Friday, December 01, 2006

Day 10 and 11 of CCT – Canapés, Oysters and Caviar

So day 10 was the day we presented all of our canapés. (Picture below) This was such fun! The puff pastry for the smoke duck mousse came out beautifully! I’m going to try and use my puff pastry on Saturday for a desert type snack for a party I’m having. I hope it rises as nice as “E’s” dough did. Everyone one of our dishes came out so tasty. The ceviche in the cucumber cups was so good. I had never had it in the cucumber cups before, just the individual serving spoons. The cucumber added such a nice flavor. I enjoyed this class so much I went and bought the same book the Chef had for us to look at for examples and inspiration. Yes they’re time consuming and sometimes tedious, but they are so worth it. Sure beats cheese whiz on a ritz cracker Hahaha.

Day 11 opens with us having to shuck oysters. This was a totally new experience for me and how folks enter contests and shuck over 2 dozen in just a few minutes is beyond me. Either that or I had bionic oysters. Those sucker are hard. They say if you have to fight for your food you appreciate it more, and that could not be more true for oysters. You truly earn you meal then. I’m not a big fan of them but I always try everything we make. So I slurped one down raw. Basically it tasted like you swallowed a bit of salt water. I wasn’t sure if you’re suppose to chew them so I opted for the let’s not chew and find out what’s inside method. So then a couple of folks fried some off. One was fried with a seasoned cornmeal batter. I tried one, that, I did not like, at all. Ok next round was Carey’s she added Tabasco to her batter. Now we’re making a bit of progress. I love Tabasco! Let’s sample shall we…ok well that didn’t help like I thought it would. “Red you need cocktail sauce on it..” Hey if it’ll help I’ll try it. Lord it’s worse…as I look for a place to relieve my mouth of the offending morsel inside. But Carey is determined I try yet another one this time with just lemon juice. I know I had that look on my face of “Why do you hate me suddenly?” but she just started squeezing lemon and shoving it in my hand. Ok here go…hhmm…hey this isn’t so bad but it needs a little something…of course! Salt! So a lot of salt and lemon and I can enjoy fried oysters. Oh and the batter has to be spicy.

So the other thing we presented was caviar. No not beluga (at like $125 an ounce) but California’s finest ($12.95 a pound). Kidding on that part of course. So we had to make bilini’s to serve our caviar on along with the traditional condiments. Ours included hard boiled egg (white and yolks separated) that were passed thru a sieve. Minced sweet onions, lemon wedges and fines herbs. The mixed up for our group was communication. One person started the batter, another went got the ingredients to do the same. So got that straighten out. “A” said he’d make the batter, “G” got on the sauce for something, I got the eggs boiled and pushed through the sieve. The batter is where we got WAY behind. First step was to mix the flour and yeast (activated) and put it in the proofer for 30 minutes, pull it out, mix in the next set of ingredients and back in the proofer for an hour. So stage one (30 min) goes by and 30 minutes after that I see our batter hasn’t been touched. He totally forgot about it. So it’s now been in the proofer for an hour. It still has to have the second set of ingredients put in and back in for another hour. It’s now 8:40! Needless to say I was very agitated over that and let him know. So I ended up finishing our dough and cooking it off.
The bilini’s are done, and it’s time to assemble. We piped on a bit of crème fraiche, then a topped it with a bit of caviar and garnished with a thin slice of green onion. So everyone had to try one. They all hated it. Even made them I’m going to throw up face. But I’m telling you true they were NOT that bad. As a matter of fact I finished off the plate. I loved them!! Who knew! Cheap caviar makes me happy. I thought they had a great flavor because everything blends so well. I only put a touch of onion and a small squeeze of lemon on them and scarfed them down. I was disappointed that the 2 other teams finished up first and took theirs over to the other classes because I would have eaten theirs too.

Tomorrow we learn more about catering and we’re doing a cheese presentation. I’m not big on cheese. I’m more of a glass of wine, a bit of brie and I’m happy. But who knows, didn’t think I’d like the caviar either.

Until Tomorrow!... Posted by Picasa


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