Day 21: Gone Hunting.
Officially in Level 2 and it feels so good. My “dogs” aren’t barking as much, did a mitzvah by giving a level 1 (first day) girl my extra neck-er-chief because she left her’s at home, mastered my pommes Darphin (hash brown pattie), and I’ve been hanging around Carlos/Sagot too much that I went out of my way to get the chef his coffee this morning (new class pet in the making). Our new Chef is Dominique. I have never seen anyone rock a more epic mustache in my life- his CURLS up on the side and it’s the perfect shade of salt/pepper.
Chef Dominique is definitely more chill than Chef Jeff (but, I did miss him today.. he makes me hustle….a little too much maybe). Also, Chef Dominique has an extremely heavy French accent, but I can understand everything he says. We worked with game meat today! VENISON… and also chicken. First we made Chicken Grandmother’s style. Now, when I heard “Grandmother’s style”- I thought we were going to whip out the Goya Mojo sauce and drench that bad boy all up in those spices like my “Baba” would usually do. On the other grandma said, not really sure what another “Grandma” style would be because I can’t say I have ever tried my Grandma Elayne’s cooking before because I don’t think she’s ever cooked. Such a dame- I love you G. I used to take after you by not knowing where the kitchen was, but we can’t say that any more- now can we! BOO-YAH! Anyways, back to the chicken. We stuffed it with our bouquet Garni (thyme, bay leaf, garlic, salt/pepper etc) then we seared it a pan to get it all golden brown and crispy. We cut up our vegetables for it and prepared our reduction sauce (white wine and veal stock). We had to cocotte our potatoes (pshh- no big deal) and sautee our other veggies (onions, mushrooms, carrots, and celery- some bacon pieces too). We added those with our chicken and into the oven it went. The chicken turned out perfect, as though your grandmother would have made it. It is a very causal dish for French cuisine and not as structured, but oh so scrumptious. Ate half and gave the other half to the dishwasher man (a new one… Felix stayed in level 1 kitchen).
For our next dish, I am so glad that while visiting Nataly at sleep away camp, us Wittels’ kids picked out the perfect deer at Walmart to make Venison in a bordelaise sauce with pommes Darphin. We put on our camo gear and everything and caught that sucker in plain sight!
Besides for trying ostrich on my safari in South Africa, I’m not really into many game animals. Although I did try our venison today, I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind that I was actually eating a deer, even though it tasted like a piece of steak. I took one bite and gave the rest to Candiolo (his name is something like that) our new dishwasher. Man, I tell you! These dishwasher men are living the dream. Not only do they have a job, but every night they bring home five star quality meals to feed their entire families (because I am SURE they are living with at least 4 other generations inside one home.. g-d bless them). We cooked the deer in the pan first, in order to get it a little brown and then finished it off in the oven. We made pommes Darphin (hash brown patties) and cut them into wedges (that’s how the French serve them… not like in Waffle House all smothered up… just ask my Tio Edgar and Brett aka Waffle House’s most loyal customers). The deer was cooked to perfection and although we had a weak veal stock to work with, our sauce came out pretty well (thanks to Sagot- I can’t take much credit on that).
Can’t say I didn’t start a mini fire today when my pan was too hot and I added butter into it on the flame—yeah that wasn’t good… thing flamed up like a firecracker in the sky. Oops, my bad! Three new people joined our class because they had to take a leave of absence prior. One is Lawshandra, she is 23 years old with two kids and one of the way. Talk about back pain and feet pain standing up in the hot kitchen ALL day. I tried not to let her hear me complain. I know, so sensitive of me, right!. Then there is Daniel and Jose. Jose was absent already and Daniel- Rob says he moves as slow as Xandra. Guess chef won’t let me work with him anytime soon, oh wait he’s the first in the ABC order and I’m the last… guess we will be sous chef together! This should be interesting!