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Cooking Class

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 7, 2012

My husband and I have attended various cooking classes throughout our time together. We started in Gainesville where he had a fellowship and we had an infant. Taking these courses together gave us something fun to do. We took a series on French cooking and then another on Chinese cuisine. Sporadically thereafter, we’d sign up for adult education classes learning everything from chicken recipes to cake decorating (he didn’t attend that one).

Recently, we’ve been rediscovering this interest since Publix opened a cooking school here.

The classrooms are on the second floor of a newly remodeled store. Last night we attended our third class there. I’d hoped to learn some meat recipes since the only beef I can cook is brisket.

On the menu first was grilled five spiced salmon with coconut crostini. This was a large slab of salmon steak (although it looked like a filet?) grilled lightly to just cook through, served on a toasted crostini with coconut flakes. It was delicious and my favorite dish of the evening. Accompanying white wine blend was Hot to Trot by 14 Hands. I liked this a lot.

Salmon (800x665)

Next came a good company dish—mushroom, spinach, and smoked Gouda stuffed flank steak. I liked the stuffing more than the meat that could have been cooked a bit more. A red wine was served with this portion. We’ve had Chateau St. Jean cabernet before and still enjoy it.

Chef (800x600)   Flanksteak (800x588)

If you like spicy foods, you’d like the cocoa and three pepper dusted beef tenderloin with grilled fingerling potatoes. This called for three kinds of chili powder along with garlic and onion powders to make a blend and rub on the tenderloin. The potatoes were boiled then halved and placed on the grill for just a few minutes. They were good, but I prefer my own roasted red potatoes with garlic and rosemary.

Tenderloin (800x588)

The menu was crowned with balsamic strawberry shortcake napoleons. This was an easy fix with balsamic vinegar dribbled over fresh sliced strawberries mixed with a bit of confectionary sugar. Whip some heavy cream into a froth and then put this into individual puff pastry cups you can buy in the freezer section. Top the whipped cream with strawberries and you have a fresh fruit dessert. The wine here was a sauvignon blanc from Simi winery in Sonoma.

Strawberry (800x680)

We had pleasant conversation with the chefs and other attendees while sampling all the foods and sipping wines—a pleasant evening to be had by all.

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10 Responses to “Cooking Class”

  1. I’ve been to several at the Boca Apron school. They were wonderful, but the last one was just awful. Poorly orchestrated, bad food, etc.

  2. Oh my gosh! I’m so hungry now. I love salmon and coconut and Gouda cheese and 14 Hands! Thanks for sharing this, Nancy. Next time I make salmon, I will spice it up.

  3. Chef Richard said

    Nancy, The blog is great and I’m so glad that you and your husband enjoy taking the classes (And that you liked my wine pairings.) Thats what I like to hear, Looking forward to seeing you both again! Thanks again for leaving your card and keep in touch, There are a lot of great classes coming up!

  4. In 1969, Sears offered an 8-week gourmet cooking course in the back of their store (this was Louisville, KY). I was just beginning to take an interest in cooking and too young to appreciate it fully, but I saved my cookbook and materials. I think that early introduction lay dormant for years then emerged to trigger my love of all kinds of cooking.

    Our local Publix doesn’t offer cooking classes, but I have stood and chatted with their demonstrators who create Apron meals found in their weekly flyer. I always pick up a new idea.

  5. One of the suburban high schools near Dayton offers an annual series of cooking classes with local chefs as a fund raiser for their international students exchange program. I’ve really enjoyed those. They take place in the home ec classrooms which have mirrors over the stoves and the chefs prepare their dishes, teaching, and then we make them ourselves for eating. And the classes were sold individually rather than as a series so you could pick just one a year (twenty years ago they were $25.00 each, and included the food you ate (no wine was served)), but the lessons stay with you a lifetime. I was so blessed to be able to learn from the different kinds of cooking by those chefs who’ve put in the hours training in the cooking schools and willing to show secrets that could be used at home. No publix up here, but I like that they started cooking classes down in Ft. L. How sweet that you both took the classes, too.

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