The Art of Cooking at Home A Culinary Arts Portfolio

Constructed by and Owned by: Kena Rindfleisch

Culinary Arts Portfolios are seen through the world of culinary arts, with simplicity seen within the looks of a few pictures, and words intertwined within them. Basically, portfolios showcase something that you have constructed. In culinary arts, it is essential to showcase meals you create. You are unique, so how you add the pictures and words, work together to make a summary of your work. This is important due to the fact that they summarize one as a cook. They basically highlight aspects of ones' work in an elegant way, thus it is seen that this is essential for one trying to showcase their work. Overall, culinary art portfolios are important for they are like other portfolios, showcasing one's preparation of food, to highlight one's ability.

GINGER SNAP COOKIES

Ingredients
  • 9 1/2 ounces : all-purpose floor
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons : baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon : ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon : ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon : ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon : kosher salt
  • 7 ounces : dark brown sugar
  • 5 ounces : unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 3 ounces : molasses
  • 1 : large egg (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons : finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 ounces : finely chopped candied ginger

Ingredients are one of the most important aspects when cooking. Without the most simple and basic ingredients laid out in front of your eyes, one can't create a recipe. Thus, it is essential that one gives good appreciation to them in their normal forms.

To Make It

Through the course of making these ginger snap cookies, the use of cooking techniques was essential. These include mise en place, leveling, chopping, stirring, the creaming method, baking, and many other techniques. One of the first techniques to use in cooking is that of mise en place, which basically is where you organize everything before starting the recipe, and I decided to use this technique, thus I was able to go through constructing my recipe much faster and efficient. Another one of the techniques that I used was that of leveling, where one uses a cup or spoon and use a knife to scrape off of excess of a spice or flour (so on), thus the result is a more accurate measurement....

One of the number one things one has to know in the culinary arts industry is that of using a knife. Many people need to learn these skills to start to actually cook.

...In terms of cutting, chopping is a term used to describe one cutting/chopping a food into square pieces. To do this, I cut an object vertical into very thin slices, then I simply sliced it horizontal, to make squares....

This is one of my favorite kinds of pictures to take, one combining the art of dry and wet cooking. To the left is an image of what will make up the ginger root of the cookies along with sugar base, while to the right is a bowl of the dry ingredients which will essentially help the cookies to rise and grow into something.

...Another essential part one must consider when looking at the techniques used when cooking is that of the creaming method. As this image above shows, this technique is often used when baking. It is where you sperately mix together dry and wet ingredients. Often times, these wet ingredients include those of solids, and liquids. While dry ingredients include species and and powders. Looking on the next technique I use is that of stirring. This technique is one that all knows, which is basically where you use a utensil to move around in a substance to mix it thoroughly. Through all of these techniques it can be seen how simple, but helpful techniques can help one to achieve perfection.

Cookies are cookies, but there can't be cookies without an oven. Above is basically an illustration of how the in between stages of cooking at always important. One has to admire them, or the end won't be the greatest.

The First Bite

Below is that of the completely finished ginger snaps. They are the end result, and this image illustrates how just something like what your Grandma made can be very appreciated, specifically when you saw all the steps that lead to it.

Aftter cooking these Ginger Snaps cookies, one can see how the aspects of cooking matter, while taking some time to reflect. Thus, I am one to believe this kind of thinking, for I have had to prepare like a cook through the eye of one. Though I normally would like to say that I like ginger cookies, but for this recipe, I have to disagree. These ginger cookies with 3 different ginger additions, especially the candied ginger, added too much ginger to the cookies. In fact I decided to eat 2 fresh ones and I got feeling sick. I gave it to a few, whom liked it, and some who didn't. Though this may seem like a chef's worst nightmare, it is something everyone must face, the fact is that sometimes people have different tastes. As a chef, even in your own kitchen it is important to realize that. Furthermore, it is no wonder that my main issue was the taste of the cookies. Other than this main issue, there was only one other issue. It was that I had to deal with a super long preparation, in terms of cutting up the candied ginger, which was a pain. However, if I was ever to redo my recipe, to avoid these two issues, I would probably keep the recipe the same, but just get rid of the candied ginger, which were too strong, and took a longtime to prepare. Concluding on these Ginger Snap cookies, I have found that sometimes there should be more to cooking than just trying to get to the end result.

