Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb

Knives and Fire XII (Week 3)

More Sauces

We started with a long discussion of sanitation - to be precise, food-borne illnesses. These include virus (best controlled by personal hygiene - wash those hands!), bacterial (don't let the food stand out between 40°F and 140°F, or time-temperature control - and handwashing won't hurt, either, and avoid cross-contamination), parasites(be careful who you buy from), fungi (get rid of affected foods) and toxins (be careful who you buy from. And maybe just avoid shellfish.) This will be on a test. I'm going to make flashcards.

Then we continued with the class from yesterday. M put up the two bain maries (one hotel pan insert with hot water on the stove, into which he put canisters of already hot stock, sauce espagnole and demi-glace, plus one of clarified margarine) and one with ice on the cook's table between the stove and the sink. This held vegetables under 40°F.)

I put the borscht back on the stove and began heating it - M would add three cups of hot stock when it was available. Meanwhile, we needed meat - we were to make sauces that started with browning a piece of meat in a sauteuse and removing it so we can use the fond (the crispy bits left at the bottom of the pan). So, Y (the male one, not the female one) and I were set to slice a french roast thinly, and place the pieces between two pieces of plastic wrap. These pieces would be pounded gently to tenderize the rather tough cut.

At this point, my borscht was ready to correct the seasoning. I added cider vinegar, salt and sour salt (powdered citric acid.) It tasted good to me, but I had M taste a little later and he said it needed more sour. When I tasted it again, I found he was right, so I added another shot of sour salt.

Meanwhile, Chef showed us how to make sauces using meat - some of the pieces were floured lightly with seasoned flour. These were placed in hot pans with some canola oil and/or melted clarified margarine. When they were browned, they were removed. Chef then added some garlic and shallots and a bit more oil, and deglazed with wine. When this was reduced by half, he added demi, and let it cook a bit more. Then he added the meat and let it cook a bit, and then, off the fire, some flavored margarine. And it was delicious. There were several versions, including one that used a lot of sliced onions plus beer and finished in the oven.

G made salisbury steak using a sauce that used mushrooms and concasséd tomatoes. We all had that for lunch - I didn't leave the classroom at all, except to deliver a bowl of borscht to the store clerk downstairs (garnished with an ice-cream scoop of rice - the last of the rice as it happened - in lieu of sour cream. Was very pretty.)

After lunch, I cooked the same sauce, except I used the rest of the pounded meat. Also - yummy.

Then we all did an exercise - we had to come up with a five course menu. He suggested menu names for the dishes we came up with, and commented about lack of color and such. What was mine?

Citrus Fruit Cup
Pan-seared St. Peter's Fish on Salad
Consommé with slice of lemon
Braised beef with pan sauce
Roasted potatoes
Steamed haricot vert
served with Merlot
Ginger-chocolate cake, mocha sauce, raspberries.

He liked the colors.

And we cleaned up and labeled and put things away and left early.
Tags: cooking school, knives and fire

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