Monday, June 05, 2006

The Bearnaise & Me

Once upon a time, in a kitchen of a Fine Technical College Culinary Arts program, there were 5 little egg yolks whose greatest aspiration was to become bearnaise sauce. It was the be all, end all for these eggs. Their highest achievement...their pentultimate fate...their version of the MTV Movie Award. It was with great dismay and a considerable letdown for them when they became curdled in the first 5 seconds of my initial attempt at bearnaise sauce. The look in their little yellow eyes was extremely accusatory...I had let them down. Way down. Down, down into the garbage can, because there was no coming back from this one. My bearnaise looked a whole lot like scrambled eggs. Ugly step-sister kind of scrambled eggs,

Lucky for me, it was early enough in the game that I could start over. The secondary bearnaise came together like a dream--beautiful color, no breaking, no clumping, a lovely lemony yellow...and then, I put in too much salt. Dammit! I've undersalted absolutely everything else in the practical up until this point, and I had to break the streak with this one.

The rice pilaf, which I have done so much of at home and has turned out perfectly each time, was overcooked and too dry. I managed to rescue it by adding more chicken stock and essentially re-steaming it and adding a goodly chunk of butter.

The puree of lentil soup was not bad. Chef said it had good flavor, good texture, but it needed a little more salt (aaaauuuuggh!!!); this guy must be getting kick backs from Morton's or some hypertension drug manufacturers.

Again, we have no idea how we scored on the practical today. And, get this--we're the first class that has ever had to make mother sauces for their practical. All the other classes had to do 1 or 2 menus, and we did 4 plus the sauces. How do I love thee, guinea pigs? Let me count the points I'm taking off.

And to top it all off, the final is going to be comprehensive. Yippee. Hold me back. Way back.