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Moses Lake High School culinary team wins state title

Giving up probably seemed like the easiest thing to do when the pipes froze this winter at Moses Lake High School.

No one would have blamed them. The resulting flood displaced the school’s culinary team as it was preparing for the state competition. But the students were in no mood to let Mother Nature force a forfeit.

They told their teacher Susie Moberg, “We want to do it. We think we can win.” So, they relocated their practice to the teachers’ lounge and carried on. In March, the perseverance paid off. The Moses Lake students – Melissa Camacho, Cori Hill, Sofie Uribe and Nathan Jacobs – won the state Boyd Coffee Culinary Cup hot foods competition. They recently returned from the national competition in Orlando, Fla.

Although the team didn’t place in the top three schools, just getting to the contest was a thrill, said coaches Dan and Dani Bolyard. It was the first time a Washington school east of the Cascades won at the state level.

“It’s a lot of hours and hours and hours of trial and error,” said Moberg, who teaches the ProStart culinary program at Moses Lake High School. The classes are sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation to help introduce students to the food service industry. The team was also assisted by Libby McDonald, Eastern Washington coordinator for the restaurant association.

The four-student team had to prepare three courses on two gas burners in one hour to win the state culinary competition. The winning menu included Sunrise Salad with Blood Orange Sauce, Fontina and Prosciutto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts served with Mango Curry, Green Baby Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Purple and Sweet Potato Chips and Steamed Chocolate Cake with Mixed Berry Sauce.

Here are two of their winning recipes:

Sunrise Salad with Blood Orange Sauce

For the Blood Orange Sauce:

Juice from 1 blood orange

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

For the salad:

1 kiwi

1 grapefruit

1 mango

1 star fruit

Poppy seeds, for garnish

To make the sauce: Juice one blood orange and strain into saucepan. Add the lemon juice and honey. Whisk together and place on heat.

Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly to avoid scorching. Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the cornstarch; reheat the mixture.

Remove from heat and let cool. Put the sauce in a plastic squeeze bottle with a narrow tip.

To make the salad: Peel the kiwi and cut in half lengthwise. Make a series of curved slices and fan and set aside.

With a paring knife, cut off all the peel on the grapefruit, being careful to remove all the pith. Section the grapefruit. Set aside.

Peel the mango, and cut the flesh ends away from the seed. Slice the mango thinly, creating another series of curved slices. Cut the star fruit into 1/4 -inch slices to resemble stars.

To serve the salad, arrange the fruit slices on a serving plate and drizzle with Blood Orange Sauce. Garnish with poppy seeds.

Yield: 2 servings

Approximate nutrition per serving: 181 calories, less than 1 gram fat (4 percent fat calories), 2 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 5 grams dietary fiber, 3 milligrams sodium.

Fontina and Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

2 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices fontina cheese

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

1 cup whipping cream or milk

Flour, to coat chicken

3 tablespoons clarified butter (see note)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pound out the chicken breasts, making sure they remain equal in size.

Put 1 slice of prosciutto and 1 slice of fontina cheese on top of each flattened breast. Lightly salt and pepper the breasts. Roll up the breasts tightly and secure them with toothpicks or twine.

Pour the cream or milk in a shallow pan. Put the flour in another shallow pan. Dip the rolled breasts in the milk, taking care to coat the whole breast, then dip chicken in flour to coat.

Melt the clarified butter and olive oil in a large skillet. When the butter foams, add the chicken breasts. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally until the chicken is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Keep breasts warm until ready to serve. Serve with Mango Curry (recipe follows).

Note: To make clarified butter, follow these instructions from Gourmet magazine: Cut butter into 1-inch pieces and melt in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and let stand 3 minutes. Skim froth and slowly pour butter into a measuring cup, leaving milky solids in bottom of pan. Discard milky solids. One stick ( 1/2 cup) of butter will yield 5 to 6 tablespoons of clarified butter.

Yield: 2 servings

Mango Curry

2 tablespoons unsweetened pineapple juice

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup medium-diced red onion

1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons orange or red bell pepper, diced small

4 ounces fresh mango, peeled and diced medium

Kosher salt, to taste

White pepper, to taste

In a bowl, combine the pineapple juice, cider vinegar, brown sugar and curry powder.

In a sauté pan heat the oil and add the red pepper flakes, being careful not to burn the red pepper flakes.

Add the onions and sweat until soft. Add the ginger and bell pepper; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.

Finally, add the mango and cook for 1 more minute.

Add the pineapple juice mixture to the sauté pan. Combine, simmer and reduce the mixture. Cook for approximately 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Yield: 2 servings

Approximate nutrition per serving: Unable to calculate.