Yes Chef

October 15, 2012

Well it is my 4th week in at Culinary school and I gotta say I love it.

We have been working on more cuts; small, medium, and large dice. Batonnet, Julienne, Brunoise and other. So I am defiantly the geek in the class with the ruler measuring each cut! My group makes fun of me. But I do not care, I love it.

We also have been working on something called a Bouquet Garni. It is basically a bundle of herbs and vegetables usually tied together with string and mainly used to prepare soups and stocks. The bouquet is cooked with the other ingredients, but is removed prior to eating.  Here is what it looks like:

That day we made vegetable stock and then the next day we made a minestrone, not how I would make it, but I kept my mouth shut. 🙂

The following week we started to work with other foods, potatoes, apples, root vegetables  beans and other. I made the chef mashed potatoes, he like them and did not criticize it. I took that as a compliment. One girl in my class made something and he did not like how it was plated and refused to eat it. I felt bad for her.  I had time that day to make something else, so I also made him Apple fritters. I have never made them before, but I grew up on corn fritters. I made a ton of them for the class, and they were all gone before we left..I guess they were good.

Here they are:

Throughout the year there are competitions inside the school and regionally. The other day the head chef came in and asked our chef who has the best knife skills in our class. My friend in the class told me that he pointed to me. The head chef came over to me and looked at my knife skills and also went through all my cuts and told me one out of the 20 were good! It humbled me right away. He told me to come later to his office. So I did and he told me that he would like me to try out for the regional competitions that major schools compete in, including CIA and Johnson and Whales. I was honored because usually they do not allow people in my class to apply because they are not skilled enough. So that night I went home and wrote the essay to see if I could get in. Two days later I got this!

It says if you can’t read it, that I made it through the first round and they want me to compete this Friday among other students in a mystery basket cook off! If you have seen chopped, that is basically it. I am so excited and soooo nervous! But hey what do I have to lose? If I do not make it I will learn and gain experience in it for next time. I will let you know how it goes!

I also applies to another competition they have once a month. They give you three ingredients and you have to come up with a recipe from those ingredients. This months challenge was Goat Cheese, Apples and Bacon. So I thought long and hard on those ingredients, tried coming up with cupcakes or something weird. But I finally came up with a pork tenderloin stuffed with Goat cheese and bacon with a side of apple Chutney. I also made my mashed potatoes to go along with it. I thought it came out delicious. So I entered that recipe as well.

My son helped me make the pork. Here we are tenderizing(or hammering as my son would say) the meat.

Here is the pork tenderloin. I also included the recipe for you down below. (the picture looks like the pork is not cooked, trust me it was at the correct temperature! Not sure why the picture looks like that.)

Goat Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Apple Chutney and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

 

Pork

  • 1.5 lb Pork Tenderloin
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 5 oz goat cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 TBS Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Apple Chutney

  • 1 Apple(empire)
  • ¾ chopped red onion
  • 1 TBS Salted butter
  • 1 Lemon(enough juice for 1 TBS Lemon juice)
  • 1.5 TBS Red wine Vinegar
  • 1 TBS Honey

Method:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

Cook the bacon, until crisp. Set Aside.

Mince up your parsley. Set aside.

Now that the bacon is cool, give it a rough chop with your knife. Then take your goat cheese, bacon and parsley and mix all together in bowl, set aside while you prep your tenderloin.

Take the pork tenderloin and butterfly it long ways. Open it up. Put saran wrap over it and pound it out well. Salt and pepper it. Add your goat cheese mixture to the tenderloin.  Now wrap the twine around the tenderloin to keep it shut. Coat the tenderloin with olive oil, and then salt and pepper again.

In the same pan you made the bacon in sear the tenderloin on all sides. Once that is done place in pan and put in oven at 450 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until it comes out cooked at 165 degrees F.

Now chop your onion. In same pan from before, add butter. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. While cooking chop up your apples, add apple after the 5 minutes and cook that for another 5 minutes, or until the onion and apple are soft.  Turn heat up on high, and then add the lemon juice and the red wine vinegar. Then add the honey.  Stir on high for 5 minutes.  Once brown and looking good, turn on low till ready to serve.

When the tenderloin is done; take it out and let it sit for a few minutes. Then serve in medallions over the mashed potatoes and then top it off with the Apple Chutney.

Next week is my last week in this class. Then I will be taking a final exam and final practical for this specific class. The exam will be mostly on history of culinary arts, sanitation and safety practices in the kitchen. The practical will be mostly on cuts and precision in the areas we learned in the kitchen.
I am looking forward to the next class, I believe it is fish and poultry and how to fabricate and fillet. That will be for another 5 weeks.

So far so good. I am enjoying this journey and taking in every bit. I am trying not to worry about the money I have spent(more liked borrowed) to do this. You only live once and I am done waiting.

Hope you try the recipe! Till next time..

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2 Responses to “Yes Chef”

  1. Jenna :) said

    Awesome! Congrats on the competition! That is amazing…

  2. Sara said

    You literaly are my hero. I love this I am happy and proud you are in culinary school! I love you sister!

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