Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cooking Class

Last night I attended a cooking class with my sorority sisters in the Nashville Alum Association. It was a great event (albeit a tad long), but really great. It was held at a store that sells cookware (of the enamel cast iron persuasion)-- and, of course, I was sucked into buying a piece and would buy a few more if the envelopes (thank you Dave Ramsey) permitted...

Overall the class was, as I said, good, and I highly recommend people of all cooking levels to attend one because it is somewhat like watching the Food Network... you can't help but pick up some tips and good ideas.

So, I've decided to post the recipes for you all. They are NOT figure friendly so please do not come after me if you eat all of these in one sitting till full and gain weight... They are however workable (and I will attempt to work them into my lifestyle in the coming weeks - well maybe not the fondue or dessert)...

- please note that the instructions on these are based on the usage of the enamel cast iron pans as noted above... These pans hold heat very well and can continue cooking things like rice and meat after they are removed from the stove top. They can also be put in the oven which is great! And, it seems as though it is considered sacrilegious to use them above medium unless boiling water...

Deconstructed Pan Grilled Caesar Salad

~They did not make with the anchovy oil which I think would be essential to this dish... it was also suggested to drizzle balsamic vinegar on the finished product and I think that would help tons!

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped… garlic press is easiest
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 heads romaine lettuce hearts
½ lemon
Shaved parmesan
Anchovy oil from can of anchovies packed in oil
Handful fresh flat parsley leaves, chopped

Heat Grill pan over medium high heat.
In a small bowl combine olive oil, garlic, a couple pinches of salt and 15 grinds of pepper. Cut lettuce heads in half lengthwise and brown with olive oil mixture.
Grill lettuce until nicely blackened and wilted. Grill in stages if your grill pan isn’t large enough to grill in one stage. Remove lettuce to a serving platter.
Squeeze lemon (cut side up) over the lettuce. Sprinkle parmesan over top and drizzle with anchovy oil. Finish with parsley.

Brie and Crab Fondue

~As previously stated, I do not know how you would make this figure friendly... if you can/do PLEASE let me know as it was definitely good... I would go a little up on the Hot Sauce~

¼ stick butter
4 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 ½ cups fish or chicken stock
2 cups ripe French Brie (do not use rind)
2/3 cups heavy cream
8 oz cooked crab meat, flaked
2 Tbps lemon juice
Hot sauce to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1 tsp paprika (use some smoked paprika if possible)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Melt butter in a fondue pot and gently sauté shallots for 10 mins or until softened but not brown. Springs the flour and cook for another 2 mins to get the raw taste out of the flower. Gradually add the broth, stirring throughout until the mixture thickens, then simmer for 4 mins.
Cut brie without rind into cubes. Stir into fondue with cream. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until the mixture is smooth.
Stir in the crab meat and lemon juice, hot sauce, pepper and paprika and heat through.
Place over a fondue burner stir in parsley. Serve with dippers such as veggies, bread, pretzels, etc…

Pork Medallions with Cream and Mustard Sauce

~In the haste of the evening, I only got to try the pork and not the sauce... it explains why I thought that the pork was really lacking in flavor... I think I will try it with the sauce sometime soon... I think you could use Chicken Stock and FF evaporated milk to substitute in for the heavy cream and white wine.

2 ¼ lbs pork tenderloin
2 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl butter
2 shallots, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
1 ¾ cup heavy cream
2 Tbl Dijon mustard
2 Tbl Whole grain mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 package mushrooms

Trim the tenderloin of any fat and tendons. Cut into 1 ½ in. thick slices. Put these between pieces of plastic wrap and beat with meat mallet until ½ in thick. Season lightly with salt and pepper
Heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft but not brown. Add a few pork medallions at a time and fry for 2 to 3 mins on each side. Lift out the pork as each piece is ready and keep hot. Continue frying until all pieces are cooked.
Remove pan from heat and deglaze with white wine, stir in cream and mustard. Return pan to a medium heat simmer until the sauce bubbles and thickens slightly.
Put medallions and mushrooms back into sauce and reheat completely – adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with potatoes, noodles, rice, and a vegetable or salad.

Simple Vegetable and Rice

~I thought this dish was great although it needed some salt and pepper... I will definitely try this with olive oil instead of butter and with brown rice instead of white as they used last night... cooking time and time on stove top would need to be adjusted as these pans hold heat really well and can continue cooking off the stove top.

2 Tbl butter, soft
2 shallots
3 cups hot chicken broth
1 ¾ cups long grain rice
1 ½ cups broccoli florets
1 Tbl cilantro
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add shallots and gently cook without browning – 2 to 3 mins.
Stir in broth and bring to just barely a boil
Stir in rice, broccoli, cilantro and seasonings. Stir well and bring to slow boil.
Cover with lid, reduce heat to low – simmer 2 minutes
Remove pan from heat and leave to stand for 20 mins – do not remove the lid during standing time.

Mixed Berry Clafouti

~Ah, the piece de resistance... as dessert often is for me... I had a bite and it was well worth it. I would make this for family and friends in a heartbeat!!!! The mixed fruit was cherries, blackberries, raspberries, etc... YUM!

1 Tbl butter
4 eggs
1/3 cup honey
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbl butter, melted
1 Tbl cherry brandy
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 ½ pounds mixed berries (frozen or fresh)
½ cup sugar
Whipped cream or ice cream to serve

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease oval or rectangular 9x13 enamel coated cast iron baking dish with the Tbl butter.
In mixing bowl, whisk eggs together with honey and vanilla. Stir in melted butter, brandy, flour, and salt… mix well.
Add creak and whisk into a smooth batter
In a separate bowl combine berries with sugar, tossing to coat evenly.
Pour fruit mixture into greased dish. Pour batter over fruit, bake for 40-45 mins until cake is firm and spongelike.
Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving with ice cream or whipped cream.

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