Class #6 at NWCAV

Tonight’s Menu included the classic Tart Tatin, Seared Duck Breast and Scallops with Tamarind-Orange Curry Sauce. It also allowed for the most creativity in class yet: we were asked to create 30 different canapés, using a large variety of delicious ingredients.

The Tart Tatin would require the length of class to prepare and bake, so we started this item right away. By slowly sprinkling sugar into a dry hot pan, we created our caramel. We added our peeled and sliced Gala apples and then cooked them until they were perfectly glazed. Butter was added to the pan, blended, and then left to cool. We arranged our apples prettily and then covered the pan with a vented dough lid. Baked at 400 F until the dough turned golden, we immediately inverted the pan onto a plate and served it hot and fresh. With a massive dollop of whip cream on top of course!

While our Tart was baking, we moved on to our Canapés. Crostini, Endive and Pumpernickel Bread were available for “vessels” and we had proteins galore to choose from. Not to mention, prepared vegetables like grilled peppers and caramelized onions. I went with Roast Beef, Prosciutto, and Prawns - mixing and pairing each with different cheeses, vegetables and garnishes. We were given room to play with our creations, just so long as the standard elements were present: vessel, base spread, base protein, vegetable topping, cheese melt and a garnish. I could describe each of my 3 creations in more detail but why not just take a look at the appetizing pictures on the left?!

The last item for the night was the Seared Duck Breast with Scallops, served with Tamarind-Orange Curry Sauce. Side items? A bed of brown rice and a fresh slaw of daikon, carrots, bell peppers and rice vinegar. The duck was seasoned and scored and then cooked in our pan – notice how much fat renders off! Scallops were cooked in the pan with the fat drippings and then set aside to rest with the duck. Still in the same pan, we started our mirepoix, cooking only until the onions began to lightly brown. We then added spices, salt and pepper and sautéed for 2 more minutes. Add zest, orange juice, coconut milk, tamarind and then reduce to sauce consistency. When all elements are ready, serve with the brown rice and slaw. It’s an impressive plate all together, and oh so delicious.

Tonight was another great session – only 2 more classes remain. Here are a few more DOs and DON'Ts for your own kitchen, Piggies...get them while they’re hot!

DO:

  • toast your spices beforehand
  • dry meat to remove moisture before cooking
  • render the meat, in order to pull the fat out of the skin
  • score meat prior to cooking
  • use a vessel for your canapé – think spoon, crostini, etc.
  • brush your crostini with olive oil
  • season your scallops with white pepper, not black

DON’T:

  • add sugar all at once when caramelizing – slow & steady
  • stir sugar in the pan when caramelizing
  • roll dough in every direction – think north/south
  • keep the apple skin on for a tart tatin
  • forget your canapé “sealant”; something “fatty” or dairy based, between your vessel and the center of the dish (ie. protein or vegetable topping)

canape

roast beef

silly chef

scallop

apple prep

caramelized

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