Friday, October 4, 2013

Quick Update

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I've posted anything. I'm sorry for not staying up to date, it's just that there's a lot of things juggling in my mind and events I have to attend. As of now I found the time to write a quick post.

The big news: I've offically graduated from Culinary School (International Culinary Center in New York City). I'm currently waiting for a job position I really want in a new restaurant that will open in the near future. In the meantime, I've been to keeping myself busy and also "training" myself to stay mentally fast similar to the speed when I was in Culinary School.

I've made a couple of things. Some that I'm very proud of, and others that I didn't take a photo of because of the results.

Here comes the pictures:
Both of these pictures were the birthday dinner party I catered for my high school friend. 
The menu consisted:
Nicoise-style Salad
Homemade Pasta in a Parmesan Broth with Peas and Enoki Mushrooms
French Onion Soup with Toasted Sourdough Bread and Melt Gruyere Cheese
Quiche Lorraine (Egg Custard Tart with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese)
Roasted Chicken Thighs Grandmother-style
Classic Beef Stew
Green Tea Cream Puffs with Green Tea Pastry Cream
Classic Napoleon layered with Pastry Cream and studded with Raspberries and Blueberries

My attempt on making Baked Red Bean Buns. The Red Bean Paste could use more moisture.

This was featured on my instagram (@boredbasterd) 
I made a Napoleon with Chocolate Mousse dusted with powdered sugar.
Not the best looking dessert but it tasted pretty good.

This was my proud attempt on making Fresh Homemade Super Soft White Toast Bread
It tasted lovely! Oh carbs HOW I ADORE YOU! 

That's all that I have for now. I will make sure I will keep everyone updated in my future in the culinary world! I'm loving this industry, maybe the wrong side of it. Should I go to pastry side? 

Please Subscribe to get the latest update and leave comment for me if you'd like! Hope you enjoy the lovely pictures and you can follow me on Instagram if you'd like to see all my photos. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Food and Dining Review: Jane Restaurant NYC

Jane Restaurant in New York City

One of the very very popular brunch spots. So popular that when we had a reservation for 2 at 1 PM, the lady said they are running behind. To top it off, we arrived 20 minutes later than our scheduled reservation. So right off the bat, not to fond of it and then the waiting games begin. My friend and I waited outside the door for about 20-25 minutes I believe until another lady guided us to our table.

Walking into the back of the restaurant and it felt like the space is quite small for a brunch hotspot, but it still felt cozy. Falling comfortable into our seats, we scanned the menu quickly and saw what we liked. Being myself, I looked up the menu online and decided a couple of dishes (betting that my friend will pick the same dish I want). So we order the Benedict Jane and Benedict Johnny (turns out we wanted the same dish, then we laughed).

They look like this:
Benedict Jane

Benedict Johnny

We shared the dishes by exchanging 1 Benedict. I'd have to say both were not what I was expecting. I thought both dishes will have an explosion of flavors, but turns out I detected faint acidity from the hollandaise and the richness from the egg yolks.

Benedict Jane has 2 Poached eggs on a bed of Spinach under a Crab and Crawfish Cake, with a Tarragon Hollandaise. (From Jane Restaurant Menu)
I cut into it the yolk was oozing everywhere, which looked so good! After a few seconds of fumbling to get every element on my fork, I took a bite and the flavors were 1 dimensional. The crab cake wasn't seasoned that well; all I tasted was lemon, pepper, and a hint of crab. The texture was actually very soft, but I wanted the crab cake to be crispy and provide the texture dimension that was needed in this dish. The hollandaise was good and buttery with a good acidity; somewhat difficult to tell that it was tarragon hollandaise unfortunately. After taking a few bites, I realized that the only flavor that really stood out when eating each element is the very bland spinach that needed a lot of salt.

