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. 

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