Basque Stage Candidate post

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Hello all, today I have my second post for the Basque Stage Scholarship for which I have made a dish. I made this dish to reflect who I am, where I live and what I like to do(which is cooking of course). If you look back to my sneak peak post it describes how I found the ingredients and the inspiration for the dish. I live in Michigan and we happen to have some of the best climates for growing these seasonal vegetables and a great place to hunt wild game. I feel blessed to live here, it might have been more difficult in other areas. Anyways let me describe the dish before I go into detail about the process of making it. The dish is pheasant, seared and basted in butter and thyme, with curry pumpkin puree, and a warm brussel sprout salad, containing chestnuts, pumpkin seeds, and micro arugula, tossed in a vinaigrette of olive oil and champagne vinegar.

The first steps were to get he immersion circulator running and up to temperature and start the pumpkin and its seeds roasting. Next I trimmed and halved my brussel sprouts and diced my chestnuts(roasted them a day ahead of time). By then my circulator was up to temp so I dropped in my quail eggs 64C for 30 minutes. Then it was time to break down the pheasant  First I removed the legs and thighs as one, de-boned the thigh, frenched the leg, and removed the pin bones from the leg. I pounded out the thigh and wrapped it around the leg. Next I removed the breasts and the skin of the breasts. Finally I removed the wings and frenched the drumette.(I used the rest to make a nice roulade by searing the breast covering them in a chestnut and cremini duxelle and wrapping it in swiss chard. That is what the picture of the green log is. But I forgot it in the cooler when I went to plate up. I was very disappointed when I remembered it.) By this point the seeds had been pulled out and the pumpkin was removed from the oven. The pumpkin skin was removed and the flesh was put into the vita-prep machine and pureed with seasoning, my masala(I hand ground a large mixture of spice to make some curry dishes a month ago and have been incorporating my masala into many of my dishes to use it up before it loses its potency), and cream. I vacuum packaged my pheasent legs to hold the thigh to the leg and sous-vide it at 59C for 10 minutes just so the thigh wouldn’t move during the sear (the vacuum also removed a lot of the moisture from the skin which gave me a very nice crispy skin). During all of my prep I had a Pheasant stock on the stove. I mixed in a bit of veal stock and reduced it with some dried cranberries till it started to thicken and pushed it through a chinois.

At this point I was ready to sear the pheasant and Plate up my dish. I started my brussel sprouts in a pan with a bit of butter and salt and they were roasted in the oven (the other ingredients to the salad were already in the bowl and ready). Then I started to sear my breast and once I formed a nice crust I started basting it in the butter and thyme. It was cooked to mid-rare and I pulled it off to rest. While I was resting it I put the pumpkin puree on with a little extra cream and began heating it up and I started heating up my sauce as well. The dish was then plated up and photos were taken. Later after I had eaten the dish I finally remembered my roulade and that was my snack.

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