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ajhuff
02-13-2012, 11:39 PM
Got a question about salad greens.

I work as a line cook at a psuedo-country club, the ritzy (serious) county golf club. I work with a bunch of idiots, my Chef won't deny that. My co-workers have a bad habit of making up three weeks worth of food or more and I watch it rot by the end of the week.

One thing I'm constantly throwing out is salad. Typical scenario is they have a buffet on Friday or Saturday night with salad on it. After it's over they take all the left over lettuce and put it in a plastic carboy and toss it in the reach in, covered of course. By Monday or Tuesday it is rust colored, sometimes with brown liquid pooling at the bottom.

Is there a better way?

I know lettuce is cheap but if I ever want to go to the next level I have to learn about cost control and not wasting lettuce does seem to me less than trivial.

Thanks!

-AJ

SpikeC
02-13-2012, 11:51 PM
Nitrogen gas.

sachem allison
02-14-2012, 12:10 AM
Got a question about salad greens.

I work as a line cook at a psuedo-country club, the ritzy (serious) county golf club. I work with a bunch of idiots, my Chef won't deny that. My co-workers have a bad habit of making up three weeks worth of food or more and I watch it rot by the end of the week.

One thing I'm constantly throwing out is salad. Typical scenario is they have a buffet on Friday or Saturday night with salad on it. After it's over they take all the left over lettuce and put it in a plastic carboy and toss it in the reach in, covered of course. By Monday or Tuesday it is rust colored, sometimes with brown liquid pooling at the bottom.

Is there a better way?

I know lettuce is cheap but if I ever want to go to the next level I have to learn about cost control and not wasting lettuce does seem to me less than trivial.

Thanks!

-AJ
only one answer don't cut so much, that's really the only way to keep that food cost down. get a tighter control on your prep, that;s it. there are books and programs out there that can give you a reasonable way to estimate what portion the average person will eat and you make your prep based on that with a little left over for safety sake. If you know that every weekend you have a case of prepped lettuce left over than the next week cut a case less. you can always cut more if you need it.
Sounds, like the problem is your chef, He isn't doing his job. He is too, lazy to take control of the kitchen and is okay with the status quo. Where is your Sous chef, he should have a handle on this. If you are a line cook and are worrying about these things it sounds like it's time for you to step up and lead by example. learn what it takes to be a sous chef and show your chef your willingness to do the things he isn't. Lots of Country club chefs are there because they are burnt out and it's an easy gig. They don't want to deal with the day in and day out issues of the kitchen, that's what Sous chefs and Banquet chefs are for.
have fun and prep less
son

sachem allison
02-14-2012, 12:12 AM
remember it's all the cheap stuff that adds up over time and can break your food cost. It is almost never the high dollar stuff, because we watch that stuff like hawks and usually know where it went.

MadMel
02-14-2012, 06:19 AM
remember it's all the cheap stuff that adds up over time and can break your food cost. It is almost never the high dollar stuff, because we watch that stuff like hawks and usually know where it went.

+1.

How true that is!!!

Salty dog
02-14-2012, 07:14 AM
I always tell my guys that in a prefect world you're cutting the last couple salads to order.

ecchef
02-14-2012, 07:40 AM
Sounds, like the problem is your chef, He isn't doing his job. He is too, lazy to take control of the kitchen and is okay with the status quo. son

That's a home run!

ajhuff
02-14-2012, 08:54 AM
only one answer don't cut so much, that's really the only way to keep that food cost down. get a tighter control on your prep, that;s it.
son

Yeah, I knew this this. It's what I keep hammering on. I was just wondering if there might be some better storage methods.

We're kind a unique situation where we are fully staffed by interns. And unfortunately in our demographics that does not mean that we have the best of the best working. I'm finding that for ever 20 culinary students, at most 3 really get it, at most. And of the remaining 17 or so, at least 10 shouldn't be there at all. And I don't know why they are.

I'll keep trying to improve things within the limited constraints that I have.

Thanks!

-AJ

Eamon Burke
02-14-2012, 03:09 PM
that is seriously lazy food management. But I do have to say that Friday to Monday shouldn't render salad greens totally ****** off, unless your knives are completely useless. If I prep greens for the salad bar on Monday, they get used, but if they get lost and I find them on thursday, they aren't rust colored and wilted. Just too old for me to want to use.

