Culinary School Here I Come (33) Week 8, Italian Influence & Last Day of Service


The most anticipated day of the semester, for me, was this Friday. The reason for that was that Friday was the last day that our group served in the front of the house. What a relief it was to climb into my car and speed away, never to don my black pants, white long sleeve dress shirt, black cafe apron and tie. Next week we are back to our chefs gear and in front of ovens, grills flat tops and steamers.

The first entree on our Italian Influence menu was our Rosemary Pesto Sweet Shrimp on Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad and Lemon Pine Nut Gremolata.

This was the winner by far. Pan Seared Duck Breast with a Dried Cherry and Red Wine Compote, Hamakua Farms Mushroom Polenta and Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese.

Our Vegetarian entree was a house made Fettuccine with a Mushroom and Truffle Cream Sauce and Parmesan Shavings.

Did I mention that Friday was Student Day? That is the day where the students run the show. We all signed up for our dream job of the day…mine was behind the coffee bar. Unfortunately, that wasn’t in the cards. I was “demoted” to server….my most dreaded post. So, the end of Friday was extra special to me. Everything went pretty well. The food came out in a timely manner, I never got too far behind and I never heard any dishes or glasses falling or spills being wiped out. The day was a success.

We were asked to serve a dessert that included a sauce called Creme Anglaise. It was meant that I do some research because just that evening, a contestant on Chopped whipped one up. I had never heard of that sauce before so I decided to look it up. It’s a very interesting sauce that I compare to the sweet version of a hollandaise sauce. It’s only made with 3 ingredients; egg yolks, sugar and hot milk. It’s as unstable as a hollandaise. You first beat sugar into egg yolks until the yolks get light in color, then you stream in hot milk, all over a double boiler. Curdling is the enemy of the Angalise. Since I knew how the sauce was made, I was able to explain to our guests the process. I, unfortunately, never got to taste the sauce.

I made some roast pork last week so I had a ton of left overs. I decided to make some Roast Pork, Purple Sweet Potato and Mango Quesedillas. I also made some fresh Pineapple Chipotle Salsa that is always a hit. If I’m ever crazy enough to open a restaurant or help design a menu, this is something that I would proudly feature.

omg, I’m getting hungry again looking at these.

Next week we are back in the kitchen so I’ll return with more tales from the back of the house.

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About tinfoilduck

I had this wacky idea to go to culinary school, while maintaining another full time career. I will be blogging about the program and how it affects me as I try to manage my daily life and how I try to keep everything together.
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