Time is zooming past so quickly and I am now into the final weeks of my Basic Cuisine course. Theory exam’s in exactly one week’s time so all of us are frantically preparing for that.
In the last 2 weeks, we moved on to seafood – mainly the filleting of fish which looks seemingly easy…but looks are often deceiving, as we know it.
[LEFT] DEEP POACHED TROUT served with Hollandaise Sauce (by Chef Belinda) – Officially my least favorite dish so far. I simply detest the idea of serving one whole fish on the plate with opened eyes and mouth – to me, it looks scary and unappetizing. Maybe its true they say you have to cook with your heart…mine turned out undesirable and even though I trussed the fish correctly – it refused to curl and sit on the plate like Chef Belinda’s above.
[RIGHT] FILLET OF MIRROR DORY MEUNIERE (by Chef Belinda) – This dish is quite simple except for the filleting which requires lots of practice. A quick and delicious dish…no wonder we see it so often on the restaurant menus.
[LEFT] GOUJONS OF FLATHEAD served with Mayonnaise (by Chef Mark) – These golden crispy fish fingers are awesome but who would spend all the time filleting, crumbing then frying it unless the effort can be justified! Frozen fish fingers to the rescue??
[RIGHT] PAN FRIED SALMON SUPREME with a Sorrel Cream Sauce (by Me) – A very simple and beautiful dish. Love the crispiness of the salmon skin and how the sauce compliments the fish so well.
[LEFT] SALT & PEPPER SQUID served with Eggplant & Tomato Relish (by Chef Darren) – Deep fried Sotong (Malay term for squid) is everyone’s favorite, of course! This dish is definitely a good party food. I enjoyed learning how to fillet the sotong and how to remove the ink ‘pouch’ from the sotong which we can retain for making pasta/sauces !
[RIGHT] STIR FRIED PRAWNS with Vegetables and Tofu (by Chef Darren) – This dish is simply too asian! I pointed this out to the chef who highlighted the fact that Asian food is becoming so popular in the Europe including England (and France?). The funny thing is: I heard quite a few asian student criticizing Chef’s demo dish – classic role reversal.
[LEFT] VEAL MEDALLIONS in Tarragon Cream Sauce (by Me) – Very lovely dish…not surprising since it is possibly the best cut of a veal. Btw, I have not been very diligent in taking photos of my plated dishes due to time constraint – fortunately this dish was pretty much intact even after I served it up (less the one bite that Chef Elke took)
[RIGHT] CREPES WITH PEARS – The perfect crepe is certainly not as simple to make as it looks…especially with the addition of pears! Tastes yummy when sprinkled with some caster sugar and pear liquor.
[LEFT] BOEUF BOURGUIGNON (by Me) – If this dish is a classic, I LOVE CLASSICS. This dish is not expensive to prepare considering it used to be peasant food – makes a great potluck dish.
[RIGHT] GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (by Me) – Gratin = Hearty-Fatty-Yummy and there’s no exception to this one, too.
[LEFT] TUNE TARTARE with Avocado, Corn Blini & Wasabi Creme Fraiche (by Me) – What a PRETTY looking stack this is…I love the color and texture contrast involved in this dish. Unfortunately, I did not quite cook my blini enough so it was alittle raw inside.
[RIGHT] CLUB SANDWICH (by Chef Darren) – A relatively easy dish except for the part where we have to cut the sandwich into evenly sized quarters.
The heat has certainly been picking up in the practical kitchen. Nowadays, we serve up at least 2 dishes and make up to 5 different components in each lesson! Yet, the amount of time we are given is less and less as the expectation for us to clean as we go tightens up and we are required to serve up earlier than ever before. Challenging and fun – I LIKE
1 week to theory exam and 2 weeks to practical exam….time to up the gear!