My greens start smelling like milk before they get wilted and brown.

Mint427
02-14-2012, 03:22 PM
I pitched the question to a client who owns a smaller restaurant. Depends on the greens. He wraps iceberg in paper towels and places them in open, plastic container in the cooler, careful to remove as much water from washing. If he's using mixed greens, they are more fragile and tend to wilt faster so he purchases less of it. Hope that helps.

ajhuff
02-14-2012, 03:26 PM
I agree. I will try to figure out some way of getting through some heads. I know I went in last Monday and a kid had chopped a whole bag leaf lettuce. What is that, six heads? The most I've ever done is 6 salads at lunch. I'm not sure there is a fix for stupid though. Lol.

What about those green as-seen-on-tv vegetable bags? Pure gimmick? Would I be better off putting the chopped greens into a normal zip lock bag and squeezing all the air out than using our current method of just storing in a plastic carbo?

Thanks,

-AJ

Tristan
02-14-2012, 10:50 PM
I agree. I will try to figure out some way of getting through some heads. I know I went in last Monday and a kid had chopped a whole bag leaf lettuce. What is that, six heads? The most I've ever done is 6 salads at lunch. I'm not sure there is a fix for stupid though. Lol.

What about those green as-seen-on-tv vegetable bags? Pure gimmick? Would I be better off putting the chopped greens into a normal zip lock bag and squeezing all the air out than using our current method of just storing in a plastic carbo?

Thanks,

-AJ

I read your post 3 times, and each time I had trouble not imagining that you were talking about the kid and not the lettuce...

WildBoar
02-14-2012, 10:52 PM
My wife tried out a couple of the green bags and they seem to help add a couple days to the life of the produce. Testing was not scientific, though.

EdipisReks
02-14-2012, 11:38 PM
Nitrogen gas.

nobody else has commented on this, but Spike is right: displacing air with nitrogen and then sealing it tightly will definitely prolong the life of the greens, especially if they are well washed first.

sachem allison
02-14-2012, 11:44 PM
Yeah, I knew this this. It's what I keep hammering on. I was just wondering if there might be some better storage methods.

We're kind a unique situation where we are fully staffed by interns. And unfortunately in our demographics that does not mean that we have the best of the best working. I'm finding that for ever 20 culinary students, at most 3 really get it, at most. And of the remaining 17 or so, at least 10 shouldn't be there at all. And I don't know why they are.

I'll keep trying to improve things within the limited constraints that I have.

Thanks!

-AJ

The other issue and the reason they are turning brown is the knives are definitely not clean before they use them and they are dull as hell. culinary students are lazy and they don't wash their knives and they can't sharpen worth ****. Your greens will last twice as long if they sharpen their knives and clean there boards and blade before cutting the lettuce. Go with stainless if you can less reactivity.

sachem allison
02-14-2012, 11:48 PM
"I'm not sure there is a fix for stupid though. Lol."


A big stick!

EdipisReks
02-14-2012, 11:52 PM
"I'm not sure there is a fix for stupid though. Lol."


A big stick!

make them breathe the same nitrogen as the greens. ;)

Sarge
02-14-2012, 11:54 PM
I always tell my guys that in a prefect world you're cutting the last couple salads to order.

+1 that is the way we usually end up doing it.

ajhuff
02-14-2012, 11:57 PM
The other issue and the reason they are turning brown is the knives are definitely not clean before they use them and they are dull as hell. culinary students are lazy and they don't wash their knives and they can't sharpen worth ****. Your greens will last twice as long if they sharpen their knives and clean there boards and blade before cutting the lettuce. Go with stainless if you can less reactivity.

Very true. They are probably using the Dexter knives that live in the drawer. Maybe they are using their own knife kits, Mercers. Either way, none of their knives are sharpened since they left the manufacturing plant. Heck, I'm not even sure they are washing the greens! I wash them and spin them but that's what I was taught. When I say interns, these guys have only completed their first term in school.

I'll see what I can do to address the knives. Is a 400 grit Chosera good enough for the Dexters?

Thanks,

-AJ

EdipisReks
02-14-2012, 11:58 PM
Is a 400 grit Chosera good enough for the Dexters?


very probably.