Thursday, November 18, 2010

Black Box

I can't believe Thanksgiving is here already! We only have about 4 weeks left in the semester, and our finals start the week after Thanksgiving break! I hardly have had time to blog about all the food we make - cooking and baking, let alone take any photos!

I do however, keep track of all the dishes we make for class -- I have logbooks for each lab class where we keep track of all the recipes, production sheets, class handouts, notes, etc. The purpose of these are so we have a collection of base recipes and a book organized enough that we can reference throughout our careers.

Today we wrapped up the beef chapter and healthy cooking chapter. I find that pretty hilarious we covered these in the same week. Today in class we finished up the short ribs (OMG - they are delish!) and I made saffron vegetable risotto. I was really thrilled that my risotto came out well -- many students have attempted risotto, but only a few have had success! I didn't think it was that hard, but I've had some really chewy risotto in the past few weeks!

One of my classmates (he's a total showoff and I can't stand him) caught the grill on fire today. Chef had to put it out with baking soda so the hood system wouldn't go off. I guess it was something in the marinade -- who knows -- but thank goodness I stopped wearing hairspray, I'd have been a mess! To top it off, his steak did not have that much flavor.

The cool thing about getting to taste everyones cooking (and my own) is that you get to know what is missing in a dish or also what is overpowering it. Chef encourages us to learn the technique -- and a few of us, he tells not to focus so much on the recipe -- but know the technique and the ingredients will come. One of the benefits of my experimental nature is that our practical exam is basically going to have to be dishes on the fly. They are called "black box" for a reason. We get a "box" of ingredients and have 3 hours to come up with a menu of a soup and an entree including: a protein with a sauce, a vegetable, and a starch. We have no idea what the ingredients are ahead of time, and we have a half hour to produce a menu, the 2nd hour we have to turn in the soup, and by hour 3 we have to turn in the entree. Chef will try the dish and grade us accordingly. I am a little nervous, but very excited!!

Just to be cute, I should make pierogi with my ingredients! :)


1 comment:

colfin said...

You'll do great with the black box and then you'll be ready to compete on Chopped! :)