My particular apologies to Maureen, who was looking forward to many more pastry posts than I managed to pull off. I do have some plating photos to share when I have more tim in front of the computer.
If I may grossly oversimplify some of the differences between working in pastry versus working in savory cuisine, here are a few highlights:
-More waiting in pastry. Payoff may be more “Wow!”-inducing, but pastry is not for those who seek quicker gratification. In that respect, I’m happy to have gone back to savory cooking this morning, where we were back to churning out numerous dishes during our 4 hour class, and not just a gigungous pile of puff dough, for example.
-Pastry leftovers, however, have way better staying power, and are potentially way more useful to have on hand. As of the end of our pastry module, I had in my freezer: 2 gallon bags full of cream puff shells, half cheese and half plain, one lemon-scented layer cake, a full semolina round loaf, 16 brioche hamburger buns, and several tarts worth of uncooked pastry dough. Things like these may come in handy if, for example, you get a last minute phone call for an invite to a Bastille Day Party. Defrost a few cream puffs, fill with chocolate mousse and glaze with hot fudge on hand and suddenly a dozen strangers will think you a genius.
But it was in fact back to savory cooking today. This is our LAST UNIT, which is nuts. (Nuts as in crazy, not as in it being a unit about nuts.) This week we do profiles of contemporary master chefs, next week we get to do some “market basket” cooking (think “Chopped”), and following that we do some charcuterie (sausage making) and hors d’ouervres, and then voila. Done.
It’s a lot of food for thought as I think about not being here every morning, and being somewhere else even earlier every morning: www.gramercytavern.com. (Brian Duncan! You coming with me or what?)
Please enjoy the following afternoon snack care of Mario Batali: