Thursday, June 5, 2008

CIC Student Meri Spalviero Featured in the Post and Courier

In her June 4th story for the Charleston Post and Courier newspaper, "Save on Groceries by Using What you Have," cookbook author and television personality Nathalie Dupree included recipes by her newest intern, CIC student Meri Spalviero.
"A new apprentice, Meri Spalviero, winner of Trident Tech's Culinary Institute's Nathalie Dupree scholarship, started working with me last week, eager to try something new. We had planned to go in a different direction, but one thing led to another, mainly the need to use up what we already had on hand," writes Ms. Dupree.
"The refrigerator was laden, as was the fruit and vegetable bowl that sits on my kitchen counter. Everything was getting over-ripe. The next day, Meri showed up with all her vegetables and fruits that were going bad, inspired by my attempt to staunch the waste of my food. So our efforts became a story of saving money and using up what you have before you head for the store."
Meri's Caramelized Pineapple Curd with Fresh Cherries
Makes 3 cups

For the caramelized pineapple:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar
10 slices pineapple, sliced 1/4-inch-thick
For the curd:
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups caramelized pineapple puree
For the pineapple: Melt the butter and brown sugar over medium-high heat in a large skillet or saute pan. Add the pineapple slices on top of the butter/brown sugar mixture, in batches if necessary; don't overlap. (Note: If doing two batches, start with half the butter and brown sugar.) Cook pineapple slices, turning occasionally, until they develop a light brown color. Once all the slices have been caramelized, puree in the blender with any juices that are left in the pan. Reserve 2 cups for the curd. (Any leftover pureed pineapple is delicious over ice cream.)
For the curd: Heat the butter, sugar, eggs and caramelized pineapple puree in a heavy saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently. Don't let the mixture boil; it's a curd, not a curdle. Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes until the mixture has thickened, then cool. Serve with fresh cherries or any leftover fruit, cake, ice cream or whatever you have on hand. May be kept covered in the refrigerator several days, or frozen.

Meri's Corn and Tomato Sweet and Spicy Salad
Serves 2-4
2 ears fresh corn, for about 2 cups
1 pint cherry tomatoes, preferably heirlooms
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce; Mae Ploy brand preferred
1 tablespoon cilantro, thyme or other fresh herb, chopped
Salt to taste

Hold the ear of corn vertically in a glass pie plate and carefully slice down with a paring knife to remove the fresh corn off the cob. Quarter the tomatoes, and toss them in the bowl with the corn. Add the chili sauce, cilantro or other herb, and salt to taste. Stir together and leave out at room temperature to let all the flavors blend. Can be served at room temperature or chilled.

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