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  • Western Culinary Trail - Week One - Middle East

    Academy of Culinary Education - Woodland HillsThe first class in our Western Culinary Trail Series - Middle Eastern Food - where Western Cuisine started. The Menu will be: Cardamon Cookies, Chicken Tagine, Egyptian Bread Pudding, Israeli Chopped Salad, Israeli Couscous, Lavash, Pomegranate Blast,July 2–30, 2015
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    Academy of Culinary Education - Woodland HillsWeek Two features Greek Food which strongly influenced Italian Food. Menu: Greek Bechamel Sauce, Greek Pizza Rolls, Lemon Rice Pilaf, Mediterranean Vegetable Salad, Pastitsio (Greek Meat and Macaroni Pie), Pineapple Baklava, Pita Bread, TsatzikiJuly 9–30, 2015
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    Academy of Culinary Education - Woodland HillsWeek Three of the Western Culinary Trail Series featuring Italian Food. The Menu will be: Chicken Piccata, Foccacia, Fruit Lasagna, Italian Antipesto, Italian Sodas, Marinara Basil Sauce, Olive Oil and Garlic for PastaJuly 16–30, 2015
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    Academy of Culinary Education - Woodland HillsWestern Culinary Trail - Week Four - THE FOODS OF FRANCE - Menu consists of: Butter Lettuce Salad with French Vinaigrette, Coq Au Vin, French Egg White Baguettes, French Onion Soup, Coquilles Saint Jacqes (Garlic Scallops), Haricot Vert, Pastry Cream, SaJuly 23–30, 2015
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    Academy of Culinary Education - Woodland HillsWeek Five of the Western Culinary Trail Series - we will figuratively cross the Atlantic and prepare the food New England including early American Recipes and Modern Day Ones as well. The Menu will be: Boston Clam Chowder, Boston Cream Pie, Corn FritterJuly 30, 2015 – July 30, 2015

MORE GREEN – WHAT TO DO WITH ASPARAGUS STEMS

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup

 

Almost everyone loves Asparagus – at least I think so!  But the tip and upper half of the stalk is the most tender and flavorful parts, so we tend to cut off the bottoms.  What a shame if those bottoms are thrown out.  There is still flavor and nutrition in the lower half of the Asparagus even though it may be a little tougher on the bottom.  There are things you can do with those tough bottoms that will render them palatable and quite delicious!  Here Goes!!!

 

  • Cut off 1 inch from the bottoms of each stem (stalk)
  • Wash the remaining stems and then cut into 1inch pieces.
  • Place in a saucepan or pot that will allow you to cover the pieces with at least 2 inches of liquid.
  • Add a chopped Onion or Shallots.
  • Add Chicken Stock, Vegetable Bouillon or Water to cover.  (In the photo below, there are Carrots and Green Onions along with the Asparagus.  The Chicken Stock is frozen and will defrost as the heat melts it. – you can add whatever other Vegetables you may have on hand)

 

Asparagus, Carrots and Onions with Chicken Stock

Asparagus, Carrots and Onions with Chicken Stock

 

  • Bring to a boil and then simmer until the pieces are fork tender.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Place the Asparagus pieces along with some of the liquid into your food processor or blender and run until smooth.  This may also be done with an immersion blender.

 

In the Food Processor

In the Food Processor

 

 

  • For a perfectly smooth puree pass the mixture through a strainer;  for a little texture leave as is.

 

The resulting puree above may be used for Soup, Pasta or Pasta Sauce.  To make Cream of Asparagus Soup follow the instructions below.

 

2 cups Vegetable Puree                               1 cup Heavy Cream or Milk

3 Shallots or 1 small Onion, chopped

4 oz. Mushrooms (optional)

¼ cup unsalted Butter

4 Tbsps. Flour

1   tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground Pepper

 

  1. Melt 4 Tbsps. of  Butter; add half cup of chopped  Onion or Shallots and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the 4 Tbsps. Flour until it is well combined with the Butter and Onions.
  3. Add the Asparagus Puree and stir well.  Add enough Cream or Milk to make the desired consistency.
  4. Add 1 tsp. Salt and 1/4 tsp. White Pepper;  taste and adjust seasonings.

Yield:  Approx. 4 Servings

 

 

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