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Becoming a Chef

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Becoming a Chef - Page Text Content

S: Basic Food Theory and Skills

BC: "we don't cook for money, You wait for the return of love, if you're a real chef - Andre Soltner

FC: Basic Food Theory& Skills | Becoming a chef

1: April Heather | 1991- 2013 | My journey towards becoming a chef, is a tribute to my sister. She loved when I cooked for her, and always pushed me to be more. She was an inspiration in life and spirit, and I wish she could be here to see me pursue my dream.

2: Bones beef or veal 3 to 4 in pieces 15 lbs. Cold water 3 gal Mirepoix 2 lbs. Tomato paste 8 oz. Sachet: Bay Leaves 2 Dried Thyme .5 tsp Peppercorns, crushed .5 tsp Garlic Cloves 3 tsp Parsley Stems 12 | Brown Beef Stock | Stock | Labensky, S. (1995). On cooking:a textbook of culinary fundamentals. (Fifth Edition ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

3: 1. Place the bones in a roasting pan, one layer deep, and brown in a 375 F oven. Turn the bones occasionally to brown them evenly. 2. Remove the bones and place them in a stock pot. Pour off fat from the roasting pan and reserve it.3. Deglaze the roasting pan with part of the cold water.4. Add the deglazing liquor and the rest of the of the of the cold water to the bones, covering them completely. Bring to boil and reduce and reduce to a simmer. 5. Add a portion of the reserved fat to the roasting pan and saute the mirepoix until evenly browned. Then add it to the simmering stock.6. Add the tomato paste and sachet to the stock and continue to simmer for 6 to 8 hours, skimming as necessary. 7. Strain, cool, refrigerate.

4: How did the product turn out? We didn't get to see the end result as the stock takes 6-8 hours to cook, and we don't have that much time in class. Chef Chris did tell us later that the stock was not cloudy and it seemed fine. No one complained so I'm assuming no news, is good news on that one. How did the other students products turn out, what did they do wrong, and what can be done to prevent this from happening? Well first and foremost we all made the mistake of not reading and comprehending our recipe. I spent a lot of time reading and taking notes on our assigned chapters for homework, and although I read our recipe; I didn't fully comprehend what it meant to read and comprehend a recipe. If I had been the only person in our four person team to have done this, I could have saved our entire team a lot of trouble. We had to flip back in the book several times to reference things, like what size to cut our vegetables for mire poix etc. What products and equipment did you use and do you understand why they are used? We used the big kettle in the kitchen which I had some familiarity with but I didn't know how to drain. The previous classes beef stock was still in the kettle and we had to drain theirs before we could start our own. Chef Bill ran me through that entire process and later both chefs demoed how to vent stock with the stock we had drained from the kettle.

5: asTomato Quiche Appetizers as | As to understanding why we used the equipment we did. I'm guessing size of recipe, ease of use, and controlling an even temperature all played a role in the use of the kettle. What did I learn? Like I mentioned earlier, I definitely learned why reading and comprehending your recipe is so important. When we got into lab, not one of us had a list written out or knew exactly where to start other than quickly trying to read over our recipe. We should have taken the first five minutes to stop and read the recipe, before we all went into freak out mode and just started doing things without fully understanding what was gonna have to happen next. I felt like I made more mistakes, than I did things right. I felt red faced and embarrassed when everyone headed back to class with their stock merrily simmering away on the stove top, and we were still frantically trying to saute our mire poix. Someone should have been doing that while the kettle was being cleaned. I also made the mistake of leaving the bones in the kettle with the heat turned on and no water. I was so focused on trying to get mire poix hurried along I completely forgot that step which slowed us down even further. I definitely will not forget anytime soon the importance of mise en place and reading your recipe.

6: Soups | s Bacon diced 3 oz Mirepoix, medium dice 1 lbs Garlic cloves, chopped 2 Chicken stock 3 qt. Split peas washed and sorted 1 lb. Ham hocks 1.5 lbs. Sachet: Bay Leaves 2 Dried Thyme .5 tsp Peppercorns, crushed .5 tsp Salt and pepper TT Croutons sauteed in butter as needed for garnish In a stock pot render the baon by cooking it slowly and allowing it to release it's fat; sweat the mirepoix and garlic in the fat w out browning them. 2. Add the stock, peas, ham hocks and sachet. Bring to a boil reduce to a simmer and cook until peas are soft, approx 1 to 1.5 hrs. 3. Remove the satchet and ham hocks or bones. Cut the meat into medium dice and add it to the soup. 5. Bring the soup to a simmer, if necessary, adjust the consistency by adding hot chicken stock. Adjust the seasonings and serve, garnished with the croutons. | Puree of Split Pea Soup | Labensky, S. (1995). On cooking:a textbook of culinary fundamentals. (Fifth Edition ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

