Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Later last week we "studied" veal.  The head chef of the school came in on Thursday with part of a veal (it weighed about 55 pounds) and showed us how to butcher it.  Apparently butchering is becoming a lost art - there are not many true butchers around anymore.  Do you have a butcher near you?  I don't know of one, but would like to research that and find a good one.  We use a lot (and I mean a lot) of veal stock at school and veal bones are the only way to make good veal stock.  You almost have to go to a farm to get them.

Anyway, onto what we cooked...  After watching the butcher demo, we took the top round of the veal and sliced it into thin slices, called scallopini.  We pounded the slices out (looks bigger and you get more even cooking because it's pounded to an even size all around) and then breaded and pan fried them.  On top is a brown butter sage sauce.

To the side are glazed carrots.  The last time we made glazed carrots, we had to tournee them (the 7-sided cuts).  You know how much I love doing that, so I was not feeling the love on the carrots.  He surprises us with cutting them in "oblique" cuts - basically just on the diagonal.  Yay!  Much easier. 

Also to the side are Pommes Anna.  I've always seen Pommes Anna where the thinly-sliced potatoes are shaped in a dome-like shape.  These were different - just shaped in a ring and then pan fried to crispy.  Came out tasting like potato chips.  They were good, how can you go wrong with homemade potato chips?  They were not what I'd expect with veal scallopini, though.

On Saturday, we used the bottom round of the veal (it's tougher cut of meat) and made braised veal.  This is done much the same way as boeuf bourginon or coq au vin.  We are starting to see commonalities among the dishes - the techniques are the same, just subbing different ingredients.  Light bulb!!  The veal was good, but there was an addition of orange zest in the sauce, which not many in my class liked.  It was subtle, but not subtle enough.  We made our infamous rice pilaf to go alongside.

Also on Saturday, we made baguettes.  We started out making them in the Kitchen Aids, but chef nixed that - all done by hand.  It wasn't too bad.  Mine was a little denser than I liked, but it was good to soak up the sauce in the veal.  I really like making bread, so I need to practice this more.  Anyone need a baguette?  Each recipe makes about 3 loaves, even I can't eat that much.

Also on Saturday, we revisited chocolate mousse.  Actually, we didn't revisit, it was a completely new recipe.  Our last recipe had us whipping egg whites and then folding them into the chocolate batter.  This one used all of the egg and was very dense and rich.  We also used a pretty high cocoa content in the chocolate, so it was somewhat bitter (the higher the cocoa percentage, the more bitter the chocolate - 60% is a good bittersweet).  We piped the mousse into edible tulip cups that we made.  Make the batter, form it in a template, bake it and when it comes out of the oven, you immediately put it over a champagne flute to form it.  Fun!  They are thin and fragile to work with, but a very fun idea.  That's raspberry coulis underneath.

Up next - fish and chips (another classic French dish :))

No comments:

Post a Comment