Savoriesnsweets’ Blog

Mod One: It’s a Wrap! Soups and Sauces are DONE!

Posted on: April 8, 2009

This week we had our Mod One exams.  We had a written exam, which covered a lot of the theory we learned,  and a practical exam where we had to actually perform certain tasks.  Last week chef reviewed for the written and the test was EXACTLY the same as what we reviewed.  So here’s a run-down of what we were tested on.

Part I:  Define the following keywords.

Pincage: To caramelize shells of shellfish and tomatoes in fat to deepen color and flavor.  Allowing the tomatoes to cook out reduces the excessive acidity or bitterness that may affect the final sauce.

Monter au Beurre:  To finish or mound a sauce with butter as a final liason.  This is done over low heat while whisking pieces of butter in vigorously to create an emulsion.

Sachet d’epice:  A sack of spices consisting of a bay leaf, parsley stems, thyme and peppercorns.  Sometimes, this also includes a garlic clove.   These are all tied in a cheese cloth and used to add flavor to stocks and sauces.

Mirepoix: Aromatic vegetables, onion, carrots and celery used to flavor stocks, soups, stews and sauces.  The ratio by weight is 2 part onion, 1 part celery, and one part carrot.  Sometimes, parsnip is used intead of carrot to creat a white mirepoix.

Beurre Manie: An uncooked paste of whole butter and flour mixed together.  The paste is made by working equal parts ofbutter and flour together so that the butter encases each grain of flour.  It is used to thicken and flavor soups, stews and sauces and is often used at the last minute, unlike a roux.  Also called kneaded butter.

Nappe:  The ability of a liquid to “coat the back of a spoon”.  Medium nappe is ideal for sauces.

Garnish (for soups): Small, bite-sized pieces of food fully cooked and served either hot or cold, depending on the soup.

Roux: A mixture of clarified butter and flour.  The mixture is the consistency of wet sand.  It can be cooked to varying degrees of doneness, yielding pale/white roux, blonde roux or brown roux.  Pale roux are used for milk or cream sauces such as bechamel.  A blonde roux is cooked a bit longer than a pale roux and is used for stock based sauces, such as veloute.  A brown roux is cooked longest, until it has achieved a rich dark color and a nutty aroma.  This is used as the base for  sauce espagnol.  If adding a liquid to a hot roux, the liquid must be cold and gradually whisked in to incorporate. Once incorporated, it must simmer for 20 minutes, to remove any starchy flavor.

Trussing: Tying a whole poultry bird or meat in order to  maintain shape and ensure uniform cooking.

Supreme of Chicken: Boneless chicken breast with or without skin and with the first wing joint Frenched.

Part II:  Explain the method of preparation of the following.  (Answer 8 of 10.)

Chicken Stock: Blanch the chicken bones, if desired.  Drain and rinse.  Combine the chicken bones and cold water.  Bring stock to a boil over low heat and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer stock for 4 hours and add mirepoix and sachet d’epices.  Simmer an additional hour.  Be sure to skim the stock to remove any impurities during simmering.  Strain, cool and store.

Blanching Bones for White Stock:  On the exam, I left this one blank!  Anyone know why this is important?  I sure didn’t remember!

Cream of Broccoli Soup: Make a blonde roux with clarified butter and flour.  When roux reaches blonde stage, add chicken stock to make a veloute sauce which will become the base of the soup.  Bring veloute to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Add 1 T salt.  Continue to simmer veloute while preparing vegetables.  As soon as onion, celery, leeks and broccoli stems are prepped, sweat them in a sauciere pot until soft and translucent.  Add the cooked vegetables to the veloute and continue to simmer soup base.  Blanch the broccoli flowers for 1 minute in boiling, salted water.  Shock in ice water to stop cooking.  Drain and reserve.  When the vegetables are fork tender, strain them out of the soup and place in a blender with the broccoli flowers.  Add enough hot chicken stock to blender to cover the vegetables by 1 inch of liquid.  Blend for 4 minutes to ensure a smooth puree.  Place the puree into the veloute and add heavy cream.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes and adjust seasinong and consistency.

Chicken Consomme: Make the raft by combining grond chicken, mirepoix, herbs white wine vinegar and salt.  Beat egg whites until foamy.  Add them to the meat mixture and mix thoroughly.  Add 1 qt of chocken stock to temper the raft.  Mix thoroughly.  Stire the tempered stock into the remaining 4 qts and blend.  Bring to a simmer.  When the raft starts to congeal, stop stirring and allow stock to simmer.  Allow raft to finish rising.  Reduce heat when raft has congealed.  Poke a hole in the center of the raft with the spoon handle.  This will allow raft to baste itself while it is simmering.  Simmer for 1-2 hours.  Strain through a chinois, lined with 3-4 layers of dampened cheese cloth.  Adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Bechamel–>  Mornay:  To make a bechamel sauce, make a white roux with clarified butter and flour.  Add milk.  Add onion pique (a quarter onion studded with 4 cloves and a bay leaf) and simmer for 30 min.

To make mornay sauce, simmer bechamel and remove from heat.  Add gruyere and parmesan cheese.  Whisk until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Veloute–>Allemande Sauce:  To make veloute, make a blonde roux with flour and clarified butter.  Add cold chicken stock gradually.  Simmer 30 min.  Strain and adjust seasoning.

To make Allemande sauce, sweat shallots and mushrooms in butter.  Add chicken veloute.  Simmer. Strain.  Combine egg yolks and heavy cream and temper liason into the sauce.  Season with salt & pepper.

Demi Glace–> Port Wine Reduction Variation: To make demi-glace, start with equal volumes of brown veal stock and sauce espagnol.  Reduce the veal stock by 1/2.  Add sauce espagnol.  Return to a simmer and reduce to 1 qt.  Skim as necessary.  Strain, cool and store.

To make a wine reduction variation, combine shallots, wine and reduce.  Wines can be dry sherry or port wine, madeira or brandy.  Add demi glace and simmer.  Whisk in the butter.  Strain.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Hollandaise–> Mousseline Sauce:  To make hollandaise, combine egg yolks, water and lemon juice and combine over a water bath until yolks are thickened and pale yellow.  Whisk in clarified butter.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To make mousseline sauce, whip unsweetend heavy cream and fold into cooled hollandaise sauce.

Beurre Blanc–> Beurre Rouge: Combine shallots, white wine, white wine vinegar, bay leaf and peppercorns in a  sauce pan.  Reduce to 80% of the original amount.  Whisk in butter over low heat.  Strain and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To make beurre rouge, follow the same procedure but use red wine and red wine vinegar.

Clarified Butter:  I left this one blank too since I was done.

Overall, I think I did OK on the written exam.

The practial consisted of three different tasks:

  1. medium dice potato (for 10 points)
  2. making mayonnaise (for 40 points)
  3. making cream of broccoli soup (for 50 points)

I’ve had difficulty with my knife skills since day 1!  Unfortunately, my potatoes were still rather uneven and I only got about 10 little cubes out of two whole potatoes.  I really have to work on my knife skills.  My mayo and soup were both delicious so I felt like I redeemed myself.

Even though it was hectic and stressful, I think I did fairly well.  At the end of class, chef bid us adeiu and almost brough us to tears with all his nice words and well wishes.  I learned a tremendous amount from Chef Ted and I’m glad we’ll see him again in Mod 3.

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