PIcking Rainbow Chard in our school gardens for Product Knowledge class.
Lunch at Bread Alone
A weekend hasn’t gone by yet without a trip for gelato!
I had another food filled weekend here at school. Friday afternoon in Product Knowledge class we sampled just about everything green. We learned all the different lettuce types and salad greens from bitter radicchio to sweet mache. Our chef prepared some sauteed greens and raw salads to show us the versatility within the lettuce family.
Anheuser Busch Theater for Product Knowledge. This lecture hall has a full kitchen in the front for class demos and guest chefs.
Before every class a few student volunteers help prepare the tastings for lecture.
These mache greens are hydroponically grown so they ship in a box with soil. They are so delicate and fragile that to prepare them we cut the leaves off the top and avoided washing them. Just a small amount of water pressure would damage them. Mache has a sweet, mild grassy flavor.
Before class I helped set up these demo plates of raw lettuce and salad greens. Since we often sample the food in a simple cooked preparation or with other components it is important to see what it looks like in its raw form. We also need to learn what quality and condition factors to check for for each of the products in this class.
Swiss chard. This green is often used in similar applications to spinach.
Rainbow chard or Bright Lights. This one was picked right before class so that it retained its bright colors and vibrant leaves.
Escarole and radicchio varieties
Arugula…one my favorites! I love its peppery taste. At home I make lots of salads with arugula, top pizzas with it and make pesto.
At first we were confused why this coffee was part of our daily tasting since we were studying greens. However, it turned out this New Orleans native coffee is ground with chicory. The chicory family of greens includes the bitter greens like endive, radicchio, frisee, trevisano, etc. This coffee was like dessert because our chef combined the strong coffee with sweet and condensed milk.
We compared the sweet delicate flavor of mache to the overpowering bitter flavor of radicchio (left). Our chef also prepared two delicious salads. A classic arugula salad with Parmesan cheese and balsamic and a Romaine salad with carrot-ginger dressing.
Spinach sauteed with garlic and shallots and swiss chard sauteed with soy sauce and ginger.
On Saturday some friends and I headed into Rhinebeck for a late lunch and some shopping. It was a beautiful fall day to enjoy all of the great local food Rhinebeck has to offer.
The Beeckman Arms in Rhinebeck is the oldest operating inn in America.
Beautiful fall trees lining the streets of Rhinebeck.
Pumpkins all over the town from Halloween.
Spent the afternoon in Rhinebeck with friends eating and shopping!
Bread Alone in Rhinebeck makes a fantastic cappuccino. I’ve gotten one every time i’ve been there.
This was the best thing I’ve had at Bread Alone. A simple pesto, arugula, oven-dried tomato and mozzarella on toasted multi-grain bread. It was perfect!
My favorite – gelato! This was a combination of half salted caramel and passionfruit. They had so many new flavors to try this week but I loved the passionfruit so much last time I had to get it again. I guess i’ll just have to go back.!
We went into the olive oil and balsamic vinegar store, Pure Mountain…only culinary students would find this place entertaining on a Saturday afternoon!
Shopping in Rhinebeck…there are lots of culinary and home good stores. Again, really not many people my age except culinary students find these stores entertaining.
We wanted one of everything in most of these stores…especially the cookbooks.
Beautiful Polish pottery
We ran into this store hosting a book release for a new foraging cookbook.
This was at Blue Cashew, a kitchen supply store in Rhinebeck.
They had samples of their food to try. Even though I had just finished lunch I tried this drink and one of their truffles.
The drink I tried was a Raspberry Lemon Balm Agua Fresca…naturally sweet and herbal.
They had a beautiful spread of foraged bites to try.
They had both sweet and savory choices.
I have to say I was a little hesitant to try one of these truffles at first, but it surprised me. It tasted like inside of a Fig Newton cookie.
It is such a beautiful and colorful book to look at.
We found another chocolate shop! Krause’s Chocolate Shop in Rhinebeck.
I will definitely be coming back here! They had lots of homemade bagged candies and chocolates to buy. This store reminded me of the candy shops found all over Cape Cod.
Sunday morning I drove into Rhinebeck again with some friends for the farmer’s market. It was absolutely freezing so we stopped for coffee and sampled some pastries for breakfast as we walked through the market.
I bought some of these pears…they were fragrant and crisp.
I had to buy more creamed honey for my brothers. They love it!
You can find any kind of apple you are looking for at this farmer’s market.
Red shelled beans
Radishes and cauliflower
Potatoes and butternuts
Root veggies and greens
More apples…I bought some of these Honeycrisps!
Greens and fennel
Turnovers for breakfast. This is an apple turnover.
I got a blueberry turnover.
This turnover was crunchy on the outside and flaky on the inside with a yummy blueberry filling.
There are lots of places to get apple cider products at the Farmer’s market including donuts.
I love apple cider. The addition of pear added a unique, sweet flavor.
This piping hot cider was the perfect solution for staying warm while walking around the farmers market.
Sunday night I attended a Slow Food Harvest Dinner here on campus. I am interested in joining the slow foods club, so I thought the best way to learn more about it would be to go to one of their events. The Slow Foods movement aims to support local farmers and business. All of the food for this dinner came from a combination of nine farms here in the Hudson valley. Not only does supporting the national slow foods movement promote success of local businesses and farms but it ensures you are buying the best, seasonal products available.
Our campus is so beautiful, especially in the fall.
The Slow Foods Harvest DInner was held at the Caterina de Medici restaurant on campus.
The restaurants are closed to the public on Sundays and occasionally Mondays. This provides a space for student organizations to use.
There was a reception at 5:00 in the front of the restaurant (with drinks for students over 21). The seating for dinner was at 6:00.
All of the tables were decorated with fall center pieces and colors.
The tickets for this dinner were $15 for students. It was a three course dinner with either wine or cider pairings depending on your age.
Fall harvest dinner menu
The centerpieces were made up of fall fruits and vegetables.
The first apple cider pairing was from Meadowbrook Farm. It was slightly effervescent and crisp. It was my favorite out of the three pairings.
The first course was called “Seven Sweets and Seven Sours.” It included pickled vegetables (red cabbage, cauliflower, parsnips, carrots, beets and shallots), cheeses and preserves.
The second cider pairing was much sweeter than the first. It was from Minard Farms.
For the second course I had a mushroom risotto stuffed sugar pumpkin on a bead of balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts. It was delicious!
This was the alternative dinner option. The main entree was a autumn smoked pork roast with a root vegetable puree, fennel and pork apple jus.
At the end of the second course the student president of the Slow Foods club explained where all of that night’s food came from. All of the farmers and purveyors were invited to the dinner.
The last cider pairing was a tart apple pear cider from Migliorelli Farm.
The third course, dessert, was my favorite! A quince, caramel, mascarpone, brown butter financier. Garnished with roasted pecan and a baked apple chip. The perfect way to end a fall dinner.
Stay posted for updates on this weeks classes and eats! Thanks for reading.