Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Culinary challenges continue; confidence climbs

Monday's Culinary Foundations III class ended in a rush of finished entrées and kitchen cleanup, with barely enough time to scribble down today's menu. Here's what I scribbled:

Salad Nicoise, sans tuna. Beet borscht. Osso buco with risotto Milanese and roasted root vegetables.

Daunting on the face of it, because the only components I have made are the risotto and root vegetables. Yet this is what culinary school -- and eventual work in a restaurant -- is about: taking the unfamiliar and applying familiar techniques.

Osso buco is braised. I can do that.

Salad Nicoise is an artfully arranged collection of raw vegetables and a few other items. I can do that.

Beet borscht is a soup, made similarly to many soups -- slow cooking to gain flavor and tenderness. I can do that.

I can do this. I can cook.

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