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Monday, August 8, 2011

Culinary School - Q6 Week 4 Latin

Latin – Week 4

August 2, 2011

Menu: Sopa de Palmito, Ceviche de Championes, Vatapa de Galinha, Pirao de Arroz, Couve a’ Mineira, Ensalada de Tomate y Cebolla, Crepes con Salsa de Dulce de Leche

Summary: This week we working on blanching, sautéing, stewing and sugar work.

Food: Our first dish was the Sopa de Palmito. The Soup tasted good but had a little too much cayenne pepper on the top. It also could have been a little warmer, but The flavor was good and it was the proper texture. Chef said it was a nice job.
Sopa de Palmito
Next up were our Ceviche de Champinones and Ensalada de Tomate y Cebolla. The Ceviche was very spicy but tasted good. Chef said it was a good job. The Tomato and Onion Salad was very good. The tomatoes and onions were properly sliced and the onions were prepared correctly. They did not have that oniony taste. Another good job!

Mushroom Ceviche and
Tomato & Onion Salad
The Vatapa de Galinha was good. The sauce was perfect but the meat was not cut and taken off the bone. The Kale was good. It was seasoned properly and cooked properly.

Vatapa de Galinha
The Pirao de Arroz ok. The taste was correct. The serving side was a little large. It tasted a little like coconut flavored paste but was yummy with the Dulce de Leche on it!
Pirao de Arroz
And finally, the Crepes con Salas de Dulce de Leche. I thought they were fantastic. We had a nice presentation. The crepes were correctly browned. A really nice job with the Caramel. Although, I would have liked it better without the Rum. Chef said it was excellent.
Crepe with Dulce de Leche

Culinary School - Q6 Week 3 Latin

Latin – Week 3

July 26, 2011

Menu: Guacamole, Sopa de Fideos Aguada, Chiles en Nogada, Frijoles de Olla, Corn Tortillas, Arroz con Leche

Summary: This week we are practicing our roasting techniques on Chiles, Tomatoes, and Pasta. We are also working on simmering and rice cookery.

Food: Guacamole and Chips: Our Guac was Delicious! Chef used the words “Very Good” and “Awesome” to describe the flavor. Our Chips were a crunchy but a little chewy. I think this came from them being a little on the thick side. It seems we are still having trouble getting the tortilla’s to be the correct thickness. Chef liked our presentation. He thought it looked nice.
Guacamole & Chips
Sopa de Fideos Aguada: The stock we used for our soup was a little oily. We had tried to remove some of the extra oil floating on the top using a piece of bread but perhaps we should have tried the consommé method of using a paper towel. The Pasta was cooked correctly. The Soup had good tomato flavor and was the correct temperature (140°). Chef thought it was very nice!
Sopa de Fideos
Chiles en Nogada: The filling of our Chiles was very tasty, however the opening should have been placed on the bottom when plating. I got a toothpick in my bite of it, so I think Brandon forgot to take them out when he plated them. The Sauce could have used a little more seasoning.

Chiles en Nogadas with Beans

Frijoles de Olla: I thought the beans tasted great but Chef said they were a little salty. He also thought they were a little under cooked. I like them with a little texture.

Arroz con Leche: Our Arroz con Leche was really tasty. The Rice was very nicely cooked and the dish was the perfect color. I really enjoyed this dessert.

Arroz con Leche
While I love the flavors of Mexico, I am glad that next week we will be starting with South America. I am anxious to learn more about the flavors and techniques used there!

Culinary School - Q6 Week 2 Latin


July 25, 2011

Menu: Sopa del Ajo, Nopales en Chipotle, Arroz Blanco, Pavo al Vapor en Recado Colorado, Pico de Gallo and Salsa de jitomate cocida, Pickled Onions, Frijoles Refritos, Churros & Hot Chocolate

Summary: This week we are practicing steaming, pickling, marinating, pureeing, bean cookery, dough frying and piping.

Food:. Sopa del Ajo – Our soup was presented at the correct temperature. The eggs were incorporated correctly and the flavor was very good.

Sopa del Ajo
Nopales, Arroz Blanco, Frijoles Refritos – Our nopales were cut to the right size and cooked well, I thought they were very spicy but I like that! The rice was really nice. It was very well cooked. The Beans were well seasoned and cooked properly. They could have used a little bit of fresh cheese on top.

Frijoles, Nopales & Arroz
Pavo al Vapor en Recado Colorado, Pico de Gallo and Salsa de jitomate cocida, Pickled Onions – Our Turkey was good. I thought the sauce was a little bit sweet but it was still good. I really liked the Pico de Gallo and the pickled onions. The Onions were spicy sweet.

Turkey Achiote

Churros & Hot Chocolate – The hot chocolate was really good. Smooth and Creamy! The spices in it were delicious. Our Churros were a little doughy and under cooked in the centers. I am wondering about the dough recipe. I followed it exactly but the dough was very stiff. I would like to experiment with the recipe some and see if I can get it to work out right. But, dipping them in the hot chocolate they were fabulous!

Churros & Mexican Hot Chocolate

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blogging by Mail is back!

Stephanie over at Dispensing Happiness has brought back Blogging by mail!

I was excited to participate again because I have missed this fun event!  I have shipped a box of my favorite things that I go to for care and comfort to a distant land.  I hope it arrived intact!

The other day I received my package from the lovely Anne of
Anne's food in Sweden.

Such a variety of wonderful things!  A box of chocolate covered espresso beans, a lovely chili mandarin tea, some meat rub, a packet of cardamom powder, some adorable little cupcake earrings, mini cupcake liners.  The thing missing from the picture is a package of delicious cookies that I ate before I remembered to take a picture of the package. :) 

Oh, and a postcard with one of Anne's gorgeous photo's on it! That  is already up on my inspiration board! 

Thank you Stephanie for organizing BBM again!  And thank you to Anne for a wonderful package!

Culinary School - Q6 week 1 - Latin


July 18, 2011

Menu: Sopa de pollo, corn tortillas, mole verde, arroz con verdure, flan naranja

Summary: This is our first week in Latin. The food this week seems like good hearty food. We will be making corn tortillas from scratch. We need to learn how to use the tortilla press, practice our stewing methods and also cooking custards.

Food: I thought the food this week was delicious. I love Mexican food, and all things Mexican so I am sure I will not only enjoy this class but get a lot out of it.

Sopa de pollo: Chef thought it was good. Very fresh and perfectly seasoned. The broth was sweet and tangy. The Chicken chunks were the appropriate size. We need to watch the temperature though. Hot soup should be served at 140° ours was about 130°.

Sopa de Pollo

Arroz blanco con verduras: Our rice was really nice. Fluffy and not overcooked. The corn kernels were separated. It was seasoned correctly. Overall Chef thought it was very good. I really enjoyed it.

Mole verde con hierbas: Our Mole had a really great flavor. The meat could have used a little more time cooking so that it would have been a little more tender. The sauce had excellent flavor. Everything was seasoned correctly.

Mole Verde y Arroz con Verduras

Corn tortillas: Our corn tortillas were good but some were a little too thick. You want them to be an equal thickness all the way around so that they will cook evenly. The dough was mixed properly and they were not over cooked or too crunchy.

Corn Tortillas
Flan naranja: Our flan had a nice flavor but the almonds should have been grinded more. Flan should be creamy and not have a crust. I think our oven was too hot, even though the temp was set at 350° as the recipe called for. Perhaps I also should have covered the pan with foil.

Flan Naranja

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Culinary School - Q6 Latin and Management, Supervision and Career Planning

This quarter I am taking Latin (cuisine, not language!) and Management, Supervision and Career Planning.  School starts tomorrow.

I have three quarters left and will be graduating in March!

Culinary School - Q5 Week 11 Garde Manger Final

This week is our Final for Garde Manger.   There is a written exam and a practical.
For the practical we have to made 1 sauce or chutney, 12 identical canapes, 4 identical composed salads, 1 lb of sausage and a chicken galantine.

I got 105% on my written and 98 on my practical.

Caprese on Crostini

Cucumber Cups

Full Display

Galantine and Sausage


Culinary School - Q5 Week 10 Garde Manger

June 6 – 7, 2011

Objectives: Practice for Final

Menu: Chicken Galantine, Pork Sausage, Salad, Canapés, Sauce or Chutney

Summary: This week is practice for our final. Another chance to perfect my Chicken Galantine and my sausage.

Food: I have now successfully skinned and deboned two whole chickens. One more to go for this class. I have grown so much since I started school. I have cooked and eaten more things that I have never tried before and found that I like them. For next week’s final I might switch things up a little with my canapé’s after the feedback I got from the practice this week. I want to do the best I can to present high quality food. My presentation skills aren’t the best, but I am learning a lot from Chef. I was so pleased with my sausage and how it turned out. Chef Jeff tried it and told me it was the best sausage he has ever had. Yay me! That is the highest compliment a student can get.



Galantine and Sausage

Culinary School - Q5 Week 9 Vocabulary

I was out sick this week so I don't have a journal entry but since we only had one day (because of the memorial day holiday) I didn't miss anything.



action buffet: a buffet that has action stations

action station: a meat carving or pasta station

attended buffet/served buffet: a buffet where servers are stationed on one side and serve the guest

backwards planning: focusing on the date of the event and then planning backwards

breakdown: to take apart the buffet

buffet line: a series of tables that the food is set up on

buffet maintenance server: the person that keeps things neat on the line

buffet station: a section of the buffet where like items are grouped together

buffet theme: the basic idea behind the buffet

buffet: many different types of food together that allows the guest to choose

combination buffet: a buffet that has mixed buffet styles like a standard buffet and an action station

cushion: the extra food that you make to be sure you don’t run out

double buffet line: a buffet that goes down both sides

established buffet: a buffet that is permanent

flow: the way a buffet is laid out to best present the food in a logical order

food bar: a new style of permanent buffet

food identification placards: little signs that say what each item is

food runner: the person that brings the food out from the kitchen

fork food: food that is bite sized or tender enough to be cut with a fork

iced presentation tray/ice-filled chafing dish: trays for food that must be kept cold

prep list: a step by step task list

pre-plating: putting delicate foods onto plates to make it easier to take

prix fixe*: a pay one price for all you can eat

pull list: the equipment list for the food at a buffet

roundsperson: the person that can work at any of the buffet stations

satellite station: a smaller station used in addition to a full buffet line

seated buffet: table and chair seating with a place for every guest

self-service buffet: a buffet where guests serve themselves

showtime: from when the first guest arrives to the last guest leaves

standing buffet: a buffet that does not include seating for every guest

structural prop: boxes or bowls used to support food trays

visual prop: decorative items used on a buffet

warming tray/heat lamp/chafing dish: a heated chaffing dish to keep food warm

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Culinary School - Q5 Week 8 Garde Manger

Garde Manger

May 23-24, 2011

Objectives: Deli Trays, Fruit and Veggie Trays, Sauces

Recipes: Meat tray, Cheese tray, Veggie tray, Fruit tray, Sauces

Summary: This week we are making trays of food. This couldn’t be at a better time because our BEO project is due this week. It is giving us practice at setting up a buffet which is what the BEO project is.

Food: We all worked on different things for this week’s food. April made the fruit roses. I think they are beautiful. Pretty much everything else is standard buffet trays. I made a bunch of different sauces. David Prince made the snake tray of rye bread, and the other David made dinner rolls. Brie and I also worked on mini apple pies. It’s hard to have too much to say about deli trays.
Chef with Mini Pie




Meat Tray

Melon Trays

Mini Apple Pies

Rye Bread Snake

Obscene Horseradish

My Team

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Culinary School - Week 7 Vocabulary


acidification: when the acid from the culture begins to coagulate and curdle
aging (of cheese): the term for when the cheese is stored to gain flavor
annatto: a yellow colored powder from plants
artisan butter: butter with lower water content and higher milk fat
bloom: what you do to gelatin before you use it.
cheese vault: a special room that has the right conditions for aging cheese
cheese: made from combining all the curds together.
chèvre*: goats milk cheese
clabber: a mass of soft curds like a custard
coagulation: when the ingredients come together
compound/composed butter: a whipped butter with fresh herbs and other seasonings
culture: bacteria added to food
culturing: the process of added bacteria to food
curdle: to separate the curds and whey
curdling: part of the coagulation process
curds: the solids left from separating the milk fat and solids
curing (of cheese): the process of aging cheese
fermentation: the changes that occur in food after adding bacteria
fermented dairy product: milk or cream that has been changed by adding bacteria
fresh cheese: fromage frais
fromage*: curds shaped in a mold to make cheese
interior ripening: culture that is injected into the cheese after it is formed
lactose intolerant: not able to digest milk sugars
mature cheese: cheese that has reached the mature stage after aging for a time
pasta filata: cheese made from heating the curds and stretching them like taffy
rennet: a curdling agent made from the lining of cloven hooved animals
rennin: an enzyme found in rennet
ripening (of cheese): changes that occur in cheese as it ages
salted butter: butter that is processed with salt
surface ripening: spraying a culture on the outside of cheese that will make an edible rind
unsalted/sweet butter: butter that is made from just cream with no salt added
whey: what is left after you take the milk solids and milk fats out
whipped butter: butter that has been softened and then whipped with a mixer
young cheese: cheese that has just started changing

Culinary School - Week 6 Vocabulary

Vocabulary Week 6

attelet*: a decorative skewer
ballottine*: similar to a galantine only not covered in aspic.
caul fat/lace fat: a fatty membrane from pig or sheep stomach used to wrap terrines
en terrine presentation*: presented in the terrine.
forcemeat: a mixture of types of meat and fat, seasonings, and binders
galantine*: chicken skin filled with chicken mousse, rolled and poached then coated in aspic
gratin forcemeat: forcemeat that has part of it pre-cooked to give it a roasted flavor
gratin garnish: garnish inside a gratin forcemeat that has been pre-cooked
grosse pièce*: a large piece of a roast or other meat that is used on the tray
inlay garnish: something you put inside the terrine or galantine
internal garnish: things used inside of a sandwich, like lettuce and tomatoes
liner: used to hold forcemeat
mousseline pâté*: a smooth mixture of raw forcemeat that is cooked and then chilled before serving
panade/panada*: s soft or smooth filler used to bind forcemeat
pâte à pâté*: dough used to wrap pate in before cooking
pâté en croûte*: pate that is wrapped in dough and cooked before serving
pâté roulade*:similar to a galantine only its not wrapped in poultry skin
pâté*: forcemeat served cold
primary fowl: skin from a large bird like a roasting chicken used to wrap forcemeat
primary meat: meat that accounts for more than half a pate forcemeats weight
quatre épices*: four spices, white pepper, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg
random garnish: garnish that is mixed into forcemeat that is not inside in a specific order
sealer: usually fat or aspic
secondary meat: an additional meat added to a forcemeat
secondary poultry: additional poultry meat used to make a forcemeat
terrine*: a forcemeat that is baked in a mold without a crust
wrapper: like caul fat, used to contain the forcemeat

