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  • Writer's pictureEliana

Day 35: Beet's Me!

Monday Morning, but yet I didn’t feel so sluggish. Maybe it’s because I knew that I only had half a day of cooking again. Not sure what I am going to do about tomorrow, but guess the fact that we are learning how to make my favorite thing ever- meat sauce- will get me through the first full day since last Wednesday! Today was another healthy meal since we are on the nutrition unit. We made two delicious plates. The first was an Endive and frisee salad with pear, beets, and Roquefort (fancy term for blue cheese) with a walnut vinaigrette. Normally I don’t dig French salads, but this one was quite nice because of the pears and beets. I love beets oh so much! We roasted the beets and cooked the pears in the oven in order to soften them up. I’m not the biggest fan of all those types of lettuces because they are sort of bitter, but healthier or so they say. I can never understand when someone says mixed greens are healthier than romaine. To me they are both green and both equally as healthy- I could be eating bread instead you know! These health freaks are crazy. Leaves are leaves.

Anyways, we cleaned and washed the lettuce. Picked the stems off. Sliced the endives, diced the pears, and sliced the beets. I made the vinaigrette with Dijon mustard, vinegar, blended oil, walnut oil, salt, and pepper. It was yummy. We then plated the lettuce- giving it as much volume as possible. Also, we made sure to dress each component of the salad differently because g-d forbid the beets turned the pears or frisee red. I learned that lesson once better. Instead of wearing gloves while peeling my roasted beets, I went bare handed on those babies. By the end of working with the beets, my hands were BEET RED! It looked I just washed my hands in a pool of blood. I looked around the room and realized that I was the ONLY one with red hands. This idiot (pointing to myself) forgot to wear her gloves and got her hands all stained in red. Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb. I was so careful not to touch my apron or uniform because I just got it cleaned (but karma is a b and I ended up paying for it on the second dish).

Our second dish was a wild striped bass with wild mushrooms in a port wine reduction sauce. You had me at port wine reduction sauce (not sure if this applies because it’s the last item in the name but you catch my drift). Thank the lord we didn’t have to fillet the fish today because they already came sliced for us. Thanks chef! For this dish we worked with four different kinds of mushrooms. Boy, do I love me some mushrooms! We cleaned them, cut them, and then sautéed them with oil, garlic, butter, shallots, etc. We also cut mini potatoes to blanch, then sauté, and then roast in butter with rosemary in the oven for a hot minute. For the fish, I first put it in the pan when it wasn’t hot enough, so the whole fish stuck to the bottom. I was having a heart attack because I didn’t want to tell chef that I needed a new fillet of fish. So, in a split second I scooped that fish (meat without feet haha) out of the pan and let the oil heat up more. Well, I was a little too generous with letting it heat up because the pan then became too hot aka scorching! So, I had to start with a whole new pan and add new oil. No big deal, I can handle chef telling us we are late on our dish as opposed to royally messing up (which I almost did). Our port wine reduction sauce was a little too reduced. Chef called it glue. Ugh- why thanks… I guess? Ha NOT. We should have added more veal stock, but we were too worried with time, so we just presented as is. The plate still looked real pretty. We also had broccoli rabe on the side! When it came time to cleaning the port wine reduction sauce aka glue out of the pan, in doing so the sauce got ALL over my NEWLY FRESH from the DRY CLEANERS Chef coat. I was SO livid! The sauce was actually stuck to the pan like glue and when I used some force and put my back into it—the saucy water splashed up everywhere. WAH-WAH! Talk about having a bad moment that makes you just want to curl up in a ball. Guess my dry cleaners are going to be happy! Seeing me twice in one week! I need a plain white apron! ASAP.

We took our third test today, which whooped my behind. Chef did not really tell us all the correct things to study/ focus on. We knew all the 8 point questions, but the 16 point question answers I was pulling out of my behind! I wrote really long and confusing answers that could be write, so hopefully I somehow finagle my way into getting an A. I’ll keep you posted. When I handed in my test, I told chef that this time I won’t be getting 100% and he laughed.

Feliz Lunes! (Happy Monday)

Elianita Nicolita

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