Culinary School Here I Come (38) Week 13, Pacific Rim Cuisine, Malasadas on Fire and Pork Loin

Culinary Student Does Community Service…in the dish pit for nearly burning down her grandmothers house. The student said that she was trying to reheat a malasada in a toaster oven and didn’t realize that the oil content was so high. The heat of the element caused the malasada to ignite, spreading to other 6 in the toaster oven. Water was used to extinguish the blaze. There were no reported injuries and when asked what the student had to say for herself, she said “I didn’t even get to eat one.” Try a microwave next time!

This week, Chef Kyle constructed a Pacific Rim influenced menu. What is Pacific Rim Cuisine you ask? It’s mostly associated with Hawaii and the various ethnic groups that immigrated to the islands. They brought with them special foods, seasonings, customs and traditions. After time, these different cuisines blended to become what we know as Pacific Rim. The main influences are Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese & Thai. Many others are incorporated as well.

Our Amuse Bouche was Maui Gold Pineapple Tempura with a Wasabi Tzatziki Sauce.

Curried Duck Lumpia with Mango/Pineapple Chutney and Lemongrass-Coconut Sauce was our appetizer.

Our salad choice was an Asian Pesto Grilled Shrimp and Warabi Salad. Warabi is a type of fern shoot. It was served with Kula Onions, Cherry Tomatoes and an Asian Pesto Dressing.

The soup selection was a Deconstructed Ox Tail Soup with and Oxtail Ravioli, Baby Bok Choy and Cilantro & Ginger Caviar.

Yes, I said Cilantro & Ginger Caviar. First, the soup is served with a broth but I wanted to show it to you before the broth was added so you could see the caviar. Anything pureed can be made into caviar…well I shouldn’t say anything but I’m going out on a limb. This is where molecular gastronomy comes in. Short answer, molecular gastronomy is a way to manipulate food. It’s called a caviar because the pureed cilantro and ginger sauces are capsulized and they look like caviar.

Sodium alginate is added to the sauce to thicken the consistency. It is then individually dropped into a water and calcium chloride bath to complete the formation of the caviar pearl.

Our seafood entree was Steamed Opakapaka with Wok Fried Vegetables on Jasmine Rice.

The meat entree was our Hoisin Braised Shortrib Loco Moco Reinvented.

Here is a link to a blog I wrote about the History of the Loco Moco. You may find it interesting if you don’t know what it is.

Our vegetarian entree was a Wasabi Pea Crusted Tofu Napoleon served with Shaved Beets and a Yuzu Vinaigrette.

Chef Kyle gives the front of the house a taste of the menu before service. Any questions about ingredients or preparation are answered at that time.

My role this past week was to be the Sous Chef. I’d be the assistant to the chef. I was responsible for getting the line set up and sort of monitoring the antics of my classmates. There are times that I feel like having kitchen responsibilities like that could be exciting, but as Ambrose pointed out, I needed to delegate more tasks. What can I say, I’m not a good delegator…especially if it means assigning someone to do dishes. Anyway, I’m done with that for now and will be hopefully cooking something next week, during our French Influence week….or there is always the threat of the dish pit.

A few weeks ago, I came across a huge ass pork loin at Safeway that was marked down 50%. It must have been 2 feet long. I brought it home and hacked it into 3 pieces, worked on 1 and freezed the other 2. I brined this one in Chinese Black Tea overnight and roasted it the next day. I think I paid $12 for the whole piece so each piece cost $4.  I was able to get 3 dinners for 2 and I still have leftovers for tonite’s stir fry. So, each meal cost 50 cents and pennies for the sides. I won’t bore you with photos of that but I will bore you with this wonderful dinner I made the other night. I picked up some dried beans, soaked it overnight and boiled it the next day. That was my base for this:

Chicken Marsala with Diced Tomatoes and Parsley. Lemon juice, chicken stock, marsala wine, parsley, onions and seasoning all combined to make this one a recipe worth writing down. I hope I did!

Oh, did I ever tell you that I make my own yogurt. It’s really easy. I’ll devote a whole blog to it over the summer. I’ll make a believer out of you.

Well, when word count hits 771, that’s my cue to skiddew. Next stop will be Cuisine de Frances!


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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