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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Culinary School - Q3 Week 1

Intro to Pastry Technique and Artistry

Fresh Berry Tart
Sweet Tart Dough
Pastry Cream Filling (Cornstarch Thickener)
Tart Glaze
Prepped Berries & Fruit
Poached Pear & Frangipane Tart
Spiced Poached Pears
Crème Anglaise
Fresh Peach Puff Pastries
Almond Cream

On Monday night we made the dough, the pastry cream, the creme anglaise, the almond cream, and poached the pears.

I was responsible for the Creme Anglaise, the Poached Pears, and the Frangipane.

On Tuesday night we built and baked everything. 

I assembled the Pear and Frangipane Tart, the Peach Puff Pastries, and I made a Pear Sorbet from the poaching liquid.  I made whipped cream by hand for the Peach Puff Pastries

Fruit Tart

Peach Puff Pastry

Whole Pear Frangipane Tart

Pear and Frangipane Tart
with Pear Sorbet

Recipes for next week
Carrot Cake
Cream Cheese Icing
Dried Carrot Crisps (use Banana Twists recipe)

Yule Log (Buche de Noel)
Vanilla Spongecake
Simple Syrup (as needed)
Raspberry Ganache
Cocoa Gelee

Parisian Croissant Dough

Food and Beverage Operations

UGH!  What is there to say about this class.  Other than, WHAT WAS I THINKING?

The instructor is a "non-chef".  But, he has been in the industry for about 30 years. The class will cover everything for running a food and beverage establishment.  Our first homework assignment is to read two chapters of our textbook and come up with eight questions and answers for each chapter.  He will use our questions for the mid-term and finals.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Restaurant Review - Pampas, Palo Alto

On Sunday night a group of us went to Pampas Restaurant in Palo Alto to celebrate a birthday.

 Pampas is a Brazillian Churascaria.  I had the rodizio.  That is the "meat buffet".  The servers come around carrying skewers of different meats and carve you off a hunk.  The rodizio is priced at $44. That includes all the meat you can eat, plus the unlimited side bar that consists of salads, pastas, cheeses, vegetables, and a bunch of other stuff. 

This is a list of the meats.

Picanha traditional Brazilian cut of top sirloin seasoned with rock salt and olive oil
Cordeiro leg of lamb marinated with garlic and mint
Costela de Cordeiro lamb chop marinated with garlic and ginger
Lombo pork loin with coriander adobo
Medalhão com Alho tenderloin filet seasoned with garlic and herbs
Medalhão com Queijo tenderloin filet with parmesan
Maminha tri–tip seasoned with rock salt and olive oil
Frango chicken thighs marinated with smoked paprika and lemon
Frango Picante chicken legs marinated with garlic, chili peppers, and vinegar
Linguiça house-made Brazilian pork sausage
Abacaxi slow-roasted pineapple
Peru turkey breast wrapped in smoked bacon
Fraldinha skirt steak with onion-herb marinade
Coração de Frango marinated chicken hearts (available upon request)

The meats were all delicious! My favorite was the Picanha.  So good!  And, I even ate a chicken heart! 

For dessert I had the Chocolate Torte. It was served with caramel ice cream and a toffee made with brazil nuts, and bacon.  Yummy!

The best part of the night was after dinner. We got to go into the kitchen and meet Chef Nikki Baverso.  She is the executive chef, at just 26 years old.  That's about the coolest thing ever!  She was so great explaining how things work and even said she would be happy to take some of us on for a stage!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Culinary School - Q3

Here it comes!  Q3 starts tomorrow!  I am really looking forward to Intro to Pastry!  I am not sure about Food and Beverage Ops.  I haven't been able to see the course online yet so I guess I will have to by the school tomorrow and see what is gonna been needed to be ready for Thursday night.  In the mean time, I need to get busy and the 10 recipes for this week written out.