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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Culinary School - Q2 Week 6

Tuesday Class - Concepts and Theories of Culinary Techniques

Mid term this week.  A 100 question multiple choice quiz and an "egg" quiz. On the Egg quiz we must name all five parts of the egg correctly, then give the proper weights for the yolk and whites, and define egg grades. This is a piece of cake and we are allowed to leave when we are finished.

Week 6 Vocabulary
Concepts & Theories of Culinary Techniques Vocabulary Assignment Week 6

A Point – a cooking term that refers to medium rare.
Butcher’s Yield – a system for figuring food costs.
Carry-over Cooking – the term that refers to the cooking that takes place after an item has been removed from the heat.
Carving – to cut meat into portions.
Connective Tissue – the tissues that hold the muscles and other tissue together.
Convection – cooking by hot air circulating around the food.
Cryovac – vacuum packaging.
Fabricated Cuts – single portion cuts from less that optimal meat.
Green Meat – meat that is freshly slaughtered. Has not been aged.
Marbling – the mixture of meat and fat.
Medium – warm pink center.
Medium Rare – warm red center, pinkish outside.
Medium Well – mostly brown meat with a very little pink.
Portioned Controlled Cuts – measured cuts of meat that are cut to a specific weight.
Primal Cuts – the first cutting up of a new carcass.
Rack – section of the ribs from beef or lamb, or pork.
Roasted – meat that has been cooked in a dry heat oven.
Roasting – cooking meat with a dry heat.
Rotisseur – the person that is responsible for the roasting or grilling of meats.
Scallopini – cutlets that have been pounded to be thin and all the same thickness, such as veal or chicken.
Shish Kebob – chunks of meat on a skewer and grilled or roasted.
Silverskin – the tough connective tissue around muscle.
Slicer – a machine used for cutting.
Tenting – to put foil over food to keep the heat in.
Tournedos – a thick steak from a beef tenderloin.
Well Done – meat cooked to brown with no sign of pink. (Also known as a crime against meat everywhere!)

Wednesday/Thursday Class - Fundamentals of Classical Technique

This week, STARCHES! This will be part of the "No Carb Left Behind" Experiement. While we were cooking Chef called us out one by one to discuss our mid-term grades.  I received a 91.  That was the second highest in the class.  I missed being the highest by one point.  The person that finished above me had help from her foster brother who happens to be our TA.  I consider that cheating but I will still take my A and be proud of it. Chef tells me that he knows I am a good cook, he thinks I just need a little refinement.  I can't say I disagree.

Tonight we are cooking potatoes.  Baked, Croquettes, Gratin Dauphinaise, Duchesse, and Lyonaise. 
Baked Potatoes

Potato Croquettes

Duchesse Potatoes
Potatoes Lyonaise

Gratin Dauphinaise

Tonight there are only two of us on my team.  We are responsible for making four of the six dishes we are cooking tonight. The one teammate that is here with me is VERY slow.  She makes the Rice Pilaf and the Fettucini Carbonara.  I make Risotto, Polenta, Spaetzle and Potato Gnocchi.  Chef deems my Risotto and Polenta to be the best in the class!

That's it for this week.  Next week we get to make REAL food!

Until next week,

Culinary School - Q2 Week 5

Tuesday Class - Concepts and Theories of Culinary Techniques

This week we looked at slides of vegetables and talked about the dishes we would be making in class on Wednesday and Thursday night. We also got a look at the mid term.  Chef decided to wait and give us the mid term in Concepts next week.

Week 5 vocabulary list
Concepts & Theories of Culinary Techniques Vocabulary Assignment Week 5

Baby Vegetables – fully ripe miniature vegetables.
Cabbages – a leafy head vegetable that comes in many varieties.
Concassee – the process of blanching tomatoes to remove the peels and seeds.
Fruit- edible part of a flowering plant that contains seeds or pits.
Vegetables – herbaceous plant that can be partially or wholly eaten. Lettuces, onions, seeds, roots, and tubers.
Gourds – a group that includes squash, pumpkin, and zucchini.
Greens – leafy vegetables like, collard greens, mustard greens.
IQF – individually quick frozen.
Mushrooms – a type of funghi. Some are edible, some are not.
Onions – a bulb that is edible.
Pods – vegetable such as snap peas.
Roots - edible vegetable such as carrots or daikon. Grows under the ground.
Seeds – the unfertilized part of a plant.
Stalks – edible plant stems, such as celery or broccoli.
Squashes – a vegetable that grows on a vine, patty pan squash, butternut.
Truffles – flavorful tubers that grow near the roots or oak or beech trees.
Tubers – potatoes, yams.

