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What you need to know for 08/21/2017

SCCC students prepare, sell specialized meats

SCCC students prepare, sell specialized meats

The products students prepare in the advanced garde manger course at Schenectady County Community Co

Melissa Doney can bring home the bacon just about every day.

As one of the culinary instructors teaching the advanced garde manger course at Schenectady County Community College, Doney is into brining, curing and smoking meats. The products her students prepare — sausage, pasta and steaks among them — are now for sale at a small college store called The Boucherie.

The store in Elston Hall opened to the public last month.

“We are going into various sausage-making and smoking and really opening up the doors to an old way of taking care and protecting your meats, but also utilizing product at the same time,” Doney said. The program began last fall, and was first taught by Christopher Tanner, who in January left SCCC to become director of the culinary institute at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa.

The Boucherie

WHAT: Offering products (sausage, pasta and steaks among them) prepared by the garde manger students at SCCC

WHERE: Elston Hall, SCCC main campus

WHEN: Mondays from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and Tuesdays from 2:30 to 3:30 and 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Pane E Dolci

WHAT: A bakery stocked and staffed by SCCC culinary program baking students

WHERE: Elston Hall, SCCC main campus

WHEN: Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Students of garde manger — pronounced “gar-mon-jay” — become experts at seasoning, poaching, simmering, searing, roasting, frying, curing, drying, smoking, marinating, grinding, puréeing, forming, spreading, slicing and carving, among other techniques.

Chefs, shoppers benefit

Doney said students and shoppers both will benefit from the course. The future chefs will learn new techniques for days to come in restaurants; bargain hunters will find fresh meats at a fair price.

“It’s going to vary every week,” she said. “Certain weeks, we’ll have knockwurst and bratwurst, but we are also going to be doing the normal Italian sausage and also chorizo, a spicy-style sausage mainly from the region of Spain. That’s one thing to touch base with this class, too, the importance of different areas and regions, how they take care of their meats.”

Doney said students are striving to succeed in the class — so they’ll be taking their time as they cut steaks or make sausage. “Our students are working with heart, with love,” Doney said. “So there’s a more homey style to it. We are going to be competitive with the normal grocers and butchers in the area.”

Doney added that The Boucherie is run by students. “When you walk in, you’ll be greeted by students, we have our students doing everything. We break down their tasks, who’s store manager, who’s taking care of inventory.”

Staffing bakery

Students also staff Pane E Dolci, the small bakery also in Elston Hall. Breads, cakes, cookies, tarts and croissants are sold Tuesday through Friday.

“There’s a line at opening time,” said professor Paul Krebs, who teaches several baking and pastry courses. “We have a lot of variety. Some things are constant throughout the semester and there are always specials.”

Students in a recent garde manger class seemed anxious to learn. Ian Wilde, 22, of Albany, was grinding lamb shoulder to prepare merguez, a spicy sausage popular in North African cuisine. “I hope to open up my own deli one day and butcher my own meat,” he said. “I’d like to make my own sausage.”

Added Lisa Hollenbeck of Binghamton: “If you’re going to be a butcher or in a restaurant, a lot of the chefs have to do this, they have to grind their own meats.”

“It’s just a good skill to have,” added Tricia Kemmy, 27, of Averill Park. “If you can appreciate a good product, you know what to look for in a good product.”

If people are shopping at The Boucherie, they might consider using this recipe:

Grilled Pork Chops with Andouille, Greens and Beans

4 fresh-cut pork chops (available in The Boucherie)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For pork chops, season chops with salt, pepper and rosemary. Drizzle each chop with a little bit of the oil, to prevent the chop from sticking to the grill. Cook on hot grill until desired temperature (at least internal temp of 145 degrees) and let rest for up to 3 minutes.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons shallots, minced

1 cup sliced Spanish onion

2 pounds fresh kale

1 1⁄2 pounds Andouille sausage (available in The Boucherie)

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Juice from 1 fresh lemon

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 cup cannellini beans

1⁄2 cup white wine

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Salt and pepper, to taste

In large sauté pan, add the oil on medium high heat. When oil is warm, add the garlic, shallots and onion. Cook until onions are translucent. Add the kale, Andouille, crushed red pepper flakes, cover for 3 minutes

Uncover the pot, turn up to high heat and stir the mixture.

Add the lemon juice, tomatoes and cannellini beans. When the kale is wilted, add the white wine and let reduce by half.

Mount in the butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves four.

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