PERRYSBURG - Denise Schaefer, chef instructor at Penta Career Center, is back home for a brief stopover between Las Vegas and Marion, Ohio.
She was in Vegas last week being inducted into the prestigious honor society of the American Culinary Federation during that organization's national convention.
Now she is about to head down to Tri-Rivers in Marion where she will be one of 12 chefs guiding 49 culinary students from across the state of Ohio for a four-day Team Cuisine Cook's Camp. Three Penta students will be among the select four dozen young people at the cooking camp, which culminates in a grand banquet put on by the young people for their instructors on the final day.
In between all this excitement, Schaefer sat down at her laptop and dreamed up a crabmeat-inspired appetizer for the Cook's Corner. It features a Dijon mustard dressing topped with a dollop of mango-peach salsa.
"I really like working with lump crab - especially Phillips products. They were at the trade show in Vegas and these are things I picked up there.
"They were using the phyllo (dough) and the crab. Then I did a blending of my own flavor preferences" with the first two ingredients, among them salad, cilantro and a seafood seasoning.
"I made up my own herb mayo and I thought, 'What else would go with this, right this time of year?' and I thought, 'A mango-peach salsa would just top that right off!"
The resulting lump crab meat phyllo roll-ups are "versatile for an appetizer or summer salad," noted Schaefer, who is about to begin her 34th year on the faculty at Penta.
Married, with no children of her own, Schaefer admitted "the students are my kids. And I try to spoil them, too!"
She can hardly wait to set foot inside the shiny new kitchen of the just-contructed new Penta building. "They started moving in this week!"
Schaefer has always loved cooking.
"I'm 100 percent Lebanese, and that was always part of our culture: cooking.
"In high school we had a gourmet cooking class" with just six students, Schaefer among them. That was the genesis of her interest in teaching and in commercial cookery.
She earned a bachelor's degree in food service and culinary arts from Bowling Green State University in 1974, a master's degree in education from the University of Toledo in 1979, and holds certified executive chef (CEC) credentials.
Sporting her new chef's jacket with the American Academy of Chefs logo on it, she has already twice served the ACF as a national judge for the "Chef Educator of the Year" competition between the top four chef educators in the country, most recently at the Las Vegas convention.
So highly respected in her field is Schaefer, that she was selected to review the high-school level "Culinary Essentials" textbook by Glencoe-McGraw Hill before its publication in 2001 and was a major contributor to the instructor materials and student lab workbook published with the book. It is used by culinary students at Penta today.
For those planning to try her crab meat phyllo roll-ups, she has an "insider" hint.
"For cost control use 'special' or claw crab meat, instead of lump crab meat, to reduce the cost."
Lump crab meat phyllo roll-ups
Baked lump crab meat phyllo roll-ups are wonderful served as an appetizer when nestled in a lettuce leaf and served as a wrap. Open the leaf and apply a stream of Dijon-Mustard dressing, set one crab roll in the dressing then top with mango-peach salsa. Fold up the bottom of the leaf a quarter of the way and roll the lettuce around the crab roll.
If you want a great summer salad: arrange four or five crab rolls on top of a bed of your favorite garden greens adding halved grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, and a confetti blend of very small-diced mixed peppers. Top with dollop of fresh mango-peach salsa (Fontova brand - found in the fresh case at the grocery store) to add a little 'kick". Serve with Dijon-Mustard dressing (recipe below).
1 lb. lump crab meat (Phillips brand)
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. red pepper, small dice
2 Tbsp. yellow pepper, small dice
3 Tbsp. green onions, finely diced
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper, as desired
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. Seafood Seasoning (Old Bay brand)
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ box frozen phyllo dough (Athens brand)
1 cup butter, melted
Thaw phyllo dough, according to package directions.
Inspect lump crab meat, removing any shells being careful not to break up the lumps of crab.
Combine the crab mat with all ingredients gently.
Set the first sheet of phyllo dough lengthwise on the counter; brush with melted butter. Place a second sheet on top of the first one; brush with melted butter. Place the third sheet on top and repeat the brushing of butter.
Cut dough into 4 wide strips vertically.
Place one to two tablespoons of mixture at the bottom of each strip in a log formation.
Fold the right side (about ¼-1/2 inch) over the end of the filling.
Fold the bottom end over the crab meat; continue to roll up the phyllo in a secure manner until the end. The right side is a sealed end - the other open.
Place the phyllo cylinders on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter.
Sprinkle with additional seafood seasoning.
Bake at 350 ˚F until brown and crispy, approximately 20 minutes.
Yield: 32 rolls
1 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. white vinegar
½ tsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp. medley of chopped red and yellow peppers
1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
Combine all ingredients until blended.
Chef's note: The roll-ups can be served as an appetizer with the dressing. To assemble: Use a tall-wide mouth shot glass. Place about one tablespoon of dressing in the bottom of the glass; stand one crab meat roll in the sauce. Garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro.
» 1 Comment
at Thursday, 24 July 2008 07:57
I am so proud to be a former student of Mrs. Schaefers! Way to go! You are such a wonderful inspiration to your students (kids)!
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