Level 3 is NO joke. Wow- I swear I look at the clock at 9 am and the next thing I know I’ve been cooking straight through till 2pm! We don’t stop for lunch and we don’t even have any time to sit down. Surprisingly, my “dogs” aren’t “barking” as much any more (feet aren’t hurting). I must be used to it or it must be the oils, who knows?
Today, I rotated from the Garde Manger position to the Poissonier. I had to prepare for plates of sautéed skate wing with brown butter, capers, lemon, and croutons (Aile De Raie A la Grenobloise). Grenobloise sauce is a very traditional French one used on many fish dishes. Chef taught us how to fillet the skate wing because the fish is extremely slimy and the skin contains spikes on it, so we had to wear gloves and use a towel to protect our hand. Once you fillet the fish, you have to skin it. The shape of the skate wings is really cool because it’s delicate and the meat almost looks like thick spaghetti strands lined up perfectly next to each other. Once, I filleted the fish, I began gathering all the ingredients I needed to begin cooking. Ugh, Chef had us add 3 potato cocottes (making them into football shapes- tournage) for each dish! That means I was busy shaping 12 mini little potato footballs- it wasn’t fun, but I got it done. I don’t know what possessed me to start using those blue finger condoms to protect my fingers from the knife blade, but it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me since traveling the world on Semester at Sea.
On top of our own dishes (Josephine moved to saucier, Rebecca to pastry, and Zandra to garde manger), we had to as a team come up with a little “one bite” appetizer using only the ingredients chef allowed us to use. The three main ingredients were apple, bacon, and Gruyere cheese. We could use cayenne, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, and that’s pretty much it. My team decided to go with an apple chip (we baked the apple slice) with little lardons of bacon in the center with melted cheese on top. We then sliced some of the apple skin onto the top to give our dish a pop of color. We made a nice vinaigrette and drizzled it on top. I was content with our first go at these “one bite” appetizers. We are going to continue doing them everyday, so let’s see what ingredients Chef gives us tomorrow.
When it came time to cooking my fish, I was ready. I had already boiled my potatoes, made my homemade croutons, sliced my lemon Supremes, and chopped my parsley up. I made sure to get my pan super hot with clarified butter before dumping my four fillets into that hot skillet. Rebecca helped me figure out if my pan was hot or not thank g-d because yesterday Josephine’s got ruined because the pan wasn’t hot enough. I got my butter to the noisette stage (brown hazelnut color) added the capers, parsley, lemon supremes, and seasoned it before drizzling it on top of all four fillets. I plated all four of my dishes and luckily presented to chef on time! Presenting on time is a must! Our sous chef of the day was the same chef that graded me on the final and brought me to tears over my Chantilly cream. We were totally fine today and even went on a trip downstairs to the level 6 kitchen to give the chef our egg yolks. I was real proud of my self for preparing those four dishes without messing up!
Tomorrow it’s my turn to be the saucier, which means I’m cooking Pork Chops in a green pepper corn sauce!