Tuesday, May 09, 2006

We say Haricot Verts, you say Green Beans


(It's a theme, people!)

Today was the second day of service in Dining Room Mismanagement and the first day for the ala carte menu. The Cuisines class came up with a rather adventurous menu, IMHO, because there were 5 appetizers, a soup or salad, 6 entrees, and 5 desserts to choose from for your dining pleasure. Not that I'm not about choices or anything, but think about having to cook all this, especially if you have no line experience...frightening, just frightening.

I was the hostess for the day, and after I seated our guests, I floated here and there, doing whatever tasks were necessary for the moment. I refilled beverages, refilled tea and water pitchers, ran food, etc. Just a Jill of all trades. While standing back in the kitchen watching the hubbub, one of my DR classmates and I looked at each other at the same time and said, "No way are we passing this Cuisines class!" I realize that I'm several quarters away from this class, and I haven't even passed Principles yet, but it doesn't seem to get any easier!!!

Just to taunt you, here's the menu for the day:

Starters

Sushi
Sushi Rolls with or without tuna with avocado, cucumber, and carrots. Served with pickled ginger, wasabi and a soy reduction.

Onion Tart
Onions are caramelized in butter then folded in with a Swiss Emmenthal cheese and a rich custard filling then baked in a fresh made short tart and served warm w/ fresh figs & fig-Port reduction

Caprese
Beef Steak Tomatoes and Buffalo Milk Mozzarella w/ cracked pepper, sea salt, balsamic gelée, basil micro greens,

Gravlox
Cured fresh salmon fillet with capers, eggs, red onions, and Cornichons

Roasted Vegetable Napoleon w/ Pesto Sauce

Soup / Salad

Italian Wedding Soup
Savory and plentiful vegetable soup with tiny meatballs

Caesar Salad
Romaine Lettuce, Shaved Parmesan, Classic Caesar Dressing with Garlic Croutons

Main
Breast of Chicken Chardonnay
Breast of Chicken sautéed in chardonnay with black pepper pasta
and grilled artichokes

Beef a la Oscar
Grilled strip steak topped with crabmeat & finished with béarnaise sauce served with creamy scalloped potatoes and haricot verts.

Grilled Lamb with Caramelized Garlic Sauce
Grilled double-rib lamb chops served on a caramelized garlic sauce with hints of fresh tomato and basil with a creamy wild mushroom risotto and sautéed zucchini squash medley.


Bass & Scallop en Papillote
Bass fillet and Scallops prepared in a light stock, gremolata, and black peppercorns with julienne vegetables and red bliss potatoes

Grilled Tuna
Tuna steak seasoned and grilled, roasted pepper and balsamic sauce served with snows peas, baby carrots and gnocchi.

Crabmeat Stuffed Flounder
Pan Fried with lemon buerre blanc, zucchini and summer squash medley and asparagus risotto

Smoked Quail
Red wine reduction w/grapes, wild rice pilaf & haricot verte

Desserts

Banana Chocolate Mousse Cake
Banana cake layered with creamy chocolate mouse and covered with a smooth dark chocolate glaze.

Ice Cream & Sorbet Trio
Creamy buttermilk ice cream with fresh mango and raspberry sorbets in a crispy sesame basket and accompanied by coconut sauce & kiwi coulis.

Fruit Plate
Seasonal fruit served with sweet balsamic cream.

Grand Marnier Crème Brûlée
Classic Crème Brulee accented with Grand Marnier for a burst of orange flavor.

Espresso Souffle
Rich espresso-flavored soufflé complimented with a scoop of buttermilk ice cream added tableside.


It makes me hungry all over again just reading it. We did get some leftovers for family meal after service was over. I had some of the caprese salad, the chardonnay chicken, the risotto, the haricot verts, and the expresso souffle, which was (I'm running out of adjectives here!) divine. I drizzled some of the leftover coconut sauce on it, and it was sooo very good. Chef didn't seem too pleased with the food when we told him it was good, but it really was...especially for the grand price of $12 American!

As part of the guest list, we had 12 students and instructors from a local high school who are in a high school culinary program--I think it's sort of a vo-tech kinda thing. They actually did the ServSafe course and a short form of our purchasing course, and one of their instructors is a graduate of the Fine Technical College's program. I queried her on how she got her job, since she doesn't have a teaching degree, but she does have the ServSafe instructor's certification. She said that there are several high schools with this program, and she works with all of them on a rotating basis. I filed that away in the old job bank part of the brain as a possible means of making some moola after I get out of school.

The kids were pretty funny during the time before we seated them. As host, I have to stand out in the hallway and converse/interact with our guests until time to seat. They were asking me about the program, but more importantly, how was the menu for the day? Evidently, they had gone to the Very Expensive Arty Institute for lunch and to see the programs available there, and they were mightily disappointed in what they were served for lunch. They said it was pretty, in that single pea on a big white plate kind of way, but it was not tasty. Dessert was the only thing they liked.

I cleared the table that included the students who told me about their meal at the other school, and their plates were all pretty much clean for all the courses, which to their credit, had some sophisticated ingredients and preparations that may have been new to their palates. They were all smiles and very complimentary, in a "like you know, that was like the best food, evah!" kind of way. A couple of them are actually enrolling for the fall quarter on campus, so that ought to be pretty entertaining to say the least.

Well, it's off to bed now...I may have to make some sort of unholy deal with my left knee so it will work tomorrow...it's been really achey today and my feet are really protesting tonight. Tomorrow's Principles class is really my favorite food group, even more favorite than fried--PASTA!!

1 comment:

Belinda said...

I have GOT to stop reading this on an empty stomach. We really need to have a Southern Blogger meet-up--you can cook! ;-)