Sunday, August 30, 2009

Success, Failure, Disaster

Successes: My first day at the pastry shop was great! We made tiramisu from start to finish, chocolate mousse cakes wrapped in a stenciled chocolate sheath, and mini fruit tarts. The chef is all about spending time imparting her knowledge to me, which is definitely not something I'm used to from my job as line cook.

Failures: Dinner last night was a bit of a nightmare. I spent a lot of time on it, got tired and hungry and frustrated near the end of the process, and wasn't too happy with the final results. The dish was baked cod with a lobster-broth sauce and purple potato and chive croquettes. I ate at the restaurant where Di works a while ago, and was very impressed by the sauce served with their pastry-wrapped fish (Cod? Haddock? can't quite remember). The menu called it a bouillabaisse, but it was refined and subtle and perfect with the mild fish. My idea was to make a tomato-heavy lobster broth some shells left over from the lobster dinner, then finish it with a bit of cream. As usual with stocks, I used too much vegetable, and the flavor ended up sweeter and less lobster-centered than I wanted, but it worked alright when finished with cream. The purple potato croquettes looked really beautiful before frying and actually ended up tasting just fine as mashed potatoes, but my plan for frying them in a tempura batter (I had no bread crumbs) failed miserably because the batter didn't stick to the potatoes. To top things off, I also let the cod overcook a bit. Oh well, lessons learned and a decent recipe idea stored away.

Disaster: Last week I cracked the inner glass panel on my oven while trying to create steam for baking baguettes. A bit of hot water splashed onto the panel and the glass cracked immediately. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about it.

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