Ballymaloe Day 58: Would you like fries with that?

My hands moved up and down, and dimpled the dough like the most uncomfortable back massage ever invented.

After yet another dodgy sleep, I woke up with a tired and drained feeling. Almost forgetting my knives (again), I headed into the kitchen for a busy day of cooking.

As an extra task, I added focaccia to my list of things to-do and got to work on a rather squidgy dough.

Leaving it to rise, I started on my dessert which was very similar to a panna cotta but with yoghurt and cream that was flavoured with cardamom.

Waiting around my bread, as well as spending a lot of time deep-frying batches of pakoras (Indian deep-fried vegetables), I was glad to see lunch time come around.

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(My dessert of yoghurt with cardamom cream and pomegranate flavoured with rose water)

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(My Indian pakoras with mango relish)

Despite all the hanging around, I was proud of my focaccia baby (though he could’ve done with a bit more olive oil) and I brought him home to the Coach House for a rest before we dissected him.

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Demo was all about butchering beef and cooking “shteak” (as we Kerry-folk like to call them), and I was excited straight away about tasting.

Like a pro, Rachel took apart the beef loin into the sirloin, fillet and flank. The beef had been hanging since the 15th September and I had a feeling that it would taste pretty awesome.

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Serving up generous cuts of meat from blue to well-done, the sizzling noises and smells would almost convert any vegetarian.

Accompanying the steak were chips and béarnaise sauce, and as I lashed into my sliver I savoured the taste of well-hung meat (I’m a fan of the blue I must say!)

This week we’ve only three days in the kitchen so we’ll have two days of learning until Friday. Phew.

Slán agus beannacht!

Some random things I learned today:

  • It’s so important to look at packaging, “Irish smoked salmon” usually means imported salmon that’s smoked in Ireland, whereas “Smoked Irish Salmon” means that it’s from Ireland AND smoked in Ireland.
  • Chimichurri sauce comes from Argentina.
  • Brown beef stock’s flavour can by browning the bones and vegetables in an oven beforehand.
  • To make deep-fried onions even crispier, add whisked egg white to the mix that coats the onion.
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