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Carson’s culinary team tests your taste buds

Photos by BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Carson High School culinary team's appetizer is Macadamia Crusted Ahi Tuna with Mint Ravioli.
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The Carson High School Culinary Arts program sent four teams of students to Las Vegas to compete in the ProStart 2008 Nevada Championships. Teams of students compete in two competitions – culinary and management. The culinary competition demonstrates creative abilities through preparation of a three-course meal in 60 minutes.

While the culinary team finished second, the management team placed first, earning them a spot in the national competition taking place April 24-26 in San Diego.

The management team must raise $8,000 to attend the national competition. They have scheduled several fundraisers and are accepting donations to help fund the trip.

“The trip has to be entirely fundraised by the students,” Teacher Penny Reynolds said. “Two years ago we also won the state championship – with not as many other awards – and placed sixth at nationals that year.”

Below is the menu prepared by the culinary team for the state competition.

Appetizer:

Macadamia Crusted Ahi Tuna with Mint Ravioli

4 oz. Fresh Ahi tuna

14 macadamia nuts

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 medium mint leaves

Cut tuna into two 1-inch medallions. Crush pepper and finely chop macadamia nuts, set 1/2 tsp. aside for garnish. Combine pepper, chopped macadamia nuts and kosher salt. Coat top and bottom of medallions with the macadamia nut mixture. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan. Sear tuna medallions for 12-15 seconds on each side. Remove medallions from pan and place on a paper towel.

Chutney

2 tablespoons pineapple

2 tablespoons red papaya

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 orange

Peel the pineapple and core it. Peel the mango. Cut the papaya in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and peel. Medium dice the mango, the papaya and the pineapple. Combine in a saucepan with the juice from the orange halve and the honey. Cook over low heat until the fruit has broken down.

Serve over Ahi Tuna.

Mint Ravioli

Dough:

4 tablespoons all purpose flour

5 tablespoons semolina flour

1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 egg

8 small mint leaves

Combine all purpose flour, 4 tablespoons semolina flour and kosher salt in a medium metal bowl. Add half of the egg and mix until a ball of dough is formed.

Roll the dough through a pasta roller using the remaining semolina if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough has been rolled through the No. 6 setting place the mint leaves on half of the dough and fold the other half of the dough over.

Roll the dough through the No. 3 setting once.

Cut out four squares using a ravioli die. Place filling on bottom half of the ravioli.

Using the other half of the egg to wet the edges place the top half of the ravioli on top of the bottom half with filling and seal at the edges. Boil in water until al dente.

Filling:

1 tablespoon ricotta cheese

1 teaspoon parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon romano cheese

1/2 shallot

3 large mint leaves

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 egg

1/2 cup ice

Combine ricotta and romano cheeses. Mince shallot and add to the cheese mixture. Chiffonade mint leaves and add. Add black pepper and egg.

Mix thoroughly and keep over ice bath until ready to use.

Sauce:

2 cloves garlic

1/2 shallot

2 teaspoon butter

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoon parmesan cheese

freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chicken stock

Mince garlic and shallots. Sauté garlic and shallots in butter. Add the cream and the parmesan cheese. Season to taste with pepper. Boil until thick. Add chicken stock if too thick.

Serve over ravioli.

Plating Directions

Blanch the mint leaves and place four on each plate. Place ravioli on top of the mint leaves. Place medallions on the plate, top with chutney. Spoon alfredo sauce on raviolis and serve.

Entree:

Chicken Roulade with a Savory Marsala Sauce and Quinoa

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup spinach leaves, chiffonade

1/2 cup basil leaves, chiffonade

3 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes in oil

1/4 cup Marsala wine

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

Salt

De-bone chicken to get the two breasts and place rest of chicken in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, put on ice and use in stock. Once the breasts have been removed from chicken place skin side down on cutting board and lightly cover with plastic wrap.

Using a meat mallet begin to pound out chicken until it is a 1/4 of an inch thick. Add a 1/4 cup of the spinach and basil leaves to each of the breasts, then add evenly between the two breasts the sun dried tomatoes and the crumbled feta cheese.

Carefully roll up the chicken breast and use tooth picks to securely attach the flap of the chicken breast to the meat of the chicken breasts so it stays rolled up. Once the rolls are rolled up lightly season the tops of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan to medium heat. Place the chicken breasts in pan seam side down and place a dome lid on top of pan.

After 6-7 minutes on each side, take internal temperature. It must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from pan and wrap in tinfoil until ready to plate. Keep pan on heat.

Deglaze pan with white chicken stock. Let stock reduce for around 3-5 minutes.

Once stock has reduce add wine and sugar and let reduce for 3 minutes. Add butter and simmer until melted or until sauce gets fairly thick. After making the sauce remove chicken from tin foil and shingle the roulade.

Quinoa

1/2 cup quinoa

2 cup chicken stock

1/2 shallot

2 red mini peppers

2 tablespoons cheese

2 teaspoons butter

Dice the shallot and bruniose the mini peppers. Melt butter in a small pan and sauté. Once tender, add the chicken stock and quinoa. Cook until the quinoa is tender. Add the grated cheese. Stir until completely melted and cover until ready to serve.

Dessert:

Chocolate Cones with Blackberry Mousse

1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries

6 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons confectioner sugar

Set aside two blackberries for plating, then place the remaining berries in a small saucepan with granulated sugar.

Simmer until berries have fallen apart and turned into a syrup. Use a sieve to strain seed from syrup.

Combine gelatin and 1/2 tsp. of water in a small bowl. Let stand until solidified.

Place half of syrup into a small bowl and add gelatin. If syrup is to runny, continue simmering it until it thickens to desired consistency.

In a medium bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioner sugar and beat until stiff peaks. Fold syrup with gelatin mixture until combined.

Pipe into chocolate cones, garnish, and serve.