Thursday, January 1, 2009

Lesson 5: Menu

Happy New Year!

I am looking forward to Lesson 5 because I don't normally cook and eat fish. It is not something that I dislike, just something that I don't usually buy and cook at home. I also don't normally order fish when we eat out, although my wife and I enjoy going out for sushi and often order crab cakes when we see them on a menu. I also really like calamari, however other than that, I normally select other items to cook at home or to order off a menu. I would really like to find good home fish recipes that would open myself and my wife to eating more fish, and something about the Fish and White-Bean Stew gives me hope.

Here is the menu for Lesson 5, found on pg. 29:


Lesson 5


Salade Messidor



Cassoulet de Poissons



Biscuit de Savoie, Creme Anglaise


In my last post I mentioned that timing may be an issue with finding fesh ingredients, mostly focussed on the fish. I have done some initial research, and Mike at Olde Porte Fisheries has assured me that it should be no problem getting whiting, monkfish and for Lesson 6, fresh mussels. This again is someone that has been extremely helpful and willing to share information with me, for which I am very thankful. My research was done the week before Christmas and since then I have yet to follow up again regarding the fish. I will be doing that this week and hopefully cooking this weekend or next.

The other timing issue would be that the first course of this menu is Summer Harvest Salad, and I will be enjoying this in the middle of winter (if you call it winter when it doesn't snow and everyone, including myself, has been complaining about it being "cold" when the highs are in the 50's and lows in the 30's-40's). I am not too worried about the ingredients for the salad, as I have already seen places to buy most, if not all of the ingredients.

As for the unknown, I am curious and excited about the Sponge Cake with Creme Anglaise. The desserts have definitely been a highlight. As an extension from the sorbet I might be curious enough to double the amount of Creme Anglaise, so that I could freeze some to make ice cream. I have also noticed that I will be making the Creme Anglaise as a base for Bavarian Cream in Lesson 6, a Strawberry Bavarian Cream in Lesson 7, and Creme Anglaise again in Lesson 8, so in the next few recipes I can expect a lot of practice.

In addition to the Creme Anglaise, the other lesson will be to make mayonnaise. Page 31 starts by saying "mayonnaise is very easy to make", which is far enough for me to read to not freak out (even though the rest of the sentence reads "if you follow a few rules").  Following directions, I can handle that, so mayonnaise should be no problem...right?

Can't wait for the fish to arrive!


The Mediocre Cook said...

Mayonnaise. Definitely something to try by hand. I must say it is a lot of work though.

05. Mayonnaise

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

I was thrilled to have found your blog. After taking several classes at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and here in Chicago, my husband bought me 3 Le Cordon Bleu books for Christmas, Le Cordon Bleu cooking techniques and kitchen essentials and the book that you are using.

Earlier today, I started reading your posts from the begining and am enjoying your process and progress as I follow along with my book.

(I also follow the Alinea at home blog as I have dined there many times and have that is the same blogger as French Laundry at home...)

I added a link to your blog site on my own food blog, Feasting on Pixels:
I hope that this is ok with you.

I will be following your progress and learning along with you.
Bon chance et bon app├ętit...!

Mark said...

thanks so much for reading through and commenting on my blog. If you have a chance I have a few email questions that I would like to ask.