CULINARY SCHOOL RECAP OVERLOAD!

WELL IT HAS BEEN A MINUTE SINCE WE HAVE HAD A CULINARY SCHOOL RECAP, AND TO SAY WE HAVE BEEN BUSY IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT!  LEVEL 2 IS COMING TO A CLOSE AND I FEEL AS IF IT HAS GONE BY QUICKER THAN LEVEL 1 BY A LONG SHOT. SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADIEU.....

PASTRY ANYONE?

I HAD MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT THE LOOMING PASTRY CLASSES.  I MEAN, I DON'T LIKE TO MEASURE.....EVER.  AND WHILE WE MAY HAVE FOLLOWED RECIPES IN OUR SAVORY DISHES, A GRAM LESS OF PAPRIKA WOULDN'T RESULT IN THE FINAL DISH BEING PUT INTO THE SCRAP BIN.  NOW PASTRY ON THE OTHER HAND IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT ANIMAL.  A MISCALCULATION HERE AND THERE COULD CERTAINLY RESULT IN DISASTER....AND IT DID TO A CERTAIN DEGREE.  SOUFFLES WHICH FAILED TO RISE OR OVERWORKED DOUGHS WERE ALL COMMONPLACE, BUT AS A GROUP WE MANAGED TO PERSEVERE AND GET THE JOB DONE, EVEN IF IT MEANT STARTING OVER.

PROFITEROLES A.K.A THE CREAM PUFF
CREAM PUFFS ARE MADE USING PATE A CHOUX, A DOUGH POPULAR BECAUSE OF IT'S VERSATILITY.  IT CAN BE DEEP-FRIED, POACHED IN WATER OR BAKED.  IT IS ALSO THE ONLY PASTRY DOUGH WHICH IS COOKED TWICE.  IT IS ALSO USED TO MAKE THE POPULAR DESSERT, ECLAIRS.

CREAM PUFFS ARE MADE USING PATE A CHOUX, A DOUGH POPULAR BECAUSE OF IT'S VERSATILITY.  IT CAN BE DEEP-FRIED, POACHED IN WATER OR BAKED.  IT IS ALSO THE ONLY PASTRY DOUGH WHICH IS COOKED TWICE.  IT IS ALSO USED TO MAKE THE POPULAR DESSERT, ECLAIRS.

SOUFFLE AU FROMAGE "CHEESE SOUFFLE"
LIGHT, AIRY, CHEESY....WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED IN LIFE?  WE USED GRUYERE BECAUSE GRUYERE....THATS WHY.

LIGHT, AIRY, CHEESY....WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED IN LIFE?  WE USED GRUYERE BECAUSE GRUYERE....THATS WHY.

TARTE AUX POMMES "APPLE TART"
THERE ARE THREE BASIC FRENCH TART DOUGHS. PATE BRISEE OR "BROKEN DOUGH" IS USED IN SAVORY TARTS SUCH AS QUICHES AS THERE IS LITTLE TO NO SUGAR. PATE SUCREE OR "SUGARED DOUGH", WHICH IS USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR SWEET TARTS.  AND FINALLY THERE IS PATE SABLEE OR "SANDY DOUGH", WHICH IS JUST LIKE PATE SUCREE BUT WITH A HIGHER SUGAR PROPORTION.  IT IS FREQUENTLY REFERRED TO AS SHORTBREAD DOUGH.  FOR THIS APPLE TART AND THE PEAR ALMOND TART WE USED PATE SUCREE.

THERE ARE THREE BASIC FRENCH TART DOUGHS. PATE BRISEE OR "BROKEN DOUGH" IS USED IN SAVORY TARTS SUCH AS QUICHES AS THERE IS LITTLE TO NO SUGAR. PATE SUCREE OR "SUGARED DOUGH", WHICH IS USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR SWEET TARTS.  AND FINALLY THERE IS PATE SABLEE OR "SANDY DOUGH", WHICH IS JUST LIKE PATE SUCREE BUT WITH A HIGHER SUGAR PROPORTION.  IT IS FREQUENTLY REFERRED TO AS SHORTBREAD DOUGH.  FOR THIS APPLE TART AND THE PEAR ALMOND TART WE USED PATE SUCREE.

