Thursday, April 30, 2009

Amuse Bouche and Sous Vide/Low Temp Cooking

Two of the coolest aspects of Level 3 in culinary school are coming up with an amuse bouche, a small bite to be eaten before an appetizer, and learning about sous vide and low temperature cooking. Everyday, we're given a few random ingredients that were available in the store room and as a team [of four] come up with an amuse bouche that uses at least two of the ingredients of the day and anything in the kitchen a la Iron Chef (much smaller scale, of course.) I have to say my class is extremely creative and have come up with some really innovative and delicious amuses.
I think the ingredients for these amuses were shrimp, lime and something else I can't recall. Our teacher claimed these dishes to be the best amuses he's seen/tasted in a long time.

I didn't make these but thought they were so adorable. The ingredients available were grapes, farmer's cheese, olives and black truffles.

While we didn't get to try sous vide and low temperature cooking first hand, the instructors did a great job demonstrating the difference between sous vide and low temperature cooking as well as the advantages over conventional cooking methods. Sous vide cooking usually consists of putting food products into plastic bags and vacuuming sealing the bags to which further cooking can take place....i.e. in a low temperature controlled container. The eggs shown before were poached via low temperature method to different temperatures to show the difference stages of cooked egg. It was pretty cool to see how big a difference one degree makes.

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