Being an Active Student
Posted March 23, 2009on:
In culinary school, being active as a student means more than just keeping up with reading and assigned problem sets. It also means practicing knife skills and attending culinary demos. Yesterday, I had teh chance to do both.
One of the first knife skills we need to master is making a medium dice of potatoes. I’ve been working on this a lot. As a matter of fact, I even peeled and cut an entire 5 pound bag of potatoes! Unfortunately, I still can’t do this!! I keep making little rectangles instead of cubes. And they’re always either too big, too small or uneven. If anyone has any tips out there, I’d really appreciate them. In the meantime, I’m going to keep working at it.
Now that I had all these peeled and cut potatoes I had to figure out something to do with them. Instead of just making regular mashed potatoes, I tried a new recipe from my textbook called Dutchess Potatoes. It was actually really easy and very, very yummy! I boiled the potatoes and put them through a food mill, as if I were going to mash them. Then I added some egg yolks and butter and mixed them in. For seasoning, I added some salt, pepper and nutmeg. Then I put the mixture in a pastry bag and piped them onto a baking sheet and baked them until golden. They were very rich and lucious! Here’s a pic of my Dutchess Potatoes.
Once those were done, I headed to school to attend a demo entitled “A Celebration of Spring in Sugar”. The chef, a well known pastry chef was illustrating different techniques for working with sugar. She demonstrated how to cast sugar, how to blow sugar and how to pull a ribbon from sugar. It was really cool to see these different creations all made from sugar! She used the different pieces to make a spring bunny complete with easter eggs. I don’t know that I’d ever want to work with sugar in this way, but it’s definitely beautiful and stunning work. Here’s some shots I managed to get of the finished sculpture.