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.

Stewart Borden
As a graduate of the International Culinary School, Stewart is currently testing recipes for a NYC Italian chef's cookbook. He is a film and theatre composer as well as an accomplished pianist and the bassist for the band Men in Suits.