Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More West Coast/ Pac Northwest

I continue to realize my style really mirrors the West Coast; from California to Alaska. Although I think I really stop in Washington State. Next is our final week which will be Hawaii and our luau.

This week we made food from Oregon, Washington, Western Idaho and Alaska. Our menu consisted of broccoli cheddar soup with toasted hazelnuts, grilled lamb with Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts, braised cod with cucumbers and ginger salad, zucchini and snow peas with basil, savory bread pudding, strawberry brulee, pea soup with crab meat and mint, hot smoked apricot salmon on mushroom soba noodle salad, blackberry barbecued chicken, beans with fresh oregano, walla walla onion rings, and (attempted) chocolate flourless cake with coffee cream anglaise.

Kim and I made the broccoli cheddar soup with toasted hazelnuts and it was awesome! The soup was easy to make; melt some butter, saute the leeks and onion then mix in the broccoli, carrots and chicken stock. Bring everything to a boil then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Then puree the soup and stir in half and half; then season with slat and pepper. Stir in about 2 cups of Tillamook cheddar cheese and top with chopped/toasted hazelnuts. Maria made the pea soup with crab meat and mint; this soup was surprisingly awesome and it follows the traditional pea soup recipe. The difference in this soup is when you garnish it with fresh crab meat and chiffonade mint leaves.
Mike made the cod and he braised it in the "salamander" because grilling the pre-frozen fillets would cause them to break apart on the grill. It turned out great and it was served with a cucumber/red onion salad which was dressed with pickled ginger and vinegar. The zucchini and snow peas were sauteed in butter and seasoned with salt and white pepper. The savory bread pudding is basically a wet/softer stuffing and was a good side dish. I called it bacon stuffing because the satueed bacon was all I could really taste in this recipe. Chef cued up all of the smoked salmons and showed us how to fabricate the fish; but Mike made the apricot glaze. It had good sweetness and a good touch of acid to it as well; overall great fish. My favorite was it's accompaniment of soba noodles and mixed wild mushrooms.The mushrooms were sauteed in sesame oil and then a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic is added at the end. Very tasty and the soba noodles went great with the mix; which also had fresh asparagus.
I made grilled lamb leg; which I tossed in an marinated with the following mixture and then grilled to perfection. The marinade consisted of dijon mustard, minced parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, kosher salt, black pepper and red wine vinegar. After marinating the meat and grilling it to perfection; I put finished it in the oven for about 20 minutes because of the size of the meat. It came out medium rare and I sliced very thin; to the size of roast beef. It was careful on grilling this piece of meat or any meat. Make sure you only use the grill to mark your meat and get the great taste; then finish in the oven to lock in the juices and not burn the flesh.
Another two dishes I made was a grilled chicken with blackberry bbq sauce, and walla walla onion rings. The chicken was grilled like normally and then I made a blackberry sauce which was made with; fresh blackberries, brown sugar, salt, white pepper, honey and soy sauce. I heated the mixture in a saute pan until the consistency of a sauce was met. I then added it to the chicken after it was almost done finishing in the oven. As for the onion rings I believe I inadvertently created a monster. I made a batter of equal parts flour and water; seasoned with salt and white pepper. Dip the sliced onions into the batter and then coat with panko bread crumbs; allow them to set up in the fridge and then re-dip them into the batter again and more panko. Then deep fry the rings or fry in a pan with oil...WOWOWOWOWOW!!!! They were awesome!!!
Maria and I made the dish pictured above; which was strawberry brulee. This desert is awesome and is made with pastry cream. Cream three egg yolks with the 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 tsp of corn starch first and then slowly whisk in a boiled mixture of; one tsp of vanilla, 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup of milk. After everything is incorporated bring the mixture to a boil constantly stirring to not burn the bottom of the cream. The mixture will thicken after it begins to rapidly boil. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place on top of ice to quickly drop the temperature. After completely cooling the mixture make sure you spoon out into bowls 1/2 way and then add sliced strawberries; fill the rest of the way. Sprinkle sugar over the top and torch the sugar to make the brulee crust. Awesome desert and I can't wait to make it at home...!
This was a great class this semester and tonight we finish off in the islands of Hawaii!!!

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