Day 6: A Scene in the Kitchen
Today was a saucy one! It was ALL about sauces. Now on Friday we made all different kinds of stocks to use as the bases for our sauces. Yes, we actually made stocks Mom! We didn’t just buy a can of stock and use that one! Being that it was Monday morning I was a little sluggish, we all were. I was partnered up with this kid Jack from Montreal (obviously spoke about the only place I was familiar with there- Mon TremBlant aka the place where Garrett broke his femur and we had to be air ambulanced home).
So, my style in the kitchen is uber relaxed… I’m not one of those extremely bossy chefs that make their partner into the sous chef immediately. Neither was Jack, so we both worked well together and laughed a lot when I burnt the mushrooms and he left the shallots on too long caramelizing them. Not the end of the world people! Yeah I’m speaking to you (not mentioning any names)!
We made a chicken veloute sauce from the white stock. We added butter and flour in a pot and then added the white stock. Then we did basically the same for the béchamel (cream) sauce. We added butter and flour. Then milk and whisked away while boiling it! We had to wait until the sauce was at the right consistency and color before we took it off the heat. The béchamel is used for creamed spinach, mac and cheese, and other dishes. Personally, I like my mac and cheese just the way Aunt Al makes it with loads of Cheddar! Creamy is too weak for me when it comes to my mac. The next sauce was a sauce espagnole, which is made from the veal stock. You add (close your ears grandma) smoked bacon, a mirepoix of vegetables, tomato, mushrooms, and flour (to thicken the stock/sauce). We let that cook for an hour. While we are in the kitchen we are the MASTERS of multitasking. You do NOT have a minute to chill or chit chat. Chef Jeff likes it silent- NOT my style but I use a whisper and when I laugh I try to be as silent as possible even though that is an impossible feat. Chef Jeff needs A LOT of patience when dealing with me, if you haven’t noticed.
Now for the next two sauces… things heated up a bit and when I mean heated I mean literally caught on fire. So, for our mushroom and wine sauce (sounds as delicious as it tastes) we had to sweat the mushrooms and shallots down before adding the brandy. When you add alcohol to any hot dish, it catches in flames. Now, I know you ALL would have loved to have seen me do my first flambee , however my iphone went pyscho (it keeps doing that these days… no daddy I am NOT complaining I know you still have an ancient flip phone) just as the flame went up and my face went into shock, so Jack wasn’t able to snap the winning picture. Lighting the food up on fire was CRAZY and SCARY. I think my eyes were closed the whole time. So after you add the brandy and flambee, you need to turn the stove off. Then when you add the white wine you turn the stove back on!
While doing this, my top burner went out and I needed to re light it. I don’t do well with fire. Well, Jack offered to relight it for me (ever the gentleman), but I decided I needed to conquer my fears and deal with this myself. I took a piece of paper towel and using the fire from Jack’s burner lite my paper on fire. Well, the fire was coming towards me at a rapid pace- my heart started fluttering- the stupid top stove wasn’t taking the fire- now I’m panicking- FIRE IS COMING AT ME GUNS HOT!- Everyone is like go to the stove, It was as if they were turning Japanese on me… I didn’t understand that so I threw the paper in the air letting out a little squeal while Robert came to my rescue and stepped on the fire! Chef Jeff DOES NOT like scenes in HIS kitchen. Well, to say that I didn’t put on a show is putting it lightly- I was Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire cooking and burning “her” chest on the stove! Later on in the lecture, Chef Jeff spoke to this little matter and said “Guys, what happened earlier with the fire can not happen again!” It’s like come on Chef Jeff we ALL know it was me! He was nice about it and taught us a different way to light our stoves using butter wrap. It’s safe to say that I’m just going to let the boys handle the fire from now on.
We got a “special” lunch today put on by the level four students. I don’t know about you but liver consumee and pigs feet soufflé are NOT two things that I want to be eating- so I stuck to the bread, rice, salad, and Indian flavored lamb (took me right back to New Delhi two years ago when I was scavenging for food to eat- and dude I am NOT a picky eater but everyone has to draw the line somewhere). Tomorrow we will be making sabayons! Yippe!