Today was our last proper kitchen day at school. Yesterday we were given a whole rabbit and were asked to create a fine dining standard main course using multiple parts of the rabbit. We were given a list of other ingredients to choose from. This is about as close to Master Chef as we have come all year. Everyone’s dishes had to be ready at 3 sharp, at which point, we took a tour of the three kitchens to see what everyone had done. It is amazing how many wildly different plates can come out of one furry creature and a limited number of ingredients.
I largely followed a recipe from The French Laundry Cookbook. Though I own this cookbook, I had to borrow it from the library. Mine is in storage right now because it didn’t make the cut when we moved to London tw years ago. It was given to me as a gift by my husband after eating an amazing lunch at the restaurant in 2006. I have always loved it, but before today had made exactly one recipe out of the book. Honestly, they were all far beyond my skill level. I find it incredibly gratifying that I can now not only cook from this cookbook, but I understand it and I can adapt the recipes (as I did today) to suit my needs.
The change in my cooking ability and instincts has been so gradual that I take it for granted. But the fact that two years ago I decided that this iconic cookbook was too aspirational (and not attainable) to bother bringing to London and today I borrow it from the library and consider buying myself a second copy… Well, this is a clear benchmark to remind myself how far I have come. Dare I say I am proud of myself?
Today’s accomplishment: rabbit loin wrapped in prosciutto, rack of rabbit, caramelized fennel, rabbit jus and fennel oil.
Two weeks left of school. A theory exam, dinner party group project and the practical exam. I can hardly believe it is drawing to a close. Though I am excited to unleash my newfound skills on the world. Fun stuff ahead…