culinary school- week 4- (141 lbs.)

Holy cow! This week we cooked and ate 4 beef dishes in 2 days. That is as much beef as I would normally consume in about 2-3 months. My weight is up 1 pound from week 3. If I keep up this carnivorous bender, I’ll be up to a porky 152 by the end of week 15 if I’m not careful. Being a carnivore can be a tricky thing. Though I’ve never been a big meat eater, I am, by no means, a vegetarian (at least not yet). Learning the realities of how animals are raised and harvested to be our food is a sobering experience, one that frequently makes me feel like a hypocrite; knowing what I know, I should really be refraining from eating animals at all….it’s just that they taste so darn good! If I do decide to continue eating meat in the future, it will be in small quantities supplied by ethical farms specializing in med-free, organically fed, and free range sources.

I especially enjoyed the full day we spent this week cooking grains. Grains are nutritious, flavourful, affordable, pleasing in texture and simple to prepare. From an environmental perspective, compared to the amount of land and energy required to raise animals for our food, growing grains can feed a lot of people (without producing levels of livestock methane emissions). It is both exciting and inspiring for me to see how diverse such food can taste when interpreted by different cultures…. Rice, quinoa, millet, bulgar wheat, barley, flax, rye, oats, spelt, buckwheat, kamut, amarynth….Grains have a complex and fascinating global history; one that is integrated with technology, science, agriculture, health, economics and human evolution- plus, they are really tasty. Here is one of the recipes from Tuesday’s class:

Warm Quinoa Salad w. Pecans, Greens & Pumpkin Seeds

3 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and lightly toasted (in a fry pan)
2 cup water or stock
8 pecans, roughly chopped and toasted
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 large handfuls of washed salad greens


juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp honey
4 tbsp water
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp poppy seeds
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Put pot on stove at medium heat. Add oil, then onions and sweat. Next add garlic and ginger. Stir in toasted quinoa and then add water or stock. Bring to simmer and cover. Cook 10-15 minutes, until the grain appears translucent and the germ ring is visible. Place quinoa in a medium size bowl. Add nuts, seeds, greens and dressing. Toss and serve. (Serves 4)

Eclairs w. Creme Anglaise

Here is a short list of some of the items we prepared this week:

Beets (roasted & simmered), Asparagus, Carrots Vichy, Cauliflower-Potato Puree, Roasted Turned Potatoes
Orange Vinaigrette, Roasted Garlic Aioli, Hollandaise
Baguettes (with 25% whole wheat flour)

Steamed Jasmine Rice (w. coconut milk)
Bulgar Pilaf w. Raisins & Carrots
Warm Quinoa Salad w. Pecans, Greens & Pumpkin Seeds
Beet Risotto

Grilled Skirt Steak & Potato Dauphinois, Bordelaise Sauce
Ginger-Orange-Chili Beef Stir Fry w. Jasmine Rice

More Beef…
Daube Provincial
Roulade of Beef w. Fried Polenta-Cheese Cake

Pate Feuillette (Puff Pastry)
Choux Pastry
Cream Patisserie (Custard Cream)
Crème Anglais (Pastry Sauce)
Chocolate Ganache
Eclairs from above last 4 ingredients

No comments: