Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lesson 3 : Fish, Chicken & Puff Pastry

Guess what?! I forgot my camera again. Shame on me :( But the good thing is I brought my camera to the following classes and I've got some photos to show you all in the next posts.

We roasted a whole chicken, we made some chopped vegetables with it. The chicken was roasted with some seasoning, herbs and oil. We were taught on how to tie the chicken legs and wings to ensure it isn't all over the place. By tying the legs and wings close to the chicken body helps to keep the chicken juicy and avoid it from drying out. It is important to turn the chicken to the other side to make sure that it is roasted properly. Some water was added to the tray to make more sauce, it was only added towards the end. Once roasted, we got to have a little taste. It was so juicy and delicious.

I did this in my Full time class again in Lesson 7, and the good thing is I brought my camera for this. So here's some photos. We had to prepare the Mirepoix first. 
Mirepoix is roughly chopped vegetables about the same size to be roasted together and also can be made into a jus (as shown below).

My roast chicken with vegetables, roasted pumpkins and turned potatoes. 

Next, we learnt how to scale, fillet, clean and cook the fish. It was lightly coated with some flour/crumb also known as Chapelure in french and pan-fried in some clarified butter. Clarified butter is melted butter left to set, so that the liquid and heavier substance separates and the top layer is used to cook the fish. Clarified butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter, therefore is preferred in cooking as well as it last longer than regular butter.

Finally, some pastry work. We did our own puff pastry from scratch. Remember in Lesson 2 where I told you that our pastry teacher gave us a sneak peek on how to make it. This time we actually made it. It involves a simple folding technique. Though it seemed easy, it was important to make sure that it was done properly. *At last, I finally got to make my own puff pastry.* The butter used in the puff pastry has 8% of water content way lesser than the ones we buy from the supermarket for domestic use. So it might be better to use margarine, as it is more pliable.

We learnt about cross-contamination and how to avoid it from happening. There are 3 types of contamination. Physical, Chemical and Biological contamination.

For example:
Physical contamination - when food contains foreign matter such as glass, hair, nail varnish.
Chemical contamination - when food is in contact with pesticides, toxic materials or chemicals. (If you don't rinse the lettuce properly)
Biological contamination - arises from disease-causing micro-organism such as bacteria, mould, yeasts, virus or fungi.

I'll see you in the next lesson! :)

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