Happy Friday! I was up with the dawn for herb duty, and down to the greenhouse with another sleepy student! After divvying up a tray of freshly cut herbs to each kitchen (we are so spoiled here!), I was off to make Consomme Royale, ciabatta, and Grand Marnier Souffle.
Consomme Royale is consomme (the really clear broth soup) with a garnish-esque sprinkle of tiny diced bits of custard (it sort of has a miso soup w/ tofu effect). If you're interested, Consomme Brunoise is a consomme with tiny diced vegetables, while Consomme Julienne is a consomme with really thin julienne strips of vegetables. A minor, insignificant morsel of knowledge, from me to you.
The consomme was fun, albeit time consuming, to make. You basically simmer beef broth in a saucepan with tiny diced vegetables and bits of beef (that have been painstakingly stripped of any fat). The point is eventually to extract the clear, flavor-enhanced broth from the pan. To do this, there's a trick: invite egg whites to the party! They act as a sort of filter, floating any impurities in the stock and all the diced ingredients to the top, forming an egg-whity-vegetably-and-meaty-crust. Then, you just gently ladle out what is underneath! All your laboriously diced vegetables and meat bits are left behind.
My souffle turned out just fine, thank you very much. And I did NOT have a copper bowl for my egg whites. So, it is definitely a luxury, not a necessity (don't tell Santa that).
I did not make it to the afternoon demonstration because I had to catch a plane to Paris! I was sad to miss the lecture, though, because A) Rory was teaching and B) we were making hamburgers (!). As it turns out, "catching a plane to Paris" is easier said than done. A few budget-airline-fine-print-Non-EU-passport-issues later, and let's just say, if you happened to be in the Cork Airport around 4:30 PM on Friday, you might have noticed a hysterical American shamelessly blubbering in the corner, (symbolically) playing solitaire on her iPod (and symbolically losing) while waiting for a bus back to school.
But, never fear! Life, surprise surprise, goes on! I rescheduled a flight for the next morning, and got to bed early. A demain!