Saturday, May 18, 2013

You Can Call Me 'The Italian Chef' (With Recipes)

I'm fairly certain my mom has one of the most exciting jobs. She gets to play with food all day and come up with new recipes for Shamrock Catering Group.
Having had some free time after my exam on Friday, she invited me to come along to work and play with food along side Italian chef, Francesco.
He brought along all sorts of goodies to show us new recipes for appetizers and entres.
First up were artichoke hearts wrapped in spec (jamon serrano but with pepper). 
This dish was probably the easiest to do at home.
All you have to do is:
1) Wrap the artichoke hearts in spec
2) Lightly roll them in  flour
3) Pan fry them (turning them every few seconds)
4) Add a dash of white wine in the pan to finish them off
5) Plate up!
The three of us aren't big on dressing plates but we gave it our best shot anyway. We garnished these bad boys with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, basil, and a few cherry tomato halves.
My excitement for this next appetizer was a bit overwhelming and felt a selfie with the chef while he was making it was in order.
These beauts are roasted cherry tomatos filled with mascarpone cheese with shaved truffles topped with a dainty basil leaf and black olive. That simple...and simply delicious too.
I took charge of plating this one up and felt very proud of the outcome...Gordon Ramsey taught me well!
This next hors d'oeuvre is slivered smoked ahi tuna garnished with sliced roasted fennel, oranges, and green olives.
Che bello!
We finished off our hors d'oeuvres and moved onto the two main dishes: a traditional peso pasta garnished with freshly shredded parmesan cheese and cherry tomatos and a savory beetroot relish risotto garnished, again, with fresh parmesan and basil leaves. 
Unfortunately, I was too captivated by Francesco's rapid speed around the kitchen to record (let alone witness) each step taken for these dishes, so no recipes here! 
But if you do fancy a lovely pesto pasta or risotto, I found these two to satisfy your Italian hunger! 

We then moved onto desserts - French pastries. These were pre-bought so all we did was threw them in the oven and enjoyed!
Not to mention the exquisite bread selection the kitchen had; would blow away any carb lover.
All in all it was a wonderful day spent in the kitchen. I walked away not only with a full stomach, but with new recipes to try and new food concepts to explore!

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