Friday, August 29, 2008
I had a great time cooking a bunch of fun stuff last night. The chef for my World Cuisine class turned us loose in the kitchen to practice whatever we wanted the whole night. I made a couple of batches of risotto to really familiarize myself with the technique. He said it was the perfect texture and that it was really good. The only advice he had was to reduce the stock a bit more before incorporating it into the arborio to give it more flavor and make it even more rich. The other problem was the only wine we had around was a bottle of Sutter Homes White Zinfandel... total crap. That stuff is closer to Koolaid than wine. It ended up making the risotto have this kind of sweet tone to it. I tried to hide the sweetness by adding some more acid (lemon juice) and increasing the salt. It worked somewhat but you just can't hide crap like that. Hopefully next Thursday when we have our practical there'll be a decent, dry white wine available. I also made a spicy polenta. I cooled the polenta and cut little 2" cakes out. I dredged the cakes in flour and then pan fried them in some butter and oil. I took the leftover fats in the pan and reduced some veal stock with it and used it as a sort of gravy that I drizzled over the polenta cakes. The chef said he loved these and that if I would've reduced the sauce a little bit more and served the cakes alongside a duck breast or something like that then I would've been "in the money". I had kind of wanted to practice a pizza or too as well but the oven needs to be on for at least a day to get the kind of heat needed to make it properly so I scratched that. I feel pretty solid on my pastas and pizzas anyway. I'll probably practice them over the weekend along with fileting fish, making fumet, and some other things for my Foundations class. I'll be sure to take some pictures of what I make this weekend and I wish I had taken some last night. Everything looked and tasted pretty darn good.