The advanced technique classes on offer this semester were Sous Vide Cooking, Modern Sauces, and Charcuterie. I tried to get into the first two, wanting more experience in those, but since I've taken advanced classes before I had to be part of a lottery, which I lost. But then somebody dropped the class and I was able to add.
So I missed one class, but the class I started on was sous vide steak and salmon! The class was divided into team of 5-6, and each team had to come up a steak dish and a salmon dish. The proteins were all cooked sous vide (in a temperature-controlled water bath) for the same amount of time. For example, all the steaks were cooked for 45 minutes in 135F water (making the meat medium rare throughout) and then seared with butter, garlic and thyme. But the seasonings, side dishes and sauces were up to us.
My team did steak, mashed potatoes and green beans. I volunteered myself for green beans, which I blanched and then sauteed (olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, shallot, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar). Then I helped up with the sauce (brown, otherwise known as beef stock with mirepoix, roux, tomato paste, and a sachet of herbs). And I did the plating. Very traditional looking, as Chef Morse commented.
This team did a take on beef pho - fried noodles, basil, chili, broth.
Another did a modern plating with baby carrots, thin-sliced potato and micro herbs.
And another did an appetizer-like plating with steak cubes, potato puree rosette, pesto sauce, horseradish foam.
For our salmon dish we did wild rice pilaf and tomato salad. The sous vide salmon was melty and soft, sashimi-like in texture.
Overall I prefer sous vide steak but not sous vide salmon. But of course any day with steak and salmon is a good day.