I DID IT MY WAY.....

OUR LEVEL 2 CHEF INSTRUCTOR JOSE HAS DEFINITELY BEEN AN INSPIRATION IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE.  HIS STYLE OF TEACHING IS CONSTANTLY CHALLENGING US TO LEARN MORE, AND NOT JUST IN CULINARY TECHNIQUE.  HE PUSHES US TO UNDERSTAND WHERE CERTAIN DISHES COME FROM, WHY THEY HAVE EVOLVED AND MOST POIGNANTLY WHERE WE DERIVE OUR OWN INSPIRATION FROM IN THE KITCHEN.  FOR OUR LAST RECIPE ASSIGNMENT, WE HAD TO COOK CHICKEN "OUR WAY".  BUT CHEF JOSE DEVIATED FROM THE SYLLABUS AND INSTEAD OF GIVING US A LIST OF INGREDIENTS TO USE IN OUR OWN WAY, WE WERE ASKED TO COOK A CHICKEN DISH THAT EVOKED PERSONAL MEMORIES.  THIS CLASS WOULD ULTIMATELY TEST OUR SKILLS IN THE KITCHEN, BUT ALSO ALLOW US TO SHINE....

CHICKEN FUSCIOLA

CHICKEN/SAUTEED PEPPERS AND ONIONS/HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGE/TOMATO SAUCE FORTIFIED WITH CHICKEN BONES, WHITE WINE, STOCK AND A SOFFRITTO OF CARROT AND RED ONION/BASIL OIL

YOU WON'T FIND CHICKEN FUSCIOLA ON ANY MENU IN ANY ITALIAN RESTAURANT ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.  YOU MAY FIND SOMETHING SIMILAR BUT DEFINITELY NOT WITH THAT NAME, AS IT IS A COMBINATION OF BOTH OF MY GRANDMOTHER'S LAST NAMES, FUSCO AND MASCIOLA.  I WANTED TO USE INFLUENCES FROM BOTH OF THEM, SO I COMBINED INGREDIENTS TO MAKE ONE COHESIVE MEAL DISH.

IT WAS TRULY A CULINARY WORLD TOUR AT CLASS ON CHICKEN "YOUR WAY" NIGHT.  WHILE I DON'T REMEMBER ALL THE NAMES OF THE DISHES, I CAN TELL YOU WHERE ALL THE DISHES COME FROM OR ARE INSPIRED BY....

AMERICA/ITALY/INDIA/PHILLIPINES/CHINA/SPAIN/KOREA/LEBANON/IRELAND/CHILE

EVERYONE DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB, MAYBE IT WAS BECAUSE WERE ALL COOKING FROM THE HEART AND NOT A TEXTBOOK.

PASTA PASTA PASTA!!!!!!!!!  PASTA DAY WAS DEFINITELY ONE CLASS I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO.  IT IS SOMETHING THAT I CAN HONESTLY SAY I COULD NEVER GIVE UP.  SUNDAYS ARE MY DAY FOR INDULGING IN THIS SIMPLE SATISFYING FOOD, A DAY I LOOK FORWARD TO ALL WEEK.  BUT DON'T THINK BECAUSE IT IS A "SIMPLE" FOOD THAT IT IS EASY TO MAKE, BECAUSE IT IS FAR FROM IT.  WHILE THE INGREDIENTS ARE MINIMAL, IT IS THEIR QUALITY AND YOUR TECHNIQUE THAT MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

GNOCCHI IS AN ITALIAN DUMPLING MADE MOST COMMONLY FROM POTATOES, ALTHOUGH SOME MAY FIND RICOTTA DUMPLINGS AS WELL.  THE KEY TO A GOOD POTATO GNOCCHI IS USING STARCHY POTATOES SUCH AS THE IDAHO VARIETY, AND NOT OVERWORKING THE DOUGH WHICH WOULD FORM TOO MUCH GLUTEN.

 GNOCCHI WITH BROWN BUTTER, TOASTED HAZELNUT AND SAGE

GNOCCHI WITH BROWN BUTTER, TOASTED HAZELNUT AND SAGE

CHEF JOSE IS A MASTER IN MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY.  SO WHEN HE WAS TEACHING A FOOD TECHNOLOGY NEXT DOOR, HE SENT THESE OVER FOR US TO TRY.

"OLIVE" SPHERES WITH LEMON ZEST....BASICALLY PURE OLIVE "JUICE" ENCAPSULATED IN A THIN MEMBRANE SO THAT WHEN YOU BIT INTO IT, AN EXPLOSION OF BRINY GREEN OLIVE COATED YOUR MOUTH. INCREDIBLE!

STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEK'S RECAP.....LEVEL 3 HERE WE COME!

Posted on July 24, 2016 .