The weekend started with completing our first Practical Exam. The exam that I had to cook broccoli soup, make mayonnaise by hand, and dice potatoes to get 20 pieces as perfect as possible 1/2inch x1/2inch cubes.
The Verdict (The Practical)
Well, I didn’t get a perfect score, but I was proud of what I did get, a strong 91. I had a perfect 10 on my diced potatoes, and the mayonnaise was great. My soup was very tasty but slightly thick, and needed more salt. And the biggie…it was cold. I bet you that won’t happen again. I’ll just be taking the lessons from that and focus on doing better on the next practical.
Now We Cook
Another awesome week in the books, or should I say the iPad. The school tuition includes an iPad that has the books and all of the material that we learn each week. I titled this post ‘Week 6, Now We Cook’ because we finally are cooking. We are cooking so much, that we don’t even need to take a break for lunch, or get to take a break. Now we eat what we make for lunch, as we keep working. Yup, no breaks, now we cook through the 8 hour class each day. So, hooray for finally cooking food, that isn’t sauce, but, no breaks for eight hours…WOW. I was so busy in the kitchen on Sunday, I didn’t even stop for a bathroom break. I guess I felt like I would be behind, or miss something if I left.
I am soooo making this again, we started with cooking proteins and making pan sauce. We cooked a chicken breast in a pan, and then let the chicken breast finish in the oven, while we added minced shallots to the pan we cooked the chicken in to develop fond, or the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Once the shallots were browned, we added white wine to deglaze and let that cook down to “au sec”. Au sec is dry, meaning let the wine cook down until most of the moisture is gone, and then we added chicken stock to build the sauce. Once the stock reduced and thickened, we added just a little bit of butter to add richness and a glossy appearance. We also did the same with skirt steak, and used red wine and veal stock instead of white wine and chicken stock.
After we sautéd and made pan sauce with chicken and flank steak, we did other variations with strip steak, pork tenderloin, and scallops.