I'm studying the Grand Diplome at Cordon Bleu in London

Posts tagged ‘quail’

Day 122 – Student Event Dinner – Thurs 26th July

During superior cuisine each class, or 2 classes working together, have to prepare a dinner for 50 people (staff and other students at Cordon Bleu) including creating the menu, within a budget, and use specified seasonal ingredients.

We had to prepare 3 canapés, an amuse-bouche, a first course based on mackerel, a main course based on quail, a cheese course using Reblochon course, a dessert based on cherries and 3 petit fours as well as 3 breads.

We split into 3 teams, one to prepare the canapés, amuse-bouche and first course, a 2nd team to prepare the main course, cheese course and staff food and a 3rd team to prepare the dessert, petit fours and breads.

I was part of the starter team and worked on the mackerel, amuse bouche and one of the canapés.

The 3 canapés were ham hock croquettes with a little redcurrant jam

crab vol au vents

and shots of gazpacho with a parmesan tuile.

The amuse-bouche was a mille feuille of filo pastry and herb cream.

The first course was a duet of mackerel. Some of the mackerel was cured with beetroot and horseradish and then diced to make a tartare which was topped with cider and apple jelly, and was served with a piece of grilled mackerel and a lime and chilli vinaigrette and beetroot dust.

The main course was roast quail stuffed with pistachio and fig, pea polenta, purple potato purée and a sauce finished with bitter chocolate.

The cheese course was a Reblochon eclair with a honey and mustard dressing.

The dessert was a dome of cherry mousse encased in dark chocolate with a cherry compote and hazelnut crunch.

Finally, the petit fours were pink champagne macaroons, lychee and passionfruit jellies and white chocolate and lime truffles.

Day 119 – Mystery Basket, Quail pithiviers and Peach Melba – Fri 20th July

Today in the practical we didn’t cook what the chef had demonstrated in yesterday’s practical but instead were given each an identical basket of ingredients and had to create our own dish.

The basket had 2 quails, 1 egg, 1 purple potato, 1/4 of an onion, some cream, herbs, a red pepper, peas, butter, garlic, cherry tomatoes, ginger and a lemon.

I removed the legs and breasts from the quails, which I then pan-fried, made a sauce from the bones and served the quail with the sauce, a royale of roast red pepper, garlic and basil, peas cooked in butter, roasted cherry tomatoes and crisps of purple potato.

Next chef Neil gave us a demo of quail and veal sweetbread pithiviers, with caramelised pear, fig and grapes.

Then a peach melba of poached white peach, vanilla ice cream, redcurrant and hibiscus jus and a sugar tuile.

Day 117 – Chocolate Decorations and Lasagne of Lobster – Wed 18th July

Chef Nicolas gave us a demonstration on chocolate decorations for cakes and desserts. He made circles, bows, lattice, bubble chocolate and chocolate cups and others. Pity we didn’t have this last week as we spent the previous 2 days making and decorating desserts!

Then we had a cuisine demo with chef Eric, who we’ve hardly seen since basic cuisine.

He cooked an open lasagne of lobster, with the pasta coloured with the egg sac of the lobster. It’s green when raw and turns instantly orange when cooked.

He also cooked a quail and celeriac salad with a split jus vinaigrette and crispy carrot julienne.

Day 63 – Sologne, Loire Valley – Wed 18th April

Chef Gilles took us for the demo and practical again today and made 3 dishes.

The 1st was a goats cheese, blended with cream, formed into a quenelle and served with a beetroot and grape vinaigrette, some strips of crisp baked filo pastry and a lamb’s lettuce salad.

Next was roast quail with a shredded vegetable cake. The quail was cleaned and wrapped in strips of pork back fat, seared then roasted. Once roasted, the legs and breasts were carved and kept warm while the carcass was chopped and used to make a sauce with white wine, mirepoix and veal stock.

For the vegetable cake, potatoes, carrot and turnip were cut into julienne, salted and queezed to remove excess water, then cooked in clarified butter in a small round tin until crisp and golden.

The quail was served on the vegetable cake with sautéed mushrooms, bacon lardons and glazed button onions and the sauce.

Lastly the chef made a traditional tart tatin. Apple quarters were slowly cooked in buter and sugar, then topped with puff pastry and baked in the oven. Once baked it was turned out onto a plate.

In the practical we were just making the quail and accompaniments. It was quite hard to cook the quail just right. With a bird this small (the whole bird is smaller than a fist) it’s very easy to under or over-cook it. However it tasted good – a slightly livery flavour as well as meaty.

Unfortunately my colleague in the class suffered a very nasty burn to his hand when some very hot oil was spilled on it and lost some skin. He had to go to the hospital burns unit for a dressing and won’t be able to cook for a week or two, though he can still attend classes. I hope he recovers well and quickly.

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