Today we ventured aboard the subway to travel to our culinary class at Institute of Culinary Education. I’m really loving this school. In class we made a roasted chicken with herb butter rubbed under its skin that was probably the juiciest chicken I’ve ever had, with fantastic flavor. We also pan seared some ribeye, then finished it off in the oven, also great. With the same pan we seared some veal, baked them, and made a shallot-mustard-brandy sauce with the fonds (brown bits) from the bottom of the pan. The veal medallions were so tender. We grilled flank steak that we had marinated with some nice cross-hatching as well. We also made steak frites, basically big potato wedges baked in olive oil salt and pepper. We then made eclairs and profiteroles (same as cream puffs). A little repetitive since I made eclairs at my last class, but it’s always great to review and learn other techniques. Everything was super delicious though.
After our class we journeyed to Times Square and split up into groups of three at the minimum. My group ended up having six, which made it a bit more difficult to travel quickly, but it still turned out alright. I’ve never been to New York or Times Square before, and I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed. It probably stems from my distaste for large crowds. We just started off wandering around, and after we found Rockefeller Center, I was met with a happy surprise: Bouchon Bakery! I was incredibly excited. I own Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook, and have yet to try it out, but the idea of visiting such a famous place also left me enthralled. I bought a key lime white chocolate parfait. It consisted of a white chocolate cream on the bottom, topped with a keylime cream, with a spongey sort of cake in the center and graham cracker crumbs on top. It was quite delicious. I also bought a mini caramel macaron and iced chai latte, which were both excellent, especially considering I didnt’t particularly like the first macaron I ever tried. All around exciting for me.
We also stopped at a chocolatier where I purchased a Crème Brûlée bon bon, and three small gourmet chocolate bars. The bon bon is dark chocolate with a carmelized buttercream filling, and the bars are dark chocolate as well. The flavors of the bars are crystallized mint, candied orange and sesame seed, and chile almond. I have yet to try them but I’m sure they’ll be amazing.
Once we returned we got back into our TA groups and decided which menu items we’re going to serve to the judges at our restaurant simulation and crafted an ingredient list. I was quite ecstatic to find that three out of the six menu items that we decided to serve were my ideas :).
(We also had a “Top Chef” screening tonight)