Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Fish Day Two

The second day of fish cookery and I am in so much pain. I buggered my right shoulder up yesterday, making the aioli, and I can barely lift my arm. I am right handed, so this is not good! I ended up having one of those days - dropping stuff left right and center. I threw a whole tub of coarse salt on the floor, most of my utensils and dropped my perfectly shaped, uncooked baguette down the back of the deepfryer. At a certain point, you just have to laugh.
Anyway, here are the dishes:

Grilled Salmon, Potato Rosti, Beurre Rose Posted by Hello
The salmon fillets were seasoned with juniper, salt and pepper and grilled. The Beurre Rose was a sauce made with shallots, anchovies, red wine and lots of butter. Charles produced both of those items and did a great job. I made the potato rosti, which could have been crunchier. Chef Soren told me I wasn't using enough fat -- "don't fear the fat, you health nut!" he says to me...

Trout Meuniere Posted by Hello
Next up, the Trout Meuniere, prepared by Rachel. We all fileted our own trout, then Rachel dredged the fillets in browned flour and panfried quickly. After removing the fillets from the pan, she added in lemon royales, capers, butter and parsley. This was a very nice fish dish with an incredibly flavourful sauce.

Cauliflower Polonaise & Parslied potatoes Posted by Hello
The sides were entertaining. Cauliflower Polonaise is a very old fashioned dish amde with blanched cauliflower topped with seasoned breadcrumbs, chopped egg and parsley. I made this one. It was interesting. We also had turned potatoes tossed in parsley butter and grilled vegetables as well as the baguettes that we made.

The spread Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

Fish day One

Fish cookery begins. I love fish, so I was really looking forward to this. We prepared two fish dishes with sides. Here they are:

poached salmon Posted by Hello
I made a court bouillon and poached the salmon. Virginia and I whipped up the hollandaise sauce and Charles sauteed the spinach. This was my favourite fish dish, the hollandaise even tasted good with the salmon. The other fish, we didn't take a good picture of it as is didn't taste or look very exciting. It was Snapper En Papilotte. My favourite part of the meal though --

aioli Posted by Hello
Aioli. A delicious, garlicky mayonaise-like spread. I injured my shoulder making it, but it was so worth it. You take half a cooked russet potato, still hot, and mash it with three cloves of finely minced garlic. Let it cool a bit. Whip in one egg yolk and then slowly beat in 200mls of olive oil. Let it down with the potato water if it is too thick. Serve with crostini. Do not breathe on anyone after consumption. Between the threee of us, we almost killed our whole batch of aioli!
Anyway, here is the whole spread.

the spread Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Gravlax Part 2

Some of you may remember the gravlax tutorial. Well, I decided to try and replicate it at home and today we enjoyed the fruits (or fish) of my labour.

Gravlax part 2 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Celebration Posted by Hello
That's right, Coronas on the patio with oysters on the half shell. What's the occaision? I got my midterm results -- lets just say they were good!

Fun with Food

Day two of dry heat cooking methods. Since things went so smoothly yesterday, Chef Soren decreed that each group should make TWO meals. As we were a little bored yesterday, I was actually looking forward to the challenge. We had to make Grilled Flat Iron Steaks with "Marchand De Vins" Butter, Pommes Allumette (basically shoestring potatoes), Veal Scallopine Picatta and Risotto Milanese (with saffron) as well as a simple red leaf lettuce salad. It was another smooth day, group members all cooperating. I got to Grill the steaks AND do the deepfrying -- all new challenges for me. I think everything turned out well, although I decided that I don't even like the taste of veal. Which makes avoiding it that much easier!
Here is what we made, steak in the foreground, veal and risotto behind.

