Culinary School Here I Come (41) Week 16, Italian Influence Menu Means Fresh Pasta


Myrah, get your ass back to the dish pit!

With 2 weeks left to the semester, our Italian menu will be our last one. We’ve done Asia, Latin America, the Pacific Rim, France and now Italy. I can’t say I had a favorite, there were aspects of each that I liked more than others. I suppose I enjoyed the menu when I was as active participant in the making of it. I actually managed to bypass the dish pit again, however, I did volunteer for a partial day in preparation for end of the semester cleaning.  Anyway, our menu for the next few days of service is:

Amouse Bouche – Bruschetta di Ceci – Garbanzo beans, olive tapenade on grilled Italian bread.

Appetizer – Antipasto – Sopressata, Mortadella & Prosciutto with Gorgonzola and Parmesan Cheese, Green & Kalamata Olives, Pepperoncini.

Kaycee and Byung get ready for the days service.

Soup – Roasted Tomato Soup – Roasted Hot House Tomatoes, Grilled Italian Crostini, Sunny Side Quail Egg, Kula Micro Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Drizzle.

Salad – Caprese Martini – Marinated Cherry and Tear Drop Tomatoes, Boconcinni Mozzarella, Olive Oil and Balsamic Glaze.

Entree – Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Compote – Pan seared duck breast, dried cherry and red wine compote, Hamakua Farms mushroom risotto, asparagus parmiggiano.

Entree – Spiedini alla Romagnola – rosemary pesto marinated sweet shrimp, roasted vegetable quinoa salad, lemon & pine nut gremolata, extra virgin olive oil drizzle.

(Photos to follow)

My task of the week was the Vegetarian Entree – Pasta a la Funghi – Student made fettuccine, Hamakua Farms mushroom medley cream sauce with Parmiggiano Regiano cheese and White Truffle Oil Drizzle.

It all begins with the pasta.

Pasta was pretty easy to make. So easy that I made some at home (see later). My entree partner, Chris, was to make the sauce and I would cut the pasta into fettuccine, boil it, pass it to Chris while he made the sauce. He’d plate it and I would garnish. Our roles will change for service this coming Wednesday.

My pasta mise en place.

Normally, the vegetarian entree is a slow station but this one was quite popular. Can’t wait for Wednesday when it’s time for me to sauce it up!

Our service day on Friday was a bit different. The Maui High School Class of 1951 bought out the room for their 60th class reunion. We would be plating up banquet style, which is very different from individual orders. You prep, then make everything up front, then hold until showtime. A lot of waiting around until you get hit with one course, then waiting around until you get hit with another course, etc.

Lucky guests got the combo plate. Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Cherry Compote, Rosemary Pesto Marinated Sweet Shrimp, Mushroom Risotto, Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad, Asparagus Parmiggiano, Lemon Pine Nut Gremolata and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Drizzle.

I never seem to recall what the dessert was. We don’t make it, it comes from our baking class. It was something chocolate with a raspberry sauce.

As I mentioned earlier, I took pasta to a whole new level for me at home.  I decided to make my own Lemon and Cracked Black Pepper Fettuccine.No fancy pasta maker for me, just old school rolling pin and knife. First time and a pro already!

I turned it into a Lemon & Garlic Shrimp Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Carrots and Arugula. It turned out pretty good.

Off to bigger and better things. Maybe I can trademark this and sell it on QVC….

I’m sure you’ve heard of Bow Tie Pasta….but have you heard of Neck Tie Pasta. Yes, it’s a tinfoilduck original so don’t steal my idea. I’ll hunt you down!

Pan Seared Mahi Mahi and Green Thai Curry Cream Sauce with Cherry Tomatoes, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Arugula & Farfalle Pasta.

I’ve been reading ahead for my baking class this summer and have discovered a few random facts that you may be interested in:

Did you know that Georges-August Escoffier created the Peach Melba?  It’s still around. I wonder who created Melba Toast or even Melba Moore?

Probably the earliest version of a pizza was prepared by the Ancient Greeks approx. 500 BC. Food was separated into 2 categories; maza – flat, slightly mounded breads usually made from barley & opson – things eaten with maza, usually vegetables, cheese, fish, meat or anything except bread. Often the opson was placed on the maza, forming the ancestors of modern pizza!

Next week is our final week of service. The only day of service is Wednesday, which is our Student Day. That’s the day when all the adults (except me) don’t come in till later, spend the whole day eating our food and critiquing us. If we are lucky it will be like any other day of service, if we are not lucky, blame Nelson and Dianna! See you next week.

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About tinfoilduck

I had this wacky idea to go to culinary school, while maintaining another full time career. I will be blogging about the program and how it affects me as I try to manage my daily life and how I try to keep everything together.
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2 Responses to Culinary School Here I Come (41) Week 16, Italian Influence Menu Means Fresh Pasta

  1. Excellent post today! I really enjoyed it. I enjoy making great food for my family and friends when they come over for entertainment. Food can also be entertaining in itself. Thanks again for sharing this.

    A Delicious Coffee Roll Recipe

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