Friday, September 08, 2006

Day 13 - Prep Night

I was kind of surprised at tonight. The big time eater was slicing all the veggies (brunoise…I have come to hate that term) and then waiting for the soup to cook.

Tonight we made split pea soup, braised baby artichokes in white wine, compound butter and couscous.

Prep soup – 15 minutes and let it cook for almost 2 hours. Not much to do while it’s cooking except stir it now and then.

Prep couscous 15 minutes. Add hot stock, let rest for 5 min, fluff and plate. Well that wasn’t so hard.

Prep compound butter – 5 minutes, mix all ingredients 2 minutes. That was pretty easy. *shrugs*

Prep artichokes – 15 minutes. Let simmer for about 40 minutes. Ok…so we have soup on now for 45 minutes and our artichokes are simmering. Butter is done, couscous is done……what to do…what to do….stir soup and ponder some more. I look down at my station and wonder...’why on earth do I have those shallots sitting there?’ Oh crap! Those were suppose to go into my butter. Lucky for me that was an easy fix, just unwrap it remix and rewrap. Stupid mistake. Back to being bored and watching my soup. I hear the call of “Red can you help me?” YES!! Something to do!! I rush right over feeling ever so important that it was I being asked and not the chef instructors...whatever will they need? I don’t care I’m ready for the challenge!!! “Can you show me how to wrap the butter in the tube shape?” I know at that moment you could visibly see me deflate. But none the less I assisted with my usual happy self. Back to my soup...stir…stir…ok I’m gonna wash dishes. Well those are done. Soup still isn’t thick enough but the artichokes are done. They smell wonderful…what do you mean I can’t taste them?!?! You told us to taste everything…..I know I only have 3 and if I taste one I’ll only have 2..but..but…Arg! Into a mise cup they go labeled for some dish we’re doing tomorrow. *sigh*

Soup still isn’t thickening….interestingly enough it’s getting thinner. So is Emma’s. About 12 people have presented their soup now. I’m not too happy. Time for some ingenuity. I move the pot to front where there’s a bit of a down draft, crank the heat a bit and don’t stop stirring. Let’s break those peas up and watch the steam evaporate. There we go…soup is ready in about 15 minutes. And this stuff tastes so good. I will admit it would be better served on a cold day than a day that was 102 degress. But the bacon, onions, cracked pepper made the flavor so smooth. There is a richness in this soup that just makes you think about being home in the fall with a good book.

Well that’s about it for today. Tomorrow we’re doing a vegetable plate and I finally will get to eat one of those braised artichokes!


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