Fusion Dinner and Cookie Contest Update

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Thanks for all your encouragement. I didn’t win but had a marvelous experience. The French Pastry School is a class act. They gave each contestant a t shirt, apron, a French Pastry experience gift certificate worth $75( watching their Master chefs give demos and instruction), hand crafted Chocolates, a wonderful demo on site with Chef Instructor Laura Ragano. She showed us how to make Madelines and Finaciers. We each got an instruction booklet with valuable recipes , tips, and photos. They even fed us lunch and there was not registration fee. I’m so tempted to enter the pie competition but I t falls on a day when I have 2 other things going on. Plus the expense in producing 4 final pies and the experimentation up to is just to much for me right now. I have a London trip coming up in a few weeks. Totally unexpected , but I am excited! I consciously chose not to make a sugar cookie with royal icing as decoration because that can mask a really good cookie. Only one other contestant used chocolate. I knew they wanted more than a ‘fashion cookie’. The winner was a student at their school ( UNFAIR!) who managed to make a decorative yet tasty cookie. They were pistachio leaf shaped cookies( 1st picture second row) that screamed autumn. 3rd place was the lady next to me with these delicate almost fried like lemony sugar cookies. They were rich , but I thought she would be ruled out because hers looked under the required 1.5 inches. 2nd place was this cherry filled sugar cookie. I was shocked at the props used in competition and had to run and get a serving plate at World Market. Next time I know better. The judges were another treat! We had some Chicago top pastry chefs including Michelle Garcia of Bleeding Heart Bakery who you always see on those Food Network competitions.

Anyway…Its Sunday and you know how much a nice Sundaydinner means to me and Certain Someone.This dinner had a lot of fusion going on . And it was all expermital and improvised, so no comments on it not being traditional, etc.. I know its not. Certain Someone requested Red curry in his chicken. I haven’t made a Thai Red curry before and totally improvised the Glamah way. I have this cast iron wok shaped pan I love to use from oven to stove top. I rubbed 3 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste all over the 3 large chicken breasts with skin and bone. I let them sit and marinate with some chopped garlic. I then added some water, sealed in foil, and slow cooked in the oven for an hour to make the chicken nice and tender. I hate tough fast cooked flavorless white meat. I then chopped some small Thai eggplants, and a whole onion to add, and bake some more.

A nice broth was brewing. I took the wok pan onto the gas range and let it simmer some more. I thought it was to much liquid at first, but added a can of coconut milk nevertheless. Certain someone micro managing me complained I left the bones in . I took the breasts and removed the skin and bone. Then he fussed because he wanted the skin I threw away. I told him who wants non crispy skin!Anyway we were left with nice huge chunks of tender white meat. The bones and skin had made the broth more flavorful, sop they served their purpose. I finished it with lots of Basil Leaves.

I also served some Wehani brown rice.This rice took 50 minutes to cook and yielded a great aroma. A new favorite. I decided to try using my chick pea flour to make chickpea pancakes. Indian style. Basically it was 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup chick pea flour, chopped chilies, onions, coriander seeds( my twist), salt, water, etc. Mix, knead, let rest for 1 hour, and fry up. Certain Someone thought they were dry, but we sopped them up with all that coconut red curry sauce. What a fusion Thai elements with Indian elements. Its Glamahs kitchen so she can do what she wants. We enjoyed it and found it very filling. All the bulk in that rice. Thankfully it wasn’t to spicy, which was my fear. I love spice, but sometimes you just want it easy.