BEEF...IT'S WHATS FOR DINNER! OH YEAH, AND PORK TOO!

READY TO RECAP ANOTHER WEEK DOWN AT THE INTERNATIONAL CULINARY CENTER?  BECAUSE WE SURE ARE!  IT WAS EXTRA HOT IN CLASS THIS WEEK, GRILLS WERE ON FULL BLAST, PANS WERE SEARING OFF PORK, SAUCES WERE BEING MADE....SOME OF THE MOST FUN WE HAVE HAD THIS LEVEL FOR SURE!

STEAK AND FRITES!!!! THE CLASSIC COMBO THAT WE AMPED UP A LITTLE WITH A COMPOUND BUTTER AND GARLIC-HERB FRIES.  WE HAD THE GRILL RIPPING HOT WHEN WE MADE THIS DELICIOUS STEAK TO GET A NICE "QUADRILLAGE", THE CRISS-CROSS GRILL MARKS.  BUT WE FINISHED IT IN THE OVEN TO AVOID BURNING THE OUTSIDE BEFORE THE INTERIOR COOKS.  

THE COMPOUND BUTTER MAY SOUND AND LOOK DIFFICULT BUT IT IS A SIMPLE WAY TO ADD A NICE TOUCH TO THE DISH.  YOU CAN USE PRACTICALLY ANYTHING TO MAKE THIS, USE YOUR IMAGINATION.  MAYBE SOME DILL AND LEMON ZEST TO PUT ON TOP OF A PIECE OF SALMON? OR HOW ABOUT A BASIL, CHOPPED PINE NUT, PARMESAN BUTTER TO PUT ON TOP OF SOME STEAMED VEGGIES?

 HERE IS THE RECIPE FOR THIS VERSION CALLED BEURRE D'ECHALOTE (SHALLOT BUTTER):

INGREDIENTS:
3 TBSP. BUTTER, room temperature
1 TSP. SHALLOT, finely diced
1 TSP. GARLIC CLOVE, finely diced
1 TSP. LEMON JUICE
SMALL HANDFUL OF PARSLEY, finely diced
SALT/PEPPER, to taste

PROCEDURE:
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except for salt and pepper.  Taste and season as needed.  
On a small piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, place combined butter in the center and roll into a log shape.  Place in the freezer to firm up, it can also be stored here for future use.
 

FILET MIGNON....OH HOW I HATE YOU. OR DO I?  I AM GUILTY OF COMING TO THE QUICK CONCLUSION THAT I DO NOT LIKE THIS SUPER LEAN, YET TENDER CUT OF BEEF.  BUT I WAS WRONG, BECAUSE WITH A DELICIOUS BORDELAISE SAUCE IT WAS AMAZING!  AND THAT IS NOT A SCALLOP ON TOP, THAT IS WHAT I LIKE TO CALL A "BEEF SCALLOP" A.K.A QUICK POACHED SLICE OF BONE MARROW.  IT MAY SOUND WEIRD BUT BONE MARROW IS DELICIOUS, AND IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE POPULAR.  WHEN ROASTED IT TURNS INTO BEEF "BUTTER", ON A PIECE OF TOAST IT IS SUBLIME.

 BEING SUCH A RICH DISH, THE WATERCRESS HELPS REFRESH THE PALATE 

BEING SUCH A RICH DISH, THE WATERCRESS HELPS REFRESH THE PALATE 

PORK, THE OTHER WHITE MEAT...HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU HEARD THAT?  FUNNY THING IS, ACCORDING TO THE USDA, ALL LIVESTOCK IS CONSIDERED "RED MEAT".  PORK HAS LESS MYOGLOBIN, WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CARRYING OXYGEN TO BLOOD CELLS AND CONTRIBUTES TO THE COLOR OF MEAT, THEREFOR MAKING IT MUCH PALER THAN SAY BEEF.

THIS FRENCH DISH IS DEFINITELY ASIAN INFLUENCED...GINGER MARINATED PORK FILLET WITH SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE.  WE USED NUOC NAM (FISH SAUCE MADE WITH FERMENTED FISH) IN THE MARINADE, WHICH MAY SOUND ODD BEING THAT IT IS PORK BUT IT WORKS.  WHEN USING FISH SAUCE IT IS IMPORTANT TO PRACTICE RESTRAINT BECAUSE A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY.  THERE IS NO FISHY TASTE IN THE DISH IF USED CORRECTLY, JUST A HINT OF GOOD "FUNK".  THROW SOME SPICY JALAPENO, FRESH GINGER AND GARLIC AND YOU'VE GOT A TASY MARINADE!

THE SAUCE USED A GASTRIQUE TO ADD THE SWEET AND SOUR COMPONENT.  WHAT IS A GASTRIQUE YOU ASK?  SIMPLY, IN THIS RECIPE, A MIXTURE OF EQUAL PARTS HONEY AND CIDER VINEGAR.  WHILE CLASSIC GASTRIQUES INVOLVE CARAMELIZING SUGAR FIRST AND THEN DEGLAZING WITH VINEGAR, WITH THIS ONE WE SIMPLY ADDED THE HONEY AND VINEGAR TO THE PAN TOGETHER AND BROUGHT IT TO A SIMMER.  THEN REDUCE IT TO A NICE SYRUPY CONSISTENCY, BEING CAREFUL NOT TO BURN IT.  BOOM!!! YOU'VE GOT YOURSELF A GASTRIQUE!

 GARNISHED WITH CANDIED JULIENNE OF GINGER AND LIME FOR A HINT OF SWEETNESS AND ACIDITY

GARNISHED WITH CANDIED JULIENNE OF GINGER AND LIME FOR A HINT OF SWEETNESS AND ACIDITY

ONE THING IS FOR CERTAIN....MY RULE OF NO BREAD DURING THE WEEK HAS GONE OUT THE WINDOW!  IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR SAY A LOAF OF HOMEMADE FOCACCIA TO SHOW UP IN THE CLASSROOM, AND YOUR NOT GOING TO NOT EAT IT!!

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AND JUST LIKE IN A RESTAURANT, WE HAVE FAMILY MEAL.  WHEN ALL THE COOKS WOULD GET TOGETHER BEFORE SERVICE TO EAT, WE DO THE SAME EXCEPT OURS INCLUDES CHEF INSTRUCTORS, STUDENTS, MAINTENANCE STAFF AND ANYONE ELSE IN THE BUILDING.  THE MEAL IS COOKED BY LEVEL 3 STUDENTS, AND THIS WEEK DID NOT DISAPPOINT! 

FRIED CHICKEN WITH A SPICY MAPLE SAUCE, SLAW, MAC N' CHEESE, HOMEMADE GOCHUJANG PORK SAUSAGE WITH CORIANDER AIOLI, A CUP OF SHAVED FOIE GRAS, SUNFLOWER, GRANNY SMITH APPLE AND FENNEL VINEGAR, HOMEMADE VENISON JERKY AND TO ROUND IT ALL OUT.....A BROWNIE BREAD PUDDING!!!!!

LAST WEEK YOU MAY REMEMBER THE HOMEMADE CHILEAN COOKIES ALFAJORES THAT A FELLOW STUDENT BROUGHT IN FOR US.  WELL THIS WEEK ANOTHER STUDENT, UPON MY REQUEST, BROUGHT IN SOME HOMEMADE KIMCHI FOR ME!!!  THANKS JUNG!

STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEKS' RECAP....WE HAVE OUR LEVEL 1 FINAL EXAM AND PRACTICAL!!! FINGERS CROSSED!!!
Posted on May 15, 2016 .