Is this not a gorgeous group of people? And I want to say both inside and out! These people are pretty terrific and I had a wonderful Saturday night!
Don’t you have people you owe dinner invitations to? You can do better than just ‘picking up the check’!
That my friends, is a Chef Marian Cooking Class. Didn’t book me for one yet?
There’s still time!
I don’t know about my iphone camera and its’ inability to focus…. but after cocktails, a full cooking class and wine tasting…. I guess the out of focus ‘look’ works! lol
When I came to Bob and Leslie’s home tonight to do a cooking class, and saw people that are my contemporaries actually loving each other as both couples and individuals, being good friends to each other and enjoying each other. As a divorced woman without a man in my life I thought: “There’s hope. I will have this again”! So I thank them for this wonderful insight!
And the music! And the dancing! Really, my kind of people!
Onto the Cooking Class…..
LET’S GIVE CHEF MARIAN A ROUND OF APPLAUSE, THAT AFTER LAST WEEKS ESTATE SALE, ALL THE PACKING AND VIEWING NEW PLACES, NEGOTIATING MOVERS ETC, SHE ACTUALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS CRAZY WEEKEND WENT AND DID A COOKING CLASS! BRAVO CHEF MARIAN.
I know. I know. I thank you for noticing. I was bushed. It’s true. But the show must go on! And the energy of these wonderful people kept me going and inspired me to do my best. So this time around, they get the credit, not me! lol
SO WHAT D’YA MAKE CHEF MARIAN?
Well, it would not have been a wonderful meal without good ingredients. So we went for organic. And we started with Caesar Salad from scratch with homemade croutons. Remember I told you I was bushed? Well, I forgot one thing, and forgot FORGOT a second thing. Shame on me! The guys ran to the store to buy the anchovies for the Caesar…. but guess what else (and I couldn’t nail it at the moment)….. dijon mustard. That was the missing element in the salad that drove me crazy until half way home when I went…. Whhooooot? Yep folks. I spaced the dijon. And in the tasting I did before serving… I added extra anchovies to bump up the flavor. But with the dijon that certainly was not necessary.
So the items I put into my olive oil are: roasted garlic (1/2 to 3/4 of a head), 2 squirts of dijon, 4 -6 anchovies, 1 squeezed lemon and a cup of Parmesan Cheese.
The croutons are old bread cut up…. we did gluten free bread and it was seriously as good as any croutons I’ve made ~ and so easy. Trim the crust, cut into crouton size pieces. Lace with oil to hold the spices and add salt (I really like the Organic Garlic Mama Sea Salt), pepper (I prefer garlic pepper) and chili powder, sprinkling 4 pinches above the bread (1 small loaf). Into the oven at 350 degrees until brown. Watch it! Croutons burn fast!
Then… let’s see….. I did a demonstration on how to roll chicken cordon bleu.
I did some of them gluten free by leaving out the breadcrumbs… and I left out the procuitto (pork is harder to digest and I was going for flavor, but healthier)…. but what about the cheese? I went the road less traveled. The healthier route.
What is rBST free cheese?
Well according to one source, rBST is an artificial hormone they shoot into the cow to make them produce more milk. And the FDA has ruled it is fit for human consumption.
So there you have it! You’re ‘in the know‘ now! And you can make intelligent choices!
After we learned how to make the chicken, we moved on to Kale with Garlic, cutting the kale away from the bitter stem and steaming with roasted garlic and olive oil, and some shallots that had been carmelized earlier to use with the balsamic, shallots and later broiled brussel sprouts.
It’s always good to use the pans that have been flavored that way, and incorporate the bits left in the pan, into that next dish. Now of course, there are exceptions… but this is a general veggie rule. If you carmelized onions and want to do your next veggie dish, those flavors and bits are good, right?
Creme brulee in that same pot? Not so much. lol
Speaking of desserts…. We did an Apple Crumble. A great graham cracker is made by Annie’s…. you get 3 flavors in one box: Chocolate, Chocolate Chip and Vanilla. No Hydrogenated Oil. Can you say AMEN? Take a look at those graham crackers you’ve been feeding your kids and SWITCH!
I took two different apples, cut them into chunks (about 6 and 6), added cinnamon, a sprinkling of coconut sugar, a pinch of salt, a couple of squeezes of lemon (and by the way, when I peeled and chunked them, they immediately went into lemon water to prevent browning), and then at the very end, a small, small sprinkling of nutmeg. Nutmeg is that flavor (if you do it right) that has a real YUM factor. No one can figure out what it is…. but they sure do like it! The best part of the dish? Cooking it in Apple Cider. That’s this chef’s secret. Want to bring out the apple flavor? That will do it every time!
We piled into a dessert/martini glass crumbled graham crackers (fresh, not mixed with butter and cooked), and the apple mixture and then topped it off with more graham crackers. Almost refreshing! And certainly YUM!
ANYTHING YOU LEFT OUT CHEF?
Yeah… the roasted garlic on baguette…
You know how to roast garlic right? Cut in half, doused with olive oil, salt and pepper, closed up again, wrapped in foil with some air venting….$350 degree or an hour or so (depending on your oven)… yes?
Ok. Then I’m done with tonights Cooking Class. Done with tonight’s blog. And very satisfied to have spent my Saturday night with Bob, Leslie and their wonderful friends.
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