the good, the bad, and the ugly

The last lab of my “freshman” year (my spring term is what regular students do in their second year) was Fundamentals of Food Service Production (FFP for short). I didn’t know very much about the class going in…other than I had some not-so-great french toast from there way back in September.

FFP focuses on the mastery of three skills:  savory baking, shallow fry, and saute.  We made SO. MUCH. FOOD. and had SO. MUCH. FUN. Our chef was an ex-military who had spent considerable time in D.C. and loved to swap stories and encouraged us to take these skills and punch it up a bit.

exhibit a: savory baking (good!)

breakfast burritos. with scratch-made enchilada sauce simmered until it was extra delicious.

the most amazingly delicious breakfast burritos i've ever tasted. ever. ever ever ever.

exhibit b:  shallow fry (good!)

risotto cakes. have you ever seen someone so happy to be standing over hot, popping fat?

look at that mug!

exhibit c: saute

oh wait i have no pictures of this because I was too busy scorching off my eyebrows.  (bad)

BUT–after cooking off 3 flats of eggs (flat=50 eggs) and working 3 or more flaming pans at the same time, I walked out of this class really feeling like I could COOK.

roasted tomatoes stuffed with mushroom duxelles, topped with mornay (cheese) sauce

 

note the lone, sad green vegetable in the corner.

 

oh! we also made sauces. lots of sauces.

 

baby quiche! smuggled a couple of these bad boys out and sold them on the black market (or fed them to manfriend)

 

slidersssssssssssssss

chef: "do something with these potatoes!" me: "you got it."

 

next time he said that to me…

i stuffed them with cheddar, bacon, and scallions and topped them with fried onions. oops!

 

and then one day,

a pastry class brought us baked alaska made with candied bacon ice cream.

“So you must eat really well, huh” is something I hear often.  Not to blow off all the glitter and magic, but this is what “eating well” looks like in culinary school:

nom nom....or something.

it’s all really tasty, but it sure ain’t glamorous.  (uglyyyy)

All right!  Now I’m only 3 classes behind. I  contracted a lively strain of the bubonic plague this week, so I’ll try and get us up to real time while i’m on the mend. over and out.

 

ho-hum.

Mmm these were pretty so-so. They look tasty, right? The melty, gooey cheese and gently roasted pepper were both tasty.  Unfortunately, the filling was pretty bland.  The concept is great, but I HIGHLY recommend spicing it up–maybe a little chili powder, a little cumin, cayenne if you’re feeling crazy.
You could totally nix the chicken and add more veggies to make it veg-friendly. So, consider this a starting place.  A coloring book page for you to fill in as your creative juices compel you to.
on the up-side, below, check out the handy little links for you! noshbot.com is rockin my world.

Chicken-stuffed Poblano Peppers

food.com

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium poblano chiles
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 2 roma tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup mushroom, sliced
  • 2 ounces monterey jack cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (approximately 1/2 cup)
  • cooked saffron rice, 4 servings

Directions:

  1. While using gloves, wash the poblano chilies and using a sharp paring knife, cut a slit lengthwise from stem to tip of chile leaving stem in tact.
  2. Carefully cut away the seeds and membrane rinse the inside of the chilies and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, add chopped onions and garlic.
  4. Cook until onions begin to turn golden, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the diced chicken, sprinkle with seasoning salt and cook until chicken is almost cooked through; add tomato and mushrooms, continue to cook until chicken is done.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  7. With remaining tablespoon olive oil, lightly oil the outside of the chilies and place them cut side up in casserole dish.
  8. Pack the chicken mixture into chilies and push cheese into mixture along the slit.
  9. Cover dish, place in preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes; remove cover the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking.
  10. Serve on top of a bed of saffron rice.