Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Day 21 – It’s the New and the Review

Well tonight brought us 4 dishes. 2 old to review, 2 new where one of the was very similar to another dish with just 2 extra components. And there was the “Sorry we didn’t tell you something and your dish came out like crap, but we’re going to mark you down anyways.”

So we re-made Glazed Carrots. My cuts were small bite size and yet I could not get those buggers fork tender if my life depended on it! We’re to cook them in butter and chicken stock, then add sugar to make the sauce nappe’ (thick). It’s the sugar that does it. Well my darn things went nappe’ before I added the sugar because it took so long to cook the buggers. It wasn’t until almost the end of class that we find out why. The carrots had been frozen. Oh they were room temperature when we got them, so we were clueless, but the freezing changes a compound in the carrots thus making them harder than hell to cook properly. That was fun.

Next up, Rice Pilaf. Pretty easy dish, just time consuming on the wild rice. At least this time my brunoise carrots were good. (*shudders at the word Brunoise*)

The next two dishes were similar to ones we’ve done, Potatoes/Artichoke Gratin. These were very much like the Pommes Dauphinoise in which you take a potato, peel and slice into rings. You also take 3 artichoke hearts (nothing easy here, these tasty little tidbits make you work for them) and slice them the same way. You then layer them, with slice garlic and Gruyere cheese and top with cream and let them bake. Not for the 35 minutes it suggests, but for the reality time of 1 hour 30 minutes. Top with Panko bread crumbs with melted butter and let that cook again till golden. Let’s just say that while this dish is time consuming it is very, very good.

Last, but not least, Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes. I love roasted garlic and make it a lot. Add it to some butter and you have a really nice spread. It’s also good on pizza’s, salads, pasta...but enough about me. We roasted the garlic and boiled some red potatoes. Those then get ‘smashed’ with a fork so they are not mashed. You take cream and butter and scald it and then add the garlic. Pour all of that over the potatoes and season. Folks if you don’t like this dish you’re insane. And don’t get all “it’s too many carbs…” on me. You need carbs, they need you, adjust accordingly!

I got my weekly grades back 98.80! And I got a 95% on my written/knife cut test. If I hadn’t messed up on that one knife cut I would have had a 100%. Oh I will be kicking myself for that one for a while.

Tomorrow we’re back to basics and more review. I hope to improve on them. I tried to keep notes on what the chefs told me when I presented the first time. Keep your fingers crossed!


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