Week 3- Monday- Cold Soups, Breads, and Spreads

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today we prepared a variety of items. We made Vichyssoise (cold potato and leek soup) and Watermelon Gazpacho. We made a variety of flatbreads and crackers, as well as dips to go with them. Then Chef Thompson showed us how to set it all up into a buffet and gave us some pointers on catering and presentation of the table.

I was in charge of making the Watermelon Gazpacho, Guacamole, and Pumpkin (butternut squash) Chutney. I was so excited to make guacamole!!! It did not disappoint! Natane made some Spinach Tortillas that went AMAZING with it, and it was made even better by the tortillas being fresh out of the fryer. I loved the guacamole so much that I made it again for a few friends for game night. It was a huge hit. Marc had never had it before and was extremely hesitant but loved it once he tried it. Tom said that he had eaten guacamole before and had a “Eh...” reaction. This meant he could take it or leave it but wasn’t overly impressed. He said mine was excellent, though, and he wanted to lick the bowl.

The Watermelon Gazpacho was...interesting. I think it would have been more palatable, and perhaps even good, if it was well chilled. As it was, closer to room temperature, Natane put it best when she described it as “watermelon flavored spit.” It got frothy in the blender and that wasn’t appealing. Mine did not separate like other teams, though. I don’t know what that means, but it made for better pictures. I served these in shot glasses. The Vichyssoise was also served in shot glasses.

The Butternut Squash Chutney was delicious! It was very sweet, though, and could have used something as a dipper that was perhaps a little more salty and had a bigger crunch than the Tostones (fried plantains) that we were using. Maybe if the plantains had been sliced a little more thinly and were crunchier it would have been better.

Also prepared this week was a black bean and papaya salsa, baba ghanoush, spinach and artichoke dip, and hummus. Served with those were toasted pita triangles, rosemary flatbread (yum!), grissini, gruyere and thyme crackers (nom nom nom!), and cheddar poppyseed crackers. It was a busy day!

Hummus with Rosemary Flatbread and Grissini


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