Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blow up, Souffle

Spinach and Cheese Souffle

Souffles in french mean to blow up. And the name is so accurate because when cooking them, our desired outcome is exactly for them to blow up and rise to almost double their size. What causes them to blow up is the whipped egg whites which are trapped air molecules inside egg protein. When you whip up egg whites always make sure there is no fat touching the whites or they will never whip up. Yolk residue contains fat and dirty kitchen utensils do too. Make sure your whites are clean from yolk and rinse all utensils with vinegar before placing your clean whites in them.

A souflee can be made with just about any base, sweet or savoury. I make them with just about any base and they are good for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner.

Chocolate Souffle
The basic recipe is the following:

milk 1/2 pint
flour 1 1/2 ounces
butter 1 1/2 ounces
flavoring of your choice
yolks  4
whites  5
sugar 2 1/2 ounces (if sweet souflee)

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees and coat your ramekins with melted butter and coated with sugar or grated cheese all the way up the sides.

1. You want to make a bechamel sauce first by melting the butter, cooking the flour in it by whisking a few seconds, then adding the milk gradually while whisking to prevent clumps. This base will thicken and that's what we want.
2. You can either add your flavoring the the bechamel right away or you can allow it to cool first and then mix. If you are using cheese you might want to add it warm so it melts.
3. Then whisk in your egg yolks and allow the mixture to cool completely. (note you can do this part many hours ahead and leave it in the frigde until ready to use.)
4. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and add the sugar if the desired outcome is a sweet souflee. If not, whip them alone. Note: a pinch of salt actually helps whites whip better. And whipping whites by hand may be more tiring but the result is better than using a mixer.
5. Fold in the egg whites with the bechamel base mixture very gently and until fully incorporated.
6. Place the mixture in your pre-coated ramekins and bake for about 15 minutes or until a spoon inserted into the centre shows that the souflee is not runny. (Always make extra so you have one or two tester souflees)

Other ideas for Flour based flavourings are: melted chocolate, cheese, spinach, 4 fluid ounces of fruit juice, 5oz fruit puree, caramel, nuts, peanut butter, etc...

Walnut Souffle made with a caramel walnut mixture (not a flour based souflee)
1. Make caramel by melting sugar in a pan till a deep caramel. 2.Add a little milk and cream to the mixture :be careful it may splatter so step back. 3. Re-cook till liquid again. 4. Then take out of heat and add walnuts and yolks. 5. Then allow to cool and finish souflee with  whipped egg whites.
Note: this souflee has no flour or butter in it, it will not rise as much as a flour based souflee. But it tastes just as delicious.

Good luck with your souffles. They sound more intimidating than they actually are. And yes you should serve them right after they come out of the oven because they will start to lose volume.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wedding Season: Cake!

My friends just got married this weekend and I had the pleasure of making their Morrocan themed wedding cake! It was a lactose-free red velvet. So happy for them and they were so excited about the cake! All edible: flowers, and figurines!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beef Wellington

So beautiful and tasty and so easy to make that it's worth a shot!
This is my favorite recipe and it turns out beautifully every time. Just be sure to not overcook the meat when you brown it or it will dry out in the oven!

1 large cut filet mignon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 (1-ounce) slices goose or duck liver, or pork country-style pate (I also love trader joe's mushroom pate!

One-half (17 1/4-ounce package) frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed (I have to admit.. I use my own home made puff, but store bought will do... just rollit out thinly to half a cm.)
Mushroom Duxelles, recipe follows

1 large egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water to make an egg wash


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Season both sides of the filet with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the filet and sear  on each side just until browned. Transfer to a plate to cool completely.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to half  cm. thick.

Spread the pate over the rolled out pastry with the mushroom duxelles on top. Then place filet on top puff pastry square.

Using a pastry brush or your finger, paint the inside edges of the pastry with egg wash. Fold the pastry over the filet as though wrapping a package and press the edges to seal. Place the packages seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Make sure to cut wholes in the puff or it will break open from escaping steam. Brush the egg wash over the tops and sides of each package and bake until the pastry is golden brown and there are no more moisture droplets left to be seen on the puff pastry (it is critical that the pastry is rolled out thinly or you will end up with a very tough overdone cut of meat)

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Place the Beef Wellingtons in the center of 4 large plates, and accompany with the sauce and vegetables of choice.

My almost fully eaten beef wellington.

Mushroom Duxelles:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

10 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed, and finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

2 1/2 tablespoons dry white wine

Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, salt, and white pepper, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms begin to caramelize, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring to deglaze the pan, until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and let cool before using.

