Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Attack of the Giant Eggplant!

It was a humid evening in South Florida and the AI campus was buzzing with students eager to get to the next class; and of course the overly crowded parking garage doesn't help the situation...

Down stairs in the Fundamentals kitchen the groups of infantile chefs await their fate for the next two days...

Chef Bill saunters across the room and opens his attendance book; as he begins to call everyones name out and they flash their recipe cards...Bill selectively finds his next victim...!

Bill says today & tomorrow you will swim in vegetables...we will make Cauliflower Au Gratin, Grilled vegetables, tempura vegetables...
Vegetables! yes folks not shrimp or lobster but VEGETABLES!
Bill continues...we'll make Rata-ta-ta-ta-ta-touille (not the movie folks; no rats in this recipe), steamed broccoli & green beans, glazed carrots and (lightning/thunder sound) glazed beets...

Little did we know we'd be making one more thing...
THE GIANT EGGPLANT...(lightning/thunder sound)! muahahahahah ahahahha hahaha!

Ok enough of the scary crazy sound effect although they were a great change of direction. This week was all about veggies...and yes the Eggplants we used for the eggplant parm were HUGE!

We made all the above dishes...the cauliflower au gratin was basically blanched cauliflower with bechamel sauce, topped with parmesean cheese. The tempura batter was ice water, egg yolk and flour mixed's light (internal joke of a video on our eclassonline).

Grilling the vegetables were awesome...I helped make the marinade which consisted of minced garlic, minced ginger, soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes and (shhhh) honey...we tossed cherry tomatoes, summer squash, zuchinni, onion, and mushrooms in the marinade and Delmig made perfect grill marks. I of course practiced this at home last Thursday and grilled them up the same way...but I added green onion and Eggplant.

Steaming the broccoli and green beans were easy...blanch them in boiling salted water and then shock them in ice case any of you wanted to make perfect steamed veggies...

As for the Rata ta ta tat at at at ta touille it was yummy! We basically let some yummy veggetables meld together with some tomato and added herbs...a slow cooking process but yummy none the less.

I almost forgot...I made AWESOME collard mother thought I bought them from a soul food
In a pot a made the "liquor" by simmering a ham hock with red pepper flakes...added the sliced collard greens into the liquor and added onion, brown sugar...the collards simmered until very soft and I added salt, white pepper to taste...

The Eggplant parm was not intimidating at Eggplants were big...we filled a whole sheet pan (lined with paper towels) with them and sprinkled salt on them to drain the water.
We then did standard breading procedure and pan fried them. Served them with some Rata ta ta ta ta ta touille and of course I can't forget we made tostones too (twice fried green plantains).

Good week overall and the next week we are working with grains, potatoes and STARCHES...muhahahahahh ahaha hhahahaha...!

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