Wild Rice Stuffed Cornish Hen with Orange (Triple Sec) Jus Lie, Braised Fennel with Gruyere Cheese, & Fondant Potatoes

Picture
Though this dish may appear to be lacking some color, once you cut into the Cornish Hen and reveal the stuffing it is an array of colors. Also, the sauce in this dish is reason enough to make it. It is so good you could drink it!
Wild Rice Stuffed Cornish Hen with Orange (Triple Sec) Jus Lie

Ingredients                 Quantity              Measure              Specifications

Cornish hen                    2                        Pc                   Approx. 500 g each
Onion                            60                       G                    Brunoise
Mushrooms                    30                       G                    Sliced
Wild rice                        60                       G                    Cooked
Pine nuts                       20                       G                    Toasted
Cranberries, dried          30                       G            
Mirepoix                        90                       G                    Small dice
Orange                          1                        Pc                   Juice and zest
Oil, vegetable                 60                      mL         
Butter                            60                       G            
Stock, chicken               240                      mL         
Wine, white                    30                      mL         
Triple sec                       30                      mL         
Parsley                            2                     Sprigs               Chopped
Salt & white pepper                                                         To taste
Cornstarch                      20                       G                   Approx.

Method:
1.            De-bone the hens from the back, leaving only the drumstick bones in place.  Do not perforate the skin.                 Refrigerate.
2.            Sweat the onion in 30g of butter until soft.
3.            Add the mushrooms and the cranberries and continue until mushrooms are done.
4.            Incorporate the cooked wild rice, pine nuts and the wine.
5.            Heat thoroughly, add parsley and adjust the seasoning, cool mixture until ready to use.
6.            Place hens skin side down and season.
7.            Divide the filling between the hens.
8.            Reshape the hens.  Truss the legs in an upward position.
9.            Wrap with oiled paper strips, baste with butter and roast on silicon paper.
10.          Prepare a jus lie from the bones, mirepoix, orange, stock, triple sec and cornstarch.
11.          Remove paper strips from hens and serve with the Triple sec jus lie.

Note:
1.            For a slightly darker jus, a small amount of caramelized sugar can be added.

Braised Fennel with Gruyere Cheese

Ingredients                 Quantity              Measurements             Specifications

Fennel                             1                          Pc
Carrot                            45                           G                         Paysanne
Celery                            45                           G                         Paysanne
Onion                             45                           G                         Paysanne
Garlic                               1                        Clove                      Crushed
Stock, white                   500                         mL         
Cheese, gruyere              60                           G                         Grated
Butter                             30                           G            
Salt, white pepper,
bay leaf, clove                                                                           To taste

Method:
1.            Wash and trim fennel, cut in half.
2.            Cut carrot, onion and celery into paysanne.
3.            Line the bottom of a sautoire with the mirepoix.  Add garlic.
4.            Place the fennel on top, cut side down.
5.            Add the seasoning and the hot stock.
6.            Flake the butter on top, cover with the buttered silicon paper or with a lid.
7.            Bring to a boil and braise until tender.
8.            Remove cooked fennel from a pan and slice or cut into wedges.
9.            Reduce the liquid to a glaze and coat the fennel.
10.          Sprinkle with the cheese and brown under the salamander or quickly broil in the oven.

Fondant Potatoes

Ingredients                 Quantity              Measure              Specifications

Potatoes, white                4                      Pc                       Peeled
Butter                            60                       G            
Stock, chicken               250                     mL         
Stock, brown                 250                     mL         
Salt & white pepper                                                            To taste

Method:
1.            Turn potatoes with pairing knife into large chateau-like potatoes.
2.            Butter a small sautoire with some of the butter.
3.            Place potatoes in sautoir, flat side down.
4.            Season potatoes and fill approximately half way up with hot stock.
5.            Baste liberally with more butter and place in 375®F oven.
6.            Keep basting with the rest of the butter during the cooking process.
7.            When potatoes are done, most of the liquid should be absorbed and evaporated and the potatoes will                have a golden brown top.
8.            Coat slightly with butter just before serving.

