Dirt Candy: brunoise all the way, baby

I told you how two Thursdays ago, Amanda showed me how to brunoise a bell pepper as a garnish for our pepper soup.  This past Thursday, I spent a few hours of the day reducing eight bell peppers – two each of red, orange, yellow, and green – to a brunoise as best I could.  It was labour-intensive, focus-demanding, and highly rewarding.  And I didn’t cut myself once!

It was most gratifying to press the lid onto each of four half-pint containers, themselves only about half-full of brunoise, label them, and store them in Amanda’s fridge for the service that night.  It is simply the coolest feeling to know that someone might just have a burst of pleasure or inspiration when they bite into those tiny cubes of raw bell pepper, mixed into a colourful garnish and served atop the soup.  Heck, a guy can hope, right?

At the very least, it felt cool to make it through all those peppers, and I definitely felt myself getting better as I went.  And the red and green ones were much harder than the orange and yellow because of their thinness, and I made it through ok even with those.

My favourite part is to skin both sides with an ultra-sharp knife.  It made me feel like a sushi chef, bent over my station, with the utmost concentration, lifting waxy skin from flesh with the gentlest of strokes, and making small piles of what at a glance or in low light could definitely pass for thin slices of sashimi or nigirizushi.  The orange pepper especially gives this effect.

I have not seen peppers quite yet at market, but when they arrive look out for a tutorial on brunoise, I think that would be fun to share.

Aside from this noble, if not tedious, prep task, I also prepped the ginger and scallions, mushrooms for the grill and mousse, and celery, among a few others.  I learned that you can peel ginger with a spoon and it’s way faster and more economical than using a knife!  Good life skill.

And once again, Danielle busted out a mean family:

It was a highly moist day as far as hot days go, and this cool salad of broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, onion, herbs, rice, and lentils totally hit the spot – hearty and flavourful while cool and refreshing.  And she got me to hack up this watermelon for everyone to enjoy.  I couldn’t have been happier, sitting on the steps outside the restaurant, enjoying the afternoon with a bowl of delicious food.

In other news, I also found out this weekend that Amanda was on Iron Chef America in a special ‘vegetarian’ battle with Morimoto (the original Iron Chef is way better, but still)!  Each time I think I have Dirt Candy all figured out, I find out some new detail that is even more cool than the last.  Check out Amanda’s three part series on the experience, as well as a post-factum round-up, and coverage of the Iron Chef dinner she hosted at the restaurant where she recreated the menu from the show.  How awesome!

This entry was published on Monday, July 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm. It’s filed under work and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Dirt Candy: brunoise all the way, baby

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