Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Day 19 of PCA II – Game Hens and Pork Tenderloins

We learned the art of Poele’ Roasting (Roasting in something’s own juices and basting) and regular roasting.

Tonight we did Poele’ Roasted Game Hens and Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Duxelle. The game hens I found to be blasé. While we browned the skin a bit, roasting covered doesn’t allow for the skin to get golden brown. They end up look pasty. Not something very appetizing looking to me. They were also stuffed with a mixture of bread cubes, sautéed apples and seasonings. I love stuffing and dressing. But I prefer to have them mixed together for a good texture. Not all gummy or all dried.

The pork tenderloin was good. The Duxelle was made by another class. While it is a mixture without a lot of moisture I think I would have added something to pump it up a bit. Mushrooms sautéed in butter, wine with shallots are bland. I will have to experiment with this one and see what I can come up with.

We lost another classmate tonight, Jay. He finally got into the morning class that he’s been trying to get into since he started but it was too full. We’re now 14 from our original 21. He was one of the chefs favorites in our last class. Not so much this class. I will say the Chef Instructors treat us all with the same level of professionalism no matter what our backgrounds or educations. Very refreshing. I am concerned that one of the students is trying to take advantage of one of the chef instructors. He’s a smart guy so he’s probably already very aware. I hate girls who do the “Oh woE is mE” ploy to get what they want. Or they cry for attention. Several of us have discussed this at some depth to try and figure out why she does it. It’s not going to make her grades any higher. She’ll get the same certificate as the rest of us. *shrug* There is not figuring some people out. It also amazes us how this person can look so incredibly busy doing absolutely nothing until the very last second and then gets noticed and has made herself look like she’s working all alone and working so hard and the rest of us hadn’t done a thing.

It’s very interesting when I read cooking magazines now. I remember reading them 1 year ago and when they’d describe a technique I’d have to read it a couple of times to get the gist of it. Now I read them and they’ll say something ‘truss the chicken’ ok don’t have to read that just do it. Or to make a pan sauce…don’t need this paragraph move on. I believe I’ll get a lot more out of my magazines and cookbooks because so much is clearer. Perhaps recipes I was intimidated to try before will jump off the page and say “You can do this with ease!”

It’s very hard to believe that PCA II is winding down and we’ll be off to CCT (Cold Prep) and then baking. (called PCA III) I’m not feeling as excited to move on this time. When I was going from PCA I to to PCA II I was ecstatic! I could not wait to get in the new kitchen and really start pouring it on. But from what I gather of PCA III it’s very slow and methodical. What I hope to get out of it is attention to detail and more on presentation ideas. I hope we get another Chef Instructor who allows us to stretch out a bit and challenges us. We’ve gotten a bit spoiled here in PCA II.

A few of us went out Friday to relax. We ended up at a sports bar (Big Wangs hahahaha) and had a good time. It’s really nice to have folks to relax with after class so when you complain they’re right there with you nodding in total understanding.

We’ve all come a long way from that first day.

Monday we do insurance..I mean Aflac!...no I mean duck.

Until then!...


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