Friday, October 13, 2006

Day 8 of PCA II – The Fish – She is Back

Tonight was Albacore night and these suckers were BIG. I would like to personally thank Chef Romero for fabricating that monstrosity for us and going further to fabricate the pieces we would be searing. We also cooked up a nice Bouillabaisse.

So we had Seared Tuna with Forbidden Rice, Maui Onion Confit and Pineapple and Mango Salsa. Add to that our Bouillabaisse with Shrimp, Mussels, Clams, Diver Scallops, Snapper and Lobster with toasted baguette with Rouille on the side. While only two dishes there were several components that had to be done separately that caused some slow down. The rice had to cook for quite a while, then everything had to be chopped up for the confit and salsa. The peppers had to be roasted for the rouille and then everything pureed together. Shell fish had to be cleaned and steamed and held. But it all came together nicely.

I finally got to play with a mold. No not that stuff you see in your fridge a lot. The metal molds you can form your food with. While simple in design it can really make a difference in presentation. Of course you have to have the right foods to use in the mold. (my favorite mold is the ones for jello shooters…but that will have to be another class)
That’s the other nice part of school. You get introduced not only to different foods and cooking techniques but also devices. I had never used, or seen a food mill until doing this school or a pasta machine, fillet knife, chiniois, china cap, a spider and a lot of other things.

Oh I forgot to tell you, the word of the day is Schmutz. This is Chef Rorschach’s word for dirty spots, smudges, spice flakes, basically anything that should be wiped off or away. And DO NOT make her do the Schmutz Walk. You had better make darn sure your area is clean or she’ll find the stuff for you and then some. I cannot stress enough how important cleanliness is. Thank goodness they’re watching for cross contamination and general messes because some just are not use to paying attention to so many details. I think many of us take time for granted and use short cuts. I’m glad I have 4 different cutting boards at home that I can set up easily for various items. I wish I had that luxury at school.

There are nights as I’m driving home I wonder – what have I learned today? Everything happens so fast you don’t really have time to reflect. You’re much too busy remembering the Chef demo’s, reading the recipes and preparing the food. It’s usually not until the weekends as I’m preparing dinner that I find myself doing things differently. Then other things start coming to mind and I have many “Ah-Ha” moments. By Sunday I’m amazed at how much I actually retained. It gets even more fun when folks at work ask me questions about a recipe or food and dole out the advice with calm assertiveness. I never realized how many questions people have about food but never ask because they never knew anyone to ask. But now that they all know I’m going to culinary school it’s “Denise how do I..?” or “Denise what should I…?” and “Denise do you have any suggestions…?” and so forth. The hardest part is when I have to stop talking about food, recipes and school.

Sidebar – I’m starting to develop a twitch from my drive home. Every other night as I’m bee-bopping home I get the CHP, Sheriff or PD right behind me and they light me up. My adrenaline starts going, instantly I’m sweating and of course I’m looking at my speedometer thinking “67 mph is a bad thing?” and just as I start to merge right they zip past me after someone else. Now while I’m really glad they’re not after me I think I’ve had 5 years taken off my life because of this. The other night I, somehow, got in the middle of a pursuit. Next thing I know I’ve got the bad guy right in front of me, 2 CHP’s up my rear and one on either side. Instantly you think “Lights, sirens merge to the right and get out of their way..” but I can’t because well one is there. So, do I brake, maintain speed, back off…I have no clue. I’m just praying they don’t have a spike strip up there waiting for him and get me too, or that he’s already been spiked and is about to loose control of his car and get me in the process. Lucky for me Mr. Assailant decides to get off the freeway and off they all go and I get to continue on my merry way. With enough stomach acid to eat through nails and will probably be constipated for a week.

Nothing much out of the ordinary happened tonight. But I do have a few pictures to share.

The Seared Tuna

The Bouillabaisse

Here is Chef Rorschach. As you recall she subbed one day during our first class. She’s a kick.

This is Chef Romero. He got really mad when I tried to take his picture and told me to get back to my station.

I hope to get more pictures of different things. It's so hard to remember to take the camera out of my pocket. Chef Rorschach was kind enough to remind me each time she tasted a dish "Which one do you want me to taste so I don't ruin your picture?" That's when I go Oh yeah I have a camera!

Until Tomorrow...

PS- Chef Romero wasn’t really mad about the picture, he actually posed for that shot. He’s been razzing me because of what I posted a while back about the music bugging me. So it was my turn. (evil smile) He is really a great guy with a wealth of information and seems to have a lot of patience. I'd say that's a pretty good thing with us. He has a way of explaining things so they make sense and everything comes together. Posted by Picasa


Post a Comment

<< Home