Lesson Plans

Mar 26, 2017, 15:52

Lesson Plan: Blueberry Kitchen

lesson_nov11A new e-learning module focusing on practical foodservice uses for this fascinating fruit launches on the CIA ProChef Web site.

Courtesy of CIAprochef.com

The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) announces “Blueberry Kitchen: Contemporary Recipes,” a new, easy-access online curriculum developed in partnership with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). The program includes entertaining and informative video instruction by the CIA’s Chef Scott Samuel, who demonstrates preparation of 14 innovative blueberry dishes spanning breakfast, salads, entrées, cocktails and desserts. Designed for chefs, foodservice professionals and culinary educators, “Blueberry Kitchen” is on the CIA ProChef website at www.ciaprochef.com/blueberries.

In addition to recipe know-how, the ProChef site delivers inspiration for incorporating blueberries into world cuisines and offers ideas for adding various forms of blueberries, including fresh, frozen, dried and juice, to add blueberry flavor, color and nutrition to year-round menus.

“Blueberries are a fascinating fruit,” says Samuel. “As I worked with them in the kitchen—cooking, blending, baking, adding spices and other ingredients—I learned how they behave and incorporated what I learned into the program content.”

“Blueberry Kitchen” also links to the USHBC site, www.littlebluedynamos.com, where further blueberry information is available for foodservice and consumers, and foodservice pros can sign up to receive Blue Plate Special, the quarterly e-newsletter from the USHBC.

Lesson Plan: Get Creative with Potatoes

lesson_oct11An e-learning module focusing on Americans’ favorite vegetable.

Courtesy of CIAprochef.com

As the demand for lighter, healthier menu options and bold global flavors continues to grow, more and more chefs are turning to the potato as the perfect canvas for menu innovation. Why? Because potatoes are a familiar, versatile vegetable that can stand up to today's big flavors and eye-catching presentations. They're available in all kinds of exciting new varieties. And they have a remarkable nutrition story to tell. Diners love potatoes, and they demand health, variety and novelty. Now, they can have it all.

Through The Culinary Institute of America’s ProChef e-learning, “Get Creative with Potatoes” presented by the U.S. Potato Board discusses today’s potatoes—and how, now more than ever, they can put chefs at the forefront of menu trends. The module includes menu ideas and recipes, innovative techniques from chefs, instructional videos, potato varieties and nutrition and more.

To access the e-learning module, visit www.ciaprochef.com/potatoes.

Lesson Plan: The World Bean Kitchen—Passport to Flavor

lesson_sept11Courtesy of CIAprochef.com

You don't have to get on a plane to taste one of the glories of Brazilian cooking ... or a bubbling cassoulet from Southwest France ... or a Tuscan soup that tastes like somebody’s grandmother made it. Beans can take you there.

Through The Culinary Institute of America’s ProChef e-learning, “The World Bean Kitchen: Passport to Flavor,” presented by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, debunks some of the myths that surround the cooking of dry beans. Learning segments include “Beyond Bean Basics,” “Bean Nation: The American Experience,” instructional videos and more.

Lesson Plan: Barbecuing American Lamb

Courtesy of the American Lamb Board

lesson_july11Barbecuing lamb brings together a richly flavored, homegrown product and one of America’s specialty cooking methods. It also helps teach our students about cuts of lamb that they may not often cook.

The term barbecue is somewhat confusing. To many in the United States it refers to outdoor cooking in general. To others, it conjures up images of putting burgers or steaks on the grill. For culinarians and many of those who live in the south, barbecuing refers to a very specific cooking method where low, indirect heat is used to slow cook full-flavored and tougher cuts of meat. Often the heat comes from burning wood, so a rich smoky flavor is infused into the meat. Various cuts of lamb are ideal for this cooking method and yield up some really tasty treats.

Lesson Plan: Onions—Flavor from the Ground Up

By Kim Reddin, courtesy of the National Onion Association

lesson_june11Onions provide color and texture to a dish, but their flavor is what really makes them irresistible and virtually irreplaceable in the kitchen. From raw to caramelized, the flavor of an onion has many layers.

Onion Production
Commercially grown in 20 states from coast to coast, onions are the third-largest fresh-vegetable industry in the United States; Idaho-Eastern Oregon, Washington and California are the leading production areas.  The National Onion Association estimates that fewer than 1,000 U.S. farmers plant more than 142,000 acres of onions each year. Americans consume nearly 20 pounds of onions per capita annually.

Flavor Factors
Onion flavor is determined by many factors including genetics, planting location, soil and temperature.  While compounds such as sugars and organic acids can contribute to what people taste, a special class of biologically active organosulfur compounds is what actually give onions their distinctive flavor and aroma.