Monday, September 12, 2011

Teaching truffles: My Trufflepalooza cooking class

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Making fresh ricotta cheese for my Trufflepalooza cooking class
[Thanks to Bel-Air Mommy for taking these fantastic photos!]

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
So what did we make? Let's see:
The roasted figs weren't on the original menu for the class, but the figs on my secret trees were just perfect, so I stopped and picked a few pounds before heading over to the cooking school that evening. 

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?
We used fresh black summer truffles (the last of the season) and fresh Burgundy truffles (the first of the season) from Sabatino Tartufi, as well as Sabatino's white truffle oil, truffle butter, truffle salt and truffle honey.  

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


Diane Schmidt said...

looks like a FUN class! Wish I lived closer :) I would have loved learning from you.

kristy said...

This class looks like so much fun! And I now know what I'm going to do with my figs tonight!

Dorothy at said...

You should teach a class on figs!

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