CIA Review

The Gourmet Girls met on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at Lynley's home. Not only were all seven of us present but we even had two fabulous guests!  Jodi's sister, Natalie Fredrick joined us along with all of the fun jewelry she makes and Grace Rock, co-author of Favorites and Keeping Up Cookbook ate with us as well. The plan for the menu that night was to make something from the Culinary Institute of America - either something you made while at the school, or something someone else made, or something from our recipe "binder" that we didn't get a chance to make. 

My appetizer was Crispy Scallion Pancakes with Dipping Sauce.  I made these on Day 5 at the CIA on our "World Street Foods" day. I have to say they did not go quite as smoothly in my kitchen as they did in Texas with Michael holding my hand, but I think they turned out fairly well.  Andrea tried a salad recipe from the CIA Binder which no one ended up making while we were in Texas, but was quite tasty.  It was called Romaine Lettuce with Japanese Salad Dressing, from Day 4 when we made Asian cuisine.  Raquel's "bread" was the Naan from Day 4. Lynley's main was Shepherd's Pie, which we didn't make while at the CIA, but was listed on Day 2 as a dish from the British Isles.  It was delicious!  LS tried the Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce from our South American day.  Jodi did our other side - Grilled Vegetables with Romesco Sauce which she made on Day 1, cooking in Europe. Andrea also did Sticky Rice with Coconut Sauce and Fresh Mangos from Day 4, however she did omit the MUNG BEANS!  Lara was the only one who was permitted to vary from the CIA theme, since she unfortunately wasn't able to be with us in Texas.  Her dessert was a yummy Hummingbird Cake, a Paula Dean recipe.

Raquel, LS, Jodi, Natalie, Lynley, Bridget, Andrea
Lara and Baby Henri in front

Minus Andrea, plus Grace

 Crispy Scallion Pancakes with Asian Dipping Sauce

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.

 Romaine Lettuce with Japanese Salad Dressing

2 heads Romaine lettuce

1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 each orange, juice and pulp, peeled, and deseeded
2 tsp ginger, minced
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp ketchup
1 TBS rice vinegar, unseasoned
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt to taste

1. Cut the lettuce into 2-inch pieces.  Rinse and dry thoroughly.  Set aside.
2. Place all ingredients for the dressing into a blender and puree until very smooth.
3. Only when ready to serve, toss the lettuce with the dressing.


2/3 cups Milk
2/3 cups Yogurt
1 Egg
2 tsp Active dry yeast (not instant)
2 tsp sugar
1 lb All-purpose flour
1 tsp Salt
2 TBS Ghee, plus extra as needed (browned and clarified butter)- Raquel made her own
1/2 cup Nigella (wild onion seed)
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped

1. Combine the milk, yogurt, egg, yeast, and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix well to blend.
2. Add the flour, salt and ghee and mix to form a pliable dough.  If the dough is to wet, add more flour.
3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is smooth and elastic.
4. Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it proof (raise) in a warm place until it has doubled in size.  (Put a thin layer of Ghee on bowl).
5. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.
6. Divide the dough into 6 evenly-sized pieces and roll them out to a slipper shape.
7. Bake the naan in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
8. Brush with additional ghee right before serving and sprinkle with the onion seeds and cilantro.
9. Serve warm.

Shepherd's Pie 
 This was delicious!  The recipe is super long, so if you're interested, email me! 

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

2 TBS garlic, minced
2 TBS salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped
1/2 Aji chile, seeds and veins removed, minced
1 cup oregano, chopped
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 1/4 lb Flank steak, trimmed
2 TBS olive oil
salt as needed
ground black pepper as needed 

1. To make the chimichurri sauce, combine the garlic and salt on a cutting board and mash into a paste using the broad side of a chef knife.  Transfer the garlic paste to a non-reactive mixing bowl.
2. Add the vinegar, olive oil, shallot, green onion, chile, oregano, and parsley and stir to combine.  Allow the flavors to combine for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours.
3. Preheat gas grill to medium-high, leaving one burner off.  If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a moderate coating of white ash.  Spread the coals in an even bed on one side of the grill.  Clean the cooking grate.
4. Lightly coat the flank steak with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
5. Place the steak on the grill until the meat is well marked by the grill.  Rotate the meat 90 degrees and allow to cook, undisturbed, until cross-hatch marks have been created.  Turn the meat over and finish grilling to the desired temperature.
6. Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest, tented, for 10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.  (This step is VERY important).
7. Serve the sliced beef on a heated platter, topped with the Chimichurri Sauce.

