Our practical exam for unit 2 included preparing the following: Sauteed New York Strip Steak with a red wine pan sauce, hericots verts saute (green beans, y’all), and pommes persillade. (Those are the garlic and parsley fried potatoes from a brunch picture I recently photographed.)
If you were making this for yourself at home, you should be able to do it in 25-30 minutes. No element should really take more than 10 minutes cooking time, plus you have all your stovetop burners to yourself and probably you aren’t going to get super OCD about the perfect cube-ness of your potatoes. Us culinary students? We had an hour and a half. To prepare one serving.
This menu is by far not the most complex that we’ve made, but that’s more or less the point. When it comes down to it, whether you can concoct a sophisticated plate with full supervision and in a team of 4 people doesn’t do you much good. Your classroom attitude, miscellaneous fact recall, and relentless enthusiasm are only worth so much if you can’t consistently crank out a well-seasoned, medium-rare piece of meat and perfectly crispy potatoes. And it’s impractical to get prissy about things like inadequate burner and counter space because you know that’s going to be the way it is in any kitchen where you may work.
The verdict on mine? Steak seasoned ok but lacking some caramelization on the top and leaning a little toward medium rather than med-rare. Potatoes over-salted and a little over-cooked. Green beans a little under-salted and a little under-cooked. (Go figure.) Sauce a little thin. Points for OCD-diced potatoes and for presenting on time.
Was it all still tasty? Yes. (At least according to Cara.) Do I still have practicing to do? Yes. Do I suspect I may know some people who’ll let me practice on them…?