Œuf Poché - Poached Egg

Done the Cordon Bleu way.

Sitting in a pocket of puffed pastry,
on a bed of creamed leeks,
topped with an Albufera sauce,
decorated with a few drops of a sort of demiglaze.

The really tricky bit is getting the egg cooked just right. Other than the tricky bit about making your own puff pastry. FYI this typical puff pastry, also known as milhojas (a thousand leaves), actually has only 730 leaves [layers]).

Quiche Lorraine

Yeh, it's a pretty dicy picture but the best I could do this morning.

Not too tricky. The point of this particular class was to teach hot to make the dough. It's a "short" dough (Pâte Brisée Salée).

200 gr flour
100 gr butter (melt)
5 gr salt
1 egg (50/55 gr)
20 ml water

Pile the flour; cut the butter into pieces and squeeze into the flour - real well; sand-like (sablé).
Make a well/circle of the flour/butter. Put liquids in the well; mix with cutter; chopping motion; donot "work" the dough. You don't want it to be elastic.
Make a ball; flatten it; wrap it; fridge it.

The 2nd thing to learn was how to transform this into a tart shell (that then gets filled).
More on that in my LCB Notes (once I get them written).

Movie: Mr & Mrs Smith - better than expected, not bad at all in fact. & Angelina Jolie is always a pleasure to look at.



Make a bread/pizza dough base (thus, with yeast) - but with an egg too. Mix it; let it rise; pound it down; roll it out, etc.

Onion confit [cooked onions (put in whole garlic cloves while cooking - remove them when done); seasoned with some thyme and, once cooked, put in finely chopped capers.] Don't let the onions brown but cook them thoroughly.

Top with the (cooled) onion confit. Important is the topping of anchovies and Niçoise olives; nontraditional inclusion of tomato wedges (these could have been a little skinnier so that they would have roasted better).

After topping let it sit again (rest) for 10 minutes before baking 10-15 in 180°C oven - 'til browned.

This one is a little pizza sized but they work well as large squares/rectangles or littler individual tarts; also are good appetizers - warm or cold.

Me, I'm having this for lunch.

Advance Notice for Thursday

Today is the 1st day of 3 doing pasta and doughs.
So we'll be in the kitchens in the practical session with ovens blazing when it's already almost 30 degrees C outside. Should be fun. Someone please remind me to take a bottle of water.

Poularde Poche_Sauce Supreme; Riz au Gras

Chicken Supreme
This is a demo foto too. The one I took of my Poulet Supreme failed - completely black; apparently because my camera can't take 2 hours in a 30 degree kitchen on a rack above the electric stove (where it was maybe 45 degrees). Toasted the camera - temporarily.

This is a simple poached chicken; with a cream sauce made from the stock was created while poaching.

It sits on a bed of pan cooked rice; rice cooked with the chicken stock too.

Again, I'll add a recipe later; have to write up my notes 1st.

Soufflé Fromage

Cheese Souffle
First thing was to do a heavy bechamel sauce (butter, flour, milk); melt cheese into that; coupla egg yolks; mix & fold in beaten egg whites; salt, pepper, nutmeg. Simple really.

Part of the secret is to butter and flour the molds really well so that the souffle will have something to "grab onto" while climbing the walls of the mold.

Another secret is that they're not really as fragile as people make them out to be.

There's a few other tricks I learned that I'll put write up in my notes later. For now I'll just get this picture posted. It's from the demo class. We make a soufflé in practical class in a few days; not today.


We also toured the basement of one of Poilâne's bakeries; with a genuine wood burning oven where they bake their bread. Note the wooden paddles overhead. These are not decorative; they really use them. The oven's about 3-4 meters deep and that's how they manipulate the loaves.

Market Visit

Off we went today to visit the "Grenelle market" at (or under) Metro stop La Motte-Piquet Grenelle. Here's a nice little vegetable display. It's open Sunday or Wednesday 7AM to 2:30PM.

