Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Culinary School Diet

School has kept me pretty busy in the last couple of months. Twice a week I go essentially straight from work to school (with a 15 minute stop at home to let the dog out, change my clothes and shove a granola bar in my mouth) before heading to school until 8:30 and not getting home until 9.

The first week or two I thought, what a great "diet" this will be! By the time I get home I'm too tired to even eat. I'll just eat an apple or pop some air popped popcorn and call it a night...but then we started cooking. Heavy cream in this, a pound of butter in this...even on vegetable day one of the things we made was "glazed carrots" which consisted of carrots in a pan with a ton of butter and SUGAR....until it reduced down to a sugary glaze. (first of all, gross. second of all- at least lets have a healthy day on vegetable day!) A raw egg on the Caesar salad, handmade full fat mayonnaise on the cole slaw...goodness gracious. French cooking is fattening!

There are many things I can try my hardest to not eat, especially when I haven't had a real meal since lunch. Avoid them, pretend they are not there....but there is one thing I can not avoid. Lately, we've been practicing our knife skills...on potatoes... and why would you waste all those potato scraps when there is a deep fryer, right in the room? Why not make french fries every night? Fresh right out of the deep fryer french fries with every spice you can imagine right there to put on them while they are still hot...with a bunch of eager to experiment foodies ready to get creative..... trouble. Last night there were bowls and bowls of fresh, hot french fries with different seasonings in each bowl. Salt & Pepper, Cajun, Jerk, Rosemary and Garlic, Paprika.....etc etc. I volunteered to help cook them so I wouldn't be just standing there eating them, but I still ate my fair share...and being that I don't really eat anything deep fried anymore (with the exception of stealing a fry or two off of an occasional friend's plate) my stomach was not happy. At the end of the night I felt too guilty for all the calories I must have eaten in deep fried potato goodness to eat anything real for dinner. It was fun, but from this point on I'm going to try my hardest to avoid this late night fatty snack. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, among other things, we are moving on with potato week and making, duchesse potatoes (which I am excited to do because I love the pastry bag), parsley potatoes, stuffed baked potatoes and potatoes Anna (which was apparently super popular in the 80s, I have never seen nor heard of this dish)

Potatoes Anna

Duchesse Potatoes

I should bring my camera to class to see if my culinary creations look like either of these two old school potato favorites. Today the most common potato eaten- even in fancy restaurants is the good old fashioned no frills mashed. Delicious!

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