TARTE AUX POIRES A LA FRANGIPANE "PEAR TART WITH ALMOND CREAM"
QUICHE LORRAINE - QUICHE FILLED WITH BACON AND GRUYERE
WE USED THE SAVORY TART DOUGH, PATE BRISEE, FOR THIS QUICHE.  SURPRISINGLY THERE WAS ONLY ONE WHOLE EGG AND ONE WHOLE YOLK USED IN THE ENTIRE RECIPE.  THE FILLING WAS MADE UP MOSTLY OF MILK AND HEAVY CREAM, WHICH LED TO A VERY LIGHT AND CREAMY FILLING.  DELICIOUS!

WE USED THE SAVORY TART DOUGH, PATE BRISEE, FOR THIS QUICHE.  SURPRISINGLY THERE WAS ONLY ONE WHOLE EGG AND ONE WHOLE YOLK USED IN THE ENTIRE RECIPE.  THE FILLING WAS MADE UP MOSTLY OF MILK AND HEAVY CREAM, WHICH LED TO A VERY LIGHT AND CREAMY FILLING.  DELICIOUS!

GENOISE (WHOLE EGG FOAM CAKE) WITH CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
THE CAKE WAS OK.  MY FIRST GO ROUND WITH THE GENOISE BATTER WAS A FLOP.  I OVER-BEAT IT WHICH LED TO IT BEING EXTREMELY DENSE.  THE SECOND ATTEMPT WAS MUCH BETTER BUT EVEN STILL NOT A+ MATERIAL.  WE SOAKED THE LAYERS WITH A SIMPLE SYRUP TO PROVIDE SWEETNESS AND MOISTURE, WHICH HELPED COUNTERACT IT'S DENSENESS.  THE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING CAME OUT AS PLANNED, HOWEVER, IT IS VERY RICH.  NOT MY CUP OF TEA...

THE CAKE WAS OK.  MY FIRST GO ROUND WITH THE GENOISE BATTER WAS A FLOP.  I OVER-BEAT IT WHICH LED TO IT BEING EXTREMELY DENSE.  THE SECOND ATTEMPT WAS MUCH BETTER BUT EVEN STILL NOT A+ MATERIAL.  WE SOAKED THE LAYERS WITH A SIMPLE SYRUP TO PROVIDE SWEETNESS AND MOISTURE, WHICH HELPED COUNTERACT IT'S DENSENESS.  THE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING CAME OUT AS PLANNED, HOWEVER, IT IS VERY RICH.  NOT MY CUP OF TEA...

BISCUITS A LA CUILLERE A.K.A LADYFINGERS
THESE LADYFINGERS CAME OUT GREAT.  WE COMBINED ALL OF THEM FROM THE WHOLE CLASS TO MAKE TIRAMISU.  BUT GET THIS, THE TIRAMISU WENT MISSING!  WE LOOKED FOR IT THE NEXT CLASS BECAUSE IT TASTES BETTER AS IT SITS, BUT SOMEONE HAD STICKY FINGERS!

THESE LADYFINGERS CAME OUT GREAT.  WE COMBINED ALL OF THEM FROM THE WHOLE CLASS TO MAKE TIRAMISU.  BUT GET THIS, THE TIRAMISU WENT MISSING!  WE LOOKED FOR IT THE NEXT CLASS BECAUSE IT TASTES BETTER AS IT SITS, BUT SOMEONE HAD STICKY FINGERS!

