Friday, May 14, 2010

Soups Stocks and Sauces, another Grossmont College Class

I just thought I'd talk a little about the class I've been doing every Tuesday evening with chef Kim at Grossmont College. Its called 'Soups, Stocks and Sauces' which sounds a little dry, but it really is the foundation for all other cooking.

It was an extremely enjoyable class, made even more enjoyable by my team, we were all a little older, and really wanted to do our best, so we were always very happy with our dishes.

The class started with a lot of boiling of bones to make stocks. This wasnt so interesting for me as a vegetarian, but it was useful to know the principles in case I do ever plunge back into a truly omnivorous diet again.

We moved onto reductions, vegetable stocks and soups, and then some tomato sauces.

There was an investigation into the fine art of making a roux, and we made white, blond and brown roux and then used it in various applications.

Next were healthy hot and cold soups, some delicious vichysoisse, gazpacho and curried soups.

We explored chowders and bisques.

Then came the tricky hollandaise and beurre blanc. Divine but scary to see the amount of butter in there!

It was really fun to delve so deeply into flavors and seasonings and to test our palletes against other peoples, and to learn these basic techniques. The complete snob in me was excited to be officialy educated in 'the mother sauces' so I can sound all poncy at any chosen occasion!

I will definitely keep some of the things I learned in class close to hand, many of the reductions we made were truly delicious and add a depth of flavor that will be really useful for my cooking, in particular some of the reductions we did.

If anyone is interested in signing up for any classes then pop on over to the Grossmont College website. Classes fill up almost immediately and there are some pre-requisites. This class required you to take 'Basic Culinary' which is another reason why it is so pleasant, everyone in the class had already been through a semester of knife skills, breaking down chickens and general classes.

The last picture is our final exam. We made consomme, beurre blanc, red pepper coulis, a corn chowder and hollandaise sauce and we aced it with an A!


kirbie said...

Congrats on getting an A!

salsa dancing in los angeles said...

Sounds fun! Keep it up! :)

The Cilantropist said...

Oh wow, I will definitely have to check this out! I have never looked at those classes at grossmont but I am always on the lookout for cooking classes. Do you have plans to do any more courses?

Jennywenny said...

I hope to do some more classes in the fall, the number I can do is dwindling since I can only go in the evening :(