Saturday, April 5, 2008

cooking class

A few weeks ago I taught a cooking class at our church. I get to do this once in a while and it is pretty fun- not that I am an expert or anything. When I like something, I tend to do all kinds of research and reading about it and learn everything I can, so I guess I tend to know more about my favorite things than the average Joe. Plus, eons ago, when I was first working at HomeChef we had to go through training and attend all their basic technique classes so we could really share knowledge with our customers. This experience helped me so much with a solid base of technique so that I felt comfortable to go off on any tangent of cooking and baking that I felt compelled to try!

The class I taught was called "The Art of Sauteing" and I demonstrated the basic technique through a few different recipes. You can find my handout here. We didn't get through everything listed but we did do Chicken Marsala, the sautueed mushrooms, and Coconut Glazed Pineapple. It was all sooo good. I haven't made the chicken in quite a while and had to make it again the next night for my family. The pineapple is quite excellent, if I do say so myself. After sauteeing the fruit, you deglaze the pan with pineapple juice and coconut milk. Serve everything with Pollyanne's coconut ice cream and toasted coconut flakes and you are set!

I would say the key basics of sauteeing are:
1. preheat your pan, preheat your pan, preheat your pan.
2. after the pan is hot, put just enough fat to cover the bottom of the pan (it will liquify very quickly because your pan is hot. :)
3. don't overcrowd your pan or the food will steam instead of develop that great golden crust we all love.
4. all those brown crusties left on the bottom of the pan make a great pan sauce. Just pour in a liquid of some kind and it gets all those flavorful bits off and makes your pan easier to clean at the same time!

More tips are included in my handout.