An enforced change of pace

I’ve had a wee mishap, not at school but at home.  It will make you cringe so I wont go on about it but it involves the nail on my ring finger, a splinter of wood, a trip to A and E, a local anesthetic, a scalpel, pairs of tweezers and a lot of pain.

I need full dexterity to get through the daily tasks at school so don’t imagine I will manage with trimming a lamb rack and making the crusty bread rolls scheduled for lesson 18 .  I go to school feeling a little sorry for myself.  My friends Ravi and Rob are very quick to offer me help in class which I greatly appreciate  but I know it’s not wise for me to be in the kitchen having had so little sleep and being essentially one-handed.

When I tell Chef about my predicament he suggests I attend the demonstration and do the practical at the end of the week.  I’m so relieved.  I don’t want to miss out on anything, especially a lamb dish and bread making.  I take extensive notes during class knowing that there is no way I will remember everything with two other lessons between now and the end of the week when I will replicate these dishes.

Preparing the lamb for plating

Preparing the lamb for plating

Noisettes d'angeau au pesto de coriandre et haricots vert

Noisettes d’angeau au pesto de coriandre et haricots vert

I also realise that there is no way I could remove the noisettes from the lamb rake with limited use of my right hand.  Its a delicate process.  Chef takes the skin off and discards it.  He then skilfully removes the meat from the bones in one strip.  The piece of fat that remains when the fillet has been removed is carefully trimmed and flattened to wrap around the lamb fillet. The fillet is brushed with coriander pesto.

I thought the navarin was the best lamb dish I have ever tasted.  This is on a par with that.  It is a succulent morsel of perfectly cooked tender lamb with a hint of chilli from the coriander and the delectable flavour from the thin layer of fat encasing it.  If I can create anything anywhere near this at the end of the week I will be very happy.

And the bread, well it’s light in the middle and crispy on the outside.

Crusty rolls with crispy shallots

Crusty rolls with crispy shallots

It’s an odd feeling to leave school before the practical part of class but I’m hopeful I will have more use of my right hand tomorrow when we’re roasting scallops, grilling steak and making a fruit tart.

2 thoughts on “An enforced change of pace

  1. Oh dear – I hope the pain isn’t too bad and your nail survives. Happy cooking for the end of the week. The food looks delicious – would love to taste the lamb one day.

  2. So sorry to hear about your finger. As Stephen and I are both still struggling with Crown of Thorn splinters in our foot and finger from a snorkelling mishap in Thailand and having to keep re-opening the wounds to pick away at now invisible bits still in there we can feel your pain. Your colleagues all sound so helpful. Nice to know it’s not all cut throat in the kitchen as the reality TV suggests. Hope you heal quickly

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