 
 

Crusted Rack of Lamb With Ratatouille & Dauphine Potatoes

Picture
This was taken after being tasted by my Chef so please ignore the messy plating! I just thought I would still post the picture to show the general appearance of each dish. Enjoy!
Crusted Rack of Lamb

Ingredients                 Quantity              Measure              Specificatioins

Lamb rack                        1                     Each                 Chine bone removed
Mirepoix                          90                      G            
Mustard, Dijon                 30                      G            
Bread crumbs                  60                      G            
Parsley                             3                    Sprigs                Chopped
Stock, brown                  250                     mL         
Wine, red                        60                      mL         
Oil, vegetable                   60                     mL         
Oil, olive                          30                      mL         
Garlic                               1                     Clove                 Puree
Rosemary                         1                    Sprig     
Corn starch                      10                      G            
Salt & pepper                                                                   To taste

Method:
1.            Trim and clean the lamb racks as per demonstration.
2.            Season and sear the lamb rack, place in roasting pan with mirepoix and lamb bones.
3.            Roast for 10-15 min. at 400® F in oven or until the rare stage, turn over during roasting.
4.            With the eye side up, brush lamb with mustard.
5.            Mix the bread crumbs, garlic and parsley with the olive oil and press the mixture on to the rack.
6.            Return lamb to oven until bread crumbs become golden brown and the desired doneness has been                    achieved.
7.            Remove lamb from pan and rest before carving (keep warm).
8.            Prepare a jus with the bones, mirepoix, wine and stock.
9.            Strain jus and serve with the lamb.
10.          Slice rack between each bone.
11.          Dress on a plate with potatoes, vegetables and a cordon of jus.

Note:
1.            It may be necessary to thicken the jus slightly with some cornstarch.  It will then become a Jus Lie.
2.            The roasting time for the rack in the oven all depends on size, temperature of the meat and the                        temperature of the oven.

Ratatouille

Ingredients                 Quantity              Measure              Specifications

Eggplant                        100                      G                         Peeled
Zucchini                         100                      G            
Green peppers               100                      G            
Onions                          100                       G            
Garlic                               2                    Cloves                     Minced
Tomatoes                         2                     Each                      Peeled & seeded
Oil, olive                          45                      mL         
Parsley                             2                    Sprigs                     Chopped
Salt & black pepper                                                               To taste
Thyme, bay leaf,                                                                   To taste
basil & oregano                                             

Method:
1.            Dice the eggplant and the zucchini into 1 cm dice.
2.            Salt slightly and leave to drain in a colander.
3.            Cut onion and green pepper into 1 cm dice and sauté n 15 mL olive oil.
4.            Add the eggplant and zucchini. 
5.            Add the diced tomatoes with the garlic, herbs and seasonings, cove and stew gently until tender.

Note:
1.            Can also be placed in a mold lined with zucchini and baked.
2.            A traditional ratatouille is quite moist and stewed until all ingredients are very soft, often some tomato                juice/sauce is added

Dauphine Potatoes

Ingredients               Quantity              Measure              Specifications

Potatoes, white            500                      G                     Peeled
Choux Paste:                                    
Water                          125                     mL         
Hard flour                      75                      G            
Butter                            60                      G            
Eggs                               2                    Each      
Salt & white pepper                                                        To taste
Nutmeg or Mace                                                             To taste

Method:
1.            Cut potatoes to size, boil until soft in salted water, strain and dry in a warm oven.
2.            Prepare choux paste as per demonstration.
3.            Rice potatoes mix with choux paste and season.
4.            Shape as quenelle or pipe through a medium, plain or star tip onto silicon paper.
5.            Cut the paper between rows and deep fry.
6.            Turn out onto paper towel to drain.

Note:
1.            The usual ratio is 2/3 potatoes to 1/3 choux paste.
2.            This mixture is quite versatile and depending upon needs can be piped into a number of shapes.

