Saturday, May 26, 2007

Italian Cooking Demo With Mr. Marco Anzani At Shangri-La Hotel



On May 26th, I went to take my first cooking lesson at Shangri-La Hotel. Today, I am going to learn to make some Italian dishes and what makes me want to take this class is because the teacher is an Italian chef. I always like food that is authentic to the bone more than fusion dishes so I am not going to miss this class by any chance.

The lesson itself is very basic like how to make fresh plain egg pasta ( Pasta All 'uovo ), and then use that fresh pasta to make Pasta Alla Carbonara ( Pasta with bacon / Pancetta egg and Parmesan / Parmigiano ). Then we learn to make Braised Lamb Shanks With Rosemary Polenta and last, we learn to make Biscotti With Lavender and Orange.

None of the recipes are fancy, well most of Italian dishes are not as fancy as French cuisine for example and I know already how to make all those dishes. Yet here I am , sitting alone because I was the first student to show up ( even though I was 5 minutes late! ) because I want to ask him some question regarding Italian food. It's not his recipes that I was looking forward to get but his more practical knowledge like why is it when I cook with wine, even though I already use decent wine it is still feel like hit and miss. Then what is the different between Biscotti and Cantucini because they look pretty the same to me. And even more importantly, I found out that some stores here like in Ranch99 and then Papaya sell dried lavender and also now plants stores start to sell not only rosemary plants but also sage and thyme and if I go to the mountain I can get almost all of fresh herbs that western food usually use. This is the primary reason on why I go to cooking class. To get the chance to see how professional use their skill to make certain dishes and those crucial information that usually only professional chefs knows . About who is their suppliers too. It is useless to have extensive recipe book library if I can not get the ingredients or I don't know the exact way to cook it that usually missing from the book.

Mr. Anzani is also a pretty good teacher. He kept his class on time and run at a schedule so it's not too tiring and his assistant is very informative because he is the one who told me where to get the ingredients. Mr. Anzani also said that he has taught Italian cooking class for 4 times and he is planning to come back on December to teach another class.

This class cost Rp.190.000 (US $ 19 ), by the end of the class you get to eat at all-you-can-eat-buffet at Jamoo so if you think about it, this class is not expensive because to eat at Jamoo can cost somewhere more than Rp 125.000 ( $ 13 ) a person already.

So after I learn to cook those dishes, I sit down with a new friend who took this class also and has a nice lunch together. This class is offered because right now at Jamoo, they spotlight Italian food so today when I ate at Jamoo, I ate mostly Italian food too. Like the pictures below here.





Biscotti With Lavender And Orange

Ingredients:

100g sugar
70g butter, softened
30g / 1 Tbs chopped fresh lavender leaves
5g / 1 tsp grated orange rind
5g / 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
250g / 2 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
25g sliced almond, toasted
cooking spray

Methods:

Preheat oven to 170C

Beat the first 5 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well blended.
Beat in egg whites until you get a soft peak.
Then fold the first 5 ingredients mixture into the egg whites. Do this in 3 stages.
Stir in almonds and shape the biscotti dough into a log and then flatten it a little until it has a 3 cm thickness.
Put the biscotti dough onto a baking sheet and bake it for 30 minutes. Then take the pan out from the oven and let the dough sit first on the pan until it cool off because if you take it out right away it is going to break. When it is cool completely, you can slice diagonally into 1-cm thick of slice.
Place the slices on its side on a pan then bake it again at 170C for 15 minutes.
Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.


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