The last region of European Cuisine focused on in TEC was Northern Europe and the United Kingdom. Like much of the rest of the world, breakfast and lunch is usually the largest and heaviest of day. To introduce us to the cuisine, my instructor had us look up the components of Simpson’s In the Strand’s famous breakfast plate The Ten Deadly Sins:
1. Cumberland Sausage
2. Streaky and Back Bacon
3. Stornoway Black Pudding
4. Fried Mushrooms
5. Baked Tomato
7. Fried Bread
8. Bubble & Squeak
9. Baked Beans
10. Eggs (Fried, Poached, or Scrambled)
And you thought Waffle House’s All-Star Breakfast was over the top…
I did not record as many picture this production day, probably because most of the items as you can imagine involved lots of potatoes, butter, and cream. My group produced corned beef, creamed peas, cauliflower with cheese, and a fennel and mushroom ravioli.
The Irish corned beef had been submerged in a brine for about a week. The brine had spices like peppercorn, mustard seeds, whole allspice, and whole cloves mixed with vinegar, wine and oil. The creamed peas were sauteed with a mint infused cream sauce, though I was bit hesitant about integrating mint in something other than chocolate chip ice cream, the mint hints added a light balance to the creaminess of the dish. One of my group members took on the daunting task of making the cheese sauce via tempering a egg into a hot cream sauce. He had some difficulties the first time around, but eventually figured out the secret to thick the sauce without scrambling the eggs. My other teammate and I worked on the fennel and mushroom ravioli. I made the filling and pasta dough, then used the pasta maker to roll out thin pasta sheets to make the ravioli. After learning how to make fresh any sort of pasta, I feel too guilty to go and buy dried boxed ones now…but I do need a pasta maker (hint hint Mom and Dad).
Being sort of a health nut, I was quite disappointed that our vegetable choices were all drenched in butter, cream, and cheese but the aim of the class was to expand my repertoire with the traditional recipes. The menu of each European region is of course, not representative of what is consumed on a daily basis just like as Americans, we do not consume pizza, cheeseburgers, and steaks everyday, (well at least a majority of us).
I hope you are testing out some warming fall recipes this weekend as the fall chill has settled in and does not look like it is going to leave anytime soon.