Quantity I – Schnitzel and Spaetzle – 1/30/13

Isn’t that fun to say? This is German food. Ich spreche Deutsch, aber nicht sehr gut! It was simple to make and still came out tasty. We made a braised red cabbage and I think a split pea soup to go with it. It had a decent flavor but I think if I make it again I could do a lot more with it.

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Schnitzel, Spaetzle, and Braised Red Cabbage

Schnitzel

  • 2 veal cutlets
  • TT salt and pepper
  • As needed Flour
  • As needed Eggs
  • As needed Milk
  • As needed bread crumbs
  • As needed vegetable oil
  • 1 oz butter
  1. Using a mallet, pound the cutlets to an even thickness, approximately ¼ inch.
  2. Season the cutlets with salt and pepper
  3. Bread the cutlets using the standard breading procedure.
  4. Heat a heavy pan to moderate heat, add aprox 1/8 inch oil.
  5. Add the cutlets in a single layer. Do not crowd the pan. Brown one side, then the other. 4 minutes.
  6. Remove and drain cutlets.

Spaetzle

  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz water
  • 3.2 oz flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • .5 oz butter
  • TT salt and pepper
  • Parsley
  1. Whisk the eggs to blend. Add water, flour, salt and nutmeg. Mix by hand.
  2. Place batter in spaetzle maker over large pot of boiling water. Reduce to simmer.
  3. Cook in simmering water until they float. Refresh in ice water.
  4. Sauté in butter, season and garnish.

Quantity I – Chicken Leg Stuffed with Mushrooms and Proscuitto – 1/23/13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of my favorite dishes to make. It’s got a story to go with it:

In high school, I befriended a girl. She was pretty cool and we got along well. We used to talk on AIM almost every day. She eventually got up the courage to tell me that she liked me, but I didn’t feel the same way. That made things awkward between us. We stayed friends but both ended up going our own separate ways. After high school, we never really talked.

A few years later, I was browsing Facebook and saw a post by her talking about a video game that I played a lot at the time. Yep, World of Warcraft. I messaged her and we talked for a bit. I realized that she was actually really, really cute and attractive now, and had been for a while. I suggested we grab dinner some time to catch up, but we were both very busy people. We planned to meet in December, when the semester was over. Unfortunately, we both forgot.

Another year or so later, I got an email from a dating site I used. Someone with a very high match percentage had visited my profile. It turns out it was her. It was a little awkward talking to her again given the circumstances. We finally set a concrete date to hang out again. We went for sushi! As we talked, I realized that the tables had turned: I was massively attracted to the same girl I had rejected 8 years earlier.

It took me a day to build up the courage to tell her how I felt. I didn’t know how she’d feel after such a long time had passed. She was actually quite thrilled because she still held those feelings. It was all very emotional. We set a date and I took her to a very nice French restaurant in Winter Park called Chez Vincent. I’ll never forget what we ordered:

  • Quail with a raspberry sauce
  • Stuffed chicken breast with shiitake mushrooms, swiss cheese and a country dijon sauce
  • Chocolate and raspberry mousse with a mango sauce

The girl is gone but that dinner is burned in my mind, so it was surprising when I discovered that we’d be learning how to make it. This is obviously a different variation, but I’ve since learned how to make the original meal. I’ve tried experimenting to fit the different flavors from the three dishes into one, but I’ve learned that desserts should stay desserts. The best I’ve come up with is a custom raspberry sauce to go with it. My version is tentatively titled Heartbreak Chicken.

But anyway, here’s the dish we made in class:

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Chicken Leg Stuffed with Mushrooms and Proscuitto, and Ratatouille

 

Chicken Leg Stuffed with Mushrooms and Proscuitto

  • 2 Chicken legs
  • 1oz Whole butter
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 slice Bacon, small dice
  • 1 oz onion
  • 2 oz heavy cream
  • 2 oz bread crumbs, fresh
  • TT salt and pepper
  • 1 oz Whole butter, melted
  • Supreme sauce
  1. Debone the chicken leg and thighs, leaving skin attached
  2. Heat butter in sauté pan. Add onions and bacon and sauté for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and onions and sauté for 2 minutes or until mushrooms are tender
  3. Add cream and reduce by half. Add breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Season.
  4. Divide stuffing between legs. Tie legs up.
  5. Place legs in a roasting pan and brush with melted butter. Cook at 375 for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove and cut twine. Cut into slices and serve with sauce. 

