Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Guard of the Kitchen

Today was my first day in the Garde Manger, which translates to "Guard of the Kitchen". We had an hour and a half long lecture on sanitation and food borne illness, yummy, and then we were sent to our respective kitchens and got to work. The chef in the Garde Manger is Chef Peter. He's a no nonsense kind of guy who quickly showed us the ropes and then we got to work. We prepared the first course which was a Roqueforte Tart. Roquefort is a blue cheese and we incorporated it with 4 eggs in the food processor. We combined heavy cream and two egg yolks, strained it, then added it to the cheese and egg mixture. Then we added salt and pepper to taste and let it sit at room temp to allow even cooking later on. Next we cut out rounds from puff pastry and baked them. We baked the cheese custard mixture in little stainless steel cups, kind of like condiment cups only with higher sides. Still with me? I drizzled honey on the plates in sort of a tree design and we placed one pastry round in the center (the honey kept the pastry from moving around on the plate and also gave this savory course a sweet side). Then the custards were inverted onto the pastry and I was in charge of carefully placing roasted red and yellow peppers beautifully on top of the custard. One of my fellow classmates then poured a chive oil around the pastry and this gorgeous Roqueforte tart was served.

I was pretty proud of myself, although I didn't take time to take a picture and I should have. It really was pretty to look at and even better in my mouth. I will definitely try this recipe out at home sometime.

Now that I am home, the day is wearing on me and I am realizing more and more how good I had it before school started, BUT I have also realized how much I would be missing if I were still in bed asleep.

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