Chef John took us for the demo today and made a dover sole and crayfish timbale with champagne sauce.
The timbale mould has a layer of fish mousse at the base (which becomes the top on turning out), the sides are lined with a dover sole fillet, the centre is filled with crayfish tails and crayfish sauce and it is topped off with more mousse. It was cooked in a bain marie and served with a champagne sauce with dots of crayfish sauce. When the timbale is cut open, the crayfish sauce inside runs out.
Next today was this term’s patisserie wine lecture which was 3 hours of tedium. We have 1 or 2 wine lectures each term and they have all been utterly boring and I have learnt nothing from them.
Considering we have a wine lecture and a cheese lecture each term and the cheese lecturer is so passionate and knowledgable and makes the subject so exciting, it’s quite amazing how dull the wne lectures are. Pity the lecturer doesn’t go to the cheese lectures to see how it’s done.
Chef Loic took us for the demo again today with recipes from Normandy.
The 1st was fillets of sole with cider, mussels and shrimps. Dover Sole was skinned and filleted, poached with chopped shallots, cider and fish stock. The stock was finished with cream, mussels and little shrimps.
The chef then made veal cutlets with apple and cream. A 4 cutlet rack of veal was browned then roasted in the oven. Sections of apple were caramelised for the garnish. The apple trimmings were sautéed in butter, deglazed with calvados, simmered with cider and chicken stock, reduced and finished with cream and sautéed mushrooms and shallots. The veal was cut into cutlets and served with the apple sections and sauce.
We got to taste the veal and sauce and both were really good. Unfortunately we wouldn’t be making this in the practical 😦
Lastly the chef prepared a dough for Kouign Amann, a caramelised butter cake which is a speciality of the region. A dough of flour, water and yeast was made and left to rise, punched down and rolled out. A slab of butter was placed in the centre, the dough folded over, the dough folded in 3, turned 90°, rolled out, folded again refrigerated for use in the next cuisine lesson.
In the practical we only made the sole dish. Not hard and tasted good, even though I had a bad mussel which slightly tainted the sauce.
Today was the start of fish. Chef Eric took the demo.
He cooked 2 dishes: a grilled dover sole and sole bon femme, which is one of the dishes that could come up in the exam.
First, the dover sole. This was simply trimmed of fins, the roe removed and skinned. Then marinated in lemon, herbs and olive oil and grilled whole. Once cooked, the fillets were removed from the bone and served with a remoulade sauce, which is mayonnaise with anchovy, mustard, capers, gherkins, onion and parsley.
Next was sole bon femme. This is pretty similar to the chicken fricassée last week, in that both are in a mushroom cream sauce and have the same vegetable garnishes. The difference, of course, is that one is fish, the other is chicken and the stock is fish or chicken respectively.
The sole had to be cleaned and filleted and the fish bones and trimmings used to make the fish stock. Once made, the fish fillets were braised in the stock, with shallot and mushrooms and then the stock reduced to make the sauce.
The prac today was with chef Neil again! That’s 3 in a row and far too much time lost listening when we could have been cooking.
We were making the stuffed chicken breast. I’ve dismembered lots of chickens and made similar mousses, though with fish rather than chicken, in the past so this went pretty well. Tasted very good too. Even the tomato sauce, which tasted better the more butter I added.