Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cooking Class

Last night my mom and I cashed in on my mother's day gift to her, a cooking class at Viking Cooking School in Bryn Mawr, PA. This was my second adventure at the cooking school and last night was a delight in a completely different way. The first time I went was last year (also for mother's day) I was fresh out of school and an excellent baker, but not quite the little chefette I am now (practice makes perfect, or better anyway). Last year I was slower, dizzier, and waving my knife around. I could feel my year's improvements in every chop, dice, and spice and I loved it! The class we took was Mediterranean Grill (yum!), which featured delicious, healthy season cuisine. We chopped, seasoned, cooked and ate with professional level equipment. Naturally, I want nearly everything I used, but I will have to go back to my mundane equipment and dream of better knives.

One of the recipes was for a white bean hummus. I took one look and knew that it needed some adjustments. My strong dislike of tahini caused some creative thinking, and resulted in a spectacular dip.

White Bean Hummus:
2 cups white beans, cooked
1/4 cup of tahini
2 lemons
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of sage
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil
Sriracha, to taste
salt and pepper

Juice both lemons and zest one lemon. Dump everything except the Sriracha and Olive oil into a food processor (sigh. I wish I had one). Blend together and drizzle the olive oil in while mixing. When it is a good consistency give it a generous squirt of Sriracha, blend and taste. Adjust salt, pepper and Sriracha levels to taste. Serve with veggies, pita, chips, anything really, or just spoon feed it to yourself, its good.

Happy Eating


Monday, June 28, 2010

Fancy Sauce

Yesterday I was cranky. Very cranky. So what could possibly cheer me up more than whipping up something amazingly delicious, and overly fancy for a lovely Sunday night dinner. Instantly, duck popped into my head, so I went to the store to find some. Unfortunately, they only had frozen duck, so that adventure will have to be continued on Thursday night, when the Duck defrosts and is ready to be roasted. So I took a lap around the store and thought, and thought and then I decided, pork chops with mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes, perfect! As expected, the delicious dinner cheered me up, as soon as the sherry hit the pan...

Mashed Potatoes
5-6 medium red potatoes, washed and cubed
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp of butter
A little bit of water (if necessary)
Salt, Pepper

Boil the potatoes and garlic until potatoes are tender, drain liquid and and add butter and sour cream. Mash together and if dry and a little water to moisten. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pork Chops and Mushroom Sauce.
2 thick cut boneless pork chops
1 package of gourmet blend mushrooms
1 shallot
1 clove of garlic
3/4 cup of chicken stock
1/4 cup of dry sherry
1 tbsp of butter, plus a little more
1 to 2 tbsp of flour.
Salt, Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cover a cooking sheet in tinfoil and spray with non-stick spray, set aside. Butter the bottom of the skillet so that it is just covered. Salt and pepper the pork chops on both sides. Place pork chops in the hot skillet and brown for about 3-4 minutes, flip and repeat. Place pork chops on the prepared cooking sheet and cook for approximately 15 minutes, time will vary based on the thickness of the chops. In the meantime lower the heat on the skillet to medium and dice the shallots and the garlic. Add the shallots, garlic, mushrooms and chicken stock to the pan, bring to a simmer. Add the sherry. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. When the mushrooms are almost done, reduce heat to low and whisk in butter and flour to thicken sauce. Continue whisking until sauce has thickened. Salt and pepper to taste (you shouldn't need a lot). Serve on the side or on top of the chops. The sauce also tastes great on the mashed potatoes.

Happy Eating.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

CSA Stir-fry

Sorry I have been away so very long. I have been cooking, I have also just been very busy. This week is the CSA there was a lot of little things, not enough to make a whole side, so I combined them together and made a delicious and healthy stir-fry. I used scallions, asparagus, broccoli and some delicious snap peas.

First, I diced them all up.

Then sauteed them with a little garlic and olive oil.

Then tossed them with my stir-fry sauce, mixed in some spaghetti and topped the whole thing with a fried egg (because what doesn't taste better with an egg on top!)

Veggie Stir-fry:

2 heads of broccoli
1 small bundle of asparagus
1 small bundle of scallions
1 pint of snap peas
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/8 cup of rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1/2 box of spaghetti or soba noodles
Salt, pepper, and Sriracha to taste
2 eggs

Dice the veggies and heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add veggies and garlic to hot pan. Cook pasta according to directions. Mix the sauce, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar, then add soy sauce. whisk to combine and whisk in Sriracha to taste. Salt and pepper the veggies and add in about half the sauce. Cover and reduce heat to low. When pasta is done cooking add to pan and return to high heat stir everything tother and add rest of sauce. Divide into bowls, then fry 2 eggs (or however many people you are cooking for, 1 egg per person). Top each bowl with an egg. Serve and Enjoy.

Happy Eating.