October 5, 2016
I had a feeling I would be the only one in class today and I was right. I got to the kitchen at 7:10 and found that I was the only one there, even my head chef was late because he forgot the fresh corn we were using for Chicken Maquechoux.
I had tofu, chicken maquechoux, and pho broth to work on today after setting up for service. Tofu was basic: we soaked some soybeans overnight and then blended them up with some water. We then put the milk mixture into a sauce pot and brought it up to 180 degrees. We strained the mixture and returned it to the heat until it was 180 degrees. We added Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to help coagulate the liquid. The pot was lidded and put to rest for a good two hours before putting the mixture into plastic containers lined with cheese cloth, pressed with plastic lids with coconut milk cans on top. By tomorrow morning, the tofu would be hard and dry enough to slice for next week.
I fried up some chicken pieces to go with the maquechoux during my lunch break and found that it would have been better to deep fry instead of pan fry; they didn’t get that fried chicken feel. I will just pop them in the fryer for a minute each time I get an order. As for the corn, I cut the kernels off the cobs and dropped the cobs in a pot of water to make corn stock with. We would then use that liquid to help thicken and deglaze the pan for the celery, onion, peppers, tomatoes, chantrel mushrooms and okra medallions. The garnish that went on top of the corn mixture and chicken was thinly sliced heirloom tomato skin and fried okra.
The best part of today was making new things and touching on things that I had already made once or twice before. It usually takes more than once for me to get a technique or cooking method down, unfortunately.