Thursday, September 27, 2007

LJ-razz, 6.30.06: one-shot cobbler; strata; stuffed zukes; pineapple flowers

Class was great last night. Funny stuff: Brian burned two pans of croutons in the salamander, one right after the other. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I wish he wouldn't walk away from his dishes after firing them because they always cook faster than he expects them to. He almost boiled a pot of water down to nothing, too. Dylan finally took over and made our croutons. Victoria didn't strain the mint leaves out of our menthe jus. Victoria misunderstood me when I told her to portion out our halibut and that we would start the beurre blanc right after we put the halibut in the oven, so she portioned out the halibut, baked it, and then Brian came by and mentioned that the fish was good to go, and our beurre blanc hadn't been started yet, so I jumped on that and was late with it to our brigade station. Despite that, I had just enough time to plate, but not a plate each for the lamb loin and for the halibut, so I made a "surf and turf" plate. Sally was missing, so we had Dylan, a member of the ballcap brigade, on our team. His partner is officially gone after too many absences, so he was just helping the other team, but then Sally was absent, so Chef sent him to us. One of our recipes called for julienned carrots, and I put Dylan on that task. After I finished prep for my dish, I started helping Dylan and teased him because his were three inches long. He teased me back about needing to pull out a ruler and that I shouldn't be so exacting. Then Chef came by and told him that his juliennes were too long. "Those are like four inches." I wanted to tell him those were three inches, but I know when to bite my tongue. The taste of salt was invigorating. Anyway, then Dylan said his thumb was two inches long, so he measured his carrots against his thumb, and luckily, they were the same length as mine so that we could tie them into bundles. I apologized to Dylan for teasing him, and he said it was cool--we were both learning, and since he's only been in the program for a year, he's still a beginner. Our lamb loin turned out really well, as did our menthe jus once it was strained, but our halibut was overdone. Chef liked our beurre blanc, though, and our potatoes, although Brian thought they were dull. I didn't quite disagree. Victoria got some practice in with piping rosettes, but that dang pastry bag is just too big for her, and her back hand is practically head level when she's piping. She kept breaking her flow. We laughed about it, but I think she was a little frustrated. I thought they looked fine, though. I think I could pipe those things all day (says the woman who nearly broke her wrist piping Cornelli lace a week or so ago, but who still loved every second of it). I really need to make more of an effort to get back to our brigade station in time to do some plating, especially because Dylan mentioned that part of our grade involved the plating aspect. After that, I kicked myself for skipping plating and just bringing food home in a styrofoam box the other night, and for turning one night's menu into a buffet, and for doing a two-fer-one plating job last night. My plating is so thuggy and clumsy, and I really need to practice making it more delicate. That means portion control. And that means not doing dishes after cooking's done and missing plating time.

Brian will be absent on Monday, so I hope Sally comes. I was worried about her because she was missing.

On a good note, Christy's starting up another Wilton 3 course on Friday, and I'll be attending it. The bad news is I'll have to miss the last class because I'll be visiting my parents in California. I wonder if she'll let me make my final cake sometime between the third class and my leaving and making sure I get it right. A different lady is teaching the course, though, so I'll have to work it out with her. Oy.


cobbler for one


for default:




the legendary stuffed zucchini






















A strange garden:

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