Monday, June 28, 2010

Sugar Contains Plastic

Wow. What a week! We did breakfast cookery last week for three days. All solo production. It was great. Don't get me wrong, I got lucky and had some great partners throughout 101, but some of my classmates got stuck with some 50 pound bags of concrete to lug around. Also, there's nothing like having to bust it out all by your lonesome.

Quiche. Whoever wrote that book "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" has obviously never had quiche. It's delicious. Bacon, onions, cheeeese, eggs, and heavy cream, IN A PIE CRUST!!!! How's is that not a man's breakfast? Not to mention that I nailed it and that is one fine photograph!

Cheese Blintzes. Again, yum. Crepes from scratch, stuffed with a sweet ricotta mixture, and served with a berry coulis (coulis as defined by Escoffier - the essence of one flavor). Seriously though, how pretty is that? As I told Chef Talyon (on several occasions throughout the block) I'm a good cook! And one kid carved a bong out of a potato so he could serve "a bong & a blintz" - like on Austin Powers. We thought it was hilarious. Chef Lange threw it right in the trash.

So after two days of eggs and one day of pancakes, crepes and toast - the French don't call it "French toast", they just call it "toast" (not really, they call it "pain perdu"), it was Finals time. With 40 kids in the class, it would have been pretty impossible to complete the tasks we were given all on the same day. So we got split up. I was in the group that did our practical on the first day. Here is the menu, evaluations, and scores:

-Consummé Brunoise - perfectly clear; very chickeny; brunoise cuts were "outstanding"; soup was not piping hot - 18 :(
-Beurre Blanc - nice nappé consistency; great flavor; just starting to break (pan was probably a little too hot) - 19
-Asparagus - perfect - 20
-Tourné Risolles - perfect cuts; nice golden brown; could use a touch more salt - 19

And then there was the "Eggs Florentine":

-Sautéed Polenta - creamy; golden brown; perfect (even through I forgot the parm) - 20
-Sautéed Spinach - nicely seasoned; not too broken down; maybe 2 seconds too long in the pan - 19
-Poached Eggs - nice runny yolk; fully coagulated whites; again, maybe 2 seconds too long - 19
-Hollandaise - great consistency; could use a pinch more salt and a few more drops lemon - 18

So that translates to a 94. Destroyed it. Then I had the written final on Friday. I buzzed through it, double checked my answers, and felt great about it. Then I watched Chef grade it. Eight wrong answers. WHAT!!????!!??! I was flabbergasted to say the least. Eight wrong answers out of 50 left me with an 84. There was bonus however. So I got +5 there for an 89, which I was told was the high score of the day to that point. Nonetheless, I demanded to appeal every discrepancy. So we went down the answer sheet question by question, checking the answers in the book. I even went so far as to try to pack more than 8oz of flour into a cup (can't be done without a hydraulic press). I did successfully dispute 1 of my "wrong" answers and win the points back. I finished with a 91 and an "A" in Culinary Arts 101. What a blast that class was and I will return frequently to pick the brains of Chefs Lange and Waggoner.

In addition to all of that business, I did my first service at Uchi on Wednesday night (did I mention that I nailed that practical on like 3.5 hours of sleep?). Man was it fun! It was really more of an "intro pantry position 101". I didn't get to really get my hands on tooooo much stuff, but I learned how to plate the starters, amuse, salads, oysters, and desserts. I also ran re-stock for the line cooks, so I got to do some prep during service. Overall, lots of fun.

Friday, I walk in to Uchi and Ben says he's going to have me knock out like 4 or 5 prep items and then send me to Uchiko for the evening. Awesome. So I buzzed through those items and headed up Lamar. For those of you not familiar, Uchiko is Uchi's "baby sister" restaurant. Brand spanking new. They're not actually "open" to the public yet. They're in the soft opening stage and are serving diners by invite only.

