Class 1 & 2: Stocks and Salads
There is a new wannabe chef in town. They have been faking it all these years, buying premade stocks and never, ever filleting their tomatoes. This person is me. But not for long! For Summer ’16, I’ve got new things to learn on the horizon! And it’s going down every week at George Brown’s Culinary Arts School at their Culinary Arts I Concurrent Education program. Don’t forget to follow “tofoodies” on Snapchat every Tuesday between 6 PM and 10 PM to get in on the action LIVE.
Alas, a recap is in order.
The first class was more of a “getting to know you”/”you getting to know us” deal. We went over everything that we needed to buy for the class. Uniforms and recipe ingredients come with the course. Individual tiny sieves, citrus reamers, fish spatulas, etc. do not. Who knew how to pick a good knife? The advice was super practical and shout out to Tap Phuong for having literally (literally) everything I needed that I didn’t have already.
Just my luck, I was recently gifted this Strongbow #SummerofCider insulated picnic basket (filled with ciders, praise) and I am currently using it to transport all my little wares. Aside from looking like a super hype picnic basket, it also works like a cooler. Meaning, I can easily carry home my leftovers from class in the same functional bag. I’ll try to stop bragging now, but it’s really hard and I’m obsessed.
What did we learn? Stocks. The basics of oh so many recipes. Since we weren’t properly outfitted on Day 1, we just watched. Future classes will have demos by our instructor and then labs so we can immediately get our hands dirty. White stock, brown stock, and fish stock- this gal has got recipes for days.
Finally! Outfitted. Looking the part. Looking good?
We watched a demo of cucumber and dill salad, as well as a Pacific Rim salad with seared steak. It’s amazing how simply watching someone else cut a vegetable can total change your approach/make you realize how wrong you were doing it. I’ve been holding my paring knives like pens my whole life, and you’ve really got to tuck your fingers in to get the best control. It feels weird at first. It’s almost as hard as breaking the habit of biting my nails, but I’m keeping at it.
First recipe to conquer! Tuscan bean salad. I probably cannot share the step-by-step recipe, but it was delicious with white beans, peppers (green, red, and yellow), prosciutto, red onion, basil, parsley, oregano, and asiago cheese. You get it. The dressing was extra simple with lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and garlic with salt and pepper “tt” (that means, “to taste”).
Last summer, I joined an intramural baseball team. It was fun and great to get outside and bond with a group of people over physical activity. But this is a totally new experience and my first time back to school since graduating from university. Oddly enough, I am loving it.