This week classes were intense, but so awesome. I think my favorite day yet was Tuesday in baking. We made Pâte à Choux (Pat-ah-shoo) - which is a fancy way of saying we made eclairs and cream puffs. And oh man, they were good. The batter was pretty easy to pull together and once it was the right consistency we piped it into various shapes on sheet pans. Then baked it in a really hot oven the butter in the batter begins to melt and let off steam quickly causing the eclair or cream puff to rise. Then the oven is turned down and the products are left in the oven to dry out and brown. Once they were done baking we let them cool and filled them with pastry cream and dipped them in chocolate ganache or dusted them with powdered sugar. I had never made anything like them so it was a fun to try something so different. And they were absolutely delicious so that was good. In cooking skills this week we had our third practical exam on Thursday (the same day I started to get my first ever inner ear infection, let's talk about how horrendous ear infections are!?). Normally when we've showed up for past practicals we have a list of things to complete, medium dice carrots, make a specific sauce, grill a chicken breast, etc. This time it was different, and way scarier. We got a paper that said "Make a plate: include a protein, a vegetable, a starch, and a mother sauce. Showcase you knife skills with your vegetable and the more creativity you use (as long as it makes sense) the better score you will get ." I freaked out about prepared for the practical all week I wanted to be creative but I didn't want to make something that I was really unfamiliar with. So I picked chicken and rice (haha) how's that for creative?! I decided that if I could make something somewhat simple but totally nail it, that would count for something. I got to class and I went to work I seared my chicken breast and then finished it in the oven. I sauteed my rondelled carrots in butter and thyme and I made my buttery Bearnaise sauce. My wild rice pilaf was where I let my creativity go a little wild (pun intended). I reconstituted dried wild mushrooms in white wine and then sauteed them in butter. I toasted my wild and brown rice with bacon, butter, garlic and onion, then added chicken stock. I let it simmer and finished it with fresh parsley, thyme and chives. I plated my dish and then served it to my chef. His first word was "wow", I smiled. I got a great review - he said everything was well seasoned and well cooked. I was really happy with how everything turned out, and was extremely proud of my creation. I am becoming a chef. I kind of like it.
Roasted Chicken over Wild Rice Pilaf and Buttered Thyme Carrots Topped with Peppercorn Bernaise Sauce