessert and soup done. Next to be done will be the actual pasta. Will need to make 2 1/2 batches -- one for the ravioli and the rest for the fettuccine. As the fetticcine are drying (this is necessary to keep them from sticking together as they cook -- I've learned from experience) will do the ravioli. Then they get to rest/dry out a bit.

And at that point, three of four dishes are done. It should be about 4 p.m. at this point. Next up is the pesto, which should take about 60 minutes, putting us at 5 p.m. -- more than two hours away from guest arrival. Prep soup bowls, though I may do this tonight. Prep ravioli stuff -- the walnuts, pancetta and the aged pecorino romano.

Turn on the dishwasher so it'll be done and empty by the time guests arrive. Time to set the table, prep the pre-dinner munchies, open bottles of red wine to breathe. Then clean the toilet and do spot cleaning around the house -- just make sure everything is spotless.

At this point, it'll be 6 p.m. -- 60 to 90 minutes away from guest arrival. Jump in the shower, get dressed. 6:30 p.m. -- 30 to 60 minutes away. Take a deep breath. Sautee shrimp and set aside. Get ravioli water hot but not boiling.

There's more to do, though. But it'll get done. And this is why I make detailed task lists!

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