These guys are doing some REALLY cool stuff. I'm not sure how much I should be divulging (not that anyone over there would actually even come across this blog), but here's some hints: lobster gazpacho, mussels, beet salad, rabbit, pork belly, whole fish, fried chicken (not like grandma's), and 5 kinds of sorbet on 5 different killer desserts. Again, I was shadowing the pantry station and nowhere have I experienced "when it rains, it pours" more that Friday night. There was a few times when we were kind of standing around and they kept saying, "Here it comes. We're about to get hammered." And I'm standing there like, "Really? There's 0 tickets." And then eh-eh-eh-ehhhhh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhh (that's supposed to be the ticket machine). That thing would chirp for a solid 60 seconds, and all of a sudden there was 9 desserts (each with at least 6 components). So they started hammering them out. Then, the expo starts calling apps. So before we knew it, there was 12 desserts, 4 salads, and 8 apps. Phew! It was intense. And that was at 6 o'clock. It only got crazier from there, but it was a lot of fun.

There's not a lot going on this week. I'm on summer break from school, but I'm not on break from work - did they not get the memo or what? I'm hitting Schlitterbahn tomorrow, might be smoking some meat this weekend, and I also may start a batch of mustard. Yea, you read that right. I'm going to make mustard. Watch out French's!

One more batch of jokes and info:
-Chef Waggoner - "Do you know what Schlitterbahn means in German? Giant toilet. Do you know what La Quinta means? Next to Denny's."
-The government's definition of "free range" is a 2'x2' cage. This was increased from 1'x1' so that the chickens could raise their wings. If you raised your own chickens, in a TRUE free range scenario and monitored their feed, you could eat raw chicken. Salmonella is a product of factory-style chicken farming. It is not a natural bacteria in chicken. ♫The more you know!♫
-"Crust is like a bad girlfriend. The more you knead it, the worse it treats you." -Chef Waggoner
-In the 60's, Domino Sugar switched from cane sugar to beet sugar (cheaper and easier to get considering the political unrest in the tropics in that time). However, the beet only yielded 10% sugar. So some scientists figured out that you could attach a petroleum-based polymer (plastic) somewhere in the beet processing to up the yield to 70%. Nowhere in the description of the production of beet sugar does it say how/when the polymer is removed. You're eating plastic if you're not buying cane sugar.
-Also, they referred to the bathroom as the "Urinasium" for the entire block.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chicken Uncle Jesse Katsopolis

What a weekend! I drove to Dallas to see my Pops for his birthday and Dad's day. I also was on quest to get my AC compressor fixed - that's right, rode all the way to Dallas without AC (PS- thanks to Seth for being such a trooper!). My Uncle Tommy installed the rebuilt compressor that I had purchased here in Austin (Thanks a TON Uncle Tommy!). However, once installed, it proved to be less than perfectly rebuilt. Bummer. So it was BACK to Austin sans AC (Thanks again to Seth for being such a trooper in the Texas heat). Even still, we had an awesome time in Big D with the fam. We did some grillin n chillin (I know, I'm mad at myself for typing it so don't you start!), we had some good food and fun. Happy Father's Day Dad!!!!

On to today's culinary adventures! I hit up Rio's Brazilian Cafe:

I did not even realize that Brasil had a soccer game today (S-O-C-C-E-R!!!!). The place was packed - and certainly not for the service. Don't get me wrong. Everyone was very polite and got my order right and everything, but geeeeez louiiiiiiise did it take forever to actually get to order. They have an abbreviated menu on Sundays for brunch. So I had the Bolinho Aipim (yucca pastry stuffed with smoked cheese and roasted peppers). It was alriiiigt. The cheese didn't get all melty gooey. It was actually kind of ... gritty? Not delicious, but I didn't hate it. I also had the Linguiça something. It was basically sausage, peppers, onions and tomato in some sauce that I could not decipher. Again, not amazing, but I wasn't sending it back. I feel like my experience there was hindered by my own choices. I played it safe, but at the same time, I wanted to try multiple things, and being by myself sort of cornered me into these options. I'll definitely go back when there's not a Brasil SOCCER match on. I'll also take some friends and force them to all order different things so we can sample the whole menu.

