Thursday, November 13, 2008


Today we made an asparagus soup, stuffed pork chop, apple sauce, and braised fennel. Yum! Now that I'm looking at this, it's basically a complete meal at a restaurant - all that's missing is dessert.
Creme d'Aspereges
-melt butter and sweat onions over medium heat
-add chopped asparagus stalks and a pinch of salt, sweating slowly to extract flavor
-add flour to make a white roux
-add stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until asparagus pieces are cooked through
-puree soup in blender until very smooth ans strain through a fine chinois, then adjust consistency (no thicker than cold heavy cream)
Soup should taste of asparagus, not cream

Entrecote de Porc Farcie, Compote de Pommes, and Fenouil Braise
To make the stuffing (farce), heat the butter in a small saute pan and sweat the onions and celery until soft. Add the sausage meat and break apart using a wooden spoon. Add the sage and cook until fragrant and sausage is no longer raw. Season with salt and pepper and cool slightly. Add breadcrumbs and just enough stock to bind it all together (about 1t). [want to be able to gently ball up the stuffing]. Adjust seasoning. Cut a pocket in the pork chop [do this opposite of bone] - fill with farce but do not overfill! Season chop with salt and pepper. Sear chop on both sides and finish in hot oven (400) until 145 degrees (about 10 min).
Melt butter in a small saute pan, add apples and saute until soft. Sprinkle a litte sugar over apples and a litle water to help apples break down. Check for sweetness and add a little more sugar if desired. Let apples gently cook down to the consistency of chunky apple sauce. Stir in vanilla and spices if desired.
Trim and clean fennel. Melt butter and add fennel pieces, cut side down, in an even layer. Cook over low heat until fennel is ust beginnign to soften. Turn fennel and add enough stock to cover by about 2/3. Season.
We also had to make roasted potatoes - our choice how to serve them.
Lessons Learned:
Learning how to have all the food ready and warm at the same time has been a really great lesson for me to learn - it's teaching me better organization skills. Plus I'm learning those obvious kitchen tricks of a low oven to keep food warm, or foil tents. Fun!

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