We come into class and Chef Veronica tells us we are doing a mini small buffet today. Remember last week how I told you we put on a big buffet for the whole school- (oh wait, I never showed you those pictures… I’ll send another email with them in it), today we made paella with chicken, scallops, shrimp, saffron rice, veggies etc., tortilla espanola, Julie’s leftover gyoza (pulled pork dumplings), homemade pickles, and ham/cheese croquettas. Chef V was a chef in Spain for many years, so she wanted to teach us some of the things she used to make on the other side of the world (take me with you next time sista!). Yesterday, we prepared the béchamel sauce and the leftover ham from our buffet to use for the croquette filling. I took one little taste out of the filling and was transported to the streets of Little Havana… in Cuba (no not the restaurant on Biscayne Blvd. in Miami). I couldn’t wait to cook them in flour, egg, and crumbs to then deep-fry them. Talk about a healthy diet!
Julie and I cut up the peppers and sautéed them. Noah cut up the meat. Pandora took down the chicken. Lashandra delt with the shrimp and shrimp stock. Tyler and Jack worked on the tortilla Espanola, as chef was hoping around barking orders at us all. Someone made the croquettas into huge oversized hamburgers and chef almost flipped a number two. So, I decided to correct them. Well, chef comes over and insults me that I am “so annoying and way too slow” and “gets on my nerves” type of speech because she couldn’t understand what I was doing. Then she screams, “someone go help Eliana, she seems to be having trouble”. That is where I lost it! I snapped back at her to remind her that I did not make theses and I am only helping fix them because she couldn’t understand why I threw half of them out. I hope she felt bad once I reminded her that I was on red/green pepper duty and only later hopped onto croquette disaster clean up. From that moment on though, I shut her out for the rest of the day and I think she realized.
When it came time to deep-frying the croquettas, I felt like I was working at a Hispanic version of McDonald’s. Instead of frying fries, I was frying up those little cheesy/ham nugget balls. Our mini buffet turned out delicious. Chef’s paella was superb (yes… we all helped make it, but with her at the steering wheel and us in the trunk). Tomorrow we move to level 5 in the where we begin working in the kitchen! Yes a real live KITCHEN! I am starting off at the desert station. Fabulous- I will be gaining four pounds in four days. We are at each station for four days. My partners are Pandora and Tyler, which I am happy about because I like working with both of them. The tour of the kitchen from chef was delightful. I was like a little girl in the America Girl Doll store looking around at each nook and cranny- didn’t make chef too happy because I was barely paying attention to what she was saying… sorry! I was just so distracted and excited. The crossover to level 5 begins tomorrow- wish me luck!