samedi 10 novembre 2007

Ateliers des Chefs - Grey Goose Cocktail Night

I think I've found my calling.  I want to START something like Ateliers des Chefs.  Maybe in 20 years or something.  Basically, l'Atelier des Chefs offers short cooking courses (1-1.5 hours), where you learn how to make a a certain dish (or in this case, cocktails) for quite a reasonable price.  It's an alternative to going to a restaurant that makes your eating experience more interactive.. and fun!  And it's different from other cooking classes which are longer and more expensive.  Great business model.  

They're going to send us the recipes but here's a description of the drinks and tapas (as best as I can remember).


"Tarte tatin" - Grey goose vodka, caramel syrup, APPLE SAUCE (oh la la!), ice cubes, shake it shake it shake it.  (i think i'm missing some ingredients)

"Pear cucumber" (said in a french accent, so more like "peer coocomberrrhhh") - mash up some kiwi and cucumber, add some pear syrup, add some grey goose, put in the ice cubes and shake shake shake shake.  and then filter out the kiwi/cucumber mashup, and drink.  this one was GOOOOOD!  
poor gael smashed his glass trying to separate it from the shaker so he was left with nothing.  hehehe.  

and then they always do a ....

MOJITO! - put some lime slices and mint leaves in a cup, mash up with a pestle (dude, this place had some very specific cooking equipment).  make sure to just grind up and down, not turn the pestle (it will ruin the mint leaves?).  add sugar.  bacardi rum.  and soda water.  mmmm....!! 


Egg/foie gras thang - making this tapas was very elaborate.  first, you take an egg and make sure the more rounded part of the egg is facing up.  then take your handy "egg shell cracker that is effective by the impact of a metal ball hitting another metal ball" (what?? you don't have one !!?? who are you??) and make a nice rounded crack on the top of the egg.  slice it off with a knife.  pour the eggwhite/eggyolk into a small bowl momentarily.  put two small pieces of foie gras into the egg shell (not more or else your egg shell will drown!!).  pour the egg insides back into the egg shell.  dip the egg shell (verrrrry slowly) into a vat of hot hot seasoned oil.  let it sit for about 7-8 minutes until the egg white touches the egg yolk.  season with salt and pepper.  sip the insides directly out of the egg shell, or dip small pieces of bread. MMMMMM!!!

Samosa thingy- this was good but a bit boring and it wasn't really a samosa, just some meat wrapped up into a thin piece of dough.

Shrimp thingy - again, not TOO exciting but shrimp is always delicious.  basically wrap an uncooked shrimp in this shredded doughy thing (dough + water), and then dip it in boiling oil for 1 minute.  then season with balsamic vinegar. YUM.

i went to l'atelier des chefs with about 15 people from TN International (where i work).  not only do i like my work, but the people are pretty rad too.  :-)

until next time.  i need to write about our epic impromptu spanish dinner that we had on tuesday, but i think that deserves a post of its own.  rocio's croquettas were ... incredible.  MMMMM...

jeudi 1 novembre 2007

Madamoiselle Heather Knight's Specialties

These two recipes from Heather Knight "never fail to impress".  The carrot cakes looks wicked- I can't wait to make it.  Carrot cake is somewhat off-beat but delicious.  And the greek dish- hold up, why is Heather providing recipes for greek dishes?? I approve however-- if the recipe calls for feta cheese, kalamata olives, and olive oil, you can't go wrong. mmm....


Black Forest Carrot Cake Heather
Greek Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives (Kotopoula me tomates kai elies) Heather's dad

Black Forest Carrot Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 10 servings

2 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
1 cup chopped pineapple, fresh or canned
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the carrots, walnuts, pineapple, raisins, and coconut with 1/2 cup of the flour to coat them and keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake batter. 

Sift together the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. 

In  a mixer with a whip attachment, mix the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (the "ribbon" stage), then drizzle in teh vegetable oil.  Fold in the dry ingredients and pour over the carrot mixture.  Fold carefully to blend, then pour the batter into a buttered, floured 10-inch cake pan containing a circle of parchment paper in the bottom.  Bake until firm to the touch in the center, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours.  Let cool on a rack and then turn out.  Dust the top with powdered sugar and cut into wedges to serve.

Greek chicken with tomatoes and olives
Yield: 6 servings

Flour for dredging
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium frying chicken (approx. 3 pounds) cut into 6-8 servings
1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
2 large red onions, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 1/2 cups peeled, chopped plum tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon oregano (dried or fresh)

1. Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a plate and lightly dredge (i.e. roll around and coat) the chicken.  ( I prefer removing the skin first, but that wasn't called for).  Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a large, deep skillet and brown the chicken pieces on all sides, over high heat.  Remove with a slotted spoon (I sued a fork with care.  The main point is allowing oil drainage). 
2. Add remaining olive oil to skillet, and saute onions until wilted and lightly browned (that involves a bit of stirring) add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.  Place the chicken pieces back in the pan.  Pour in the tomatoes and wine, and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. 
3. Ten minutes before removing from heat, add crumbled Feat and stir until melted.  Five minutes before removing from heat, add oregano and kalamata olives.