Honors Cooking Class at Don Coqui

                On Saturday, April 2, 2011, members of the Pforzheimer Honors College travelled to Don Coqui in New Rochelle to learn about gourmet cooking.  This hands-on experience allowed students to prepare the entire meal and then sit down and enjoy it family-style.
                Chef Stephanie, who was in charge of the event, and her two assistants were available to help when necessary; however, the majority of the work was done by Honors College students.  The evening’s menu consisted of salad, two entrees, and two desserts.
                The salad that was prepared was no ordinary salad!  It was a Mesculin salad topped with goat cheese, carmelized pears, and onions.  The salad team worked very hard to prepare this unique and delicious salad that everyone seemed to love.
                The first entree was a chicken “Saltimbocca.”  Members of the chicken team were in charge of cutting the chicken breast, flattening it with a meat mallet, seasoning it, and folding it with prosciutto and sage.  Mushrooms drenched in Marsala wine sauce were added on top of the chicken.  Garlic mashed potatoes were served as a side to the chicken dish.
                A hanger steak with roasted corn chipotle salsa was also prepared that night.  Members of the steak team had to season the steak and then marinate it for about 30 minutes.  In the meantime, they worked on the salsa.  In addition to the steak, this team also prepared mashed sweet plantains as a side dish.
                The final dish was my personal favorite — dessert.  The dessert team prepared two types of sweets for the evening: panqueques and a molten chocolate cake.  Panqueques are “dulce de leche” filled crepes that were topped with a rum sauce and strawberry garnish.  The molten chocolate cakes were individual soufflés that were absolutely perfect for any chocolate lover. 
                As we prepared to leave, the staff members at Don Coqui said they were happy to have us there and by the looks of every students’ face; I could tell it was definitely an experience that everyone enjoyed.