Wow was my last update really on Thanksgiving?!?
I guess it was, it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago from my point of view, but looking back on it and thinking a Ton of things have happened since then, and the question is where to begin. Oh I know lets start off by wrapping up Plated Desserts…. The last week of class we were given our final project which was a blind basket. We were given a list of ingredients that we had to use and a list of items that we would have in our “pantry” and told to make a dessert plate… (main item, sauce, garnish). The items we had to use where: Crème Fraiche, Almond, Oat, Pomegranate, Ginger, White Wine, and Turbinado Sugar (sugar in the raw). sounds fun right? Well to save time here is a report I had to do along with creating the dish that will save some time on my part…
Descriptive Title: A Lemon Crème Fraiche Cheesecake with Almond Oat Crust. Pomegranate, Ginger, and White Wine sauce. Garnished with Turbinado Sugar Candied Lemon Zest
Description of dessert including flavors, colors and textures: The Cheesecake will be sweet, sour and have a smooth texture from both the lemon and Crème Fraiche filling, but still have a crunch and nutty notes from the almond and oat crust. Its colors will be both Brown and White from the crust and the filling itself. The Pomegranate and ginger sauce with the white wine will be sour and help cut through the richness of the cheesecake and also provide a bright contrasting color to the plate. Turbinado sugar with its large crystals will stand out on the lemon zest and balance the brown from the crust. The candied lemon zest will also help to bring an aroma of lemon to the cheesecake and help the eater place the lemon notes in the filling.
Potential Menu Allergens/Health Concerns: Dairy, Citrus, Nut, Possible Gluten (Oat’s are sometimes grown around wheat so possible cross contamination), Alcohol, Pomegranate (very rare).
Reflection: While the sauce had the flavors I was going for it was not the consistency that I was looking to get out of it and I could not create the plate design I was going for. I should have taken more time to reduce the sauce more instead of jumping straight to thickening with cornstarch. While the crumb provided a nice crunch to the plate I don’t think it was needed as the crust itself turned out just how I was hoping it would. The Cheesecake turned out great and I would not have changed a thing about it.
Speaking of other things that I have learned recently I have good news and also a bit of somewhat bad news. Good news first then shall we… I am in my last week of Year Two at NECI! that means that you all have missed two weeks worth of PM Line Updates, and for that I am sorry but honestly there isn’t much to tell. We have been slow and I mean really slow at the grill lately so the line has been a bit uneventful. Saturday (12/17/2011) was our busiest night to date and we did 37 covers… What do we do to kill the time? We take random fact quizzes from our chef and also come up with product challenges. It’s all really just little things to pass the time between orders. Since we are not to have our phones out on the line I don’t have very many pictures to show you all but I do have one of a duck amuse bouche that I did one night to use up the extra duck breast that i didn’t use for the one order I had that night…Nothing fancy just duck breast on toast with a maple cider reduction sauce and some parsley, but it was very tasty…
Now the bad-ish news… two things have happened since I started PM Line class, the first has to do with my internship. I had planned to go out on my second internship in Jan. like normal but because of so problems with finding a place to live out at the internship site I had to sadly decline the offer. Now this is only somewhat bad news as I am instead going to be moving right into my BA year starting in Jan. This means that I will be skipping my second internship and staying up in VT for another 6 months to complete my residency classes and then going out on my last internship in July. This isn’t bad news per say but it was not part of the plan. The second bit of bad news is that I burned myself while working on the line… I now present to you what I am jokingly calling my culinary wedding ring… That is right Chef Fan’s I have a second or 1.5 degree burn on my ring finger of my left hand. It hurt like a son of a b*&#h! Yes I know I need to be more careful but burns happen in this line of work and honestly I am a little bit proud of it.
Enough of the bad news and the burns lets take a look at things to come shall we? In the very near future I hope to be able to post some more pictures of working on PM Line, as one of the other people who works for NECI is also a photographer and he took some pictures of my class. I will also be going to a dinner held for Mod 4&6 students tonight (12/19/2011) because well that is what the school does. I will also keep everyone updated as to the goings on of school and the new classes I will be taking come Jan 3rd so be on the look out along the top of the page for new class info.
Until Next time Chef Fan’s keep the burn cream close at hand…