Mmmm... how does braised cabbage, fennel, & leeks, tuscan pureed white beans with roasted garlic, and vanilla poached pears with chocolate drizzle sound to you? Your mouth watering yet? Mine sure did as I walked into class on Wednesday and discovered we were going to make all of these delicious recipes and be able to enjoy our tasty creations for lunch. :)
Every class, we are divided into groups - my group was fantastic again! We all worked together well and were very pleased with the result of each dish. The main focus of this session was to learn a few "wet" cooking methods, such as braising, roasting, and poaching. The ultimate goal was to time the recipes accordingly so they would finish within minutes of each other. This allows for optimal temperature and presentation.
Garlic roasting in the oven with a dash of salt/pepper and a fancy drizzle of olive oil is so inviting and warming! It becomes even more inviting when combined with freshly cooked beans and rosemary to form a delicate puree that may be served in several ways. And oh my stars - braised cabbage is a MUST! Even if you don't care for these vegetables, (cabbage, fennel, leeks) which may be foreign to your daily plate; this method of cooking enhances the natural flavors and will make your mouth wonder why you haven't done it before! Perhaps, that was just my thought though... Mmmm...(there I go again), poached pears! What a sweet, but light treat to make you completely satisfied. Topped with some chocolate drizzle and toasted walnuts - bam! What a dessert! :)
Of course, presentation is key. Below is my group's presentation...not to brag, but everyone agreed that our braised cabbage was the best. ;-) We let the dish set before putting it in the oven for all of the flavors to combine...basically, we made the "wow" factor happen!
A few other dishes we made this week used the methods of stewing, steaming, and blanching. Many veggies were eaten yesterday!
|Hearty Autumn Stew with Tempe, Blanched Vegetable Salad; and Steamed Carrots, Radishes, & Parsnips.|
Not only did I have many blessed experiences in school this week, but I was also able to go out to dinner with some classmates to enjoy cheese-less pizza - really, it is good! Try it! :) I also got together with one of my new girlfriends from class to do yoga and make dinner. She's fabulous!
Challenge! I encourage you to challenge yourself this weekend. Whether your challenge be trying a recipe, doing a new exercise, reading a book, or reflecting on what this past week has brought to you and what you would like this next week to bring you....life is precious and too short to be stagnant.