Wednesday, September 24, 2008

As promised:

Last Sunday night I cooked dinner for my wife, her coworker, and her coworkers fiance. They were my guinea pigs. I used the opportunity to practice the dishes for the French section of my World Cuisine class.

chicken pate with red onion marmalade
(this ish rocked)

brown stock I made from chicken and veal bones, used for the beef bourguignon

blonde roux, used to thicken the bechamel for the pommes dauphinoise

brown roux, used to thicken the pan juices for the finished bourguignon

beef bourguignon, just before going into the oven (the carrots are hiding)

beef bourguignon, right out of the oven

pommes dauphinoise, right out of the oven

wilting spinach in garlic oil with shallots

plated dish. gotta love the maple leaf parsley garnish, guh...

brie en croute, I didn't pinch the dough tight enough, hence the sea of cheese

(reminds me of Primus)

there was enough brie still in the dough to be delicious,
I just topped it with a mixture of seedless blackberry jam and orange marmalade
there wasn't a bit of it left after we were done

Couple quick notes about last night's practical:
I drew (at random) beef bourguignon and camembert en croute (same as the brie dish, but with an even better cheese). Obviously, I was stoked, having just cooked both of these dishes Sunday. I got an 8 out of 10 on the bourguignon and a 9 out of 10 on the camembert, giving me a combined 8.5 out of 10: solid B work. I was pretty disappointed. Chef said the sauce for my bourg was top notch but that the meat needed to be a little more tender. I could complain about having to serve a slow-cooked braise in a limited amount of time, using a less than desireable cut of meat, but what good would that do? I should've just let it cook. He wouldn't really be able to say anything because you just can't speed up the process. Oh well. I served the camembert with a lemon-blueberry compote sort of sauce and an apple caramel sauce, and I garnished it with some candied lemon rind and apple peel. He said it was eloquent and delicious and would've been a 10 out of 10 if I had used a little less lemon in the compote. Again, oh well. I'm trying not to be too bummed about it. I'm just really striving for perfection, or at least a freaking A. The real kicker is that I took in some of the pate I had made over the weekend and he said it would be a 10 out of 10 for the practical, if I had gotten pate. He almost just let me run with the grade, but was talked out of it. I understand, a practical is a practical and I need to make the stuff there, under the gun. It just sucks thinking I could've had a much better grade.

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