Day 5 - Friday, March 30, 3012

Friday, March 30, 2012 was a sad day for The Gourmet Girls. Our vacation and our week at The CIA was coming to a close. We had all worked so hard, learned so much, and had SO MUCH FUN!

The theme for this day's cuisine was "Global Street Foods". Contrary to Lynley's impression, this did not mean we would be making corn dogs. We created  dishes which could be purchased "on the street" all over the world. This was such a fun day! We spent very little time in class that morning and most of our time cooking and eating (and taking pictures)!

Udon Noodle Pot - created by Raquel

Jamaican Chicken Patties

French Fried Potatoes with Aioli

Arepas Con Queso - by Jodi & Kirk

Crispy Scallion Pancakes with Dipping Sauce
by Bridget

Vegetable Samosas - by Lynley

Sweet and Savory Crepes - by LS

 Stuffed Roti Bread - by LS

 Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce
by Jodi & Kirk

Crispy Scallion Pancakes with Dipping Sauce

Since I made the Crispy Scallion Pancakes with Dipping Sauce, I'll list the recipe and include a few "play-by-play" pictures.

5 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups boiling water

Dipping Sauce
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup green onions
1 cup Chinese vinegar (purchase at Asian market, or substitute Rice Wine Vinegar but do not use seasoned Rice Vinegar)
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
4 tsp sugar

2 Tbsp Dark Sesame oil
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
3 cups green onions sliced

1 3/4 cups Peanut Oil (or canola)

1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add enough boiling water to form a dough.  (Use a double layer of rubber gloves).  Knead for 5 minutes.  Cover the dough and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature to rest.  (I covered with a damp towel).

2. To prepare the dipping sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Reserve.

3. Divide the dough into 6 parts, then roll each into a thin rectangle (or a sort-of rectangle).  

4. Brush each rectangle with a small amount of sesame oil and season with salt and pepper.   Cover each rectangle with a layer of sliced green onions and roll up like a jelly roll.

5. Once rolled, take one end and roll into a spiral coil. 

6. Roll this spiral shape flat into a pancake.
  (This rolling technique gives the dough a design and lightness.)

7. Pan-fry in peanut oil over medium-heat until crispy. 

8. Drain well.

9. Cut each pancake into quarters and keep warm until ready to serve.

Final product

The full buffet after our day of cooking

This was the plate I sat down to for lunch.
Can you say, "deep-fried"?

CIA Graduation with Chef Katz

The whole gang with Chef Katz

Jazz Hands!
Kirk, LS, Cathy, Andrea, Jerry, Lynley,
Bridget, Michael, Jodi, Rachel

 The flight home

 Andrea just had a Donny Osmond sighting!

Friday evening - just landed back in Utah!

Seven Ladies and a Baby!

It was a gourmet miracle!  All seven GG's were together plus our newest addition to the group, Baby Henri at just 9 days old!  Congratulations Lara & Loic! We met at my (Bridget's) new place and all sat at one table (if you knew how small my former table was, you'd be impressed).  We started off the evening with appetizers by Lynley.  Jodi made a delicious Strawberry Wonton Salad (I've already re-created it for my family) and LS had a huge yeast success with her wonderful Artisan Bread.  Our main dish was Lemon Chicken Breasts (Barefoot Contessa).  We all commented on how we struggle with good chicken recipes, but this really was flavorful. Raquel brought a yummy side of Creamed Corn (Keeping Up Cookbook) and since Andrea had a rough afternoon in the kitchen, she treated us all to Nothing Bundt Cakes and homemade vanilla ice-cream. We had a wonderful evening together eating and planning our next gourmet adventure to The Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, TX!  Stay tuned for the best blog post yet!
Our table
 Strawberry Wonton Salad
2 T. red wine vinegar
3 T. sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup strawberry jam
Mix together in blender until well blended.

