Day One & Two



Chicken pot pie--comfort food!

Today was my first day of my cooking class.  It was so relaxing to be able to learn & do something I thoroughly enjoy without two little ones at my feet.  The majority of my cooking & baking knowledge is through trial & error and being self-taught via books.  (I did take three years of home economics in junior high).  I wasn't fortunate enough to glean too much experience in the kitchen from my parents or grandparents either, which makes this 'culinary intensive class' a suitable fit for me.

So like I said in my last post about not being a novice in the kitchen, I'm finding that taking this three-day class is the best way for me to get hands on experience, knowledge, & visual teaching that I would otherwise not get.  When looking at a cookbook there are so many classic dishes that I would love to make (or even learning classic techniques) & learn in a classroom setting.  Now we didn't make any demi-glace (which is what I would have loved to do), but we did break down a whole chicken to all it's specific pieces (learning the different cuts, breaking points, and separating the thigh bone out of the thigh meat), and how much more cost effective it is to buy a whole chicken than simply buy chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks individually cut.  Plus, there is something so empowering about doing it yourself.  I highly recommend it.  Actually, I'm going to buy a boning knife soon, along with a whole chicken simply to do it (yes I'm a nerd).



Brussel Sprouts with diced onions & pancetta

We also worked on making our own vinaigrette.  Basically in making your own vinaigrette you want a 3:1 ratio of oil to acid (unless it's something like lemon juice where you want equal parts), along with other parts (i.e. salt, pepper, dijon, etc).  We made a lot of different food, which were shared in a communal dinner.  It's been really wonderful--truly truly.



Fried chicken with a buttermilk crust & seasoned flour

Today we made a chicken stock, brussel sprouts with pancetta, a carrot orange soup (ethereal), buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, chicken pot pie, apple tatin, & drank a nice pale ale to top it off (and the sous chef made a devil's cake with chocolate ganache).  I'll post some recipes for them later once I get my notes organized.   And it's not 10:00 at night.  Tomorrow is my last day, but it's been absolutely wonderful.



IMG_3772so I honestly felt this looked more deceiving than it tasted.  I'm a chocolate person normally, but this apple tatin did it for me, especially with the vanilla ice cream accompaniment.







Devil's chocolate cake with chocolate ganache