Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 53-54

Day 53 was a lesson on fish butchery, plate presentation, and grilling vegetables. We butchered trout and then produced Trout Meuniere (which is simply dredged in flour, pan-sauteed, and finished with fresh lemon juice and brown butter) over parmesan laced farro and grilled endive. Endive is fantastic but it can be bitter so soaking it in water for up to 24 hours before you use it can reduce the overall bitterness. I topped my dish with a parmesan herb crisp and some fresh parsley. I wasn't happy with the presentation of my dish but I ran out of time and had to present (we are given a specific 1 minute window of time to present our dishes for grades and if we miss the window we don't get graded for the day). 

Oh well.  Can't win them all. 

We finished the day with a garnishment workshop. We created all sorts of garnishes like pickled red onions, fried capers, candied lemon zest, fried onions, graufrette potatoes, cold infused oil, cellophane potatoes, candied walnuts, dried tomatoes, and vinegar reductions. 

Day 54 was lesson on cleaning and steaming mussels.  We produced steamed mussels in a tomato sauce with grilled baguette which I topped with some fried basil leaves  followed by Coq au Vin with roasted spaghetti squash, pearl onions, and mushroom caps which I topped with fried pearl onion shavings.  Coq au vin translates from French literally to mean "rooster with wine" but it is classically a braised chicken dish with wine, bacon lardons, and mushrooms.  When steaming mussels it is key to remember to clean them well and remove the "beard" first. 

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