7: Split Pea Soup January 29, 2014 My first step was to read and comprehend my recipe. I was a little skeptical of the dish, because of my aversion to split pea soup. I was forced to eat it as a child, and would hide it under the table, and run off to school. But I was always busted when I got home. So I was like "Ah, man. really, my first dish?" The only salvation I saw to this dish was the pig tail we used to season it in Belize, which is technically the tail bone not tail. Attempt number one: I divided the recipe by three per instructions, and tried it at home. I had to substitute carrots for celery in the mire poix, hot water and chicken bouillon for the stock, and extra bacon for the ham hock. I didn't have cheesecloth on hand and my seasonings went directly into the soup. I didn't place close enough attention and accidentally cooked all of the liquids out of it. This gave it a much thicker consistency, which I preferred far more the the super thin consistency I got at school. Attempt number two {lab}: Week two and I have become painfully aware being fast and cooking these dishes well are going to take me lots and lots and lots of practice. Forget all about your home cooking, and forget everything you thought you knew cause you're starting at ground zero. Chef Chris pointed out that, "Fast isn't fast, being efficient is fast. So I'm thinking to myself, "Ok, Eden don't into your freak out mode, where you fly around like a physco Batman. Think it through, and be sure you are taking the proper steps to save yourself time.

8: Soups | 2 ounces onion, chopped 8 ounces assorted fresh wild mushrooms, chopped such as shitake, oysters and morels 4 ounces butter 4 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon salt pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon dried thyme 8 fluid ounces chicken stock 24 fluid ounces milk 2 fluid ounces marsala wine 1 tablespoon lemon juice | Saute the onion and mushrooms in the butter over medium heat. Cook until they are tender and any liquid given off has evaporated. Blend in the flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Gradually stir in the chicken stock, then the milk. Cook until the soup thickens slightly, but do not allow it to boil. Stir in the marsala and the lemon juice. Puree half of the soup (including half of the mushrooms) and then stir it back into the remaining soup. Or, use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot, stopping when approximately half of the mushrooms have been pureed. Leave approximately half of the mushroom pieces intact for texture. Add more stock if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Adjust the seasonings and serve. | Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals, Fourth Edition

9: Well clearly I don't understand what speed really means, and I need to learn to have speed and efficiency. We started cooking at 9:15, service time was at 11:30 and although I had my recipe ready on time; I was definitely struggling to do so, and had plenty of room for improvement. How did the product turn out? The soup seemed bland and under seasoned, the consistency was too thin, I burnt the croûutouns, and ran into some problems with the carrots when I tried to blend it. The carrots kept sinking to the bottom of the blender and I had a hard time pureeing them. I don't think they were cut the right proportion to the cooking time. When Chef Bill tested them he said they were cooked correctly though so not sure what happened. How did the other other students products turned out, what did they do wrong, and what can be to prevent this from happening again? I liked Ashley's soup I thought it came pretty well. As for the other students I would feel way too presumptuous to try to critique someone else's food, when I can barely deliver myself. I definitely broadened my horizons by trying all soups with seafood. I want to learn to develop my palate and eating food I don't like will be Ever since I moved from Belize, I almost can't stomach fish. I have no idea why, considering the fact that we ate it all the time there. The only thing I noticed was one of the soups had a little bit of shell in it. What equipment did I use and do I understand why they are used? I got to use a saw to cut my ham hock which felt a little wild and crazy for a professional kitchen. I had no idea they would use a piece of equipment like that in there. I figured it would be considered too barbaric, so that was pretty cool. As for understanding why it was used, I'm guessing it was the only thing big enough and sharp enough for job. I would have thought a cleaver would have done the same job. I learned something new. I also learned that steam really does expand like crazy. When using the blender, I blew the lid off and shot soup all over Ashley and mines station. I thought I was being careful with only putting around 8 oz. in there and allowing the steam to escape more, but obviously I needed to give that baby way more breathing room.

