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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Teen-Chef Alumni of C'est si Bon!: Meet Maya!



What a joy to work with Teen-Chefs, and follow their journeys; let's find out where are they now?

Read the first  post of the series, where we launched the Teen Tours in Provence back in 2004 and the second post where we meet Nora.  - she does work in leather-crafting and enjoys Viking Historical Re-enactments.

Thirdly we met Elijah, now a data analyst in Madison Wisconsin.

We'd love for you to join us! We have travel opportunities for teens this summer, in C'est si Bon!'s Culinary Travel Program for Teens: Taste the Adventure. 

And now meet Maya! From the get go, Maya was a bubbly ray of sunshine, delighted in the details and complexities of the culinary arts and has been quite the busy lady in the years since she joined C'est si Bon! in Paris, Provence, (a research respite to) a farm and chateau in  the Loire, and Tuscany.

"Hi Dorette! I think back to those summers a lot and how special and exciting they were."

Maya, it was such an honor to share the buttery layers of croissants, lavender ice cream, wild boar of Tuscany, honking geese of the Loire, crusty loaves of Pain Poilane, with you!

Maya, now! in San Fran!


Maya and her boyfriend, Andrew, who loves her Sunday suppers! 



"I currently work as an 'operations analyst' at a tech firm. I analyze data to try and help make more strategic and cost effective decisions. I've basically been a data analyst in one shape or another at few firms now. I really like it, but was recently thinking about how I could combine my data skills with love of cooking/ dining (still thinking that one through)"

Maya, then, in Paris. 



Maya and Emily at the Ritz Escoffier Ecole de la Cuisine in Paris, 2007




Emily working on the haricot! (The beans!) 




Maya Enjoying Our Parisian Cooking Class Results



Daryl, Maya, and Dorette in Paris 

Favorite dish, that's a hard one! But quite possibly the Lavender Ice Cream we made in Provence.

Weekdays I go for easy chicken or fish recipes, so I've committed every Sunday to a special dinner. My boyfriend is pleased with this decision haha.

I love love swordfish. My 'go to' (more of a summer thing) is seared (I only have a cast iron) or grilled swordfish with EVOO Salt and Pepper, a 'fun' salsa, and black rice (which i have come to really like). I don't have an exact recipe but roughly:

Maya's Fun Salsa

1 avocado diced
1/2 red onion chopped
2 mangos (not overly ripe) diced
1 bunch scallions
2 T cilantro
s/p to taste
2 ears grilled corn (if in season)
a splash of evoo

May I contribute a more serious swordfish recipe? I have only made it once but really loved it. My dad sent it to me, I think its Mario Batali.

Maya, Merci beaucoup for spending time catching us up on what's cooking with you!

Swordfish Involtini alla Siciliana from Mario Batali

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup whole Gaeta olives
1/4 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup currants
1 1/2 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 to 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 oranges, zested
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 pound piece of swordfish, cut into 4 (1/3-inch-thick) slices by your fishmonger

String or toothpicks

Fresh oregano leaves, torn
Fennel fronds, for garnish

Basic tomato sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
Salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the olives, capers, red pepper flakes, pine nuts and currants. Stir in the tomatoes and wine. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, orange zest, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper, and mix well.
Season each piece of fish with salt and pepper and place flat on a work surface. Spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly across each of the fish pieces and carefully roll each like a jelly roll, securing each roll with string or with toothpicks. Place the rolls in the skillet with the sauce. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Place 1 roll on each of 4 warmed dinner plates, spoon some of the sauce over each, and garnish with chopped parsley, torn oregano, fennel fronds and olive oil.

Basic tomato sauce:
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6.

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