Reblochon Tarts with Bacon and Potatoes (Chef Demonstration Appetizer)
French Onion Soup Gratinee (Group 1)
Homemade Baguettes (All Groups)
Thyme Basted Pork Tenderloin With Mushrooms (Group 2)
Pomme Frites (Group 3)
Almond Coconut Orange Cake (Group 3)
Reblochon Tarts with Bacon and Fingerling Potatoes
Yield 4 servings
- 2 medium potatoes
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- All-purpose flour, for rolling
- 1/2 pound puff pastry
- 1/4 pound Fontina or gruyere cheese, rind removed and cheese thinly sliced
How to Make It
- In a small saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain, then peel and thinly slice crosswise.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes; transfer to paper towels. Chop bacon.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Pour off the bacon fat in the skillet and add the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until softened and browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer the onion to a bowl; season with salt and pepper.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to an 11-inch square. Using a plate as your guide, cut out four 5-inch rounds. Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheet and prick them all over with a fork.
- Bake the rounds in the center of the oven for about 8 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Using the back of a fork, deflate the rounds and bake for about 4 minutes longer, until the pastry is just set.
- Top the pastry rounds with the onion, potato slices, bacon and cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the pastry is browned. Transfer the tarts to plates; serve hot or warm.
Onion Soup Gratinee
- 8 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 12 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup apple brandy
- 4 sprig fresh parsley
- 4 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- 24 slice provolone cheese
- 1 cup asiago cheese, or mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tsp paprika
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in salt, red onions, and sweet onions. Cook 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy.
- Add apple brandy.
- Mix chicken broth, beef broth, red wine, and Worcestershire sauce into pot. Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with twine and place in pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce the heat to low, mix in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep over low heat to stay hot while you prepare the bread.
- Preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 3 minutes, turning once, until well toasted on both sides. Remove from heat; do not turn off broiler.
- Arrange oven safe bowls or crocks on a rimmed papered baking sheet. Fill each bowl 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with some croutons, 1 slice provolone cheese and some asiago or mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of paprika over the top of each one.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven 10 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
Yield 4 baguettes
- 2 cup water at 100 degrees
- 5 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoon white sugar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons yeast
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- Place 1 cup water, sugar, and yeast into a bowl and gently stir to dissolve yeast
- Allow mixture to sit until bubbly around 10 minutes.
- Mix flour and salt together.
- In a bowl combine flour mixture and yeast mixture to form a dough. Knead for about two minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in lightly greased bowl.
- Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
- Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16×12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8×12 inch rectangles.
- Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.
- Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
Thyme Basted Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms
Yield: 6 servings
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 pork tenderloins (2 to 2 1/2 pounds total), trimmed
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and all but 2 tablespoons parsley. Let cool.
- Rinse the pork and pat dry. Butterfly the pork: Make a 1-inch-deep incision down the length of each tenderloin; do not cut all the way through. Open the meat like a book so the tenderloins lie flat.
- Cover the pork with plastic wrap; pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until about 1/2 inch thick, starting from the middle and working outward. Spread the mushroom mixture over the 2 tenderloins. Starting with a long side, tightly roll up each tenderloin. Truss with butcher twine.
- Preheat a grill pan to medium high; brush the grates with olive oil. Brush the pork rolls with olive oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Grill until lightly browned and turn once only. Brown other side. Cook until the center of the pork registers 140 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to rest, about 10 minutes.
- Mix the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons parsley and lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Slice the pork rolls. Top with parsley oil and serve.
Pommes Frites | French Fries
Step 1: Preparing the Potatoes
4 large russet potatoes
- To make French fries, it’s best to use high-starch potatoes, such as russet potatoes.
- First, peel the potatoes, if desired, and store in cold water. Before cutting each potato, dry it and then cut a bit off one side to prevent it from slipping. Cut the potato into strips about 3/8″ -inch by 3/8″ -inch wide. The potatoes can be cut any size you like. Just make sure they’re evenly cut so they cook at the same rate. You can also use a mandoline to cut the potatoes.
- Place the potatoes into the water to prevent browning and also to rinse off the excess starch and surface sugars. The potatoes can be cut and stored in the refrigerator up to one day in advance.
Step 2: Heating the Oil
frying oil (grapeseed or peanut)
- To begin, attach a thermometer to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. to ensure an accurate reading, make sure the prong does not touch the bottom of the pot.
- Pour enough oil to reach about 2″ -inches high. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches between 300º to 325º degrees Fahrenheit or 150° to 170° degrees Celsius.
Step 3: Blanching the Potatoes
- To blanch the potatoes, first set up a baking tray with paper towels or a clean kitchen cloth. Then gather a spider and make sure the oil is at the correct temperature.
- Dry a handful of potatoes with another clean kitchen cloth. The potatoes must be dry so they don’t splatter once they hit the oil. Working in small batches, place the potatoes onto the spider and gently lower them into the oil. Blanch for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or just until softened slightly. You might also want to use a timer so you can time each batch. This will ensure that all of the potatoes cook evenly.
- When blanching the potatoes, they should not turn golden at all. When they are ready, remove them from the oil and place onto the baking tray. The potatoes should be just cooked through but still have some resistance when you squish them. Continue to blanch the potatoes in batches, making sure the oil has returned to the proper blanching temperature each time before adding more. If the oil is too cold, the potatoes will absorb too much oil and be greasy.
- Once all of the potatoes have been blanched, arrange them on the tray so they don’t stick together. Then chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to ensure they are nice and cold. However, they can be stored for up to one day before cooking. Chilling the potatoes allows them to dry and, therefore, brown better once they are returned to the oil for the final cooking.
Step 4: Cooking & Serving the French Fries
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Once the potatoes have completely chilled, heat the oil to 400º degrees Fahrenheit or 200° degrees Celsius. Gather a large, stainless-steel bowl.
- When the oil is ready, fry the potatoes for the second time. Place a handful of the potatoes onto the spider and lower into the oil. It can take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 5 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your fries and how thick they were to begin with. Once crisp and golden, remove them from the oil and place them directly into the bowl. It’s important to season the potatoes while they’re nice and hot to ensure the seasoning sticks. Then give them a toss and serve immediately while you cook the next batch.
Almond Coconut Orange Cake
Yield 10 servings
- 2 large oranges
- 6 eggs
- ½ pound almond flour
- ½ pound sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup coconut shredded
- Wash the oranges and simmer them, unpeeled, in water to cover for 2 hours. Cool, cut them open and remove the seeds. Puree the oranges, including the peel, in a food processor.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Beat the eggs in a mixer bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, including the orange puree, and mix thoroughly.
- Pour into a well buttered and floured cake tin, with a removable base if possible.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin before turning out.
- Top with glaze, coconut, and serve.
Yield glaze for 1 cake
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp orange liquor
- Combine milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. Sift confectioners’ sugar into milk mixture.
Whisk slowly, until well combined. Remove the glaze from the heat and set over a bowl of warm water.