Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ship swapping

I am back in Miami, just for one night. After one month on a beautiful Cruise Ship, the Constellation, and starting to feel at home there, I am swapping ships here in Miami. I will go for 4 days to a different class, a little smaller than what I have been on till now. It will be the Century. Then I will most probably go up to Fort Lauderdale to join one of our top end ships, the Equinox with around 3200 guest on board. So I have some interesting times ahead, lots of new ships and experiences. The only thing that will stay the same is that they all cruise around the Caribbean. The Constellation, the ship I was on for the past month is sailing of through the Panama Canal and then further on to Hawaii, NICE!

So cruising has been fun, even so it is hard work, I have enjoyed every minute. There is never a dull moment on a ship and sometimes one wishes that the Day had more hours and one wouldn't need any sleep. Apart from learning and getting to know the Millennium Class of ships I had to write recipes, do photo shoots, did hands on training with the chefs and spent quite a bit of time with Sanitation training, en extremely important part of ships life.

People shore side have in general no idea what is involved in ships sanitation, how many hours everybody spends in cleaning and sanitizing, measuring temperatures and filling in logs. Knowing all the rules and regulations of USPH (United States Public Health) Walking around early morning with torches and testers to check that the galleys are really clean. But then again, it is all about food safety here. I can honestly say that when the guys are finished cleaning the galleys, I would happily eat off the floor, that's how clean it is. Of course it is not just about sanitation, but I always feel that it is so much nicer working in a clean environment rather than a messy one.

Now let's go to the fun part, another recipe. I thought today we do some pasta, something vegetarian for a change. I often see these huge pasta shells in the shop and thought that they are just really pretty, so here the recipe

Pasta Shells filled with Ratatouille, Bechamel sauce

90 g (3 oz) Onions
15 g (0.5 oz) Garlic, crushed
90 g (3 oz) Tomatoes
120 g (4oz) Eggplant
120 g (4 oz) Baby Marrows
90 g (3 oz) Red Peppers
60 ml (2 floz) Olive oil
30 g (1 oz) Tomato paste

60 g (2 oz) Onions
40 g (1.5 oz) Strong flour
10 ml (0.5 floz) Olive oil
300 ml (10 floz) Milk
240 ml (8 floz) Cream
Cut all the vegetables in 5 mm (0.3 inch) cubes.
Heat Olive oil in pan, then add first the onions and garlic. Fry without colour till translucent
Then add the other vegetables, except the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then fry without color for another 5 minute.
Add tomato paste and thyme, fry a little longer.

For the sauce cut onions in stripes, then fry them without colour in the olive oil, add flour and roast for 5 minutes, without giving any color.
Add cold milk and cream, bring to the boil and season.
Strain the sauce to have a smooth, white sauce
Season to taste and add a tiny bit nutmeg at the end

Cook the pasta shells till al dente, cool in ice water.
Fill the shells with the ratatouille, sprinkle with a bit Parmesan and heat in the oven

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