Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Day Six – 3 Sauces, 1 Dish and in Need of a new gym equipment…

Well Day 6 started off with a test of what we learned last week. 20 questions in all, all short answer type questions. I feel I did pretty well with the exception of 1 question. The question (as I read it) was “What 4 things did you do to prepare?” They have been beating into our heads to be prepared for class, have your daily scheduled made, make sure we’re ready i.e. trim nails, clean uniform etc. So that’s what I put as my answer. Well after the test is over everyone is anxiously asking each other “what did you put down for question X?” I hear someone ask “on that question about the 4 things we’ve done I put down chop a lot of carrots.”….Huh? Wait a minute….that doesn’t sound right. So I ask someone else what they put down and they said the soups, the veggies and I’m like “You did that tonight to prepare for class?” They respond..”No I did that last week” (of course giving me this quizzical look of has she lost her fool mind?) Seems the question was not ‘what did you do to…’ but rather ‘what 4 did you...’ DOH!!! I just know the chef instructors are reading that going “what in the heck was she thinking?”

Next it’s time to mix us up a bit. Everyone had their partner switched and we were put at new stations. I am now partnered with Scott, who, as it turns out has a lot of restaurant experience. But he too is there to learn.

Demo’s are done and we’re cut loose to set forth upon the bounty of ingredients to make our 3 sauces for the evening. Espagnole, Tomato and Hollandaise.

First up is tomato as it takes almost 2 hours to cook. This was a team assignment and I must say we pulled it off brilliantly. Well more so Scott as I don’t think he was wearing ¼ of it on his uniform like me. (For the record polka dots are not flattering on a white chef jacket) Next we’re on to our individual sauces – first for that is the espagnole as it takes about an hour to cook. This sauce gets its base from veal stock. And is yummy. Up next is the hollandaise. Now for those of you that have never made hollandaise from scratch allow me to give you a heads up. Start working out on your shoulder muscles now. I’m serious…this sauce would put most major baseball pitchers in the locker room with an iced down shoulder. First you whip the egg yolks together with your reduction (wine, vinegar and shallots – strained). Then you put it over a bain marie (hot water bath) and you really start to whisk…on the heat…off the heat…on the heat…off the heat….DO NOT STOP WHISKING! As your shoulder begins to wake up and wonder what in the heck all the movement is your brain is laughing mechanically at the shoulder “hahaha it’s your turn!!! I had to work to memorize all this now you get to do the rest!! Bwahahah!!” And I sit back watching it all like the Brady Bunch Movie when Janet went all demented. A quick splash of hot boiling water on my hand instantly brings me out of my reverie. We’re whisking and whisking….WooHoo my soft peaks have form!! (I feel like it’s Tuesday already and not still Monday evening) It is now time to add my clarified butter (that took a bit of doing) one small ladle at a time. When I say small I mean like an ounce or so and I have 12 ounces to add in. (Yes feel my whisking pain….) Now, the really fun thing is that during all this whisking you better be stirring your other sauces so they don’t burn or stick. I am pondering what type of steroid will assist me in growing 2 additional arms. As my hollandaise is close to being done I put my asparagus on the steamer. My shoulder is now numb.

**Now this is where we need that new equipment piece at the gym. I’m thinking a whisk hooked up to a tension line that can be adjusted to build up those muscles. You just go in a whisk for 20 minutes. Works out your arms and let me tell you your cardio too!**

My hollandaise is presented and gets good marks. So does our tomato sauce (though I am concerned that it reduced quite a bit, about 2 cups more than anyone else). My espagnole sauce is excellent as well. Now it’s time to start on clean up….

At both sink stations there is a mountain of dishes. This was the night that every pot and bowl was used. It took 10 us almost an hour to get them all done. (And when I find the yahoo’s that are bringing their dishes over and just dropping them off and leaving and not even rinsing them! ..ggrr)

I keep forgetting to take pictures. I guess when every last brain cell is focused on getting dishes done that can happen. I even wrote in bold red letters on my daily schedule “Pictures” but still my brain blocked out. I will keep trying.

Until next time…..


At 12:34 PM, Blogger Dani said...

That's interessting - it takes me less than 10 minutes to make Hollondaise. Don't be afraid to add the butter - just keep whisking and add the butter ;-)


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