Tuesday, June 14, 2011


These days I need distractions ... distractions from the fact that I am massive, the days just keep ticking by (less than 60), and that pretty soon I will be known as a mother. I have been entertaining myself with work, tv, and most recently ... cooking school.
My absolute favorite grocery store EVER (Central Market) has Cooking School and thanks to my hubby and Groupon I got to register for 2 classes. They do all kinds of classes and picking just one almost seemed impossible. If I wasn't preggers then I would have definitely gone to a sushi class but that will just have to wait until the fall when I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. I have to admit that it was difficult to find a class that could accommodate the pregnant woman's diet (no wine, no fancy cheese, no raw fish), but I managed.

My first class was in early June. I participated in "Time to Grill." I absolutely love grilled meats and veggies and this class also threw in another favorite - grilled cheese. That's right, there is a fancy cheese from the island of Crete called halloumi that is grillable. I highly recommend everyone give it a try or stop by my house where I have a supply already in my fridge. We started the 4 course meal with a grilled shrimp appetizer with cocktail sauce. Now you probably expect me a woman from the Gulf Coast to know how to grill shrimp and I do, however I struggle with these frozen bad boys that I get up here. They always seem to be watery, maybe I am just too picky with my seafood. Luckily for my cooking school I learned that a nice brine would help my little shrimpers and from now on I will always brine my shrimp to help me get that home taste that I crave. The second course was grilled romaine and red onion with a basic french dressing and a side of halloumi. This looked and tasted divine thanks to the fancy cheese and its striped grill marks. For the main course we had grilled beef tenderloin, hobo potatoes, and grilled asparagus. We did nothing fancy with the beef or the asparagus that I hadn't done before however the potatoes ... well those were out of this world. I actually went home and made them the following night for Forrest and Nicole. Unfortunately for me they tasted way better at cooking school. I am not discouraged though, soon I will try again. And I will succeed! Hobo potatoes are bite sized potatoes, pearl onions, and garlic that have been oiled up and seasoned then placed in a big tin foil hershey kiss (or hobo bag as they referred to it). You serve them with sour cream, bacon, and chives. Finally we finished the meal with grilled pound cake covered in a strawberry rhubarb compote. Let me know if you would like the recipes.

This week I attended a class all about making souffles. Super excited to make some of my favorite dishes. This class was different in that we ate after each souffle came out of the oven so we could enjoy our creations at the right pipping hot temperature. I felt so french after this course were we made the following:
  • Fresh Herb & Cheese Soufflé;
  • Cajun-Flavored Crab Soufflé;
  • Spinach Soufflé; and
  • Chocolate Soufflé
Two of the recipes (cheese and spinach) were actually from Julia Child. It was my first Julia Child recipes and the Fresh Herb & Cheese Souffle did not dissappoint. I personally think the cajun crab souffle was my absolute favorite though. It reminded me of crab omelets which are one of my favs. Why didn't I have one when I was home?!? Need to remember that for my next visit. And what souffle class would not be complete without a chocolate version?! Below if a pic of our teacher adding the final touches.
Another great thing about attending cooking school is talking with fellow people who love food as much as you do. I learned some great restaurant places and I look forward to trying all of them. First on my list is Rise, a souffle restaurant in Dallas. They have a bread pudding souffle that is calling my name.

And as Julia Childs says, "Learn to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!"

Happy Cooking everyone! ~Courtney

No comments:

Post a Comment

To post a comment, type your message here and then click the very bottom of the "Post Comment" button below. I think there's a glitch in their system and you have to be sure to hover over the button in a very specific spot and it'll change