Scones Glorious Scones

'Think how impossible it would be to live without sweet geranium ' -Rory O'Connell

Monday was a great day. Day 1 of week 3 I can honestly say was my first successful day in the kitchen. I cooked roasted leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic, lamb gravy and roasted potatoes. I was so organized, in fact, that I even had time to whip up some glazed carrots. Now, I'll try not to get too cocky. I had the distinct advantage that I had very few ingredients and that all had very long cooking times so once they were in the oven it was a cleaning and waiting game. See below for steps one, two and three of my lamb!

My precious leg of lamb

Ready to go in the oven!

Le grand finale

And my final plated dish

This afternoons demo was taught by Rachel again. I have such a girl crush. She is super charismatic and for being such a celebrity chef she really has such humility. Today we focused on prawns, Shepherds pie, Moussaka, Fluffy Chocolate Pudding, Fluffy Lemon Pudding and Chutneys. The puddings look amazing- I'm cooking Lemon Pudding on Tuesday (lemon dessert, check check) so am very excited about it. Moussaka, if you're not familiar, is sort of like Greek lasagna except there are grilled zucchini and eggplant instead of noodles and ground lamb instead of beef- yum O. 

Tuesday morning in the kitchen was not as easy breezy as Monday but I made it through. My tomato apple chutney, much to my dismay, required me to peel and chop 4lbs of tomatoes. If you've ever done this before I know you feel my pain- no matter how many tricks you have up your sleeve, peeling and chopping tomatoes is a messy task that seems to never end. The good news about chutney, as opposed to jams, jellies and the like, is that once your ingredients are in the pot, you really just have to keep and eye on it, give it a stir every now and then and wait for it to reduce. 

Chutney pre cooking

Chutney reduced and ready to jar!

The fluffy lemon pudding and prawns went well. I'll need to try the chocolate pudding at some point :) I even made my own mayonnaise to go with the prawns, which, let me tell you, is quite the arm workout. 

Tuesday afternoons demo was taught by Rory and focused on chargrilled and poached fish, tortillas, quesadillas, guacamole, refried beans, ice cream and the most AMAZING scones I've ever had. They were soft and crispy and buttery and amazing. Unfortunately I have bread duty on Thursday so I won't have time to make these babies- they'll just have to wait until the weekend. 

Tuesday night I observed the kitchen at the Ballymaloe House which was great! Everyone that worked there was really nice and helpful. It definitely wasn't as stressful as I imagined a kitchen to be- that said, they explained that they are able to be very organized ahead of time because they don't necessarily have walk ins. I also got a tour of the wine cellar and learned a little about the wine list at the Ballymaloe House. The chef cooked me some venison for dinner so I was a very happy lady :)

Tips from Monday and Tuesday:

-When baking something, never open the oven door for the first 1/3-1/2 of the baking time or too much heat will escape

-If you use a food processor to mash potatoes, it will develop the starch and make them glue like

-Hot milk gives the best consistency to mashed potatoes, however, don't add milk until the potato is completely mashed

-Shepherd's Pie is traditionally made with ground lamb; Cottage Pie is traditionally made with ground beef

-The color and flesh of pineapple is not an indicator of ripeness, rather, focus on the smell and appearance of the leaves

-To keep your guacamole fresh, put the avocado stones in the bottom of a pyrex bowl, cover with guacamole and seal tightly with cling film