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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Week 11 at San Francisco Cooking School

We kicked off the week with BEANS!  Chickpeas, pinto, red lentils, cannellini, and more.  My teammate, Jules, and I got to make the Balkan Bean Salad which was definitely the best bean salad I've ever eaten.  Our bean salad had cannellini beans, fire roasted peppers, red onion, kalamata olives, garlic, and sliced chorizo (that we'd previously made in class).  Soooo delicious.  The perfect salad to take to a BBQ.  It was so delicious that I didn't get a picture before we'd eaten it all. :P 

 Corn, bean and pumpkin stew

We also made butter and creme fraiche this week.  It turns out it's much easier than you'd ever imagine.  We had a butter tasting to compare textures and saltiness, and baked some delicious Irish Soda Bread and scones so we weren't just eating butter. 

Fresh pasta was also on the menu this week.  We made all kinds of stuffed favioli, and then the next day we made tortellini, cappelletti, tortelloni, ragu and fettuccine.  I got to make pasta using the kitchen aid attachment as well as using a hand crank machine that attaches to a table.  Both pasta makers have pros and cons but I think if I were going to buy a pasta maker I'd get the manual hand crank.

 tortellini with prosciutto and cream

We had an awesome day when Tori Ritchie came to our class to talk about recipe development.  At the beginning of class Tori had us write down recipes for how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  We had to write down the name of the recipes, a little information about the recipe, how many people it serves, the ingredient list and the instructions.  A few people read their recipes aloud and what it showed us all is that everyone has a different idea of how their perfect pb&j is made, and when writing a recipe you can't assume that anyone knows what they're doing.  After that little exercise we split into teams and had to create a recipe using celery root and celery.  My team made celery root chips with a sour cream, cumin and celery dip.  The dip was pretty fantastic, but sadly our chips did not turn out properly because we oven baked them - and we didn't have enough time.  One of the teams made the most amazing celery salsa, it was sooooo delicious, and they fried celery root chips.  So delicious.

We de-boned a chicken and stuffed it with sausage - chicken ballotine.  Pretty delicious, and it was awesome pulling all the bones out of the chicken and then wrapping it back up.  Now I could make my own turducken if I want - which I don't.  And I had brought in my first attempt at whiskey brittle, and we put it on our dessert!

Chicken Ballotine

Caramel ice cream with apple fritters and whiskey pecan brittle.

But the real high light of the week, at least for me, was my birthday!  My classmates are seriously the bestest!  They surprised me with champagne and so many wonderful baking gifties!

 Julia, giving me a happy birthday kiss and my awesome bag o' goodies! 

 Net week will bring about more pasta, and some excellent guest instructors so stay tuned!


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