10: Aunt Ruthie's Pot Roast Labensky, S. (1995). On cooking:a textbook of culinary fundamentals. (Fifth Edition ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. | Ingredients vegetable oil 3 fl. oz. Beef Brisket 6 lbs. Onions, thinly sliced 3 lbs.' Garlic Minced 2Tbsp Brown veal stock 1 qt. Tomato sauce 1pt. Brown Sugar 4 oz. Paprika 1 tsp. Dry Mustard 2 tsp. Lemon juice 8 fl. oz'. Ketchup 8 oz. Red wine vinegar 8 fl. oz. Worcestershire sauce 2 fl. oz. Salt and Pepper TT | 1. Heat the oil in a large rondeau. Add the beef and brown thoroughly. Remove and reserve the brisket. 2. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute. 3. Add the stock and tomato sauce to the pan. 4. Return the brisket to the pan, cover tightly and bring a boil. Braise at 325 degree for 1.5 hrs, basting or turning the brisket often. 5. Combine the remaining ingredients and add to the pan. 6. Continue cooking and basting the brisket until tender, approx. 1 hour. Add additional stock or water as needed during braising. 7. Remove the brisket, degrease the sauce and adjust its consistency and seasonings. Do not strain the sauce. 8. Slice the brisket against the grain and serve with the sauce. | Bon Appetit

12: Potatoes, mealy 5 lbs. Salt 1 Tbsp. Whole butter, melted, hot 4 oz. Milk, hot 8 fl. oz. Salt 2 tsp. White pepper 1/4 tsp. | 1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut each potato into four to six uniform sized pieces. 2. Place the potatoes in a pot, cover them with water and add 1 tablespoon salt to the water. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender. Do not over cook the potatoes. 3. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them well in a colander. The potatoes must be very dry. Transfer them to the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whip attachment, whip the potatoes for 30 to 45 sec. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and whip for another 15 secs or until the potatoes are smooth and free of lumps. The potatoes must be smooth before adding any liquids or they will remain lumpy. $4. Add the butter, milk, and seasonings. Whip on low speed to incorporate all of the ingredients. Scrape the sides and bottoem of bowl and whip again for several seconds. Adjust consistency and seasonings. | Variation: Sweat 1 ounce chopped garlic in th e melted butter for 5 to 10 minutes without browning. Strain the butter if desired. Add the the hot garlic butter in place of the melted butter in the recipe. | Garlic Mashed Potatoes Labensky, S. (1995). On cooking:a textbook of culinary fundamentals. (Fifth Edition ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

13: Attempt one and attempt two: Beef Brisket Came out a little dry, the sauce seemed really acidic and like it should be strained, even though the recipe said to not strain it. I was surprised at how little you could taste the onion and garlic in comparison to the acids, when there was quite a bit of onion and garlic

14: Veal scallops, pounded, 3 oz. each 12 Salt and pepper TT Flour as needed for dredging Clarified butter 2 fl. oz. Olive oil 2 fl. oz. Dry Marsala wine 6 fl. oz. Brown veal stock 4 fl. oz. Whole Butter 1.5 oz. | 1. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Dredge the scallops in flour and saute them in a mixture of the clarified butter and oil, a few at a time, until all are cooked. 2. Remove the scallops and set aside. Degrease the pan and deglaze with the wine. Add the stock and reduce until it begins to thicken. 3. Return the scallops to sauce to reheat. Remove the scallops to plates or a serving platter. 4. Reduce the sauce until it becomes syrupy, adjust the seasonings. Monte au buerre and spoon over the veal. 5. Serve the veal with mash potatoes and cooked baby carrots or garnishes. | Veal Marsala | Labensky, S. (1995). On cooking:a textbook of culinary fundamentals. (Fifth Edition ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

16: Beef Brisket aka Aunt Ruthie's Pot Roast I attempted this recipe a total of three times at home, and still didn't get right in class. The first time I attempted it I learned the lesson of always checking every ingredient before you attempt to start cooking. I ordered the brisket from a local butcher shop, and they assured me it would be not be frozen. When I got home, and opened the bag, it was frozen solid. I threw it into my fridge to thaw, yet another thing I've learned to do recently, used to thaw it on my counter . Attempt number two, everything seemed to be going ok, I practiced in my uniform, and was trying to beat a certain time, all of a sudden I remembered I needed to be somewhere. There was a stage of probably 20 minutes until it hit the oven again. The pan I used didn't have a lid and I used foil to try and seal it. The brisket came out dry and tough. Well, number one I think I needed a tighter fitting lid, the textbook said it could be due to under cooking. Although the temp was up to 200 plus and I braised it for around 3 hours. *It was a two lb piece. I decided to try it once more and just braise the living daylights out of to see if I could tenderize the protein. After four hours this time it did really fall apart, but in addition to a longer cook time I had a dish with a lid that sealed well. Trying it in class: How did it turn out? I thought it was dry, tough, and under seasoned. I get so caught up in making sure I'm following all the proper techniques that I forget to season as I go. Which is weird for me because seasoning is usually my primary concern. My pan wasn't hot enough when I tried to sear the meat and it didn't caramelize as well as it should have. I should have gotten it into the oven faster. I would have had more cooking time and it may have been more tender. Also I used a beef chuck instead of brisket and as I am not yet familiar with the differences in those, I'm not sure how that might have been different. | The plating was terrible, and I wouldn't have served it to a blind person. I wanted to crawl into a cave and have it implode on me. Oh well, just another lesson learned. Although I had thought ahead about plating, I ran out of time and didn't get it done. Trying really hard to just swallow my pride and learn from each and every mistake no matter how big or small. Equipment I used: I had never used a enamel covered cast iron dish before, learned your not suppose to use those on stove tops. The lid on it was heavy and much easier sealed.

