Welcome to adobo-down-under!

Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A chef is only good as his or her stock/s

 Lesson 1 - Soups, stocks and sauces @ Kitchen 10
 Today was all about stocks, stocks, stocks!  The kind that you can actually have more uses than 
the rise and fall of the shares in the mining industry.

And we're not talking about the ASX here.  That’s what our substitute teacher/chef said.  Chef S is taking over Kitchen 10 for 5 weeks as Chef D is recuperating from an operation.  We were not privy to the details so I don’t know why she’s in hospital and for what.   I just wish her well.

Lesson 1 - Veal beef stock @ Kitchen 10

For today, it was all about stocks.  I find Chef S a better teacher in terms of classroom/kitchen interaction.  Besides just demonstrating the tasks, he goes around making sure we’re doing things right, tasting left and right, and cracks a joke or two.  He’s a bit animated.  Funny too.  He’s got stories behind the dishes and parts of it (in this case stocks – fish, chicken and beef/veal).  He’s also tasted our dishes (Beurre Blanc Snapper Fillet) and was critical, which is what we all need, as cookery students.  After all, perfection is always tantamount in a commercial kitchen.  How else will a customer feel if its less than perfect?

Lesson 1 - Chicken stock @ Kitchen 10

For all the stocks we made, we kept the chicken and veal stocks in the freezer/cool room and used the fish stock for the buerre blanc.  When I was making the fish stock, I didn’t follow his ratio of liquid to fish bones and managed to produce a tasteless stock, so I tried to cover up my beurre blanc with butter and lemon, and he saw right through me.  My sauce was too lemony.  Serves me right.  Its all about stocks, ratio and measurements.

Lesson 1 - Snapper Fillet with Beurre Blanc sauce @ Kitchen 10

Lesson 1 - Fish stock @ Kitchen 10

Here’s a few tips:  Use cold water start when making stock and always always use fresh quality meat.  Veal/beef stock to be perfect must be simmering for at least 8 hours.  Now that's a real indication of patience and effort.  A chef can only be as good as his stocks.  Now I'm wondering who among all those celebrity chefs and restaurants actually make their own stocks?  Maybe patisserie is the better route?

Can’t wait to use those stocks for next lessons sauces, jus and  every thing else that the simple stock can make.

Here is a recipe for the Beurre Blanc Sauce, which was taken from the textbook  - Stocks, Sauces and Soups Series 3.  This recipe serves 8, although we only prepared 2 serves each in Kitchen 10 and utilised the fish stock we prepared for the night.

300 ml fish stock
150 ml dry white wine
50 ml vinegar
300 ml double cream
50 g butter
fresh herbs (finely diced parsley)
1/2 lemon juice

1. Reduce the fish stock by half and add 100 ml dry white wine, the vinegar and reduce again by one third, add the cream.

2. Cook to sauce consistency then add the butter through to thicken the sauce.

Note: The fresh herbs should be added at the last moment to retain the colour and a fresh taste.


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