Friday, January 15, 2010

No mis-steak about it: good day in the kitchen

Friday was filled with optimistic signs: The sun was shining, birds were chirping, the buses ran on time.

Oh, and we cooked red meat at culinary school. Specifically, filet mignon and grilled skirt steak.

Accompanying them were a wide range of side dishes, from the very daunting -- blue cheese soufflé-- to the routine -- sautéd green beans with julienned carrots. All went well.

The filet mignon was cooked to Chef's desired doneness, medium rare. The mushroom and Madeira wine sauce I made for the filet was the proper consistency, that is napér or thick enough to coat a spoon, and was seasoned right. The soufflé came out of the oven golden brown and the right height. Chef dinged me a bit for the green beans as a bit overcooked, and that's because I left them in the sauté just a bit too long.

The skirt steak had marinated overnight in olive oil, garlic, tarragon and thyme. After patting it dry, it went on the grill. Its thinness made it a challenge to keep at Chef's order of medium rare. Yet, I delivered it that way, sliced cross-grain on the bias and lined up neatl down the middle of the plate. It was accompanied by potato croquettes laced with prosciutto and parmesan cheese and a warm salad of artichoke hearts with red bell peppers and parsley and sherry/mustard vinaigrette. I lost only a half-point on the plate, for underseasoning my steak. I had neglected to salt it before going to the grill, and Chef noticed right away.

Not quite mistake free, but certainly mis-steak free, ending the week on a high note.

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