As previously stated, I'm rollin' hot with no AC. Hmmmm.... what to do on a HOT Texas day....... Hmmmmmmmm.........

HECK YES!!!! A Boston Cream Pie snowball from Casey's New Orleans Snowballs!!! (sorry for the Yelp link, guess they don't have a site?) Man oh man! If you're getting "snocones" from anywhere but 51st and Airport, you're getting the wrong stuff. They have at least 1 billion flavor combinations AND THEY'RE ALL DELICIOUS!!! I've worked my way through a good bit of the list and have yet to hit a dud. Go to there. Now.

My Big Fat Greek Dinner!

Ouch. I know. I'm stretching here, but it's late and I'm tired.

I got some lemon-rosemary marinated chicken breasts from CM, topped em with olive oil-cured roasted tomatoes and goat cheese. Yuummmmm! I also made couscous (blah), tabouli salad (tasty), and tzatziki with toasted wheat pita chips (winner). Oh yea, there's graffiti eggplant (purple and white smeared looking) on the plate as well. Wonder why I forgot that? Oh. Right. Because it was forgettable. All in all, the chicken, tabouli, and tzatziki saved the meal. Not bad. How bout some dessert?

How about Häagan-Dazs 5 Vanilla bean ice cream mixed with plain Greek yogurt? Topped with fresh strawberries and (attempted) bruleed figs. The figs were not as sweet as I'd hoped, and the yogurt/ice cream blend didn't set up as well as I'd hoped. I will be trying this again. It will be mine. Oh yes! It will be mine.

I've got a CRAZY week this week. Gotta get the AC fixed in my truck. Most likely working a couple triples. TOOL show on Tuesday. Starting my new schedule at Uchi, which includes working my first pantry training shift Wednesday - plating apps, desserts, oysters, salads. Written Final on Thursday and Practical Final on Friday. Phew. I'm already exhausted just from typing that! Wish me luck!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


NOTE: This blog was started last night and I fell asleep doing it. So this is the continuation:

Before the rundown on Parkside, we'll go over the school stuff.

Yesterday was potato day 2.

Gaufrette Potaoes (waffle chips - 20); Pommes Dauphines (the lightest, airiest tater tots you've ever tasted - 19 too small); Rissole Potatoes (tournéed potatoes cooked slowly in butter - 20); Pommes Frites (french fries - 20 - we also made aoli as a bonus); Potato Pancake (potato pancake - 20).

Today we knocked out legumes. That's right, it was magical fruit day. According to Chef Waggoner, "The FDA allows up to 1% fecal matter, rocks, and bug parts in your rice and beans. Rinse em good." We made Lentils in Cream - 19 tasty; Refried Black Beans - 19 a little thin and very tasty (especially with the pico, melty Jack cheese and sour cream); White Beans Brettone - 20; and Garbanzo Beans 20.

After anther baller day at Uchi, we hit up Parkside. Wow. I'm just going to run down the list:
-Fried Okra - good
-Madai Sashimi with Cherry Gelee - okay
-Ceviche - yum
-Calamari - meh
-Crab Fritters - goooood
-Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Vinegarette - it was asparagus
-Blonde Paté (containing foie and sent out compliments of the kitchen) with Strawberry Relish - REALLY good
-Mini Oyster Poboys - real tasty
-Like 5 different kinds of raw oysters from Virginia, Canada, and Washington - great
-Sweetbreads with Veal Tongue - ridiculous
-Bone Marrow with Sea Salt on Grilled bread - phenomenal
-Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Basil Ice Cream - toooo basillllly
-Chocolate Peanut Butter Semi-Fredo - yowzers
-Yeast Doughnuts with Honey Ice Cream - delish

I'm kicking myself for forgetting my camera. Pretty much everything was freaking delicious. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. I'll be back to check out some of the entrees and I'll keep you posted on that.

-Classmate: "Chef, the foodmill hates me." Chef: "Stop being a victim."
-Classmate: "Chef, what if I can't flip the potato pancake in the pan like you did?" Chef: "Flip the kitchen."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Not a whoooooole lot to report today. I went in to Uchi yesterday (on my only day off of the week) and buzzed through another beefy list: garlic micro-brunoise, Yuzu Kosho, ebi for Maki, ebi for Tempura, Thai chilis, orange supremes, leeks, blanched asparagus, and avocados. My hard work (and coming in on my day off) were handsomely rewarded. I got to cook Brittany Blue Lobsters!!!!!
Unfortunately, I did not have my camera, so this is a stock photo. I removed the claws first, and dropped them into rapidly boiling water. Half way through the cooking, I dropped the bodies in. I ice-bathed them, then got crackin'. As you can see, they have a really cool blue tint to them, but cooked, the bodies are this cool orange-red with white speckles. And where normal lobster is red/pinkish on the tail and claw meat, these lobsters were strawberry-red. Very cool looking. Then before I headed out, Ben had the sauté cook bring a piece of the tail up to temperature in some butter and season it up real nice and let me eat a piece. This stuff is about 50% more expensive than Maine lobster and about 100% worth it! Soooooo much more tender and sweet then Maine lobster. Great stuff.

Then, I hit up Central Market for dinner supplies. And I made:

Meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting and bacon & chive sprinkles. I basically just divided my meatloaf recipe up into cupcake tins (with a tiny piece of bacon on the bottom and top, and baked them for about 75% of the time a meatloaf takes. Then I topped them with Wisconsin white cheddar, mashed Yukon golds, bacon and chives. They were pretty tasty. They got a scoach dry while I waited for the potatoes to finish, but not too bad. They were accompanied with green beans basques. Overall, a winner. It would be really nice for a dinner party or catering event - especially if I had time to put the mash in a pastry bag and pipe it on real purty like.

On to this morning. Totally forgot to take my camera to school. Bummer. Had some good looking dishes today. It's potato and egg week. We did roasted garlic mashed potatoes - yea; potatoes gratin - simmered in milk in cream and baked with a little Grueyere; Hungarian potatoes - potato slices simmered in chicken stock and topped with that stock reduced and tomatoes (not a big fan); and potatoes Anna. Potatoes Anna was great. Apparently, it's the dish that chefs make for other chefs to show off their skillllz. You cut two potatoes to relatively equal cylinders. You then slice those on the mandolin paper thin. (someone will get cut tomorrow as the mandolin was not provided it's blood sacrifice today) You then get some clarified butter going in a pan. Shingle the potato discs in, overlapping in a circle. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Top with more clarified butter. Repeat. Every three or so layers, you'll need to add half-discs to the outside edge, as the overlapping will cause the center to build higher than the outside. You let this simmer the whole time on VERY low heat. When it starts to get a little bit of color on the bottom, pop it into the oven. At about 10 minutes, you take it out, pour out the butter, and flip it EVER SO GENTLY! 10-15 more minutes, take it out. Remove with a slotted spatula to a cutting board. One clean slice through middle and serve. You can also make larger versions and slice them into wedges. This was the dish that bummed me out not having my camera. It was really pretty and fancy looking. And the final product really shows how much detail went into the dish.

Oh, did I forget to mention that I went solo today? Yea, I got paired with "The Phantom" - the dude whose name gets called every day and is never there. So I asked Chef Lange if I could fly it alone and he gave me the okay. I really enjoyed not getting to rely on someone else for help. I think the experience will pay off on the practical final next week.

