Too cool for Vichyssoise

Thanksgiving blessings

I hope you and yours had a marvelous Thanksgiving Day and weekend. Hope y’all are full-filled and stuffed with yummy, delicious food.

2021 #thankfulchallenge

We are coming to a close on this year’s #thankfulchallenge. It’s always fun sharing the things I’m grateful in November. Here’s the complete list.

  1. Peaceful and tranquil lake.
  2. You Are My Glory, Chinese drama series.
  3. Hugs.
  4. Love.
  5. Hawai’i’s KIKU TV (was a channel that aired multi-cultural shows).
  6. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle.
  7. The end of daylight savings time.
  8. Meditation apps.
  9. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  10. Bubble gum.
  11. Stars.
  12. Good nutrition.
  13. Iryu: Team Medical Dragon series.
  14. Adele.
  15. Prayers and miracles.
  16. To All The Boys I Loved Before trilogy books and movies.
  17. Sunsets.
  18. Empowerment.
  19. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
  20. Foodnista Soul’s supporters.
  21. Podcasts.
  22. Shows that showcase beautiful Hawai’i.
  23. Ambition.
  24. SJO Wellness.
  25. Instrumental music.
  26. The forest.
  27. Peaceful sleep.
  28. Laughter.
  29. CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult), an Apple TV+ original movie.
  30. Escoffier classmate friends.

This week’s featured dish

This week, we are highlighting a vichyssoise soup, which was simple to make. The soup was delicious hot and cold. The taste changes when drank hot compared to served cold. I prefer it cold. It was very refreshing and tasty.

Vichyssoise 411:

  • Pronounced (vee-chee-shawz).
  • Invented in 1917.
  • Named after a French town called Vichy.
  • Cold soup made with leeks, potatoes, and heavy cream.
  • Can be eaten hot as well.
  • November 18th is National Vichyssoise Day

Vichyssoise recipe (yield: 4 servings):

  • ½ lb leeks (white part only), sliced
  • ½ lb russet potatoes, peeled
  • ⅔ fl oz olive oil
  • 1.5 pt chicken stock
  • Salt, to taste
  • White pepper, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 5 fl oz heavy whipping cream
  • Chopped chives, to taste
  • Mixing bowls/cups for mise en place ingredients
  • Food scale
  • Chef knife
  • Cutting board
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Bowl for potatoes to soak in water
  • Pot (two)
    • One for the soup
    • Another for the ice bath
  • Food mill (or an immersion blender, which is preferred)

Production steps:

  1. Sanitize kitchen (sink, countertops, stovetop/oven, cupboard handles, phone, computer).
  2. Scrub and peel the potatoes.
  3. Cut potatoes into cubes and soak in water to prevent oxidation (potatoes turning brown).
  4. Clean leeks.
  5. Cut leeks into half moon thin slices.
  6. Mise en place ingredients.
  7. Sweat the leeks in olive oil in a pot.
  8. Add the chicken stock and potatoes into the pot and bring to a boil.
  9. Simmer until vegetables are tender.
  10. Purée soup with an immersion blender, food mill, or mesh strainer.
  11. Add heavy cream to soup
  12. Chill the soup thoroughly (40ºF or below).
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Garnish soup with chopped chives.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I’m excited that my favorite time of the year is here again! I’m looking forward to my traditional holiday baking and more cooking. My pâtisserie course for my online culinary program is coming to a close in three weeks. Twelve weeks surely flies by so fast! I’ll be starting my third course on world cuisines the week of Christmas. That will be very exciting! I love trying different cuisines from across the globe.

As we head into the final month of 2021, I wish you all a joyous and safe holiday season. Don’t stress and become frantic. Breathe and be patient with yourself and with others. Set small, reasonable goals. Create new memories and celebrate the old ones, too. Let’s finish the year strong! We got this!

Happy Holidays!

FS x

Poached chicken/salmon with a buttery goodness

Happy last Sunday of August! This week, we learned to poach a protein. Poaching involves simmering something in liquid. I poached not one, but two proteins. Whoop whoop! I loved this technique. It was so simple and clean. Before poaching, I made a court bouillon to poach the chicken and salmon in. It was a very acidic broth. Wowsers!

The court bouillon includes the following ingredients:

  • water
  • white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • yellow onion (coarsely chopped)
  • celery (coarsely chopped)
  • leeks (coarsely chopped)
  • bay leaves
  • crushed peppercorn
  • dried thyme
  • parsley stems
  • whole cloves
  • salt

The liquid with all its ingredients are brought to a boil and then simmered for 20 minutes. The contents are then strained and discarded. The clean broth is ready for use.

Before submerging the protein in the bouillon, the temperature of the liquid needs to be brought to 160ºF (for the chicken) and 140ºF (for the salmon). The protein is then submerged in the low-heat liquid until it reaches its well-done temperatures (165ºF for chicken and 145ºF for salmon).

Both proteins were paired with a beurre blanc (aka white buttery) sauce. Here are the ingredients used to make this glorious sauce:

  • dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • white wine vinegar
  • shallots (chopped brunoise style (1/8 x 1/8 x 1/8 cut)
  • cold unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
  • salt

This sauce requires a lot of attention and focus to maintain its consistency. My chef instructors spoke about this sauce “breaking” if left unattended or overheated. The sauce will lose its thick texture and become runny, similar to melted butter. That would be a mess.

First, the wine, vinegar, and shallots are reduced to about an ounce or two tablespoons in the saucepan. Next, add one or two cubes of butter at a time, while whisking vigorously. This creates an emulsion, which is a mixture of two or more liquids that are typically immiscible, like oil and water. Continue slowly adding the butter and whisk. Lift the pot on-and-off the heat (“pot dancing”) while adding the butter and whisking persistently to control the temperature. Once the emulsion takes hold, more amounts of butter can be added a time, while still continuing to whisk. Shallots can be taken out or left in the pan. Season before serving.

This sauce is kept in a warm place or thermos until it’s ready to be served. Once this sauce is made, it cannot be reheated, as the sauce will break. I was so nervous about breaking the sauce, but thankfully, I didn’t. I was intently focused on making sure I kept the consistency of the thickness of the sauce. I was so attentive that I forgot to take required pictures of the steps leading to the final production of this sauce for my class assignment. Therefore, I had to remake it. It was great practice to make it again. I’m glad I had the opportunity. Because I knew what to expect, I felt more confident making the sauce the second time around. I was so amazed that whisking butter in an ounce of liquid could create a rich, acidic, and thick buttery sauce. The color reminded me of cream of chicken. It was so delightful and paired so well with the chicken and salmon. Yum!

Have a lovely week as we head into September. There’s a lot happening in the world. The pandemic. The situation in Afghanistan…. People in Louisiana, you’re in my thoughts and prayers as y’all encounter Hurricane Ida. Let’s not let the negative events of the world consume our mind. Take time to reflect on the positive and always exercise gratitude. That’s what I was reminded of this past week. Being thankful for what I have and keeping that close to my heart.

Take care,

FS x