Sunday, January 03, 2010

Getting in shape for culinary school ... by cooking

Back to culinary school on Monday for my third term, and what better way to prepare than making Sunday dinner? Here's what's cooking:

Braised beef ribs (with the bone left long, 6-8 inches, for flavor and presentation. After browning and then "sweating" the mirepoix in rendered bacon fat, I am braising them in chicken stock and red wine at 225º F. for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is ready to fall off the bone.

Braised fennel and apples. Slicing the fennel lengthwise and the apples in eighths. I will sweat a diced shallot in 1 TB unsalted whole butter before adding water, bringing it up to a simmer and then adding in the fennel and apples. Should take 20-30 minutes covered on low heat.

Pommes duchesse, the fancy mashed, then piped, then baked potatoes.

Brown sauce thickened with roux and strained from the remains of the rib braising.

I will blanch and then fry a bit of the fern-like green tops from the fennel for garnish.

Check back later today to read how it turns out and for a full rundown on expectations in the first week of classes in Culinary Foundations III.

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