Grilled Vegetables with Romesco Sauce

6 New Potatoes
1 Fennel bulb, trimmed,quartered
9 Baby carrots, peeled
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp Garlic, peeled, minced
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
18 Asparagus stalks, trimmed
1 Zucchini, trimmed & halved lengthwise
Red onions, peeled, quartered
9 Mushrooms, trimmed
1 Red bell pepper, cored & quartered
1 Yellow bell pepper
1 Lemon, juiced
Romesco Sauce, as needed

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the potatoes and blanch (par-cook) until almost cooked through.  Drain and set aside.  Once cool, cut each potato in half.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the fennel and then the carrots until partially tender, 3 to 4 minutes.  Drained the cooked vegetables well and let cool slightly.
3. Combine the olive oil and garlic in a mixing bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Working in batches, add the vegetables and toss to coat.
4. Preheat a gas grill to high.  If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a light coating of white ash.  Spread the coals in an even bed.  Clean the cooking grate.
5. Grill the vegetables, turning as necessary, until they begin to take on color and are cooked through, about 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the vegetables.  They should all be tender when done, but not mushy.
6. Arrange the grilled vegetables on a heated platter and drizzle with lemon juice.  Serve accompanied with room temperature Romesco Sauce.
Note: Omit if out of season.

Romesco Sauce
24 Hazlenuts, toasted and skinned 
20 Almonds, toasted and skinned
2 Garlic cloves, peeled
2 Bread slices
3 Red bell peppers
2 Tomatoes
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
2 Sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 TBS Sherry vinegar
Salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Arrange the hazelnuts, almonds, garlic, and bread in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Place into the preheated oven and roast until the items are lightly browned.  Set aside and allow the ingredients to cool.  Increase the oven temperature to 475 degrees.
3. Halve the peppers and remove the stems and seeds.  Place cut side down onto an oiled baking sheet.  Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and add to the baking sheet.  Roast or broil until the peppers are evenly charred and the tomatoes are browned and have a rich "roasted" aroma.  Once done, immediately wrap in plastic to create steam and help loosen the skins, then remove the skins using a paring knife.  Set aside to cool completely.
4. Transfer all cooled ingredients to a blender or food processor.  Add the oil, parsley, and vinegar and blend to form a smooth puree.  Season with salt to taste.
5. Reserve until ready to serve.  (Serve on side as a dip).

 Sticky Rice with Coconut Sauce and Fresh Mangos

Sticky Rice
3 cups sticky rice
1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 tsp salt
3 pandanus leaves, tied in a knot (frozen section, but can be hard to find, can use kumbu leaves, which are easier to find)

Coconut Topping
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 1/4 tsp sugar
1/3 tsp salt
2 1/3 tsp rice flour
1 1/2 tsp mung beans, soaked in hot water for 1 hour
3 Mangos, thinly sliced, or as needed

1. For the sticky rice, drain the soaked rice and place in a steamer lined with cheesecloth.  Steam until the grains are soft, about 20 minutes.
2. When the rice is steaming, combine the coconut milk, sugar, salt and pandanus leaves in a small saucepan.  Bring to a bare simmer for 2 minutes to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Strain and reserve the mixture.
3. When the sticky rice is done, transfer to a mixing bowl.  While the rice is still hot, add the coconut milk mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, gently stir to coat the grains quickly and evenly.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the rice to absorb the sauce.
4. For the coconut topping,  combine the coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.
5. In a bowl, blend the rice flour with 1 tablespoon of water and mix well to dissolve the rice flour.  While the coconut sauce is simmering, slowly drizzle in the rice flour slurry, stirring constantly.  Return to a boil, immediately remove from the heat, and set aside. 
6. Drain and pat dry the mung beans.  Toast in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they are light brown and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes.  Set aside.
7. When ready to serve, place a small amount of the sticky rice onto a plate with the mango slices arranged on the side.  Pour 3 Tbs of the coconut topping over the sticky rice and sprinkle with the toasted mung beans (or we suggest omitting them).

We had a special guest from down the street mid-meal!
(Lynley's dad Jim Rowan and his fancy dessert!)

Natalie and all of her fabulous jewelry.

1 comment:

The McBrides said...

those scallion pancakes looks way good!