Delectable pastas, fluffy soufflés and slow-cooked short ribs – just a sample of the incredible Bistro Boot Camp dishes we learned to perfect last week at the CIA in San Antonio.
The weeklong kitchen capers at the CIA inspired me to spend Sunday afternoon in my kitchen trying some of the new techniques I learned.
It was such fun to make an egg pasta dough and see those noodles stretch and stretch and stretch! My killer Bolognese sauce that I’ve made for years is even better now, thanks to what I learned at the CIA. For the sauce, I got a chance to practice the ‘pencir’ — the browning of the tomato paste in the mirapoix that our illustrious instructor Chef Brian West showed us. I think my pasta may have been a tad too thin for the ribbon noodles, but it tasted great nonetheless.
While the Bolognese was well underway, I came across a recipe for artichoke and marscapone tortellinis in one of my favorite cookbooks, The Splendid Table. What the heck…I made those too! My ‘hats’ were probably a bit large…luckily I wasn’t being graded, but the filling of sautéed artichokes with marscapone and parmesan was incredible.
Of course, no good meal is complete in my book without a good glass of wine.
We chose a 1997 super Tuscan from Tuscany – Castello Di Verrazzano Sassello. We bought the bottle while visiting Verrazzano some years back, so it had a great sentimental value. That’s the cool thing about food and wine – the emotional connection!