Home > Cooking school > Knives and Fire VIII (Week 2)

Knives and Fire VIII (Week 2)

We were taped today!

There was a camera guy and a sound guy and a girl to do the interviews, and they all got to eat and watch us cook, and I even got interviewed. Which was all very cool. It will be on the web eventually, and when it is, I’ll post the link.

Meanwhile, we continued with pasta sauces and pasta making today. He showed us how to make gnocchi – we baked Idaho potatoes, pierced to let the steam out. The baked potatoes were split and cooled on a rack, and then, using spoons, three teams of people scooped out the “meat”, which they pushed through a china cap in lieu of a potato ricer. This was mixed with eggs and salt, and flour, and kneaded. Then it was rolled into snakes and cut and shaped with either a thumb or a crosshatch with forks.

I didn’t do this. Nor did I cut more pasta. What did I do? Shallots – I minced and chopped two-three dozen shallots, after peeling them. Then I french-cut haricot vert – I shredded them lengthwise. I was doing the mise en place for pasta primavera, you see. One student helped me with the shallots, and another did the julienne for other veg for the pasta. After I finished the green beans, I made *another* velouté. I’d already made a second last night, so this would be a third. This was a double recipe – 4oz fat (clarified margarine), 4 oz flour and 10 cups of stock. And it came out beautifully – plus chef seemed happy I used the right tool (a spatula) at the right time (to conquer lumps as I added the stock.) I strained it with help (the pot was heavy), and it needed some cooking down, but that was *good* given that it was an ingredient in various sauces.

I then made fettucini primavera pesto, using handmade pasta. I sweated shallots in a very small amount of olive oil until they were transparent. Meanwhile, I put the pasta and vegetables (broccoli florets and the shredded haricot vert) into separate batches of boiling salted water. I added a few 2oz ladles of velouté sauce and a couple large spoonfuls of pesto sauce plus a few julienne of tomatoes into my sautause. At this point, the pasta and veg were cooked, so I added them to the pan. I added salt and pepper and swirled the pasta and then the sauce onto a plate.

It was DELICIOUS, and Chef approved. I can’t say I’ve conquered fire, but at least I’m not defeated. YAY.

After that, I had an interview and helped clean the kitchen because Chef’s assistant couldn’t come in today. We ALL helped clean the kitchen, I mean – they even took apart the stove (cute moment – we’re supposed to shout “hot pot” if moving across the kitchen with one. One guy shouted “hot stove” when moving with a part of the stove top to the sink.)

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  1. January 15, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    You know, maybe after you’ve worked in a kosher restaurant for a while, by which time the economy will be better, you could open your own little cafe. You could sell a tasteful collection of books and comics in the front and have tables for coffee/tea and a nice kosher bite in the back. So what if you’re not open on Friday and Saturday, you’d probably only be open for brunch, lunch and high tea four or five days a week anyway.

    I think it would be a very nice place. I’d patronize it if I lived in NYC. I’d send all my friends, too. It’s certainly been nice for me to think about for you.

  2. otherdeb
    January 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I’d patronize it (and I bet would, too), and neither of us keep particularly kosher. I mean, really — books, tea, and food cooked by MamaDeb…what could be bad?

  3. January 15, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I’ve been considering that very thing – a breakfast/lunch/afternoon place. I don’t think I want the additional headache of selling new books but I might keep a shelf or two of used ones to swap around, and that would certainly include graphic novels.

    There would be couches and tables and, if I could manage it, rocking chairs. I’d have good coffee and a nice selection of teas and little pots. I’d get pastries and bagels and the best breads I can afford. In the mornings, there would be crockpot oatmeal and breakfast sandwichesl, with salads, soups and sandwiches the rest of the day – and I’d try to have a soup, salad and sandwich of the day, too. Maybe I’d put out a tray of cucumber sandwiches for tea time, just to do.

    It would most certainly be dairy.

    And I’d have wifi and as many outlets as I can afford and schedule a sit and stitch.

  4. avram wiseman
    January 28, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I would gladly eat here. Let me know when you are opening Momadeb
    Great Blog. You are something special
    Avram Wiseman

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