Posts tagged ‘fish’

October 20, 2011

The Worst Part

We had our second test on Tuesday night. I think it went well… I didn’t blatantly miss any questions, but it’s hard to tell what the Chef could take points off of in terms of how thorough my explanations were, ect. Honestly, I think waiting to get your grade back is the worst part–even worse than studying for the test itself.

According to one of my classmates, another classmate cheated off of one of the girls in our class. Even though I wasn’t involved, this really makes me mad. I studied and to think that one of my classmates got by with cheating really angers me. If I have a full-time job and can still find time to not only study for the test, but also to do well on the test, than everyone else can too. I guess there is nothing I can do about it though…

After the test, we continued with fish. This time we worked with flatfish, as opposed to round fish. We made goujonettes, which is basically a fancy way of saying “fish sticks” and braised flounder. Looking back, the goujonettes turned out alright. It had a few extra components, like the potato basket, that are difficult to make and we should be proud for executing well. The braised flounder, on the other hand, was disasterous. We ran out of time at the end of class, and our sauce was not reduced properly. That’s not the worst of it though–our fish wasn’t even cooked all the way through. Oy.

Goujonettes

Goujonettes

All-in-all the rest of class was pretty frustrating on Tuesday night. It just seemed like everything I made was terrible and/or done badly somehow. Unfortunately, I let myself get pretty frustrated and, I have to admit, it was the first time that I really didn’t want to be there. I can’t believe how much I let it get to me, and I actually felt bad for my boyfriend because I definitely got more frustrated with him than I should have due to my mood. Maybe it’s because class has been relatively stress-free thus far and it was a new problem I was experiencing. I don’t know? All I know is I am going to try to bring my “A game” to tonight’s class–shellfish!

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October 17, 2011

Fish Night and Apple Picking

Fish night was actually much better than I had anticipated. It turns out the fish had already been gutted for us, so all we had to do was fillet them. There was no cutting out guts, eyes or the likes. It was really pretty clean and painless.

Dead Fish

I'm sorry this is gross, but the fish we filleted (is that right? sounds weird!)

We worked with both Bass and Tout and turned them into poisson en papillote (fish baked in parchment paper) and filet de truite a la grenobloise (sauteed trout, grenoble style) respectively. The fish baked in parchment paper was really fun and easy to make. It created such a soft, delicious and healthy (I think!) fish. We basically sealed up a fillet of bass with julienned celery, carrots and leeks, white wine and thyme and baked it for 7-8 minutes. The result was a perfectly puffed package that you then open in front of the diner for both a beautiful presentation and a waft of the aromas.
The trout was pan fried with an herby, brown butter sauce. I didn’t try it (terrible omission) and I didn’t take a picture of it because it was Saturday night and I was ready to get out of there. I was tired and had a friend visiting for the night.

Bass cooked in parchment paper

Bass cooked in parchment paper

We actually didn’t get out of class till after 11, because people took too long to cook their food and we had to do a review for our second test (which is tomorrow). It was very frustrating.

I went apple picking yesterday, and got a ton of apples. At first it seemed like there was nothing left. We literally couldn’t find an apple anywhere (but rotten on the ground!) until we asked someone. Apparently all the apples were hiding in the back right hand corner of the Orchard. Once we knew where to go, we had more than enough apples to lug back to the city with us.

apple orchards

The beautiful apple orchard

That means I’ll be spending my night studying and cooking something for dinner that requires apples. I’m thinking apple risotto with sausage or butternut squash and apple soup.

Which recipe would you make? Any other suggestions?

September 30, 2011

Stock Making

Well… good news and bad news. The good news is I finally got a classmate to snap a photo of me in my uniform. The bad news? There are no words for how it makes me look, so I’ll save that for the end.

Last night’s class wasn’t that eventful, because we were learning the process of making stock. We learned about and made the four different types of stock: brown, white, fish, and vegetable. It was a lot of vegetable chopping and waiting around, with a little bit of chopping slimy, bloody fish carcasses. yummy.

cutting up the fish carcass
It was pretty gross, but not as gross as I thought it would be. Maybe because all the guts were already taken out? It was way harder to chop through the fish bones than I would have imagined. I had to really lean on my chef’s knife with all my weight to cut through the thicker portion of the fish at the top. The thinner parts could be chopped into small pieces with scissors. I probably shouldn’t admit this because it makes me sound like a real sicko, but it was kind of fun cutting the poor thing into pieces. I’m weird, I know.

Anyway, the chicken stock, the fish stock, and the vegetable stocks were all done by the time we left class because they take much less time to cook. The marmite (a white beef stock colored brown by simmering blackened onion halves in it) and the veal stock (made brown with roasted baby cow bones–poor little thing) take a lot more time, and actually have to simmer overnight so someone else is straining and labeling those for us today. Here’s a picture of my partner and my fish stock:

Fish Stock
I’m planning on making ratatouille for dinner tonight to practice that recipe (plus, it was so good!). At the end of the level we are all going to have to cook a few dishes, so I have to make sure that I can recreate the dish on my own. I think it’ll be easier to do that as I go, rather than make a million dishes the week before the practical exam. I’ll share the recipe and some photos on Monday.

And now I’ll leave you with the most attractive photo of me that has ever been taken. My mom said it brought tears to her eyes (she tried to convince me they were happy/proud tears but I know they were really from fright).