More Forcemeat...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I’m going to be blunt right off the bat. The taste of this weeks’ food sucked. In my opinion. Again, maybe forcemeats are an acquired taste. I’ve been informed that EVERYTHING is an acquired taste, but I must say that I strongly feel that some things are more so than others. Who has to AQUIRE a taste for cookies? Just saying.

In any case, as you may have guessed, this week we worked with forcemeats again. Natane and I worked together on preparing pate en croute, forcemeat in pastry. I, of course, prepared the pastry. Natane prepared the forcemeat. I put everything together, then poured in the aspic, sliced, garnished, and coated the sliced with aspic. If you aren’t sure what aspic is, you aren’t missing out. Basically, aspic is chicken consommé (REALLY clear chicken stock) thickened with gelatin. So, chicken jello. Ick.

I prepared the dough and rolled it out. Then I took a pan and cut out the corners of the dough so that it would fit perfectly inside the rectangle pan and the sides would match up. Then thinly sliced ham was layered over the dough so none of it was showing. This keeps the dough from getting soggy. Forcemeat is then carefully placed inside, taking care to make sure that no air pockets are present. The ham and dough are folded over the top and sealed with a second piece of dough that fits the top perfectly. Two holes are cut out of the top to form chimneys so the steam can escape and the top is decorated. This is then baked and chilled overnight.

When baking the forcemeat shrinks so you pour aspic jelly into the chimneys to fill the extra space. Mine set too quickly and didn't QUITE fill the whole space.

Once this is set, the pate en croute is sliced and laid on a glazing rack. Each slice is carefully decorated with paper thin garnishes. Aspic is carefully brought *repeatedly* to the right consistency and gently poured over the garnished pate. This is done at least twice to form a clear seal of chicken jello. Again. Ick. Some of them looked pretty, but I am not a fan of forcemeat and am even less of a fan when it is covered in chicken jello.

Quenelles were also made from a mousseline forcemeat. To create a quenelle, you take 2 spoons and shape the mousse into a 3 sided football and drop it into a poaching liquid.

There was a crazy rush of people trying to create a buffet of these items on 3 mirrors. The whole class was to work together to plate one large and two smaller mirrors. Oh my goodness. I just had to step back. Too many people all trying to take control is an anxiety causing situation for me and I just needed to breathe and let them handle it. Plus, they were plating on MIRRORS. OCD. Mirrors and food…you can NEVER get it streak free and crumb free enough. Never. I don’t know if I could work with mirrors on a consistent basis. Note to self. No mirrors in bakery.

Next week we are creating Amuse Bouche and on Tuesday we are going to Whole Foods.


jennifer said...

Not exactly sure why, but it kind of reminds me of fruit bread.
And btw, I'm not a cookie fan ,'-)

I love u!

Monica Kaye said...

Looks cool but definitely not my thing either. Say "hello" to Whole Foods for me. Oh how I miss that place. LOVE.

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