Best Burger Class-When I was deliberating about whether to attend Chef Egg’s Best Burger class, I thought, I can make a stinkin’ good burger. I was humbled. He is a master of burgers. He knows his stuff. He demonstrated how to grind the perfect beef, showed how to gingerly form the patties, and shared all manner of condiments and accompaniments (tangy goat cheese, garden tomato, spicy arugla, and caramelized Vidalias). It didn’t end there; he addressed the cut of meat, seasonings, and cooking methods. Even the roll is critical and gotta be toasted on both sides. I’ve never had a burger on a Challah roll but it’s divine. I’ll put this recipe in the queue so watch for it in the coming months on Saucy. Thanks Chef Egg and Whole Foods for an entertaining and informative presentation.
Tapas Cooking Class—Meaning ‘small plates’, tapas are a wide variety of appetizers or snacks originating in Spanish Cuisine. Nancy Hartwell head chef of My Kitchen Catering and instructor explains, when people would sip sherry on a restaurant patio the sweet wine aroma would collect flies.
To keep them at bay, a small plate would be put on top of the glass. In time, it just made sense to serve little morsels of goodness to encourage conversation and lingering a little longer. Combined together they become a tasty meal with a variety of textures and flavors. We made Lamb Chops with Parsley and Garlic, White Beans with Spanish Chorizo and Rosemary, Roasted Vegetables with Sherry Vinaigrette and Marinated Manchego Cheese and Olives. These recipes are in the queue so coming soon.
Summer Satays and Kabobs—Skewers loaded with unique flavors was the focus of this class. Taught by Chef Egg from Whole Foods in Silver Spring, MD, he showed us how to create kabobs
from three regions, South East Asia, Middle East and Mediterranean. We started with a salty/sweet Malaysian recipe, Citrus and Chili Rubbed Beef Satay. Next we grilled an herbal marinated Mediterranean dish, Orange Basil Swordfish Kabobs. And finally, we grilled a savory ground
meat skewer mix of Lamb Shish Kabob dipped in a Tzadziki from Lebanon. All delicious and loaded with fresh and exotic flavors.
Chinese Cooking Class—While living in Okinawa I took Chinese cooking classes from Ying-Ling Lui. Ying-Ling was the daughter of one of Chiang Kai-Shek’s generals. In 1949 her family fled mainland China and settled in Taiwan. As a small girl growing up she wanted to learn to cook but was forbidden by her father as cooking was servants work. She made friends with the family chef and he would invite her to his restaurant on the sly where she learned the finest quality Chinese cuisine. Fast forward years later, she and her husband moved to Okinawa for work and Ying-Ling taught Chinese cooking classes. I had the rare opportunity to learn her techniques during six months of training.
Sushi Cooking Class—I ate my first tastes of sushi in Japan. That was back in the 80’s before it was really very popular in the United States. It was love at first bite. Living near the ocean, the fish and seafood, raw or cooked, was so fresh. It makes my mouth water just thinking about eating it. I wanted to learn how to make sushi so I traded cooking lessons with a couple of Japanese neighbors. I taught them to make American dishes and they taught me Japanese cuisine. My favorite class was sushi. I also took an advanced sushi class at Sur la Table. Check out the secret weapon for making restaurant quality sushi.
International Cooking Class—While studying Art History at Brigham Young University, my sister Sharon and I took an international cooking class. Each week we studied and cooked our way around the world. We covered the cuisines of Europe; French, Italian, British, German, and so forth. We immersed ourselves in the Middle and Far East; Israel, Egypt, Indian, Asian, and the Pacific Islands. South of the border; we took on Mexico, and some countries in Central and South America. We rounded out our cooking tour with some down home regional United States; New England, Pennsylvania Dutch, Southern, western pioneer, and California. Our cooking instructor told us an unbelievable story. As a professional chef and cooking instructor, she decided that when she married she would cook something different every day for the first year of her marriage. She told a few funny stories about making that happen. My question was, “What did you do with the leftovers?” With a twinkle in her eye she responded, “We do leftovers for breakfast and lunch. They’re just too good to pass up.”