Morning prep was a bit less organized than yesterday. The prep was set up for groups of four to make the Bolognese, when we were actually supposed to make the classic tomato-based sauce in pairs. So, more veggies had to be procured, especially more onions, since we didn't get enough onions to make the French Onion Soup, let alone the Bolognese. Nevertheless, the class is working together more as a team.
Production goes quite smoothly. Natalie and Arturo, who work across the station from Danny and I, work closely with us to make efficient use of our time. If we need extra materials or tools, any of us will get something for the group of four. We also do well in reminding each other of different aspects of the prepartion. For example, we use sherry to deglaze our onion sweat, but we needed to reserve some for the "float" of sherry on the finished soup. A reminder to reserve was important, as was another reminder to add the sherry to the finished soup.
Although the production of French Onion Soup is fairly easy, it is time-consuming. You want a nice deep carmelization of the onions, which takes an easy 30 minutes, yet you don't want them to burn. Once you've added the stock, it takes another hour, hour and a half to really simmer and deepen the flavor. We didn't have the luxury of that much time. My soup got 45 minutes. Still, it was very, very nice and got high praise from Chef Perez.
The bolognese is also a fairly simple sauce (assuming you have some classic tomato sauce lying about, as well as ground pork, veal and beef). Still, it took a fair amount of time to brown the meat in a large sauce pan. That was the most difficult thing. Once you've done that, deglaze, add the tomato sauce, bouquet garni and simmer for about an hour.
Unfortunately, our bolognese didn't get the full hour, as we had to shut things down prematurely in order to get our class picture taken. Bummer. Of course, they might have gotten the picture earlier in the morning before several students had gotten some bolognese on their white uniforms. But that's why they have Photoshop, right?
After the photo, we finished cleaning the kitchen and prepped for pasta making. Today we made the dough so that it can rest overnight. I like making pasta, but this is the first time I'll be using semolina and all-purpose flour. Normally, at home, I use only all-purpose. I also learn that one should flour one's working surface for the pasta with semolina, not AP. The texture is definitely different. This is also different in that we work the dough with our hands, whereas I'm used to working the dough primarily in a KitchenAid. It actually feels good to work the dough with my hands, but it does definitely take effort.
Tomorrow, pasta craziness. Ricotta filling, Bolognese Lasagna, Fettuccini Alfredo, Pasta Carbonara.