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Menu Planning…

Planning a menu and creating a meal! With my time in the cafeteria coming to an end, I wanted to share a bit more about what the class entails. As I have said before I like to think of this class as cooking theory 2.0, but it is a lot more than just reinforcing the basics of what we learned in cooking theory as I have come to learn. A big part of the class has been to teach us a sense of kitchen urgency, awareness, and a large amount of time management and prioritization of tasks.  The final or practical for the class was that we would have to plan a regional recipe for the southwest. While this sounds simple it’s a bit more complicated than one would first think. First we had to find a recipe for the station that we would be working the day of our menu, and then we would have to convert the recipe we found to be able to make a larger yield.  As it was a planning process we had a day or two to discuss the recipe items and come up with a finalized menu.

I was in the bake shop part of the kitchen today so I could make a dessert or a bread item for our menu, and I choose to make chocolate rolls, a southwest peach mango cobbler, and a pineapple jalapeño sorbet.  Being completely honest with myself, the chocolate rolls did not turn out how I had hoped they would. They where over mixed which made them very dense but had a nice chocolate flavor. If I was to make them over again I would try kneading them by hand instead of using the mixer to hopefully prevent this from happing. The cobbler however turned out golden brown and delicious. Just looking at the cobbler was enough for people’s eyes to brighten and their mouths to water. Last but most assuredly not least was my pet project, the sorbet. I call this my pet project because I didn’t have to make this but I wanted to as it sounded very good and I thought would be a nice accent to the cobbler. I pineapple gave the sorbet a sweet, and a little bit of tartness in taste. While the jalapeno provided just enough heat to warm up your insides but not to be overpowering in spiciness, it was also a contrasting of flavors as and a bit of a surprise to most people. You wouldn’t expect a cold sorbet to warm you up, but that little bit of jalapeno does just that.

All things considered I would like to think that our menu went over very successfully. We had to rush a little bit in the end to get everything done before the doors opened but because we worked together we actually managed to get everything 10 minutes ahead of time. From the comments of our diners in the cafeteria and that we had quite a few people go back for seconds I would like to think that we did a great job.

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