Last Word

The creation of this dish was made possible from the cook, Alton Brown, and with help from Mr. Metz.

DINING FOR ROYALTY

For this aspect of the portfolio, I am going to be showing the way in which a person would be able to make their home proper for fancy dining. Also I would like to bring out that I used the methods taught to me in class and some European ones I learned from my family.

Steps Foward

The art of setting up the table does have many tricks of the trade, that can help one the make their table. The first technique I used could be considered almost mise en place, without the food. Basically, I got everything needed and set it out for the number of guests. In my case my guest number was 6, so I set out six of each item, except for the added inside items. In the European style of setting up, you need water, champagne, and wine glasses for glassware. Though this isn't include din glassware, you need a tea cup and saucer. Then for silverware, you need a bread knife, a dinner knife, entree fork, appetizer fork, soup spoon, teaspoon spoon, along with cake fork and dessert spoon. Lastly, there is plates, which include the dinner plate, bread plate, and salad plate...

Though this picture may be quite simple, it highlights how simple a table could look. And though it does have the dining set out, it highlights that the set up of a table is essential, to really start to feel to eat.

...Continuing on, comes the idea of understanding how one should set up the table, but first how to start doing this. In a way, the main method I used was that of divide and conquer. To really get the table going, I first took all the items and divided them into 6 amounts with the same things in them. Essentially, when it came to them setting up the table everything would be there....

While one looks above, they already can start to feel the actual elagance of the table before it is even started. In a way, this pictures highlights the starting method I used, divide and conquer.

...Further on, comes the idea of actually setting up all the items on the table. One easy method to remember when setting up the drinks and bread plate, so that you remember is a hand trick. If you curve your index and thumb together, you are able to form a 'b' with your left, and a 'd' with your right. The b helps you remember that o the same side as your left, the bread plate is there, while the d on the right helps remind you of the drinks. Also another technique used to set up the table, is after you set up everything you have to remember to make sure they are even apart and evenly away from the table's edge. That is where the thumb rule comes in. You always make your set be exactly your thumb nail's length away from the edge and separate....

Here is a close up of the silverware. Though it was later added on to, alwong with China, it highlights the elegance of just the silverware. In fact, this silverware is a collectors' piece that highlights very intricate work, though it is tarnishing just a little. (Note the the bread knife doesn't go there, and the teaspoon is missing, because I took this picture before everything was found)

...Lastly there is another technique to remember when setting up silverware. This rule is that left has 4 letter, just like fork, so forks go,on the left. Then right has 5 letters, the same as spoon and knife. Other than these techniques, for other set maybe memorize a diagram, but remember that silverware works in (salad fork to dinner fork, and soup spoon to teaspoon to dinner knife). Thus by using these techniques, you could then properly construct a table for royalty.

Ending on a Pleasant Note

Above is the picture of what the table looked like in total at the end of the process. An elegant masterpiece. This picture simply put contains lots of intricate collector silverware, wedding China, along with crystal glassware from Europe.

After making a table worthy for royalty, comes the idea that it was a success. The truth is that by constructing this table, I not only made something amazing in my house, but also learned about the history behind many of the items I used, such as how the silverware is almost a 100 years old and was bought by my great grandma, and the glassware is from Europe, while the China was wedding China for my parent's wedding. Simply put then, comes the idea that this section is one of the most meaningful to me. As a home cook, it means more than food, but how you present and learning history. From this, I simply can't put my finger on any issue other than the fact that I couldn't find fancy napkins in my house. Concluding on this, I believe the beauty in this dining set up is for the inside, not the outside, and about how you can live greater than how you do, and eat like royalty.

Below is the overview of the the European style for dining. It is absolutely amazing in terms of how one can make organization in your house, along with this comes the idea about how royalty can be in your home.

