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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Techniques of Fine Cooking 1, Day 5

Apologies, apologies! I abandoned my blog temporarily just before posting from Day 5 of cooking class. But...I'm back!

After all the buttery french food, this menu was one of my favorites, much lighter and leaner, (I didn't go home feeling like I ate a brick).

Techniques learned:
Vegetable Salads
Sauce Mayonnaise and Variations
Grilling Techniques for Proteins and Vegetables
Flambeing Technique

  • Grilled London Broil
  • Various Vegetable Salads
  • Flambeed Bananas with Ice Cream


- vegetables

mayonnaise - emuslified sauce made with egg yolks, oil, mustard and lemon juice

marinade - acid that aids and abets tenderization

flambe - literally "to flame," use alcohol with a high percentage of alcohol then ignite to create "flaming" effect.

Top 5 Lessons I Learned Today:

1) Let your grill or grill pan heat up for a long time before using it. I love my grill pan but have been using it all wrong. It usually takes at least 30 minutes to heat up. In other words, if you live in a NYC apartment, your grill pan is ready when your kitchen is filled with smoke, your smoke detector is on the brink of going off and your roommates are cursing, coughing and frantically trying to prop a fan in the window for ventilation. I wish I were joking...this is how hot your grill pan should be before using it.

2) To make mayo add oil drip by drip to an egg/mustard/acid base. A cool trick is to put oil in a paper cup and then poke a small hole in the cup and hold it over your bowl with your egg/mustard/acid base. This frees up your hands a bit so you can whisk and control the oil flow at the same time.

3) Never oil a marinade. It won't allow the acid to penetrate the meat and when you go to grill the meat it will be really really smoky. (Use oil after you take the protein off of the heat.)

4) Avocado is a fruit! Refrigerate a ripe avacado. To faciliate ripening, put it in a paper bag or a closed space with an apple or pear.

5) When you flambe, 20% of the alcohol stays behind. Use rum, vodka, brandy or everclear.

Quote of the Day:
"There's nothing worse than touching yourself inappropriately and being reminded you just chopped a hot pepper."

Day 5 in Photos

To roast a red pepper let it char on an open flame until it is "96.7% black" (according to Richard). Put it into a container with a lid or paper bag to help sweat off the skin. Then use a paper towel (not water) to get off the char.

Sprinkle salt and pepper from high up to distribute more evenly

Marinating london broil....(should let marinade for 24 hours +)

Beautiful and seasonal vegetable salads!

Vegetarian nightmare!

The finished product... I didn't do such a good job "plating"... Richard says the rim of your plate should act like a picture frame... I say the rim of your plate should be used to hold more food when you are very hungry and your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Beauty is in the stomach of the beholder anyway.

Banana flambe!

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