You know cooking is a passion when you do it a lot even when you don’t have to. I spent all last weekend working on my sister’s wedding food and cake and what did I do this weekend? Cook. I discovered some turkey bones in the freezer so I decided to make some turkey stock so I can freeze it for Thanksgiving.
If you read my last post, we worked on smoking in my Garde Manger class. I decided to recreate the experience at home to smoke some Mozzarella cheese and chicken breasts. I cold smoked both so you see my wood chips to be heated, the chimney in the background and my smoking chamber where the cheese is set. To my surprise, the smoked cheese was wonderful. The chicken breasts even retained the smoke flavor after I grilled it. I’m sold on smoking. Maybe not the ghetto way. Dear Santa, in addition to an immersion circulator, can I have a cold smoker?
Cold smoking Mise en Place.
The ghetto smoker.
Continuing on from the smoking session, I had some dinner guests over on Saturday so I used the smoked Mozzarella and chicken breasts for pizza on home made dough.
What do you do when you have a freezer full of wedding cake leftovers and extra butter cream? Make cake pops of course, or in this case, cake balls. I served it with Lilikoi Curd filled Profiterole and Creme Chantilly.
In advanced baking, we made some live dough bread sculptures. It turned out pretty cool. We braided 6 foot long logs and made some grapes, leaves and tendrils. The dough rose slightly as opposed to the dead dough we will work on next week. Everyone did pretty well. We displayed it at our Class Act restaurant.
Garde Manger was fun this week. Like Senators back in session, creating new bills, we were sausage making. On Tuesday each of the groups were assigned to make 3 sausages; basic Italian, Mexican Chorizo and Mortadella (ick). Mortadella is an emulsified sausage that is pretty intense in it’s formation. The closest thing I can describe an emulsified sausage is like a mousse consistency. The cubes of pork are chilled until almost frozen, then ground through course, medium and fine and chilled again. Then the fat is ground in the same manner and chilled as well. The meat is placed in a chilled food processor with ice and seasonings and processed until the mixture reaches 40 degrees F. The fat is added and processed until it reached 45 degrees F. Add nonfat mild solids and process until it reaches 58 degrees F, then garnish. You are now ready to test your Mortadella. I wasn’t assigned the Mortadella. I got to make the Chorizo. That was pretty simple although the spice mix was pretty lengthy. The pork and fat was only ground to medium then placed in a chilled mixing bowl and mixed with some liquid until the correct consistency.
Once the forcemeats were prepared, it was time for Dick. Yes, that’s Dick, the sausage stuffer. Yes, we are all adults here but it was pretty funny watching Chef Craig holding onto his “Dick” while stuffing sausage casing.
Next week, in Advanced Baking, we will be working on a fall themed dead dough sculpture as well as starting our cake section. That should be way fun. In Garde Manger, we will be working on Pates, Terrines, Galantines & Roulades. I have a funny feeling there will be a lot of internal organs in this section.