May 31, 2010

Summer Recipes

It's summer! I have two days of school left this week, and then I'm off until the end of August.  My fun summer plans include working at Kitchen Conservatory a few days a week, teaching some classes there, lots of reading (suggestions welcome), and just trying to RELAX for a change.  Things have been stressful--to say the least--around here the past two months, especially the past couple weeks. 

And, since I won't have to worry about the usual never-ending stack of papers to grade, I hope to do more cooking than I have so far this year.

May 28, 2010

Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops

For a couple years now, pork has been in its heyday. Pork belly is the in vogue menu item, and bacon nearly has a cult following. However, on its November list of the Top 10 Food Trends for 2010, predicted that lamb would trump pork as everyone’s favorite meat.

A month earlier, the food blog Eat Me Daily declared lamb “the new hotness," and Saveur magazine’s October cover announced that “lamb rules.”

Saveur asserted that while home cooks have shied away from preparing and serving lamb in the past, “that is starting to change […] as tastes become worldlier and good-quality lamb is increasingly available at butcher shops and supermarkets.” 

May 14, 2010


Between end-of-the-school-year grading and dealing with other people's bullshit (I've finally decided that I'm too old for all this drama & am now ignoring those people), I haven't had time to cook. But, I'm trying to remedy that. So, a couple Sundays ago I invited my friend Stephanie (aka Iron Stef) & fellow food blog mafiosa over to get busy in the kitchen.

We decided to try paella, which neither one of us had made before. Initially, I thought this would be a difficult--but welcomed--chore, but it turns out that paella is fairly just involves several steps. I also thought that it would be expensive to make, with all that seafood (mussels and clams and shrimp). However, it was a lot less spendy than I thought...the shrimp were $9.95 a pound, while the mussels and clams were each only about $5 a dozen. (St. Louis folks: I bought all the seafood at Bob's Seafood at 170 & Olive).

May 1, 2010

Summer 2010 Cooking Classes

Kitchen Conservatory's summer schedule is now posted online. Here are my classes:

SUSHI ROCK AND ROLL - Sunday, June 6 @ 12:30-3:00 (hands-on)
In this class we'll enjoy salt-and-pepper edamame & spicy cucumber salad, then learn to prepare sticky sushi rice and make a variety of hand-formed nigiri & rolled maki, including spicy tuna rolls, California rolls, and Philadelphia rolls.
This class is scheduled again for Sunday, September 5 @ 1:00-3:30.

DATE NIGHT FOR COUPLES: THE HARD EDGE TO THE BIG EASY - Friday, June 11 @ 6:30-9:00 (hands-on)
This class for couples is all about the Cajun cuisine of New Orleans and hard ciders! Jerad has selected two ciders to go with our menu of fried pickles, bacon-wrapped grilled jalapenos stuffed with chorizo, andouille-pork burgers, sweet potato fries, red beans and rice, plus white chocolate bread pudding with bourbon sauce.

DATE NIGHT FOR COUPLES: FROM BEER TO SUSHI ETERNITY - Sunday, June 27 @ 5:00-7:30 (hands-on)
Menu includes salt-and-pepper edamame & spicy cucumber salad, sticky sushi rice, and a variety of hand-formed nigiri & rolled maki, including spicy tuna rolls, California rolls and Philadelphia rolls -- all served with 2 Japanese beers chosen by Jerad.

ADULT WIZARDS IN THE KITCHEN - Monday, July 5 @ 6:30-9:00 (hands-on)
My Harry Potter class for kids was so popular that we've had some adults wanting to register for it without their kids! You'll prepare dishes described throughout the J.K. Rowling series, including an adult version of butterbeer (that means with booze!), ham & cheese pasties, potatoes with bechamel sauce, shredded sprouts slaw, and individual berry trifles. We'll also make "edible wands" to take home.
The "Heir & a Parent" version of this class for parents & kids is scheduled for Sunday, August 1 @ 1:00-3:30.

GIRLS' NIGHT OUT: SIP AND SUP - Friday, July 16 @ 6:30-9:00
On a hot summer evening, sit back and enjoy a refreshing menu of white sangria with peaches & grapes, shaved asparagus salad with parmesan dressing, cool watermelon gazpacho, grilled tilapia with cherry salsa, plus mini pavlovas with fresh berries & lemon curd.

THE TEA INGREDIENT - Wednesday, July 28 @ 10:00 am-12:30 pm (demonstration)
Celebrate the flavors of tea as the key ingredient in a lovely luncheon, starting with Earl Grey croutes with creamed brie. Enjoy truffled mushroom-smoked tea tartlettes, lemon & sage tea-poached chicken salad sandwiches, plus chocolate-spiced orange tea mousse.

GIRLS' NIGHT OUT: FRESH ALFRESCO - Saturday, July 31 @ 6:30-9:00 (demonstration)
Sit back and enjoy the evening with girlfriends, as I make a meal that is perfect to pack for an outdoor soiree. Sip on a sweet tea-lemon martini, then delight in the flavors of eggplant caponata, noodle salad with sesame peanut dressing, beef flatbread with avocado-radish salsa, & blackberry crumb bars.

GIRLS' NIGHT OUT: EDUCATING 'RITA - Saturday, August 7 @ 6:30-9:00 (demonstration)
Menu includes champagne margaritas, tuna ceviche, grilled shrimp soft tacos with mango guacamole, Mexican grilled corn salad, and & strawberry-lime sorbet. 

GIRLS' NIGHT OUT: SKEWERS AND SHOOTERS - Friday, August 13 @ 6:30-9:00 (demonstration)
This is one of my favorite classes to teach! The evening gets started with a bang with vanilla-pineapple-vodka hand grenades, then I'll prepare chicken skewers with dukka crust & balsamic reduction, pea soup shots with spicy crab, chai-brined shrimp & mango skewers, plus white chocolate-mint mousse shooters.

DATE NIGHT FOR COUPLES: GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEERS - Sunday, August 15 @ 5:00-7:30 (hands-on)
Join me and Jerad for a fun beer-pairing class that includes beer cheese fondue with soft pretzels, local lager with spicy Sriracha chicken wings, fruity Belgian wheat beer with grilled scallops and corn salad, plus creamy stout with chocolate hazelnut cake & vanilla ice cream.

DATE NIGHT FOR COUPLES: AN A-FARE TO REMEMBER - Sunday, September 19 @ 5:00-7:30 (hands-on)
Spend a memorable evening with your partner creating some of our favorite dishes. Jerad and I share our love for cooking together, as we teach you to make grilled panzanella salad, rosemary fried chicken, mac-and-cheese with peas and bacon, ratatouille, & caramel apple galette. Jerad will also present two perfect beer pairings with dinner and dessert.
Call Kitchen Conservatory at 314-862-2665 or register online.