Huh, I guess I had a little more to report than I thought. See ya tomorrow!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Leetle Dumplings

Holy crap! Mulberry was wicked goooooood!!! I took some pics with my phone, but they're all crazy dark - guess I'll just have to go back and take good pics. I had the "Devils on Horseback" - mission figs stuffed with gorgonzola, wrapped in candied bacon, roasted, and served with a pink peppercorn and red wine gastrique - and the "FoieBerry Burger" - two parts ground beef, one part foie gras ground together and seared, with mixed berry and red wine compote, all served on super crispy, toasted white bread and sprinkled with black sea salt. Jeeeeeeez Louise! I really enjoyed this meal.

Friday was a pretty simple day in class. We continued "dumplings". We started with Feather Dumplings in a Lemon & Sage Chicken Broth - basically chicken and dumplings without chicken, but the lightest, airiest dumplings you've ever had. They were tasty (20), but not too visually appealing thus the lack of photo.

Then we made Pierogis -

basically that same Potato Gnocchi dough, but no parmesan, almost overworked, rolled out thin, stuffed with mushroom duxelle and pinched together like a ravioli. Boil it, then sear it in brown butter and serve with caramelized onions and sour cream sauce. It was really good. Almost a 20. At the last second, Chef Waggoner noticed that the bottom of ONE of the pierogis had got a little too brown. 19.

I rolled through a pretty beefy list at Uchi today: Ocha Zuke broth, San Bai Zu, leeks, Yuzu Kosho, avocados, Ebi for Maki, blanched asparagus, and orange supremes. I also got a demo on filleting skate (sting ray!!!) and how to properly scale a fish. It was a really great day. I feel like I'm starting to move up the ranks among the stages (like mirages). It's still a ton of fun and I learn something new every shift.

I may try some fun new stuff tomorrow, I'll let ya know. And next week is Potato and Egg week. WOO!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shoe Paste

That putanesca turned out great!

Let me know if you want the recipe. I consequently received a 20 on the putanesca I made the next morning. Sorry there aren't pics of the other fresh pastas. We had to crank them out like crazy because our water wasn't boiling until our window opened, so no time for pics.

Wednesday was dry pasta:

Spaghetti Carbonara (bacon n egg pasta), Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce (the cream in the bolognese sauce takes this to a whole new level), Mac n Cheeeeese (cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese). 20, 20, 20. Nailed it.

Today was Dumpling Day 1:

Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Sage, and Shallots - 19, a little flat in shape; Gnocchi Parisian (bottom right) - 20, perfect; and Mustard Spaetzle in Brown Butter (bottom left) - 17 (fail), mustard flavor was faint because we overcooked the dumpling.

Tomorrow is more dumplings. Tonight, I'm gonna check out Mulberry downtown. I'll let you know how that works out.

More jokes:
-From my partner Greg: "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving's not for you."
-When Chef Waggoner was about to rice the potato for the Gnocchi: "You put the potato in. You put the potato out. You put the potato in and you shake it all about. You do the (both chefs in unison) Gnocchi Pokey (they also turned) and you shake it all about."
-Chef Waggoner: "When the Pate a Choux is ready, it will drip off the spoon ever so slowly back into the bowl. It should create the "French "V for victory" - not sure what the French know about victory."
-"I once bought a French rifle. It said "Great shape. Never fired. Only dropped once."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Get in Mah Belly

Quick Friday recap: Veggie Day III.

Braised Swiss Chard (top left); Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon and Brunoise Apple (top right); Carrots Vichey (center); Ratatoullie (bottom left); Sautéed Spinach with Pine Nuts (bottom right). Not a bad day. A couple 18s, a couple 19s, and a 20. I never thought I'd like swiss chard, cooked carrots, or braised cabbage. Once again, I was proven wrong. Tasty stuff.

Saturday we hit up Abby & David's wedding, which was lovely. I nice short, sweet ceremony followed by Rudy's BBQ, tasty cake, and lots of "only 12 weeks till football starts" talk. Congrats you two! On the way home we stopped by Vespaio to see Nat & Elliott & Keri. I enjoyed a nice paté with crostini and créme fraîche - molto bene! That was followed with ONE OF EVERY GELATO THEY HAVE!!! BOOM! Why? Cause that's how we roll, that's why!

June 6th will henceforth be referred to as "National Pork Belly Day".

Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad (top left) - Central Market tomatoes with pear balsamic and good Italian, cold-pressed, Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Elliott's Jicama Salad (top right) - fresh jicama, lime juice, S&P; Pooooorrrrk Beeeelllllllyyyyyyyy (bottom left) - stay tuned; and Ratatoullie (bottom right) - zucchini, squash, onion, bell pepper, eggplant, tomato, garlic, each sautéed individually tossed in a pot with fresh herbs and simmered in the oven for 45 minutes;

And now for what you really care about - the pork belly. This belly came from a pig that was allowed to roam free in a pasture (whatever) and was slaughtered last week (awesome). It sat in my fridge for 2 days covered in salt and sugar. Then, I roasted it in a 225º oven for 3 hours and let it rest. Then I cut the belly into some delicious 3/4" hunks. Then I fired up the ol' chimney starter, placed a grate over it, and seared the pork belly for 10 seconds on each side. Then we ate it with a (not pictured) fried apple purée. *droooooool* Man was it good!!!

Today, class was all demo, no production. We watched our chefs (with a little volunteer help - yes, I helped) make fresh pasta and sauces to accompany. Tomorrow, we do all production, no demo. So, I get to make pasta FROM SCRATCH!!! Also, we'll get to go to a Hudson Valley Foie Gras demo. SO EXCITED!!!! (what's with all the caps today?)

And to finish, more Cheff Waggoner jokes, quotes, and anecdotes:
-This one's not really a joke, but did you know that there's a pasta called Strozzapreti? It means "priest-choker". Interesting.
-After chatting about buxom blondes: "Twiggy ruined that. Twiggy and Scrappy Doo were the beginning of the end for our society."
-"What does Snoop Dogg wash his chef coat with? Bleotch."
-"Why does Snoop Dogg wear a rubber apron when he does ice sculptures? For the chizzle drizzle."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vino Vino

So school was fun today. We fried stuff. Fried mushrooms with horseradish cream sauce, pan-fried eggplant parmesan, and onion rings with aoli - which was whipped so thick you could hold it in a bowl upside down over your head, like a blizzard. It was all tasty, but all that fried started weighing me down after a while - never thought I'd say those words. (18, 20, 19)

The real story of the day was dinner. We went to Vino Vino, and here's what we had (sorry no pics):

Charcuterie Plate - lamb sausage; pork and chicken galantine; pork terrine; house-made kimchi; whole grain and dijon mustard relish; grape salad; and pickles. Apparently, they change at least one of the (meat) items on this plate DAILY!! WHAT?!??!!? Yea. I'll be returning for that.

Calamari on top of a chorizo tomato sauce.

Gouda cheese plate with shallot confit and lemon.

Peaches mascerated in moscato (that crazy sweet wine I accidentally used a couple weeks ago) with BASIL ICE CREAM!!!! WHAT?!?!?! Yep! Yummy.

All this was enjoyed with a lovely Vin De Pays from France. Overall, a great dinner in a great atmosphere with decent friends - let's see if they read that. Tomorrow, we're braising various veggies. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tasty Viddles

In my haste to finish my blog yesterday, I forgot to post last night's dinner.

Chicken pot pie. Mmmmmm! I did use store-bought bake'n'serve puff pastry shells, but the rest is from scratch. I made Supréme sauce and added chicken, onion, celery, carrot and peas. We also had mashed potatoes. It was a lovely meal and will be lovelier once I master puff pastry from scratch.

