Sometimes it is fun just to travel as far as the closest cooking class. That is what my friend Janna Seiz and I did last week, we took a class on stocks and sauces. I learned terms I had never heard in three years of French class about the origins of some of the base sauces, the Mother Sauces. While I freely admit they were nobody’s mother I knew, they had some basis in cooking foundation! “Stocks serve as the foundation to flavor, they are the most foundational,” Chef Perry said.
We worked together creating a chicken stock, velour sauce, pesto butter and more. The best thing about the class that chef Denise Perry taught was that we got to taste the finished products at the end of class. We were also able to take home some chicken stock and Court Boullion as well as some of the pesto and blue cheese compound butter. “Chicken stock consists of 50% chicken (bones), 25% carrots and 25% onion,” Chef Perry said. “For the Holy Trinity you substitute green pepper for carrots in Louisiana cooking,” she added.
At home, I have been having fun with the offerings we brought back to our own kitches. This past Sunday I used our chicken stock along with some poached (a new way of cooking I just learned) chicken to make chicken and noodles. Tonight I used some of the pesto butter and velour sauce to flavor chicken quesadillas. I must say it looks yummy. We will see what my family says.
Travel is such a wonderful way to expand the palette and taking this cooking class has allowed me to bring a bit of French cooking technique into my everyday farm house. Whether I will take the time to make real stock and homemade sauces in the future will depend on time, but I must admit if I learned anything in class, it was that good food takes time and quality ingredients. When I learned that most boullion cubes have salt as the first ingredient I thought, “I can do this” so we shall see, Anyway, tonight I brought my cooking class home and hope for the best!