Monday, March 28, 2011


Saturdays are usually a little easier at school because we have 8 hours instead of 4, like during the week. It doesn’t mean we’re any less busy, but we do have a little more time, usually, to get things done. This past Saturday was pretty easy because we had already made two of the items before (the chef calls this “revisiting”). One thing I like about this class is it includes baking, too, so I feel like I will be well-rounded in my culinary skills when I finish, but I will also be a little rounder, because I have such a sweet tooth, I tend to eat the desserts, as evidenced by the two strawberry tarts that I ate over the weekend! At least they were eaten 24 hours apart.

Saturday started out with making a white veal stew (Blanquette De Veau Aux Champignon in French if you are wondering). I would compare it to a stroganoff, although you finish it with heavy cream, instead of sour cream. We used veal in class, but I made it on Sunday, too and used stew meat. It was just as good. What I liked about it compared to stroganoff was that you caramelize the mushrooms and the pearl onions separately, so while there are more pans, you have a lot of flavor in the finished dish.

We also made a potato-leek soup. We served ours hot, but if it were cold, it would be vichyssoise. These cream soups are incredibly easy to make, basically cooking the vegetables, blending to puree, returning to heat and adding some cream and seasonings. Probably good that I didn’t know about this before as I love soup and I shouldn’t eat too many cream soups. On top of the soup, we served a mélange of julienned leeks, carrots and celery, which had been wilted in butter. A nice first course.

In between that, we made a Pate Sucre, a sweet dough that is the crust to the strawberry tarts. We’ve made this before and I love this dough – it’s really forgiving and you can patch it up when it gets in the pan if it needs to be. To me it tastes a little bit like a sugar cookie. Once baked, the tarts are filled with pastry cream and topped with fresh strawberries and an apricot glaze.

After eating some of the soup and the stew, I couldn’t eat the tarts, so I did bring them home, although we’re not supposed to take food off campus, and had one Saturday night and one Sunday night.

There is a woman at work going through chemotherapy, and I’ve been hired by my group to cook for her. She’s requested just a few meals at a time, so I made a few meals for her yesterday, as part of my personal chef business. I did macaroni and cheese with a side of roasted green beans, a Dijon crusted pork tenderloin with a side of butternut squash with fresh sage and the veal stew, using the beef stew meat instead of the veal. I got a chance to practice the stew, which is nice and I made enough so I could put some in my freezer for lunches this week.

A new week starts. Word is that we are doing boeuf bourguignon tonight – the classic beef stew with red wine. Someone sent me pictures from our open house last week, so I’ll get those posted on here so you can see what we did. Lots of good food. Have a good week, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. you owe me a new computer; mine has drool all over it