September 21, 2006

Culinary Updates...

I can assure you Monday night and last night in the kitchen were much better than last week in the kitchen. I spent my first night last week washing and cleaning up after everyone because they all jumped on the cooking assignments before I even knew what was happening. Working in a commercial kitchen is very different than working at home or even in our church kitchen. I, have since, become more aggressive about jumping in when I know what to do and being a real "suck up" to the Chef. ;) I am sure I will drive him crazy by the end of the semester with all my blasted questions. That is just how I learn. I ask a ton of questions to make sure I understand things. I really don't think he minds it so much but I need to approach the kitchen that way. I am also going up early to quiz with a teaching assistant on where things are in the kitchen so I can be faster and more efficient.

We started with stocks last week and made a brown chicken stock, a brown veal stock and a white chicken stock. We also made roux and clarified butter. I have those down pretty well.

This week we started on sauces. We did a bechamel, veloute and espagnole last night. My assignment was the bechamel. I am going to brag here because I can, it is my blog... ;) Chef had NO critical words for my bechamel. He noted it as the example of what you SHOULD do and pointed out that I had great consistency, taste and shine. He was very pleased with my work and I was so very stoked about that! WOOHOO!!!

My elementary school teacher days shown through in the way I prepared for class, too. I read the chapter twice and made recipe cards for all the sauces and covered them with contact paper to keep them from getting messed up. I was the ONLY one with cards and was ready to go. Everyone was using my cards for the night as they worked to remember steps along the way. It made me feel like I was more on top of the work and I really liked that feeling. I am making cards for soups for next week over the next few days.

On Monday we wound up prepping for a luncheon but I shared on that already... :)

Tonight we start the flow of food section of our Safety and Sanitation class. We are going to begin to design our own business and plan for sanitation and safety in our own personal work situations. I am doing a catering and HMR business. It is going to be a really cool project when I am finished and we will be able to use it in other classes along the way.

Monday we finish with sauces and start soups. I LOVE SOUPS!!!!! This is going to be fun...


  1. Congratulations on the bechamel!

    What's the difference between brown chicken stock and white chicken stock? Is it that the bones are roasted first for brown stock?

    I love soup too - we just made a phenomenal chicken rice soup with tons of julienned carrots and potatoes. The stock was from the carcass of a smoked barbecued chicken. (Hmmm, I hope it's okay for me to brag on your blog... :-))


  2. The difference between white and brown stock IS the roasted bones for the brown. The white is usually blanched (put bones and cold water in and bring temp up and then dump the initial water off and start again with bones and fresh cold water to get rid of ANY color or browning initially). The brown also uses something called a PINCE' which uses the little bits from roasting (after draining off fat), the mirepoix (50% onions, 25% carrots, 25% celery) and some tomato paste that is all browned together in a large skillet or rondeau and then added with your sachet d'epices (herbs in a cheesecloth) and then it is all simmered for about 6 hours (or longer) slowly and then strained to leave only the liquid when you are done.

    So, Elizabeth, are you sharing that recipe??? HUH??? :)

    So glad you stopped by... it's always good when you want to brag and share here. I LOVE THAT!!! :D

  3. Share?? Me??! :-D

    My husband used a dry rub (spicerub #1) on a butterflied chicken and then slow-cooked in the barbecue over indirect heat with hickory chips smoking. The next day, we used the carcass of the chicken to make stock (I guess it might have been sort of a cross between white and brown stock because the ribs of the chicken got quite brown in the barbecue). I put a couple of those Chinese dried mushrooms (they look like small portobellos), carrot, onion, celery, tarragon, thyme, celery seed, clove, peppercorns, 1 dried cayenne pepper and just enough water to cover the carcass into the stockpot, then slowly simmered - just barely a smile on the simmer - until the carrots were done.

    Then once the stock was strained, we added julienned carrots, potatoes and salt and cooked the soup until the vegetables were almost done, then added chopped bok choy for just a few moments (it takes no time for bok choy to cook). Then we put freshly cooked long grain rice (Thai) into a bowl and poured the hot soup overtop.


    P.S. I hope I didn't leave anything out! Our soup is usually a little different each time we make it....

    our stock recipe