Archive | October, 2012

Garde Manger & a Refreshing Recipe

Happy hump day friends. How is everybody’s week going so far? I’ve got one more half day and I am DONE for the week!! (I bet I just lost some followers) Don’t be too jealous, I am currently in the garde manger phase of school and it’s not my favorite thing I’ve ever done. Garde manger, “cold kitchen”, is a class focused on just that, cold things. Cold soups, sauces, pates, terrines, canap├ęs, chartucerie (bluhHH). Anyways, it’s invaluable information I am absorbing but sometimes it’s hard to get over the moon excited about force meat.

Today was different, though. We made a lobster vichyssoise, gazpacho, cold roasted tomato soup, and sweet pea mint. We are really learning how to season cold preparations because it’s a whole different ball game that hot applications.

We are also learning how to extract as much flavor possible from every ingredient we are given. We used the shrimp shells yesterday to make a fish stock for today’s vichyssoise as well as the lobster shells in the cooking liquid, it really does make a difference. After we have pureed the soups, we strain them through a fine chinoise and garnish with the appropriate ingredient, in this case, fresh lobster.

The real show stealer today was actually the roasted tomato soup. Who wants there tomato soup cold? I do now. Especially since its still eighty degrees here in Memphis. This is the most concentrated, sweetest, smokiest broth.

How do y’all like these Parmesan wafers? I made them in the microwave!!! My favorite chef I’ve had at school taught me this trick he learned in Italy (shocking, right?). Microwave 1 oz of grated parm for 60 seconds and voila!

Use this recipe and then use it again. I suggest reserving some of the soup for a tomato sauce. You could ladle one cup of the soup into a sauce pan, reduce by half, add fresh basil, penne, and parmesan–an easy, flavorful supper.

Cold Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

1 oz garlic, minced

1/4 oz olive oil

4 oz celery, chopped

4 oz onion, chopped

10 oz leeks, chopped

1 lb pum tomatoes (roasted in the oven 400-10 minutes)

16 oz vegetable stock

1 oz basil

1/2 bay leaf

kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

What you do:
lightly sautee garlic, leeks, celery and onion. add tomatoes, stock basil and bay leaf. Simmer 40 minutes. Remove bay leaf and puree the soup in a blender, season, cover and refrigerate until cold.