And just like that, we are done with level one! We had two tests separating us from level two: one hands on practical exam to test our taillage, tournage and cooking skills, and one written exam covering the nineteen lessons we covered throughout level one. Needless to say, it was a long day. And I really needed a piece of cake.
But lets back up to review last week’s lessons: shellfish, poultry, beef, pork and lamb. Each day we learned how to break down and clean different products – lobsters, chickens, ducks, strip loins, and pork chops. There is a technique for every type of animal.
We learned the steps of trussing a chicken with twine. Why do we truss a chicken? Great question! Trussing makes it easier to hold stuffing inside of the bird while it cooks and it’s easier to handle when it’s done cooking.
All of the dishes we made this week were pretty delicious, but the Supreme De Caneton Saute Et Cuisse Braisee A L’Orange was one of the top three. The orange sauce was so so good!
When steak is on the menu, you know it’s going to be a great, great day! The Contre-Fillet Grille Aux Deux Beurre (Grilled Strip Loin Steak with Compound Butter) was rich and luscious. We made our own compound butter, which is extremely easy to do, and something I do at home often. The one we made consisted of butter, horseradish, lemon juice, parsley and black pepper; mouth watering as you watch it melt over the steak. Definitely, my second favorite dish of the week.
Marinades are key to developing lots of flavor in the meat. We marinated our pork in ginger, garlic, honey, half a jalapeño pepper, fish sauce and oil. The end result with the reinforced stock and sauce we made was out of this world. The lime slices, and candied lime and ginger slices (julienne) brought it all together. Rosettes De Porc Au Gingembre Sauce Aigre-Doux.
On our last day, we worked with lamb. “What do you mean you don’t eat no meat…. that’s ok, I make lamb.” Lamb can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. “Appreciate the animal,” our chef said, “use every last piece.” For example, we rendered out the fat from the skin, and used that to saute our lamb.
Navarin Printanier D’Agneau (Lamb Stew With Seasonal Vegetables) is pictured below. To thicken the sauce, I used cornstarch instead of flour to make it gluten free.
Cotes D’Agneau Avec Ratatouille (Marinated Lamb Chops with Vegetable Ragout). The ragout is something so simple, yet extremely delicious.
As I mentioned before, we had a hands on test and written test separating us from level one and two….and great news! I’ve passed level one! Put a fork in it, we are done with level one!