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Archive for February 24, 2010

CULINARY EDUCATION: Great Classes At Institute For Culinary Education

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Mad about macaroons? Learn how to make
thesefab confections at ICE. Photo of Mad Mac
Macaroons
, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week,
by Claire Freiermann | THE NIBBLE.

Are you in greater New York? Are you planning a trip?

If so, in-between the shows, restaurants and shopping, plan to take one of the culinary courses available through the Institute of Culinary Education.

ICE’s Recreational Division (i.e., you’re not enrolled in a professional program to become a chef), has terrific opportunities. You can take a short, intensive “immersion” class in:

  • CULINARY TECHNIQUE: Basic Sushi, Food Technology for the Home Cook, Handmade Pasta, Pizza, Tapas, Spices and more
  • BEVERAGE COURSES: Coffee Expert: From Plant to Cup, Food & Wine Pairing, Green Wines High-Tech Cocktails, Tea Tasting and more
  • PASTRY & BREAD COURSES: Bagels, Baguettes, Breakfast Breads, Chocolate Desserts, Classic Croissants Cream Puffs/Eclairs, Doughnuts/Fritters, Italian Pastries, Madeleines & Macaroons, Parisian Breads, Tarts & more

 

We’ve taken great courses there and in the process, have tasted the breads (including croissants) made by baking students. They’re the best in town, so your recipes will be the envy of all your friends.

You can give a gift certificate, too. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day on the horizon, how about bonding with your parent while making croissants, pasta or high-tech cocktails?

Coffee connoisseurs: Check out the two-day intensive seminar created for devoted coffee lovers and industry professionals, students will dissect every detail that goes into crafting a superior brew.

For more information, visit the ICE Website.

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ENTERTAINING: “Best Picture” Oscar Cocktails

Still pondering how to make your Oscar party a standout?

The Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort has an easy solution. Their mixologists developed cocktails in honor of the Best Picture nominees, styled to complement the theme of the film.

The cocktails are very easy to make, leaving you all the time you need to focus on the Academy Awards.

It’s no surprise that the aqua-blue cocktail in the photo is for Avatar. But you won’t want to miss the Inglourious Jager Monster or the Hurt Locker Cherry Bomb, either.

  • See all of the cocktail recipes.
  • Or if you’re in the Chicago area, just hang out at the Indian Lakes Resort on Oscar night.

 

Find many more cocktail ideas in our Cocktails & Spirits Section.

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Avatar fans can show their support with this
colorful cocktail. Photo by Ivan Mateev | IST.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Have A Water-Tasting Party

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It can walk the walk on the grocery shelf, but
can it “taste the taste?” Have a mineral water
tasting party to find out. Photo courtesy
Antipodes.

Whether you’re looking for a zero-calorie way to get through the Academy Awards or a great way to entertain adults and kids in general, water is the way.

Have a mineral water tasting, comparing domestic and imported waters to your local tap water and club soda (with sparkling waters).

It can be a formal sit-down or a walk-around event, open or “blind”—where you mask the water bottles in wine bags so tasters aren’t biased and you reveal the results at the end.

Select up to 12 waters—perhaps six still and six sparkling—and a great time will be had by all. What should tasters look for? See our article, How To Evaluate Water.

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Smoked Shrimp & Scallops From Sullivan Harbor Farm

How could it be that we have lived this many decades without the joys of smoked shrimp and scallops?

Smoked fish we’ve had aplenty: black cod (sablefish), chub (carp), salmon, sturgeon, trout, whitefish. But our smoked shellfish experience has been limited to imported cans of smoked mussels and clams. We employed them in various hors d’oeuvres, dips and dishes and concluded that what we’d bought was the smoked shellfish equivalent of supermarket canned tuna.

Sullivan Harbor Farm does away with those memories, bringing an “I must have more!” allure to smoked shrimp and scallops (and also to smoked salmon). The smoked shrimp and smoked scallops add big personality to recipes, not to mention wowing the cocktail crowd as nibbles in various forms (dips, hors d’oeuvres, canapés or straight from the toothpick). If you love shrimp, scallops and smoked foods, you’ve got to try them!

The products are all natural: no preservatives, chemicals or colorings are used. Made in small batches using old world techniques—including outdoor smokers.

You’ll enjoy all the different ways you can use these smoked tidbits. For lunch we enjoyed them atop Al Dente Pasta’s garlic parsley fettuccine, tossed with some rosemary basil olive oil from Sonoma Farms and a bit of brown butter. Fresh parsley was a light offset to the smoky seafood. A gourmet feast in minutes!

 

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Smoked shrimp and scallops combine into
easy, delicious recipes. Photo by Jerry Deutsch | THE NIBBLE.

Read the full review to see how else we’ve used these smoky protein treats.

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