Lesson 28: Grilling I

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Monday!  Aren't Monday's awesome when you know it's a short week?  Plus, I felt ready to get back to school after my long weekend.

This morning there were still some problems getting into Penn Station because of the blizzard (I can't believe we got 20 inches!!).  I only got there 20 minutes late, which wasn't a big deal (just didn't get as much time to people watch the crazies in NYC from the Starbucks window).

Today we had our first lesson on grilling.  We grilled rib eye steaks, chicken paillard, flank steak, and an assortment of veggies.  We fabricated the chicken to form chicken cutlets and marinated them in olive oil, tarragon, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.  We also made a chimichurri sauce to marinate the flank steak.  For the veggies, we made another marinade with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and fresh herbs.

Finally it was time to grill!  I made the chicken first, to be served with some of the veggies.  I plated my first dish and was very pleased with it.  My chicken and vegetables had the perfect grill marks and I was certain that my chicken was done to perfection.  I presented my colorful plate to Chef Karen and she approved :)

Next up, I grilled the rib-eye, simply seasoned with salt and fresh ground pepper.  I also served this with some more veggies.  Yet again, I succeeded to cook the steak to the perfect medium-rare!  I'm not going to lie, I was pretty proud of myself.  I struggled the first week and I am finally seeing improvement!  I am getting used to feeling my proteins to tell if they are cooked through, and it really does show that practice makes perfect!

Here's a picture of my rib eye and vegetables grilling away:

Here's the plate that I proudly presented to Chef.  My steak has a slice of the compound butter we made earlier on, made with softened butter, fresh herbs, and salt & pepper: The perfect finishing touch to the grilled meat.

After cleaning up a bit, me and the other Allison started grilling our chimichurri flank steak.  We agreed that it was a little difficult to grill because the chunky marinade was burning and sticking to the grill.  I think it would have been better to top the grilled flank steak with the chimichurri at the end, but that was not an option today.  Because of our difficulties, our steak ended up being a little towards the rare-side, but the chimichurri flavoring was still delicious.  

I left class at the end of the day smelling very smoky, but I felt very satisfied with the dishes I prepared!

Tomorrow we will be spending a second day grilling shrimp, pork, salmon, and more vegetables.


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