Patio Cafe

Central Texas College culinary students work in the kitchen in 2016. The Central Texas College Hospitality department will host the next Patio Café Cuisine Nights dining experience this Friday.

The Central Texas College Hospitality department will host the first Patio Café Cuisine Nights dinner of the spring semester Friday night. The featured menu is a Korean-Mexican fusion cuisine. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the culinary arts area of the CTC Student Center (Building 106).

The menu opens with an appetizer of Korean-style street corn ($7.50): Korean-inspired grilled and charred Mexican street corn with a gochujang aioli, queso fresco topped with parsley and chives. The soup of the night is Asian-inspired tortilla soup ($7.50 for a bowl or $4.50 for a cup with an entrée): warm tortilla soup loaded with fresh vegetables with Asian spices and flavors. Diners can choose the spicy salmon mango apple salad ($12): crispy kale salad with sweet green apple and mangoes balanced with hot chilies, cilantro, lemon juice and cashews then topped with deep-fried blue corn salmon; or the house salad ($3.75 or free with an entrée): a blend of fresh salad greens, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cheese, cucumbers, bacon bits and croutons with a choice of dressing.

The entrees are Korean beef tacos ($17): three tacos filled with bulgogi, avocado, ginger and garlic then topped with a sriracha lime slaw and served on a warm flour tortilla; fusion pork spareribs ($15.50): grilled spareribs finished by baking with an Asian twist and flavored with fresh ginger, cinnamon, fennel, gochujang and soy sauce; sweet and spicy glazed salmon ($16.75): salmon fillet baked and steamed with a sweet and spicy glaze made from maple syrup, lime juice, chili sauce, garlic and ginger then topped with sesame seeds and fresh green onion.

Each entrée is served with a choice of two side dishes. The choices are spicy roasted carrots and broccoli: oven-roasted carrots and broccoli glazed with a sweet and spicy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sriracha, garlic and brown sugar; Bok choy and soy: Bok choy boiled and topped with an oyster sauce, garlic, salt, pepper and dry sherry; fried rice cake: fried rice molded and shaped into a patty then deep-fried and filled with peas, spring onion, egg whites and sesame seeds; and sautéed spicy potato: crispy and tender sautéed potatoes coated in a hot, buttery spice including Sichuan peppercorn, garlic, cumin, green onion and more spices. Each side dish is also available a la carte.

Top off the meal with a dessert of either pandan chiffon cake ($5.75): Fluffy and soft chiffon cake enhanced with coconut milk and a pandan sugar glaze topped with whipped cream with blueberries on the side or black sesame pudding ($6.50): black sesame pudding layered with whipped cream and flavored with coconut cream, roasted peanuts then chilled and topped with strawberries.

The Korean-Mexican fusion cuisine is the first of six dinners to be served during the spring semester. The dinners are every other Friday (except during spring break) and each will feature a different cuisine prepared by students in the intermediate Food Prep class. Reservations for each dinner are required and can be made by calling the CTC Hospitality department at 254-526-1515.

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