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Probably the best Culinary Art Schools in the Unites States are the Le Cordon Bleu culinary academies. Le Cordon Bleu degrees are recognized and respected by top chefs all over the world.
The Le Cordon Bleu school maintains 15 campuses across America, including one in Las Vegas.
Culinary Art Schools will teach you how to use locally sourced products on your menu.
For instance, soft shell pine nuts are brought to you from Nevada's Sierra Mountains. They're actually not nuts at all, but seeds from pine trees. Their taste is similar to a chestnut, but with a softer, moister, much less potato-like texture, and a slight hint of amaretto flavor.
Here's an authentic pine nut recipe from Nevada:
PINE NUT COOKIES
1 1/2 cups pine nuts (about 7 ounces)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) almond paste,* crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar (for dusting)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter 2 large baking sheets.
Blend 3/4 cup pine nuts, sugar, almond paste and lemon peel in food processor until crumbly mixture forms.
Transfer mixture to large bowl; add egg whites.
Using electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth.
Blend flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add to pine nut mixture; beat until smooth (dough will be soft and sticky).
Place remaining 3/4 cup pine nuts in shallow bowl.
Spoon generous tablespoonful dough onto pine nuts in shallow bowl, coating 1 side of dough with pine nuts.
Using floured fingertips, transfer dough to prepared baking sheet, pine nut side up.
Smooth edges of dough until round. Repeat with remaining dough, flouring fingertips as needed to prevent sticking, and spacing cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake cookies 1 baking sheet at a time until golden, about 20 minutes.
Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, transfer to plate, and serve.
(Store in airtight container at room temperature)
Makes about 28
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas
Nothing to It Culinary Center in Reno 775-826-2628
Mise En Place Cooking School in Las Vegas
The International Culinary School in Henderson 702-992-8500
Culinary Training Academy in North Las Vegas 702-924-2100
Tahoe Cooking Queens in Incline Village 775-831-1907
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