Monday, September 22, 2008

French Dinner

Wow... didn't realize how long it's been since my last post. Guess I've been slacking off.

I used the weekend to practice the French dishes we've been learning about in World Cuisine. We have a practical this Tuesday and we haven't had any really opportunity to practice during class. My wife invited a coworker and her fiance to come over for dinner last night and the three of them were my guinea pigs. This was the menu:

Appetizer (was too much to be called an amuse bouche)-
Chicken Pate with Red Onion Marmalade
Soup Course-
Chicken Glace
Boeuf Bourguignon, Pommes Dauphinoise, and Wilted Spinach with Shallots and Garlic Oil
Cheese Course/Dessert-
Brie En Croute with Blackberry Coulis

I took pictures of everything, they'll get posted later. It was a lot of fun cooking all this food. I didn't run into too many problems except that I didn't have a food processor. I called my chef at school and he said it was okay to swing by there and use the Robocoup, which worked out well for the pate. Speaking of which, the start and end of this meal featured my two new favorite things: pate and brie en croute. This is a problem, though, because they are both loaded. I call pate a "heart attack loaf." And baking a big wheel of cheese in pastry dough and smothering it with jammy sweetness? Forget about it... Not that the beef or potatoes were any better. The sauce/gravy for the beef is thickened with brown roux, which is just butter and flour, and the potatoes were baked in a bechamel with a ton of gouda and gruyere cheese. But hey, we had spinach, right!?!? That's healthy! You gotta love the French. It's all about butter, cheese, and cream. At least for cuisine classique. We didn't dive much into nouvelle because chef is a haute kind of guy. I believe our studies turn to China after the French practical exam so hopefully that will be a little kinder to my arteries.


t said...

Ok, I am neglecting what you wrote about the Frogs, but I have a cooking technical question for you. I just made some chicken. It was from a nice little frozen pack of boneless, skinless chicken boobies. I cut it into medium sized chunks, about 10 pieces per boob. I was cutting on all sorts of angles, across the boob, along the boob and diagonal. Questions: like steak, does chicken have a grain that you want to pay attention to when cutting it? Really does it make a difference?

redredsteve said...

The muscle tissue in chicken breasts runs lengthwise so I would cut strips against the grain in most cases. How was it cooked and how is it to be served?