Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A more normal week

I think this week should be more normal than last week - it was hard going to school Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I like having that Friday break, it's needed.

Last night was a cold dish appetizer night.  We started out with a carrot and fennel salad with a champagne vinaigrette.  My chef is starting to really talk to us about different textures in dishes - smooth, crunchy, etc.  So, what I thought would be an easy salad of julienned carrots and fennel was not so easy.  We started out cooking some carrots in butter and then pureeing them with some champagne to make a smooth puree.  This was laid on the bottom of the dish and topped with julienned fennel that had been mixed with the champagne vinaigrette.  On top of the fennel was fried carrot strips - just plain julienned carrots that were deep fried.  Scattered around the dish was some fennel brittle - just hard caramel with fennel seeds added.  It was good.

We also made steak tartare - raw ground beef served with an egg on top.  It's supposed to be a raw egg yolk, but we poached ours.  We also had a parmesan tuile on the side and a little arugula salad to go with it.  When I went for my interview with the school, this was what I had for lunch.  It's not bad - not as bad as you think.  I wouldn't eat it all the time, but it was tasty.  We started with a top butt of meat and chopped our own finely.

Friday, July 8, 2011

An odd week

It's been an odd week at school.  We had off on Saturday and Monday for the 4th of July holiday, so we came back to school on Wednesday and then Thursday we had the second session of our wine-tasting class.  Tonight (Friday) we have a make up class for missing Monday but we are doing a taste sensation class with the head chef from school, no producing anything.  I have no idea what taste sensation entails, but I'll let you know - I guess it has to do with the sweet, salty, bitter, sour, etc. sensations.  Tomorrow is a big cook day (7 items!).  I'll be ready for some sleep when it's all said and done.

On Wednesday, our cook night this week, we made a cold cucumber and mint soup.  It was refreshing, but a little too "cucumber-y" for me.  I like cucumbers, but it was a bit much.  It had cucumber, mint, garlic, anise seeds and some sherry vinegar and yogurt all blended in the blender until smooth.  We had seeded the cucumber and mixed the seeds with some chives for the topping - interesting.

We also did paella.  Yum!  How can you go wrong with chicken, onions, chorizo, peppers, tomatoes, shrimp, mussels and peas?  Add the rice and some saffron in and it's a little bit of heaven on a plate.  Best part?  Lots of ingredients, but only one pot!  Sorry I didn't get a picture, because it was pretty all there in the paella pan with some fancy lemon wedges on the top.

I'm starting to look at places to do my externship - looking at some higher end hotels around the area.  Praying something comes of one of them.

Have a great weekend!