Last Saturday night, I had the pleasure of attending FVTC’s drive-in movie night, which was hosted by the FVTC Student Life Center. My kids are grown and I have no grandchildren yet (thank you, Lord!), so what was a 46 year-old doing at a showing of Toy Story 3 and The Karate Kid? Having a great time, of course!! My fiancé and I arrived 2 hours before the movie began and we were thrilled to see that there was already a line of traffic extending out onto Bluemound Road. The admission was absolutely free for anyone with an FVTC student ID and only $5 per carload for the general public, so I don’t know why I was surprised to see such a great turnout. Concession stands were set up along the sidewalk, all hosted by various student organizations and clubs. There were plenty of eats to enjoy…and we certainly did enjoy them! Oh, before I forget…A HUGE thanks to all of the security staff who were on duty that night. They did a fantastic job of handling the traffic flow and helping everyone to find parking places with a great view of the temporary movie screen that had been erected in the north parking lot. That was no easy task!
So this week, I began a new cooking rotation: Soup and Stock Production. For people who don’t enjoy cooking, I suppose that may sound like a big yawner of a class, but I can attest to the fact that it’s anything but. It’s been simultaneously challenging and fun. The PERFECT learning combination for me! The class is taught by Chef Gary Lyons. For those of you who are like me and are into audio and visual stimulation, I’ve decided to try and incorporate more of that fun into my blog posts each week. So without further ado, here’s what “Chef G” looks like! (photo courtesy of FVTC)
It’s clear (to me, anyway) that Chef G loves to teach…and it’s also CRYSTAL clear that he has the patience of a saint. No matter how often his students make mistakes in the kitchen or repeat the same ones over and over (and the good Lord knows that we do that a LOT!), Chef G patiently explains ONE MORE TIME how it’s done. Incidentally, he manages to do that with huge amounts of enthusiasm, a smile on and his face, and with NO grumbling. Even during the 7:00am rotation. Oh my GOSH… I do believe I’ll put him up for teacher of the year!
This week, I’ve personally made the following soups: French onion, Midwest chicken and corn, and beer brat & cheese. Oh…and 50 gallons (no, that’s NOT a typo) of chicken stock. Hmm…maybe I shouldn’t have confessed about making those soups until AFTER the satisfaction surveys have been tabulated!
Since I don’t have much time to cook at home anymore, cooking at school has been serving double duty for me. For three hours, I get to combine my loves of food and learning, and make some wonderful meals to serve to the hundreds of people who walk the halls of this awesome school. Ahh…PURE BLISS!
This week, I will leave you with one a “tried and true” recipe: Cheddar Herb Biscuits. I never EVER thought I’d find a cheddar biscuit that tasted better than Red Lobster’s… then I came across THIS recipe during my vegetarian cuisine rotation class. I’m now in BUTTERY, CHEDDAR HERB HEAVEN! They’re so easy to make, a kindergartener could probably handle it (with the exception of running the food processor). They are a savory delight for my inner carb addict, and I hope that you’ll love them as much as I do.
YIELD: 12 BISCUITS (2.5 inches in diameter)
3 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) – COLD unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 each green onions (scallions), minced
2 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 Tbl dried parsley)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Flour for dusting
Egg wash (1 beaten egg, plus 1 Tbl water) for brushing tops of biscuits
1. Preheat conventional oven to 425 F (400 F if using convection oven)
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a food processor (or large bowl).
3. Add cubed COLD butter and pulse 7-8 times (or cut into flour with pastry blender)
4. Stir in cheese, green onions, and parsley. Add 1 cup of buttermilk slowly, adding remainder as necessary, until dough comes together into a nice ball. DON’T USE IT ALL IF YOU DON’T NEED IT!
5. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Form ball and roll out to 3/4 inch thickness. Cut with 2.5 inch biscuit or cookie cutter. Brush tops with egg wash and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until browned.
Well, that’s it for the week, Folks. I’m off to do some apple picking tomorrow so that I can make a country apple galette and some homemade cinnamon apple sauce. What’s that? You don’t know what a galette is? Hmm….then may you should consider coming right back here next week so that you can learn what it is, and see the results of my baking! Until then, may you always have a heart full of love and a stomach full of good eats!