Today was our last day in our Foundations II class. Given our final written exam, we set out to complete the last two dishes of Poached Salmon, Rice Pilaf with Lemon Beurre Blanc sauce and tourned zucchini. Second dish, Grilled Pork Chop with Sauce Chasseur, tourned potatoes, and broccoli.
Given more time than needed is a real interesting phenomenon. You mize en place, and then prep all your veggies, par boil what needs par boiling, make the Court Bouillon liquid for poaching your fish, get the grill hot for your pork chop and then realize your window is 45 minutes away. Just to clarify, windows are a time frame the Chef's will accept food to be evaluated. Today it was 12:45 for our first dish, + or - 5 minutes, and the second dish was 12:55, 1:00 window closes for your second plate. Miss the 12:50 window and chef will not accept your first dish. No points for you. It's all about timing. Anyone can cook stuff when all you need to do is get it on the table sometime tonight. It doesn't work that way at restaurants. Have you ever been to a restaurant where everyone else has their food and your waiting and waiting for yours? A sure sign of bad kitchen management.
At 12:30 I get cranking. Make sure the poaching liquid is at the right temp. Sauces made and holding. Saute the par boiled zucchini, potatoes and broccoli. 12:38 poach the fish. It takes 5 to 6 minutes for medium rare fish at 165 degrees poaching temp. 12:39 put the chop on the grill. It's a thick chop, should take 12 minutes cooking time and 5 minutes to rest. 12:41 turn chop from the 10 o'clock position to 2 o'clock position for those nice grill marks. 12:44 take the first plate out of the oven, hoping it isn't too hot to handle the Beurre Blanc sauce so it won't break when you sauce the plate. Plate the rice, place zucchini on the plate and pull the fish from the poaching liquid. 12:45 put the fish on the rice, sauce the plate, clean finger prints off the rim, remove any spills on the plate. Turn over the chop (nice grill marks) 12:46 take the plate to the chef. (first window made) 12:48 heat the Sauce Chasseur. 12:50 take the second plate out of the oven. 12:51 remove chop, place in oven to rest. 12:54 make sure your sauce is seasoned properly and ready to go, remove the chop from in the oven. 12:55 plate the potatoes and broccoli. 12:57, plate the chop. Put the sauce in a pretty fashion on the plate and on the chop. Wipe off the rim, no finger prints, take it to chef at 12:59. Second window made. Whew! What a rush. Score 97 out of a possible 100 points.
Now do this 1oo times a night.
You wonder why there aren't more cooks jumping out of windows.