Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good Food Moment: Italian Cooking Class

There are moments in my life as a food eater that are so overwhelming my emotions just completely go crazy. Really, it's strange. But when good food-really good food- is placed in front of me, and the whole experience- the atmosphere, the presentation, the taste-is just right, I get teary. Literally, I almost start to cry.

Last night Dashing Boy and I got to attend the most amazing cooking class courtesy of the family I nanny for- they're so sweet! and I had one of those moments. My goodness, the cook was standing in this beautiful kitchen surrounded by heaps of artistic, colorful pastas and countless fresh, yummy ingredients to add... And I couldn't help myself. Suddenly I was overcome with intense, giddy excitement, and if I wasn't trying to maintain a sane public image I would have busted out the tears.

This is such an interesting phenomena to me. I mean, really who cries over their food? Apparently I do. So I guess that's the secret to me knowing I'm really, really impressed with a meal.

Here are a few highlights and new things I learned from the "Market Fresh Italian" class:
  • Sauteing garlic, onion, or shallots for a longer period of time gives the sauce a nutty flavor.
  • Amish butter is really good.
  • Al dente means "to the tooth" in Italian so when pasta is al dente your teeth should break through the pasta but feel the resistance.
  • When preparing a sauce there a four steps that should be followed in order
    • first SAUTE your veggies and meat in oil, butter, etc
    • next DEGLAZE with wine, vinegar, worcestershire, etc.
    • next add STOCK or cream to your sauce
    • FINISH with cheese, herbs, and anything else that does not need to cook much
  • Bulkfoods is a great place to buy ingredients like spices and vanilla beans (I still need to check it out)
  • Tarragon is a delicious herb


Dallas Despain said...
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Amburrito said...

Jenny- You should get a job with the local paper as a food critic. Maybe all the local restaurants could have a contest to see who can make you cry. Take care, Amber in Logan, Utah

Jenny said...

ha ha! that would be awesome!