17: Veal Marsala and Creamed Corn with Basil I asked Ashley if I would buy the groceries if she wouldn't mind practicing together every week. Last week, when I had gotten our lists all ready, I prepped with the thought in mind that I would do the meat and she would do the veggie. I didn't realize we were supposed to work together on the recipes, and that made lab time a lot more difficult because I didn't plan ahead like that. This week, we got together and I cooked and wrote out our lists as she prepped. This made class time way easier and more efficient. We also tried out the recipes for Chef Bob's class which made going into Wednesday a whole lot easier. I overcooked the veal by a long shot, but was glad I did it there and would hopefully do better in class. Lab: how did it turn out? I started the meat too early should have gotten all prep done first, cleaned my station and then, done the veal. Veal doesn't take very long to cook when their scalloped like that. I burned the pan, when I was sautéing the veal and had to throw out my pan drippings which made me extremely upset at myself because I basically threw a ton of flavor away. Chef Bill was so kind as to help me build up back a sauce from the flour I had dredged the veal in by making a roux and adding some veal stock. Chef thought we didn't need to monte au buerre, but somehow the sauce broke and we did end up adding more butter to it. The veal was cold and dry by the time it made it to service and the corn had started to get limp. I don't eat veal, so as far as the technicalities go I'm not exactly sure what all I should have changed. I used the thumb test to gage when it was finished, which I'm completely new at. I pulled it even when I was unsure because I figured it would be better to have the carryover and warmer cook out more than to overcook it. We over salted the corn as well. I learned that monte au buerre, meant to mount with butter and it's the process of whisking in butter near the end of making a sauce.

18: Creamed Corn with Basil | Ingredients | 1. Cut the kernels from the ears. 2. Saute the onions in the butter without browning. 3. Add the corn and saute until hot. 4. Add the cream. Bring to a boil and reduce slightly. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper. | 12 ears of corn 2 ounces whole butter 4 ounces onion, small dice 8 ounces heavy cream 2 tablespoons basil leaves, chopped Salt and white pepper, to taste

19: ashley's kitchen Veal marsala attempt number one I over cooked the beef and overshot the cream in the corn. Flavor seemed pretty good. one of the first things i made that i thought actually tasted pretty decent.

20: Practicing knife cuts at home. Fine Julienne 1/16 inch x 1/16 inch x 2 inch Julliene 1/8 inch x 1/8 inch x 2 inch Batonnet 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch x 2 inch Brunoise 1/8 inch x 1/8 inch x 1/8 inch Small Dice 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch Medium Dice 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch Large Dice 3/4 inch x 3/4 inch x 3/4 inch Tourner 2 inches x 3/4 to 1 inch x 7 sides

21: FABRICATING CHICKENS I decided to practice this at home and also practice doing the airline or supreme breast. I had bones left for stock and used the breasts for a recipe from the textbook. Although the recipe didn't sound terribly appealing, I had all the ingredients and I am trying to practice using every ingredient I have and not throwing anything out.

22: Chicken Sauté with Onions Garlic and Basil | Whole chicken breasts, boneless, skinless approx 10 oz. ea 3 Salt and Pepper TT Flour as needed for dredging Clarified butter 1 fl.oz Onion, small dice 2 oz. Garlic cloves, chopped 6 Dry white wine 4 fl. oz Lemon Juice 1 Tbsp. Tomato concassee 6 oz. Chicken Stock 4 fl. oz. Fresh basil leaves, chiffonade | 1. Trim away any excess fat from the breasts. Split each breast into two pieces by removing the small piece of cartilage that joins the halves. 2. Season the chcken with salt and pepper, dredge in flour. 3. Saute the breasts in the butter, browning them and cooking them a point. Hold in a warm place. 4. Add the onion and garlic to the fond and butter in the pan; saute until the onion is translucent. 5. Deglaze the pan with the wine and lemon juice. 6.Add the tomato concasse and stock. Saute to combine the flavors; reduce the sauce to the desired consitency. 7. Add the basil to the sauce and return the chicken breasts for reheating. Adjust the seasonings and serve one half breast per portion of the sauce.

