Monday, June 7, 2010
what the heck does manicuring a shallot mean?!
Friday night... I was nervous. Why? Check out my "to-do list":
1. whip and pipe brown butter
2. make a mignonette sauce... a lot of it
You're probably wondering why either of those things would make me a tad nervous... well, let me explain.
I am highly intimidated by piping bags and tips. When Emily and I decorated those wedding cupcakes, I had her re-pipe everything I had done... hers looked fluffier, taller, and just plain ol' prettier. Mine looked sad and flat. Not something you want at a wedding ;0)
I digress... On Friday night, Charlotte asked me to whip brown butter and then pipe it out. Although I heart the whipping part - it meant I got to use the industrial-sized stand mixer (super cool)... I really didn't heart the thought of having to pull out a piping bag... that is, until I got to use the large star tip. Seriously! That tip has alleviated all my fears associated with piping... check out the pictures...rows of brown butter, piped, ready to be chilled and then served.
I think I might say I enjoyed doing that as much as I enjoy making sundaes.
Now onto my second task... making a mignonette sauce. Charlotte showed me the recipe - and told me that I would be making it times 12! Yep. That's right. 12.
First thing to tackle - manicuring shallots. Well... I attempted to manicure the shallots, but didn't quite succeed. Manicuring means cutting the shallots into teeny, tiny pieces in 3 cuts of the knife. I diced. You know, when you chop it as finely as you can and then run your knife all over it again, making it even smaller? The difference... manicuring keeps the oils inside the shallot, dicing activates the oils. Basically, the flavours are different.
Back to the shallots. How many hours do you think it would take you to finely dice a large Ziploc bag full of shallots? It took me 3 hours (with some interruptions for sundae making)... 3 hours of slicing the shallots into 1/8 sized pieces. My goal is to be able to do this again by Christmas in half the time. Seriously. This time I finely diced. Next time I manicure.
You'll notice by the pictures that I showed you my step process:
-remove shallots from bag and place on cutting board
-cut in half
-slice horizontally and vertically
-create a pretty pile
Once my large (aren't they beautiful?) pile of shallots was prepared, I set about gathering my other ingredients: red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, red wine, Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce. Another lesson... when you're making 16 quarts of mignonette sauce you need to use an entire bottle of Worcestershire sauce. I thought I'd throw that out there...cuz you never know when you'll need 16 quarts ;0)
Isn't it pretty? Charlotte gave me a thumbs up :0) Tasks completed... PLUS I got to invent my new favourite sundae...
vanilla ice cream / passionfruit coulis / brownie bits / sliced bananas / drizzle of chocolate ganache
Perfect ending to the evening... well... actually sitting around with a glass of wine upstairs with the crew was the prefect end, but that sundae sure did hit the spot!