Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cream of Roasted Red Pepper

Last night Maria and I teamed up as part of our practical and created a Cream of Roasted Red Pepper soup...

Following the classic (idea) recipe of cream of mushroom soup; we browned 1 tbsp of diced bacon in a hot ban with clarified butter...we then added approx 8 oz (weight) of small diced mirepoix, with green leek and minced garlic.
After we glazed the veggies and made them nice and brown we added 1 tbsp of tomato paste, and 4 oz of diced tomato. We added 2 -3 oz of burgundy wine to deglaze the pan and then pinced the tomato products (1 tbsp of tomato paste & 4 oz diced tomato/concosse).
We then added approx 4 oz of flour to the mix and created a brown roux...after the mix was thick and brown we added 1 qt of cold veal stock to the mix and deglazed the pan. We then added one whole unseeded and diced roasted red pepper (which I roasted over an open flame with olive oil and salt) to the mix. I also dropped in a sachet we made of white & black peppercorns and bay leaf. We brought the soup to a boil and then simmered for approx 20 -30 min...

Maria and I then created some easy to make croutons (like popcorn) and some extra diced roasted red pepper for garnish.

When the soup was ready we pureed the soup with a blender (submersion blender was We poured the finished soup through a strainer into a large bowl; where we seasoned with salt & white pepper to taste. We then began to ladel out the goodness into individual bowls. We drizzled approx 1 tbsp of warm cream into the soup and added the croutons and roasted red pepper garnish...

WOW...this soup was awesome! I would totally make this fact put it on the menu...!!!!
We got so caught up in making this soup (chef's choice on practical exam) along with the bechamel, espagnole (which we screwed up), fresh mayonnaise and all the knife cuts we had to do...that we forgot to take pictures...LOL...oops!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Week 3 Fundamentals

This was SOUP week!

We made French Onion, Split Pea Soup, Mushroom Soup, Chicken Consomme and Minestrone.

I loved making the split pea and french onion...ok I liked the mushroom soup too...!

Chef thought all of our soups were good except some needed more SALT...and I can't stand a lot of

The french onion soup was such a hit for me that I took the recipe home and as you might have seen in my earlier post.

Tomorrow night I'm making grilled sirloin and portabello mushroom soup...mmmmmm

To make the pea soup you needed to sweat the vegetables (onion, garlic, celery, leek -green, etc...) and fry the bacon in the grease. Then add the ham hock and chicken stock. After all of this you add the peas and let it simmer. After the peas are soft you are ready to need to make sure you make the croutons though...WOW...we made croutons in class and they were awesome! Take some bread and cut into small cubes...then toast them in clarified butter in a skillet...they will blow your mind.

Included in this post you will see some pics from week 3 of our Consomme, Pea Soup, Mushroom soup and OHHHHHH...I almost forgot our chicken pot pie...I mean Chicken Water will post the recipe for this tomorrow...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tonight's dinner...

So for dinner tonight I'm going to cheat a little and use store bought kielbasa. I'm using it to make my sausage and kraut dinner...but here is the awesome part- I'm going to make homemade french onion soup to go with it. 
A yummy bowl of fresh french onion soup topped with a crispy french bread crouton and melted guyere cheese...
depending if there's time I may make a roasted pear salad with candied pecans...The one thing I will do with the sausage; leech out as much salt as I can by simmering it in a nice brown ale...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Week 2 Fundamentals

