Friday, September 30, 2011

The Start of the Last Class: Cuisines Across Cultures

So here we are, in the first week of my very last class at CCA. Cuisines Across Cultures. We have a new chef, but one we have worked under before in Culinary Foundations II, Chef Steven Moore. We also have a few new students. This week has been interesting. The first night of class was a complete mess, the second night was slightly less messy, the third was manageable, and tonight we started to have some fun. Which was refreshing because this is our last class of culinary school after all! And this class is supposed to be fun.

The structure of this class is quite different from any other. There is a set menu for each night, and as the name implies, we are focusing on a variety of cuisines that spans the globe. Also, we are not cooking each dish individually, we are cooking each dish collectively. So we get to decide as a team who does what.....although I usually decide first on what I want to do and pretty much tell the others that I am doing that! But I usually take the vegetable dish so no one has complained so far! (Thanks guys!!) And then, when everything is ready, we serve all of the food family style, and sit down (or stand) and enjoy the food and break bread together, as friends do. Which is great because that gives us an opportunity to discuss the food, and ask our classmates how they did certain things, how long they cooked the chicken, or what that particular spice is.

So all of the pictures you will see from this class are not going to always be made by just me, but by myself and my classmates. However, since our class is pretty small, so far we have actually been making each dish mostly on our own. But it sure is nice to know that you have your classmates to help fill in any gaps!

So let's take a look at what we have done so far this week.... Our day 1 menu was a roasted leg of lamb with fleur de sel, salt crusted salmon, and salt and pepper prawns. I added some roasted potatoes and mixed green salad with a lemon-honey vinaigrette dressing to the mix.

Mixed Green Salad
Salt Crusted Salmon
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Roasted Potatoes

Salt and Pepper Prawns
Our Day 2 menu consisted of Muligatawny Soup, Flat Bread with Za'atar, Lamb Tagine with Couscous, and Okra Pakoras. Everything turned our fantastic. I made the flatbread with the za'atar topping, which allowed me to use a mortar and pestel for the first time... fun!
Flatbread with Za'atar
Lamb Tagine with Couscous
Fried Okra and Cauliflower
Day 3 menu was sushi! 
We learned about grains, and chef made a large batch of slightly undercooked sushi rice :) 

And then we each made sushi. Here was my  
attempt at sushi rolls...they sure are pretty!

Day 4 menu was first to individually make our own batch of fried rice (yum!), and of course I made my vegetarian, thank you very much!  I also made the Yellow Split Pea with Curried Vegetables and Spiced Rice dish....very tasty! 
Fried Rice
Yellow Spilt Pea and Curried Vegetables, with Spiced Rice

We also enjoyed some Pearl Fried Pork Balls, Chicken Teriyaki, and Ichigo Daifuku.... 

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