14 October, 2009

Advertorial: Julie & Julia Media Class @ Palate Sensations Cooking School with Chef Alicia Tivey

Just as Julia Childs took her cooking lessons from Le Cordon Bleu, HFB along with My Wok Life & ieatishootipost were invited to participate in a cook-off session at Palate Sensations Cooking School, as part of the launch for Julie & Julia movie.
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Our mission – to learn the ropes of some dishes that were featured in the film, under the tutorage of Chef Alicia Tivey, who once honed her skills at the world-renowned Tetsuya’s Restaurant, Sydney.
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The first half an hour or so were spent observing the cooking demonstration by Alicia, and first up was Tomato Bruschetta. HFB was craving for this dish after seeing the movie!
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A more Italian than French dish, a good tip that HFB picked up was to pre-make some peeled Garlic Cloves immersed with olive oil, and cooked in the oven in 140 °C for 2 hours – these soften garlic cloves would then be used for rubbing onto the toast bread – giving it an enhanced flavour.
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We were also taught of the different types of tomatoes we could use as toppings – the peeled version, the unpeeled version, and even using Cherry Tomatoes!
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And if you are adventurous enough, you can opt to follow Julie character in the early scenes of the movie and fry the bread in olive oil in a pan before adding the tomatoes and garlic. However, HFB thought that was too greasy for his liking.
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Granny Smith Green Apples are the preferred for the Apple Tarte Tatin, or Upside Down Apple Tart although one could use Pear as a substitute. Peeled, halved and cored the apples, while you spread a thick layer of butter over the skillet (although a copper tarte tatin mold will be perfect, as recommended by Susan Spungen who developed the recipe for the movie) and pour sugar evenly over bottom.
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Once sugar is melted, arrange as many apples as possible in the skillet, cooking it over moderately high heat.
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Juices should be deep golden and bubbling (estimate 18-25 minutes).
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Once caramelised process has completed, lay the pastry over the apples, trimming it according to the circumference of the pan, and baked it for about 10-15 minutes, until pastry is browned.
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Transfer the skillet to a rack and cool for at least 10 minutes. One can opt to top it with Vanilla Ice Cream or Cream Fraiche if desires. HMmmmm… looks just as good as the movie when Julia character flipped it over!
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Finally, we observed the steps for making the Hollandaise Sauce. One important thing to remember is to use unsalted butter – since almost half a block of butter is needed with every 4 eggs.
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An important tip when poaching an egg is to crack the egg right above the water so that the egg white will form a nice layer around the egg yolk. Of course the other tip, according to Julia character, is to get the right eggs – very, very fresh eggs. Do also remember to add a splash of White Vinegar and stir the water (two to three inches deep as recommended by Julia character) before the egg is crack – this would ensure one gets a nicely poached egg.
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We spent the next one hour or so creating havoc in the kitchen trying to remember the steps and preparing our own food. In an instance, HFB felt like he was transformed to a male version of Julie Powell, a food blogger cooking in a kitchen. And after much effort, it all comes down to the moment we have all been waiting for – sampling our very own masterpieces! Heh.
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Overall, it was a really an eye-opener and a wonderful experience. HFB cannot wait to master Beef Bourguignon next!


Palate Sensations said...

Very nice and glad you enjoyed!

Palate Sensations

Mel @ bouchonfor2.com said...

That looks like fun :)

His Food Blog said...

@Lynette: A pleasure to meet you and Alicia! Can't wait to start my cooking school!!

@Mel: Welcome! Cooking is always fun.

Steve said...

What a treat HFB... I only wish I was there to taste it for myself!

With the Apple Tarte Tatin, what was the pastry? Was it puff? I ask because this weekend is Bruny Weekend... and I might try this recipe there. It looked a treat, and seemed easy enough for a non-dessert maker like myself.

His Food Blog said...

Yes, its puff pastry. Try it and let me know how it turned out :)

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