Amaltea cooking school: first lesson

Passion and Patience for a delightful result.

Fine cooking is patience. It’s taking the time to understand the process it takes to get the food to the plate. Studying the techniques makes the execution possible. It’s all about love and care for what you are doing and whom you are doing it for. From the beginning of my new cooking experience at “Scuola di Cucina Amaltea” I immediately understood that the best ingredients for a good compound are passion and time.The school is next to the restaurant “L’Erba del Re” owned by the Chef Luca Marchini, who is also the master of the cooking classes and it is directly connected with the kitchen of his restaurant.
L’Erba del Re is a modern and elegant restaurant located in Piazza della Pomposa in Modena, a jewel set in one of the most characteristic corner of the old town.

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I was a little bit scared going to learn from a Michelin starred Chef as Luca Marchini , thinking to all the tv programs that are about cooking school, like masterchef, where Chefs are arrogant and strict. When I arrived he was waiting for students standing in a relaxed manner , with arms folded , wearing the typical cook’s white shirt. Right away I felt at ease because Mr Luca is a nice and funny person , really approachable.

The first lesson was about the basic broths and sauces :

1) “Fondo bruno di manzo” Beef Brown Stock:
brown stock is made with beef bones for a delicate-bodied soup. Bones are roasted and when browned they must be covered with vegetable soup and left cooking for about 3-4 hours. At the end the soup must be filtered and cooked again. Finally when it will be enough reduced with some drops of lemon juice it will be ready and really tasty. The stock obtained can be used on grilled meat or for preparing many other dishes.
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2) “Brodo di gallina” Broth made with hen:
it is very easy to make it and it is the base of many dishes. A hen , a carrot , a celery rib with leaves and half a onion must be put in pan with cold water. It has to boil till it will be reduced of the 30% .

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3) “Consommé di carne” Meat Consommé:
in broth made with hen we have boiled ground beef, carrot , celery , onion , pepper and egg whites and at the end we passed through a filter the soup. This suop was a surprise to me , very tasty and light.
4) “Salsa Besciamella” Bechamel Sauce:
I love this sauce because it’s easy to prepare and delightful . The ingredients are flour, milk and butter a little bit of sault.
5) “Salsa Mornay” Mornay Sauce:
this sauce is made with bechamel sauce , fresh cream and Parmigiano and usually it is used on vegetables or pasta for a creamy result.
6) “Salsa di Pomodoro” Tomato Sauce:
the secret for a good tomato sauce is the “soffritto” carrots, celery and onion minced and cooked slowly in olive oil. This process can take half an hour , but at the end this vegetables must be well cooked almost like a a cream.The following step is cooking tomatoes and mixing them together with soffitto . This sauce is wonderful with pasta!

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7) ” Burro di acciuga” Anchovy Butter:
to obtain a delicius butter with anchovy flavour the only thing to do it is to press the anchovies on the sieve for making a sort of cream, and mix it with butter . On warm bread it is exquisite!

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8) “Vellutata di Broccoli” Broccoli Cream:
this cream left me surprised , so good and low calories! All information about it are in  Recipes section.

lezione 1 amaltea crema di broccoli 1000
9) ” Stracciatella” Egg Drop Soup:
this is a mix of eggs , Parmigiano , parsley, nutmeg and salt boiled in hot broth . This is typical of the Roman cuisine , tasty and cheap.

lezione 1 amaltea stracciatella 1000