Spaghetti Squash, Falafels and an Oil Fire – Day 34

TODAY’S TIDBITS

  • Consider putting a bit of ground flaxseed at the bottom of a fruit tart – this adds a unique sweetness as an added dimension
  • When cutting a large object with a knife (e.g. squash, water melon), cover the back of the knife tip with a hand towel and push down. You get a nice slice, and no danger of cuts.
  • Gout can be caused from the byproducts of excess protein metabolism – so, all you ‘Atkinsers’ out there – make sure to get enough non-protein calories for your energy needs.

After the 4 day Thanksgiving break, it felt good to get back into the kitchen, though today was a slower-than-usual pace. We made 2 interesting salads and falafels. The most interesting taste of the day was the spaghetti squash salad. We roasted half of this ‘normal on the outside’ looking squash in the oven for 30mins, and then scooped it out. I couldn’t figure out where the spaghetti was going to come from, but sure enough when you start to scoop out the pulp, it comes out like spaghetti. This was mixed with sweated shallots, tomato pulp, sundried tomatoes, anchovy, nicoise olives and capers. These last two ingredients gave it a real pop.

Thinly sliced artichokes and fennel, with a citronette and grapefruit supremes
Thinly sliced artichokes and fennel, with a citronette and grapefruit supremes
Spaghetti squash salad - a pasta alternative?
Spaghetti squash salad – a pasta alternative?

This was served with falafels. I’ve never been a huge falafel fan – Nina ground the chickpeas, garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice and baking soda, shaped them into quenelles, and deep fried them. I think next time, I’d up the ante on the cumin and garlic to make them stand out a bit more.

We also prepared a ‘different’ tasting salad, using ‘mandolined’ artichokes and fennel, with watercress and a ‘citronette’. A citronette is a vinaigrette, but instead of using vinegar you use a citric juice – in this case grapefruit. This was served with grapefruit ‘supremes’ – we’re sure getting a workout on making supremes, it seems like they are in everything recently. Raw fennel is bitter, but very thinly sliced and served with an acid it had a much milder taste. I liked the look of this dish, more than the taste.

Smoothies for everyone
Smoothies for everyone
Flashpoint of olive oil!!!!
Flashpoint of olive oil!!!!

We had our second lecture on nutrition with Chef Bauer, which was brought to life with a demonstration of oil flashpoints. We also all perked up when he made smoothies for us. Interesting ingredients were flaxseed, fennel, cardamom, ginger, and the usual fruits and vegetables.

I’m getting quite nervous about “Chicken Your Way”. This Friday, we have to design and prepare a chicken dish “our way”, drawing from a finite list of ingredients. Some people are asking about making doughs, roulades, and requesting all these fancy machines. This has got me panicked a bit, I was going to make a nice butter basted, pan/oven sautéed quartered chicken, with a wine mushroom sauce, served with scalloped potatoes (with Julia Child garlic tomatoes), and green beans. I may have to ‘amp it up’ a bit.

Ajax – R.I.P.

Off to study, we have an exam tomorrow.

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One comment

  1. Elaine

    I could not keep the skin intact at that point, so I made moo shu chicken and fried rice, using the veggie cuts and the moo shu crepe to showcase skills learned at ICC. Then I drew the earliest possible time that had to share a station… The 4 people in the first2 start times got their own with both sides… I should have not done the fried rice because I almost didn’t present by the time and my plate tasted good but looked like crap. The criticism I got was that I should have presented some of the veggies on their own rather than all in the sauce and rice. So your dish is what they want, just as long as it’s pretty. Its not a big part of the final grade and is supposed to be your chance to have fun showing off. So sorry about your doggie and hope the days off gave you a lot of the time you need to mourn. Maybe you can invent a Chicken a la Ajax and include an Ajax favorite on the plate? Or not. Sorry for your loss in any event. I found your page while looking for pictures from organ night to show a friend, and I’m enjoying reading your stuff.

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