Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Culinary Boot Camp Week 4

Tonight we learned poaching and braising. I braise meats, especially ribs, so I was pretty familiar with this technique.

Tim asked me what we did in class tonight. I said we learned how to poach chicken. Now remember this is the guy that last week thought we were learning how to trust our chicken. He said "Poach chicken, did someone shoot the chicken on someone else's property"?

I've never poached anything before and I am not sure it's a technique I will use. I like my chicken or fish to have some color to it. While the fish and chicken we poached in class had wonderful sauces, they were very pale and just not as appealing as a nicely browned piece of meat.

We also learned about "mother sauces". Mother sauces are the five "grand sauces" as defined by Auguste Escoffier. Escoffier was one of the most famous chefs in the early 1900's. The sauces are Bechamel, Espagnole (the base for demiglace), Tomato Sauce (creamy, not marinara),Hollandaise and Veloute. We made Veloute. It was a wonderful, creamy sauce we used on the poached chicken. Veloute also makes an excellent base for creamed soups. I think my first veloute at home will be the base for Cream of Mushroom soup.

Next week is the final class in the series.

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