Day 46: I Now Go By The Name Tam Trinh.
If not being able to wake up to my alarm was any indication that my day was going to be on autopilot, I don’t know what is. First of all, my parents again took the subway with me down to my culinary school to say goodbye before they went back for Miami. Second, as I am walking into the locker room, my heart sinks into my stomach (no, not the same feeling as when someone you like walks by), but when you have just realized you took your dirty uniform to the dry cleaners and FORGOT to put a clean pair in your bag to bring to school the next day! Just as I was about to panic, I knew that money can solve many things and this was one of them. Twenty-five dollars later, I got a new pair of chef pants, an apron, a hat, a neckerchief, and a borrow chef’s coat (that doesn’t break health code volitions, but I did have to pay $5 for dry cleaner fees). The best part about this whole fiasco is that the jacket I borrowed for the day had the name TAM TRINH embroidered into the breast pocket. Hahah so I went by the name Tam Trinh all day- took me right back to the shores of Vietnam. I guess I traded Rhonda the lunch lady for Tam Trinh the Vietnamese princess.
For the most part, I thought that my dish today was going to be relatively easy. Well let’s just say that because I was a walking zombie I was ALL over the place and this easy recipe turned into the Da Vinci Code. I cut my talliage much much better today (thanks to chef who I asked to help me with my technique). Once all my little cubes of macedoine vegetables were sliced and diced, I then blanched them individually. I made the same mistake again by leaving the vegetables in the ice water for TOO long like they are chilling in a Mexican resort pool. I also needed to dry them off! Why can’t I remember the two easiest steps!? Once all that was done, I followed Tyler and Carlos and began making my hollandaise sauce. Chef told us that we should have done our hollandaise sauce LAST and instead start to poach our eggs! Oops I forgot to tell you that I was making a poached egg salad over vegetables with hollandaise sauce.
Poaching eggs seems simple, but you must get the technique down first! The first egg I did today was a hot stanking mess. The egg whites did not come together because the water not only was not hot enough, but also didn’t have enough vinegar in it. At this point in time, beads of sweat were starting to drip down my back. I ONLY HAD 10 MINUTES LEFT TO PRESENT! I WASN’T GOING TO BE READY BY ANY MEANS! I looked at Carlos and he was more nervous than anyone because for ONCE he was behind. Phew! I’m not the only one. Well, I finally was able to poach my eggs. I took a ring mold to form my veggies that I had later cooked in butter, salt, and pepper. The gosh darn vegetables were being SO stubborn and wouldn’t stay in the ring for me! I trimmed the poached eggs, topped them with hollandaise sauce, and a X made out of tomatoes to put on top! Then I finally presented to chef a little late, but better late than never. If I never see that salad again, I would be the happiest person because I was a train wreck throughout the whole process and was not focused one bit. Today reminded me of level 1 and I never want to go back to level 1.
Tomorrow. I am making a fancy seafood dish. Yum-ay! Hopefully I won’t be a space cadet and get my act together.
Poached and tired,
Princess Tam Trinh