Monday, November 10, 2008

Final Final

I had my last of four finals, a practical exam, Saturday morning. It went very well but I'm kicking myself for the few things I could've done better. Before I go on complaining too much... I got a 99% on the final which left me with a 99% as my overall grade for the class. Okay, so I gotta be happy with that. But then I think about what I could've added or done differently. We were to create and execute a three course menu: soup course, appetizer/salad (our choice), and entree (protein, carb, and veg). Here are pictures of what I made -

Soup Course: Zuppa Pavese (poached egg soup)
We only had a brown chicken stock left to use. Ideally, a very clear chicken stock, or better yet, consomme, would be used so that you could see everything in the bowl. The Christmas wreath looking thing is a parmesan cheese touille made with some parsley. This soup is fairly simple in concept but is actually quite difficult to make and the result is absolutely delicious. Cracking that yolk just makes the soup so rich and creamy. It's a wonderful thing.

Appetizer: Antipasto Plate
Chef really loved this one. Three Prosciutto and mozzarella cheese crostinis, each with a different topping: artichoke heart bruschetta, kalamata olive tapenade, and fire roasted pepper tapenade. I garnished with a little more of each topping and some herb oil. I could eat a mountain of this stuff.
Entree: Pork Tenderloin alla Napoli (really, it's not alla Napoli - I decided to omit the green olives and use artichoke hearts instead, I'm just not a huge fan of green olives)
Here's where I really could've done things differently. First and foremost, I poured the sauce on top of dry pasta. Not only is that not Italian, but who the heck wants to eat plain pasta?? I should've tossed the pasta in some of the sauce to coat it, then plate it. Secondly, asperagus is great, but I don't think it was the best choice for this dish. Broccolini would've been nice but we didn't have and weren't getting any. Thirdly, the dish was just plain missing something. I'm thinking a secondary sauce would've really made it pop. Like a balsalmic or sweet red wine reduction of some kind. Hmm... will have to revisit this one, I'm not settled.

Well, like I said, I can't really complain. I'm happy with the way things turned out but it's almost a little bittersweet being so close to a perfect score. I imagine it's something like placing second in the World Series of Poker.
I won't find out my grade for World Cuisine until next week, but I know it's a solid A. This class is pretty much impossible to ace. There was just so much information that you are bound to overlook or forget some minute detail, especially when you are cooking food of a cuisine that you are completely ignorant to.
I have this week off from school then I start the next trimester. I know I will be taking Service and Wine and, if I decide to double up again, I will probably be taking Advanced Cookery as well. My plans for this week? Cook, eat, read, and play lots and lots of video games. My wife is so thrilled.

1 comment:

t said...

It is kind of weird when one is worried or slightly disappointed with a 99% for a grade. Be happy knowing that, this being your first set of classes, you are building a strong foundation for you next classes. I agree with you on the crostini's I could eat five pounds of those. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm