Saturday, August 2, 2008

Relaxing Day

Today we had a substitute chef. It was soooo relaxed in the classroom. But we did start with a quiz. I kind of had a rough-ish afternoon, so that didn't really help my difficulties studying. But I did manage to learn most of the prime and sub-prime cuts of beef and their moist v. dry cooking. Kind of didn't bother looking at all at the chicken or duck notes... but some of it came back to me. I may have pulled off a C on it.
Oh! But that reminds me! I got a 95% on my Sanitation test! Woohoo! Definitely can get my state certification if I decide to. I probably didn't beat T., but from what I heard the rest of my friends say, I did better than them... That stuff was interesting, and it does kind of stick with you...

So with the sub, we actually cooked, and were done early. Which led to a lot of muttering that it isn't us, it is Chef's obsession with his own voice. But I completely screwed up and cut the loin with the grain, instead of against the grain. And the sub didn't catch me until I had lost basically all my meat (don't worry, I cut it into stew meat - we don't trash it). But if it had been Chef B... Irish pointed out I would have caught it if he had been there, so I was lucky I made the mistake tonight. I shrugged and began cutting it into cubes, but Rico says I'm too hard on myself - she says I tend to triple-check myself after I screw up. Which is true. I do do that.
Then we grilled a fillet (so good), and seared a smaller cut of tenderloin. My sauce was too thin on this - I put too much cream. I couldn't eat more than a couple bites of this - I had some of my other steak and then wrapped it to take home. T. allowed me to eat some of his burned fat though - I seriously love that. A lot of people think it's gross but oh man when it's still melting from the heat of the grill.... it can't be reheated, so it has to be eaten right away.
A marinade was used for the grilled steak, but I was still cutting away at my meat, so I missed what it had besides garlic and shallots - I don't know the liquid. For the seared steak, we made Steak au Poivre, which is as follows:
-put oil in hot pan
-salt and pepper both sides of steak, then place in hot pan
-sear both sides, then place in oven to complete cooking
-briefly (seriously, just about 15 seconds) saute garlic and shallot
-pour in cognac - it lights on fire!
-when the fire goes out, pour in veal stock and cream
-add two pats of butter to finish off the sauce
-pour into bottom of plate - enough sauce for each bite of steak

Okay, I'm sorry to go completely off topic, but I really just have to emphasize that every single person needs to be watching The Wire. I caught up to the dvds this weekend, and I really really love that show. I've only worked with Hispanic gangbangers, so I can't verify the authenticity of it, but from what I've read, people say it really is accurate.

Lessons learned:
My friends in this class - I have really quickly learned to depend on them. If not that we are such good friends already, but that I have a lot of fun with them. Even when Chef B is there, we find a way to laugh. If only for having met such a great group of people, I am glad I did this program. On that note, the group is being split up next class. When Rico pointed this out, there was quite the uproar - people really do not want to be separated. I think Nemo and I are under different chefs. Sad. Sad. Sad. I mean, I can still see him before class, or any of the rest of my friends, but, still, sad.

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