 
 

Braised, Mediterranean Style Rabbit Legs Served Over Soft Polenta & Savoy Cabbage Bundles

Picture
Due to lack of dishes we plated the soft polenta, braised rabbit legs, roasted rabbit loin, & savoy cabbage bundles all together on the same plate. Garnished with gremolata.
Braised Mediterranean Style Rabbit Legs

Ingredients             Quantity              Measurements         Specifications

Rabbit                         1                               Pc                        Hind legs only
Olives, (Sicilian)           50                              G                         Pitted and halved
Shallot                        1                                Pc                        Brunoise
Garlic                          2                            Cloves                      Puree
Onion                          60                              G                         Mirepoix
Celery                         30                              G                         Mirepoix
Carrot                         40                              G                         Mirepoix
Stock, white                750                            mL         
Wine, white                 100                            mL         
Glace de viande           20                              mL         
Oil, vegetable              30                              mL         
Butter                         40                               G           
Parsley, flat leaf           2                            Sprigs                      Stems, chopped
Thyme, fresh               1                            Sprig     
Bay leaf                       1                               Pc          
Flour                           15                              G            

Gremolata:                                        
Pine nuts                    20                               G                         Toasted and chopped
Lemon                        ¼                              Pc                         Zest only
Capers                       15                               G                         Chopped


Method:
1.            Divide the rabbit legs into 2 pieces each at the joint.
2.            Season and pan-fry in hot oil and butter until evenly browned in a sautoire.
3.            Remove the browned pieces and reserve.
4.            In the same pan add the remaining oil and butter and brown the mirepoix, dust with flour and toast for                a minute.
5.            Add the garlic and wine and reduce by half.
6.            Add the stock, the herbs and the browned rabbit pieces.
7.            Braise with a lid in the oven until tender and cooked (approx 45-60 min).
8.            Remove the cooked rabbit and keep warm.
9.            Strain the jus and reduce to a coating consistency, if necessary, and adjust the body with glace de                    viande.
10.          In a separate pan sweat the shallots until soft, add the olives and continue cooking for approximately               one minute.
11.          Add the jus and simmer for a few minutes.
12.          Return the rabbit to the pan and heat through.
13.          Finish the sauce with the gremolata to taste.
14.          Add chopped parsley, adjust seasoning and serve.

Savoy Cabbage Bundles

Ingredients         Quantity              Measurements     Specifications

Savoy cabbage          ¼                                                         Head    
Onion                      100                               G                     Julienne
Carrot                       80                               G                     Julienne
Garlic                         1                              Clove                 Minced
Butter                       30                               G            
Stock, white             200                              mL         
Thyme                       2                             Sprigs   
Salt & black pepper                                                             To taste

                                               

Method:
1.            Blanch the cabbage and remove outer leaves as they soften.
2.            Refresh the leaves and drain.
3.            Slice the heart of the cabbage into a course julienne.
4.            Melt the butter in a sautoire.
5.            Sweat the onion, garlic, carrot and cabbage gently without color.
6.            Season, add a splash of stock, cover and cook over low heat until tender (8-10 min).
7.            Remove from heat and cool.
8.            Fill each cabbage leaf with some of the vegetable julienne.
9.            Twist into balls in a cloth to shape.
10.          Place in a buttered sautoire, add seasoned stock and braise until done.

Note:
1.            Brush with a little melted butter before serving to give cabbage bundles a nice shine and appearance.

Soft Polenta

Ingredients         Quantity              Measure              Specifications

Corn meal                  80                         G            
Water                       500                       mL                      Salted & boiling
Salt & black pepper                                                          To taste
Butter                        60                         G                       (+/-)


Method:
1.            Salt the water and bring to almost a boil, pour in the corn meal slowly while stirring to avoid clumping.
2.            Stir while simmering until thickened and cooked. (Approximately 5-10 min).
3.            Adjust the seasoning and add the butter gradually until desired flavor.  Serve immediately.

Note:

1.            If not serving immediately, transfer to a bowl over a steam bath to keep warm and from hardening.                 Coating the top with butter will help prevent a skin from forming.
2.            Serve with the braised rabbit legs.

