Yesterday was our big final production for Phase 1 of pastry; each student had 2 projects to manage this week. Almost everything produced was from scratch, including all of the breads and doughs. It was challenging for those of us (like me) who do not cook savory foods often, or at least not savory dishes that were as fussy as the projects that we had to produce. I definitely learned a lot during the process; mostly I learned that I don’t like cooking savory food. I much more prefer to bake because everything is precise and if you follow the recipe you get the desired result. Savory cooking is less exact, and my brain just doesn’t work like that – I want to know exactly how much white wine to cook my shrimp in! Is that too much to ask?!?
My first project was “budget” lobster rolls (made with shrimp). I made small New England style brioche buns and filled them with a shrimp salad that was mixed with mayonnaise that I made by hand. My other project was mushroom cigars. I sautéed mushrooms down and rolled them in phyllo dough. Everyone also had to produce a third project, which we will serve tonight at the Phase 2 final buffet. My project for tonight is cheese straws, which I made out of classic puff pastry, seasoned with parmesan, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Below are the pictures from our event yesterday.