I had just started my at the Cathedral and I was put to another test, unexpected lunch guest. I was given maybe an hour notice that we would have two guest coming for lunch, that really did not bother me because growing up we always had room for one more and in this case two. Lunch was already started, I had prepared Poached chicken salad with Red and green grapes mixed with french thyme, this would be served over mixed greens topped with toasted pecans and Goat cheese and fresh made rolls. I usually made lunch light and for dessert I would serve a fresh fruit that was in season.
So I thought no big deal Six for lunch instead of Four. Fr. Larry came into the kitchen to see how things were going and if I was nervous, I wasn’t until he said “ you know they are coming for lunch to check out the new cook”. ( The guest were two other Priest from a neighboring parish) and by the way whats for dessert?
Well, I took an Ordinary pound cake, sugared some fresh strawberries and then topped it with a bourbon sauce that I made by whisking together soften Vanilla Ice Cream and 2 Tablespoons of Bourbon. Then I garnished the plate with whip cream and mint. The Pastor and guest were very pleased.
You see if you always have these two items on hand you can take a plain ordinary dessert and make it something special!
Fast Forward a couple of month, Culinary School. The Culinary program was preparing a Bourbon Street Brunch that was being hosted by the College. This Brunch was a fundraising event for the school and each class of the culinary department was responsible for one course. Half way through service we were running out of Bourbon Sauce for the Bread Pudding, my class mates that were in charge of this dish were panicking and I meekly suggested Whisking French Vanilla Ice Cream and Bourbon together….Well, the guys that were in charge of this course laughed at me. Then they went to tell Chef Carl what I suggested to do thinking I would get in embarrassed and in trouble. Chef Carl looked at them and asked what they were waiting for and that I had just gave them the recipe for a quick creme anglaise sauce.
Then Chef Carl came to me and asked how did I know to do this, and I told him the story about work and I needed a nice desert and I had a feeling these items would go together and I had nothing to lose so I made it and it worked.
The Funny part of this story I really had no idea at the time I was making what is considered in the culinary world a mock creme anglaise.