CREPES SUZETTE
THIS CLASSIC FRENCH DESSERT WAS SWEET, AND THAT'S PUTTING IT LIGHTLY.  WHEN THIS RECIPE WAS FIRST OFFERED ON FRENCH MENUS, IT WAS A REAL TREAT AS MOST PEOPLE DID NOT EAT SWEETS AT THE TIME.  THE SWEET ORANGE SAUCE COMBINED WITH THE JULIENNED ORANGE ZEST SOAKED IN GRENADINE RESULTED IN A CITRUSY SWEET DISH.

THIS CLASSIC FRENCH DESSERT WAS SWEET, AND THAT'S PUTTING IT LIGHTLY.  WHEN THIS RECIPE WAS FIRST OFFERED ON FRENCH MENUS, IT WAS A REAL TREAT AS MOST PEOPLE DID NOT EAT SWEETS AT THE TIME.  THE SWEET ORANGE SAUCE COMBINED WITH THE JULIENNED ORANGE ZEST SOAKED IN GRENADINE RESULTED IN A CITRUSY SWEET DISH.

CREPES AU JAMBON ET CHAMPIGNONS - "HAM AND MUSHROOM-FILLED CREPES"
THESE WERE INCREDIBLE!  THE CREPE BATTER USED BUCKWHEAT WHICH ADDED GREAT DEPTH OF FLAVOR.  AND YOU CAN'T GO WRONG WITH MUSHROOMS AND GRUYERE!

THESE WERE INCREDIBLE!  THE CREPE BATTER USED BUCKWHEAT WHICH ADDED GREAT DEPTH OF FLAVOR.  AND YOU CAN'T GO WRONG WITH MUSHROOMS AND GRUYERE!

AND THAT CONCLUDES OUR PASTRY PROGRAM IN LEVEL 2.  I DID NOT INCLUDE ALL THE RECIPES AND DISHES WE MADE BECAUSE WE EITHER ATE THEM TO QUICK, THEY DID NOT COME OUT AS PLANNED OR I SIMPLY FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES.  IN THE END IT WAS NOT AS BAD AS I WAS EXPECTING, BUT I AM DEFINITELY HAPPY TO BE BACK TO COOKING WITHOUT EGGS, BUTTER AND FLOUR!

AND NOW FOR THE "NUTRITION" LESSONS...AND BY THIS I MEAN WE BRIEFLY SPOKE ABOUT HOW TO INCORPORATE NUTRITIOUS FOOD INTO A MENU AND THAT'S ABOUT IT.  I WAS SLIGHTLY DISAPPOINTED AT HOW QUICKLY WE WENT OVER THE TOPIC OF NUTRITION BUT WE STILL MADE SOME INCREDIBLE FOOD!

GIGANTE BEANS WITH CHORIZO, CLAMS, STRIPED BASS AND SALSA VERDE

DEFINITELY ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE DISHES WE HAVE MADE TO DATE!  SO MUCH GOODNESS ON ONE PLATE.  THE SALTY BRININESS OF THE CLAMS, THE SPICY CHORIZO AND CLEAN FLAVOR OF THE STRIPED BASS WAS PERFECT TOGETHER.  AND THE BEANS!  THEY WERE THE PERFECT TEXTURE TO BRING EVERYTHING TOGETHER!  THE SALSA VERDE ADDED A TOUCH OF "BRIGHTNESS" TO EVERYTHING....A PERFECT SUMMER DISH!

DEFINITELY ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE DISHES WE HAVE MADE TO DATE!  SO MUCH GOODNESS ON ONE PLATE.  THE SALTY BRININESS OF THE CLAMS, THE SPICY CHORIZO AND CLEAN FLAVOR OF THE STRIPED BASS WAS PERFECT TOGETHER.  AND THE BEANS!  THEY WERE THE PERFECT TEXTURE TO BRING EVERYTHING TOGETHER!  THE SALSA VERDE ADDED A TOUCH OF "BRIGHTNESS" TO EVERYTHING....A PERFECT SUMMER DISH!

