Sunday, August 1, 2010

Campbell's Beef Stew, it Was!

Friday ended our fourth week in Foundations II. For the first time, we were able to cook with proteins. That's right, beef and chicken were on the menu. Using one of Le Cuissons to cook our proteins, we made Beef Stew and Chicken Fricassee. Can you name le cuisson we used to cook these dishes? If you said braising, then you can move forward. Otherwise, back to Foundations I for you and no fricasseed chicken. Fricassee? It almost could be used for a swear word, "ah, go fricassee yourself!" But instead, it's a great way to do chicken. Making a liaison sauce (cream and egg yoke) reduction and adding it to the stock used to braise our chicken, it would be great over the homemade fettuccine we make on Wednesday. Yumm!

Beef Stew is what we had as kids when Thursday night rolled around. Left overs piled up in the fridge meant everything went into the pot, make some gravy, add a Bisquick crust and you had a great meal. This was very different. Classic beef stew made with seasoned seared chuck meat, add flour to make a roux, a little tomato paste, aromatics, cover in beef stock, and cook covered in the oven for 60 to 90 minutes. You need to check your stew, cause if the liquid evaporates, you get burned beef. Now how would I know that? Thinking swiftly, I added water to bring up the liquid level. Plated the stew, garnished with peas and parsley and presented it to my chef.

He told me, "It Tastes like Campbell's." You've got to love Chef Wang!

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