Day 11: Hot Potato.
As I am sitting, I can’t help but notice there is a bigger dent in the couch then usual. Hmm…I wonder if ALL the potatoes we made today rolled in bread-crumbs and fried or the deep fried ones or just plain old puree with extra milk and extra butter has something to do with it. We made about 8 different potato dishes- puree, croquettes, hash browns, French fries, chips, creamy-cheesey potato dish, pomme anna (some fancy one),shoestring potatoes etc. All of these potato dishes have a fancy French name but we all know that I am not the French Rosetta Stone and all those terms will mean nothing to you (sorry if I’ve offended anyone’s intelligence- unless you actually know French or French cuisine terms).
Everyday two different people are paired up together to be the chef’s sous-chef. The sous chefs are responsible for being the chef’s wingman or helping around the kitchen. So, if chef needs more salt, you go and get. If chef needs potatoes cut, you cut them. You also assign everyone a daily job (clean countertops, refill vinegar etc.). Lucky me, Carlos’ last name starts with a V and mine W, so it was our turn to man the fort. Being that it was Monday, I was really out of it (I want to say I was out of it just in the morning, but then I’d be lying and would have nothing to blame my passing out at 2 pm on).
First thing as a sous chef, I had to peel about twelve potatoes (maybe even more). Then chef did a demonstration on pommes puree (mashed potatoes). We first boiled the potatoes and when they were ready took them out. Our recipe called for 150g milk- but the chef told us to change and use ½ milk and ½ cream. At first, we still thought our mash potatoes were dry, so Carlos and I added way more (note to self: #1 key example why couch is indented… less milk/cream next time). After the deliciously creamy and buttery mashed potatoes were done, we moved on to our Gratin Dauphinois (creamy cheesy potato dish). For this, we sliced our potatoes then put them into a warm milk-cream mixture to bring to a simmer in the pan. After we rubbed our gratin dish in garlic, poured the milk-cream potatoes mix into the pan and added grated gruyere cheese (heaven in your mouth minus the nutmeg for you mom… since you are “allergic” to it). Then we baked it in the oven until it was golden brown.
My favorite dish of the day was the croquettes (note to self: #2 key example why couch is indented… only have 1 next time, not 7). We used a potato mixture that had egg yolk, salt, and pepper in it. We had to option to add cheese, meat, chives, more cheese- whatever our hearts wanted. Obviously Carlos and I followed my “go big or go home” mentality and were busy chopping all the ingredients to put inside- leaving no prisoners behind. After we mixed the extra toppings into the mix, we had to roll them in flour- egg wash- then bread crumbs. After each croquette went swimming and got all dolled up, it went into the fryer. This is how they turned out!... I don’t mean to tease you, but I promise I’ll make them for you when I’m back home.
The afternoon was a blur. I was watching the clock like a hawk (note to self #3 key reason why the couch is indented… the more you watch the clock, the more hopeless you will get, the more food you eat). I was like a squirrel in the park munching on anything and everything. We deep-fried French fries- I ate it. We deep-fried the shoestrings- I ate it. Was I hungry? No, not in the slightest, but when there is food in front of you smelling like Hanukkah morning how do you not (I wanted to say Christmas morning- but I don’t know if I’ve ever smelt that). We also had to make our own hash brown big patty and pommes Anna. Now, here is a picture of Carlos, Julie, and my two dishes all put together on the tray. Take a wild guess which one mine is….
(Hint: the middle HOT MESS. Geshhhh Julie- (her’s is the closet to front) thanks for inviting me over for fruit tart making parties… her excuse as to why her’s came out so beautiful)
We have a test tomorrow! I am still Sous Chef because you have to be it for two days. Chef Jeff is still on vacation. Tomorrow is an introduction to fish. So, get ready to get fishy.
Quote of the day: After I had asked Carlos what was for lunch, he said some nasty remark about what the food looked like (human private part). I commented on how he has a dirty mind. He then said, “I let it all out, I’m not dirty, in fact I’m clean because I don’t keep my dirty thoughts inside”. à (Note to self: #4 key reason why the couch is indented… I probably ate my awkward feelings away after Carlos’ remark).
Peace. Love. Potatoes.
Ps- here is Carlos and I at the fire drill today. Yes, we all had to evacuate the building on Broadway in our chef uniforms