One of the great joys in life is knowing that everything going “right” is never a reality. This first day of Le Cordon Bleu is no exception. My youngest has been with a cold for a couple of days and we are waiting to see when our oldest begins his turn.
So as we wait, Kristi decided to try it on for a while. In my mind, I imagined this wonderful meal with the beautiful place settings that she enjoys the setting. Both boys would eat to their heart’s content and I would receive praise for such fabulous cuisine. Instead, René tried everything but ate almost nothing.
Charles ate like a king, but he is only a year so pickiness is not yet developed. And Kristi, my precious wife, was just not in much of a mood to eat. But despite it all, I think the food came out wonderfully.
The first course, Cucumber with Mint, is one of my favorites. I have had variations on this recipe before but I made it according to the book and the simplicity of the flavors was a perfect start to the meal. I had to use packaged mint leaves that were slightly wilted but the taste seemed only slightly less “minty” than fresh leaves. Success!
The second course consisted of the Roasted Chicken and the Sweet Peas, Chervil and Onions. I had to change exchange the chervil for parsley because the parsley was fresh as opposed to the chervil in a plastic package.
I wasn’t willing to pay the extra price for the slight variation in the two. The bird in the recipe is cooked on each side and then on it’s back for a really nice browning effect and overall doneness.
I could have let it in for 10 more minutes in the last cycle but I had a 4-year-old anxiously awaiting food of any kind, which when given he didn’t eat. The meat was cooked well enough but instinct just said, “10 minutes more.” I have had roast chickens with many more spices involved but the rather subdued fresh taste of the chicken really paired well with the rest of the meal.
The peas were an easy bunch to cook. But no one can deny the power of the magical combination of butter and sugar!
For dessert, it was a Fruit Salad with Cointreau. For those that don’t know, Cointreau is a French-made orange liquor. The taste is rather subtle but the liquor is used in many mixed drinks. This is my first time using it for cooking, or more correctly, not cooking.
Though it was my most expensive item to purchase for this meal, it made the most difference in the taste of the dish. After it sat mixed with the other ingredients, it came off with such a sweetness and satisfaction that really ended the meal perfectly.
For my first day at Le Cordon Bleu via Becks’ Kitchen, I feel quite successful. Every dish tasted well balanced and nothing too dramatic, like throwing an entire dish away, happened along the way. Though I had a sniffling, un-eating family around me, it came off as close to perfection as I could imagine.
Take yourself to France with this lovely tune by Debussy: