The class reconvened with four students to present a buffet for the parent-teacher conferences. When I arrived, I took the chicken stock out and scooped off the hard layer of fat to find chicken jello -- just what you want. This is some triple-strength stuff, and will go a long way when we cook grains next week. I rendered the fat in a saute pan and put it away.
The mac n' cheese just got warmed in the oven and presented in the hotel pans, no fuss no muss. The brownies were a little over-cooked, so I had them trimmed of their edges -- voila, every piece is a center piece. Put on a shiny silver plastic tray and sprinkled with powdered sugar, it looked just as good as any fancy catering outfit. Salads were put out from yesterday, but yesterday's vinaigrette was rushed and not very good, so I had the students do it again.
SIMPLE RED WINE VINAIGRETTE
Yield: 2 cups
Red wine vinegar 4 oz1. Combine vinegar and mustard in an anchored bowl.
Dijon mustard 1 tsp
Olive oil 12 oz
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Sugar to taste
2. Whisk in oil gradually.
3. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
This time, I had them season it correctly -- meaning, a lot more than just a pinch. We tasted and tasted, and eventually the right sugar and salt balance made the flavor explode. At first it just tasted like oil, then suddenly....vinaigrette.
We received two 3-foot hero rolls; a lot of prep went into breaking down all the vegetables to go into the sandwiches -- tomatoes, onions, iceberg lettuce, etc. We took romaine leaves and made a bed for the sandwiches and, when one student suggested hard boiled eggs as a garnish, we knocked those out, too. We made mayo again -- always good practice.
Yield: 2 ½ cups mayonnaise
Egg 1 each1. Place egg, egg yolk, salt, and pepper in an anchored mixing bowl. Whisk until blended
Egg yolk 1 each
Salt ½ tsp
Ground pepper ¼ tsp
Olive oil ½ cup
Vegetable oil 1 ½ cups
Lemon juice 2 to 3 tsp
Chopped fresh herbs ¼ cup
(Parsley, chives, dill, etc.)
2. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the oils, gradually increasing the amount added as the sauce thickens
3. As soon as the sauce is very thick, thin with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, followed by the remaining oil.
4. Add herbs, whisk to combine.
5. Taste. Add more lemon juice, if necessary. Season to taste.
It was fun talking about sandwich theory, it's something you kind of forget after c-school. Rather than get anal and give a sandwich recipe, we talked more of method...
Four elements: bread, filling, spread, garnish
- Bread: Open or closed. The base is the only element compulsory.
- Spread: fat-based spreads applied directly to the bread provides barrier to keep bread from getting soggy
- Filling: Focus of sandwich – hot or cold, substantial or minimal. Determines other elements of sandwich.
- Garnish: Should compliment or contrast the filling. Either on sandwich or as a side garnish.
We did the sandwiches last; we were done with half of them when the crowds started to file in. The supervisor had to run out and get more bread (the sandwiches were very popular!), and we had enough fillings to keep going. It was nice to see the kids under a bit of production pressure, and pull through.
Next week, some rice dish, another grain, and using that jellied stock...yum.