 
 

Braised Beef Short Ribs in a Red Wine Reduction with Glazed, Turned Vegetables & Israeli Couscous with Succotash and Roasted Red Pepper

Braised Beef Short Ribs in a Red Wine Reduction with Glazed Turned Vegetables

Ingredients         Quantity              Measure              Specifications

Beef, short ribs     900                       G                      4 pc x 225 g (3 bones, 2.5 cm thick)

Oil                       30                        mL         

Carrot                  50                         G                     Mirepoix

Onion                   80                         G                     Mirepoix

Celery                  40                         G                     Mirepoix

Flour                   20                          G            

Wine, red            250                        mL         

Stock, brown        1                           L             

Carrot, Yellow
Turnip, White       8                          Pc each             Turned, cooked & glazed with minimum sugar
Turnip        

Pearl onions        100                         G                     (8pc) Blanched & caramelized

Parsley                3                          Sprigs                Chopped

Garlic                  1                          Clove    

Bay leaf,
thyme,                1                                                    Spice bag
rosemary,
parsley stems           

Salt & black pepper                                                    To taste

Method:

1.            Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and pan-fry until brown in the oil.  Place them into a                        braising pan.
2.            Saute the mirepoix in the same pan in which the ribs were browned, until caramelized.
3.            Dust the browned mirepoix with the red wine and add it to the ribs.
4.            Cover the ribs and mirepoix with the brown stock and bring to a boil, adjust to simmer and add the                    spice bag.  Cover and place in an oven to braise slowly until the meat is tender.
5.            The braising liquid should be checked every 20 minutes or so, skimmed and de-greased and adjusted                accordingly.
6.            Once the meat is tender, (1 ½ - 2 hrs) transfer the ribs to a suitable serving container.  Skim,                            de-grease and reduce the sauce to the required consistency and adjust the seasoning.
7.            Pass the sauce through a fine chinois or piece of cheesecloth to finely strain.  Re-boil and serve with                    the short ribs.
8.            Dress the short ribs with the sauce, two pieces of each of the turned vegetables, the caramelized                        onions and finish with chopped parsley.

Israeli Couscous with Succotash and Roasted Pepper

Ingredients                 Quantity              Measure              Specifications

Israeli couscous              100                     G            

Lima beans, frozen          30                      G            

Corn kernels                   100                     G            

Pepper, red                    1                        Pc          

Butter                             60                      G            

Horseradish, fresh           20                      G                         Grated

Salt & black pepper                                                              To taste


Method:
1.            Cook the couscous in boiling, salted water for approximately 5-7 minutes, drain well.
2.            Roast the pepper over an open flame ensuring the pepper is evenly charred.  Char until it is all black                with no red showing through to ensure an easy peel.
3.            Set in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until the pepper is cool enough to handle.
4.            Peel, remove the core and all the seed and cut into triangles and set aside.
5.            Melt the butter, add the corn, and heat through.
6.            Add the drained couscous and lima beans to the corn.
7.            At the last moment, add the pepper and heat through.
8.            Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper and finish with the freshly grated                        horseradish.

Note:
1.            The horseradish can be an option.
2.            The corn can be fresh, frozen or tinned, just handle accordingly.
3.            The couscous can be lightly toasted before use.

 
 

Homemade Cannelloni
(w/ ricotta & spinach filling, topped w/ flavored beschamel
 sauce & fresh tomato sauce)

Pasta Dough
Ingredients       Quantity           Metric                 Specifications
Flour                   300                   Grams (+/-)       
Olive Oil               10                     mL         
Eggs                     4                             
Salt                                                                         To Taste
Water                                                                     *If some additional moisture is required.

Method:

1.    Hand knead all ingredients into a well, mix and form dough. (Do not over work dough)
2.    Form into a ball, wrap & rest for 15-20 minutes before rolling.
3.    Process through a pasta roller to the desired thickness.

Note:
1.    Pasta machine can be used for better results.
2.    Leaner dough is obtained by substituting 60 mL of cold water for each egg omitted.
 
