Memphis Move and Culinary School

WOW its February. It’s been a good while since my last post, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I made the move to Memphis finally!! Between school and my internship on Fridays at RSVP (and attempting a social life on the weekends), my free time has drastically dwindled down. I am so accustomed to having mornings and afternoons free—pretty much all day actually. Aside from an hour or two class a couple of days a week during my fall semester at Ole Miss, I was a free woman. This school and work thing has been quite an adjustment-but a good change nonetheless.  Culinary school started in January and it’s been a lot more work than I expected. It’s hard to describe my experience at L’ecole so far so I’ll start with this—everything we have learned, prepped, cooked, AND cleaned has been a very thorough, meticulous process. I’m in the first phase, culinary essentials, for 10 weeks and then I move on to another class. I cannot even comprehend how much I have learned and it’s only been a month. I dream about julienne, brunoise, and batonnet cuts of carrot. We are constantly perfecting our knife cuts down to the exact centimeter—or else start over. We’ve made mayonnaise, veal stock, ALL the mother sauces, béarnaise, consommé and so much more. I get to spend my Fridays interning at RSVP Memphis, which is such a treat. I love magazines. It’s such a one stop shop for me. Food, restaurants, people, clothes—new food, new people, new ideas all in one place. You get the point. Magazines beyond thrill me and getting to work at RSVP while im in school is such a treat for me. I’ve done a wee bit of cooking outside of class but not near as much as I should. By the time I get home, update my mom on my day, get updated on hers, go for a walk/run, read my blogs, and watch my shows, before I know it I’m back in bed dreaming about batonnet and brunoise—and then it starts all over again.

I did manage to experiment in the kitchen outside of school with a hometown favorite—pita mozz from Keifers in Jackson. I saw a recipe on Pinterest and had to give it go. I’m on my second bag of pitas in three days, needless to say it’s identical to Keifer’s most popular appetizer and I cant seem to get enough.

Butter a NONSTICK skillet-place pita in skillet to brown one side, flip and top with mozzeralla cheese ( I used Horizan organic part skim mozzeralla)—one thing I have learned in culinary school is that shredded cheese is not real cheese—I promise to love real, stinky cheese that does not come in a bag (except for when I make pita mozz because it just has to be the shredded for this to work). As soon as you top with mozzarella, flip the pita cheese side down ( this makes that golden brown crust signature to the dish) after about 30 seconds flip onto a plate. I also made a homemade feta dressing that I came close to drinking with a straw. It was delicious, and I really think it turned out so wonderful because the mayonnaise I used was homemade ( I made a practice batch before my midterm practical)- so mayo, greek yogurt, lemon juice, S&P and greek feta.

pita mozz-feta dressing

feta dressing-1/2 c. mayo, 1/2 c. greek yogurt, 1/2 lemon (juice only), tsp lemon zest, tbsp good olive oil, kosher salt and pepper to taste

homemade mayo-1 ego yolk, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dry mustard--whisk till frothy, 12 oz canola oil SLOWLY whisk into egg mixture until your arm is about to fall off and beads of sweat begin to form (a solid 15 minutes for me)

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