Whalechaser's Musings

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three Day Culinary Basics - - Day 3

I thought it would be a good idea to get a couple of pictures of the classroom that I have been working in for the past three days. So here are two pictures from two of the far corners of the room. Now that I have taken them, I realize that you are not seeing any of the appliances and workspaces along the perimeter of the room. I guess I will just have to take another course so I can get into the room again for some more pictures!

This is a Chuck Roast that we are using to prepare a pot roast by braising. Notice how the edge has some nice fat for flavoring the sauce and in the middle there is a little fat marbling..but not too much; otherwise the dish would get greasy.
We dried it first with a paper towel and seasoned with salt and pepper
Then placed it into a deep pot with a little oil for browning on both sides
Once that was done, we added some diced onions and sauteed until golden brown
We then added some demi-glace that had been thinned with stock to the pot; we deglazed the pan with wine and simmered for a bit before putting the roast back in

We added some fresh cut up carrots, celery and mushrooms
the liquid should only come up about 2/3rds of the meat otherwise it will boil; it should just simmer in the liquid and have the top exposed. We did cover the pot.
After several hours we fork tested the meat and then removed it for slicing. You could just pull it apart in chunks or smaller pieces...we opted for slices.
We removed the vegetables from the liquid and reduced what was there to about half; prepared matching amounts of flour and butter in a paste form and stirred it into the liquid to thicken

Then drizzled it over the sliced pot roast. It was divine!
We also made blueberry almond muffins. Here you see the dry ingredients and the frozen blueberries waiting for the wet ingredients to be added.
First you coat the berries so they don't bleed all through the batter
The wet ingredients need to be blended before adding to the dry...
Then just combine it, as soon as you see a blue color in the dough, you are done
We used an ice cream scoop to put the batter in the baking pans...we sprayed the pans with a baking oil coating to prevent sticking and it worked just fine. After they are in the oven for half the estimated time, they must be turned so they all cook evenly.
We have painted the glaze on them and now just add a few slivered almonds and it is done!
So...you thought salad was easy? Here we are putting hardboiled eggs through a potato ricer to get small even pieces of egg for the tossed salad
We cut up several slices of bread, sprinkled them with oil and some herbs
Spread the concoction evenly on a baking pan and roasted for 10 minutes or so at 350 degrees
Here is what we got! I may never buy croutons again!
here's the rest of the salad ingredients
and there it is in a pretty bowl.
I made the dressing, but since I have no pictures. I won't bore you with the items that went into it. Suffice to say it was great.
Then of course we had to make a really nice dessert...what is better than chocolate souffle? We buttered the ramekins and then sprinkled sugar in each one, it helps the souffle come away from the dish when it bakes. We cleaned off the first 1/4 inch of the inside so the souffle did not get stuck when trying to rise.
The egg yolks, sugar cream need to be blended
The bittersweet chocolate and cream and butter need to be heated and blended gently.
Then poured slowly into the egg mixture so as not to cook the eggs
Then all added back to the pan and cooked some more
Until it is thickened a bit
We whip the egg whites and sugar to get a nice froth

They say if you can turn the pan upside down and it doesn't come out, it is the right consistency

You mix a little of the froth into the chocolate, then

Fold the rest in to get a nice light mixture
Here is what they look like before going into the oven
And thisis the finished product

Actually...THIS is the finished product!

Now, I know we all can make mashed potatoes...but not like this! First cut them into about 1 inch squares, they cook pretty quickly this way

When cooked push them through a potato ricer
Here is what it looks like before any butter or cream/milk
melt the butter in the milk
salt and pepper the riced potatoes then add the milk butter mixture and stir. In moments you will have teh best mashed potatoes you have ever had.
Next we did steaks. I actually had this down pretty good before this class, but I learned that you shoudl blot the meat with paper towels first, then oil and season with salt and pepper

Place them on the grill facing 10 o'clock to sear, after a few minutes just point them towards
2 o'clock..and you have perfect diamond grill marks on that side, flip and do the same on the other side

See.. pretty cool huh?
Here they are all done
Here they are ready for serving

This is Jill my cook-mate for the last three days...what a great time we both had!
Here is my lunch plate of steak, mashed potatoes, pot roast and string beans

1 comment:

Goldenrod said...

A great series, Whale!