Lesson 57: Cuisine of Midi, France

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Um did it really snow again?!!!!!!!!!   All I have to say is it better not snow any more this winter or else I'm moving to California.

I got to class and we immediately began planning who was going to cook what and started prepping ingredients.  Aaron and I chose to work on the "Poulet a la Basquaise", which is just chicken with tomatoes, peppers, and prosciutto.  Aaron prepped the ingredients while I cooked.  

After the chicken was fabricated, I browned the pieces in duck fat: 
Next, I made the sauce by sauteing pancetta, onion, and garlic.  I de-glazed the pan with brandy.  Then I added red pepper, prosciutto, tomato concasse, sugar, piment d'espelette (an expensive French spice), white wine, and chicken stock.  I added the chicken back into the mixture and let it simmer:

Here was the final product.  It had a wonderful flavor and the chicken was really tender:

We each had to make the potato dish, "Pommes a la Sarladaise".  This is exactly like the Pommes Anna that we made last week except we added sliced truffles in between the layers..mmm.

And after the flip:We also used our duck confit that we prepared last week for a Salad of Duck Confit with Red Cabbage, Chestnuts, and Watercress ("Salade Cevenole").  I loved the chestnuts and walnuts that we coated in sugar and caramelized in the oven.

The final dish of the day was "Cassoulet", which is a slow-cooked bean and meat stew.  Since this stew is best if you cook it for a very long time, we started the cooking process and will continue cooking it tomorrow for optimal flavor.  This stew has a mixture of lamb, pork medallions, garlic sausage, duck confit, and navy beans.  The casserole is topped with breadcrumbs and more duck fat (if needed--ours was plenty moist).

I can't wait to try it tomorrow when it is done cooking!

Chef decided to show us another French dessert today.  She made a sweet apple mixture in a cast iron pan and topped it with puff pastry.  It finished baking in the oven and came out like this:

Then we flipped it on a plate.  How glorious does this look?

It was SOOO good!   We had some extra puff pastry and duck confit so Dana made some duck confit turnovers.  Asli also made a creamy mushroom soup that was excellent!   

After class I grabbed a drink with some of my classmates for Mardi Gras!  Now I can barely keep my eyes open and must get my rest for another day of cooking tomorrow!


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