Culinary School Week 5: More knife cuts and we make soup

We took and got back our 2nd quiz this week, and yesterday (Tuesday) we went back into the kitchen to learn a few more knife cuts, and how to cut up vegetables.

First step to supreme a lemon

First step to supreme a lemon

Cutting the pith off a red bell pepper

Cutting the pith off a red bell pepper

Chef Sakai first showed us how to supreme a lemon (pronounced “su-prim” or “su-preem”).  This is where you cut the flesh out of the citrus fruit without taking any of the pith, including the barriers between sections.  If you’ve ever had a salad at a nice restaurant with sections of lemon or orange on it, they were probably supreme’d.I realized I didn’t take any pictures of the fully supreme fruit, either when I was done or when Chef Sakai demoed. I’ve included a pic of the lemon with the peel off. You can see the divisions in the sections of fruit. You just cut those out.

He demoed how to cut up a red bell pepper. I knew basically how to do this, but the Scotch in me doesn’t like cutting the ends off and throwing them away so you have a really nice rectangular piece of pepper to julienne. A smart Chef will try and come up with another dish to use those bits.

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Chef Stockman fluting a mushroom

My three tourne'd shrooms

My three tourne’d shrooms

The final knife work we did was tourne, or flute, a mushroom. I had seen this in a Youtube video, and I actually did it really well, amazingly enough.  There are several techniques to do it. The mushrooms we had were old and the top layers didn’t cut cleanly, so the result wasn’t that good, but the cuts themselves were pretty regular, if I do say so myself.

We then made a couple of cream soups. My team did Cream of Mushroom soup (had to put all those pieces to good use, right?) and the other team did Cream of Carrot soup. The process is pretty easy. Saute the mushrooms and some onion in butter (of course, this is all French, after all), then add stock and milk. The book said to run through a food mill, but we just wizzed it with an immersion blender, then add cream to finish. Season to taste.

Blending the mushroom soup

Blending the mushroom soup

It turned out OK. Not all that creamy. I would have put in a lot more mushrooms, but we did the recipe in the text book. The carrot soup I thought was better.  It had fine lumps in it, but it was good. I’m sure if we’d gone to the trouble of putting it in the VitaMix (which I would have done at home) it would have been silken, but we were running short of time and the point was to learn the process.

Today we had a bunch of lecture on potatoes and vegetables. We’re a bit behind and we’re trying to get caught up. We’ll probably be in the kitchen the rest of the week so I’ll do an update this weekend sometime


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