MEAT!!!!!! AND CHILEAN COOKIES!!!!!!

FINALLY STARTING TO COOK MEAT AT CULINARY SCHOOL!  DON'T GET ME WRONG, THERE IS NOTHING BAD ABOUT LEARNING TO COOK VEGETABLES AND FISH.  BUT I JUST COULDN'T WAIT TO GET INTO COOKING SOME OF MY FAVORITE PROTEINS.  WE STARTED THIS WEEK OFF WITH CHICKEN COOKED TWO WAYS.  

THE INTERNATIONAL CULINARY CENTER ORIGINALLY STARTED OFF AS THE FRENCH CULINARY INSTITUTE, BUT A FEW YEARS BACK THEY DECIDED TO CHANGE THE NAME BECAUSE OF THE OTHER INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS THEY OFFER.  ALOT OF WHAT WE DO IN MY PROGRAM HOWEVER, PROFESSIONAL CULINARY ARTS, IS BASED OFF OF CLASSIC FRENCH CUISINE.  BUT THE TWO CHICKEN DISHES WE COOKED THIS WEEK WERE SO FAMILIAR TO ME. AND THIS IS BECAUSE THEY WERE SO SIMILAR TO ITALIAN FLAVORS WHICH I AM USED TO.  AND THEY WERE DELICIOUS!  

FIRST UP WAS "POULET POCHE DANS UN COURT BOUILLON MEDITERRANEEN" OR CHICKEN POACHED IN MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE BROTH.

 THIS DISH HAD CAPERS, GARLIC, OLIVES, BELL PEPPER, CAPER BERRIES AND TOMATOES....ALL CLASSIC ITALIAN FLAVORS.

THIS DISH HAD CAPERS, GARLIC, OLIVES, BELL PEPPER, CAPER BERRIES AND TOMATOES....ALL CLASSIC ITALIAN FLAVORS.

CHICKEN CACCIATORE, ONE OF MY FAVORITE DISHES TO MAKE AND NO WE DID NOT MAKE THIS AT SCHOOL.  BUT WE MADE "POULET SAUTE CHASSEUR" OR SAUTEED CHICKEN HUNTER-STYLE, WHICH IS BASICALLY THE FRENCH VERSION OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE DISHES.  THIS VERSION IS DEFINITELY A LITTLE DIFFERENT BUT THEY SHARE THE SAME FUNDAMENTALITY OF USING INGREDIENTS THAT WERE AVAILABLE.  THE HUNTERS WOULD RETURN WITH THE DAYS HUNT AND IT WOULD BE COOKED WITH WHATEVER VEGETABLES MAY HAVE BEEN GROWING AT THE TIME.  

 WHAT MADE THIS OUTSTANDING WAS THE ENRICHED STOCK, WHICH IS BASICALLY A STOCK THAT IS FORTIFIED WITH EVEN MORE FLAVOR FROM AROMATIC VEGETABLES AND SEARED BONES.  THIS IS A GREAT TECHNIQUE FOR REINFORCING FLAVOR OF STORE BOUGHT STOCKS.  

WHAT MADE THIS OUTSTANDING WAS THE ENRICHED STOCK, WHICH IS BASICALLY A STOCK THAT IS FORTIFIED WITH EVEN MORE FLAVOR FROM AROMATIC VEGETABLES AND SEARED BONES.  THIS IS A GREAT TECHNIQUE FOR REINFORCING FLAVOR OF STORE BOUGHT STOCKS.  

GAME BIRDS ARE SOMETHING I DEFINITELY DON'T EAT OFTEN.  NOT BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE THEM, BUT JUST BECAUSE THEY AREN'T IN MY "ROTATION" SO TO SPEAK.  SO WHEN THE DAY CAME FOR GAME BIRDS IN SCHOOL, NEEDLESS TO SAY I WAS PRETTY STOKED.  FIRST UP.....DUCK!

READY FOR THIS NAME? "SUPREME DE CANETON SAUTE ET CUISSE BRAISEE A L'ORANGE" OR BRAISED DUCK AND ORANGE SAUCE.  A CLASSIC COMBO OF FLAVORS, THE ACIDIC, SLIGHTLY SWEET ORANGE CUTTING THROUGH THE RICH DUCK.  WE USED PEKIN DUCKS, WHICH ARE THE MOST COMMON DUCK USED TODAY.

WE ALSO MADE QUAIL, WHICH UNTIL THAT DAY I HAD NEVER HAD BEFORE.  THESE BIRDS WERE SMALL BUT ONCE WE STUFFED THEM WITH SAUSAGE AND RICE THE MADE FOR A NICE MEAL.  UNFORTUNATELY WE ATE THEM SO FAST I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE!

ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT THIS SCHOOL IS HOW SO MANY WALKS OF LIFE COME TOGETHER WITH ONE COMMON PASSION....FOOD.  AND JUST IN MY CLASS ALONE WE HAVE A HUGE MIX OF ETHNICITIES AND CULTURES.  SARA, FROM CHILE, BROUGHT IN THESE AMAZING CHILEAN "COOKIES" CALLED ALFAJORES. AND GUESS WHAT....SHE WAS NICE ENOUGH TO GIVE ME THE RECIPE!

INGREDIENTS

For the Dough
- 150 g Cornstarch
- 200 g Flour
- 200 g Butter (room temp)
- 100 g Confectioner sugar
- 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon baking powder - 2 Yolks

- 1⁄2 cup Confectioner Sugar (for garnish)

Manjar
- Condensed Milk

PROCEDURE

Manjar (prepare ahead)
1. Boil condensed milk for 2 hours in a regular pot or 1 hour in a pressure cooker. 2. Let it cool completely before use.

Dough
1. In a bowl mix all the ingredients until achieve consistent color and completely mixed.
2. Over a counter top, pour a little flour (to avoid the dough to stick) and roll to 0.5 cm. Cut in the desire size (ideally no more than 3 cm diametre, if they are too big, will easily break)
3. Place the circles in an oven pan and let chill in the fridge 20 min (aprox) before cooking.
4. Preheat the oven 180oC
5. Put the sheet pan in the oven and bake until achieve a light brown color (about 25 min) remove from the oven and let it cold before remove from the tray.
6. Once cold, fill with manjar, cover and pour confectional sugar on top.

TIPS

- Dough can be baked 4 days ahead (max) and stored in an hermetic container, room temp.
- They can be filled one day ahead although recommended do it the same day.
- Yield about 30 Alfajores 

Posted on May 8, 2016 .