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cooking night out

July 11, 2013

earlier this week my sister, steph and i took a cooking class at local d'lish.   it was unlike any cooking class i had ever taken before.  local d'lish focuses there store and classes on local foods all from local farmers & artisans.  therefore the meals are based off of what is in season, fresh and around that time of year.  the local d'lish "motto" that they taught us was to "teach you to teach yourself.  listen to your palate.  try new things.  challenge yourself.  make bold moves"  instead of getting a few recipes when we walked in the door of the dishes we were making for the evening we got an entire packet,  almost manual.  Chef Kate listed helpful tips and tricks on the front.  no matter the dish or the meal you are always looking to achieve a balance of the big 5:  fat, salt, acid, sweet and spice.  this balance can be altered tremendously depending on each persons liking and taste of that particular dish.  next, my favorite sheet, was the flavor profile spreadsheet!!  it is such a useful tool to have.  it lists the basic herbs or spices used to make various profiles of flavors such as italian, greek, latin, pesto etc.  i often go to the same tastes that i know and love for that exact reason,  i know how to make them and know they will turn out good.  with this spreadsheet i can easily see what herbs go into another flavor and it will help me expand my horizons in the kitchen and experiment making something new!!  i am excited to try!! 

first we tasted a little snack... well we had more than this picture, but chef kate sauteed carrots, ginger, curry powder, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds.  after sauteed she blended them to make a "hummus" type healthy snack.  she taught us about our palates with this.  after we tasted that she added the lime, coconut, almonds and cilantro in it and tasted again.  by adding the "fat" from the coconut and almonds and the "acid" from the lime it completely altered the taste of it.  it was so good!!  she had tons of awesome ideas for substituting veggies, nuts, herbs etc to make a completely different thing.  great for a snack on its own, a dip, spread for a wrap or sandwich or put on top of a protein like chicken.  yum!!  

after this we split into 3 teams to conquer and make different seasonal "salads"  based off of starch, veggie/green and seasonings plus many add-ins.  my team picked the panzanella salad with trinity vinaigrette. 


4-6 cups cubed bread
4 oz fresh spinach and/or arugula
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1-2 cucumber, peeled in strips & diced
handful basil & parsley, chopped

add-ins: we used fresh mozzarella 
other possibilities: parmesan or feta cheese, beans, meat, olives, capers

trinity vinaigrette:
balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil

the finished product!!!  so delish!!  i loved all the fresh arugula and basil.  i definitely want to try making this at home!!

my yummy, healthy and all fresh plate of food!!!  the asian quinoa salad with ginger-miso vinaigrette was amaaaaaazing!!  it was my favorite of the three and i need to make that again!!  posting to follow...how it turns out on my own!! : ) haha

i just noticed now that i didn't take a good picture of the third dish..... that must show how i felt about it. 
 ehhhh chef kate taught us to "flex our cooking muscles" by always trying new things & seeing how we like them.  that one still wasn't for me too much.  the basic dish was good, but i am still not fond of sweet potatoes so mixing those mushy orange pieces throughout a dish is not my favorite plus a ton of corn & cilantro... i can pass.  but i would definitely make the basic recipe but substitute sweet potatoes for beans or chicken & add some peppers instead of tons of corn. yum!! great idea 

what a fun night!!!  thanks to my sweet college roommates for an amazing birthday present,  i loved it! 

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