The reason I did not become a Savoury Chef

David Backhum, as my husband called it, came to dinner last night.
I did not take any photos of this venture on purpose as it might frighten some of you.

I decided to cook my first whole chicken yesterday... when I unpackaged the chicken.. I had a bigger surprise than I thought. feet with nails still on it, kidneys and hearts still inside, and this head with eyes staring right back at me. Oh it was horrendous. I didn't think I could do it. I had to beg my husband to get the head and the feet off and had to put on gloves to remove the heart and kidneys and liver. This is the reason why I am a Pastry chef and not a Savoury chef. I couldn't handle the full animal, I think I'd become a vegetarian.
But I have to say that after that first hour trying to manage that chicken, I was able to create a delicious roasted chicken that was incredibly moist and not dry at all!
The secret is in making a flavored butter and stuffing it between the skin and the meat of the breast and the legs. Try not to rip the skin and then massage the contents to spread them around the hard to reach places.
I used regular butter and herbs with a little bit of truffle oil. Avoid oil if you can because it becomes bitter when cooked, only mix it with a larger amount of butter.
I also stuffed the cavity with sauteed vegetables and a little precooked rice. The vegetables gave flavor to the chicken from the inside and also helped to keep it moist. Those veggies tasted delicious after being roasted too.
One more tip, every 30 minutes take the chicken out and pour the juices that fell ont he roasting pan back on. If you don't have enough juice add a little bit of white wine and drizzle on top.
The chicken took 1h 40 m to cook. It was a large chicken too.. so give it a shot.. I just hope your chicken is headless and feetless...

Here's what I used for the chicken:

Rubbing between skin: salted butter with tarragon and basil and truffle oil mushed into a paste.
For the Cavity: salt, pepper, sauteed red onion and leeks, cooked white rice, tarragon sprig, garlic clove

Seperately I cooked some white rice with the leftover sauteed leeks and red onion which didn't fit inside the cavity, and then for the last 10 minutes of roasting I placed it on the grill pan to soak the chicken's juices.

Remember to allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes before carving.
Bon Appetit!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I survived....my first week at Wd~50

What an intense yet super awesome week working under Chef Alex Stupak and his Sous Chef Malcolm Livingston.
I am absolutely exausted after having worked 60 hours this week, but I can't tell you what fun I had working with one of the most brilliant chefs in America.
There are a LOT of different components in just one dessert so there is a lot of work to do between foams, ice creams, bases, etc...
This photo is actually outdated since he know does a blueberry cheesecake.. but the presentation method is still similar.. how cool is that cheesecake.. If you are asking yourself "where is the cheesecake" then I guess you'll just have to head over to Wd~50 and find out! The contrasting flavors and different textures make his desserts so outlandish and out of this world that will make you beg for more.
This next one is one of my favourites. Lemongrass mousse with whole wheat sorbet. YES wheat! he's a genious! and on top it's lemongrass ice that doesn't melt and create a puddle in your plate. The jackfruit it's garnished with is handpicked and sliced too. There is such a thing as an ugly or beauty-less fruit as I found this week. Chef Alex focuses on Nature's beauty to garnish his plates, but he doesn't like plain and un-interesting.
This huge chunks of things on the plate are pieces of inflated coffee ice cream. If you are saying "whaaaat?" That's exactly the first thing I said when I saw that dessert. It's friggin awesome!! It's like a souflee! But it's made in a vaccum. It's garnished with candied pecans and pieves of chocolate and foam. But the coffee icebergs are still my favourite. What a shou stopper!
I am so sad to say this next dessert is no longer on the menu, but can be found in books where Chef Alex contributed his recipes to.
It's a brioche cake filled with apricot jam. It's garnished with a foam and buttercream.
 A note regarding the foams used: Chef Alex doesn't use a cannister as many would think. He just whipps them up. How talented is he?!

Ok.. get ready for this because this thing is soo amazingly good and awesome and I got to plate about 100 of them last night... The Hazelnut tart with coconut cream, giuandija ganache, chicory foam and hazelnut streusel and coconut powder. This is so delicious and my recomendation for the chocolate lovers. It is currently also on the tasting menu along with the rainbow sherbert dessert. These little tarts are made individually every day and are so delicate and fragile. The tart is completely mousse based without a sturdy layer to hold it together. It's delicious and I can't say it enough!
Last but not least is the pear and licorice tart. I found it isn't one of the top sellers but it deserves its merit just like any other dessert. Look at how beautiful. And the plating is fenomenal. Each little piece of pear is so decoratively placed on every plate. It's a masterpiece like all other desserts at Wd~50.

