LJ-razz, 6.27.06: chicken paprikash starring Bill; papaya and zuke breads; gumbo, mignon, and pork adobado

Conoslation breakfast, post baguette burning.
Eggs, rice, and prosciutto.

Later that same day: Baking redemption. The fixins.

The secret ingredient.

The outcome.

Oh zucchini muffin/bread--you were my favorite until I met ...

... papaya bread.

This week's silent feature is Chicken Paprikash, starring Chef Bill Campana!
This is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods!

Tonight's class was great, yet chaotic.
Three entrees and one salad.

My first time cooking and eating filet mignon. We also made more pork tenderloins for Pork Adobado (sp?--Chef doesn't spell his recipes so well), and each meat was paired with a tomato sauce--Ranchero Sauce with the beef, and Creole Sauce with the pork ... or vice versa. I seem to have narcoleptic attacks during class where I miss chunks of valuable information.*

Great New Orleans Gumbo. Not French you say? Well, I guess it's from the French Quarter. It was a way for us to practice our veloute, which we can do like a charm by now.

"Plating" ... or "boxing," more like it. At one point, Sally got fed up and said she wouldn't do anymore dishes (and no, I don't blame her--it's an endless job). Brian was running around after Chef, asking questions (which is good, although I wish he'd pay attention to cleanup ... and the dishes he's in charge of). Victoria was meticulously chopping produce for her mise en place even though the recipes called for fine dice, and she wanted more of a brunoise. I had to gently tell her to back off when, after discovering that our second sauce was missing, I fine diced an onion really quickly, and she reached over and started mincing it into a brunoise, "Victoria--the pieces will disappear as you cook them, anyway ... " to which she replied, "Oh--okay." She means well, though, and just wants to do well, I just wish she was a little more time-efficient. Anyway, since everyone was occupied or on strike, I ended up doing cleanup for both brigades (because the other brigade with the ballcaps just pile their dishes into the wash station where I just happened to be washing away). So ... yeah--I didn't get to plate my dishes, even though the rest of my team kept at me to stop washing and go eat. Thing is, once I start at a task, I need to get it done, and I didn't leave the wash station until all the prep and cooking dishes were done so there'd be a clean area for plating and dining dishes. End result--I took my dinner home instead of eating it in class. And I ate it with my bare hands. Yes, for reals.

Not shown: the BLT Salad with Buttermilk and Herb Dressing (why see Herb Dressing when you can see him Naked--ba-dum-dum). It's in a smaller container in my fridge, and I'll eat it for lunch, or probably breakfast tomorrow so I can eat my papaya bread for lunch like I did today. And for dinner, some of the yummy leftover chicken paprikash, courtesy of Bill!

Anyway, back to class stuff, I don't want people in class to think I'm some kind of class martyr or anything. I just know that a clean kitchen is a more efficient kitchen, and I wanted to do what would make things run more smoothly, and honestly, after running around cooking all night, I wasn't really hungry. That's actually a perk. ;D I am getting a little concerned about how the team automatically asks me what I want them to do during recipes. It makes me feel more accountable than everyone else when we make mistakes like miss a sauce or are off on our timing. Eight recipes (the two tomato sauces were born off a master tomato sauce, which took a long time to make) is quite a bit to handle. Overall, I think we did really well!

I think we may run into problems later because Brian didn't realize that this class ran into July, so he'll probably have to miss a lot of classes (he travels for work), which mean we'll be one cook down, and he's so quick and alert, so that will stink as the menus and methods get more complicated. I'm also getting frustrated with myself because I keep thinking I should be doing better than I am (Read: I don't feel like I'm doing really well.). On a good note, I waited until I was at home and putting clean dishes into my dishwasher (I use it as a drying rack--haha) before I shredding my hand on the door of it.

On a funny note, Sally kept whipping me with her towel and tickling me while I was trying to do dangerous tasks like measuring out my cake flour and clarified butter to make our brown roux for our gumbo. How dare she! I really am having fun. At one point, while I was making our roux, Fabian, from the other team, came to make their roux. He didn't realize he had to use clarified butter, and he already had a chunk of butter in his hand, so I told him it was probably okay to just use it. Then he poured his flour into his pan and tossed the chunk of butter in and just sorta looked at the pan. I said, "I think you're supposed to melt that butter first. You might want to stir that before you make pancakes or somethin'." It was so funny! He and I like to kid around with each other.

Anyway again, I've got the dry ingredients ready to do some baking for Violet tomorrow so I can make a send-off present for her and her mom. No big surprise, but I'm not saying what it is (especially since, if I mess it up, I can make something else and post photos of it as if it were what I was gonna make all along).

*First chunk: Make TWO tomato sauces--one for the pork, one for the beef, and somehow, nobody on my team noticed the missing sauce until our meat was just about cooked; Second chunk: sear your filets and cook them with your teammates' in a single hotel pan so you don't have small saute pans floating around in all the ovens.

I don't like to eat overripe tomatoes, but I will turn them into flowers. I watched Dylan teach this to Brian (another of his off-the-clock lessons), and I couldn't watch because Brian was so brutal with my paring knife. I forgot about it when I got home, then saw that my Roma tomatoes were too soft, so I tossed them. Then remembered their roses and got out of bed to try to make one. It looks kinda rough, but not half-bad! =D


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