Monday, November 24, 2008

wedding cake shots and vichyssoise

My first trimester in culinary school is winding down quite quickly- my second trimester begins in January!

This past week was all about soups. Within my group of three, we were asked to make a split pea soup, beef and vegetable, New England clam chowder, vichyssoise (a cold, pureed soup of potato and leeks) and a peach yogurt soup (a cold, dessert soup).

I was determined to perfect the vichyssoise- a difficult task, at that. The difficulties of the soup are maintaining a white color, straining it thoroughly, seasoning properly, serving it cold and having a perfect marriage of the potato and leek flavors (the potatoes tend to overwhelm the delicate leeks).

So, of course I volunteered to make the vichyssoise with julienned, fried sweet potatoes and snipped chive. I was completely satisfied because it turned out really well. I also made the peach and yogurt soup with white wine and a roasted pistachio garnish with fanned peaches- great soup for a warm, Summer evening.

For the split pea soup, I made a garnish of croutons (leftover cornbread, cayenne, olive oil and salt) and crumbled bacon. For the beef and vegetable soup, I made a two-minute corn garnish with cream, butter, salt and pepper.

Two nights later I was having a Winslows craving. To start, we ordered the Lucas and Lewellen Pinot Noir (fragrant and light) and the vanilla-scented scallops with a mango cous cous and chipotle pineapple vinaigrette. The dish was fine, but the vanilla added an almost chemical aftertaste to the scallops.

Next course was soups- the spiced pumpkin with sage and the roasted yellow tomato with apple wood-smoked bacon, cream fraiche and a basil oil. Both were hot, smoky and delicious with the grilled ciabatta.
Finally, we split the roasted beef tenderloin pizza with caramelized onions, bleu cheese and tomato. The beef was cooked nicely and the homemade pizza dough was light. We skipped dessert and ordered a sweet Riesling to end.

Last weekend, we headed to Houston for my roommate's dad's wedding. On our road trip, we felt the need to do "road trip" type things like head to Dairy Queen for steak fingers and Oreo blizzard's in the middle of Buffalo, Texas. The picture to the right is the embarrassing memoir of our fast food feast between the two of us.

After the four hour drive, we arrived to the gorgeous house in Pearland and helped with all of the pre-reception details: lighting candles...ok, that was it. We beautified ourselves, opened a bottle of wine, lit the candles and bossed the caterers around. It was fun.

An hour later, the reception was in full swing and waiters in white passed around bacon-wrapped shrimp, meatballs, asparagus in phyllo and tenderloin croissant sandwiches with spicy mustard amongst others. We spent the rest of the evening taking wedding cake shots, blasting old school rap in the tent, taking over the bar and pretending like we were still in college.

The night ended with the new bride driving to Jack in the Box at midnight and spending $85 on chicken fingers and curly fries for all the high schoolers who drank too much- oh, how I love weddings.

1 comment:

Francis Shivone said...

Great article on cocktail bars in Wednesdays(?) NY Times. Thought you would like it.