Other desserts are on the menu but I don't have images of them. The strawberry dessert with yogurt panna cotta and fennel cake is beautiful and looks like a circus on a plate. The strawberry tuille that garnishes and pieces together the dessert gives it a wonderful and fun look that makes you wonder "do I really have to destroy that dessert now?"

So after the most amazing 60 hours I've spent in a professional kitchen, I can certainly say I love being a pastry chef. It's not all that glamorous of course, there are days when it's tougher, especially with the long hours and not having time for anything but work, sleep and comute. There are also days when it seems you can't do anything right and you have chefs yelling at you for this and that, but it's nothing personal. I learned that this week.
And the daunting tasks of passing fennel seed through the finest strainer for 1 hour, but in the long run.. you see what your hard work has produced, and you hear all the customers say how wonderful it tasted and beautiful it looked and it makes it all worth it!
Now it's my weekend, and much desserved I think.
Relaxation, Relaxation, and a Wedding Cake to make!

Home made bread in a Jiffy

I don't have any kids but if I did, here is a recipe that would be great to start before picking them up from school and to put in the oven as soon as returning home so that by the time hands are clean and school bags are put away, a nice loaf of freshly baked bread is on the table.

Let's face it, home made bread just tastes SO MUCH better than store bought! Yes it's possible, yes it's true. You probably wouldn't eat an entire loaf of Italian bread when you buy it from the store, but if all that love and time went into your little loaf, the loaf will be gone before sunrise.

Mix about 500g of flour (can be white, or a mixture whith whole wheat), 5g of instant yeast, a half tbsp of salt and enough water to moisten the dough but not to make it sticky (this varies based on climate, temperature, altitude, etc)
If you have a mixer, use the bread hook on low speed until the dough starts to climb up the hook and peel from the sides.
If you are kneading it by hand, poke the dough. If it springs back, it's ready!

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap so the dough doesn't dry out and crust.

Allow the dough to rest for about one hour or as long as it takes for you to go pick up your kids, go to the hairdresser, the store, or whatever it may be.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Punch the dough down once or twice to release excess gas and then shape to desired shape or place in pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped from underneath.

Allow to cool a little and enjoy with some nice spread, butter, jam... the possibilities are endless!

This recipe was adapted from the original Pao com Chourico form my aunt Graca's Bakery 'Pão d'Avó Graça' in Lourinha, Portugal. The traditional Pao com Chourico is my favorite bread. The flavor of the chourico penetrates the dough in the most amazing way. The possibilities are endless for this bread. You can add anything you want to it, the sky's the limit.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Who ate my Stollen

Regarding yesterday's post when I said my stollen was supposed to mature until November before it should be eaten... it didn't!
As my husband got home after a shocking experience with a  car homicide just a few yards before his eyes.. all he wanted was comfort.. and he found it in the stollen. How could I say no right?
It was incredibly delicious and beautiful as we sliced through. It was moist, it was tender, it was fruity.. everything we'd want a stollen to be!
It looks like the Thanksgiving Stollen will have to wait!

DED's are awesome: Delicious Easy Dinners

Left over veggies,  a little rice and frozen shrimp give you an amazing dinner that no one will know didn't even make you sweat. That's right.. the ever so elegant stir fry. This one beats the chinese restaurant's high sodium and oil content by a long long stretch.
Simply pam a non stick pan, cook your veggies untill soft, throw in some cooked rice and thawed frozen shrimp, and add a little soy sauce, salt and pepper. And there, I gave you the recipe in one easy sentence! So easy and it beats any 30 minute meal you watch on the food network. Smile, no sweat, just delicious!
I garnished mine with some pickled ginger, but that's optional.
A little red pepper is also good to give it a kick! Go wild and stir fry away! Give your left overs a make over they'd never dream of.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Stollen

Stollen is a German sweet breat traditionally eaten at Christmas. It's supposed to 'mature' over 3 months in order to fully develop its flavor. We aren't 3 months away from Christmas yet but maybe my Stollen can be a Thanksgiving one? You don't really need an excuse to eat this delicious sweet bread. My favorite is actually prepared by my mother, the founder and Chef of The Flavor Lab in Japan. She uses a mixed fruit almond paste in the center which rivals traditional German Recipes. Every Christmas she will ship us a Stollen or two around Christmas, and being my husband's favorite Christmas sweet, it dissapears before Christmas Eve.
It's a little intimidating to make, but practice makes perfect!