Fond de Veau

Now, this is good stuff. Roasted veal bones, fresh veggies (also roasted), bouquet garnis, tomato; cook for hours. The real thing and... done in volume. I just love the size of the pot involved.

This was demoed but we didn't do it in the practical (which is when we cook).

Due to current French legislation the logistics of making real veal stock means that restaurants here cannot make their own any more and have to use freeze dried or concentrates prepared commercially. Seems odd that such a basic part of traditional cuisine has been effectively made impossible to produce (because they have to make it and use it on the same day).

Merlan Bercy

Whiting Filets in Sauce Bercy (white wine sauce)
Pescadilla <= spanish name of the fish

Came out just "okay". Sauce needed to be more concentrated (thicker & with more flavor). Maybe a little more minced parsley in it would have been good. & I thought the fish was a tad overcooked (but that seemed to happen to every one and the chef didn't mention it).
So, maybe a 6 out of 10 on this one. Okay... a 7.

Sauce Bercy is: Shallots (very finely chopped), White Wine, fish stock (which we also made ourselves), butter (lots) and minced parsley.

Potage Cultivateur

Rustic Vegetable Soup.
The demonstration foto.

Cutting techniques today (day 1). Note the neat little triangular carrot pieces in the upper left corner; paysanne cut (tricky, those triangles). That's what we spent most of the practical doing... cutting veggies in many different ways.

Mine weren't quite so nice and consistent.

Démonstations de Cuisine de Base Intensive

This has been scanned in and OCR'ed and reworked by me. But it still needs editing I think.

This is the content of the 30 demonstration classes (French & English):

1. Principes de base : techniques, présentations et utilisation des couteaux de cuisine | Basic principals : techniques, presentation and use of kitchen knives.
Diverses tailles de légumes | Various ways of cutting vegetables.
Potage cultivateur | Rustic vegetable soup.

2. LES FONDS DE BASE - 1 PARTIE | Basic stocks - Part 1
Fond de veau brun | Brown veal stock.
Fumet de poisson | Fish fumet (or fish stock).
Filets de merlan Bercy | Whiting fillets in white wine sauce.

Fond blanc de volaille | White chicken stock.
Poularde pochée sauce suprême, riz au gras | Poached chicken with supreme sauce, rice “au gras
Les liaisons courantes | Common thickeners.
Soufflé au fromage | Cheese soufflé.

Pâte levée salée: Pissaladière | Savory yeast dough: Onion tart with anchovies and olives.
Pâte à nouilles | Fresh pasta dough.
Cannelloni aux épinards et sauce tomates | Spinach stuffed cannelloni with tomato sauce.

Pâte brisée salée : Quiche lorraine | Savory short dough: Quiche Lorraine.
Quiche aux champignons sauvages | Wild mushroom quiche.
Préparation de la pâte feuilletée | Puffpastry preparation.

Finition de la pâte feuilletée | Puff pastry completion.
Feuilleté de poireaux et oeufs pochés, sauce Albufera | Puff pastry with leeks, poached eggs with Albufera sauce. Pâte brisée sucrée : Tarte aux fruits de saison | Sweet pastry dough: Seasonal fruit tart.

Rôties : Coeur de contrefilet rôti, pommes mousseline | Roasting: Roasted sirloin fillet, puréed potatoes.
Braisées : Aiguillette de boeuf mode | Braised: Beef with onions and carrots.
Marinées : Estouffade de lxeufbourguignonne (mise en marinade) | Marinating: Beef Burgundy (marinating).

Sautées en sauce : Cuisson de l’estouffade de boeuf bourguignonne, pommes à l’anglaise | Cooking of the Beef Burgundy, boiled turned potatoes.
Grillées : Côtes de boeuf grillées sauce bordelaise, tomates provençale | Grilling: Prime rib of beef red wine sauce, tomatoes Provencal-style.