A Brief Note

This creation wouldn't be possible without the dishes and silverware from grandparents, along with my parents. Also, the set up is a combination of Mr. Metz along with some European additions.

THAI SESAME TOFU, ASPARAGUS NOODLES

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp : olive oil
  • 2 : cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 bunch : fresh asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 : red bell pepper, cut into 1/4" strips
  • 3-4 : Carrots Juliend 2" in length
  • 4 tbsps : water
  • 4 ozs : firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3-4 tbsp : soy sauce (or more to taste)
  • 4-5 tbsp : Thai Kitchen® Spicy Thai Chili Sauce
  • 1 tbsp : sesame oil
  • 2 pkg (7 oz) : Thai Kitchen ® Stir-Fry Rice Noodles
  • 3 tbsp : toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 : green scallions (optional to sprinkle on dish when plate is finished)

Many times, people tend to follow the same kind of recipes, but the truth is that a good cook is adventurous. Even in their ingredients, chefs and home cookers need to have a little fun.

Techniques of the Fry Pan and Others

Through creating this vegetarian lasagna, I used many techniques to achieve this complete, perfect dish. Some of these techniques included mise en place, leveling, slicing, julienne, dealing with shrimp, stir frying, stirring, and many others. One of the first techniques to use in cooking is that of mise en place, which basically is where you organize everything before starting the recipe, and I decided to use this technique, thus I was able to go through constructing my recipe much faster and efficient. Another one of the techniques that I used was that of leveling, where one uses a cup or spoon and use a knife to scrape off excess of a spice or flour (so on), thus the result is a more accurate measurement. To slice, which is a form of just a perpendicular slice to the long direction of a food item, I just simply used a method to protect my fingers. I am very self conscious about using knifes, so when I found this method, I have been using it ever since. Most people hold down food, putting their finger parallel, but the trick is to not allow the knife to go down on your finger is to hold in perpendicular to be safer...

Though cutting with a knife isn't the most fun activity in the word, sometimes you still have to try different cutting methods. You can be surprised how cutting up something can make it taste a certain way.

...Further on when trying to prepare my ingredients, another technique one must use is that of julienne, which basically refers to a cutting technique that results in long, thin strips of produce, like potatoes or carrots. It happens to be that for my added meat, instead of tofu, I did shrimp, and to make shrimp you have too deal with it in a certain way, to peel a shrimp and defrost it. For this to happen, you have to put the shrimp in cold water and peel back the shell down off the legs, along with then pull the tip of the tail. Thus allowing for the shell of the shrimp to come off....

Just look at the food above, it may seem outside your comfort zone, but they essentially show how cooks need to sometimes go outside their comfort zone when making something to get it right.

...Further comes the idea of how one must use the cooking method of stir frying. Simply put, stir frying is where you cook foods on high heat with a little oil. In this recipe, it was essential to cook this way. To highlight this technique even more, all I can say is that you cook from smallest to largest, always cooking where if an ingredient is added, then you shove the other ingredients to the side to allow the new ingredient to cook more. Looking on the next technique I use is that of stirring. This technique is one that all knows, which is basically where you use a utensil to move around in a substance to mix it thoroughly. Through all of these techniques it can be seen how simple, but helpful techniques can help one to achieve perfection.

Above is an image of what could be the pasta at its last stage of stir frying. It is colorful a and unique, just as how a chef should sometimes appeal to get adventurous patrons, or in a house, eat-everything kids.

Results

Below is that of the plate.it is finished and topped with shrimp, for the perfectly amazing Asian food. Not to mention that green scallions really highlight the fun in adventure.

