Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cooking school

Now this is a REAL kitchen.

I went to my second cooking class at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte yesterday. Our topic was "Taste of Provence" - Provence being an area of southern France, of course! (I learned that there are at least five distinct types of French cuisine; Provence style or Provençal being one of them. It's very Mediterranean in style, with lots of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and usually some sort of citrus like orange or lemon.)

Under the direction of Chef and with the assistance of four JWU students, we put together an ambitious menu of the following:
  • Consommé Madrilène
  • Carré d'Agneau Persillade (rack of lamb encrusted with a parsley mixture)
  • Ratatouille
  • Haricot Verts a la Ail (green beans in garlic)
  • Poutrine de Volaille Farcie en croûte (chicken breast in crust)
  • Eggplant gratin
  • Thun Provençal (tuna Provence style)
  • Creamy Semolina with Bay Leaf & Parmesan
  • Bouillabaisse
  • Roasted Pepper Puree
I've been trying hard to eat a vegetarian (if not fully vegan) diet lately, so I was unable to sample much of what we cooked. Also, I found that working with the meat kind of bothered me.  So I focused on the veggie dishes, such as the eggplant gratin, and I chopped vegetables for the other dishes. Here are some photos:

Tuna Provençal

Bouillabaisse

Chicken breast in crust

Rack of lamb

My veggie plate.
I'm gonna try to "veganize" some of these dishes, in particular the Creamy Semolina (which was a lot like polenta) and the Chicken Breast in Crust (maybe with Quorn???) I'll definitely be making the Ratatouille recipe. In the meantime, I signed up for a baking class in January. Looking forward to that one!