Terrines! Part Two.

I know you’re just dying inside to know how my terrines turned out.

Right?

Right.

Well, after poaching them in a water bath (the oven was 350, the water 180 and the internal temp of the terrine a precise 155) and weighting them with bricks, setting them in the cooler overnight and poking them with curiosity, the terrines finally popped their molds today.

It was a bit of a vexing sight, actually, to see these terrines naked without their protective barriers keeping them in shape. They were…well, let’s be honest here. They were mounds of poached meat.

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Looks delicious, right?

Let me sum up this whole terrine thing. A terrine is a fancy meatloaf and an aspic is a savory Jell-O.

Now that I have that off my chest, I can say I pleasantly surprised at how they turned out. Our mushroom terrine, in its happy little triangle mold, was actually quite beautiful–creamy pink at the top, eggshell white the middle and earthy grey at the bottom–all in all quite fancy.

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My quality photos are less beautiful. Bear with me.

 

Our rabbit terrine was even prettier. Studded with pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts along with tender slivers of rabbit tenderloin, it looked like a treasure chest of meat wrapped in bacon.

Of course, from the outside, they weren’t very pretty, and the gelatinous residue left in the terrine mold was unappetizing, despite the chef’s insistence it was “delicious and good for your bones!” (I tried it. It was cold, congealed and slimy. I pride myself on trying everything at least once, but I won’t put that stuff in my mouth again.)

And, last but not least, our heirloom tomato aspic. We carefully removed it from the mold, propped it upright as it wiggled towards freedom and tried to gingerly cut it without tearing its gelatinous innards apart. We mostly succeeded.

This is, of course, Le Cordon Bleu, where it’s a big deal to make a big deal out of French food, so we designed a giant garde manger spread using an aspic platter as a centerpiece (made simply like a Jell-O stained glass, colored gelatin can become an art form). We handmade our own mustards, which were potent and vibrant and pack a real whollop. I will share the recipe, slightly modified after trial and error, below.

And I’m sure you want to know what everything looked like, right? Of course you do! Well, here it is: our platter of Garde Mange Goodness.

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Please do ignore the terrible quality of my cell phone camera.

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Photo belongs to the author.

Victory Photo!

And now, as I promised, a kick-butt mustard recipe. And I really do mean that–this stuff is potent. It only takes a little, but it goes a long way and you’ll love it. Just trust me.

 

Beer Mustard

2/3 c    ark beer

3    eggs

2/3 c    dry mustard

dash  salt

dash white pepper

1/8 t allspice

1/2 t        Worcestershire sauce

1T       packed brown sugar

2T       white wine vinegar

1T       caraway seeds

1. Combine all ingredients except the caraway seeds, mixing to combine thoroughly.

2. In a double broiler (a bowl over boiling water) cook the mixture, stirring constantly until smooth and thick. Taste, adjust seasonings.

3. Add caraway seeds, combine well.

4. Stores well refrigerated for up to two weeks.

 

This powerful mustard will help any terrine go down. (Not that I didn’t love the terrines… I just found the mushroom terrine a bit chalky. I’m not a fan of poached meat, I guess.)  Let’s face it: they’re kind of a genius idea, and a huge moneymaker.

And who doesn’t like the idea of meat Jell-O?

Cabbage Reinforcement

“Gather round, class! I’ve got something special for you guys!”

Sitting on the tabletop, bagged purple and red cabbages waited in a row, like fat soldiers.

The chef threw some questions at us. Proper responses earned us… well, cabbages. An interesting positive reinforcement technique–we’ve dubbed it Cabbage Reinforcement.

Thanks to my chef, there’s a round, vibrant red cabbage sitting in my refrigerator at the moment. I’m a broke college kid, free food (even cabbage!) is something I’ll never turn down! It’s like that scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “Nothing goes better with cabbage than cabbage!”

But what does one do with a random red cabbage?

I’m glad to tell you I have an answer. This recipe was on my practical exam and earned me full marks. I’m here to share it with you! In case you get the hankering for a German delight, or you happen to have a random red cabbage in your refrigerator the way I do, here’s a way to make a delicious side dish from this vibrant veggie.

Maybe after a recipe like this one, Cabbage Reinforcement will catch on. No more candy treats for correct answers–cabbages for all!

And, just to brighten your day, here’s a great Pocahontas/Cabbage crossover I found online. I love Disney fan artists.

* I do not own this photo! Found on Pinterest, linked to lolbender.tumblr.com

* I do not own this photo! Found on Pinterest, linked to lolbender.tumblr.com

German-Style Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon

Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic

1/2 green apple, diced

1/4 red cabbage, very thinly sliced

4 oz diced bacon

2 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 t allspice

2 oz (4 T) red wine vinegar

Directions:

1. Saute bacon with a little butter until crispy. Add diced onions and minced garlic and cook until they just begin to color.

2. Add raw cabbage and salt well. Let cook down slightly.

3. Add red wine vinegar, cinnamon stick, cloves and allspice.

4. Cover the cabbage in water (just enough to cover the top of the cabbage, don’t drown it!) Bring to a simmer and let it cook down until almost all liquid has reduced.

5. Add the apples at the very end, cooking just until apples are tender.

6. Taste and season to your preference. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves (if you can find them) and serve warm. Enjoy!

Additional Notes: If you prefer the warm, homey taste of the cinnamon and allspice in this dish, feel free to add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the flavors. If you’re not fond of sweeter cabbage, salt and season to your personal tastes.

Carrots…Or Candy?

I grew up in a very healthful home. My mother is an expert in the field of healthy eating and exercise, so our house was limited on junk food and anything less than the daily recommended servings of the food pyramid. (Sorry, I meant MyPlate. Old school stuff nowadays. Anyone else miss the food pyramid? No? Just me? Okay.)

