Lesson 26: Pan Frying

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Today started out a little rough.. I felt like I was having one of those days where I can't do anything right.  I tried sharpening my knives on my wet stone for the first time this morning and I couldn't get my knives sharp enough (I was probably doing it wrong) and I was left with smudges on my knives.  While on the train, the bridge was stuck open again and I was stuck between Newark and Secaucus for an extra 20 minutes-- 90 minute train rides are not fun!  

I finally got to class and was extra clumsy, confused and sensitive while we were setting up and mise-en-place'ing our recipes.  Thankfully, I snapped out of it and the rest of the day went a lot more smoothly!  (A special thanks to Matt for making me laugh today--I really needed it!!)

We moved on to pan-frying today, which is a lot like saute, except with extra fat in the pan and we used the standard breading procedure before cooking to ensure a golden brown, crisp finish.

First on the menu was potato pancakes  (or latkes) with spiced apple sauce.  For the pancakes, we grated potatoes and onions.  We mixed them together with egg, flour, salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice (to prevent discoloration).  We pan fried them in canola oil, forming little pancakes and cooking them until they were golden brown.  We served them with homemade apple sauce that was made earlier in the class and some creme fraiche.  Soo good!

Next we made veal milanese.  We pounded out veal cutlets, seasoned them, then went through the standard breading procedure (flour, eggs, breadcrumbs).  They were also pan-fried in canola oil until they were golden brown--only took a couple of minutes.  I actually really liked how they tasted with the apple sauce!

Next up: panko crusted chicken supremes.  We formed supremes out of the chicken breasts and also put them through the standard breading procedure, except with panko breadcrumbs.  I love panko, since they are flakier and tastes lighter.  These supremes were also pan fried in canola and then finished cooking in the oven.

The last dish we made was my favorite: crab cakes with avocado sauce.  These were very easy to cook, since we just had to brown both sides and put them in the oven to heat through.  I forget everything that went into these cakes, but some ingredients included: lots of lump crabmeat (duh), sweated red pepper & onions, mayonnaise, eggs, worsteshire, etc etc...  All formed together into large patties.  The avocado sauce was the perfect complement and was so smooth and creamy.

TGIF tomorrow!  I'm so worn out after this long week of intense cooking!  We're ending the week tomorrow with deep frying (some menu items including fish & chips, tostones with mojo sauce, broccoli tempura with wasabi sauce, and fried oysters)


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