Note: Not too happy about the dish overall,

Benedict Johnny has 2 Poached Eggs on a Chicken Sausage under a corn pancake with a roasted tomato hollandaise. (From Jane Restaurant Menu)
This also had the sexy waterfall of oozing egg yolk. The main flavor was coming from the Sausage, which was wonderfully seasoned. The pancake was oddly sweet and dissolved when it touched the egg yolk puddle, so there wasn't a solid foundation for the sausage to sit on. The hollandaise was done well; I tasted a faint tomato flavor and it tied to the Benedict together.

Both of the Benedict dishes came with HOME FRIES!

If you haven't noticed the word home fries, above, is in caps; that would mean that they were GOOD!!! I said to my friend that if I had a plate of these Home Fries, I'd be happy! These were seasoned nicely (needed a touch more pepper for my taste) and crispy all around! I wanted to order another plate, but I knew we weren't going to be able to finish it. So I ended my meal by eating ALL the home fries and cleaning the plate of any leftover egg yolk puddles.

At the end, when we finished our plates, I mentioned about a drink at Jane that had positive reviews. Its called Cucumber Ginger Ale. We order this drink to share and it was SO REFRESHING! With bits of cucumber floating around the drink submerged in ginger ale that was lightly sweetened was a matched made in heaven, especially when it was summer months. I would order this again if I go back again.

So overall my experience was enjoyable, I was satisfied with my food (thank god the home fries were there), and the drink was Excellent! I'd recommend the restaurant itself, not so sure about the Benedict. You can try to see if you agree with what I say here. Please let me know what you think about Jane restaurant in NYC!

Side note: I know I haven't posted any pictures for a while now, and I plan to once I find the time. I'm currently in my last month of my culinary program and believe to be doing fine. Hope to post the pictures from a month ago, I was proud of what I've produced and I hope you will too.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Culinary photos #8

It's been a while since I've posted anything so I thought I'd take the time to write about what had happened during the last two weeks. I want to also mention the transition to the following level, which put a stop to my photography obsession. 

First off, starting the week off great, we had Wine day. Wine day is one entire school day where we learn about the basic types of wines from different types of grapes. We've also learned how to do basic wine pairings with specific dishes. So to not get myself drunk, we had to sign a form mentioning that we can only sip and spit the wine (so no drinking of any glass of wine).

The types of wine:
White: Riesling, Sauvginon Blanc, Chardonnay
Red: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabarnet Sauvginon, Syrah

Stack of paper for Wine Day

White Wines with lovely components like Sriracha, Smoked Almonds,
Salami, Salt, Butter, Lemon, Currant Jelly, and Chocolate Coveuture.

Red Wines

A few days later, I took the opportunity to volunteer for a company called Blue Ribbon Restaurants at Googa Mooga (A Food and Music Festival at Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY). They are known for their Fried Chicken and also feeding chef's stomach late at night after their shift has ended. I'd love to visit all the restaurants and market to see what they produce on daily basis. During the volunteer experience, I've met the most respectful and "fun" chefs. They showed the thought process of setting up a outdoor booth with success while learning how to adapt with mother nature when she strikes. If it's possible, I'd work with them any time because the chefs always find the time to teach you something even when it's the lunch time rush.

During this experience, 2 other volunteers and myself were in charge of breading the chicken to be fried. I will not share the drafted recipe that the chefs told us (because I know there's something missing in the recipe). I might try to recreate it at home during my spare time, but the photo below will show the actual plate each customers gets when they pay for a Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken at the Googa Mooga. 

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken dusted with secret spices (which I can't determine) and drizzled with Honey. 

Once we've finished volunteering, we had the opportunity to walk around the festival and try different food from other booths, so I walked up to this booth and ate this. (I'm sorry I don't remember the name of the booth)

Fried Soft Shelled Crab Sandwich with Lettuce and Mayo. The flavors were nice, but they were too salty for my taste.

 Now I have to mention this, I've advanced to the next level in my Culinary Program. On this level, I'm making a set of menu with my team 4 times a week and everything has to do with timing, so due to constant rush to finish on time, I don't have enough time to take photos of what my team has made. Some days, it can get really stressful, but I've manage to get through the day with "happy" smiles and stomachs.