Wednesday/Thursday Class - Fundamentals of Classical Technique

Mid Term!  EEK!  The written portion was 100 questions multiple choice, write the recipe and method for making brown stock, identifiy 20 items of kitchen equipment, 20 items of produce and 20 items of spice and herbs.  For the practical portion we had two hours to make a mother sauce, a derivative sauce, a soup and knife cuts.  My Mother sauce was Espagnole, the derivative was Poivirade, and my soup was Cream of Asparagus.  The knife cuts were Julienne, Battonette and Medium Dice.
Tonight we are cooking.  Good thing because the mid term kicked my ass.  It was hard to get everything finished on time when everyone else was also trying to use the stove tops at the same time.  So, tonight we are making vegetables. Baked Butternut Squash, Braised Celery, Broccoli Almondine, Cauliflower Gratin, Grilled Vegetable Skewers, Steamed Green Beans.  Out of the six listed, I made three.  One of my other teammates made two and the last teammate made one.  I made the Broccoli Almondine, the Cauliflower Gratin, and the Steamed Green Beans.  They all turned out great.

Braised Celery
Broccoli Almondine

Grilled Vegi Skewers
Roasted Butternut Squash

Steamed Green Beans
Until Next Week,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Culinary School - Q2 Week 3 Recipe for Food Gal

Chicken Waterzooi Soup Makes 16 Servings


Chicken, whole 1 to 3 1/2 lb
cold Chicken stock 1 gal
Sachet d'epices, prepared 1 ea
Roux, pale, prepared 3/4 lb
Carrots, allumette 5 oz
Celery, allumette 5 oz
Turnips, allumette 3 oz
Potatoes, Russets, allumette 8 oz
Leeks, allumette 4 oz
Egg yolks 3 ea
Half and half 1 1/4 pint
Salt 1 tsp
White pepper 1/2 tsp
Parsley, chopped 1/4 bu

1) Assemble all ingredients and equipment needed to prepare the recipe.
2) Place the chicken, cold stock, and sachet d'epices into a stock pot and bring to a boil. Simmer it for 45
minutes, skimming the surface if necessary.
3) Remove the chicken and let it cool down.
4) Strain the chicken broth and combine it with the cold roux and bring it to a boil, simmer the soup for 1 hour.
5) Add the vegetables to the soup and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
6) Combine the egg yolk with the half and half. Temper the liaison with the hot veloute and add the liason to the veloute.
7) Remove the chicken meat from the bones and skin, dice the meat to medium dice and add to the soup.
8) Bring the soup to serving temperature. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, garnished with the parsley.
9) Serve as required.
10) Properly wrap, label, store, chill and rotate.

Culinary School - Q2 Week 4

Tuesday Class - Concepts and Theories of Culinary Techniques

Concepts this week was devoted to slides and talking about eggs and breakfast. We will be cooking breakfast this week in Fundamentals.

Week 4 vocabulary list
Concepts & Theories of Culinary Techniques Vocabulary Assignment Week 4

Boiled Eggs – eggs cooked by placing in boiling water
Buttermilk – this is the product that is left over after churning cream for butter. Or it can refer to the fermented dairy product.
Coagulation – this could refer to what happens when milk is mixed with rennet in the process of making cheese. Or the process of something as it goes from liquid to a thickened state.
Coddled Eggs – eggs cooked by immersing them in nearly boiling water.
Conditioned Pan – a pan, usually cast iron, that has been seasoned with oil. You don’t wash with soap and water, only wipe clean.
Custard – a creamy liquid made from egg yolks and milk or cream cooked over a bain marie or baked in the oven.
Eggs en Cocotte – eggs cooked in a ramekin with a bit of butter and baked until the white is cooked and the yolk is soft.
Eggs Over Easy – the egg white is partially cooked the yolk remains liquid.
Eggs Over Hard – cooked on both sides until the yolk has solidified.
Eggs Over Medium – cooked on both sides. The white is fully cooked, the yolk is still liquid.
Homogenized – a process to keep milk fats from separating from the milk and forming a coating of cream on top of the milk.
Omelet – a dish made from beaten eggs, sometimes stuffed with meats or cheese. Can be rolled or folded.
Pasteurized – something that has been heated to a certain temperature to kill bacteria.
Quiche – a dish with a crust made from eggs and custard with a variety of flavorings and seasonings added.
Scrambled Eggs – cooked from beaten eggs, sometimes liquid such as milk or water can be added to make fluffy eggs.
Shirred Eggs – same as eggs en cocotte.
Soufflé – a sweet or savory dish made with egg whites that have been whipped.
Sunny Side Up – cooked on one side. Yolk is runny, white is mostly cooked.
Hollandaise – a sauce made from egg yolks, lemon juice, and butter.

