Friday, January 10, 2014

What we learned in culinary school this week: Week 1

Started with knife skills.

This was Chef's demo. Mine wasn't quite so neat
and uniform.

We made stocks. Lots of stocks. Vegetable stock. Chicken stock. Mushroom stock. Fish stock. Lobster stock. Roasted stocks. White stocks. Brown stocks. And because we learned stocks we also learned about mirepoix.

The school generates its own stocks and we'll be using them a lot, so we'll be making more in the future.

Chicken stock.

Brown chicken stock.

Lobster for lobster stock. Boiling lobster isn't as
traumatic as people think. There was no drama, just
popped him into the pot and pulled him out 7 minutes
later. The shell went into stock and the meat became
delicious lobster salad sandwiches for lunch.

Pots and pans: Stainless steel is best, because it's non-reactive to metal on metal. Stainless is shiny, like a dime. Aluminum (duller in appearance, like a nickel) is reactive to metal on metal, which means it can affect the taste and appearance of the food. For example, if you use a metal whisk to stir milk in an aluminum pot, the reaction will turn it gray in color. Very unappetizing. You would want to stir with a wooden spoon in an aluminum pot. Or just go with stainless. Examples of high-performance/quality are All-Clad (stainless), Le Creuset (cast iron covered with enamel) and copper.

Class dismissed!

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