Culinary exchange, Arta, Djibouti, March 2011

Culinary exchange, Arta, Djibouti, March 2011

Some cool Hot Chicken Recipe images:

Culinary exchange, Arta, Djibouti, March 2011
Hot Chicken Recipe

Image by US Army Africa
Arta Culinary School student Deke Ahmed washes dishes after the exchange of homemade recipes March 12, 2011, in Arta, Djibouti.

Photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Dawn Price

Beginning March 12, students from the Arta Culinary School began hosting the Djibouti Civil Affair Volunteer (CAV) team from Camp Lemmonier for four consecutive Saturdays for a cultural culinary exchange in Arta, Djibouti.

The dishes prepared are intended to be affordable and made from scratch. Most importantly, all the ingredients are easily available at local super markets so students can share their knowledge with their community.

“This project showcases interaction between our [CAV] volunteers and the culinary students,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Stephen Beyer, chaplain of Camp Lemonnier Freedom Chapel. “It is not one group teaching, it is a group of people sharing and learning together.”

Sharing food is a meaningful experience and builds friendly relationships, said Beyer. Even though differing languages may present a barrier to communication, the ‘breaking of bread’ is a universal language.

“It was a unique circumstance to be representatives of the United States in a non-military situation,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Radcliffe, who prepared the first meal of baked chicken and rice with caramelized onions.

He said part of the inspiration for the project stemmed from the knowledge that the Djiboutians’ prior understanding of American-style cuisine consisted only of hot dogs and hamburgers.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Sasha Hutchinson said she volunteered for deployment in Djibouti specifically to experience these cultural differences and learn from them.

“I wanted to learn about other cultures and their people,” she said. “Our mission is communication and that’s why the CAV does these types of activities. I wanted to be a part of that and it’s amazing.”

The Arta Culinary School opened three years ago to prepare students in three areas of restaurant service: culinary arts, reception and customer service.

Eissa Ahmed Gnnan, 18, is a first-year student studying to be a chief.

“My father cooked having learned from the French military,” he said. “He passed that on to me and it is a family tradition that I want to continue.”

Senior Chief Lana Tullos, a CAV volunteer, said the experience was amazing.

“I learned a lot here today,” she said. “I’ve never seen food like this before and it is something that I can take back and share with my family.”

Radcliffe said he was surprised to see so many males in the class. In Djiboutian culture, males do not typically set foot in the kitchen.

“One gentleman explained that he didn’t know what his kitchen looked like and the women are raised to cook from an early age,” said Radcliffe. Senior Chief Lana Tullos, a CAV volunteer, said the experience is amazing.

“Food is a common ground for everyone,” she said. “You can chit chat while sharing with one another. It is a wonderful experience and it will be long lasting for everyone.”

Their next exchange is Saturday, March 19, when the Dijiboutians are scheduled to prepare an authentic meal for the group. Even though it is not their turn to cook, CAV volunteers promised to bring vanilla cake for some dessert.

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Dinner: July 28
Hot Chicken Recipe

Image by evansent
Harrison, Nicolas, and Jeffrey came over for dinner tonight. We cooked a treasured family recipe that Harrison’s great-grandmother got off of the food network’s website way back in the old country.

Chicken Parmesan (4 huge servings)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand crushed
Pinch brown sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
Freshly grated Parmesan
1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente

Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the olives and some hand-torn basil. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line. Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a plate, season with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.

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I think we must have followed this recipe to the letter, because the cooking times were very precise and the chicken was cooked perfectly.

We also heated up a sliced loaf of ciabatta, stuck some garlic and olive oil in the slices and oila: garlic bread.

Nicolas also brought a fantastic cheese cake. Good Food! Good Company!

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