Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gotta Get My Name Out There

Next weekend, I'll be volunteering for Food Network's South Beach Wine and Food Festival.  I know, I'm pretty excited.  This will be my first real event.  I've volunteered at my school, but this time I'll be working with a chef from Miami to prepare and plate his menu.  Not only will volunteer work look good on my resume, I'm looking forward to working with professional chefs in this capacity.  School can only teach you so much.  I need to get out there and get some real experience under my belt.

I've included the link for the event if you would like to check it out.  I'll report back with how it went.  Wish me luck :)

NY Times Travel Show and Food Network's South Beach Wine and Food Festival

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sandwich Day :)

This was a nice change from some of the really rich, heavy dishes we've been making lately.  We covered your basics: Cold, Hot, Open-Faced, Grilled, and Tea sandwiches.  It made for a tasty, laid-back morning.  And it also gave me lots to consider for potential catering recipes...

Yesterday also marked the end of Module 2.  It seems like we have been flying through these lessons.  Next up will be French, Italian, and Asian cuisine.

Monday, February 7, 2011

As Requested

I really appreciate all of the positive comments I've been getting.  It's nice to know that these posts aren't just falling into cyberspace nothingness.  We have come to the end of our second module.  This section concentrated on dry and moist-heat cooking methods.  While my family has thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of my labor, I have enjoyed learning the "proper" ways of cooking.  I mean, everyone knows your basic terms: grilling, sauteing, poaching, braising, stewing, etc... but could you actually explain the execution of each?  I can, now :) 

I had posted some pictures on Facebook, and a request had been made for the recipe for Broccoli Souffle.  So, here it is.  Made correctly, this is a beautiful, light and airy, but fully flavored dish.  Enjoy...

Broccoli Souffle (Yields 6 Souffles)

Butter (as needed)
Flour (as needed)
20 oz. Broccoli (peeled and trimmed)
Milk (as needed)
2 oz. Butter
Salt, Pepper, and Nutmeg (to taste)
2 oz. Grated Gruyere cheese
4 Egg Yolks
8 Egg Whites

Coat inside of ramekins completely with butter and dust with flour

Blanch broccoli in salted, boiling water until cooked.  Shock in ice bath. 

Puree broccoli in blender until smooth.  Add milk, as needed, to help mixture blend.

Place puree in saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until milk is cooked out.  Mixture should be very thick.  Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Stir in grated gruyere cheese until melted, and add egg yolks.  Remove from heat.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  (Should be able to hold whisk upside down and egg whites still stand up)  Fold egg whites into vegetable mixture in three batches.  First addition will just be to combine.  Second, fold a little more gently.  And third addition fold just to incorporate.  You want mixture to remain as light as possible.

Pour mixture into individual ramekins.  Run finger, gently, around the edge of each ramekin to form a lip, almost.  Bake in water bath for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

*You will not want to open oven at all during cooking time.  This will release steam, and the souffle will not rise

This recipe can be made with different vegetables in the same preparation.  Substitute 10 oz of trimmed cauliflower or 12 oz of unpeeled zucchini for the broccoli.