Lessons 18 & 19: Emulsion and Contemporary Sauces

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I seem to slack on Mondays and never take pictures or blog... I've never liked Mondays!  Well, I'll catch you up on our continuation of sauces.  Yesterday we spent the day learning how to make different emulsion sauces.  An emulsion sauce is basically the mixture of a fat and an oil.  Air is beaten into the sauce to hold it up.  Emulsion sauces are difficult because they can break if you don't have the proportions correct, you don't whisk enough or fast enough, or even if you whisk too much!  We started off with two of the easier sauces (because they are cold)-- vinaigrette and mayonnaise.  I have to make the mayonnaise for my practical exam on Friday!! Here's the recipe for a basic homemade mayonnaise.. I must say it is very tasty! I really don't like Hellman's mayonnaise or any other commercial mayo..but the homemade stuff is more like a sauce than a gooey condiment.

1 Egg yolk
1 T. Lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon
8 fluid oz (or 1 cup) Canola oil

Whisk the yolk, lemon juice and dijon.  Add the canola oil in a thin stream, constantly whisking.  Season with salt.  

Simple as that!  Salt is really key in this recipe because it counteracts the acidity.

Another interesting thing I learned regarding vinaigrettes:  Never use olive oil when whisking or blending a vinaigrette together!  The intense mixing causes olive oil to be bitter.. so if anything add a good olive oil at the very end and don't whisk it too much!

Next, we made the warm emulsion sauces: hollandaise, beurre blanc, and bearnaise.  These were more difficult because they break more easily and you have to be careful not to get the sauce to hot and scramble the egg yolks.  I partnered up with Emily and Dana to make these sauces and we did really well-- didn't break any of them!!!   Unfortunately, we had to throw out most of the sauces because they just break once you let them sit.  We made the beurre blanc sauce last (which is basically a butter sauce--soo good!) and dipped some warm bread in it!

After class I stopped in whole foods to pick up dinner for my mom and I.  I got the spinach and quinoa pie in the prepared food section, along with some broccoli rape.  It was a delicious dinner that we both enjoyed.  Unfortunately I didn't really like the broccoli rape.. It's the one vegetable I'm not a fan of because of its bitterness.. I REALLY want to like it though! So I always give it another chance and try it prepared in different ways.

Today I decided that I should probably add some more pictures to my blog and talk about some of my favorite food products :)    While I was at Whole Foods yesterday, I found pumpkin spice cream cheese and just had to get it!  I've expressed my love for anything pumpkin-flavored before..so it's clear why this cream cheese stood out to me!  This morning for breakfast I tried it on a pumpkin muffin.  I made the pumpkin muffins with a William Sonoma mix.  Instead of following the directions on the package, I always just add 1 egg, 1 cup of pumpkin, the amount of water listed on the package, some golden raisons, and a small amount of crushed walnuts.  I also cook it a little less just because I like it extra moist!  The pumpkin cream cheese was good on it, but I decided I like regular cream cheese on it better, because the pumpkin on pumpkin was just too much for me.  I will definitely try it on an english muffin or even make a "pumpkin cream cheese and jelly sandwich"!

Another new obsession of mine is greek yogurt!  I love the greek yogurt with honey (I usually get the Oikos brand, but could only find this brand in the grocery store).  I tried the vanilla flavored today and decided honey is still my fave.  Strawberry comes in second.  I'm thinking I should try making my own pumpkin greek yogurt with plain greek yog + pumpkin puree + pumpkin pie spice + sweetener?  If I try it, I'll let y'all know how it is!

Today was our last day on sauces.  We made contemporary sauces, which were a lot of fun.  These sauces included salsas, chutneys and coulis'.  We worked in our groups to prepare all of the sauces in our binders: roasted tomato coulis, tomatillo salsa, mango chutney, corn and red pepper relish, rosemary and basil infused oil, citrus juis, and jus de veau lie.  At the end of class we got to sample all of the sauces we made with bread, chips, and even grilled duck breast that Chef whipped up!After my less than comfortable train ride home (I was squished in the middle of a 3 seater with a guy falling asleep on me), I came home to a wonderful dinner prepared by my mom!  I wish I was hungrier and could have enjoyed it more because it was just delicious!  She roasted veggies (which in my opinion is the best way to make veggies--brings out so many flavors and makes them crisp and caramelized) and topped it over Israeli cous cous.  It was my first time having Israeli cous cous and I must say I'm a fan!  As Giada would say, "they're like little pearls of pasta".

Finished my night off with a slice of cheesecake in bed with my mom and Lillie the pug while watching The Biggest Loser finale.  Coming up tomorrow: Soups + Marcus Samuelson demo after class!  Hopefully the weather won't mess up my commute tomorrow :/


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