Greetings! Sorry that it’s been a while, but truthfully on Friday I was so over everything that I just couldn’t find the time to fill you in on my adventures in the kitchen. It’s getting cold up here in New York City, but never thought I’d say this, the kitchen is just the right temperature to keep us all perfectly warm.
Last Friday, I was at the garde manger station. The day before I epically failed at pastry, worse then trying to sign onto Obamacare’s webpage (not that I’ve tried, but I’ve heard). So, my patience level was really thin. I had to make the ouefs poche (poached egg salad over macedoine (tiny cubed vegetables). I swear to g-d I was SO fed up with cutting little tiny cubes (have to be PERFECTLY the same size… and I just couldn’t do it because again I don’t have the patience) that I just wanted the day to be over. I was having a moment. My hollandaise sauce was too thin and not buttery enough also. Oh and apparently I didn’t use enough salt in my boiling water when blanching my vegetables (cooking them a’langlaise) because when Chef came around she asked me what was wrong with my string beans. I said, “I think I overcooked them”. She then asks how much salt I put in the water and I replied with a little bit. I KID YOU NOT! I had to present my food in 10 MINUTES- chef takes the back of her hand and slides ALL of my STRING BEANS into the GARABAGE and orders me to redo them, but this time with A LOT of salt. You know in cartoons when a character gets REALLLLLLY angry his face turns red and steam comes out of his ears and nose. Well, that is exactly what happened to me! “Chef! OH MY G-D.. now I have NO more string beans and you took all the extra ones UPSTAIRS! Are you serious?”. Chef had to remind me who I was speaking to! But, golly talk about over reacting over salt. I had to run up 3 flights of stairs from the second floor to the fifth floor, wait for the storage guy to find me string beans- run back downstairs re cook them and then chef wonders why I was 7 minutes late to present! Maybe because I had to go on a wild goose hunt with 9 minutes to present my dish! All the while, I am BEGGING myself NOT to cry- so instead I breathe in and out and in and out really fast while the steam was overflowing out of me.
Today was NOT as catastrophic as last week Thursday and Friday. We had our third mock midterm today. We had to make Beef Bourgouion and Oeufs Poche again. I picked out of the hat and got lucky because I picked B8, which is the last one to present! So I had ALL the time in the world. I did get yelled at because I cooked my bacon and mushrooms around 11am and didn’t need them till 2pm, so I let them chill in the fridge till then. I first browned the beef, then browned the vegetable mirepoix, added flour, tomato products, veal stock to cover it, garlic, and Bouquet Garni (parsley, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, etc.). Then let it simmer and plopped it into the oven for a solid two hours till the meat was tender. While that was cooking, I started to cut my vegetables into little cubes and cooked them on the flattop. I then began getting my garnish for my beef dish ready- the bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions. In retrospect, I could have waited to cook my garnish- chef was right, but I was following my task card of the order in which things should get done. I’ve gotten much better at poaching eggs and then I made my hollandaise sauce, which to me turned out yummy with just the right about of clarified butter. I presented my poached egg salad on time and began working on finishing my beef dish.
I rolled out the pasta dough and made my spaghetti. I reheated all my garniture (bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions), took the beef out of the oven, strained/reduced the sauce till it was the right consistency, and then made my pasta. I plated all the components and presented on time again! Thank the lord.
Tomorrow we have new pairings and my partner is Maitreywee (My-Tree)… this should be fun- two huge drama queens, but one is starring in Bollywood and the other in Hollywood.