Our last week of Skills 1. Not terribly hard but a bit busy here and there. This week we focused on each of the 5 mother Sauces (Veloute, Bechamel, Hollandaise, Espagnole and Tomato).
Monday was Veloute. Basically just any white stock (non-roasted bones) that is thickened with Blond Roux (the second stage of roux cooking). We made Cream of Broccoli Soup and boiled broccoli to present to Chef. Turns out when making cream soups the exact same thing goes in to every single one but all you do is switch out the main ingredient. So the process in the same for Mushroom, Broccoli, Cauliflower or whatever other vegetable you can imagine which makes this so much easier. My soup was awesome but it seems like everyone in my class undercooked the broccoli (it is so hard to boil it without turning the florets to mush and the stems crunchy).
Tuesday was Bechamel Day. Also pretty easy, just milk thickened with white roux (first stage of roux cooking) and added to some aromatics and shallots. We then used this to make Sauce Mornay which is just the addition of shredded Gruyere cheese and Shredded Parmesan cheese making a tasty cheese sauce. We served this over-top of boiled Cauliflower which was much easier to cook then broccoli (add acid to any vegetable you boil that is white, it brightens the color).
Wednesday we had Hollandaise Day. I had never made this before although I knew what it was (egg yolks whisked into submission and then clarified butter is slowly added in making a creamy sauce). It is pretty easy but you need to whisk and whisk and whisk over a double-boiler and many people broke their sauces (separated them) and had to fixed. I did not. It came out really well and after that we made Mayonnaise. It's super easy, a little cider vinegar, lemon juice, an egg yolk, seasoning and then whisking in 1 cup vegetable oil. We ended up serving the Hollandaise over both Broccoli and Cauliflower but I liked it better over the Broccoli.
Today was an easy day, except for pots and pans because we had a million and of course I was on pots and pans today. We made Espagnole which is basically just Brown Sauce, brown stock thickened with brown roux and the usual mirepoix and aromatics. It was delicious and can be made into tons of other sauces.
As it turns out each of the Mother Sauces can be made into about 20-25 other kinds of sauces at least because of the versatility so if you want to be a Sauce Master, learn the 5 Mother Sauces and deviate from there. We took our written final today which was just like our midterm (89 on that) and it was again very easy.
Tomorrow is 0ur last day and we will be making our last Mother Sauce (a new mother sauce since traditionally there were only 4). Tomato Sauce! We are making pasta and tomato sauce which we get to eat so I'm pumped. Besides our Knife Test which is just a graded final of our knife skills in the morning tomorrow should be a fun-easy day as our last day there.
I'm very ready for Skills 2 and I think I might pull off an A- in Skills 1. That'd be excellent. Hopefully the weekend weather is a nice change from the current rain we are having.
ps. Basketball tryouts are coming up and I started getting in shape and ready with a friend. Here we go.