Tuesday, November 3, 2009

International Cuisine

So let me just start out by saying that I love my International Cuisine class! It is so fun and I feel like that is the class with the most creative control. && Chef Painter is definitely awesome and so much fun. He gives you good advice while giving you tips on how to improve your dish. I'd have to say he is my favorite, but shh, don't tell the other chefs. So each class we do a different country. So far we have done, Mexico, Japan, Argentina, Morocco, India, Greece, Thailand, and Spain! Next week we will be doing The Caribbean! So each class I have been working with the two girls who are way talented, Melissa and Kath! We each do a dish and help each other with whatever. We pick great dishes and try to make it stand out from the rest. So I have been trying to take pictures every class, but it's hard cause I keep forgetting my camera, whoops. But here are some shots I've gotten over the past several weeks!

Morocco


Everyone's food!


My food!
Moroccan Chili with 10,000 Grains of Sand. =]
Really, it's chili with a bunch of Moroccan spices, ground lamb, and veggies.
The couscous was cooked in chicken stock with pine nuts, golden raisins, mint, parsley, chives, and apricots. Chef Painter agrees that I make the best couscous. =]

India


Team Awesome.


Buffet of Deliciousness.


My Chicken and Apple Curry with an Almond Rice.

Greece


My Big, Fat, Greek Buffet!


My food. Green bell peppers stuffed with ground beef, white wine, spices, and feta with side of rice.
Gotta have a little Greek wine. Too bad we didn't have any Ouzo, OPAH!!!!

Spain


A paella fiesta!
I didn't take a picture of my dish, but I made pork chops with a white wine sauce with onions. It was good sauce, but it needed a big kick so I added Tabasco and red pepper flakes. It turned out great!
Oh and by the way, that's what the globe is going to look like in 2012. =]

I can't remember all the dishes I have made for the other classes, however I always don't have to worry about being hungry or think about what to eat for dinner.

video

Ciao Bella!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Amuze Amazing.

Amuze Bistro. Most amazing restaurant I have ever been to. I heard about it from this family I have babysat for. They told me I had to go. Last Friday, Matthew and I went there to celebrate our 3rd year anniversary. It was a beautiful evening. I wore a little black dress with pearls, he wore his suit with his checkered vans, of course! We both drove to Palmer Lake. At first we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere! We finally found it! It looked like a small home on a main street. It was so beautiful inside. Four tables with white linens and floor to ceiling, wall to wall windows, and beautiful artwork. That's right. I said four tables. This restaurant was rewarded "Best of the Springs 2009 - #1 Really, Really Small Bistro; The Gazette." I can see why. It was so hard to pick what to have! We spent so long deciding what to get. Here's the menu to prove it to you!

Appetizers

Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Meltaway
Balsamic Syrup, Sambal Pepper Sauce

Wild Caught Smoked Copper River Sockeye Salmon Crostini Crispy Leek, Fried Capers, Tomato Cucumber Aioli

Brandied Mushroom Tartlet Herbed White Wine Butter Sauce

Soups

Roaster Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Roasted Artichoke Soup

Salads

Mixed Greens with Shaved Blue Cheese, Bacon Lardons
Tomato Petals, Roasted Pine Nut, Herbed Vinaigrette

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon Spinach, Orange & Sherry Vinaigrette

Campari Tomato and Mozzarella
Olive Medley, Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Entrées

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb Saffron Infused Minted Pea Risotto, Roasted Red Pepper, Mushroom Medley, Madeira Demi-Glace

Eight ounce Prime Filet Mignon White Truffled Mashed Potato, Grilled Asparagus, Raspberry Demi-Glace

Red Wine Braised Flat Iron Steak Cheese Polenta, Baby Carrots, Crispy Spinach

Halibut En Papillote
Spinach, Artichoke, Olive and Tomato Medley, Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce, Pommes Gaufrettes

Seared Long Island Duck Breast Huckleberry Habanero Pan Sauce, Wild Rice, Vegetables

Diver Scallops with Spinach & Cheese Ravioli Almond and Roasted Pepper Infused Alfredo Sauce, Crispy Sage Leaf

Desserts

New Mexican Red Chili Crème Brulée

Homemade Cherry Ice Cream

Grand Marnier Strawberry Shortcake, Chantilly Cream



We started off with a one bite tasting, compliments of the chef, of course. In this spoon it had, pear, blue cheese, bacon, and balsamic syrup. It was very tasty. You'd think that all of these components wouldn't work together, such as the blue cheese being to tart or the balsamic being to vinegary, but it all worked and it all made sense with my taste buds! It was so refreshing in a way, I was sad it was just a tasting.

We recieved a bread basket, but this wasn't any normal bread basket with butter packets. It was homemade rolls, cornbread, and garlic and lemonzest butter! Oh my it was so good! When I ran out of bread, I just ate the remaining butter! Ha!

For our first course we decided to get the Blue Crab Meltaway. It was a crab cake with balsamic syrup and a spicy pepper sauce! It was melt in your mouth goodness. It also is an award winning dish in the Pikes Peak region! Loved eating it every second!

Second course, we decided that we would both do a soup. No salad that night! That night they weren't offering the artichoke soup. However, as a special, they were offering a "harvest soup" which had squash, pumpkin, and all of those good fall flavors in one pot. So I got the harvest soup and Matthew got the tomato, pepper soup. We received shall bowls with different oils and centers. Mine had bacon, his had tomato paste. Confused, I thought it was another tasting, but no! Our waitress came back out with two thermises. Each one with our soups. She poured each soup into our bowls. It was steaming hott, just the way a soup should be served! I was really excited about trying this creamy soup, but I was more excited about trying it with the bacon. My soup was so incredibly rich and creamy. Loved it! And Matthew's was hearty full of wonderful flavor. We wanted to eat every last drop so we ate half of our roll and then used the other half to suck up the soup stuck to the bowl! It was amazing!

I convinced Matthew to order wine! Baha I did it! He ordered "Seven Deadly Zins", Zinfandel, 2006, CA. I had that wine in my Wines and Spirits class, and remembered you could never go wrong with a Zinfandel.

Third course. It was tough to decide what to get. For the last week I had been craving scallops. It was from all the chef competitions I had been watching on TV. Darn Top Chef. I decided to get pan-seared scallops with lobster ravioli. Matthew decided to get the duck that came with a wild rice pilaf, habenero sauce, and veggies! We were way too excited, and way too hungry to wait! Finally, it came! Hot off the line! My scallops were perfectly cooked. Had a nice crust on the outside. And I thought my ravioli was going to be a little baby ravioli, but it was bigger than my fist! Each scallop had a crispy sage leaf on it. It was just heaven on a plate. It's the only way to describe it. And Matthew's duck was perfect. A little pink, moist. I want it on my table now. We couldn't eat it fast enough, well actually we tried taking our time eating it, but it was to good to let it sit there for more than a minute!

We decided not to get dessert, unfortunately. I made him a homemade, 3 layered, chocolate cake, and it was sitting at home, waiting for us to devour it. I wanted to take a picture of it before we ate it, but we forgot and we took slices out of it.

Anyway, we drank the rest of the wine from his one glass, and headed home. We were perfectly full, happy, and in love. It was a beautiful night with beautiful food. I hope that some day we can go back.