I love to go to cooking classes. They can be participation or demonstration, it doesn’t matter, I love them all. If I’m lucky I will find a recipe I want to make myself or I may learn about a new technique, a new cooking gadget, or new product. I get to be with people who are into food and I get to have somebody else cook for me. What could be better?
During the summer of 2009, I signed up for Tim Hogan’s participation cooking classes through the Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Dept because I was thinking of also teaching a class through them. I wanted to check out the kitchen and see what was involved in the logistics. I ultimately decided not to teach a cooking class, but to create this blog instead. But I had so much fun going to his classes, it was totally worth it. He is teaching a new class beginning January 25, 2011, called Hearty Winter Cuisine that you might find interesting.
Tim’s classes were in sets of four and I took three sets – 12 classes. At the beginning of the last four classes was when I decided to do this blog, and Tim graciously allowed me to photograph during each class. Actually I was a total pain in the butt, like, wait, don’t move that pan until I can shoot it!
Here are some photos I took during the classes.
It was unfortunate that I didn’t have the chance to photograph during the first classes, because we made really wonderful food like homemade pasta Tagliatelle with Bolognese Sauce; Linguini, Green Bean and Chicken with Fresh Basil Pesto; Grilled Yogurt Curry Chicken Kabobs; and Carne Asada in a Mojo Marinade.
Tim is an attorney by day, and a gourmet cook and passionate foodie by night. He is one of those guys who cook by look, feel and taste. For him the recipe is only a guide, which had my OCD-must-measure-every-little-thing stomach in a knot pretty much the whole time I was there. We did a lot of cutting, chopping and laughing, and his food always turned out great.
This chopped salad that we made in class is extremely good, but what really sends me is the vinaigrette. I didn’t see Tim prepare it, but as he was walking by to put it in the refrigerator I stuck a spoon in it to see what it was about. It looked like a regular mustard salad dressing, so I just popped the spoon in my mouth. Whoa! An explosion of garlic, Poupon, parmesan and vinegar. It totally stopped me in my tracks. When I prepared it at home, I adjusted the ingredient amounts to the way I remember it tasting.
Italian Chopped Salad
4 – 8 servings
½ head iceberg lettuce, chopped to ¾-inch dice
½ head romaine lettuce, chopped to ¾-inch dice
12 large basil leaves, chopped to 1/8-inch strips
2 cups (1/3 pound) dry Italian salami, cut into thin strips
3 cups (2/3 pound) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup chopped garbanzo beans
4 cups (2 pounds) ripe cherry tomatoes, diced ½-inch
3 cups turkey or chicken breast, diced ½-inch
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette (see below)
1. After chopping the lettuces and tomatoes, lay each out on paper towels and dry thoroughly.
2. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette and combine.
Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
Yields about 1 ¼ cups
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 tablespoon minced fresh shallot
2 – 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano, rubbed
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, minced
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
¼ cup + 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the oil and parmesan.
2. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream until incorporated. Stir in the Parmesan and Romano cheeses.
3. Refrigerate until needed.
Note: You may use 3 tablespoons Parmesan and omit the Romano cheese.