OK! My last post (which was sooooo long ago, and i’m sooooo sorry!)… I hinted at a job… one that would be starting at Chef Station… in the kitchen….yup. Well that is going good. Better than good, great, amazing. Unbelievable!
I hadn’t really worked in a professional kitchen before working at chef station, but now I’ve been working there for a couple months and I’m sure this is what I need to be doing with my life. It’s no longer a hobby, it’s not a fantasy anymore. It’s real. It’s happening right now, and I love it.
I know at least 50% of the people reading this are bored out of their minds from hearing about Chef Station. So go ahead and skip down to the recipe, cause I have to catch everyone else up.
So at this point I can pretty much dominate my section of the kitchen, I’m working on the cold side and since there is a total of 4 people working in the kitchen it is usually just me on that side. I do the cold apps and salads as well as all the desserts.
It’s so different from working in my kitchen where everything is my own idea and I basically just improvise. The other big difference is time. At home time is far less relevant, but at work everything is a time crunch, everything should be fast. But it needs to be good as well. That’s what I love about learning in a fine dining restaurant, it feels so worthwhile because I’m learning to make everything the best it can be, everything is perfect and the details are important. If I worked at a fast food restaurant first and moved up from there I’m sure it would be a shock to see the perfection that is necessary to send food out at a fine dining restaurant.
The atmosphere is great too, everyone there is so supportive, they know I can do it, know I’ll make it as a chef and wants to help me get there. I’m so grateful to everyone that has supported me and helped me find the strength to do what I’m doing right now. Four nights a week at the restaurant on top of Junior year of high school can be rough. But it’s not so bad, I manage, and high school really isn’t as hard, I’m still managing a’s and b+’s (well aside from trig…but I’ve got a solid c…)
I can’t believe I still have 2 years left of high school, it seems ridiculous. I’m so ready to be done with standardized testing and mandatory classes. But honestly high school is a lot easier to get through when it’s not the biggest thing in my life anymore. And no science class. That is a big help to get through the day.
Alright. I’m done talking. You ready for some pizza?!?
It’s good pizza too. It’s got roasted red peppers, butternut squash, caramelized onions, tomato, sausage, ricotta, mozzarella… all the best stuff!
I’m going to do this recipe a little bit unconventionally because there are so many toppings you have to prepare separately.
1/3 lb sausage
1 Sweet onion
1/2 lb ricotta
1/2 lb mozzarella
1 red pepper
For the crust I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Cube about 1/2 of a butternut squash, or approximately 2 cups.
In a Pyrex pan coat the squash with olive oil and sprinkle on some salt.
Roast about 20 minutes until cooked all the way through
Coat with oil. Put in a Pyrex or a cast iron pan. Bake in the 400 F oven for about 30-40 minutes.
Let cool to room temp. Cut into strips lengthwise.
Thinly slice a sweet onion. Heat a medium cast iron pan to med high heat. Add oil. Add onions, salt and about a tablespoon of sugar. Cook until the onions are browned and sweet, completely caramelized.
If you have a sausage in a casing take it out of the casing.
Heat a medium cast iron pan to med high heat. Add the sausage. Cook until all of the sausage is cooked completely through.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Roll out your pizza crust as thin as you can. Put it on a cookie sheet with parchment paper or on a pizza stone.
Brush with oil. Place slices of tomato on the bottom, it doesn’t have to completely coat the pizza crust. Sprinkle the caramelized onion on top. Sprinkle on about half the mozzarella. Add the sausage, red pepper and squash. Put chunks of the ricotta throughout the pizza. Add more mozzarella on top.
Bake 10-20 minutes until the crust is browned on the edges and underneath and the cheese is bubbly and browning.