Today in school was Veggie Day II. It wasn't quiiiiite as excellent as yesterday. We hit a few snafus. Presented in this order: photos (of all), name, critique, score:

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Butter (top left) - a little tepid, "would've been a 20 if they were hot"; 19
Tomato Provençal (top right) - needs a little more salt; 19
Cauliflower Au Gratin (bottom left) - "literally 1 second too long in the salamander"; 19
Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze (bottom right) - nailed it; 20

Overall, a really nice day. So for dinner:

I hit the farmers market to pick up the pork belly I ordered last week. Did I forget to mention that? Silly me. I'll be curing a pork belly over the next few days, stay tuned for that. Back to dinner! I picked up some heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers that were picked THIS MORNING!!! All I did was slice 'em and drizzle some pear balsamic vinegar and olive oil on them with a little S&P. Delicious. I fear I may have been ruined for hot-house tomatoes - only time will tell. There's also a ridiculous ribeye that I picked up from Central Market with some twice fried fries and farm fresh broccoli (also from the market). Overall, a wonderful meal and I'll be hitting up that market often!

As promised, the comedy stylings of Chef Waggoner:
-Peas go into the blender for the Chilled Pea Soup "and now, whirled peas" (world peace)
-Again with the peas, "You want this soup to have a strong peaness flavor"
-"Seafood purveyors are just seafood pimps really"
-More peas, "You don't want to put cold soup in a hot bowl, so put your bowls in the fridge. However, when you pull them out, they're gonna want to condensate, so wait till the very last second. Otherwise, you'll be serving that strong peaness with shweaty bowls."
-"The difference between winter corn and summer corn is the firmness of the kernels, or pores. So in the winter, you get hard pore corn and the summer you get soft pore corn."

And as I type, I begin to wonder, "Could these only be funny in context?" Oh well, you done read 'em at this point, so who cares? See ya tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Twanky Lanky Lanky!!

Sorry for going almost a week without a post. (Well, actually, the post labeled "Wednesday" was done on Thursday, but whatever.) Yeesh! I know right? It was a loooooong weekend. So here's a quick recap:

We nailed Shrimp Bisque, Manhattan-Style Clam Chowder and Corn and Crab Chowder:

The Corn and Crab Chowda was wicked tasty (see what I did there?). Three 20s.

I knocked out some serious prep at Uchi. I was the sauce boss. I made Sumiso - which included squid ink (yep). I also made San Bai Zu, Miso Base, Fish Sauce, and Pitchfork sauce.

Then it was off to Hula Hut with the crew. Followed by the pool. Then grilling some tasty skewers and the house. And then to Lucy's for UFC 114 - I called the Rashad win btw.

When I used t work at Pappadeaux, we would float the Guadalupe once a week. It was the best. So we decided to get a huge group together to harken back to olden times. Thirty-one (31!) of us gathered and floated the Rio like a bunch of champs! However, the river was flowing at break-neck speeds and only lasted about 2.5 hours. Also, like in the old days, we hit up Rudy's on the way home. There's nothing like a jumbo smoked baked potato stuffed with pulled pork to really finish off a nice river trip.

Apparently, every Memorial Day, they shut Uchi down and take the whole crew out to The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort. We played a golf scramble (my team won with a 3 under par). We took over the pool. Then it was off for some barbecue and back to the hotel where I can only assume shenanigans ensued. I had to head back since I had school at 630 this morning.

Totally spaced and forgot my camera which was a bummer since today we made some really pretty looking food. We made Asparagus with Hollandaise, Haricot Vert Basquaise (French green beans with shallots, and red & yellow bell pepper), Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto and Pignoli (we actually used a nice dry ham, and also pine nuts and parmesan), and Artichokes Clamart (trimmed and simmered artichoke with shallots and peas). My partner took pics with her camera and is supposed to send them to me. So I'll post them when I get them. For now, I'll just tell you that WE GOT FOUR 20s TODAY!!!!! Heck yes! We absolutely destroyed vegetable cookery I.

Tomorrow will be a quick day since the Uchi guys are doing an "Edible Art" demo up at the school. That should be pretty awesome - I'll let you know how that goes. I'll also do a quick rundown of Chef Waggoner's jokes to date. Really good stuff. See ya tomorrow!