Day 39: Indian Day!

I lied…

linzer torte

I thought pizza or homemade pasta day was my favorite in the program so far.  And it might still win for “most fun” day, but yesterday was the most delicious.  It was officially “Indian” Day in the kitchen.

In all fairness, there have been many many dishes that I have enjoyed throughout the program so far, but Indian food is far more crave-worthy at this point.  Plus, its always fun when we get to do something different and learn some unique skills.

linzer torte

However, there were a few traditional dishes thrown in throughout the day!  Dessert was one of them.  We made a traditional Austrian Linzer Torte.  I had a lot of fun putting this together for my work table.

Linzer torte is made with a basic cookie dough crust, flavored with cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla, and almond flour.  It is then formed into a shell and filled with raspberry preserves, traditionally.  Then topped with a lattice pattern (using more dough) and baked in the oven!

linzer torte

It looks like this when it comes out of the oven.  Once it was cool, we topped it with powdered sugar!  It was very sweet, but yummy.

linzer torte

Another traditional dish we served was a calamari salad served on top of frisee greensThis was also our first day working with calamari.  To start, we had to clean our squid, which came as dirty as possible for this exact purpose and exercise!  This involved removing the head from the tentacles, cleaning out the meat (which contains cartilage) and soaking/cleaning them in white wine.  Squid can also be soaked in milk to clean and remove any dirt/sand. 

We actually found an entire (undigested) fish in one of our squids!!  It was pretty amusing. 

squid

Once we cut the squid into thin rings and cleaned the tentacles, we sautéed them over very heat heat (so that no moisture developed in the pan).  At this point, we removed them from the pan and added in thinly sliced red onion, roasted peppers (which we made in the morning before class started), and started to build a “vinaigrette” with olive oil and lemon juice.  At the end, we topped it with a chiffonade of basil and added the calamari back into the mixture.

Not sure if this dish went with the overall theme of the day, but I really enjoyed it!

sauteed calmari

Now for the Indian dishes of the day…

We made homemade naan, which was a lot of fun, and very easy to make.  I will definitely make this at home in the future, and possibly even add a few flavorings for fun! 

naan

In addition to naan, we also put together traditional samosas—the filling and doughwhich were filled with a combination of many spices, peas, cooked potato, and fried right before service.  Samosas are one of my favorite Indian dishes and these were delicious cooked fresh.  Although I think they needed more heat! 

samosa

We served these with green coriander sauce (yum!) and tamarind sauce, which Chef Somchet put together for all of us while we made the rest of our dishes.  So excited to have these in my recipe arsenal for the future!

They were a bit tricky to roll at first, but we slowly got the hang of it as we made more and more…

samosa

Our main dish of the day was a Bombay (beef) curry, which was very spicy, tender, and delicious.  There were too many ingredients to name, but cinnamon stick, cardamom, Masala curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chilis were just a few.

To go with everything, we made a big pot of simple basmati pilaf flavored with cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron for the whole class.

indian lunch

All of our dishes were served buffet style at the front of the class, and as you can see from the photo below, I got a little excited and got a lot of everything.  I also ate it all

For the vegetarians in the pastry class, Chef Somchet also put together a simple vegetarian curry made with chickpeas, carrots, peas, and potato.  That was delicious too!

indian_lunch2

After our big lunch, we got to work cleaning before heading back into the classroom to have our first official meeting about our externships in Phase III. 

I’ll be meeting with the externship coordinator this Thursday, so hopefully I’ll have a few more details to share with you about this over the weekend!