Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicken and Seafood Day

Chef Kupper is so incredibly long-winded. I know I've said this, but I want to reiterate it because today was a shining example of what I'm talking about. He literally says everything three times before moving on, and these aren't things we need to retain, just things like, "You don't want to do that, right? No, you dont. You don't want to do that? Do you want to do that? You don't, right?" I am not exaggerating, as much as it sounds like I am. Today he told us to de-vein our shrimp, and then proceeded to talk about why and tell a non-funny anecdote for 20 minutes, as if we were disagreeing with him about de-veining. He drives me insane! He talked for an hour and a half this morning about things that should have taken ten minutes to tell us. In a nice contrast, Chef Mary made us zucchini bread today.

It turns out we are switching teams tomorrow, which doesn't matter much since we're near the end of the class anyway.

We made four dishes today. I'll start with the chicken because it's boring (but delicious!).
Battered Chicken Fingers (4)
Tim and Ethan made these. It's just chicken breast strips in a batter of egg, milk, flour, baking powder, and spices, deep fried. I'd have liked a little more cayenne in it, but I figured we shouldn't mess with the seasoning too much for serving to the Chefs.
Pan Fried Chicken (3- not enough seasoning)
I didn't taste this one before service because Chef Kupper had me chopping 40 lbs of vegetables for a stock we're making*, so I had nothing to do with it being under-seasoned. I didn't even taste it after our judging, to tell you the truth.
Butter Poached Shrimp (4)
Let me tell you right now, Norma is a rock star. Yet another sauce that is breakable, and it turned out perfectly. I wasn't a huge fan of the dish, because I'm not a huge shrimp fan, but the amount of lemon we used made it pretty delicious.
Salmon en Papillote (4)
I was a rock star too today! "En Papillote" is a cooking method that involves cooking something inside foil or parchment paper so it cooks in its own steam. The seasoned salmon went on a bed of fine julienned onions, celery, and carrot, and was then topped with more of the three, then lemon slices, then white wine. We used parchment paper today and I made sure to seal it really well around the fish. It came out really well; salmon is far from my favorite fish, but it was delicious.

*Even though our team has four people on it, one team has five, and two teams have six, Chef Kupper told us that we were chopping the mirepoix for a veal stock we'll be making tomorrow. Since I was done and just waiting for my fish to cook for 20 minutes, it fell on me. Only one person needed to be on chicken at that point, but no one came to assist in chopping. I can see why; it was a pain. I got through ten pounds each of celery and carrots (which I also had to peel, grr). I was going to do the onions last, but it was time to clean the kitchen, so Chef thankfully told me to wrap the vegetables up and we'd finish them tomorrow. I still need 20 pounds of onion, but I think he'll either have the night class or the morning class do it (we're the middle class, and the best class). I came home super tired today.

Our chicken fingers were amazing (we ate them with Frank's Red Hot, of course, with butter), and the salmon with the onions was also really, really good. I'm proud of myself yet again today.


  1. Sorry you had to chop all those vegetables. I'm terrible at peeling and chopping veggies so I would have died. That food sounds delicious though!

  2. I am not a seafood fan, but the methods of preparation sound really good. I might have to try some of if substituted with chicken. And the chicken fingers sound nom. Sorry about all the chopping. I like chopping veggies, but to a point!