9. Omelette aux oignons confits | Caramelized onion omelette.
Préparation d’une volaille à rôtir | Preparing fowl for roasting.
Poulet rôti et son jus | Roasted chicken andfus.
Techniques et présentation d’une jardinière de légumes et des fonds d’artichaut | Techniques and presentation of garden-style vegetables and turned artichokes

10. Saumon grillé, beurre fondu à la ciboulette | Grilled salmon, chive butter sauce.
Carré de porc rôti aux herbes, pommes Byron | Roasted pork with herb stuffing, Byron potatoes.
Profiteroles glacées, sauce chocolat crème Chantilly | Choux pastry with ice cream and chocolate sauce, Chantilly cream.

Technique de désossage d’une volaille | Techniquefor deboningfowl.
Terrine de canard aux pruneaux et à l’armagnac (préparation et cuisson) | Duck terrine with prunes and Armagnac (preparation and cooking).
Paupiettes dc veau bourgeoise | Stuffed veal rolls with glazed vegetables.

Présentation et dégustation de la terrine de canard | Presentation and tasting of the duck terrine.
Technique de base de la farce mousseline | Basic technique for making a mousseline filling.
Suprêmes de volaille farcis, sauce aux champignons | Stuffed chicken breasts with mushroom sauce.

13. Artichauts poivrade à la Grecque aux légumes printaniers | Poivrade artichokes “à la Grecque “-style with Spring vegetables.
Lapin à la moutarde, pommes sautées à cru | Rabbit with mustard, sautéed potatoes.
Petits pots de crème vanille, thé et caramel | Vanilla, tea and caramel cup custards.

Pochés au court-bouillon | Poached in a court-bouillon.
Tronçons de colin pochés, sauce hollandaise | Poached hake steaks with Hollandaise sauce.
Meunière : Sole meunière | “Meunière “: Pan-fried sole with nut-brown butter.

Panés et frits : Goujonnettes de sole, sauce verte | Breaded and deep fried: Breaded strips of sole, green sauce.
Escalope de saumon à l’oseille | Salmon escalope with sorrel.
Braisés : Filets de Barbie Dugléré | Braised . Brill fillets in white wine sauce.

Les crèmes - Liés aux légumes : Crème Dubarry | Cream soups - Thickened with vegetables: Cream of cauliflower soup.
Potage cressonnière | Watercress soup.
Bisques : Bisque d’étrilles | Bisques: Crab bisque.
Mise en cuisson de la marmite pour le consommé |
Cooking of the stock for the consommé.

17. LES POTAGES - 2E PARTIE | Soues - PART 2
Les consommés | Clear soups.
Clarification : Consommé aux brunoises | Clarification: Consommé with vegetable brunoise.
Soupe à l’oignon gratinée | French onion soup.
Soupe de poisson façon marseillaise | Fish soup Marseillaise-style.

18. Beignets de gambas, sauce tartare | Deep fried jumbo shrimp, tartar sauce.
Sauté de veau Marengo pommes à l’anglaise | Veal Marengo with boiled potatoes.
Clafoutis limousin ou clafoutis aux fruits de saison! Cherry or seasonal fruit flan.

19. Saumon cru mariné à l’aneth | Salmon marinated with dill.
Blanquette de veau à l’ancienne, riz pilaf | Traditional veal stew, pilaf rice.
Pâte levée sucrée : Tarte au sucre | Sweet yeast dough: Sugar tart.

20. Pâte à foncer : Flamiche | Lining dough: Flemish leek tart.
Tournedos grillés sauce béarnaise, pommes Pont-Neuf!
Grilled tournedos with Béarnaise sauce, potatoes “Pont-Neuf’.
Parfait glacé au café, sauce caramel au cognac ! Frozen coffee parfait with a caramel and cognac sauce.

21 . Soupe de moules légèrement safranée ! Lightly saffroned mussel soup.
Côtes de veau grand-mère ! Sautéed veal chops, “grand-mère “-style garnish (glazed onions, mushrooms and lardons).
Fins sablés aux pistaches, fraises à l’italienne ! Strawberries Italian-style with pistachio biscuits.