It is always essential to remember to cook is another hobby, something that is done for fun. Looking on to the Thai Sesame Tofu, Aparagus Noodles, comes the idea that this extotic recipe does just this and more. It tasted spicy, crunch, smooth, soft, and it was a mouth full of flavor. Everyone who tried it absolutely love it, including me. My dad who normally despises Asian food, found that it was bad (personally, I think his ego was too high to say he loved it for he ate so much of it). This recipe really summarizes how when you adventure in your cooking that it really does pay off. While this recipe was quite good in the long run, there was one issue. The ingredient of Thai Kitchen® Spicy Thai Chili Sauce, is only orderable online, so instead I got some curry chili sause and added some sugar to make it more sweet. Other than this one issue, this recipe was fun, but next time I would use a bigger fry pan. Essential when one cooks, they really have to take time to remember that adventure pays off. If humans didn't adventure natives would still be in the states. That is why this recipe was a success in showing that fun pays off most of the time.

Few Words on this Creation

The creation of this dish was made only possible by Mr. Metz whom provided this recipe.

Vegetarian LASAGNA

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup : grated carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon : oregano
  • Box : Lasagna Noodles (under boiled)
  • 1 (16 ounce) container : ricotta cheese
  • 1 (16 ounce) package : frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
  • 2 : eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups : thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup : sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 cups : shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup : grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 quarts : spaghetti sauce (Marinara Sauce)

Above one can admire all of the ingredients used to make this lasagna (note the spaghetti sauce is missing, it just got cut off), however this pictures shows that one can be like a chef in looks while still at home.

Techniques Make it Complete

Through creating this vegetarian lasagna, I used many techniques to achieve this complete, perfect dish. Some of these techniques included mise en place, leveling, slicing, stirring and many others. One of the techniques I have recently learned was that of mise en place, which basically where you organize everything before starting the recipe, and I decided to use this technique, thus I was able to go through constructing my recipe much faster and efficient. Another one of the techniques that I used was that of leveling, where one uses a cup or spoon and use a knife to scrape off of excess of a spice or flour (so on), thus the result is a more accurate measurement...

This picture truly highlights another elegant but simple picture showing how when one slices with precision the slices start forming art themselves.

....To slice, which is a form of just a perpendicular slice to the long direction of a food item, I just simply used a method to protect my fingers. I am very self conscious about using knifes, so when I found this method, I have been using it ever since. Most people hold down food, putting their finger parallel, but the trick is to not allow the knife to go down on your finger is to hold in perpendicular to be safer...

Through showing two bowls, one can see how the ingredients apart call each other, which is what a chef dreams of as seen through this picture.

...Looking on the next technique I use is that of stirring. This technique is one that all knows, which is basically where you use a utensil to move around in a substance to mix it thoroughly. Through all of these techniques it can be seen how simple, but helpful techniques can help one to achieve perfection.

Below: Here is the picture of the lasagna before it wanders into the oven. This picture highlights a very natural look that one sees as appeasing just by admiring it.

As one scrolls down on this screen is able to see the end result of how everything melts into true Italian.

Results

In culinary arts, taste and looks sometimes are all that a recipe is wanted for. Looking at my results, I have to say that my results satisfied this requirement plus more. In fact many wouldn't consider vegetarian to be good, but my dad the biggest meat lover of lasagna, actually loved this recipe. The blend of mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini in this lasagna add up to create a flavorful bit that you usually don't get in lasagna. With this aspect, I consider this recipe that of a success going beyond that of taste. However looking back, the favorite vegetable of of taste was that of the cooked mushroom blending with the cheese. In fact, one would find themselves just waiting to get a piece with mushroom. Thus with this in mind next time, I would double the amount of mushrooms to further compliment the amazing taste of this vegetarian lasagna. Thus, as a conclusion one simply has to give into the fact that veggies cooked and covered in cheese make a colorful and amazing aroma that lead one to bit into it to a world of wonder.

A Few Words

The creation of this dish was made possible by Mr. Metz who provided this recipe.

Green chile corn Pudding

Ingredients
  • 24 ounces (4 cups) : corn kernels (thawed/drained, at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon : coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon : coarse pepper
  • 1 tablespoon : cumin
  • 3 : scallions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 can (4 ounces) : chilies (diced) OR fresh green chilies (diced)
  • 3 tablespoons : all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups : grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 : large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup : heavy cream OR whole milk
  • 1/2 stick : unsalted butter

This picture is one to seem very simple and just be of the ingredients, it is one to highlight the homemade feel of this recipe that many restaurants fail to achieve. Thus out of accomplishment, I included this picture to highlight its beauty.

