Green Food Day.

Man oh man did today get away from me.  Get ready for a super post – afternoon and evening combined!  Some people refer to St. Patrick’s Day as green beer day.  Well as a non-drinker, I am declaring is green FOOD day!  Because all the best foods are green anyways, right?  Okay, let’s get started…

Today’s class was centered around food from The Americas – lots of yummy Latin food!  In the spirit of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, I spent my afternoon spotting green all around the classroom.   I made a pretty Sopa De Lima Latin-style chicken soup, simmered with lots of freshly chopped green cilantro…

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And then I helped out the other half of my group making Green Pozole with Chicken, by toasting their green pumpkin seeds…

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Also spotted, lots of ripe green tomatillos…

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Cabbage shredded paper-thin to top the Pozole stew…

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And funny looking Chayote squash – they look like pears with butts!

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While our Sopa De Lima and Pozole simmered and cooked, Chef Pearson did a demo on making Matambre, which literally translates to "hunger killer."  This dish is a type of roulade – where meat is rolled in caul fat (cow intestines) and then cooked and sliced.  The caul fat was laid out with the roulade stacked on top – flank steak, chorizo, steamed spinach, and whole boiled eggs!

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Knowing I am the "healthy vegetarian", everyone had a fun time harassing me with the disgusting caul fat. 

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The meat was rolled up and the caul fat was tucked around the outside.

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And then tied off for roasting in the oven…

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After roasting, it came out browned and juicy. 

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And check out the inside!  Obviously I am not a big meat person, but I think this is so cool!  A whole freaking egg inside your slice of beef – wow. 

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After the demo
, I got to work at the fry station.  While my tortilla strips and chips bubbled in the hot oil, I shook the baskets and made jokes about a blossoming culinary career working the fry line…

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The other demo we watched this afternoon was how to make TAMALES!  Chef started by laying the corn husks on the grill and heating them quickly.  Then a layer of lard was added to the corn husks…

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Next came chorizo and cheese…

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And then it was wrapped, tied, and steamed!  Everyone was talking about how much they love tamales, and I realized I don’t think I’ve ever had one.  Is that strange?

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The other project I worked on today was the Llapingachos – a fried ball of mashed potatoes, goat cheese, and annato seed.  These were ridiculously good – I love goat cheese!  We mashed, mixed, and breaded…

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And then deep-fried!  These were served in the dining room along with the Matambre for lunch. 

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When it came time for service, I worked the line today, plating and garnishing soups to be served in the dining room.  Our kitchen functions like a real kitchen would, with servers coming through with tickets and trays to pick up orders.  Here we are plating and filling orders…

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Both of my group’s soups turned our really good.  And they were both GREEN! 

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Speaking of green, after class I came home and changed into my totally awesome St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt!

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Unfortunately, I still wasn’t feeling too great, so I headed upstairs and crawled into bed to try to sleep away my cough and headache.  I didn’t wake up until SIX o’clock!  (Which is why this post is coming to you SO LATE!)  While I tried to catch up on homework and finish my menu project for tomorrow, my awesome IRISH husband cooked up our traditional (errr, vegetarian) Irish St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  He even took pictures for me – now that is true love.  :)

I don’t have the exact recipe, but he made us an amazing Irish stew.  Started by boiling onions and barley together for about 30 minutes…

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While the barley and onions boiled, an IRISH SODA BREAD baked in the oven…

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Then he added cubed potatoes, celery and carrots, along with Morningstar Meatless Crumbles and some liquid aminos (which taste like soy sauce). 

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Brought to a simmer to soften and cook…

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All I had to do was show up and EAT!  I am so lucky.  :)

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This stew was absolutely delicious.  Nice and thick from the barley and potatoes, with great rich flavor from the veggies and the meatless crumbles. 

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The soda bread was to die for – such a fun treat since we rarely have bread with dinner.  I alternated between eating mine slathered in Smart Balance, and dipping it into my stew.

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I hope everyone had a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Da
y full of lots of GREENS and good luck! :)