The second cooking lesson was “Tuscan Cuisine 2”.
- Crostini with Tuscan chicken liver pate
- Crostini with bacon and rosemary
- Crostini with chopped tomato
- Garfagnana soup of spelt wheat
- Bread puree flavored with tomato
- Roast veal shank with gremolata sauce
- Prato-style cantuccini (biscotti)
Starting today, cooking practices will take place in kitchens of 4-star restaurants. When students arrived, Prof. Francesco was there already done with baking veal shanks with vegetables and white wine, as the menu was so full that the students will not be able to complete in the allotted time. As everyone got there, students started cooking in small groups.
“Crostini” is a thin slice (around 1cm-thick) of toasted bread served with toppings such as chicken liver pate, finely chopped tomato flavored with basil or oregano, baked lard with orange peel flavor, etc. It’s a very popular appetizer and also a standard amuse-gueule for happy hours in Italy. Crostini tasting takes place in the kitchen, right after it’s dressed with a topping. Hungry students keep eating one crostini after another.
Cantuccini, a hard-type cookie, is very popular as a Tuscan souvenir. As per Prof. Francesco’s preference, a lot of roasted almonds and hazelnuts are mixed into the dough as kneaded. Finely chopped orange peel and almond extract are added as secret ingredients besides flour, sugar and butter. And that surely makes his recipe outstanding!
Students try to shape the cantuccini dough into a bar with olive oil on their palms, but this process is not as easy as it seems. Prof. Francesco made many students doing it again, and students were putting a lot of effort into making their cantuccini.