Visit 20 Something Bloggers

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Simple Fall (extremely flavorful!) Dinners" at I.C.E with Allison

4 hour cooking class @ I.C.E + sample sale = perfect day off!

So today I finally made it to I.C.E. (Institute of Culinary Education) located next to my old building on 23rd Street. I walked in and was immediately greeting by our glowing instructor, Allison. With about 14 students, we did not waste time and tried to get right into our course.

The course was broken down into 3 parts:
Discussion & Demo (1 hr) - Allison went over a quick icebreaker discussing favorite Fall ingredients and did a brief apple tasting
Cook & Plate (2 hrs) - We all broke out into groups of 4-5 to take on cooking a piece of the dinner
Eat & Discuss (1 hr)- My favorite part, eating!

You may be wondering what was on the menu? Well, I'm glad you asked! You may begin salivating now...we enjoyed seared pork chops with caramelized apples and leeks, simple roasted chicken, seared scallops with butternut apple puree, tomato soup with camembert grilled cheese, alsatian tarte flambe, roast sweet potato fries, frisee salad and apple vinaigrette, creamy polenta and apple crumble.

My group broke out and did scallops, pork, polenta, an unsuccessful attempt at the squash puree, roasted chicken and the apple crumble. One of our members, Sal (the only male!), demonstrated how to "truss" a chicken which is wrapping the legs and wings towards the body so that it cooks evenly. He also suggested I take knife skills because I was not chopping correctly - I may look into that class if I want to keep my fingers! I also learned that you can peel an apple in one hand motion although I was literally taking piece by piece off and it took forever.

I helped out with the prep work for most of the dishes but was mainly in charge of the polenta. I guess I was whisking a bit vigorously at first but finally got into the grove. Man, it definitely requires a steady arm and continuous movement - no stopping or you'll get clumps. While I wasn't working, I loved to watch the scallops searing or check on Sal who kept busy on the pork chops in the skillet. Each member got to participate at their own comfort level which was nice because I definitely leaned on the more seasoned students.

Overall, this class was amazing! I learned a lot and it made me happy to be surrounded by people that enjoy cooking at all different levels (although I'm pretty sure no one raised their hands when Allison asked "raise your hand if you'd be afraid to host Thanksgiving dinner" which was cool). I am definitely signing up for more classes in the future and with Allison, she was great.

P.S. - She mentioned Meatless Mondays
Take one night a week to cut out meat consumption to help with personal health and reducing meat consumption thus helping the planet...what a great concept, thanks Allison!

No comments:

Post a Comment