FAROTTO WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH, ROASTED CREMINI MUSHROOMS, SAGE AND PARMESAN

FARRO IS A DELICIOUS WHOLE GRAIN WHICH IS NOT USED ENOUGH!  THIS DISH IS DEFINITELY BETTER SUITED FOR COLDER WEATHER BUT IT WAS STILL DELICIOUS!

FARRO IS A DELICIOUS WHOLE GRAIN WHICH IS NOT USED ENOUGH!  THIS DISH IS DEFINITELY BETTER SUITED FOR COLDER WEATHER BUT IT WAS STILL DELICIOUS!

LAVASH

LAVASH IS A THIN, UNLEAVENED BREAD OFTEN COOKED IN A TANDOR OVEN.  IT IS SAID TO HAVE ORIGINATED IN ARMENIA BUT IT IS POPULAR ALL OVER THE MIDDLE EAST.

LAVASH IS A THIN, UNLEAVENED BREAD OFTEN COOKED IN A TANDOR OVEN.  IT IS SAID TO HAVE ORIGINATED IN ARMENIA BUT IT IS POPULAR ALL OVER THE MIDDLE EAST.

FALAFEL, ROAST CHICKEN, TZATZIKI, TAHINI SAUCE ON LAVASH BREAD
WE MADE OUR OWN FALAFEL AND TZATZIKI SAUCE SO NATURALLY THIS HAPPENED FOR FAMILY MEAL!  

WE MADE OUR OWN FALAFEL AND TZATZIKI SAUCE SO NATURALLY THIS HAPPENED FOR FAMILY MEAL!  

ROASTED SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH TOMATO-CAPER SAUCE
I LOVE SPAGHETTI SQUASH!!  WHEN I AM IN THE MOOD FOR PASTA BUT DO NOT WANT THE CARBS, I TURN TO THIS DELICIOUS GOURD!  THE ADDITION OF CAPERS TO THIS DISH ADDED THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF SALTY BRINY DELICIOUSNESS!

I LOVE SPAGHETTI SQUASH!!  WHEN I AM IN THE MOOD FOR PASTA BUT DO NOT WANT THE CARBS, I TURN TO THIS DELICIOUS GOURD!  THE ADDITION OF CAPERS TO THIS DISH ADDED THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF SALTY BRINY DELICIOUSNESS!

GRILLED SHRIMP AND CALAMARI OVER A WARM BEAN SALAD

THIS DISH WAS PART OF OUR SEASONAL AND SUSTAINABLE COOKING LESSON.  IT IS VERY MEDITERRANEAN AND RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!  I LOVE THESE FLAVORS DURING THE WARMER MONTHS, THE DISH WAS PACKED WITH FLAVOR YET STILL LIGHT AND FRESH.

THIS DISH WAS PART OF OUR SEASONAL AND SUSTAINABLE COOKING LESSON.  IT IS VERY MEDITERRANEAN AND RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!  I LOVE THESE FLAVORS DURING THE WARMER MONTHS, THE DISH WAS PACKED WITH FLAVOR YET STILL LIGHT AND FRESH.

SEARED TUNA OVER COUS COUS WITH VEGETABLE GAZPACHO

I LOVE TUNA.  I LOVE GAZPACHO.  I LOVED THIS DISH.  GAZPACHO IS A TRADITIONAL SPANISH DISH MADE OFTEN WITH TOMATOES AND ONION, PUREED INTO A SOUP-LIKE CONSISTENCY.  IT IS SERVED CHILLED AND DEFINITELY REFRESHING.  OUR CHEF HAD US MAKE IT MORE TRADITIONALLY USING BREAD AS WELL, WHICH LENT A DELICIOUS FLAVOR AND CONSISTENCY.

I LOVE TUNA.  I LOVE GAZPACHO.  I LOVED THIS DISH.  GAZPACHO IS A TRADITIONAL SPANISH DISH MADE OFTEN WITH TOMATOES AND ONION, PUREED INTO A SOUP-LIKE CONSISTENCY.  IT IS SERVED CHILLED AND DEFINITELY REFRESHING.  OUR CHEF HAD US MAKE IT MORE TRADITIONALLY USING BREAD AS WELL, WHICH LENT A DELICIOUS FLAVOR AND CONSISTENCY.