Steak etc.. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sautéeing with Sorena

Well, it finally arrived, the day I have been half dreading, half looking forward to. There is this one guy in my glass with a serious attitude problem and I have been dreading the thought of working with him. On the other hand, I was looking for a good excuse to blow up at him. The other member of my group, someone I have been looking forward to working with, felt similar to me (I think). We both held back the hysterical giggles as he reluctantly joined us at the station.
It was a bit of a letdown -- no blowup, he was on his best behaviour. It was actually slightly creepy. However, as a group we functioned very well and executed what was, in my opinion, a very excellent meal. Exotic Mushroom Ragout, Lemon Green Beans, Potato Rosti, and Pork Medallions. The plating looks very odd from this angle, but here it is:

pork Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Gravlax tutorial

Chef Soren offered us the opportunity to come by after class and learn how to make gravlax. I was excited because (A) I have always wanted to make gravlax and (B) I am so happy that he is willing to offer us his time and effort so that we might learn new and interesting techniques. And it WAS interesting. We started with a whole salmon.

Gravlax, in the beginning.. Posted by Hello
He then removed the scales using the back of his knife to scrape along the skin.

Removing the scales Posted by Hello
The fish was filleted, removing the head and spine.

Filleting the fish Posted by Hello
Then the pinbones were removed.

removing the pinbones Posted by Hello
A mixture of salt, white peppercorns and sugar was made up (normally, fresh dill would be involved as well) The fish was then layered with this salt mixture, making sure everything is liberally coated and that the pieces af salmon are lying flesh to flesh.

Finishing the gravlax Posted by Hello
A baking tray was placed on top of the salmon and then heavy weights were placed on top of the tray, pressing the salmon down as it cures.


What I did in class today... Posted by Hello
That says it all, really. I reallllllllllllllly don't like this class. today was HACCP and an hour discussing apprenticing. Correction, two hours of listening to "Chef" Tim talk about something that made my eyes glaze over.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Dinner

Roasting day part two. Sunday dinner with the works: Roast Beef, Yorkshire pudding, glazed carrots, potatoes fondant and Tomatoes Stuffed with Duxelles. Oh, and carrot ginger soup of our own devising for starter. Still in the same group (whine whine, I know everyone is getting sick of hearing about it, so I'll lay off...) We were given the order yesterday to decide on a recipe for carrot soup which used ginger as an ingredient. I asked my group for opinions, I got blank stares, shrugged shoulders and a general lack of excitement. So I decided to pick and develop a recipe all by myself. After digging through various sources, I decided on a carrot soup with loads of fresh ginger and some black cardamom and cinnamon, finishing with a touch of cream.

Carrot & Ginger Soup with Black Cardamom Posted by Hello
The roast was taken on by Michael, who although quiet and not really a take charge kind of guy, does a good job. Min-Ki carved it as well as doing most of the finesse cutting for our group. That guy is a superstar when it comes to the cutting!

Min-Ki Carving the Roast Posted by Hello
Sean was shipped off to another group, but we survived without him, running a team effort on the remaining dishes. Our Yorkshire puddings were the worst part, flat and hard, but at least I know why -- oil wasn't hot enough. It was a really good class and a good week all around.

The Dinner Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

Roasting Meats, Day One

Today was pretty exciting, we were making a full meal for the first time this year. the main focus of the class was roasting techniques with regards to meat, but we also got to make bread, mashed potatoes and a tian of eggplant and zucchini. I know I have complained a lot about my groups, and when I discovered today that I was once again working with the two ESL students and a shy guy I worked with a few weeks back, I decided to drop the faux pliant nice girl thing and just take over. I told them what to do, I wrote out lists, it was all beautifully organised and the class was so low stress today. My group made Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Bay Leaves and Peppercorns. It was so good!! Everything was good. Here are the photos:

Sean finishing the plates Posted by Hello

garlic mashed potatoes Posted by Hello

slow roasted pork Posted by Hello

Tian Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 15, 2005


I took from obsessing about school to enjoy some downtime with friends. We had a couple of pretexts for the celebration - belated birthday for me, New job for one of the other people in the group. Mainly, it was just an opportunity to get together and sit down to a fabulous, family style feast at one of my favourite Italian restaurants. Here we are, with some editing since I didn't ask my dear friends' permission to put up a photo...

cipriano's Posted by Hello