I am about half way through my catering and banquets class at Le Cordon Bleu- which also happens to be my very last class… ahh!
While in this catering in banquets we are learning all the tricks of the trade to putting on a great party. Since I also work for a caterer here in Austin, it has been fun seeing the different aspects of catering.
Today we put on a little banquet for our class. We broke up into teams for each dish and had a solid deadline time for production to be over. The menu consisted of a mixed greens salad with strawberries, ricotta balsamic dressing and candied walnuts, an airline chicken breast with mashed potatoes and leeks along side a mushroom pea cream sauce, zucchini wrapped salmon with tomato and onion sauce along with an artichoke, tomato and olive salad, and a sabayon for dessert. It was bound to be a fun day and breaking up into teams- I knew I wanted on that salmon dish.
I worked with two other gals in my class to produce the salmon dish. Since there are 14 students in class we were splitting the entrées- half salmon plates, half chicken.
I got going on the artichokes so that I could fabricate the salmon into slices while the other girls worked on the tomato and onion sauce and the olive and tomato salad mixture.
They are delicate little things, especially after poaching.
Now I’m not sure how other classes are at LCB by my class is quite… unique. We are like a little band of misfit toys. We sing silly songs, tell vulgar jokes, fuss at each other but at the end of the day we put out some pretty tasty food.
This sauce is so yummy- it would also pair great with a light white fish such as sea bass or halibut.
I love salmon- besides being plain ole delicious they are loaded with vitamin D and selenium- which helps lower the risk of several types of cancer including breast, prostate and colorectal. Salmon are also full of omega-3’s which are great for cardiovascular health and has many eye, skin and hair benefits.
Ok moving on from the health lesson- just eat your salmon, ok? OK!
Here are the other key players in our class banquet- if you’re interested in the recipe to any just leave me a note below and I’ll be happy to share.
As for the salmon- you can have that recipe right now!
Ingredients: 4 servings
Fish and sauce: 2 tsp cumin seeds, 4 salmon fillets, 4 Tbsp olive oil, 1 large onion-sliced, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 4 garlic cloves-sliced thin, 1.5 pounds plum tomatoes- cut into chunks, 2 3-inch strips fresh orange zest (remove with vegetable peeler,) 1/4 cup dry white wine, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, 1/3 cup parsley-mined, 2 zucchini- sliced 1/8 inch thick on a mandolin.
Artichoke, tomato and olive salad: 2 large artichokes, 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 6 roma tomatoes-sliced into small chunks, 1 cup kalamata olives- seeded and quartered, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup parsley-minced, 1/2 cup basil-minced.
Fish and sauce: preheat your oven to 450 degrees, toast cumin seeds in a small sauté pan, sweat onions in a large, oven proof skillet (large enough to hold the fillets) stir in the seeds, cinnamon, garlic- cook 1 minute then add wine, and zest. Reduce down until the wine is almost gone. Add tomatoes and cook until softened. Remove from the heat and add orange juice and parsley. Season to taste.
Slice zucchini on a mandolin- 1/8 inch thick. Arrange zucchini strips on top of filets overlapping slightly and tucking the ends under. Transfer the filets to tomato sauce and brush the top with olive oil. Bake 15- 20 minutes until medium. Discard zest and serve with artichoke salad.
Artichoke, tomato and olive salad: Slice the artichokes in half and toss with lemon juice so they done discolor. In a pot of salted simmering water add the artichokes and lemon to poach- about 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile mix together the remainder of the ingredients in a bowl. Remove the artichokes from water and transfer to the grill for another 5 minutes. Once they are done be sure to remove the choke (the fuzzy looking bit) serve with olive, tomato mixture on top.