Spain week was yummy, loved all the tapas. Take a look and enjoy.
Camarones al ajillo
champinones al ajillo w/ serrano ham
Artichokes y Serrano Ham
Shrimp Cocktail
Sopa de Ajo
Delicias de Queso & Shrimp Cakes
Scallops atop Potato Rosti w/spicy tomato sauce
Spicy Lamb Stew
Golden Beet Salad
Mar y Montana w/ Picada sauce

Viva Italia

Italy week was a blast, so much yummy food. Take a look and enjoy. If you want any of the recipes let me know by leaving a comment.
Sea Bass over Fennel Risotto
Veal Scallopini
Osso Bucco braised with Chianti/Demi Glace
Grinding beef, pork and veal for meat sauce
Big pot of meat sauce
making pasta
This is called a Chittada, very cool pasta cutting tool.
Spinach Ricotta Ravioli with Meat Sauce
Butter Sage sauce for the Gnocchi, this was insanely delicious.
LOVE the Italian mise en place, so pretty with all the color.
Pappa al Pommodora
Veal Costelleta w/ Porcini Wine Sauce over Chianti Sage Risotto
Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi w/ Gorgonzola Sauce
Pizza toppings ready to go.
Pizza Day! yum

My week of French Food

This week was all about France, we did Quiche, French Onion Soup, Poule au Pot al Creme, Coquille St. Jaques Provencal, Boeuf Bourguignon, Poulet Chassuer, Escargot a la Bourguignon, Crepes, Tarte Tatin, Duck a la Orange, La Bouillabaisse Provencal and Riz de Veau Braise aka Sweet Breads. The Sweet Breads were the star of this week. I’d never had them and it was a very interesting process to cook them. I’ll be honest I was a little freaked out by the visual as we went through the process of preparing them. France was fun, can’t wait to go visit. Here’s some shots of this week.
Coquille St. Jaques Provencal ( Scallops )
Poulet Chassuer ( this was unreal, the sauce made we want to cry it was good )
Escargot a la Bourguignon. I’ve had snails before but not like these, they were soft, tender and delish, especially with the wine. 
Duck a la Orange with roasted Celery Root, my new favorite veggie.
Tarte Tatin with Rum Whipped Cream
my pot filled with all the seafood for La Bouillabaisse Provencal
La Bouillabaisse Provencal ready to serve
This is the first course for the La Bouillabaisse Provencal, croutons with Rouille sauce on them as well as a lovely Rose from France.
My Bowl
Jim’s bowl, packed for the ride home. He loved it !
These are the Sweet Breads sauteing, trippy looking stuff. 
It looks like brains, but it’s not, they are the Veal thyroid gland.
This is mine and Rebecca’s mise en place for the Sweet Breads and the Duck a la Orange.
You can see Roasted Celery Root, the Duck sauce, the Sweet Breads in their sauce with the sauteed mushrooms, the random pound of butter, orange segments for the duck plate. I love my mise en place.
Riz de Veau Braise aka Sweet Breads in Puff Pastry.
Confession time, this was not my plate, it’s Chef’s. The rose is a tomato, so pretty.
Seriously this dish blew my mind, it was amazing.
Next week Italy !

Week 4 all things from the Sea

Fish week was entertaining, delicious and exhausting. 
The pictures will tell the stories.
These are Red Snappers about to get filleted. 
This is breaded Red Snapper atop mashed potatoes in a butter caper lemon sauce.
Crawdads are fierce little F*ckers, they don’t like it when you pull out their intestines while they’re alive, I didn’t like it either. These guys were a lot of work, won’t be going here anytime soon, if ever.
This is bacon wrapped Monkfish, atop Mushroom Duxelle in a Crayfish aka Crawdad sauce.
Steamed Mussels in white wine and butter.
pan seared Sea Bass on rice pilaf with Mussel sauce
the line in action- court bouillon (for poaching Halibut) -Veloute sauce- saute’d spinach
poached Halibut atop saute’d spinach with Veloute sauce.
my mise en place for the Prawn plate
pan seared Prawns with julienned veggies and sauce Duglere 
these are Salmon Mousse simmer/cooking.
Salmon Mousse with a lemon thyme beurre blanc sauce.
Ah Friday, last dish and lunch of Ahi Tartre with a lovely french Pinot Gris. School is so fun !

Chocolate Covered Grape Truffles

Grapes and chocolate are for sure favorites of mine. Together like this, they are divine.

Last summer, my super fabulous friend Debi made these for us when we stayed with her and her family in Chicago. These are so good and easy to make, you must give it a try.
You can use green or red grapes, make sure they’re really fresh, plump and crisp. Remove them from the stems. Wash and dry them well, then refrigerate for a couple of hours. 

1-1/2 pounds of grapes
1/2 pound good dark chocolate, chopped up for melting, use a good chocolate, the taste and quality of these truffles are dependent on the quality of chocolate you start with
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

chop the chocolate for melting in a double boiler or ……
use a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.
pour the melted chocolate over the cold grapes and……
mix really fast. The chocolate will start to harden right away, so don’t dilly dally. Make sure all the grapes get covered with chocolate, keep them separated so they don’t stick together. Toss them on to a baking sheet and dust them with the cocoa powder with a small strainer.
Cover baking sheet and chill for a couple of hours to set chocolate.
Enjoy ! They are so good !

Protein !

Last week was all about protein- beef, pork, lamb, chicken & duck. We fabricated, portioned & cooked them all in several different ways. I was up to my elbows in flesh and bones, so I didn’t get a lot of pictures of the process.  I did get pics of the finished plates though and they were delish ! James really enjoyed this week. We were learning to plate our dishes, so each one is a different set up.
Chicken Breast stuffed w/ saute’d Spinach and Goat Cheese atop Sauce Robert. 
Petit Filet Mignon – Chateaubriand Sauce, the funny looking toad stools are tourned, a fancy way to cut potatoes, with Shitake mushroom tops.
Pork Medallions atop Red Onion Confit, Baked Apples with Green Peppercorn Sauce. 
Crusted Lamb Loin, Roasted Potatoes with Marchand de Vin Sauce.
We also did Lamb Stew and roasted a whole duck. Super yummy week.
Next week FISH !!