This week we were involved with sauces!
Yes I know what most of you are thinking why not just buy a bag from Publix pour into some liquid and make a sauce. Obviously that is not what I am going to school
We went over & were quizzed on the five "mutha" sauces (Espagnole, Veloute, Bechamel, Hollandaise, Tomato Sauce) and of course made all of them; including the un-official "mutha" sauce - Mayonnaise.
Our Espagnole (KFC Gravy) started out a little on the greasy side, but the end result was awesome! Although it tasted like a base sauce not a yummy demi glace. Which we did as well...
The demi glace; equal parts Espagnole Sauce and Veal (brown) Stock then reduced by half; was extremely tasty! Very yummy on a nice piece of Rib Eye can also make other sauces out of the demi glace too...
Our Veloute was very boring but then again so is Veloute; however on a nice roasted chicken probably amazing...
Veloute is Chicken (White) stock and White Roux combined...mmmmmm good...
Bechamel is pretty easy to make; it's milk simmered with an onion pique (pricked onion with bay leaf and cloves) and then combined with white roux.
Our Bechamel tasted very good and when we added the cheddar cheese it took it to a whole new level! Talk about MAC & CHEESE...all of the class' bechamels were combined with cheddar cheese, poured into a big bowl of pasta elbows (al dente) and smeared into a hotel pan. We then added bread crumbs and shredded cheddar to make a baked Mac & Cheese!!!!!!!!! YUMMMMM!
Jamal & I whipped up Mayonnaise and Hollandaise...they were AWESOME!
Mayonnaise, mix of dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, white pepper, salt, egg yolks, vegetable/canola was definitely tiring but the taste was great!
Now...our Hollandaise was KILLER! We made a reduction of white wine & vinegar with peppercorns; added it to whipped tempered egg yolks (and water) and emulsified the mixture with clarified butter.....HEART CLOGGER ALERT! Let me tell you after we added the white pepper, salt and cayenne the taste was KILLER! I HATE hollandaise and this sauce was amazing...thanks Jamal. I will say this I made it at home this past weekend for the family and they loved it...!
Of course excelling at making Fresh Tomato Sauce is my thing; but it's not as need to make sure the vegetables in the sauce cook through and become soft. For some reason my small diced vegetables stayed crunchy. I guess things happen sometimes...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp (Seafood) Fried Rice...came out awesome...I added my own homemade seafood egg rolls too...below is the recipe for the rice.

1 cup cooked rice, al dente
1/2 lb of lg/xl shrimp (peeled completely)
2 oz red pepper small dice
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
4 oz onion small diced
4 oz chives chopped
8 oz imitation crab meat
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup (low sodium) soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp olive oil (can substitute canola or veg)
salt & pepper to taste
*1 egg optional

cook rice separately
In a large pan/wok combine onions, peppers, ginger, olive oil, vinegar, white pepper...sweat onions until translucent. Add 1/2 of garlic and mix together.
In another pan combine shrimp, crab, 1 tbsp sesame oil, rest of garlic and a little soy sauce...heat over medium-low heat cover for 2 min.
While the shrimp mix is covered add other tbsp of sesame oil and mix in rice with the onions and peppers over HIGH heat. Get rice nice and crispy addins remainder of soy sauce a little at a time until rice soaks up soy sauce.
Uncover shrimp (no more than 2 minutes) they should all be nice and pink...add to the rice mix and saute the end add salt/pepper to taste and all the chives...

*add beaten egg to the oil with onions after they get translucent if egg was used in my recipe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fundamentals (lab) Week 1

This week was an ode to stocks...the building blocks of all classic/modern cuisine. We glazed/deglazed pans; sliced and diced mirepoix; and supreme an orange.

The cuts learned this week were: julienne, brunoise, small dice, large dice, batonnet, chop an onion, chop parsley, chop garlic and create garlic paste. We also learned how to Supreme an orange and peel/core & dice a tomato to make concasse.

All of us created the Mirepoix...we then used the cut mirepoix to deglaze pans that were roasting veal bones for brown stock. We roasted our own bones for brown stock; pulled chicken and brown stock, chilled, labeled and stored the stock.

I thought I did an awesome job with my knife skills and I continue to practice at home all the time. As for the stock; I actually took what I learned and made my own version of pot roast with short ribs and ossu buco...mmmmm good stuff!
The pictures above are from this knife cuts and deglazing a veal bone pan...and Chef Bill tourne cut a potato...

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