Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Market Basket

Well we made it to the Western Market Basket Finals too, but we lost in the final round of both Asian and Western competitions. Gotta be happy with what we got, though for a moment there I really thought we were going to win the Western Cuisine competition when the chefs named our Meunière of Lapu-lapu (grouper) and Crab-Meat Mousseline with Leek Creme a favorite.

Both championship rounds were black box, of course: as in the ‘Iron Chef’ TV shows, specific ingredients available for the competitors' use were a mystery to until the match began. In addition, a "black box" containing mandatory ingredients was a huge factor. Not only were you required to use the black box ingredients, a quantity limit was also set (e.g. 1 cup butter maximum for the western cuisine competition).

I must say I learned a whole lot and had a lot of fun. The ref raids I always do for fun at home turned out to be good training. These competitions were tests of nerves and composure as much as of cooking skill, and a sense of humor, though it didn't bag us the win, proved to score points.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Evil snack

It's half past midnight. I only had a few slices of pizza around 6pm so naturally I'm hungry again. I've put together a plate of reheated leftovers from Monday's Spanish Tapas lesson: smoked salmon filled pastry, saffron rice with morcillas (Spanish blood sausage), Canalones stuffed with a forcemeat of chicken livers & calf brains and topped with béchamel, Mondongo Serrano (a spicy ox tripe dish with almonds, sort of a lightened, tomato-less callos). I'm finishing it all off later with a single dark-chocolate truffle. Can you say "cho-les-ter-ol"?! Teka sumasakit na yata batok ko hehehe.

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Asian Market Basket

Today, at my first ever cooking competition I helped advance my team to the final round of our school's "Asian Market Basket." We walked into the kitchen, were given 20minutes to design a 4-course Asian menu with the limited ingredients on hand, and three hours to execute it. Nowhere near as stressful as professional black-box competitions, but hey it was our first time. The parameters: Starting time 10:10am, submit menu at 10:30 (1 starch, 1 meat, 1 seafood/fish, 1 freehand), submit 1st dish for judging at 12:30, subsequent dishes at 1:00, 1:15 and 1:30. Ervin's Fried Noodles with Three Minced Meats, Francis' Prawns in Mango & Star Anise Sauce, Balot's Chicken with Three Mushrooms served with Derick's Garlic Chive & Mushroom Dumplings, and my Fish Gone to Heaven earned us a place in next week's finals against 4 teams from the other classes. Too bad we didn't get a chance to take photos. Now I'm preparing for the Western Market Basket elimination round on Friday. Wish us luck!

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Legacy Buffet

Our class presented its Legacy Buffet last Sunday. My first Executive Chef gig! Wasn't total disaster but I must say I wasn't too happy with it. I won't go into details but I felt pretty down just yesterday thinking back to the buffet. Moving on, moving on....this was the menu:

On the table:
Crab Boursin
Maple, Pecan & Glazed Fruit Boursin

Sushi Bar:
Tempura Maki
Futo Maki
California Maki
Tempura Tuna Sashimi
Salmon Sashimi

Salad Bar:
Caesar Salad
Kani Salad
Salade Cressoniere
Mixed Greens & Mesclun
Thai Pomelo & Hearts of Palm
Raspberry Yogurt Vinaigrette
Honey Mustard & Dill

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Menudo Sulipeña
Paella Majorcana
Prawns Thermidor
Baked Salmon w/ Tarragon Whisked Butter Sauce
Cauliflower au Gratin
Lengua con Salsa de Nueces

Roast Hanger Steak
Stuffed Turkey
Boneless Lamb Leg

Sauce Béarnaise
Wild Mushroom Demiglace
Cranberry Sauce
Mint Jelly

Pasta Station:
Spaghetti, Penne, Fresh Leek Fettuccine

Spicy Aglio Olio & Pignoli
Italian Sausage w/ Salsa Pomodoro
Pasta Ysabel (seafood in béchamel)

Crêpe Station:
Banana Cream Crêpes
Strawberries Savannah Crêpes
Apples Normandie Crêpes

Pies & Cakes:
Mango Cream Pie
French Chocolate Cake
Strawberry Cheesecake
Coffee Chiffon Cake

Mini Desserts (in shot glasses):
Chocolate Crème Brûlée
Lemon-Thyme Crème Brûlée
Coconut Panna Cotta
Wasabi Panna Cotta
Raspberry Mousse
Peach Mousse
Dark Chocolate Truffles
White Chocolate & Macadamia Truffles

Sampaguita Ice Cream Topped w/ Sliced Fresh Mango
Sicilliano Gelato

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