Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 25

Yes. I skipped day 24.

That nose stuffing, taste bud ruining sickness that I was plagued with last week finally caught up with me post St. Patty's day and I prescribed myself a day in bed to cheat death.

he did not cheat death.

Today was our last cooking day of the term before I move on to Culinary Foundations 3. Ah! I get to make my own sausage in that class. I don't really like sausage, but it looks like a project that is messy and I can totally be on board with. Foundations 3 also brings me one class closer to baking.... and if you know me and know anything about my random efforts in occasionally turning my kitchen into a bakery, you know I feel about this.

We made poached salmon served with a beurre blanc sauce and also prepared fillets de sole bonne femme which is a fancy French way of saying "kind of gross baked sole with fish gravy." Not a fan. Today was actually the first day that I have ever prepared salmon or really even ever touched it. Mine was a little over cooked, but for my first time I was pretty pleased that it didn't spontaneously combust.

poached salmon avec beurre blanc.

Salmon fillet
Court bouillon (poaching liquid)

For the court bouillon you will need:
Bay leaf
Parsley Stems
Acid- lemon juice, wine vinegar, white wine

Begin by making the court bouillon. Chop vegetables and combine everything in a large stock pot and fill it with water. Bring to a boil and then let the ingredients steep for about 15 minutes. 

In a smaller saute pan, bring enough water to almost cover the fillet of salmon to poaching temperature. Liquid temperature to poach must be between 160 degrees and 180 degrees. 

Season the salmon and place it presentation side down in the poaching liquid. The presentation side will always either be the side with the skin if there if skin on the fish, or the side that had bones if there is no skin on the fish. 

Cook the salmon to medium. It should be firm to the touch but with an orange center. 

this salmon is properly cooked to medium. my salmon did not look like this.
trade the perfectly orange center with a flakier, pinker version and you should get the idea....ugh.

Beurre blanc sauce:
White wine
White wine vinegar

Heat the shallots in a pan. Add a little white wine vinegar and some white wine. Reduce to 'au sec.' Remove the pan from heat and 'monte de beurre' or slowly whisk in butter. This sauce is very easy to break. High heat or adding to much fat too quickly will cause the emulsion to break and you will have to start from the beginning. 

Serve salmon with beurre blanc sauce and garnish with lemon and parsley.  


I am not even going to include the next recipe because it really is not very good and I will never make it again... and you should never make it for a first time. However, for the record....I actually completely messed this dish up in class today. I was so focussed on my overcooked salmon (clearly fish is not my forte.... 5/5 was nowhere to be written today) that I forgot to pull my sole out of the oven and actually ended up having all of my gross fish gravy evaporate during cooking. In a pinch.... I added a little clam juice to my left over beurre blanc and turned in my makeshift dish as the original and totally pulled it off. I am pretty sure I got a "wow, this actually tastes marvelous...." That is how culinary school is done

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