Sunday, December 18, 2011

Garde Manger Revisited

My semester of Garde Manger has finished.  Our final was last week and I was happy with my presentation.  I chose to have it on Marilyn's Table this weekend.

Chicken Galantine
Couscous with Grilled Vegetables

Since my group made three galantines and I only used one for our presentation, there were two left.  I brought one home and kept it frozen until time to prepare dinner. First let me explain that a galantine is a French dish.  It is a meat wrapped pate.  In this case the ground meat was chicken with pistachio nuts and small cubes of ham. it is mixed with eggs, spices and brandy.  The skin is removed in one piece from a whole chicken and spread on plastic wrap; one chicken breast is pounded flat and placed on top of the skin.  The ground mixture is piled in the center and rolled up.  The roll is triple wrapped in plastic and then in foil.  The ends are twisted and the roll is poached in a hot water bath on the stove top.  When the internal temperature reaches   170 degrees it is removed and cooled.  At that point it was frozen until we used it this week.  When I thawed it, I unwrapped it and browned it in the oven.  The roll is sliced and served atop the couscous and vegetable salad.

The couscous is simmered in chicken broth until all the liquid is absorbed.  Thin slices of zucchini, yellow squash, red and green peppers are marinated in a vinaigrette and grilled.  When grill marks are clear and the vegetables softened they are cut in small pieces and mixed with the couscous.  A bit of the vinaigrette is tossed and the salad is served at room temperature with slices of the galantine on top.  A pretty dish as well as tasty.

The class prepared a number of items that are to be served cold.  Garde Manger is the art of cold food.  Most of the preparations were of items I had never done before. We prepared a number of sausages, (mine was Kielbasa), duck confit which I used in a tart, gravlax of salmon, which I thought was a disaster; way too salty for my taste and a waste of lovely salmon.  We also smoked several seafood products.  My favorite was shrimp.  Smoking gave them  a unique flavor and we used them in salads and as garnishes for open faced sandwiches.  The one preparation I was nervous about was sushi, but it turned out to be one of my favorites.  The most difficult part is the preparation of the sticky rice.  Rolling the rice in a sheet of nori and raw tuna was easier than I thought.

All in all the class was worth while and I see a stand mixer with some attachments and a sushi kit in my future.

Next week is Christmas and I will again travel north to my family in Wisconsin.  I will fill you in on our table both for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season!!