Lessons 24 & 25: More Saute!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

During today and yesterday's classes, we were able to practice and perfect (well almost perfect) our saute-ing skills.  Yesterday's menu consisted of pork tenderloin with roasted red pepper sauce, sea scallops with onion compote, sauteed strip steaks with aguardiente, and pommes persillade.  I've never cooked scallops (or eaten them) and they were pretty good.   I loved the onion sauce that we made with it!  It was made with caramelized onions, tomato paste, dried chiles, heavy cream, culantro, and butter.  I have never heard of culantro before and honestly thought it was a typo for cilantro in our recipe.  It is a very tasty herb that has a stronger flavor than cilantro but also tastes very fresh.  It really made the sauce come to life!

For cooking scallops for the first time, I did a good job!  I improved a little bit on my saute-ing, even though nothing was perfect..but that's okay because I'm learning! :) 

I totally forgot my camera, so I didn't take pictures, but I was on my game today and took a picture of every dish!

Our mise en place for today was a little more difficult, since we had to filet whole fish for our sole a la meuniere (we used flounder instead of sole), prepare tranches out of a HUGE salmon, and prepare our lamb loin.  We also spent a lot of time fine julienning potatoes by hand and with the few mandolines that were available.

The first dish I prepared was the sole a la meuniere.  I dredged my two filets and sauteed them in clarified butter.  Once the filets were browned and cooked through, I prepared my sauce with whole butter (browned), lemon juice, and capers.  The finishing touch was some chopped parsley.

This was my favorite dish of the day!  The fish was cooked perfectly and the brown butter, lemon sauce complemented it perfectly.

Next, I prepared sauteed loin of lamb with pan sauce.  I seared the lamb loin on both sides and let it finish cooking in the oven while I prepared my pan sauce.  The sauce consisted of minced shallots, red wine, veal stock, and whole butter added in at the end.  My lamb was cooked perfectly! The sauce could have reduced a little more though!

Next on the menu was paillasson de pommes de terre.  What is that you ask?  Basically a huge potato pancake!  This is such a great dish because you can make small ones or large ones to serve a crowd.  They can also be made with sweet potatoes (I'll have to try it at home and let you all know how it comes out).  

To make this crispy potato cake, peel and julienne potatoes with a mandoline.  If you are not cooking them right away, put them in water so that they do not turn brown.  Squeeze out the liquid before tossing them in canola oil and salt.  Heat a non-stick saute pan and add canola oil and butter.  Add the potatoes, forming a flat layer on the bottom of the pan. Put a small lid or something on top of the potatoes to flatten them out.  After they are browned on the first side, flip over and continue to cook until brown and crispy on the other side.  Cut into wedges and enjoy!

The last dish of the day (which I unfortunately didn't have time to make) was the sauteed tranche of salmon with salsa verde.  The salsa verde was made with parsley, basil, garlic, evoo, sherry vinegar, capers, salt, and pepper.  I tried Kim's salmon and it was delicious.  I'm picky with salmon (and most seafood) but I really enjoyed the texture of the sauteed salmon and the pesto-like sauce with it.


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