Well, my first quarter of Culinary school is quickly winding down. I can’t believe that I get to get up Mon-Wed and go and learn about cooking. I feel so privileged to be getting up that the CRACK of dawn, putting on my uniform and driving to school. It is a little strange cooking the type of food we do so early in the morning, but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.
So, I’ve been trying to take pictures of our completed dishes and a little of the prep along the way so that I can see how my journey is progressing and share a little bit of what I’m doing for 4 hours a day. So, I’m starting at the beginning and then leading off with the vegetable dishes we’ve created thus far. I have been familiar with most of the items we’ve prepared and have been introduced to new ones such as rutabaga, fennel and leeks. Although I’ve seen these items in the market, I’ve never actually purchased and prepared them at home. I’ve also really learned a lot of the “why” behind the things we do in preparation which is very cool.
Our first few classes were focused on the proper use of our knives and learning to cut veggies into various shapes like sticks, cubes and tournes.
Blanching and Shocking Broccoli – using this techniques helps keep and even brighten up the green. After blanching and shocking the broccoli, we set it aside and later sautéed them with clarified butter, seasoned and them plated.
We learned how to chiffonade cabbage to make homemade coleslaw.
This is our Mise en Place (putting things in order) that was assembled to make our mayonnaise. Here we have egg yolks, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar, water, lemon juice, vegetable oil. We also threw in a little cayenne pepper to make it a little interesting.
And here is what all of those ingredients above look like when brought together. I’m not the biggest fan of mayonnaise, but loved learning how to make it from scratch.
Then we combined it all….
From the slices we made above when learning our knife cuts, we made this delicious potato gratin. In here we have sliced potatoes, a little cream sauce and cheese. We covered and baked for about 20 mins.
Another potato item we made were these Duchesse potatoes – made with baked potatoes that we ran through a food mill and then added milk, butter and an egg yolk to the mixture and piped out to bake. Each person in our team took turns piping them out onto our pan.
Before popping these into the oven we brushed them with clarified butter. Then we baked them until golden brown. Yummmm! Very tasty indeed.
Not to worry we do make dishes using vegetables besides potatoes! Like this beautiful tri-color pepper stir fry.
We cut these into sticks and sautéed in clarified butter. Oh how we love our clarified butter in this class! I can’t even begin to tell you how much butter we use on a daily/weekly basis – it is ridiculous!
In addition to the pictured veggie dishes above, there are a few we’ve made that I apparently did not capture:
- Wilted Spinach
- Rutabaga + Potato Gratin – made with a rosemary infused bechamel sauce
- Duxelle stuffed tomatoes – finely chopped mushrooms reduced down, mixed with other ingredients and stuffed into Roma tomatoes that have been scored, cored, blanched, shocked and de-seeded.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of the veggie dishes that we’ve made. Most of the food that we cook is sampled/consumed in class. I do try to save what we make and bring it home so that the hubby can sample our good work. He’s not a big sweets person, so when I get into my main classes, I’ll have to share with others, but for now, I believe he’s enjoying what I make.
Stay tuned for more ….