February 24, 2012

garde manger preview

Garde Manger, French for "keep to eat", commonly refers to the cold kitchen (salads, cold appetizers). In larger operations it involves buffet and elaborate presentation pieces. In my interpretation, garde manger also involves recycling leftovers, keeping scraps and recombining them into something different (terrines seem to be a perfect example).

Chef Oakley has us divided into stations: pâté/terrines, sausages, open-face sandwiches and compound salads. But before setting us to work he demo-ed most of what we would be doing. First up, meat terrine:

making meat terrine

It literally contains everything: cold cuts, ground meat, pork loin, dried fruits, madeira wine (brandy would be even better). It's encased in a layer of dough so it's almost like a pie. After being baked and cooled, gelatin is injected, which fills all of the gaps. Here's the finished product, cut into slices.

Chef also made vegetable terrine with marinated/grilled vegetables. Everything was layered and compacted, just like meat terrine. The gelatin, however, was sprinkled as a powder between the layers - since the vegetables Chef used produce water when baked, he said that would activate/bloom the gelatin.
making vegetable terrine

Chef also made hot dog from scratch, which didn't taste like the industrial hot dogs because it lacked that characteristic springy/chewiness. It was more like the original frankfurters, fattier/richer tasting, more like actual meat. Sadly, I kind of missed the industrial hot dog taste.

making hot dogs

Lastly Chef demo-ed a compound salad, which is a salad without greens. He made the best cous cous I have ever tasted - flavored with orange zest and cinnamon, fluffy (having been lightly raked with a fork after cooking), and combined with diced cucumbers and toasted almonds.

cous cous salad

Demos, although helpful, mostly had us standing around while Chef worked. Can't wait to get hands on!

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