A couple of weeks ago, I had a last minute opportunity to attend the US Bocuse d'Or final at The Culinary Institute of America. Twelve teams fought to be the US representative at the main Bocuse d'Or competition in Lyon, France January 2011.
Chef Thomas Keller, is the President of the US Bocuse d'Or organization and while there I was able to get him to sign my copy of The French Laundry cookbook! (Awesome!)
Anyway.... Part of my Valentine menu was inspired by a recipe in that book and the beef broth I made, *did* come from his instructions and it took all stinking day to make. That's okay though. The flavor of that stock was A-MAZING!!!
Chef Daniel Boulud introducting some of the judges
One of the presentation trays as it passes the judges -- (thank you zoom lens for having the capability to get these shots from my seat in the bleachers!)
At church, we can sign up to feed the missionaries who are serving full-time. Right now, we have the cutest, SWEETEST Sister Missionaries that I just love so when I saw that they didn't have plans on the calendar for Valentine's Day (except church), I put my name down and got to scheming. I like to make food they normally don't get every day and for this holiday, I wanted to make it extra special and extra delicious!
Dinner was served in 3 courses -
Sweetheart Salad w/ Goat Cheese Croquette & Sweet Potato w/ Rosemary Rolls
I made my roll dough like normal but before adding the flour and salt, I stirred in 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes and 1 Tbsp rosemary. A little extra flour is necessary due to the moistness of the sweet potatoes, but if you gauge it by how the dough pulls together, you'll have just the right amount. I loved how savory these were. Delicious.
The salad was in a parmesan bowl that I made, but I didn't keep them in the oven long enough and they flattened out. They were so delicious with this salad! What I did was use my silpat and sprinkled two semi large circles on the mat (on a cookie sheet) and popped into a 400* oven. Let it melt until nice and golden brown. Remove and let sit for a few minutes so the cheese is cool enough to handle. Slowly pull the cheese up and off the Silpat and place over an upside down bowl. Allow the cheese to cool and harden completely.
My "sweetheart" salad had mini hearts cut out of a red bell pepper, I did a zigzag cut around radishes and when pulled apart, they look like little flowers, I curled green onion sprigs by slicing the chive part and then popping in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes. Grated carrots, sliced cucumbers, and topped with a goat cheese croquette.
To make the croquette, I cut semi-thick slices off a goat cheese log. Dipped each slice in egg wash (1 egg white + 1 Tbsp water) and then into a bowl of crushed Panko breadcrumbs.
Place all the pieces on a plate and put in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. Heat a little oil in a small saucepan and carefully put each croquette in to fry. When golden brown on both sides, remove and sit on a paper towel to drain. Put on top of the salad. This ooey, gooey warm bit of goodness is pure heaven!