intermediate cookery: saute, sandwich/appetizer, grill stations

behind as usual… this class ended a while ago, but i figure i’d post these pictures before i forget what we cooked in this class.

for saute, we took care of the chicken, calamari steak, vegetables, sauces, and plating for most of the entrees.

under there somewhere, is chicken and polenta (tomato cream vodka sauce)…

calamari steak was quite good, served with a ginger beurre blanc sauce and roasted garlic kale yukon gold mashed potatoes

under there somewhere is sirloin steak with wild mushrooms demi glaze and roasted garlic kale yukon gold mashed potatoes

grilled salmon with a miso butter sauce served with okinawan sweet potato mash, sauteed snap peas, and a sesame honey ginger slaw. never had an okinawan mash before. it is quite good and goes well with the salmon.

for grill, we handled the salmon, lamb chops, steak for entree, steak for the steak sandwich, and chicken for the chicken sandwich.

the lamb was my 2nd favorite dish (1st was the snapper). never heard of poha berries before, but the poha berry chutney was delicious.

for sandwich, there’s the assembly of the steak sandwich, maple bourbon chicken sandwich, turkey club, and burger. appetizers were the mussels casino and barbecue chicken quesadilla (forgot to take pictures).

steak sandwich was very good. this one and the veg panini were my favorites. the steak goes nicely with that watercress salad on the grilled bun.
steak sandwich

chicken sandwich has a sweet and spicy apple chutney and those fried onions. nice textures in this sandwich. gotta make sure the onions don’t clump when you fry them.
chicken sandwich

a pretty good traditional club.

the patty we made for this was interesting; it had some cajun spice, garlic, and basil. a lot of people like this burger. i just like ground chuck with salt and pepper though, so not my favorite.

anyway, intermediate was a very fun class. we got to work at all the different stations, make good food, and learn. i’m glad i decided to take it :)

food resolutions from 2010

reflecting on last year’s resolutions:

1. bake our own bread – my brother and lena have both been telling me how simple it is to make good bread and how yummy it is. also, cameron got me a “real” pizza stone and this book for christmas. so we’re not buying any more sandwich bread or bakery bread!
i think this one i succeeded in. i didn’t buy any sandwich bread this year! i had some trouble with the 5-minute bread, so i started making loaf bread, which has been good for sandwiches. maybe i’ll try making the 5-minute bread again this year, and try some other types of bread too.

2. read on food and cooking by harold mcgee – this is the year i’m going to read this whole book. it is about 800 pages, so that’s about 2-3 pages per day, ~15 pages per week. dangit! i’m behind already…
i didn’t finish harold mcgee yet, so still working on this. i was doing pretty well until school started. i’ll try to finish the rest of it in 2011. the other day i found out my piano teacher’s husband was best friends with harold mcgee at caltech! how interesting.

3. salads – i like salad a lot, but we don’t make that many types. i’d like to find some new recipes, and have it for lunch or dinner sometimes instead of just as a side.
hmm guess we failed on this one. kind of forgot about it. carry it over to 2011 :)

4. asian food – cameron suggested this one. we’ve started cooking more chinese food recently because we got a nice cookbook for that (haven’t had time to post anything though). so i think we’ll continue with that, and then maybe also find some thai, korean, vietnamese, japanese recipes.
i think we definitely made some progress on this one. we now have like five chinese cookbooks that we are using regularly. some of the dishes are starting to taste pretty good. i should post some of those recipes… cameron just gave me a nice japanese cookbook for christmas this year, so we’ll have to try some of those this year too.

5. have people over more often – normally our apartment is pretty messy, but our non-food resolution is to clean every week, so maybe this year we will have people over for dinner more. :)
haha, well we had people over a few times. it seems like there was some kind of kitchen disaster every time! one time the sinks clogged up, one time the power went out, and one time something in the oven started smoking, filled the apartment with smoke, and set off the fire alarm. i think it’ll be easier to invite people over once we move. it will be nice having a big kitchen. hopefully there aren’t more disasters either.

intermediate cookery: dessert station

the dessert station covers desserts, dishes, and stewarding duties. no one likes washing dishes, but someone’s gotta do it, right? all the desserts had hand-whipped coconut whipped cream (not pictured though). we took turns going in the freezer to whip the cream. brrrrrrrr!

1. Mascarpone Cheesecake with Pecan Crust served with fresh tropical fruits compote – your basic cheesecake with a mango and orange fruits compote.

2. Crepes Suzette thin French pancakes smothered with Grand Marnier orange sauce with strawberries dolloped with Coconut Whipped Cream

3. Vanbanna Swiss Vanilla Almond ice cream served with banana pudding on a ritz cracker crumb crust drizzled with warm caramel sauce and garnished with apple banana and coconut whipped cream – this one is Chef Eddie’s invention, quite delicious and very filling.

4. Pecan Pumpkin Crunch with Cream cheese topping – apparently this is a big thing in hawaii. it tastes kinda like pumpkin pie with a buttery crunchy crust. i guess i forgot to take a picture. the interesting thing is you bake the cake upside-down, so the crust is actually on the top while it’s in the oven.

