Friday, September 10, 2010

Sandwich Week

You can't read it in this picture because I used textured paper and the school's printer so it's not legible really even in person, but this is the lunch menu that I turned in for assignment in class.  I printed an extra one on plain paper for Chef.  He liked it a lot except that my font was small and hard to read.  I couldn't just use Times New Roman or plain white paper because that would be boring.  I had a lot of creative fun with it.  The scrapbook paper is too cutesy really but Chef liked it.  I made my restaurant be a New England country inn near the shore in New Hampshire.  For the menus that are due in a couple of weeks I gave it a specific made-up address in Portsmouth but with a real street name, zip code, and area code.  My inn is as sustainable as I can possibly make it and every single thing on my menu is either native to New England (I looked up everything) or can be grown in a garden there.  There is naturally a lot of seafood.  I made sure to have a couple of maple things, including a maple vinaigrette on the house salad.  Of course there would be a huge organic garden at my inn!  The beef is local and grass-fed and the chickens & eggs come from a nearby farm where they live happily out in the sunshine eating bugs.  There is a vegan option for every menu item.  I don't believe in separate food for kids, so there is a notation at the bottom that says to ask your server about smaller child-sized portions of most menu items.  There is another note to check with the concierge for picnic hampers for your day at the beach.  I looked for & found a brewery in Portsmouth and named my beer bread for them (Smuttynose).  Too much fun!  We still have a dinner menu and several different banquet menus to do.  I have better paper (smooth and not green) for them but will use the same general format (but a larger font) and will continue my Thyme & Tides Inn theme because I love it!  The only part of the whole thing that I wasn't already actively fantasizing about was the name and I asked for help on that from my Facebook friends.  They had some good and goofy suggestions--Tastes Like Chicken, Dew Drop Inn, The Crusty Seafarer, Chowder Box, The Bay-Thing Beauty, Order Inn, etc.  Thank you, Tammy, for Thyme & Tydes!

This past week we made tons of sandwiches in class.  The first day was small open-faced ones (crudités).  My favorite is the curried chicken salad.  That stuff might be addictive!  Midterms are Monday but I will definitely have new pictures here on Tuesday.  We start Charcuterie then!

Curried Chicken Salad Lettuce Cup (on bruscetta in the first & third pictures)

1 pound grilled chicken meat, small dice
1 ounce celery, small dice
2 fluid ounces mayonnaise (homemade or bought)
2 ounces curry onion relish
as needed salt and pepper
1 head bibb or boston lettuce
1 ounce sliced almonds

Combine the first four things and mix well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Tear the lettuce into small bowls.  Scoop  2 ounces of chicken salad into each one and garnish with almonds.

Curried Onion Relish

1 pound yellow onion, 1/4" dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 fluid ounces white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pickling spice, tied into a sachet (cheesecloth or even a coffee filter)
1 tablespoon curry powder

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Simmer, covered, in a small nonreactive saucepan until tender and mostly dry.  Stir often, being careful not to scorch.  Refrigerate until cold.  Transfer to a clean storage container.  Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.  Yields 32 ounces.

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