Last Friday the two of us went to a cooking class called ‘Date Night’ at the Chef’s Gallery in Stillwater, MN. Several couples with different levels of cooking expertise attended a three-hour class . We learned technique, and got some colorful commentary and stories from the teacher-chef, Michele Licata.
La Licata assembled us into four teams to make different parts of the menu. We had a wonderful time. It’s a good way to meet other people. If you’re a kitchen-phobic, you’ll still have fun. If you’re a foodie, chances are good you’ll still learn something new. The best part? Someone else cleans up.
We had a fifteen minute ‘break’ to go shopping in the store. Students got a 10% discount. The two of us got an instant-read thermometer and a stainless steel compost pail we couldn’t find anywhere else. Chef’s Gallery is as much an art gallery as a kitchen store, as I’ve blogged before. Shameless, shamless commerce and we made the most of it.
I was on the dessert team. The four of us made these mouthgasms called Caramel Nut Tarts. Other menu items: Mixed Greens with Roasted Beets and Gorgonzola, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Risotto ( my fave!), and Grilled Red Snapper with Avocado Sauce. The Sauce could have used a bit more ‘oomph’ I’d adapt the recipe by increasing the lemon or horseradish.
When we were done cooking, we pounced on our creations. The timing was a bit off because the preparation of the tarts took nearly two hours. By the time dessert was ready the Snapper was already done and cold. I recommend Date Night finds a faster-to-table dessert that doesn’t require chilling , rolling and pre-baking.
I did learn a few things from our teacher, Michele. I enjoy risotto, but I’ve always avoided making it, shying away from the tedious preparation. One hour of stirring over a stove is not for me. Although that’s how we made it, she told us of a seven-minute shortcut using a pressure cooker, which I have. We’ll be making risotto at home this weekend.
If I can find an electronic verison of these recipes, I’ll add them here.