Working It Out (Techniques)

Through the course of making this pudding from scratch, the use of cooking techniques was essential. These included mincing, slicing, handling of chilies, stirring, whisking and many other techniques. To prepare ingredients I had to use the technique of mincing. Mincing is a term used to describe one cutting/chopping a food into very small pieces. To do this, I cut an object vertical into very thin slices, then I simply sliced it horizontal, to make squares, then I used a method of rocking the knife, front to back to safely cut the squares smaller...

Another one of my elegant, but simple pictures highlights how there is ways to cut injury with a knife, just have clean hands and place your fingers a certain way.

....To slice, which is a form of just a perpendicular slice to the long direction of a food item, I just simply used a method to protect my fingers. I am very self conscious about using knifes, so when I found this method, I have been using it ever since. Most people hold down food, putting their finger parallel, but the trick is to not allow the knife to go down on your finger is to hold in perpendicular to be safer. Another aspect of preparing my food to be cooked was that of dealing the green chili. With the fact that it was a chili pepper and that touching and tasting chili peppers make many people feel damage of hotness (etc), I decided to use a old trick I learned a month ago. This method doesn't have a name, but is the action of wearing a glove or something over their hands to avoid contact with a chili. For me personally, this method worked for I had no problems while mincing the chili...

The reason that I included this photo, was for the reason that foods in there uncooked, raw mode are full of raw beauty. It simply highlights the ingredients giving away to the perfect blend.

...Looking on the next technique I use is that of stirring. This technique is one that all knows, which is basically where you use a utensil to move around in a substance to mix it thoroughly. The other cooking technique that I used was that of whisking which is to simply whip eggs or cream, and in the case of this recipe both together to get air into them and mix them together. Though there is many other techniques that I use when cooking, these were the main ones hidden in the result of pudding.

Results

Below there is a picture of this pudding, which has that yellow, cooked look. This highlights how just that home cooked meal gives one just a happy feeling inside. One can conclude that you don't need just a restaurant meal's perfect appearance, but that homey feel.

The best way to tell how your results were, would have to be taste, and less about the look. When cooking at home, it doesn't matter so much about the looks, but rather the taste. In this case the recipe was exactly this, though it looks appeasing, the goal of this recipe was that of taste. To test the result of taste, I had family consume my entree item. My brother was one to absolutely love the taste of this form of pudding. It had the perfect texture and spice for him. My mother also tasted his pudding to find it very flavorful. Last was my dad who wasn't able to get the homey feel, for he just is very biased against corn for it is genetically modified. Aside from my father's mental adhesion to the corn pudding, I think that this recipe was good. For me personally, it wasn't that spicy, but more of a comfort food, with a little bit of flare. I especially liked eating this dish with some sour cream for an appeasing combination. However looking back, one thing I would like to change about my recipe would have to be that the top layer of cheese wasn't very cheesy unless in the center. To change this, I would simply just put foil around the crusts as you can say of the dish for about half of the cooking time, then take of the foil to allow the cheese to brown just a little to keep, but still remain mainly cheesy. Other then this issue, I didn't have any issues really preparing this recipe. To conclude on this recipe, I say that this recipe is perfect for a potluck or a family just enjoying just one of those classic sides for an entree.

Few Words

This creation of my dish wouldn't have been possible without the guidelines of Mr. Metz, whom took this recipe from this link.

VEGETARIAN QUESADILLA

Ingredients
  • 14 oz : Black Beans
  • 2 cups : Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 cup : Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cups : Chopped Onions
  • 1/2 cups : Bell Peppers
  • 1 : Minced Jalapeno Pepper
  • 1 : Minced Garlic Glove
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons : Dried Leafy Oregano
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons : Olive Oil
  • Flour Tortillas
  • 2 to 3 cups : Shredded Mexican Cheese

Though this picture is quite simple, it highlights the elegance of construction of the small parts that add up to the whole picture. It is as if a garden of ingredients happened to sprout out of the cutting board.

