Monday, October 26, 2009

Beef Dip

Beef Dip
Here is one of our family favorite meals both because it's tasty and easy to prepare. The secret ingredient is a package of onion soup mix! Shh...don't tell the chefs at Le Cordon Bleu! They would want you to make French Onion Soup from scratch and dehydrate it yourself!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Week 5 at Le Cordon Bleu (Basic Cuisine)

Time is flying by so fast here at Le Cordon Bleu. Week 5 seems long ago and was all about soups and compound butters. Well, "soup" is not the right term; "potage" is more accurate. Soup, a type of potage, is derived from the word souper, which means to absorb. To be called a soup, it must contain bread (such as French Onion Soup or Fish Soup). A potage is either thickened (called a lié) or unthickened (clair), such as consommé.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Orange Pumpkin Loaf

Orange Pumpkin LoafThis is a recipe from the production kitchen (the kitchen that handles staff meals and prepares ingredients for all the demos and practicals) at Le Cordon Bleu. I was there to practice filleting a Dover Sole and turning mushrooms, and Chef shared a pumpkin loaf with me. It was so delicious, I asked for the recipe. It uses a whole orange, making it extra flavorful and perfect for this Fall season. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Week 4 at Le Cordon Bleu (Basic Cuisine)

Taste, turning, trussing, and tears.

Last week, we had a seminar on taste! Spending a morning talking about taste was pretty cool! In many little white tubs, lined up in rows, were a variety of different colored liquids. In groups, we were given a container and asked to think of a memory that went along with it. Unfortunately, many of the tubs contained slightly stale versions of the originals and too often Grandma's lace or even, in some cases, urinal pucks came to mind! Here's what we had to guess: white balsamic vinegar, lavender, truffle, shrimp paste, bergamot, lime, hazelnuts, sesame oil, anise-flavored alcohol, hoisin sauce, cognac, soya sauce, fish sauce, vanilla, port, rum calvados, pear alcohol, tobasco, chili paste. I found it challenging to deconstruct the aromas, but it was fun.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Whisk Wednesdays—Beignets aux Pommes, Sauce Abricot (Apple Fritters with Apricot Sauce)

Beignets aux Pommes, Sauce Abricot (Apple Fritters with Apricot Sauce)This recipe completes my goal of working through the Basic Cuisine curriculum on my own, in my own kitchen. I started my blog as a way of documenting my progress working through this Le Cordon Bleu curriculum, not knowing that I'd actually be attending 20 months later!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fresh Pasta

Fresh PastaOne of my favorite kitchen gadgets is my KitchenAid stand mixer. I’ve thrown some tough doughs its way and it has yet to fail me. Recently, I was pleased to receive the pasta attachment as a gift. The KitchenAid Companions Gourmet Pasta Kit came with the following items:

• a metal pasta roller
• a metal fettuccine cutter
• a pasta server and slotted spoon
• two boxes of Ecco La Pasta flour (egg and spinach)
• a cleaning brush

The timing of this gift was fantastic, since we had just covered fresh pasta dough in Lesson 6 at Le Cordon Bleu and practicing making pasta at home was the perfect way to test out this attachment.