Friday, September 26, 2008

Country Style Pate

I have been very deep in my studies and also practicing cooking different required foods for my upcoming professional chef certification test in New York. One of the items required, is to do a classic terrine, the catch is that we won't be told what type of meat that we will use till the last minute, so its hard to practice for this. Anyway just to get used to cooking it, I chose a country style terrine with pistachios and wild mushrooms. For most cooks this is considered "old school" and we don't see or do much of this kind of cooking anymore. For me its been about 20 years since I did it last. Then you make it you realize why its not too popular anymore, it is around 75% pure fat! Anyway I was happy with my first attempt and feel more confident about doing it in New York. I made a red onion "jam" to go with it, the sweet and sour flavors work well with the fatty meat.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Duck Sausage & Chantrelle Mushroom Pizza

I had the idea of making pizza tonight after a long week of work, my game plan was to use some chantrelles I have at home. Pizza on a Friday night meant that I was going to have to stop at the local store for a bottle of wine to go with it. I didn't need anything from the meat department but I stopped and talked shop with the butchers, one of the guys has been experimenting with making different sausages to sell. He wanted my opinion and gave me a few to take home and try, one was made with duck meat and the other was a classic pork bratwurst. I poached the sausages and sliced them to go on top of the pizza along with shredded mozzarella cheese, chantrelles and caramelized onions. The pizza turned out great and the duck sausage was my favorite. It turned out to be the first rainy night of the upcoming winter and the sausage and mushrooms fit right in with the cool weather.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Houston Texas food prowl

I was sent to Houston Texas for a few days of studying and practicing for a upcoming chef certification in New York. What I like to do when I travel to a new region is experience the many foods and styles of the area. The problem with this trip was the major hurricane Ike which was due to hit in a day or two, the whole town was shutting down and boarding up. So there goes my chance to explore the foods of Texas. One cool thing that I witnessed was a plated lunch event for 1400 people, all the components of each plate were prepped and cooked by a kitchen staff numbering around 40. The cooked food was put in"hot boxes" (temperature controlled rolling boxes with racks inside) next they had conveyor tables where plates were fed on one end and rolled across the belt as the cooks would place the ingredients on the plates, next covers were placed on plates and then they are loaded into more hot boxes to be wheeled outside of the meeting room where waitstaff deliver them to the table. The two conveyor tables were able to do the 1400 people in about 2 hours. This was not considered a big event, over 5000 starts getting big. It was cool to watch and learn how to do the big numbers and I was lucky to get a flight out of town the morning before the hurricane hit.