5. Apple Clafouti Pie with Dried Apricots & Cranberries (a rustic French dessert with a custardy slightly puffed crust, marinated apricots and cranberries in apple liqueur baked and served with vanilla ice cream and coconut whipped cream) – this is something i’ve never had before. it’s a custardy apple pie. quite good served warm with the ice cream. this recipe got revised a few times, so i forgot to take a picture of the final one. i think i’ll try making it sometime though, so maybe later i’ll have a picture.

6. Chocolate Mochi Cake served warm with Chocolate Ganache, haupia cream anglaise and fresh fruits – this is my favorite! i really like the texture of this cake, and it tastes great with the sauces and fruits. the mochi cake recipe is below. hmm the presentation in this picture doesn’t do it justice… next time i’ll put up a nicer picture.

Chocolate Mochi Cake Recipe
(yield two 9×5 loaves, 8×4 is okay too)
from Chef Eddie Fernandez

Mochiko flour 4 ½ cups
Sugar 4 ½ cups
Cocoa powder 5 tbsp.
Baking soda 1 tbsp.
Coconut milk 1 – 13.5 oz. can
Evaporated milk 1 cup
Eggs, beaten 5 ea.
Vanilla extract 1 tbsp.
Unsalted butter, melted 1 stick

1. preheat the oven to 350F. grease the two loaf pans and set aside.
2. combine the mochiko flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Mix well with a whisk.
3. in a separate bowl, combine coconut milk, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and butter. Mix well with a whisk.
4. add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with the whisk until the batter is smooth.
5. pour evenly into the loaf pans. bake 60-65 minutes until center is firm and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6. let cool in the loaf pan. when the pans are cool enough to touch, flip the loaves out and let them finish cooling on a cooling rack if you have one.
7. each loaf can be cut into 10 pieces. to store, wrap in plastic wrap or put in a ziploc bag and refrigerate. you can heat the pieces back up individually in the microwave for 1 minute when ready to serve.

intermediate cookery: salad and pasta station

this module i’m taking intermediate cookery with chef eddie. we get to work at the 220 grille, which is open for lunch from 11-1 on tuesdays through fridays. it’s very different from fundamentals because we work in teams, prep for service, and make things as customers order them. the first couple weeks we learned the recipes and did some practice. this week was our first week of service, and my team was on the salad and pasta station. i learned a lot and had a lot of fun. every week we rotate to a different station.

salads is probably the easiest station. this week we just had two salads, watercress salad for the steak sandwich, and paninis. station setup:

1. Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette (rotisserie chicken with napa cabbage, baby romaine lettuce, snow peas, red grape tomato, English cucumber, pine nuts, oranges, garnished with toasted sesame seeds) – a yummy salad. the dressing has a little bit of pickled ginger – secret ingredient! one time i forgot to put in the chicken so now i will never hear the end of it… haha all in good fun.

2. Mesclun Greens with Pomegranate Vinaigrette (served with granny smith apples, toasted spicy sweet pecans, blue cheese, english cucumber and yellow grape tomato) – now it’s served with whole leaves of various lettuces grown on Maui (red oak, green oak, red leaf, green leaf, etc.). another yummy salad.

3. watercress salad for steak sandwich. this is a delicious sandwich. very good with the watercress salad.

4. Roasted Vegetable Panini Sandwich on Focaccia Bread fire roasted zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, red bell peppers, sweet Maui Onions with smoked mozzarella cheese, sweet basil, and Asian Pesto – this is also delicious. i really like all the roasted vegetables in this one. i kind of want a panini machine now.

the pasta station is a lot busier. it covers the two pastas, risotto, and the snapper. during the practice week i messed up a few of the dishes, but i learned what i was doing wrong and did a better job during service. i also got some good tips on flipping things in the pan from one of my teammates, so i’ve been working on that and getting a lot better at it. the hardest thing is keeping all the orders straight. our team is still working on that. setup for the past side:

setup for the risotto/snapper side:

1. Wild Mushroom Pasta honshimeji mushrooms, cremini mushroom, shiitake mushrooms, broccolini with garlic butter, white wine, parmesan cheese served  on a bed of fettuccine noodles served with focaccia garlic cheese bread – the key to this pasta is lots of garlic butter. it needs a lot because the mushroom absorb a bunch, and you want enough so the noodles look kinda creamy. this pasta is growing on me. quite yummy. pictured is basil, but that was replaced by broccolini. very popular dish. bread not pictured.

2. Mini Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage and Mint sauteed with hon shimeji mushroom, roasted red bell pepper, garlic, capers, and parmesan cheese served with focaccia garlic cheese bread – i’ve never had mint in a pasta, so that is kind of different. pretty good, but not my favorite.

3. Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Bay Scallops Scallops sauteed with hon shemiji, cremini, and shiitake mushrooms, sweet basil leaves served with Spicy tomato broth – very good with the three types of mushrooms, scallops, and spicy marinara sauce. we pre-cook a big batch of the risotto, and then cook the rest to order. quite a popular dish.

4. Red Snapper  7 oz. snapper fillet braised with green onion ginger oil and miso vinaigrette, baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and roasted corn stir fry and steamed white rice – my personal favorite dish. everything in it is delicious and works well together; i also like that it comes with some vegetables.

next week we are helping in the cafeteria, so we won’t get to work at 220 grille. but the week after is dessert station!