22. Huîtres chaudes au muscadet | Warm oysters with Muscadet wine.
Canette rôtie aux navets | Roast duciding with turnips.
Soufflé chaud au Cointreau | Warm orange and Cointreau soufflé.

23. Queues de langoustines grillées aux épices, sauce vierge | Grilled langoustines with spices, virgin olive oil sauce.
Gratin de saumon au cresson | Salmon and watercress gratin.
Sauté de boeuf Stroganov, riz aux légumes | Beef Strogonoff rice with vegetables.

24. Flan de truite, sauce au porto | Troutflan, Port wine sauce.
Médaillons de porc charcutière, pommes Dauphine | Pork medallions in mustard sauce, potatoes Dauphine.
Sabayon aux fruits frais gratinés | Freshfruit gratin with sabayon.

25. Gnocchis au fromage a la Parisienne | Parisian style gnocchi with cheese.
Poulet sauté à l’estragon, bouquetière de légumes | Sautéed chicken with tarragon, turned vegetable garnish.
Pommes meringuées, jus de framboise | Apples with meringue, raspberry sauce.

26. Oeufs brouillés au saumon fumé | Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.
Terrine de poisson chaude, sauce beurre blanc | Hot fish terrine with beurre blanc.
Crème bavaroise à la vanille, sauce café | Vanilla Bavarian cream, coffee sauce.

27. Filets de daurade poêlés au fenouil | Sea bream fillets with fennel.
Pintadeaux de Loué au chou | Guinea fowl with cabbage.
Rézules ou rissoles aux poires | Fried pear filled puffs.

28. Salade de chèvre chaud à la ventrèche | Warm goat cheese salad with bacon.
Jambonnette de volaille et son jus au madère, pommes poêlées caramélisées | Stuffed chicken legs, Madeira jus with caramelized apples.
Mousse au chocolat à l’orange | Chocolate and orange mousse.

29. Croustade d’escargots aux champignons des bois | Snails with wild mushrooms in a pastry case.
Pavé de sandre sauce aux herbes, ratatouille | Pikeperch steak, herb sauce, ratatouille.
Magret de canard à l’orange | Duck breast in orange sauce.

30. Carré d’agneau rôti persillé, légumes printaniers et tomates farcies | Rack of lamb with parsley crust, spring vegetables and stuffed tomatoes.
Gratin dauphinois | Potato gratin.
Omelette norvégienne | Baked Alaska.

Practiques de Cuisine de Base Iintensive

The 29 practical sessions that we actually cooked were (in French):

  1. Potage cultivateur - Taille des légumes (mirepoix, brunoise, etc.)
  2. Fumet de poisson - filets de merlan Bercy
  3. Poularde pochée sauce suprême
  4. Pissaladière: ciseler l’oignon, l’échalote et hacher l’ail
  5. Quiche lorraine + préparation de la pâte feuilletée
  6. Feuilleté de poireaux et oeufs pochés, sauce Albufera
  7. Coeur de contre-filet rôti - mise en marinade de l’estouffade de boeuf bourguignonne
  8. Cuisson de l’estouffade de boeuf bourguignonne
  9. Poulet rôti - jardinière de légumes
  10. Saumon grillé, pommes Byron
  11. Paupiettes de veau bourgeoises
  12. Suprêmes de volaille farcis, sauce aux champignons : tourner les champignon
  13. Lapin à la moutarde, pommes sautées à cru
  14. Tronçons de colin pochés, sauce hollandaise
  15. Filet de barbue Dugléré
  16. Bisque d’étrilles + préparation de la pâte feuilletée
  17. Clarification du consommé, consommé aux brunoises + paillettes au fromage
  18. Beignets de gambas + soufflé au fromage
  19. Blanquette de veau à l’ancienne, riz pilaf
  20. Tournedos grillés sauce béarnaise, pommes pont-neuf
  21. Côtes de veau grand-mère
  22. Canette rôtie aux navets
  23. Sauté de boeuf Stroganov, riz aux légumes
  24. Médaillons de porc charcutière, pommes dauphine
  25. Poulet sauté à l’estragon, bouquetière de légumes
  26. Terrine de poisson chaude, sauce beurre blanc
  27. Filets de daurade poêlés au fenouil
  28. Jambonnette de volaille et son jus au madère, pommes poêlées caramélisées
  29. Magret de canard à l’orange + Gnocchis au fromage à la Parisienne
At some point I may do translations; maybe into Spanish. Who knows?

