Culinary Sense

Adventures with Food and Life

Art of Cuisine: Final Project Part II

Folks, here it comes!

It’s the day of my final project, and I’m so excited to present my charcuterie items to Chef, and to the diners coming for brunch. Yes, you read right: our final projects will be served at brunch.

Here’s my concept: Scottish Picnic. I will make a traditional pork pie, Scotch eggs, smoked salmon mousse canapes on cucumber, a kipper paste, some bread, and an herb salad.

It turns out that we can’t get kippers in – kippers are smoked dried trout – so instead I make a fennel mustard to go with all the meat.

Here are my pork pies. The crust is a lard pastry crust, which goes all around the pan. The pork mixture gets stuffed inside, and then I cover the pies with a final layer of crust. The pork mixture is cubed pork shoulder, with seasoning. When you make charcuterie, you will always want to taste your fillings, sausage stuffing, etc. So with some help from Chef, I assemble the pies. I make little aluminum chimneys in the centers of the pies so that all the extra moisture can evaporate while they’re baking. I make some designs with the extra pastry dough. The criss-cross design looks kind of tacky, but it’s also kind of a classic. When they come out of the oven, I am so happy with the way they look. I am so proud of myself for doing such a good job. After the pies cool down, you have to fill in the holes with extra stock or gelatin. During the baking process, the meat has lost moisture, thus leaving a gap between the meat filling and the pie covers.

The next big item for me are the Scotch eggs. Scotch eggs do not originate in Scotland (they originate in England; the name probably comes from “scorched egg”), they are widely eaten throughout Great Britain, so I took some culinary liberty there. A Scotch egg is a hard-boiled egg that is wrapped in sausage meat and then breaded and deep-fried.

Here is the set-up. On the left, my hard boiled eggs (peeled), and on the right, my seasoned sausage meat.

This is the traditional 3 stage breading station: from left to right: flour, egg wash (beaten eggs with milk or water), and on the right panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs).

Here they are: eggs wrapped in meat and breaded, all ready for the fryer.

Golden eggs! They look so pretty! I can’t wait to try them.

All the items on the charcuterie platter will be served cold. Here are some photos of the final result of assembling the platter.

Wheeeeeeeeee! Looks so nice!

This is the sample plate – an ideal version of what a diner will have on her plate.

These are the Scotch eggs cut into quarters.

View of the pork pie with the fennel mustard.

Smoked salmon mousse (also known as mousseline) canapes on baguette with cucumber slices and faux salmon roe. The faux roe are made from red currant jelly and lots and lots of gelatin.

Slices of pork pie, herb salad, and Scotch eggs.

Yay! At this point, I am so so proud. I am really very happy with how everything turned out.

This is my little blurb about the project [this was before I knew about the kipper situation]:

“The theme “Scottish Picnic” will emerge through the choice of foods on the platter and the design on the platter. The chaud froid, a tartan, will imitate a tartan thrown on the ground as a blanket. The elements on the platter contain land and sea foods (pork, eggs, kipper, salmon) which originate in both the mountains and the coastline. The herb salad provides much needed sour and bitter contrast to balance out the salt and umami tastes, and also provides a beautiful green color that reflects the grassy hills and mirrors the green in the tartan. All elements will be served cold, as they would be at a picnic.”

Here is a professional-looking photography taken by Francis Moran of Francis Moran Photography.

So proud.

~ Carolynn

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