School food isn’t what it used to be…

In these pictures, you’re seeing students prepare a spectacular meal for the St. Charles Parish Business Association.

Culinary Arts classes at the parish’s Satellite Center are an advanced introduction to the food-service/hospitality industry. The goal is to prepare students for culinary school or job placement in the industry. In these pictures, you’re seeing students prepare a spectacular meal for the St. Charles Parish Business Association. You can try the menu yourself with the recipes on this page.

Patrick Phelan, Culinary Arts instructor, has worked at Maurice French Pasties, Emeril’s Delmonico, Mike Ditka’s, and Restaurant Cuvee.

Grilled Filet Mignon with Louisiana Crabcake and Deviled Crab Cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

¼ pound fresh lump crabmeat
1 tablespoon finely diced onion
1 tablespoon finely diced celery
1 tablespoon finely diced bell pepper
1 tablespoon creole mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
bread crumbs to bind
salt and pepper

1. Saute onion, celery and bell pepper. Cool.
2. Combine all ingredients except bread crumbs. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
3. Gradually add bread crumbs. The cakes should not be too wet or dry. Gently squeeze mixture in hand if it holds together well you have enough bread crumbs.
4. Cook cakes in a frying pan with about 1/8 inch of hot oil until golden brown. Finish in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

Deviled Crab Sauce
2 cups crab stock*
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Place crab stock in a sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce to approximately ½ cup.
2. Add cream, garlic,and red pepper flakes to stock and reduce by one half.
3. Season with salt and pepper, and strain.
4. Keep warm until ready to use.

*For crab stock combine and saute ½ chopped onion, 1 stalk of celery chopped, ½ carrot peeled and chopped, and 6 gumbo crabs until crabs turn red. Just cover with cold water. Add 1 bay leave and 5 peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes. Strain and reserve. Stock can be refrigerated for 2-3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Filet mignon
Grill 2 filet mignons to the desired doneness. Serve with a warm crabcake, deviled crab cream, and vegetable of your choice. Asparagus or sauteed spinach go very well with this dish.

Peppermint Candy Ice Cream Sandwich
Devils Food Cake:
Yields two 9″ round cakes
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups water
2 cups buttermilk
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups cake flour
4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking soda

Cut out circles of parchment paper or baking sheets (not wax paper) that fit the bottom of your cake pans.

Lightly butter the bottoms of the pans and lay the parchment circles on the butter. Pat smooth.

1. Boil water and whisk in cocoa powder. Allow to cool slightly.
2. Sift dry ingredients together.
3. Combine cocoa mixture with eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly combined and smooth.
4. Combine dry and wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Batter will be thinner than a typical cake batter.
5. Pour batter into pans and bake in a 325 degree oven until cake is set and springs back when touched, approximately 30-40 minutes. Do not use a toothpick to test for doneness as this cake remains fairly moist.
6. Cool cakes and remove from pans when completely cool.
7. Refrigerate layers before building ice cream cake.

Peppermint Candy Ice Cream:
1 pint vanilla ice cream softened enough to work with but not melted
20 hard peppermint candies

1. Finely grind candies in a food processor.
2. Mix ground candies into softened ice cream.
3. Return ice cream to the freezer.

To build ice cream cake Place in cake layer in a clean 9 inch cake pan.
Cover with peppermint candy ice cream (you may have to let ice cream soften again to spread it over cake).
Top with other cake layer and use your hands to make cake even on top.
Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Sauce:
6 ounces half and half
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1. Bring half and half, butter, and corn syrup to a simmer. Make sure all of the butter is melted.
2. Place chocolate in a medium sized mixing bowl.
3. Pour hot half and half mixture over chocolate. Let stand for 3-4 minutes.
4. Whisk until all chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
5. Reserve for use on your desert-this sauce must be warm when used.

Coconut Crème Anglaise
1 cup heavy cream
1 can coconut milk (do not use a sweetened coconut product like Coco Lopez)
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 egg yolks
2 teaspoons coconut extract

1. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl.
2. Place cream, sugar and coconut milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
3. Slowly whisk hot cream mixture into egg yolks. Add hot cream a little at a time, constantly whisking until all of the cream has been added to the egg yolks.
4. Return custard to saucepan and cook over low heat, constantly stirring, until it thickens slightly. Do not let mixture boil. Strain immediately into a glass or metal bowl and place in an ice bath to cool sauce.

To Serve:
1. Cut cake into 8-12 wedges and place on plates.
2. Serve with both the warm chocolate sauce and the coconut crème anglaise.
3. Garnish as desired (mint leaves, candy cane, etc).

Pear and Brie Soup
8 ounces chicken stock
4 fresh ripe pears peeled, cored, and chopped
4 ounces brie cheese rind removed and chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and white pepper to taste
Pinch of Red pepper flakes

1. Bring chicken stock to a simmer and add pears. Cook until pears are very soft.
2. Remove from heat and puree soup in a food processor or blender. Place back on heat and whisk in Brie until it is all melted.
3. Add cream, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes.
4. If you want to thicken your soup make a blonde roux and add a little at a time to achieve the desired thickness. Simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Remove soup from heat, strain, and serve with garnish.

1 stalk celery peeled and sliced thinly on a bias
¼ cup toasted walnuts
½ grilled pear (peel, core and cut in quarters and either grill over a flame, or cook in a very hot oil free sauté pan until golden brown)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oilsalt and pepper to tast

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and top soup with before serving.


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