After school let out, I got the chance to go back to my home town: Houston, Texas. It was nice to be greeted with warm weather and some of my favorite food from my home town. What could be good in Texas you ask? Oh the simple things. Kolaches. No one knows what kolaches are outside of Texas and it is really sad. The simple concoction of bread, meat, and cheese is a staple for breakfast in Houston, and a delicious one too! Non Texans may call it a pigs in a blanket and it really is the only way to describe it, but it is so much more than a pigs in a blanket! You’ll only understand, once you have tried it. Anyway, this is not suppose to be an homage to the kolache, but yes, it may be that good! Besides Kolaches, I got to sink my teeth in breakfast tacos (another staple in Houston), tex mex, good vietnamese banh mi, and so much more.
Besides indulging in food with no restraint, I also got to see my DOG (Monty), family, friends, and I also got to practice a lot of baking. The first week of school, Chef Jaquy Pfeiffer said “If you aren’t staging, working, or busy, you should be busy practicing. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!”. So I did just that. I can’t graduate from pastry school and not give everyone I see something tasty anyway.
Things I made: Croissants (they turned out okay, but not great). Gougere (okay, but not great), pumpkin cheesecake, brownies with a speculoos crust and caramel, speculoos linzer cookies with a raspberry jam, carrot cake, and KOLACHES! Unfortunately, I failed to take photos of anything I made except for the spread at Christmas.
Christmas Dinner Spread: Roasted Turkey, Roasted Duck, Mixed Greens with a Balsamic Vinaigrette, Gougere, Croissants, 4 Cheese Mac and Cheese, Steamed Green Beans. Chef Cathy made the duck and I made everything else. Desserts not pictured.
Coming back to Chicago, I have been working at the restaurant Epic. It has been going well and I’m getting more comfortable. Because January is slow, I have had some time to play with food at home! I had a successful batch of croissants that I forgot to take photos of, english muffins, and I have been playing with black sesame.
English Muffin: Tasty, but no nook and crannies. Better luck next time!
Black Sesame Macaron with a White Chocolate Black Sesame Ganach. (Not bad, but needs work on the look and taste).
Black Sesame Creme Brulee
Until next time!