Rodriguez-Melissa

Melissa Rodriguez

Biography

Melissa J. Rodriguez is Executive Chef at Del Posto. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America where she earned a degree in Culinary Arts, Melissa spent time cooking with Elaine Bell Catering and Oceana. In 2006, she was hired as a line cook at Daniel Boulud’s flagship Restaurant Daniel, where she quickly rose the ranks to sous chef. After five years at Daniel, Melissa joined the team at Del Posto in 2011 where she was promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2015. Two years later, she was tapped to succeed Mark Ladner as... READ MORE

Melissa J. Rodriguez is Executive Chef at Del Posto. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America where she earned a degree in Culinary Arts, Melissa spent time cooking with Elaine Bell Catering and Oceana. In 2006, she was hired as a line cook at Daniel Boulud’s flagship Restaurant Daniel, where she quickly rose the ranks to sous chef. After five years at Daniel, Melissa joined the team at Del Posto in 2011 where she was promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2015. Two years later, she was tapped to succeed Mark Ladner as Executive Chef making her the first woman at the helm of a restaurant awarded four stars by the New York Times.

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GIRELLA Genovese with Heritage Pork & Pecorino Toscano 

Serves 6 to 8

Porcini Ragu:

6 to 7 cloves Garlic  

2 oz.Olive oil

2.2 lb. bag Frozen Porcini mushrooms; thawed & chopped 

3-4 sprigs Thyme 

Salt to taste 

1. In a small wide pot, over low heat, cook the garlic slowly with olive oil. Be sure not to brown the garlic. 

2. Add the chopped porcini mushrooms, thyme, and mix to combine with the garlic. Cook until water has evaporated out and becomes a creamy texture. 

3. Transfer to a bowl, season and cool. (Remove thyme). 

Pork Ragu Filling:

  • 5 lbs. Pork shoulder & legs  
  • 16 oz. Prosciutto, finely ground
  • 14 cloves; 70 grams Garlic, peeled and poached
  • 7 bulbs Spanish onions, sliced  
  • 6 cups, plus 1 cup Pork jus
  • Salt To Taste
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ bottle reduced by ½ White wine  
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil  

Method:

  • Season the pork with salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a rondeau on high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and caramelize the outside of the meat; trying to avoid creating a crust.
  • Once pork is caramelized, add the onions and garlic and cook down until onions are soft and translucent.  
  • Add the reduced wine and pork jus; cook down until meat is tender. With two forks, pick down completely.
  • Add prosciutto off heat and mix in. Season and cool. 

Pesto:

  • 1 to 2 bunches Parsley; blanched then roughly chopped  
  • 1 to 2 bunches Basil; blanched then roughly chopped  
  • 2 to 3 Garlic cloves
  • 3 oz. Spoletto olive oil
  • 1 cube Ice

Method: 

  • Making sure to squeeze out any water, add herbs with garlic and ice cubes into a blender. Starting on a low-medium setting, slowly drizzle in olive oil until smooth; Finish on a higher setting for the last few seconds. 
  • Season to taste. 

Béchamel:

  • 6 tbsps. (85 grams) Butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsps. (total 85 grams) AP Flour  
  • 3 cups Milk; whole
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

Method: 

  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the mixture turns a very light sandy color, 5 to 7 minutes (do not brown). 
  • Add about 1 cup of the milk, whisking constantly, until the mixture is very smooth. Repeat, fully incorporating the liquid between additions, until the milk has been added. 
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring frequently, and into the edges of the pan, until the sauce is the consistency of a thick cream, about 7 minutes more. Stir in the salt, then transfer the sauce, while hot, to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch tip, or to a large resealable freezer bag. Set aside to cool to room temperature. 

Fresh Egg Pasta Dough:

  • 1 ½ cups Caputo “00” flour; plus more for dusting
  • ¾ cup Durum Flour; plus more for dusting
  • 15 Egg Yolks; large

Method: 

  • In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the “00” and durum flours, then form a well in the center. Add the egg yolks to the well. Using a fork, gently break up the yolks and slowly incorporate the flour mixture from the inside rim of the well. Continue until the liquid is absorbed (about half of the flour will be incorporated). With both hands, using your palms primarily, begin kneading the dough until it forms a mostly cohesive mass. Transfer the dough and any flour or bits remaining in the bowl to a clean work surface and continue kneading and occasionally pulling apart the dough to expose moisture, then pressing it back together, until the dough is smooth and firm, 7-10 minutes. (You want a firm dough. If you are having trouble kneading, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest for 10-15 minutes, then knead again. An additional yolk can be added if the dough is too dry.)
  • Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour before using. (The dough can be made ahead and kept tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to 1 day, or frozen for up to 1 month; thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator before using.)
  • To roll out the dough: Unwrap and cut the pasta dough into 4 pieces. Flatten one piece so that it will fit through the rollers of a pasta machine (rewrap the remaining pieces). Set the rollers of the pasta machine to the widest setting, then feed the pasta through the rollers 3 to 4 times, folding and turning the pasta until it is smooth and the width of the machine.  Roll the pasta through the machine, decreasing the setting one notch at a time (do not fold or turn the pasta) to the thickness desired.  Cut the sheet in half crosswise, then lightly dust with “00” flour. Layer the sheets between dry, clean, “00” flour-dusted towels to keep them from drying out. 

To Build the Girella:

  • Cut the pasta sheets into 2 ft. lengths.
  • Bring a large wide pot of well salted water to a boil.  Set a bowl of very cold water near the range. Working in batches of 2 or three sheets, cook the pasta in the boiling water, about 1 minute per batch, timing immediately after the pasta is slipped into the water. Using a large sieve or slotted spoon, retrieve the cooked sheets and immediately plunge them into the bowl of cold water. Let stand about 10 seconds, then lift them one by one and hang them over the side of a large empty bowl (overlap is OK). 
  • Both pork and porcini ragu, pesto, and béchamel can be chilled or room temperature. 
  • Lay out a large single sheet of plastic wrap along the surface of a clean countertop, roughly 3 ft. 
  • Place a single pasta sheet in the center of the plastic wrap. 
  • Evenly spread pesto over the sheet, followed by a generous sprinkling of each ragu.
  • In a zig zag pattern, pipe the béchamel overtop in an even layer. 
  • Starting with the side closest to you, start rolling the pasta sheet away from you, like a cinnamon bun, making sure to not include the plastic.
  • Once fully rolled, wrap the plastic tightly and twist on either end; creating a tight seal (it will look like an old-fashioned candy roll!). Chill for 1 hour. 

Serving:

  • Pecorino Toscano; sliced ¼ inch thick and cut into rounds with a ring cutter or glass

  • Begin heating a large non-stick pan on low. 
  • Unwrap the Girella and cut into 1 ½ inch thick discs.
  • Place cut Pecorino Toscano round over the face of the Girella, and carefully place in pan; cheese side down.
  • Pecorino will begin to melt into a golden brown layer; approximately 2 minutes. Using a small offset spatula, flip over once desired golden color is reached. 
  • Continue to heat Girella until completely warmed through, using a cake tester to check the center.
  • Serve immediately with a spoonful of béchamel underneath, drizzling hot pork jus around the pasta