Okay, it's Official - I'm Dangerous

1st day at Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) Paris. They issue the knife set:

I wonder how long before the first student hurts themself?

It's a special set made for the LCB by Wüsthof. 9 knives, fork, steel, couple of spatulas, shears, and assorted peelers.

So now I'm off to the shops to get some nail polish to paint identifying colors on them; since I have 18 colleaguess with exactly the same assortment.

Other stuff

Movie: The Interpreter - good; love Nicole Kidman. Got a little slow in the last 10 minutes while they wrapped things up.
Reading: twisted; Jonathan Kellerman

Le Tour

This is what it looks like watching Le Tour de France on the Champs Elysee:

And if you're lucky you'll get to also see this (just like I did):

Actually, I saw that about 8 times as they cycled up and down the Champs Elysee. Really, it's quite an event. I'm glad I went to see it; not sure I'd bother doing it again. It's one of those things where the coverage on TV is 'more' than being there in person.
Unless you have VIP seats or manage to get on the front row of the crowd.

The Weekend starts

Movie: War of the Worlds - Just "okay". More for kids than adults. Stayed entertaining all the way through.

Reading: (again) Thrice Upon a Time : James P. Hogan (follow the link then click 'Next' button in upper right corner).

Mañana: Le Tour de France arrives in Paris & I plan to be there on the Champs Elysee

Also: Phoned LCB (Le Cordon Bleu) to check on Monday's schedule and found out that

  1. Breakfast is served at 8:30 Monday morning (which was not mentioned in any of the stuff they sent me so I figure loads of people will be late; not showing up until the Introduction at 9:30 [as I had originally planned])
  2. First class / demonstration is at 12:30. So, no rest for the wicked; we go to work right away. I had been hoping for the afternoon off and a more gradual entry into the scholastic routine.

Bon Marche Pastries

Bon Marche Pastries
Originally uploaded by willsong.

While taking this pic with my PDA I was politely informed that picture taking was not allowed.
It occurred to me that I could buy one of each to take home; then would I be allowed to take pictures? Or would I have to sign a release? Don't know; it's all a bit of a mystery.
In any case - really reasonably priced. Just under € 3 for each small one.
And, since S is on a diet I decided not to invest in any.

And here they are in jail:
Pastries Imprisoned

Better them than me.

Safety Shoes

Also required for the course are… safety shoes. Steel toes in case you drop something on your foot (e.g. a knife?). The anti-slip soles are probably more important.

Got a 20% discount at Bragard 'cause I'm an LCB student.

Still looking for anti-cut gloves (kevlar) for use with the mandoline.

Cáfe du Métro

Lunch Thursday. At approx St Suplice metro entrance on Rue de Rennes. Pave de boeuf, mustard sauce, avec frites. I keep ordering this cut of meat even though I don't really like the toughness/texture that I always encounter. Hoping for a decent one someday I guess.
The resto's fine though and has free internet access (ask for a card with a PIN code for 30 free minutes)
Wine: Cotes de Bourg

And I still have to get the hang of pictures with the PDA's cam. I am too close to the food it seems.


Originally uploaded by willsong.

Have arrived in Paris in anticipation of starting Basic Cuisine next week at Le Cordon Bleu.

First step, shopping for some items not included in the stuff they supply: notebooks, pens with waterproof ink, heat resistant gloves, bandages…

Le Train

Le Train
Originally uploaded by willsong.

Here's the train pulling into the station. I'm on the way to the airport (via train & metro) to go to Paris.