I keep meaning to take pictures during class so I can show everyone what I’ve actually been doing, but it’s always so busy in the kitchen before service that I forget or don’t have the time. Friday, however, we had some downtime since all of our food was done and the dining room was running late, so the Chef asked if someone could take pictures of his example plates and email them to him. Lucky me, I had my camera.
What is New World Cuisine? Well, turns out that it is the styles of cooking in America, South America, the Caribbean, and in general this whole part of the world. We make things like Southern Fried Chicken with buttermilk dressing and honey, as well as making Jamaican Curried Rice, and roasted chicken. In this class we employ the methods of grilling, roasting, and deep frying. It’s fun and delicious!
This dish is Adobo-Marinated Grilled Chicken with Chicharrones, on top of Yuca fries with Roasted Pumpkin behind it. The chicken skin was first removed, seasoned, and roasted to make that crispy chip you see standing straight up, which is called Chicharrones. The chicken was then brined for about an hour, then marinated in an Annatto Seed oil and herb mixture before being grilled. The Yuca fries are peeled, trimmed, blanched, and then deep fried. We learned the very important lesson that eating yuca raw is poisonous! Apparently it contains high levels of cyanide, but once it’s cooked then it’s all good.
This is the one I spent the most time working on. It’s Grilled Shrimp on Sugar Cane Skewers with Roasted Pineapple Salsa, on top of Fried Tomatoes next to a bed of Jamaican Curried Rice. It was fun to learn how to peel and clean the shrimp, which it turns out is really easy. We then brined it for about a half hour, then marinated them, on the skewers, in a seasoned lemon/oil mixture. The sugar cane skewers were interesting to use. Apparently you can buy packets of thinly sliced sugar cane, and we then just cut them thinner and with points so we could get the shrimp and red pepper on them. I wasn’t the one who actually grilled them though, I was off helping the deep frying group when that was going on. The Fried Tomatoes were delicious. They are simply just sliced tomatoes that are breaded and fried. I didn’t try the pineapple salsa, what with my extreme dislike of pineapple, but it did sound like a good idea.
This is the Marinated Roasted Pork with Rum Glaze and Grilled Pineapple next to Swiss Chard with Peppers and Onions, and Fried Sweet Potatoes. The pork was marinated for a while, with some glaze brushed on top for the roasting process while some was held for serving. I made the grilled pineapple, which was basically just peeling a pineapple, slicing it in half, the cutting 1/4 inch thick pieces and grilling them. The Swiss chard was fantastic! I know it looks like a green blob of grossness, but it was one of my favorite items from the menu. And then there are sweet potato fries. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this, but I will anyway. They are divine!
This one is Deep Fried Red Snapper with Roasted Pumpkin and Caribbean Sofrito on top of Jamaican Curried Rice. Also, that’s a nifty scallion garnish you see sticking out of the rice. I had absolutely nothing to do with this dish, but somehow it was still tasty! The snapper was breaded and deep fried with the skin still on because apparently it crisps up nicely, the sofrito I think was prepared by the Chef because the deep fry group was down to only 2 people that day, and it was quite scrumptious. It’s that bit of onions and peppers that are resting on top of the fish. According to Chef, we didn’t cook it the traditional way because that takes many hours and instead did a quick sofrito.
Even if our class was short many people on this day (it was a Friday class, and since we don’t normally have classes on Fridays many people decided to skip) I think we still managed to produce some fantastic meals.