Wednesday/Thursday Class - Fundamentals of Classical Technique


Finally! We are cooking REAL food! Tonight we will concentrate on cooking eggs. I flipped an omelet for the first time! I was so excited. I have always wanted to be able to do this! We have to make a plate of eggs for Chef to check. One Poached, one sunny side up, one over easy, one over hard, and one omelet. Mine are perfect! Yay! At home I cheat with poached eggs because I have an egg poaching pan. Now I know I can do it the real way!


Tonight Chef has each team work as if we were on a restaurant line. While my teammates were prepping their stuff I made chocolate sauce, whipped cream and some garnishes. My team of three has an order for two French toasts, one Crepe, one Omelet, and two eggs sunny side up. I set out to make the crepe and the sunny side ups. I have never made crepes. The crepes and Eggs are out, The omelet is almost finished and the French toast is taking longer than my teammate expected. So, I crank out some chocolate chip pancakes too send out compliments of the chef (me). Our food was good, and Chef said I was thinking like a chef by sending out a complimentary dish to keep the customers happy.

Sunny Side Up
French Toast

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Chocolate Banana Crepes

Until next week,


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Culinary School - Q2 Week 3

Tuesday Class - Concepts and Theories of Culinary Techniques

This week we will be making soups in Fundamentals so tonight we are going over slides about the differences in soups. The planned recipes for this week are Cream of Broccoli, Split Pea, Chicken Waterzooi, Beef Consomme, French Onion and Minestrone.

Week 3 vocabulary list
Concepts & Theories of Culinary Techniques Vocabulary Assignment Week 3

Amandine – the French term for garnished with almonds.
Boil – heating liquid to approximately 212°/100°C
Creamed – slow simmering or poaching in milk. As with creamed corn or creamed chipped beef.
Croutons – crunchy bread cubes used as garnish.
Duxelles – a paste of mushroom, shallots, onions and herbs.
Fines Herbs – a mix of herbs including parsley, chives, marjoram, tarragon, and chervil.
Glazed – a shiny coating applied to food.
Gratin – a crust of bread crumbs, or cheese browned before serving.
Leafy Vegetables – pot herbs including kale, chard, spinach, watercress, lettuce.
Onion Brulee – term for burnt onion. Used to flavor sauces.
Onion Pique – one peeled onion, one bay leaf, one clove. Simmered in milk to add flavor to béchamel sauce.
Organic – grown or raised without the use of hormones, pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.
Puree – a smooth pulp achieved by mashing or straining.
Saute – to cook quickly over high heat with a small amount of hot fat.
Sauteuse – a basic sauté pan with sloping sides and a long handle.
Sautoir – a sauté pan with straight sides and a long handle.
Shallots - from the onion family but has a sweeter milder flavor.
Standard Breading – pat food dry. Dip it in flour, then in egg wash, then in bread crumbs.
Steam – to cook something in a perforated pan over boiling or simmering water.
Tomato Concasse – a dice of tomatoes that have been peeled and seeded.
Tourne – a football shaped cut with 7 equal sides and blunt ends.
Zest – the outer portion of the skin of citrus fruits. Contains aroma and oils.
Cross Contamination – transferring contamination from one food or surface to another.
Time Temperature Abuse – occurs when foods are not stored or held at proper temps. Can also happen when foods are not properly reheated.
Bacillus Cereus – causes food borne illness when food is not cooked properly.
Gastroenteritis – an inflammation of the stomach and small intestine caused by contact with contaminated food.
Cryptorsporidium – another food borne bacteria caused by cross contamination or improperly stored or cooked food.
Physical Contamination, examples – hair, glass, bugs, or other things that aren’t supposed to be in the food.
Chemical Contamination, examples – pesticides, or cleaning agents in food.
Biological Contamination, examples – bacteria, mold or yeast in food.
Allergen – something that causes an allergic reaction. Such as nuts, eggs, shellfish.

Wednesday/Thursday Class - Fundamentals of Classical Technique

Tonight Chef divides the class in two.  Half of us will be making cream soups and the other half will be making the clear soups.  Tomorrow we will switch and do the other half.  My team is on cream soups tonight.  It is decided that I will make the Cream of Broccoli which actually turns out to be Cream of Asparagus because thats what was ordered for us.  Bri is making the Split Pea and Augustine will handle the Chicken Waterzooi.  Chef does a demo for us on how to butcher a whole chicken.  I stood by and gag the whole time.  I know I am going to have to get over my revulsion of raw chicken if I am going to get through this.  I am officially the first person to yak from the class.   We present our soups to Chef for tasting.  He said our three were the best of the night! 

Tonight my team is on clear soups.  I know Augustine want's to make the French Onion, so I give Bri her choice of Consomme or Minestrone.  She chooses the Minestrone leaving Consomme for me. Once again at the end of the night Chef proclaims that out soups are the best of the night.  My Consomme was the clearest and hottest.  That is something we all need to work on.  Getting stuff for tasting hot. 

Next week, Breakfast!