Solid Skills – Term 3

Term 3 was so exciting and the practicals were sooo challenging and fun. And guess who our lecturer was? My first term lecturer Chef Sanjay. He is like a mentor so I was glad to have him on board of this term.

We were breaking down the commodities in these categories and getting a deeper knowledge of each. The first part of the term was concentrated on vegetables, farinaceous, egg and seafood.
The second part was about poultry, game, meat and offals.
We learned how to produce a balanced dish that contained the right amount of vegetables, protein and farinaceous. We were challenged to come up with our own recipes using the commodities we were learning.

We were working in teams and that’s when bonds, respect and admiration begin for one another.
It was amazing to see how each one of us has grown and matured. The beautiful dishes created and the way everyone was moving in the kitchen was a proof of how solid the knowledge that was being shared by the lecturer.

We were developing our skills and these skills can make you stand out when you are out there in the field. A lot of chefs tend to order parts of a chicken or meat or even a fillet of fish. One of the reasons being that there are less and less chefs with skills.
I have great admiration for chefs that buy a whole salmon use the fillet for main, use the offcuts for fish cakes, use the bones for stock and the skin (dried or fried) for garnish. Nothing is wasted!

Key points to remember were:

  • Taste Taste Taste Taste – train the taste buds
  • Being in control – you are in charge
  • Be a team player – a kitchen is a brigade of people working together
  • Challenge=Growth
  • Take very good care of your uniform. It is your pride and your protection in the kitchen!

Spicy Fried Okra with Yogurt sauce

Spicy Fried Okra with Yoghurt Sauce

I know that most of you probably think that poaching an egg is the most difficult thing to do. Trust me it is not!!! Try making a perfect omelette. I had to do it 3 or 4 times before nailing it. You need to control the heat while controlling your omelette. It should be soft and not dry and most important it shouldn’t have any colouring.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

 

Egg Benedict

Eggs Benedict (poached)

 

Fried Eggs

Fried Eggs

 

French Toast

French Toast

 

Egg Salad

Boiled Egg Salad

 

Egg en Cocotte

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Omlette

Omelette

 

Hello everybody, my name is Dalia, I am Italian and never ever made homemade pasta.

I loved every single bit of this lesson. And this dish is going to be the highlight of this term. I ill post the recipe in the post soon. The day we had this dish was the day we simulated an a la carte service.

Potatoes & Co.

Potato

Potato

 

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

 

Tortellini

Tortellini

 

Fettuccine alla Marinara

Seafood fettuccine

 

Fried Rice

Fried Rice

 

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

 

Paella

Paella

 

Fettuccine – my highlight of the term

Highlight

 

Seafood class came and we learned how to de-gut and fillet a flat/round fish. And made some amazing dishes.

Squid Ink Fettuccine with Cajun spiced prawn and Capsicum Coulis

Squid ink Fettuccine with Cajun Prawn

 

Stuffed Squid

Squid

 

Seafood Chowder

Seafood Chowder

 

Prawn Mousseline with Prawn Bisque

Prawn Mousseline

 

Pan fried Sardines

Sardines

 

Whitebait Fritters

Whitebait fritters

 

Demo

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Pan fried Salmon with Couscous and Beurre Blanc

Panfried Salmon

I enjoyed deboning chicken in various cuts. I have never ever done it before. Even though I am familiar with it thanks to the Ethiopian traditions. In Ethiopia the protein that was king during the festivities was chicken. And it was traditionally bought alive and the man of the house would have the honour of slaughtering it. I owe it to that tradition the fact that I always knew that my protein came from a slaughtered animal and never had a problem with it. That is the reality!

Chicken Ballotine

Chicken Ballotine

Living in Australia you get to have the amazing opportunity to cook with game meat that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. We had duck, quail, crocodile leg, kangaroo tail, venison liver etc.

Duck a L’Orange

Duck a l'Orange

 

Quail

Quail

 

Kangaroo

 

 

Kangaroo

Meat lesson came and we had the chance to debone and break down a whole leg of a lamb. Learned the various cuts, their characteristics and what method of cookery to use.

Chef had a beef front quarter (half) delivered so we could learn how to debone it and cook the various cuts. Such an enriching lesson. I am sure that might have been the first and last time we were going to do that. I don’t think chefs do that anymore. And I thrive for that kind of experience.

Lamb Navarin

Lamb Navarin

 

Beef Brisket Sliders

Beef Brisket Sliders

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I love offals. I think they are underestimated and yet they are so delicious. I am familiar with cooking and eating liver, kidney, tongue, brain and heart. But have never ever cooked or ate sweetbreads. They are glands found only in young animals. And it was so fascinating to learn the process to cook and taste them. Crunchy on the outside and nice creamy in the inside. Perfect!

Crumbed and fried Sweetbreads

Sweetbread

These were the dishes prepared with some amazing people (Bruno, Pinkie, Andrea, JT, Watoo and Yao Yao).

Seeing and tasting every dish prepared by the rest of my classmates made me realize of how far we have come from that first day we walked in that kitchen. It is amazing how we all accepted every challenge and produced great dishes.

Photo courtesy of ACAE

Term 3 class photo

 

Term 4 is here and is almost over…can’t wait to write about it, but you have to wait till it ends (just before Christmas).

Cheers!

 

 

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