FRESH MOZZ! A.K.A FRESH MOZZARELLA
DEFINITELY NOT THE BEST MOZZARELLA I HAVE EVER HAD BUT I AM STILL PROUD OF IT!

DEFINITELY NOT THE BEST MOZZARELLA I HAVE EVER HAD BUT I AM STILL PROUD OF IT!

MUSHROOM RISOTTO

RISOTTO IS SOMETHING THAT I LOVE YET NEVER TRIED TO MAKE.  MAYBE BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN INTIMIDATED BY IT'S REPUTATION AS BEING "DIFFICULT" TO MAKE.  I MADE MINE TO THE CONSISTENCY ITALIANS CALL ALL'ONDA, WHICH TRANSLATES TO "WITH WAVES".  IT IS CREAMIER THAN THE AMERICAN STYLE, WHICH IS USUALLY "MOUNDED" ON THE PLATE.

RISOTTO IS SOMETHING THAT I LOVE YET NEVER TRIED TO MAKE.  MAYBE BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN INTIMIDATED BY IT'S REPUTATION AS BEING "DIFFICULT" TO MAKE.  I MADE MINE TO THE CONSISTENCY ITALIANS CALL ALL'ONDA, WHICH TRANSLATES TO "WITH WAVES".  IT IS CREAMIER THAN THE AMERICAN STYLE, WHICH IS USUALLY "MOUNDED" ON THE PLATE.

CHEESE TASTING
WE STARTED THE TASTING WITH COW, GOAT AND SHEEPS MILK TO SEE THE SLIGHT DIFFERENCES IN FLAVOR EACH PRODUCE IN CHEESE.  SOME CHEESES WERE ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS AND SOME WERE NOT MY THING.  DON'T GET ME WRONG, I LOVE CHEESE....JUST NOT ALL OF THEM.

WE STARTED THE TASTING WITH COW, GOAT AND SHEEPS MILK TO SEE THE SLIGHT DIFFERENCES IN FLAVOR EACH PRODUCE IN CHEESE.  SOME CHEESES WERE ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS AND SOME WERE NOT MY THING.  DON'T GET ME WRONG, I LOVE CHEESE....JUST NOT ALL OF THEM.

HALF-HOG BUTCHERY DEMO

I VOLUNTEERED TO HELP ICC CHEF JEFF BUTLER IN HIS HALF-HOG BUTCHERY DEMO.  IT WAS A TON OF FUN TO WATCH SOMEONE WITH HIS SKILLS GO TO WORK BREAKING THE PIG DOWN INTO ALL THE VARIOUS CUTS WE SEE IN THE MARKET.

I VOLUNTEERED TO HELP ICC CHEF JEFF BUTLER IN HIS HALF-HOG BUTCHERY DEMO.  IT WAS A TON OF FUN TO WATCH SOMEONE WITH HIS SKILLS GO TO WORK BREAKING THE PIG DOWN INTO ALL THE VARIOUS CUTS WE SEE IN THE MARKET.

FRESH MOZZARELLA, BURRATA, PEACH SALAD WITH MINT, BASIL AND PINE NUTS

THIS SALAD WAS NOT MADE IN CLASS BUT I USED MY OWN FRESH MOZZARELLA AND OUR CHEF'S BURRATA TO MAKE THIS REFRESHING SALAD FOR A FRIEND'S BBQ!

THIS SALAD WAS NOT MADE IN CLASS BUT I USED MY OWN FRESH MOZZARELLA AND OUR CHEF'S BURRATA TO MAKE THIS REFRESHING SALAD FOR A FRIEND'S BBQ!

WELL, LEVEL 2 IS ALMOST OVER BUT LET'S NOT JUMP THE GUN....NEXT WEEK IS PASTA!!!!!!!
Posted on July 17, 2016 .