Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Becoming a chef - week 8...

Week 8 finished... I can't even noticed, but we've cooked/made soooo much it's almost unbelievable! I was editing the photos and there were so many of them! So many new skills learned, new things tasted for the very first time :) I'm really enjoying my time at the JustCooking that I don't want it to end, but... the end is near...

Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington

So the Beef Wellington. Yes, we made it and let me tell you - BEAUTIFUL! There's a bit of work involved - making mushroom duxelle, pancakes, first searing the beef properly, whole assembly (and we used crepenet to keep it all in place), then rolling it all into pastry. We've all decorated it on the top with leaves etc. but my "sparing partner" (my school partner Seamous), well seeing as he has an artistic background I've asked him to get creative - so he did ;) Toro it was! The Beef Wellington itself - amazing! I could live on it, literally. First time making it, I even think first time eating the "real deal", so have good few years to do of catching up with this dish!

Potato, horseradish and sage gnocchi

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Brioche....

Soft, yet a little crumbly, not too sweet - just a hint of sweetness - rich, buttery, but still amazingly light bread. That's exactly how I would describe a brioche. It's perfect with a spoon of jam or as an accompaniment to a pork terrine. There's not a lot of bread type bakes that will be so versatile. You can toast it, you can make French toasts with it, bread & butter pudding, you can soak it in milk, or you can spread some pate on it. Whatever you'll decide to do with your brioche, just make sure that you'll try to bake your own. I know it's a tricky dough, as it's quite lose and sticky, but it's really miles apart from the store bought version.

I wouldn't really recommend making it, if you don't own the mixer to do all the kneading (basically all the hard work) for you. You still can do it without that handy kitchen gadget, but you'll curse quite vividly during the process... ;)

brioche

This is Gordon Ramsay's recipe. I know, that people either love him or hate him but... whatever you'll say/think about the guy, you can't take away from him the fact, that he IS a brilliant Chef. So, don't be put off by the fact that it's his recipe and do make it!


How to make it...

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Becoming a chef - week 7...

The time flies when you're enjoying what you're doing, and I do enjoy chef's training program at the JustCooking, so much so that... I will actually miss it once it will finish in few weeks time. We really do get along well, all six students and our brilliant tutor/mentor chef Mark Doe. Besides cooking some stunning and delicious dishes, we also have a great time together. All different ages, all with different backgrounds, at different stages in our lives, but... all with one common passion - food!

Sea bass with barley risotto, beetroot dressing and crispy cauliflower

Week 7 was mainly concentrated on vegetarian cooking, and proving that there's more to vegetarian dishes than mushrooms ;) I do like meat free meals and more often than not - I enjoy making and eating them. But, saying all that, I could never be a vegetarian. Don't understand me wrong now, I'm all for proper treating of all animals - big and small - I'm strongly against mass produced meat, farms where animals are stuck in cages and can't even turn around. I'm also against over fishing our seas and rivers, and many other issues that are really wrong in our times, when it comes to food and its production. But, I do think that if we keep everything in balance (farming, keeping animals, fishing - food production in general), we still can enjoy eating meat and fish, but I don't believe it should be on a daily basis, for our own health if nothing else!

Sweet potato and brie strudel.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Becoming a chef - week 6...

Week 6 of chef's training at JustCooking started with some theory in the morning (allergens, manu planning and menu costing, preventing food waste in the kitchen...) and then we all headed to IT Tralee Coulinary Department.


The visit started with a lunch in HCT Training Kitchen - where all the meals are planned and prepared by the students (this time it was the 1st year students that cooked). The menu wasn't complicated, two choices for starters and desserts and three for main (one meat, one fish dish and a vegetarian option as well).