Ratatouille

  • 2 oz onions, medium dice
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 2 oz olive oil
  • 1 oz green pepper, medium dice
  • 1 oz red pepper, medium dice
  • 2 oz eggplant, medium dice
  • 1 oz zucchini, medium dice
  • 4 oz tomato concassee
  • 1 oz basil
  • TT salt and pepper
  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in oil.
  2. Add the bell peppers, eggplant and zucchini and sauté until tender, approx. 10 minutes.
  3. Add tomato, basil and seasonings. Sauté for 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings

Quantity I – Roast Chicken with Natural Gravy – 1/16/13

This was the first dish we learned how to make and I was pretty disappointed. It tasted good in the sense that if you apply heat to meat and a little seasoning, flavor happens. It was dull and uninspiring. To top it off, the colors were bland and that plate might be the worst plate I’ve ever seen. We never used them again, thank goodness!

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Roast Chicken with Natural Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower a la Polonaise.

I am proud of the fact that I learned how to truss a chicken.

Roast Chicken with Natural Gravy

  • -1 chicken, 3-3 ½ lb
  • TT salt
  • TT pepper
  • As needed oil or butter
  • Mirepoix:
  • 1 oz onions
  • .5 oz carrots
  • .5 oz celery
  • .5 qt chicken stock
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp stock
  1. Clean chicken.
  2. Season the inside of the chicken.
  3. Truss the chicken.
  4. Rub the outside with oil or butter.
  5. Place mirepoix in roasting pan. Place rack over mirepoix and place chicken on rack.
  6. Place chicken in oven preheated to 375.
  7. Heat for 45-60 minutes.
  8. Remove chicken and place in warm holding.
  9. Set roasting pan on range and brown the mirepoix.
  10. Add the strong stock and deglaze pan. Boil until reduced by 1/3
  11. Strain using china cap and cheesecloth.
  12. Quarter chicken and serve with gravy.

Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 oz butter
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • As needed milk
  • TT salt
  • TT pepper
  1. Peel and eye potatoes and cut them into uniform sizes. Simmer in salted water to cover until tender.
  2. Drain and let potatoes steam dry.
  3. Use food mill to grind potatoes down.
  4. Beat in butter, then cream.
  5. Add enough milk to bring potatoes to proper consistency.
  6. Add S/P to taste.

Cauliflower a la Polonaise

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Bread crumbs
  • Hard Boiled Egg white
  • Yolk
  • Parsley
  1. Gently boil cauliflower
  2. Mix together ingredients and top to serve.

Culinary Portfolio

For my current project, I’m uploading the various dishes I’ve made at school. I’m going to start from the beginning so they stay in chronological order. I’ll include the recipes but they’re all in my shorthand version.

I’ll also be uploading the various side projects and other interesting food things.

This Blog

Hey, my name’s Denver! (I’ve taken down my Monk-focused blog so you’ll probably want to delete this from your subscription!)

This blog is here to document my journey through food.

I am not a talented cook by any means. I make a lot of mistakes. In fact, I probably make more than a reasonable amount of mistakes. I always try to learn from them and I’m always looking to better myself. I do have an instinct for flavors, though!

I’m working on a Culinary Management degree at Valencia College. I’m still learning basic techniques and recipes. I’ve worked in various restaurants over the pas3t few years at the major theme parks in Orlando: Universal Studios, Seaworld and Walt Disney World. I only started working in a restaurant back in December 2011, so I consider my culinary experience to be quite limited. I didn’t have any kind of real history with cooking when growing up. My mom was pretty terrible at cooking, but my dad loved grilling. I used to make spaghetti with a lot of zeal when I was little, but I never really experimented with food until I was much older.

So here’s my adventure! Expect a lot of burnt chicken and soggy vegetables.