Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good Grains...

This past week we made a lot of carbohydrates...!
I also cooked for my Step-Mom's 50th bday party (Mike High)...

During class we made alot of potatoes, rice and corn. We made polenta, risotto, potatoes au gratin, garlic smashed potatoes, twice baked potatoes, styrofoam potatoes, potato gnocchi, potato croquettes, rice pilaf, homemade pasta & ravioli...

The rice pilaf was of course very easy...we used parboiled Uncle Ben's rice and sauteed it in sweated onions in a sauce pot. Then covered it with 2/3 liquid and simmered until it was almost all absorbed.

As for the risotto; Maria and I made a smooth cheesy risotto while standing by it making sure it wouldn't burn. We used about 7 (4oz) ladles of chicken stock and 1 cup of risotto...alot of Parmesan cheese and drizzled truffle oil over the top. As for the didn't think I could finish a whole plat of risotto...of course I did!

On to potatoes...we baked some russets in the oven for a while and then split them in half dug out the potato and mixed it with some creme fresh, salt, white pepper, cheese, and piped it back into the shell. Then topped them with Parmesan cheese and baked them once more for twice baked. The extra skins were fried and baked with topped cheese and bacon for potato skins.

We boiled red bliss potatoes and garlic cloves next...mashed the softened mix with salt, pepper, olive oil and made smashed garlic potatoes.

The potato gnocchi was awesome...almost same recipe as the potato croquettes. I made the gnocchi and Maria made the croquettes. The gnocchi came out great and I topped it with a quick sauce I whipped up. The sauce was sauteed shallots, garlic and clarified butter/olive oil mix with white wine. Then I add diced tomatoes and cook them with chiffon basil and drizzle over the gnocchi...of course season the sauce with salt & pepper to taste.

The polenta was very easy...saute some shallots with butter or oil...then add in the milk to boil...after the milk boils and the corn meal and stir in. We made the firm type so we poured it out onto a sheet pan, smoothed it out and then pan fried them into shapes...topped it with Queso Blanco and my quick red sauce.

The fresh pasta was FUN! We made the dough first and let it rest before anything else. We then rolled it out through the pasta roller and made raviolis with Chef Bills ravioli shells. The filling was from James (It was Killer!)...and we made a quick garlic red sauce for the pasta. All Together it was an awesome CARB week...

As for the party Mike & I made our own menu of small meals featuring the following:
Canapes: Smoked Salmon/Manouri Cream Cheese; Red Wine Cream cheese pom; Greek Yogurt/Goat Cheese & Chive...
Roasted Eggplant Turin
Endive Boats (topped with diced pear, pom seeds & Gorgonzola)
Hen Pops (Cornish hen drumsticks with sugar, red wine & salt...topped with manouri)
Thunder Thighs (Cornish hen thighs with coarse sea salt, cayenne, black & white pepper...roasted in the oven)
Meatballs in Gravy (family recipe...shhhh)
Corny Beef (mushroom/cheese polenta topped with a piece of filet, drizzled with mushroom sauce & drop of truffle oil)
Roasted Stuffed Umami Hen (Cornish hen breast filled with cornbread/sage stuffing, spinach, onion, garlic, with pate and white truffle oil)

The night was an overall success and a lot of people left happy! Especially the birthday girl!
Thanks for all the awesome comments keeps us cooking great food!

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