|Making fresh ricotta cheese for my Trufflepalooza cooking class|
I really hope there's no truth to the saying that "those who can't do, teach." I like to think of myself as a person who can cook - and I'm pretty confident that after the three Trufflepalooza events I've thrown, few would argue. But I also really like to teach. I get excited about creating delicious food for my friends and family, and teaching is the best way to share that excitement.
Last week I taught a "Trufflepalooza" class at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories in Santa Monica. We picked six recipes from this year's Trufflepalooza menu, all finger foods, all easy to put together. In fact, the dishes were so simple that we did the whole class without written recipes at hand - not my intention, but the printer was acting up and the printouts weren't ready until the end of class.
|Everyone pitched in as we cooked and talked|
- Truffled puff pastry twists
- Open-faced filet mignon sandwiches with truffle butter
- Truffled Pacific rockfish "brandade" in cucumber cups
- Crostini with fresh ricotta, truffle honey and thyme
- Roasted figs with goat cheese and truffle honey
- Truffle-infused chocolate truffles
As we worked we also snacked on some beautiful truffled chicken liver mousse from Fabrique Delices and "Tartufo" salami with truffles from Creminelli.
|We didn't make quite enough fresh ricotta, so we mixed it with store-bought - these things happen, right?|
The nine students in the class seemed to enjoy themselves. Of course, the wines, which the experts at Venokado expertly matched to the menu, must have helped. But I think the class really was fun - relaxed, casual, and very hands-on. I'm not a fussy cook, and this kind of menu lends itself to seat-of-the-pants cooking. We talked about flavors, combinations and proportions, but not too much about measurements.
I'm looking forward to my next opportunity to teach at Gourmandise. I'd love to do another Trufflepalooza class, but I'm open to other ideas too. Any requests?
|I couldn't have done the class without Chef Adrian, my oh-so-competent teaching assistant|
|Finishing up the Pacific rockfish brandade in cucumber cups|
|Roasted figs with goat cheese and truffle honey|
|Filling puff pastry with truffles, truffle oil, truffle salt and grated cheese|
|We prepped, cooked and ate all at the same time!|
|Burgundy truffles (left) and black summer truffles from Sabatino Tartufi|