Team Building is a great way to start off a new school year. Last week the CSU Activities team came in to cook up some delicious food, meet one another and learn a few things about their new team.What did they learn about cooking?
They learned some basic knife skills like how to cut an onion and some tips on food presentation. They learned the long, slow process of making a great risotto, that salad components should all be bite-sized, that making your own dressing is easy and fun, and that the perfect biscuit cooked on top a raspberry pandowdy tastes like heaven. They learned that cooking is a lot more fun when someone else cleans up and does all the dishes!
What did they learn about each other?
They learned that Gail can make a darned good biscuit. That some people are better at cooking and some are better at gathering ingredients. That communication is a key component of getting the job done. That a timekeeper is an important member of the team. That's its fun to have a professional chef consultant around to help make decisions. That making chantilly cream is easy-breezy and .....most importantly they learned that they have a really good team.
If you want to learn how to schedule your own team's team-building day in The Cooking Studio, visit Team Building.
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Peach, Prosciutto & Brie AppetizerServings: 6| Difficulty: Medium
½ package puff pasty
4 strips of prosciutto
½ a medium round brie (6 inches across)
4 tbsp honey
4 tbsp balsamic reduction
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the peaches in half, take out the pit and then cut into ¼ inch slices. Set aside.
Split the puff pastry in the box in half. Sprinkle a surface with a little flour and roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle approx 11 x 7 inches then take a sharp knife and cut the rectangle in half lengthwise.
Using the knife, score the edges of the puff pastry about ½ an inch from the edge all the way around.
Cut the round of brie in half and then cut off all the wax around the edges (unless you like to eat that part). Cut the cheese into ¼ inch thick slices.
First lay the brie on the tart evenly spaced. Don't cover the whole pastry, leave some room in between slices.
Next lay the peach slices on the brie and follow with chunks of the prosciutto. Just tear the proscuitto slices up with you hands to place on the tart.
Drizzle ½ the honey on top of the tart and throw it in the oven for 12 mins or until the edges are nice and puffed and browned.
Remove the tart from the oven, drizzle with the remaining honey and some balsamic reduction.
Cut into pieces and serve right away.
Caramelized Baked Chicken
Servings: 6 | Difficulty: Medium
2 – 3 lb whole chickens cut into pieces or 12 thighs or 6 thighs/legs
1 medium onion cut into small dice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cup diced tomatoes, seeds and skins removed
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoon celery salt
2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon mustard powder
4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 whole clove, or 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon, juice
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in sauté pan; add diced onions, sauté over low - medium heat until soft.
Add diced tomatoes and minced garlic, sauté until slightly thick. Do not let mixture brown.
Add celery salt, garlic powder, mustard powder, thyme and whole clove; continue cooking until flavor come together..
Add soy sauce, honey, cider vinegar, lemon juice and white wine (optional). Low simmer for 5 min. Cool.
Place chicken pieces in a large stainless steel bowl, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, mix.
Pour ½ cup of sauce over the chicken. Massage sauce into chicken. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
Spray baking pan with Pam, place chicken parts in pan.
Bake for 30 – 45 minutes at 375 degrees or until chicken is caramelized, turn chicken pieces and baste as needed. Chicken should be 165 degrees or more. Cook until desired caramel is achieved.
10 minutes before serving, reheat the sauce, strain.
Plate chicken pieces and drizzle sauce over the chicken
The Kitchen’s - RisottoServes: 8 Difficulty: Medium
1 ea Shallot
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup White wine
1/4 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving (optional)
In large rondoe heat olive oil. Sweat shallot (small dice).
Add rice. Allow rice to toast in olive oil until nutty aroma is released from the rice.
Add white wine and allow wine to completely cook out. Season with salt.
Slowly add hot stock in 8 oz intervals while stirring constantly with wooden spoon until rice is just under al dente and very creamy.
Stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, if using. Transfer risotto to serving bowl. Pass additional Parmesan cheese alongside, if desired.
Basic French Vinaigrette
1 shallot, minced
3 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 – Tablespoons wine vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine the shallot, mustard, salt, lemon juice and vinegar
Wisk to combine
Very slowly whisk in a few drops of oil to begin the emulsification
Repeat until emulsification begins and is stable
Add oil in small amounts, whisking to combine
Add pepper, seasonings, and herbs
Taste and adjust seasonings
Gingered Raspberry Pear PandowdyServings: 8 | Difficulty: Medium
1T unsalted butter, at room temperature for pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 T plus 1 t cornstarch
Pinch of fine sea salt
4-5 large pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 dry pint raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3 T plus 1t granulated sugar
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t fine sea salt
10 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup chopped candied ginger
2/3 cup plus 1T cold buttermilk
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.
Butter a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan.
Rub the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl, then add the pears and lemon juice and toss until evenly coated.
Gently fold in the raspberries, then transfer the fruit to the prepared pan.
Distribute the butter atop the fruit.
Whisk the flour, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
Add the butter and toss until evenly coated. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the size of large peas. (Alternatively, you can put the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.
Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of large peas, then transfer to a bowl).
Stir in the candied ginger, then pour in the 2⁄3 cup buttermilk and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.The dough will be crumbly, with large pieces of butter still visible. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently press the dough together, then press it into a 9-inch circle.
Carefully place the dough atop the fruit. Brush the dough with the 1 tablespoon buttermilk, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the juices are bubbly and thick.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Chantilly Cream (whipped cream)Servings: 2 cups | Difficulty: Easy
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lightly beat the cream in a large chilled bowl with a large balloon whisk, or in an electric beater, until it begins to thicken.Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until the cream is very stiff and stands in firm peaks on the beater when it is lifted from the bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.