Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm all set for dinner the rest of the week...

After a last-minute change in the schedule this morning, my classmates and I found ourselves doing a full week of Traiteur (catering)... that basically means we'll be working with savories and NO sugar, for a whole week! Well, I guess I can take my time eating that lemon tart from last week. Oh wait, I already finished it... oops.

Today was a full day, as we made quiche poireaux et poulet (quiche with leeks/chicken), tatin de chèvre (potato/bacon-wrapped/puff-pastry-covered/goat-cheese-surprise), and the mise en place for bouchée à la reine (puff pastry "pots" with a creamy mushroom/ham/chicken filling... apparently similar to vol-au-vents, whatever those are...).

The quiche was a good introductory recipe to ease us into the savory world, as the crust was basically something we'd done the past two weeks. We sauteéd the leeks/onions and boiled the chicken breasts, while making the quiche egg batter at the same time. We spent the morning making those, finishing them just before lunch.

my mini quiche (we made large ones as well)

After lunch we came back to make a highly-caloric, artery-clogging, yet scrumptious goat cheese "tart." We basically lined the sides and bottom of a ring with bacon, layered some scalloped potatoes on top of the bacon, put half a mini goat cheese in the middle, surrounded the cheese with more potatoes, covered with another layer of potatoes, filled in the gaps with quiche egg batter, and sealed with a layer of puff pastry. Words cannot describe...

after baking, we flipped them upside down (so the puff pastry was on the bottom):

Honest to say though, as good as it looks, it didn't seem as cheesy or bacon-y as I would've thought/wanted... the potatoes definitely overpowered the bite, the cheese could've been more melted (then again, they had been sitting for awhile before we tasted them), and I could've added more salt. Oh well... next time.

The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing the main elements for the bouchée à la reine. I knew it was going to be an interesting recipe from the start, when we made quenelle de volaille (chicken dumplings) from scratch. You might think, "mmmm, like delicious Chinese succulent dumplings with the thin wrapper and meat inside?" No. Not At All. Sorry to break your bubble, but they're more like the Western type of dumpling... if only you knew how they were made. Basically, you puree chicken breast, a dough of milk/egg yolks/flour, more eggs, and butter in a cuisinart. Yes folks, I just said "chicken breast," "dough," and "puree" in the same sentence. Needless to say, it was not quite what I was expecting:

mmmm.... not.

After we put that concoction to chill, we made a velouté (creamy sauce) with ham, chicken, and mushrooms. Oh and we added the chicken dumplings after chilling/molding/steaming them. We then rolled out circles of puff pastry and set those to chill for tomorrow morning, when we'll finish them.
[Don't worry, Mom, I am taking notes/absorbing this all in so we can make these at home (maybe except for the quenelles...)!]

Also, we get to take home whatever we make that day, so I'm sure you can guess what I had for dinner
tonight --- leek/chicken quiche! Luckily I only brought home the mini one.

Tomorrow we're going to complete the b
ouchées, as well as make a layered salmon/rice/spinach/mushrooms thing encased in a crepe and brioche. mmmmm sounds delish!


  1. Your blog makes me hungry :-) It all looks amazing. I'm so proud of you!

  2. Quenelles (the fish ones) were THE most delicious dish - I remember going to this SF restaurant famous for that inthe '60's...sooooo light and lovely...something like quenelles veloutes on the menu. Now many places take the time to make those...made with pike fish. So take notes on'll do the outside pastry, I'll tackle the chicken...
    Love, MOM