Life at Publix has been pretty busy lately. Our summer schedule is out and packed with tons of really awesome classes. There were a few recipes from previous classes that I wanted to try, and I was able to get to a few over the past couple of weeks. The Onion Focaccia was one that I could not wait to try out on my own. I was super nervous because it was the first time I was working with yeast by myself – at least at work the other chefs are there and know what they are doing! I glued my eyes to that yeast and I swear I held my breath until I finally started to see it foam, almost 10 minutes later. Chef Rey had said in class that if nothing happens after about 10 minutes, then you know your yeast is dead. So you can only imagine how anxious I was. As soon as the movement started, I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief and continued on with the recipe. I must say, my focaccia came out freakin’ awesome. I added roasted cherry tomatoes on top with the caramelized onions and it was a perfect pairing of sweet flavors. I even got Rey’s nod of approval on the cherry tomato idea and he said I did a good job! Wahoo! I can’t wait to make it again – I have a few other flavor combinations whirling around in my head… I’m thinking something with goat cheese next. Yeah, goat cheese on anything sounds good to me.
I also made the Spinach Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette. I made it as the starter for a dinner with fish, so I left out the poached chicken from the original recipe. This salad has kiwi, mango, papaya, toasted nuts, and creamy melted goat cheese. The salad was great, but I messed up something with the dressing. It tasted good, but it didn’t have the same consistency as it does whenever we make it in class. I asked Rey about it and we figured out that for some reason, the recipe I printed for myself was missing an ingredient – that ingredient just happened to be the same one that would have thickened it properly. Oops. At least now I know for next time.