Sunday, December 06, 2009

Meat and potatoes? No, protein and starches

We all have heard someone referred to as a "meat and potatoes" person, or of "eating our greens." In the culinary world, the talk is different. "Meat and potatoes" is "protein and starch"; "greens" are "vegetables."

Add a sauce and a garnish to make up the five components encompassing a typical service for a restaurant meal.

It is to that end we are headed in Culinary Foundations II. The last two days of class -- Dec. 17 and 18 -- for the final competency exam, we will prepare four plates, each with those five components. Look for the full rundown of the menus in a blog posting in the next few days.

To get us prepared, Chef Dan Fluharty will take us through a week of practice beginning Monday on the seven classic French cooking techniques. They are braising (Monday); roasting (Tuesday); frying (Wednesday); poaching and poëler (Thursday); grilling and sauté (Friday).

My Sunday cooking plans already included making braised short ribs, sauté of green beans, wild rice and a brown sauce from the braising liquid. I will pay especially close attention to proper technique in preparing them.

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