Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 50-52

After a relaxing Christmas break we were back to school this last week. I am in a new class with yet another new chef instructor. This class will simply build on the last class and it is not so much about the recipes but more so about the technique and process.  

Day 50 was a lesson on dry and moist heat cooking. With dry heat methods the heat is conducted without moisture meaning that hot air, metal, radiation, or fat is necessary. With moist heat methods the heat is conducted to the food by water or water-based liquids such as stock and sauce, or by steam.  Production included making whipped potatoes, BBQ sauces, and grilled chicken. 

Day 51 was lesson on stewing, par boiling, brining, and utilizing left-overs (because you can't run a successful business without learning how to be creative with left-overs!).  We produced beef stew, cocotte potatoes (diced and par-cooked potatoes that you brown in butter to finish) and glazed vegetables. We also made a pastie dough which is a beautiful flakey dough that can be used for all sorts of things like pot pies, etc. We also brined a pork loin for the following day's class.  Brines are a liquid mixed with salt and sometimes herbs that you use to break down the connective tissue in your product. The brine also adds moisture back into the product so its great for items that have less fat and tend to dry our easier (IE pork and turkey). 

Day 52 was a lesson was on roasting, searing, baking, and braising. We produced an English meat pie using the pastie dough and left over beef stew from Day 51. We also produced a roasted pork loin with pan sauce, bulger pilaf, braised red cabbage, and sauteed apples. My English Meat pie sort of exploded during the baking process - a better egg wash seal would have prevented that. 

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