1/3 cup sugar
1 cup cashews
melt sugar over stove, add nuts

1 large head of red leaf lettuce 
1 pkg fresh spinach, stems trimmed
1/3 cup bacon
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 purple onion (I prefer about 1/3 of the onion)
1 cup strawberries
15 wontons cut into thin strips (then fry)
1/3 cup Gorgonzola cheese

  Artisan Bread

Creamy Corn
(Keeping Up Cookbook, page 114)
5 cups frozen white corn kernels
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh)

Combine corn, cream, milk, sugar, salt, peppers, garlic and thyme in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce and simmer for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in flour.  Allow this mixture to  bubble and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add butter mixture to simmering corn and allow to simmer 3 more minutes.  Serve warm.

Sushi-Making Class

Last August Lara, Raquel and I purchased Groupons for a "Beginner Sushi-Making Class" at Mt Fuji Sushi Bar and Japanese Cuisine in Sandy.  Lara and Loic used theirs several weeks ago and Raquel and I attended our class on Saturday, February 18.  The instructor was a riot and the class was fun!  We learned to make three different types of sushi. 

Raquel and I with our instructor after the class

I took a few pictures during the class so I will show you step by step how to make a tasty California Roll (the only roll I can legitimately eat in my "condition".)
Step 1: The Mat

 Step 2: Spread the rice evenly across the mat

Step 3: Sprinkle with Sesame Seeds

Step 4: Place crab, avocado and cucumber across middle of rice pad

Step 5: Roll

Step 6: Cut, serve and eat!

Evidently one of the keys to good sushi rolls is the rice.  Here is the recipe for good sushi rice as well as the other rolls we made.

Gourmet Girls 2012 Kick-Off!

The Gourmet Girls are back!  We took December off due to the busy holiday season and kicked off 2012 at Miss Jodi's place with a wonderful meal on the evening of January 10.  Unfortunately Andrea was unable to make it, so we went sans appetizer.  Lynley made some fantastic Spinach and Pear Salads (Williams Sonoma) and Lara whipped up some yummy Cheesy Italian Monkey Bread (unfortunately we didn't get a picture).  The main dish was barbequed Miso-Glazed Salmon; way to hit a home run Jodi!  I've already re-created it for my entire family and everyone loved it.  On the side we had Broccoli & Bow Ties by Bridget (Barefoot Contessa Family Style) and for desert LS delighted us with Mint Mango Sorbet and Macaroons!  It was a great meal and great to catch up with all of the "GGs"!
Jodi's lovely table

Lynley, LS, Jodi and Lara

Raquel, LS, Jodi, Lara and Bridget

Spinach and Pear Salad

For the Vinegar-Mustard Dressing:
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon walnut oil or olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Chutney Dressing:
1/4 cup store-bought mango or peach chutney
1/4 cup (2 oz/60 g) low-fat plain yogurt

8 cups loosely packed spinach leaves (see note)
2 pears such as Bosac or Bartlett

Carefully rinse the spinach leaves, and gently spin or pat dry.  Place in a large bowl.  Peel, halve, and core the pears.  Cut each pear half crosswise into thin slices, cutting all the way through but keeping each half intact.

To assemble the salad, drizzle the vinegar-mustard dressing over the spinach leaves and toss to coat the spinach evenly.  Divide the spinach among individual plates.  Arrange the pear halves, fanning the slices slightly, on top of the spinach.  Spoon the chutney dressing over each pear half.  Serve immediately.

Broccoli & Bow Ties

Kosher salt
8 cups broccoli florets (4 heads)
1/2 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pignoli (pine) nuts
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water.  Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve.  Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according the the package directions, about 12 minutes.  Drain well and add to the broccoli.

Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute.  Off the heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and lemon juice nad pour this over the broccoli and pasta.  Toss well.  Season to taste, sprinkle wiht the pignolis and cheese, if using, and serve.

NOTE: I often add cooked chicken to this and have it as a main dish.  You get your protein, veggies and carbs all in one!

Mint Mango Sorbet and Macaroons

Raquel was "extra" this month so instead of creating something edible, she created something darling and useful!  She made each of us bookmarks out of the corners of envelopes!