Today we started off with back to back practicals, then 1 demo.
First was making the trout. The trickiest bit was filleting the trout and not leaving too much flesh on the bones.
Then it was on to the mussels and dressed crab. Removing the meat from a crab is a fiddly job but one I’ve done lots of times before so I know how to do it. The chef thought my mussels sauce was lovely and the crab just right too, so I was pleased with that. Plus I had a 3 course meal of fish that evening.
Chef Neil took us for the demo – his first at Cordon Bleu, though he has taught at other cookery schools. He is quite serious and precise in classes, but does give quite a bit of background info about the food he or we are cooking.
He demonstrated 2 dishes: a fish timbale and a grilled fillet steak.
The fish timbale was a mousseline made from plaice fillets and cooked in a timbale (small metal mould) lined with blanched leek and served with a beurre blanc, which is a sauce made from a reduction of white wine, finished with lots of butter and chopped chives and garnished with slices of grilled prawn.
The fillet steak was grilled to medium rare and served with pommes pont neuf, which are essentially chips cut to a width of 1 cm, and a bearnaise sauce. Bearnaise is a derivative of hollandaise sauce, but the acidity comes from a reduction of white wine, vinegar, shallots and black pepper and tarragon stalks, and then chopped tarragon and chervil added to the sauce at the end.