Tomato Sauce
Ingredients         Quantity              Measure              Specifications
Plum tomatoes &
juice canned              750                      mL                        Concasse
Olive oil                      50                      mL          
Onions                        90                      G                          Brunoise
Garlic                           4                      Cloves                    Minced or puree
White stock                100                     mL                         Or water
Basil, fresh                    2                     Sprigs                     Chiffonade
Bay leaf                        1                      Pc           
Salt & black pepper                                                             To taste

Method:
1.    Squeeze gently and seed the tomatoes.  Cut into concasse.
2.    Strain and save the juice from the tomatoes.
3.    Sweat onions and garlic in olive oil.
4.    Add tomatoes and juice and let simmer for approximately 1 hr.  Use water or stock to correct the  consistency if necessary.
5.    Season to taste and at the last moment add the chiffonade or fresh basil.

Note:
1.    If desired, this sauce can be pureed in a blender and a little olive oil can be added during the process.
 
Flavored Beschamel Sauce
Ingredients         Quantity              Measure              Specifications
Milk                          500                        mL          
Onion                         30                        G                         Diced
Butter                         20                        G             
Flour                          20                         G             
Mushrooms               100                         G                         Thin, sliced
Prosciutto                   10                         G                         Julienne
Wine, white                60                         mL          
Shallots                      15                         G                         Brunoise
Garlic                           1                         Clove                   Puree
Butter                        15                          G             
Parsley, Italian             2                          Sprigs                  Chopped
Cloves                         2                          Pc           
Bay leaf                       1                           Pc           
Salt, mace &
white pepper, milled                                                            To taste

Method:
1.     Scald milk w/ diced onions, bay leaf and clove (onion cloutee).
2.     Prepare a white roux.
3.     Combine cooled roux and hot mile and simmer +/- 15 min.
4.     Season and strain (basic béchamel).
5.     Sweat shallots and mushrooms with garlic in butter.
6.     Deglaze with white wine and reduce until almost dry.
7.     Add the strained béchamel sauce.
8.     Add the prosciutto.
9.     Adjust seasoning and add chopped parsley.
10.    Use together with fresh tomato sauce for the cannelloni.

Ricotta & Spinach Filling
Ingredients         Quantity              Measure              Specifications
Ricotta                     225                         G             
Spinach                    ¾                         Bunch   
Garlic                        1                         Clove                     Puree
Parmesan, fresh        15                          G                         Grated
Egg yolk                    1                           Pc           
Onion                       ½                          Pc                        Brunoise
Extra virgin
olive oil                    15                          mL          
Parsley, Italian                                                                   Chopped
Salt and black pepper                                                         To taste
Nutmeg, ground                                                                 To taste
                                                  
Method:
1.    Wash spinach and chop finely.
2.    Sweat onions and garlic gently in oil for a few min.
3.    Add the spinach.
4.    Mix and cook covered over low heat for 2-3 min.
5.    Remove from heat and let cool.
6.    Remove excess liquid (if necessary) from ricotta and place in a bowl.
7.    Add the spinach mixture, parsley, parmesan, egg yolk and seasoning.
8.    Mix well.
 
 
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After taking a much longer than anticipated absence from blogging, I am happy to say I am back and more than ready to overload you with new recipes and experiences! Since I last updated the blog, I was accepted to George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario for the Culinary Management program.  I moved to Canada in August of 2012 and have since been completing my first year in the two year program.  George Brown Chef School focuses on teaching classical french cuisine and starting with the basics in order to insure everyone has a solid foundation.  My first semester of the program I was extremely absent minded when it came to remembering to photograph my food before presenting it to the Chef to be marked, but I have made more of an effort since and will post the dishes I did capture as well as the recipes.  I promise to be much better at updating from here on out and hope you enjoy preparing these dishes as much as I did!

P.s.- I would like to express my thanks to my aunt, without whom I would not be able to be where I am and getting to learn about what I truly want to do with my life.  Since deciding to pursue the culinary field she has supported me 100% and given me the encouragement and advice I need to progress.  I hope to make her proud and hopefully soon cook some of these great dishes for her as opposed to just telling her about them.  Love you Aunt Suzanne! Xoxo