Culinary School - Week 5 vocabulary


casing(s): animal intestine used for making sausages
caul fat: the membrain from the outside of the stomach from pigs and cows
certified pork: pork that has been frozen for a number of days to kill germs.
cured and cold-smoked sausage: cured using nitrates and nitrites, then smoked at a temp below 100°
cured and dried sausage: sausage like salami
cured and hot-smoked sausage: cured with nitrites and nitrates then smoked at a temp of 165°
cured emulsified sausage: forcemeat pureed for a smooth texture, then cured
dextrose: powdered sweetener
emulsified sausage: forcemeat pureed for a smooth texture
farce: French term for forcemeat
fatback/backfat: the fat under the skin on a pig’s back
fermented sausage: forcemeat processed with dairy to provide a tangy flavor
forcemeat: seasoned ground meat and fat
fresh sausage: sausage ready for eating within a few days of being made.
internal garnish(es): food placed inside the forcemeat for decoration, like olives in pimento loaf
jowl fat: the fat from inside the cheek of a pig
leaf lard: rendered suet
manufactured casings: manmade tubes for sausage making
natural casings: animal intestines for sausage making
pork rind: the skin of the pig from the fatback
salt fatback: fatback that has been salted as a means of preserving
sausage(s): a mixture of ground meat and fat that is seasoned.
secondary binder: something used to stabilize sausage or other forcemeat
standard-grind sausage: forcemeats run through a meat grinder
suet: fat from around an animal’s kidneys
synthetic souring agent: reproduces the flavors produced by the action of bacteria
trim fat: fat from between the muscles of an animal
unsmoked dried sausage: a type of unsmoked sausage that is dried
white or fresh emulsified sausage: smooth texture sausage without nitrites and nitrates

Culinary School - Q5 Week 7 Garde Manger

Garde Manger

May 16-17, 2011

Objectives: Terrines, Aspic, Chaud-Froid, and Cheese

Recipes: Confetti Vegetable Terrine, Terrine de Campagne, Classic White Chaud-Froid, Broccoli Mousse, Mozzarella, Insalata Capresse, Restaurant Style Presentation

Summary: Everyone in class seemed off this week. We all seemed tired and cranky. But we did produce some nice platters of food. We worked with Aspic for the first time. That stuff is disgusting. The Chaud-Froid was much better than the Aspic. I don’t understand why people will pay so much money for food that is so gross! I can’t believe how fast this quarter is going!

Food: I got to unmold my Vegetable Terrine from last week finally. I was so pleased with how it turned out! Apparently other classes have had problems with this recipe. Both Shari and I were able to get it to work. On Monday night I made the Broccoli Mousse. It turned out really well too. Diego was responsible for making the Confetti Vegetable Terrine. Unfortunately, he left it in the freezer overnight so it was frozen. We made Mozzarella from curds and it turned out AWESOME! I was really happy about that. Our insalata capresse was delicious.

Pate Humor

Ham Mousse on Crostini

Capresse Crostini

Snapper Mousse with
Black Pepper and
Parmesan Crackers

Culinary School - Q5 Week 6 Garde Manger

Garde Manger

May 9-10, 2011

Objectives: Forcemeats, Terrines, Galantine

Recipes: Chicken Galantine, Duck Terrine, Vegetable Terrine, Apple Cranberry Chutney

Summary: I am so proud of myself this week. After the fiasco of fundamentals in which I got sick after Chef butchered a chicken I deboned, and skinned a whole chicken in class and I was the first one done at my table! I can’t believe how quickly this quarter is going by. I am nervous about the final but Chef said I am doing fine in class and shouldn’t worry. I talked with Chef after class on Tuesday. Half the class had taken off their hats, neckerchiefs and had unbuttoned their coats. I find that so disrespectful to both Chef and the other members of the class. You wouldn’t do that in the kitchen of a restaurant you were working in and we should be treating the kitchens at school as if they were our jobs. I know that I seem intolerant sometimes, but the fact is, I am an adult and not my classmate’s mother, and they need to learn some respect.

Food: This week there wasn’t much food to taste. Only the Galantine and the chutney. I tried the Galantine. I thought it was disgusting. I know that people will pay a lot of money for things like that but it tasted like vomit. Chef did say that the flavor was right, so I am happy about that. I am not looking forward to the aspic training this week. I think it’s kind of gross.

Cranberry Apple Bacon Chutney

Chicken Gallentine

Gallantine Tray

Gallentine close up

Culinary School - Q5 Week 5 Research Paper

History of Garde Manger

In the brigade system that was created by Auguste Escoffier, Garde Manger is Cold Pantry.

