Lesson 102: Hors D'oeuvre I

Friday, April 23, 2010

I believe everyone has a case of "senior-itis"... Chef told us it's common for classes to start slacking at the point of the program. We're done with our practical exam and only have 5 lessons less until graduation.. so I think we are all ready to be done and have our externships on our mind.

However, when I think about only having 5 classes left, it makes me really sad! I can honestly say that these past 6 months have been the most exciting, challenging, exhausting, and FUN months of my life. I think back to orientation day when I was first introduced to my 15 classmates and stepped into kitchen 1401 for the very first time. I was a bundle of nerves and was super shy. Now I can walk into the kitchen with confidence and enjoy four hours of cooking every day with my classmates that have become my friends. Yea, there are occasional fights and lash-outs and also some tears shed from time to time.. but 9 times out of 10 we're laughing together and working as a team to cook our hearts out.

Today we may have been a bit slower than usual and lost our sense of timing, but I think today was just a fluke day (and it's Friday..) and we'll be back to our hard-working selves on Monday! Even though we presented our food a bit late and did not put as much time in our presentation, the food was still delicious. Each group made 5 different hors d'oevres that were packed with flavor and could be enjoyed in just one or two bites.

Nora and I worked together to make these Curried Lamb Phyllo Triangles:

These were made with ground lamb, onion, garlic, tomato, curry powder, cayenne, veal stock, yogurt, scallion, lemon juice, and fresh mint. After this mixture cooled, we assembled the phyllo triangles.

Nora and I also prepared the Braised Manila Clams with Sausage and White Beans:
We braised the clams in wine, shallots, and thyme. Then, we cooked up some Italian sausage, shallot, garlic, sage, and white beans. We pureed this mixture to top the baby clams.

My group also prepared these other 3 hors d'oevres:
Beef Empanadas:
Vegetable Pakora Fritters with Tamarind Chuntney:
Spicy Shrimp Fritters:
The following plates were made by the other groups in the class.

Mussles with Orange-Saffron Sauce:

Mushroom Phyllo Triangles:
Shrimp Toasts:
Chorizo and Tomato Phyllo Triangles:
Fried Oysters:
Risotto Croquettes with Fontina Cheese:
Coconut Shrimp with Tamarind Dipping Sauce:
Not Pictured: Indian Potato Samosas, Cod Fritters, and Crispy Duck Wontons with Coconut-Soy Dipping Sauce

This was a really tough week for all of us. Hopefully we'll all rest up this weekend so we're ready for our very last week of lessons!


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