24: Acupulco Catfish Grill | Ingredients 3 pounds frozen U.S. farmed raised catfsh fillets or strips 2 fluid oz. lime juice 2 tablesppoons olive oil 4 tablespoons Acapulco Spice Blend, recipe follows | Directions Mash anchovies; add next 5 ingredients. Stir in olive oil real slow. Then add grated Parmesan cheese. Add to Romaine lettuce and croutons Place the frozen catfish in a hotel pan, cover and thaw under refrigeration. Combine the lime juice and oil and brush over the surface of each catfish fillet. Sprinkle all surfaces of each fillet with 1 teaspoon of Acupulco Spice Blend. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes covered and refrigerated. Heat the grill and cook the fillets 2 to 3 miinutes on each side. Turn and continue cooking another 2 to 3 minutes. .

26: Mopping Sauce Chef-Owner Robert Del Grande; Executive Chef Ben Berryhill On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals, Fourth Edition | Servings: 6 2 fluid ounces peanut oil 2 tablespoons molasses 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon dijon mustard 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon maple syrup | Combine all ingredients and mix well. Yield: 3/4 cup

27: Spices | 1 cup cumin seed 1/2 cup dried oregano 1/4 cup garlic, granulated 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 tablespoons black pepper, coarsely ground 1 teaspoon red pepper, ground salt, to taste | Toast the cumin seeds. Allow them to cool, then grind in a spice grinder. Combine all ingredients. Cover and store in a cool, dry place. Yield: 1 1/2 cups | Acapulco Spice Blend On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals, Fourth Edition | Spices

28: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Poblano Chiles and Onions Chef-Owner Robert Del Grande; Executive Chef Ben Berryhill On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals, 4th Edition | 3 sweet potatoes, large 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 cup Barbecue Spice, recipe follows 12 ounces poblano peppers 8 ounces yellow onions 2 ounces butter, melted salt, to taste 3/4 cup Mopping Sauce, see recipe 4 ounces Mexican queso blanco (cheese), grated | Rub the whole sweet potatoes with vegetable oil. Generously coat the sweet potatoes with Barbecue Spice. Bake the sweet potatoes at 350F (180C) for approximately 40 minutes or until they are nearly done but still undercooked and firm in the middle. Remove from the oven and cool. Char and peel the poblano chiles. Remove and discard the stems and seeds. Cut into 1/4-inch (6-millimeter) slices. Peel the onions and cut them into 1/4-inch (6-millimeter) slices. Separate the slices into rings. Combine the chile strips and the onion rings and saute in 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of melted butter. Season to taste with salt. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into long wedges. Liberally brush the wedges with the Mopping Sauce and season generously with the Barbecue Spice. Grill the wedges, being careful not to burn them. They should be evenly caramelized and fork tender when done. Season them with salt and brush them with the remaining melted butter. Arrange the sweet potato wedges on a plate with a portion of the chiles and onions. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

30: Acapulco Catfish Grill and Sweet Potato with Poblano Chiles and Onions I went into this extremely nervous. I don't know the first thing about cooking fish, much less grilling, and combine the two well I have a real challenge on my hands. Ashley, couldn't join me this time and I decided to make it even more challenging I was gonna ask my friends if they would let me try out these recipes at their house. I ran into the same frozen protein problem again. I had double checked this time and put in my refrigerator to thaw, but when I got their it was still frozen solid. I ran it under cold water while I prepped. I didn't know if all this extra moisture was gonna make a big difference or not and I tried to pat them really dry before I seasoned them to marinade. I had to the wrong cumin on hand and substituted about a third of that for toasted cumin seeds, really annoyed me because once again I should have specified when ordering. I substituted canola oil for peanut oil in the the mopping sauce. On line everyone said you wouldn't be able to tell a difference. I had two different kinds of catfish, one was fillets and the other was nuggets with the skin. I'm assuming now, that I was probably supposed to take the skin off. When I tried to grill those, the grill caught on fire where those were sitting, it was pretty amazing. They also took quite a bit longer to cook. Which I am a horrible judge of deciding exactly when they are cooked, considering the fact that I rarely eat, much less grill fish. I used the time limits like they suggested in the book, and tried to gage it as best I could from that. I also did chicken breasts for those who didn't like fish, and severely overcooked those. I should have pulled them when I saw the juices run clear, but I was afraid that my thermometer wasn't reading right because of how hot the grill was. I would love to say, I learned how to use a grill, but that's the farthest thing from the truth. I barely touched the tip of the iceberg on that one.

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