It’s been a busy week for cooking but not just for culinary school. I started out last Sunday by making homemade pasta for the first time (not under supervision). Jennifer, my son Glenn’s girlfriend, and my daughter Alexandra helped and were fast learners. We had fettucine with a homemade meat sauce. I intended to practice sauce making this week in anticipation of Week 9 but didn’t have an opportunity until Wednesday morning. On Monday morning I made a pumpkin spice cake to take to Marie at Hairworks for being a great stylist and friend. On Tuesday morning I made a huge bowl of Asian Chicken Salad to take to work for a staff event. I also made another pumpkin spice cake. Finally, Wednesday I was able to practice making Hollandaise Sauce. It was a flop. Too thick, overcooked the yolks and didn’t realize I could thin it by adding hot water. I tried again the next morning and was more successful by time 3.
On Friday, Oct 31, I decided to have a night of sauce making. I made Espagnole (brown sauce),
Hollandaise, and Bechamel. Along with all this sauce making I also made dinner for the family–mashed potatoes using the new ricer and Salisbury steaks and salad.
The sauces came out great, although I ruined the Hollandaise by trying to hold it over a pan of too hot water. Turned out that after letting it set while we ate dinner it thickened and after a few seconds in the food processor came out just fine (too late to eat it though). The Espagnole was delicious, although a little too much carrot taste from my unbalanced mire poix (carmelized mixture of onion, carrot, and celery). I know it tasted good because all I saw everyone trying to get every last bit of this sauce off their plates. The Bechamel (white sauce) was also a success.
I felt ready for anything at sauce class, however I was determined NOT to make any Hollandaise Sauce if I could avoid it. I hate to say it but I seriously dislike the stuff. I mean, anything made of egg yolks and lots of butter is on my list of artery-clogging foods to avoid. I actually went to Sam’s where I could get cheap butter and bought a 4 pound package of it, now down to 1 pound after making 3 batches of Hollandaise sauce with it. So 4 sticks of butter, clarified, mixed with 3 egg yolks produces a relatively small amount of sauce. Yikes!
We got our class instructions and were divided into new groups. I was placed with Ray and Robert. I’ve been working with Robert and I know that we work well together. Ray is very competent and easy to work with as well. We had to make 12 sauces including all the Mother Sauces (Tomato, Hollandaise, Bechamel, Veloute, and Espagnole) and 7 other small sauces which are made from the mother sauces. Thank God, Robert actually wanted to make the Hollandaise!
Ray volunteered to make the Espagnole(brown sauce) and I made the Tomato and Bechamel, along with cream sauce and cheese sauce. The first sauce photo is the tomato sauce. I had never made it before but it was not too difficult and very tasty. Using the immersion blender was a new experience and I can predict that I will buying one for home very soon. Good comments from the instructors, just needed a little more salt & sugar, but good consistency and flavors. The next sauce is my cheese sauce. This was my best sauce, made from the Bechamel. It is Bechamel sauce with cheddar cheese and dry mustard and a dash of Wochestershire sauce. I learned that cooking the Bechamel sauce for 30 minutes, then adding the other ingredients results in a very velvety and good tasting sauce. I would make this again as a sauce for vegetables or macaroni. Yum.