Apple Tart garnished with Quenelle-Whipped Cream and Mint Leaf

Thank you everyone for reading and enjoying the photos. I've promised a recipe using a certain fish, but I haven't had the chance to complete it. I'll try to do it, but there will be changes from the original recipe I've presented to my chef instructor. Stay tune for more upcoming recipes and restaurant food blog post!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Sweet Treats!

Today is Mother's Day! It's time to celebrate all mothers in the world, for all that they have done all year long! Though we should celebrate everyday because mothers are hardworking everyday.

Now that I've been in culinary school, the most memorable course is Dessert, so I decided to make a luxurious Vanilla Bean Custard (or Creme Brulee without the Brulee). Nonetheless, it was very delicious and silky!

One day, I decided to head to Chelsea Market in New York City (near 8th Ave and 14th Street). I wandered the halls of the market and saw "Spices and Tease". They had array of spices and teas in shallow bowls all laid out; I was definitely in heaven. All the different smells and aromas igniting my creativity, but I was searching for something I could do for my mother. Then I see a small bottle of plump and moist Madagascar Vanilla Beans and that's when I knew I wanted to make Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta first. Unfortunately when I checked my baking supplies at home, I didn't have any gelatin, so I decided to make Vanilla Bean Custard (using eggs to bind instead of gelatin).

First the photos with the description and then I will provide the recipe down below.

6 Vanilla Bean Custard (had a bit of foam but it didn't change the flavor)

I wanted to show that there are actual Vanilla Beans in this Custard, so those black specs are proof!

Vanilla Bean Custard
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place an oven rack one-third of the way up from the bottom. Choose a small roasting pan large enough to hold four 6-ounce custard cups, and fill it with enough water to go halfway up the sides of cups. Place pan without cups in the oven. Meanwhile, combine cream, milk, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan; bring to boil.
  • 2. Whisk together the yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until completely combined, then pour into custard cups, and place them in the pan of hot water. Bake on the lower shelf until the custard has set and is no longer liquid when lightly touched in the center, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, remove custard cups from the water, and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
  • **I want to give credit to Martha Stewart. I used the recipe as my guide and made some alterations to the original recipe.**

 There's a bonus!!! I brought home the Puff Pastry Dough that I've made in culinary school and I made these!!! They are call Palmier or Butterfly Cookies or Elephant Ear Cookies, whichever name you call them, Everyone can agree that Palmier are so DELICIOUS! Very Buttery and Caramel like! I'm drooling just typing what my experience were with these.

Please Admire the Melted Sugar in between each Palmier!

Hope you enjoyed this Mother's Day Sweet Treats! Please comment and Subscribe for new updates in my 6-month Culinary Program and upcoming new recipes. I'm slowly developing new recipes and sharing on this very blog! 

Stay Tune! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Culinary photos #6 and 7

Hey Ladies and Gents. Last week I was so busy I didn't get a chance to post my photos. I had a volunteer event at my school. It was called the New York Culinary Experience. Please try out the experience next year. You get to work with famous chefs known around the world like Chef Morimoto, Chef Marc Murphy, Chef Jean-George, Chef Daniel Rose, and Chef Dan Barber; just to name a few. There are many more where that was. I wished I worked with all of the chefs on the two day event, but I still had a great time and was star-struck by all the famous chefs walking along the halls of my classroom. 

Now the photos that I've been procrastinating to post, since I've been so tired.   

Frozen Fruit Souffle; This Souffle will wait for you only if its in a cold environment

Swiss Meringue Cookies for the next photo; This was a collaboration with my partner that day,
so I piped a few out and my partner piped out the rest.

