rice cake confessional

adventures in eating

western basics, class 3

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My Dublin adventures (to be continued) meant that I missed my second Western Basics class at Palate Sensations. I’ll make it up sometime next January. Although, if my schedule contines with its present madness I’ll be in, like, Inner Mongolia around that time.

Class 3 was all about meat braising and savoury tarts. It involved bacon, red wine, and fire. [Cue Beavis and Butthead impersonation.]


Look at all that bacon. Don’t miss the butter right up next to it either. Full cream butter, the kind for winners.


Braising is culinaryspeak for ‘cook it slow because I bought the cheap cut of meat.’ Since we don’t have hours upon hours of time in class we used chicken instead. First up we cranked out our Henckel’s to dice up carrots and slice onions. Button mushrooms went in unscathed and we threw in a few bits of fresh thyme and bacon for good measure. After pan frying the chicken on each side, we added it to the veggies, and then started the braisin’ going with lots of red wine.

The smell is insanely good and the red wine makes it seem like you really know what you’re doing.

While the chicken is busy getting awesome, we started on the savoury tart. Some flour, butter, eggs, and elbow grease to get the dough started.


It naps (ok, fine rests) for 10 minutes and then we press it into the tart molds and weigh them down with some baking beans.


We put these in the oven to prebake. Can I just tell you that the idea of putting cellophane into an oven creeps me out? Chef says it’s fine but I just imagine toxic fumes leeching out of the plastic and into my tart. Shudder. When the tarts are golden the beans are removed and we sprinkle bacon (previously cooked – just a smidge before crispy) and cheese before pouring eggs and cream to fill it up te rests of the way. More time in the oven and then time for the blowtorch.


This is just for show really so you get those nice brown marks. It’s pretty cool nonetheless.

Ding! The chicken is also ready. We made mashed potatoes to go with it (butter and cream included, of course). The chicken is super tender and veggies ave soaked up all of that red wine, thyme, and bacon flavor. I had this for lunch the next day too.


The quiche is buttery and rich and lovely. Look at that flakey crust. I’m definitely gonna treat my family to this when I go home for the holidays.


Next week: eggs. Lots and lots of eggs. So many eggs that I refuse to eat eggs for the next week.


Written by joann

October 4, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Posted in classes, french, singapore

Tagged with ,

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