Thursday, May 3, 2012

A lunch to remember

This post is long overdue but I couldn’t let pass of the opportunity to talk about one of the best meals I’ve ever had. It was a treat from Chef Kyla for the final day of our basic culinary foundation course.


It started with seafood Veracruz, a cold appetizer with shrimps, poached squid and scallops in a bed of creamy, velvety sauce. What a start.

This was followed by a hearty French onion soup, generously piled on with translucent, caramelized onions; mixed with gooey cheese that stretched with every spoonful; and topped with crusty, cheese-laced bread toasted under a salamander. For the main course, we had the protein that we earlier prepared in class.


We prepared the pork tenderloin by pulling out the thin skin that clung over the silverskin, a white, silvery connective tissue that we also trimmed off. We cut both ends of the tenderloin (the head and the tail) so that the meat is almost even in diameter. Then we tied it with kitchen string so that it would retain its shape when cooked.

Next, we worked on the lamb rack. Again, we had to peel off the thin skin that wrapped the bones, leaving just a thin filament that a knife could easily slice through. Then we removed a flat cartilage sandwiched between the layers of meat and fat.


We made a cut on the fat side of the rack, perpendicular to the rib bones. My cut was an inch thick (thickness depends on the size of the rack). I pushed the end of the knife through the flesh between each rib and freed up the meat from the thin membrane wrapped over the rib bones. We had to make sure that all the meat was cleaned off the bone, a very tedious process. Even Chef Kyla took a while to do it.


The effort was well worth it because both the tenderloin and lamb rack were perfectly cooked and superbly plated over mashed potatoes. The seasoning was mild, allowing the flavor and tenderness of the meat to show through.

Dessert was a light cheesecake topped with chocolate chip brittle (something I MUST learn to do). I was smacking my lips well on the way home.

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