Simply Italian

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Being a fan of Italian food, I'm all eager to sign up for Simple Italian class with Chef Khai. You must be wondering why the classes I attend, if not all, are conducted by the same chef. I don't have a personal preference for this chef but he usually organises class featuring recipes from the world. The price is quite reasonable in my context & the school is not too far from my house.

In this class, we were taught to prepare 3 recipes - tomato tartine (appetiser), chicken ragout with roesti potatoes (main) & tiramisu brownies (dessert). Tomato tartine is basically tomatoes on tart-size puff pastry. Tartine is not restricted to tomato filling & opens up to many possibilities of variations in fillings used. For us newbies, tomatoes are relatively easier to handle.

First, tomatoes were cut into cubes. Meanwhile, the pan is heated while adding in butter, sugar (to taste) & a little water, allowing the content to caramelised. Tomatoes were poured into the pan for a quick saute, to be seasoned with fresh herbs & black pepper to taste. While the cooked tomatoes were left aside to cool, we rolled the store-bought puff pastry to the desired size before cutting the dough with a cookie cutter. Instead of following the recipe's method, we were told to scoop the tomatoes on each cut puff pastry piece. Egg wash was applied on all the puff pastry, then popped into the oven to bake at 180°C for 10-20 mins or until golden brown. Here are our masterpieces. =D

Next dish is chicken ragout with roesti potatoes, a dish which involves more steps. To start off, we saute the garlic, carrot, & mushroom until half cooked. We then put in the chicken fillet which were sliced earlier & continued stirring. Cream, parmesan cheese & salt were added taste. The sauce & vegetables were left to simmer until thicken. Alternatively, egg yolk can be added to do the trick. For the roesti, we grated the potatoes & set aside in salt water to prevent oxidation. Meanwhile, we began sauteing some garlic & onion with some fresh herb & parsley, releasing the aroma. The grated potatoes were added in, forming a patty-like shape & let it cooked until brown on each side.

Once the roesti is cooked properly, it is ready to be served next to the ragout.

The last dish for the day is tiramisu brownies - a twist from the classic tiramisu which has a tiramisu topping over brownies. Due to limited time, we only managed to bake the brownies. Firstly, dark chocolate & butter is melted over a double boiler & set aside to cool. Using a stand mixer, whip the eggs & sugar until double the volume.

The melted chocolate-butter is then added to the eggs mixture. Next, yoghurt & flour were added & mix well until combine. Lastly, chopped macadamia is folded into the brownies mixture. The brownies is baked at 180°C. Just look at how well the brownies turned out!

It was a waste that time was running out. Otherwise, it would've been better to do the topping on the spot & get tips from the chef. In my opinion, the appetiser & main dish tasted the best. Yums~