As a perfect culmination to this year filled with cooking and adventurous eating, I had the awesome opportunity to learn some of the harder dish techniques from my wonderful friend who is a professional chef. As a graduate from CIA, she is my "phone a friend" whenever something isn't going quite right in the kitchen. She blew me away by teaching me how to perfect some of my favorite and scariest dishes during our visit. I'm not really sure that she could have give me a better Christmas gift. It was perfect!
We started the first night with boiled whole lobsters. At the grocery store, they pulled them out of the tank still kicking and crawling around, threw them in a brown bag and sent us on our way! The trick (I learned) is to put them in the freezer for 30-45 minutes before boiling them. This kind of knocks them out, so no screaming! Along with some lemon butter and a real education in getting all that meat out of the shells, I was one step closer to my year-end goals!
The next evening, we made a spaghetti carbonara, which I've always been afraid to do. I've just always been sure that I'd mess up the egg sauce and make scrambled eggs instead. So she showed me how it's really done, and man was it so delicious! I cannot wait to make this recipe along with her ridiculous ciabatta bread. I'm thinking this might be the winner for this weekend.
In addition, she made fried calamari, duck breast, tuna tartare, croissants, and eggs benedict. My favorite breakfast dish, I was blown away by how perfect her poached eggs turned out and how creamy wonderful her hollandaise sauce was! I wasn't expecting that amazing treat, but that was really one of my favorites of the weekend. She also prepped duck confit and showed me how to butcher a whole duck for the dish. Unfortunately, we didn't get the chance to eat that one before we headed off to the airport. Although I'm sure it was just as amazing as everything else had been all week. I can't wait to take everything I learned and put it to use in our kitchen!!