We've been cooking tons the past few days. This whole month is just kind of an introduction to cooking, so we make a few recipes each day without too much depth on any particular topic.
Last Wednesday, we made some base sauces. These sauces can be and are used to make many many other sauces, which is why they are also called the mother sauces. We made hollandaise, bechamel, chicken and fish veloute, brown sauce, and tomato sauce.
On Thursday and Friday, we did moist heat and dry heat cooking. We made pot roast and beef stew, pan-fried pork cutlet, and grilled steak. All delicious. We also had our first test on Friday, on safety and some basic stuff, so it was no problem.
Monday was chicken. We trussed the chicken and learned how to debone it. Then we cooked up some yummy recipes - stuffed chicken leg, southern fried chicken (much better than the one I posted on this blog a while ago), poached chicken breast with supreme sauce (basically chicken stock and wine thickened with cream), and chicken fingers.
Yesterday we cooked fish - pan fried salmon with lemon caper brown butter sauce, and then two sole dishes, sole bonne femme (sole poached in fish stock with onions, mushrooms, and cream), and deep fried sole. Chef also showed us how to fillet fish, though we will be doing much more of that during butchery block.
Today was a vegetable day. All the food we cooked previously, we each made either individually or in pairs. But today, we just chopped up all the veggies and chef cooked everything himself. Batonettes of carrot glazed with butter and sugar, green beans sauteed with butter and almonds, roasted banana squash with cinnamon and honey, cauliflower au gratin, zucchini provencale, and braised red cabbage. So yummy.
I've gotten to know my class a lot better as well. We went out on Friday, which was a ton of fun. Everyone is really nice, and surprisingly to me, really keen on learning. On the downside, we've lost two members of class already. Neither of them had worked in kitchens before and didn't realize how much standing was involved. I can't really understand it - waiting all this time to get into school, paying the tuition, and then dropping out after a week. Crazy.
Tomorrow and Friday, we are cooking starches and salads. Can't wait.