I start out making a sponge and letting it rest for 30 minutes or so. It helps the dough get some flavor and leavening before the fat and the sugar, which are tenderizers, destroy those beautiful gluten strands formed by the wheat protein.

After that resting period the log of marzipan and fruits is made, and then the rest of the flour is incorporated with the butter and the sponge.

The candied fruits are then mixed in and the dough can be shapped into logs with the marzipan inside.
The log goes into the oven untill it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom (depends on thickness) and comes out a beautiful tan color.

While still hot, you want to brush melted butter over it and coat it with powdered sugar. The powdered sugar and butter coating are what help this bread last three months without spoiling. It adds moisture and forms a barrier that doesn't allow the bread to dry out.

The stollen must be totally covered so that it can taste amazing in 3 months. I'll be sure to let you know how it tastes.. unless of course it gets eaten before then... only time will tell.

A word of caution: in this delicious baking venture I very carelessly received a very severe burn from the scalding hot marzipan. In learning with my mistakes, try to use tongs or a towel when touching the bread straight from the oven and rolling it around in sugar. It may taste delicious but no amazing flavor is worth a bad burn.

This photo was borrowed from this website (http://www.sweetthea.com/) Since ours isn't ready to slice yet! But this is what it should look like when ready!

Here is a good recipe for an easy stollen that you can even eat the same day as opposed to 3 months from now when you've forgotten about it:


1 1/3 cups plus 1 1/2 teaspoons lukewarm milk (95°F. to 100°F.)

1 1/2 teaspoons lukewarm water (95°F. to 100°F.)

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 fresh yeast cake

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour


3 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons (about) all purpose flour

1 1/3 cups raisins

2/3 cup blanched slivered almonds

2/3 cup chopped candied fruit

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

For sponge:

Stir 1 1/2 teaspoons lukewarm milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons lukewarm water and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar in large bowl. Add yeast cake and stir until smooth. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour and remaining 1 1/3 cups lukewarm milk and mix well. Cover and let sponge rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

For dough:

Mix 3 tablespoons flour with raisins, slivered almonds and candied fruit in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat unsalted butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, cardamom, vanilla and salt. Beat in sponge. Stir in fruit and nuts. Mix in enough remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time to form slightly sticky dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if very sticky, about 10 minutes.

Lightly oil large bowl. Add dough, turning to coat entire surface. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 1/2 hours.

Grease heavy large cookie sheet. Punch dough down. Divide dough in half. Pat each half into 10 x 16-inch oval. Fold in half lengthwise; pat gently. Place on prepared sheet. Cover and let rise in warm draft-free area until almost double in volume, about 2 hours.

Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Bake until loaves are golden and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, about 1 hour. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Stollen can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Wrap stollen in plastic and store at room temperature.)

Family Tradition Spanish Tortilla

The Traditional Spanish Tortilla resembles a potato and onion frittata which is served as a tapas item. It's delicious, but I was spoiled by age five when my dad (who is from Alicante in Spain) introduced his better version of spanish tortilla with spanish Jamon Serrano in it, instead of the onions. Living in NYC it's easy to find Jamon, however, the prices aren't very firendly to our budgets.. so I decided to make my dad's tortilla with chorizo which is more easily available in supermarkets. Any type of cured meat works for this as long as it doesn't fall appart in the cooking.

 You start out by peeling the potatoes...
and then using a mandoline to slice them very very thinly..
then you cook them in a skillet with olive oil a few minutes. Don't cook them fully.. just allow them to become soft and semi-translucent.
While that cooks you can cut up your cured meat into small chunks and also prepare the egg and milk mixture.
 I use 5 eggs per 3 potatoes plus half a cup of milk. I also add some salt and pepper to the mixture and then whisk it up.

Half way through the potatoes' cooking, add the cured meat. Make sure you stir often so the potatoes on the bottom don't get brown while the top ones hang out raw.
When that is all cooked through, dump it into the milk and egg mixture and coat the potatoes and chorizo with it.
Pam your skillet and pour all the potato and egg mixture back in, pushing down to make it as even as possible on top. You might also want to scrape the sides with a spatula every now and then to allow the egg to run down a little.

Cover the skillet with foil or with a lid for a few minutes untill the bottom is fully cooked and there is few liquid on top of the potatoes. To flip it over, loosen the tortilla from the pan and slide it onto a plate. Flip the skillet over the plate as if to make a lid, and then flip it all back into the skillet by doing a full 180 degree turn. Cook untill done and serve warm or cold.

