Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sauces 101, Pt 2

Last night was Part 2 of my Sauces 101 class as the Chopping Block. This time around we learned the rest ofthe "Mother Sauces," which were:

We had a different instructor and assistants this time. They were all great, solidifying my impression of quality at the store across the board. If I had noted names, I would definitely give them props here.

I made sure to work towards more equal time with my table partners on the hands on stuff , which I facilitated by moving to the other side of the table from the stove. That worked out pretty well.

The downside was that I only ended up being hands on with the hollandaise. I didn't worry about the vinaigrette or mayonnaise, because I've done the first and the second seemed really, really easy. But I wasn't paying attention like I should have and missed out on the buerre blanc.

I actually started the hollandaise, but handed off the whisk. My partners then had the dreaded curdle, which I think was function of keeping the egg over the heat too long. I was handed the whisk for the second attempt and I rocked it. Practice. It paid off.

I also got compliments from the staff for my knife skills on my shallots. I'm still slow, but those are coming along.

A few observations/things I learned:

Mustard is, apparently, a common ingredient in mayonnaise, used as an emulisfier. What I don't get is how you get any other flavors like a regular mayonaisse or an ailoi with the mustard in there. The instructor said that you wouldn't be able to tell, but I'm not yet 100% convincd. I could definitely taste it in ours. So, I'm thinking that egg yolks are the way to go.

A few years ago, the Pulse button on my KitchenAid food processor died, so I have to use the On and Off buttons quickly to pulse, or twist the feeder/lid. Another guy in the class mentioned that his KitchenAid had the same exact problem, but that his father-in-law was able to fix it. I'm very, very tempted to give this a try. Not quite at the point of getting out the tool box, but... This came up because we used the exact same model that I have for the mayonaisse.

We made the hollandaise with a double-boiler, which Peterson recommended against. I asked about it and they thought the direct heat method is harder to control the heat (the opposite of what Peterson says),but is done in kitchens more for time, fewer pans, etc. The boiler is definitely more forgiving with the heat. Now that I know the direct heat way, I may stick with it.

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