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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Food Prep 1 Lab: Salads and Sandwiches


Geez, I really have been slacking, haven’t I? The semester is almost over and not one post about this class is up! So I really should change that now. Last night in Food Prep we covered salads and sandwiches. My team had to make tabbouleh, spinach salad with bacon vinagrette, and club sandwiches. Should be easy, right? Don't worry, it wasn't bad. None of the bean fiasco like last class.

My station. I got to class early because I wanted to get things moving so we could leave early. Yeah, shouldn't hurry... but it's a night class. If I can help speed things along I will. With the help of one of my classmates I sharpened my chef knife on the stone and got my station in order. I grabbed a pot and filled it with enough water for the bulgur. Set that on medium heat like I grabbed a cutting board, bowls, and containers for my ingredients. Mise en place people!
After helping check in the foodstuffs, my partner and I grabbed what ingredients we needed for our recipes. I weighed out 12 ounces of bulgur and set that aside. My partner cut out the stem and scored the bottom of a tomato and set that aside to be blanched and peeled later. Tomato concasse... we have to do that for the final. Peeled and diced the cucumbers, washed and finely chopped the parsley. Poured the boiling water over the bulgur and covered it, and kept it in the oven to get out of the way. Partner cooked up the bacon and set it aside, washed and cut up the mushrooms. Another team was boiling eggs for their salad, so we threw a few in there as well. After prepping everything, making the actual dishes was quick. As it should be since it's just salads and sandwiches.
This was supposed to be a traditional spinach salad with hard boiled egg, bacon crumbles, and mushrooms. Topped with a bacon vinagrette which chef was supposed to demo. Well, didn't happen. The spinach was old and it was hard to pick through and find enough good leaves. So I added arugula and watercress. Chef did not realize there was a dressing demo and someone threw out the bacon fat I had been saving for it. Oh well. Made a vinagrette with some dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil and a little salt and white pepper. Washed and spun dry the greens and tossed with just a bit of the dressing... enough to coat the leaves. Added the bacon, eggs and mushrooms and gave it a quick toss.
I thought the dressing went well with the salad. Slightly acidic which worked with the peppery arugula. Most people that tried the salad liked it, including chef.

I've made tabbouleh so many times before (and I'm sure I've written about it) that I don't think I have to say too much about this dish. I let the bulur sit for about 30 minutes before I dumped it into a china cap and let it drain for another 30 minutes or so. I mixed the olive oil and lemon juice in a seperate bowl and set it aside. After draining, I mixed the bulur with the diced tomatoes, cucumber and parsley. Poured the dressing and gave it a good toss to help evenly distribute. Seasoned with salt and white pepper. Kept it on ice while waiting for serving. For presentation, I took two raddichio leaves to make a bowl and placed a scoop of tabbouleh in the center


My partner did almost all the work for the club sandwich. I helped with slicing some tomatoes and getting the bread ready for toasting. There is no toaster in the kitchen, so we had to use the broiler. She even used the slicer to cut the turkey. I made a few slices, but I'm squeemish with a fast moving round blade near me. I'm not really a big sandwich person, so I had no idea a club sandwich is a turkey sandwich and blt put together. It was pretty good! I'll have to make these for myself. Or order it.
Next week is our written final, followed by our lab final. Wish me luck!

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