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Market Cooking Class in Paris

“I love Paris in the spring.” Cole Porter sure got that song right. I have worked and played in Paris many times, but this year while there celebrating my 50th birthday… I fell in love with Paris.  Maybe I’m getting sentimental in my “ripe” old age, or maybe it is because I am so captivated by the opening to Midnight in Paris.

I think my Los Angeles-based French culinary classes have raised the standard of what I desire in food. It seemed only appropriate to take a farmer’s market cooking class while I was in Paris recently so I could experience the local food, as well as the Parisian ambiance. A special thanks to Susan Herrmann Loomis for teaching a fabulous cooking class from On Rue Tatin. Continue Reading →

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Fresh Tomato & Strawberry Gazpacho

easy appetizer

I just made this summertime gazpacho and was delighted by it’s simplicity and refreshing flavor. Three basic ingredients burst with lip-smacking goodness. I can’t say that I would have put this combination together, but I am glad I did.

A recipe I saw in The French Kitchen Cookbook by Patricia Wells inspired me to think outside of the traditional Spanish gazpacho box. When attractively presented, it will be the talk of your next party. Even my husband who doesn’t like traditional gazpacho, loves this unique version.  Continue Reading →

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methods & madness…

class 7: virtuous vegetables

Sweet Potato & Carrot Puree

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CATHY NELSON ARKLE

Recipes & Ramblings from Chef School

We all know we’re supposed to eat vegetables… because our mothers told us so. But there are other reasons to eat them as well. Today we will be learning about the virtues of vegetables.

The body uses almost as many calories to digest vegetables as there are in them. Over 95% of vegetables contain less than a gram of fat per serving and are full of fiber. This means you can fill up for less!

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methods & madness…

class 6: fruits, veggies, herbs & salads

Persimmons - Pomegranate Salad

 Recipes & Ramblings from Chef School

Fall has arrived in Southern California bringing a crisp chill to the air. That’s when I gravitate towards steamy soups; but did you know Fall is actually great weather for salads? Many salad greens grow best in cooler weather. Add some seasonal fruits and vegetables and you’re on your way to some exciting Fall dishes, including today’s recipe. If you’re looking for a festive holiday salad, this one is a showstopper!

In addition to salads, this week we learned about herbs, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Herbal Essence

Ancient Greeks crowned their heroes with dill and laurel. Today, fresh herbs are the jewels in our culinary dishes, paramount to any great recipe. Additionally, fresh herbs add flavor without the calories. They’re easy to use and can last over a week, if stored properly.

How to Store Fresh Herbs

  • Rinse fresh herbs well, lay on a paper towel. A salad spinner works great.
  • Wrap loosely in the paper towel, then place in zip-lock bag, leaving bag open.
  • Store open bag of herbs in your refrigerator’s crisper.

Cooking with Fresh Herbs

  • If you are substituting fresh herbs for dried ones, use about three times as much.
  • Add the more delicate herbs a minute or two before completion of cooking, or sprinkle on food before serving.  e.g. parsley, cilantro, mint, chives, cilantro, basil, and dill.
  • The less delicate herbs, such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, tarragon and sage, can be added in the last 20 minutes of cooking. Continue Reading →
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Insalata Bianca (White Salad)

Insalata Bianca (White Salad)

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CATHY NELSON ARKLE

This recipe comes from week 6 class of Pro Chef classes at New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA. We made 11 salads that week, and this one was just exceptional in my book. I actually thought I didn’t like fennel until I tasted this. If you aren’t a fan of fennel… I dare you to try this one.

Insalata Bianca (White Salad)

From New School of Cooking
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 fennel bulbs, tough outer leaves discarded, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 Belgian endives, stem ends trimmed, cut lengwise into julienne
  • 1 bunch radishes, ends trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Reggiano parmesan shavings

Directions
Combine all ingredients except the parmesan cheese in a large bowl and toss.  Serve on a large brightly colored platter with parmesan cheese shavings scattered over the salad.

Let me know if you make it and what your thoughts are one this one.

 

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