Technique Used to Construct Perfection

Through the course of a Mexican recipe, I have found the helpfulness of many different cooking techniques. They include that of mincing, chopping, handling of chilies, sauteing, cleaning of mushrooms, and a few other techniques. One of the first elements that I used to prepare my dish was that of mincing. In terms of cutting, mincing is a term used to describe one cutting/chopping a food into very small pieces. To do this, I cut an object vertical into very thin slices, then I simply sliced it horizontal, to make squares, then I used a method of rocking the knife, front to back to safely cut the squares smaller. In terms of the chopping method I used, I basically did this in a much larger fashion, to create larger pieces of food items, sometimes without the rocking of the knife......

Even though this picture is very simple, it highlights how simple it is to cut lots of struggles. With my use of a glove, I was able to stop the affects of touching and dealing with a pepper.

...Another aspect of preparing my food to be cooked was that of dealing the Jalapeno pepper. It is considered to be a chili pepper, and as we all know touching and tasting chili peppers make many people feel damage of hotness (etc). With some research, I was able to come upon this method of how to handle these peppers. Though there is not a specific name, the method is pretty cut and dry. Basically, when dealing with a pepper, one must wear a glove or something over their hands to avoid contact. For me personally, this method worked for I had no problems with dealing with the Jalapeno pepper...

This picture is one that was taken while I was using the sauteing method to construct the filling of vegetables for the quesadilla. Though these ingredients are chopped, minced, and some diced, they are mixed with the fashion of being combined as one.

......Through the course of my creation, one of the main methods was that of sauteing. To saute is simply of being fried almost with just a little bit of hot fat. This allowed for me to be able to get the best result for flavor combination, but still be on more of the healthy side. The small use of hot fat, in this case olive oil, really helped to just give enough fat to start the ingredients to cook fast and mix quick. Thus it saved time and helped to improve the taste. Other techniques included the cleaning of mushrooms (using a damp paper dowel to clean them to not damage them), along with some other techniques, such a flipping the quesadilla, and so on. Overall, though techniques seem like just a small aspect of cooking, they occur constantly, and are essential for getting foods to perfection.

Though this picture is not exactly of the artistic sorts, it does highlight the fact that one must constantly have all that going on under one view.

Results

Below there is a picture of the simple, but still garden like look of the quesadilla. Even though one can think that cooked tasty items at home don't have the best appeal, this is an example that just an artistic approach and your dish can make it what you would see at a restaurant.

All cooks, even ones at home, know afterward what happened and improve off of their issues. Thus, I am one to believe this kind of thinking, for I have had to prepare like a cook through the eye of one. Simply the one word that comes to mind with my results was that of astonished. I was expecting a horrible combination with the fact that there was black beans contained within the ingredients. However, when I first tasted the quesadilla, I was amazed for it was absolutely tasty, and a perfect combination. The only issue is when you try to reheat the food, it acts like almost all foods. The dish simply doesn't taste amazing with flare, like when it is fresh. Looking back into the preparation of this dish, is the fact that I did have to deal with some issues. One of the main issues was the fact that I had to deal with a super long preparation. This really drained my time, so next time, my plan is to cut everything first, then collect all my ingredients for my recipe. This should allow me to have more work space to prepare the ingredients, so I don't have to constantly be moving around my ingredients along with trying to prepare my ingredients. Other than this single issue, I didn't really have an issues. However for my recipe, I did cut down on the seasonings to prevent that fake taste, but still get a little bit of taste. Coming to conclude on the Vegetation Quesadilla, I have seen that one can make a recipe with just common sense, even when it seems incorrect.

Last Few Words

This creation of my dish wouldn't have been possible without the guidelines of Mr. Metz, along with the help from this video link.

Created By
Kena Rindfleisch
Appreciate

Credits:

Created with images by shadowfirearts - "kitchen real estate interior design"

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