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Now, I’ve always loved carrots. And I have horrible eyesight, so I used to consume them with the belief they’d get rid of my awkward twelve-year-old glasses. No such luck, but I did enjoy carrots in their raw, natural form with maybe a little ranch.

That all changed today in class. We made Carrot Vichy, a dish that, according to the chefs, will never go out of style. Carrots, cut on the bias, are sautéed in butter, sugar and salt until coated in a sticky, sweet glaze. It’s unbelievably easy, sort of like the glazed carrots one always sees at potlucks and holiday dinners.

No doubt by coating these once-healthy vegetables in fat and sugar we are canceling out all their beta-carotene goodness, but they taste oh so amazing. If Bugs Bunny were to have a favorite dessert, it would involve this dish.

If you’re interested in trying these golden coins of deliciousness, here’s the recipe. I’m just warning you ahead of time, their health value is probably nonexistent. But it’s worth it. One bite and you’ll see!

Carrot Vichy

Ingredients:

1-2 T butter

1 carrot, cut at an angle so they slant on the bias rather than looking like coins

1 T sugar

1-2t salt

1-2T water

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add more or less butter depending on the amount of carrots. This recipe calls for one carrot, but you can always expand the recipe! More carrots = more butter.

2. Add carrots to butter. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, sugar and salt. If you prefer sweeter carrots, add more sugar, keeping in mind that the carrots are sweet as well and will caramelize as the sauce reduces. Taste and adjust to your liking, adding salt if you so desire.

3. Allow the liquid to simmer, stirring very frequently. (It’s easy to let these burn, so keep an eye on them!)

4. Once the liquid is reduced to a glaze, serve carrots warm. Don’t allow your carrots to brown or they will become carrot-flavored coins of caramel that will never ever come off of your pan. Garnish with a little parsley if you desire.

 

Also, this has nothing to do with Carrot Vichy, but we roasted peppers on the stovetops today and it looked so interesting I could not help but share this photo. I love culinary school.

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Mayo From Heaven

I absolutely adore being a culinary student because it means my life gets to revolve around food. I have both the privilege and the pleasure to savor every fantastic bite of life. Studying culinary history for some might be boring. For me, it’s fascinating.

Culinary research, however, is never boring for anyone! Ordering new things at restaurants, studying through taste how things work and why some flavor combinations go so well together… it’s so much fun to learn through eating! Far more fun than spending time holed up in a classroom studying general ed courses, I can tell you that much.

I also adore being an Orlandian. Is that the right word? Either way, I will never bore of this town. There are so many things to do! And Disney alone takes up a massive amount of this city, and I am more than fine with that. It’s like living in paradise.

Sunrise

I mean seriously. This was the sunrise today as seen through my foggy car window. Beautiful, isn’t it?

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The benefit of 7:00 am classes is the view of the sunrise over John Young Parkway and having the rest of the day to accomplish things.

Plus, there’s just something nice about early mornings.

Anyway, today’s lesson was on Mother Sauces, formally known as Béchamel, Espagnole, Tomato, Hollandaise and Veloute . From these sauces come derivative sauces, smaller sauces that we are more familiar with seeing on menus. Each sauce has a root in one of these main five.

 

Photo from saltisyourfriend.com

Photo from saltisyourfriend.com

 

The hands-on portion of the class, however, was dedicated to mayonnaise. The goal of this assignment was to teach us to whisk properly (in a figure 8 motion, scraping all parts of the bowl) and to illustrate a permanent emulsion.

“Anyone know where from comes the mayonnaise?” Chef Andre asked. He was our chef today rather than Chef Klaus due to Chef Klaus’s nomination for a Lifetime Achievement Award in Las Vegas this week.

We stared at him blankly. He repeated the question in his thick French accent twice before we caught on. (English isn’t his mother tongue.) Oh. Where does mayonnaise come from?

Continuing in his vague French manner, he told us mayonnaise is the result of a celebration over a battle. The feast called for butter and cream, but nothing could be found on the island, so the chef of the French Duke de Richelieu made do with olive oil and eggs. Thus, mayonnaise as we know it was born, so named after ‘Mahon’ where the battle was won.

The chef whipped up a batch in front of us, and I mean that literally–mayonnaise requires some serious elbow grease! It must literally be whipped by hand with a whisk. The hard work is worth it, though.

We all pulled out our tasting spoons and to give it a hesitant try…

 

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And I can tell you right now I will never buy that store-bought junk ever again. Despite the slight strain on your beating arm, mayonnaise is easy, fresh and delicious. This, coming from a girl who isn’t normally fond of the sandwich spread. I am now a believer.

He also demonstrated a hollandaise sauce, an unbelievable batch of buttery goodness. It was like heaven. I love culinary school. People are willing to put up with the risks of life in the kitchen, the fire, the knives, the thrill of the line, and all for what? For the love of food! Whether or not you’re a local farm-to-table purist or a pounds-of-butter French traditionalist, good food brings everyone together.

In case you’d like to taste this fresh-whipped goodness for yourself, I’ve provided the recipe below. Just make sure to add the oil slowly so not to break the emulsion and whip fast! It should be stiff, not runny, like a mayonnaise cloud of deliciousness that clings to the end of the whisk when you lift it in the air.

Heavenly Mayonnaise

1 egg yolk

1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cup canola oil

1/2 lemon

salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Whisk together the egg yolk and Dijon mustard until thoroughly combined.

2. Slowly drizzle in the oil, beating heavily all the while. Beat until the mayonnaise clings to the end of the whisk. Add lemon juice. (The acidity should make the mixture slightly more pale.)

3. Taste. Salt and pepper as you see fit.