Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Barded Beef

Phase 3, Week 3, Day 1

Back to the night class today. I still like spending time at the restaurant on Monday mornings and of course the extra night with Rhys, but going to the night class on Monday nights sucks. I like the class, I even have a nickname, "Monday." However, with so many practicals this phase I end up repeating tests or missing lectures because the classes aren't on the same schedule.

Today we had a 1/2 practical, where we are only doing one dish. My class demoed this and one other dish this morning for our test tomorrow.....menu for tonight was as follows:

Beef barded Filet of Beef (Filet Mignon) w/ Sauce of Madera 
Saute of Artichoke Heart
Blue Cheese Souffle

So several firsts today. Breaking down a fresh artichoke, making a souffle, and pan searing a filet. Awesome. Luckly there was only one dish and the chef instructor demoed the whole thing for us. Otherwise, not sure I could have pulled off the souffle.

Breaking down the artichoke was interesting. You end up throwing away 3/4 of the artichoke and keeping the little tiny heart. I also had no idea the thing was super prickly. The artichoke is part of the thistle family, so I guess that makes sense why it's full of spikes. The choke part is on the inside and is full of little spiky needles, many people are have been said to have eaten this part and choke. 

History note: In the 16th century, eating an artichoke was reserved only for men. Women were denied the pleasure because the artichoke was considered an aphrodisiac and was thought to enhance sexual power. Weird.

The cheese souffle was even more interesting, but not as difficult as I thought it would be. But it had some very precise steps in the process. Whipping the whites and folding them in to the mornay sauce was critical, as was the temperature and timing to determine doneness.

The Filet was easy, but we were required to "call" the doneness of the filet before the chef cut into it. Without a lot of experience in this arena I was kind of in the dark. My advice to the galls out there, don't just let your husband grill, you need to know about meat too!!!


Filet- Nice seasoning, on the line of medium

Sauce- Very good color and sheen 

Chokes- Nice flavor, but underdone

Souffle- Nice color, good texture and flavor



Filet, Souffle, and Chokes

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