Fundamentals of cooking, Week 5

Look at that brunoise!

Look at that brunoise!

Week 5 officially marked the mid-way point for the quarter. I’ve barely noticed the time going by, this has been so much fun!

This week we continued working with seafood and made one of my all-time favorite dishes, shrimp scampi. We also started to dig into working with butter, which is why scampi was the best choice possible. We clarified butter and made two types of compound butter. I never understood what the point of clarifying butter was, but you do it to remove the milk solids so you’re left with pure butter. It makes a difference in the end result of the final dish. You can pretty much use clarified butter in any instance you would use regular butter. (Except for baking, I am unsure if that’s an ok substitute.)

We also had an unofficial knife skills test. I use the term “unofficial” because it was a test for which we were evaluated, but this program is not a degree program, so grades don’t count. And boy am I lucky they don’t. The test consisted of trussing then breaking down a chicken into eight pieces, bone on the breast, and various cuts of different vegetables. I was a little intimidated about the chicken because I missed the demonstration class, so, never in my life had I broken down a whole chicken. I figured it couldn’t be that hard, just go for the joints. Turned out I was pretty darn close and did pretty good with my first few cuts.

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