The literal translation of GardeManger is “Keep to Eat” and refers to the process of preparing foods for storage by Brining, Smoking, Drying, Curing, or Canning. In today’s restaurants, Garde Manger also refers to the station that makes salads, dressings, hors d’oeuvres and forcemeats. Since there was no refrigeration, people had to come up with ways to keep and preserve food so that they would have it when foods were in short supply due to the seasons. In medieval times, castles and manors had cold rooms or larders where food was stored. On French estates, these larders were called “Garde Manger”; henceforth, the culinary term for Garde Manger became “a place where cold food is prepared and stored”. Another way for the term Garde Manger to be used is to identify the person that is in charge of preparation and storage of cold foods.

Garde Manger can also be used as a term to describe the craft of preservation. The first dependable form of preservation was the drying of food. This was usually done by laying the food out in the sun to dry. Similar results could also be achieved by adding salt to the food. Adding salt aided the drawing out of moisture so that the food could be stored. While the foods were drying, they were often hung from rafters over a smoky fire. The smoke had a dual purpose. Originally it was used to keep insects off the food. Later, people discovered that the smoke actually made the food taste more flavorful.

Families that lived on secluded farms were among the first people to practice garde manger. They started adding herbs, spices, and sometimes beer or wine to flavor the foods. They also discovered that chopping or grinding the food into little pieces and adding lots of fat gave the meats more flavor and helped them last longer. These same people also developed and refined the art of cheese making.

As civilization advanced, cooking methods and food preferences changed too. In the early renaissance, food was heavily spiced and sauced. In the mid-1600’s the food and style of service began to change.

Francoise La Varenne began to move away from the Italian influenced style to foods with lighter sauces, and fresh vegetables. The addition of new foods and spices from Asia, the Middle East and even America were added to the larder. Soon, lighter foods and fresh ingredients gave way to new methods. The addition of leafy greens led to salads and vinaigrettes being served in addition to the heavier cooked foods. Refined cold dishes were now served that combined meat, fish or poultry with vegetables. The practice of garde manger expanded from preservation to preparation of all cold foods for the table. It was then that the garde manger staff moved out of the basement and into the kitchen.

In the late 1800’s, the grand hotels from New York to San Francisco were bringing French Chefs into their kitchens. Their new style of cooking was called “Continental Cuisine”. This new style combined classical French techniques with the fresh lighter style of North America.

One of the most prominent features of Continental Cuisine were the lavish cold buffets that were prepared and presented by the garde manger department. Formal cold buffets presented opportunities to garde mange chefs to show off their skills. By 1935, when Escoffier died, the profession of garde mange chef had evolved to its present form.

Just as Francoise La Varenne is considered the father of classical French cooking, Fernand Point is considered to be the godfather of Nouvelle Cuisine.

Nouvelle Cuisine was a radically different style of French cooking that emerged in the 1960’s. The culinary philosophy of nouvelle cuisine was simplicity and perfection in all dishes by exploring new ideas, techniques and sharing information. Chefs developed lighter, fresher methods of cooking. One new practice was the process of plating food in the kitchen instead of having the servers serve from platters that they carried around the dining room. Garde Mange chefs began creating intricate plate designs that included food in individual portions.

As chefs began traveling the world, they found new ingredients and flavors to incorporate into their foods. The addition of these new flavors is often called “Fusion Cuisine”.

By the end of the twentieth century the garde mange profession had seen several important advances. Meat and poultry fabrication had been moved to the processing facilities. Today the meat and poultry arrives at the restaurant ready to go straight to the hot line. This advancement frees up the garde manger area to do more creative work.

The 1980’s brought a change in the way Americans were eating. More and more people were becoming health conscious and the salad became more than a side dish. We began to see more main dish salads, and more charcuterie products such as pâtés and terrines as main dishes and appetizers.

The garde manger field benefits from the multicultural nature of food service employees. Dishes often exhibit flavors from many different world cuisines.

To pursue a career in the garde manger kitchen, one should first have a solid set of skills in the other areas of the kitchen. A good foundation of skills will benefit one’s time in garde manger. A chef should never stop learning to stay at the top of his or her field. Trends come and go. Possessing current knowledge and updated skills will make any chef a vital part of any organization.