Meringue Chantilly; using Fresh Vanilla Ice cream filling with Whipped Cream Stars for Garnish. Dusted with Cocoa Powder

Cheese Souffle, using Gruyere Cheese
*Note: This was my first time making Souffles*

Chocolate Souffle

Raspberry Fruit Souffle

Cream Puffs

Apple Tart

Pear Tart with Almond Cream

Quiche Lorraine

La Genoise 
*My favorite day!*

Crepes Suzette

Puff Pastry Strip with Fresh Fruit and Pastry Cream
*My favorite as of this day*

Pan Seared Striped Bass over Lentils, 

Artichoke heart, fennel, and watercress salad

Falafel with Sauteed Zucchini tossed in a Tomato Caper Sauce with a side of tzatziki.

Warm Salad of Shrimp and Artichokes with Basil

Fresh Ricotta Cheese

Mushroom Risotto with Porcini, Cremini, Shitake, and Myataki mushrooms

The Cheese tasting we had in class.

Fresh Mozzarella 

Freshly Rolled Ricotta filling Ravioli made with a tomato sauce topped with cheese 

I hope you enjoy the 2 weeks of food porn. The next few days will be my Exam days and then
I will be advancing to the next level I hope. I am currently developing a recipe that I might post in the upcoming future. It involves a Flounder. 

Please Subscribe to stay up to date with new photos and upcoming recipes.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Culinary photos #5

Hello everyone! As promised my weekly photos in my 6-month culinary program, but this week I wasn't feeling myself, so as a result, I completely forgot to take a photo for one entire day. The day that I didn't take a picture was when my class was working Forcemeats (aka stuffing fillings into raw meats and making chicken liver pate). The dishes looked great, but I didn't feel like myself when I stepped into the kitchen that day. For some reason, it felt like I was behind the entire time while I was cooking with the class, but I can assure that I haven't fallen to any illness yet. Knock on wood I hope that doesn't happen!

Well enough talk, I will show the pictures with the accompanying details underneath the pictures.

Rabbit Ragout with Vegetable and Pommes Puree

Braised Lamb Shank with Couscous 

Seared Calf's Liver in a Onion Sauce

Pan fried Sweetbreads with Polenta and Sauteed Spinach

Lamb Tongue Salad served with Potato Salad and Vinaigrette (made with hard-boiled eggs)

First Pastry Day! Made Creme Caramel (aka Flan). 

I hope everyone likes the picture. I will have more next week. If you'd like what you see, Subscribe and stay tune for more updates next week. 

Just a heads up, Next weekend I will be very busy so there is a slight chance that I won't have an update, but you can get up to date post by subscribing to me! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Culinary Work

As of today, I've advanced to Level 2 of my school's Culinary Program. Completely awed by how fast a month went by. It felt like it was just yesterday that I was in Level 1 learning how to slice vegetables into different shapes.

Now that I'm in Level 2, soon there will be Pastry. I'm going to LOVE this section of the course. I hope I can get decent photos of the desserts I'll be making.

For now, I'll show you the pictures of what I've done. Unfortunately I didn't post one of the dishes from a few weeks ago I'll put in the details below, which one I forgot to post.

(Roast Chicken, "Grandmother style" with Bacon Lardons, 
Potatoes, Pearl Onions, and Mushrooms)

(Bread Crumb-Coated Flounder with Remoulade,
 and Sauce aux Poivrons Rouges)
This was the dish I forgot to post a few weeks ago. I'm sorry!

(I'M SORRY!; This was Pork Chops with Sauce Charcutiere,
This looked so good that forgot to take a picture)

(Ginger-Marinated Pork Fillet with Sweet and Sour Sauce)

(Marinated Lamb Chops with Vegetable Ragout)

(Lamb Stew with Season Vegetables)

Sauteed Venison Loin with Sauce Bordelaise
and Pommes Darphin (Potato Pancake)

(Simmered Beef Short Ribs with Horseradish Sauce)

(Veal Blanquette with Rice Pilaf; Garnished with Pearl Onions and Mushrooms
in a Cream Sauce)

This time the photos aren't as appealing, but the dishes are very classic and delicious. Stay Tune for more weekly food porn! Subscribe and please share if you like the photos!