This week was mostly about “All Things Fried”. You name it we fried it, or else we will fry it soon. After last weeks sautéing, we finished up with a little bit more sautéing with fish. I broke down the sole and cooked it with a lemon brown butter sauce. We had the chance to cook a tranche of salmon. Turns out tranche just basically means a piece of a whole, so a piece of sautéed salmon. French just makes everything so fancy, I am tempted to start learning French.
One of the readers pointed out that I mentioned I cooked somethings but didn’t have the picture. Let me just tell you that the pace that we have to cook at is crazy. I wrote out aIl of my recipes cards for what I thought was for the entire weekend, and at the middle of Saturdays break, I realized I was going to cook all of the cards in one day. I think part of the reason that we have to work at the pace that we do is that we are a weekend class, so 5 days is crammed into 2, but also the pace of a busy kitchen will be similar, so I have no complaints. I will just say, that the pictures that I do capture are so lucky, because I barely remember my name let alone to take out my phone for a picture. All I know is “yes chef” and “add more salt”. I will try my best to do better.
We learned a lot about frying, from pan frying to deep frying. We made potato pancakes with apple sauce, crab cakes with an avocado sauce, and Tostones with Cuban Mojo Sauce. These were all of the pan fried items we cooked. I look forward to attempting to put my own spin on some of these recipes
Next, we deep fried oysters, and I gotta tell you I am pretty pleased with my oyster shucking skills, and my breaking down the chicken isn’t too bad either, I just need to pick up the pace for all of it. We had some pretty large oysters, so I have to learn the proper cook, because mine were a little but under, but not ever having them fried before, I have to order some at a restaurant. We also made cocktail sauce for the oysters. Another item that isn’t pictured was our Broccoli Tempura and Wasabi Soy sauce. It just wasn’t that pretty. After doing the small items, we moved to the big stuff.
We deep fried chicken, and fish and chips. One of the things I will say, is we work a lot in teams in class, so working together to achieve everything, while still trying to learn about everything is difficult. I was not able to fry the cod, because I was working on the french fries, so one of my teammates took care of that task. I try to choose the task that is the least familiar to me. I had never fried french fries and well you know the fried chicken story. I was able to learn about frying french fries, and after blanching them in a lower heat oil, chef came by my station and told me that I needed to put them back in to blanch more. Now I know how soft they should be, they should be soft enough but still hold their shape so that when you fry the second time to get the color you have a crisp golden outside, while the internal part of the frie is soft and fluffy potato. I couldn’t stop eating them.
Finally, we learned about the grill. Did you know those grill marks take true skill. I definitely have to practice my “quadriage”, the diamond pattern. The trick is to put the meat at 10:00 and then when those grill marks are right, you turn the meat to 2:00. Try, it now that Spring is finally here…hopefully, and send me your photos. So we grilled chicken, flank steak, rib eye, and vegetables. We put the vegetables in a marinade that we made before we grilled them, and we made an herb butter or “Maitre d’Hotel Butter” for the rib eye, so delicious.
We wrapped up the weekend to get our grades for the first term or Module. I have a 3.67, which is fair, but I’m aiming to bring that up this module. Chef then assigned us a 5 page paper on dry heat cooking methods. We have to write about 2 of them and the fat that you can use for them…five pages. I hope double space is ok. Next week we roast and grill a bit more.
I put a bonus picture of something I didn’t cook, but it was delicious. We have class during a weekend Pastry class, similar to ours, so they share all of the tasty treats they make, and having no will power, and a love for apple desserts, I couldn’t leave this on the tray, plus chef not only told us we have a 5 page paper, but that we also have an exam, hence the late post. Well, I better get back to studying.