Days 6 and 7 – Sauces and More Sauces

9 Jul

Chef Tomm has been out for a few days, but we’ve been in awesome hands: Chef Pasqual from Brittany, France; Chef Jeremy, who loves chemistry and runs a great school; and Chef Bruno, also from France and an Alain Ducasse alum. I am even more impressed with the school. Here’s Chef Pasqual:

Chefs Jeremy and Pasqual walked us through some delicious sauces on Day 6 – sauce espagnole (made from veal stock and bacon – intense), a classic bechamel, chicken veloute, white wine sauce (made with our halibut stock from Day 5), and sauce chateaubriand aux champignons (wine and mushroom sauce). Although incredibly rich, the chateaubriand sauce was ridiculously tasty. This is it: A fun part of the sauce chateaubriand aux champignons was the flambe-ing with brandy. This is Anne’s flambe, but my flames were equally as big 😉

Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve ever done a flambe, or caught anything in the kitchen on fire, thankfully. Thanks to my awesome (and pretty talented-in-the kitchen) partner, Tom, yesterday for letting me do the flambe part! It was so easy I might just pick recipes this week that require flambe so I can try to impress my awesome husband.

Today’s lesson was about emulsions and emulsified sauces. Chef Jeremy started us off right talking about the chemistry behind emulsions and what makes them work. We made a classic mayo, beurre blanc, hollandaise, bearnaise, and sabayon. Chef Bruno demonstrated all, and in the pic, he’s carmelizing sugar on top of the sweet sabayone (also known as zabaglione in Italian).

Here is the sweet sabayon recipe (yield: 2 desserts): 1) Cut some berries or any summer fruit into uniform sizes, sprinkle with a little sugar and little champagne, white wine, or marsala (whatever is the alcohol you will use for the sabayon) in order to macerate the fruit, 2) Bring a small amount of water in a saucepan to a simmer (probably like 2-3 inches of water), 3) Whisk together 3 egg yolks (no whites), 3 Tbl. sugar, and 3 Tbl. champagne, white wine or marsala wine (depending upon what you like to taste; champagne is classic in French sabayons) in a small/medium aluminum blow just until mixed, 4) Place the aluminum bowl on top of the simmering water in the pan, so as to make a double-boiler. It’s very important in this step for the water not to touch the bottom of the aluminum bowl and for the water to be hot enough to emulsify the egg yolks with the liquid and sugar. 5) Continue to vigorously whisk the egg yolk/sugar/wine mixture until it doubles in volume, thickens, and achieves a creamy consistency like a thin custard. Think about the fact that you will pour this over fruit, so you want it to have some body but to not be super thick. 6) When it achieves the desired consistency, pour it over your fruit and either sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, or if using a blowtorch, top with regular sugar and torch the sugar until brown, as if it were a creme brulee top. E voila!

For those of you following the blog, here are my friend Shannon’s pics of her roasted beet and goat cheese timbale on the first and second day she made them after following my posted recipe. On Day 2, she said she coated the rest of the goat cheese with bread crumbs and fried the goat cheese before topping it with the remaining macedoined beets from the day before. Yummmmm! Thanks for playing, Shannon!

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