Que aproveche!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Enchanted Tree Cake

Chocolate buttercream, moist vanilla cake, and a delicious coating of home-made chocolate fondant... That's what this enticing enchanted tree cake consists of. All the little animals and leaves were made ahead of time out of gumpaste, and then petal dusted (edible of course).
Sculpted cakes sometimes sound more intimidating than they actually are, most of the work comes from covering and emblishments rather than the carving of the cake itself. I personally think it takes more courage to carve a turkey than a cake!
For practice on molding little animals and foliage, try using play dough, the texture is very similar. Just remember that fondant dries out over time and can lose its color.
For this cake I used Chef Toba Garrett's (who is an instructor at my Pastry School (ICE) and world famous cake decorator) yellow moist chocolate cake.  It's a high ratio cake so it's very sturdy and stays moist better than a plain sponge cake.
To make it, here is what you'll need:


3 cups (330 g) cake flour
1 tablebspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces or 230 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (454 g) granulated sugar
5 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces or 300 ml) buttermilk


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lline with parchment paper two 8x2-inch (20x5-cm) pans. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Cut up the butter into 1-inch pieces and place them in the large bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment or beaters. Beat for 3 minutes on MEDIUM-HIGH speed until the butter is light and creamy in color. Stop and scrape the bowl. Cream the butter for an additional 60 seconds.
4.Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs one at a time.
5. Reduce the mixer speed. Stir vanilla into the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife. Lift up the pan with the batter, and let it drop onto the counter top to burst any air bubbles, allowing the batter to settle.
7.Center the pans onto the lower third of the oven and let bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake is lightly brown on top and comes away from the sides of the pan. Push down on the center of the cake, if it springs back, it is done. If not, keep baking!

This cake is delicious and goes well with any filling. Almond is especially good!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Last Day: Roasting

It's not thanksgiving yet but I am getting practice with the most minute version.
Poussins.. or very small chickens. I'd never cooked anything whole before and the only thing I had ever bought from the supermarket in one piece was Duck for a delicious portuguese duck rice.
At first, with the Poussin I didn't know what to do with it. Here's what the cute little thing looked like after I very generously rubbed it with truffle butter underneath it's skin....
and stuffed its cavity with aromatic ingredients such as garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper.

It doesn't look glamorous but hey it tasted great!
then we tressed them which means tying up the meat so that the smaller parts cook just as evenly. Just make sure the meat isn't too too tight. Then brown it on all sides and stick it in the oven.
Roasting is DRY heat so the roasting pan must be low sided so that air can circulate. It's ideal to put the meat on a rack so liquid falls and allows the meat to dry. And also always cook meat uncovered, otherwise you cause steaming.
Meat should be roasted with its skin on and covered in fat such as butter. This conducts heat better so aids in cooking and ads to color and FLAVOR. Oil should be avoided for roasting because in high heat it turns bitter.
There are two ways of roasting. Low heat and slow, or high heat and fast. Less tender cuts need low and slow so they will become tender. For tender cuts we can use high and fast. Chicken can really go either way and it's a good idea to baste it often so it will not dry out.
Never wash meat before cooking as it dries out!

These beautiful mushrooms go with the roasted veal tenderloin. It's great to sautee vegetables and make a reduction in the pan used for browning the meat so don't throw it away when you're done with browning.
And if using hard liquor for cooking to add flavor.. always burn off the alcohol. it doesn't taste good in savoury foods, only desserts. A great way to do this is by flambeeing it off
Set fire to your pan and shake it till it dissapears. Then simmer the rest off. I was very afraid of doing this as you can tell, but after you do it once you realize how fun it is. The flame isn't going to burn you or your kitchen as long as you have an exhaust guard on top of your stove, so fire away!!

The same rule applies for roasting vegetables.. we want dry heat to circulate. Harder veggies like squash do take a long time so keep that in mind. These pan patty squashes took about 35 minutes.
Discard any super burnt brown bits when serving.
These veggies were all marinated for a while before cooking. It ads a complexity of flavors that you wouldn't be able to get otherwise.
Carving meat is another beast all in itself. For carving birds you want to cut off the legs first. Then the back bone which has no meat, and then cut right in half of the breast bone.
Carving the veal tenderloin is much easier..
You simply cut against the grain on a bias (angled diagonally) and taadaa. The mushrooms were placed uner the meat for the meat to stand out more.

And dinner is served...
And the Culinary bootcamp team waves goodbye...