Corn Bread Tartlets & Linda Steidel’s Cooking Class

by Lynne on February 6, 2010

Post image for Corn Bread Tartlets & Linda Steidel’s Cooking Class


I have taken a number of cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma from a wonderful teacher, Linda Steidel. I look forward to her classes, not only for the recipes, but to watch her cooking techniques and see what equipment she is using. The thing about cooking teachers is they have to get everything prepared and cooked within a certain time limit, so they have to be as efficient as possible. Linda is the epitome of efficient. She has economy of motion and a less-is-more style that I find fascinating to watch.

And now Linda has a new book coming out called For Every Season There Is a Salad. She worked on it for a year, creating the 100 recipes, doing the food styling and assisting the photographer. On top of everything else she does, I think she must be Super Woman. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy so I can tell you all about it.

EXTRA! EXTRA! April 27,2010. Linda’s Book has been released! Find out more about it and see photos here.

Oh, and did I say she is calm. The night of the class when she did this Corn Bread Tartlet, there was also a Lobster Pot Pie on the menu. Linda was making the pie dough in a food processor provided by the store and half way through it stopped working. The poor store employee assisting Linda was horrified and kept trying, unsuccessfully, to open the processor and turn it back on. Finally, Linda stopped her, and calmly said it didn’t matter, she would just finish it by hand. Which she did. Calm.

Also on the menu at this class were a beautiful Peach, Mozzarella, Fennel and Prosciutto Salad and a Nectarine-Raspberry Crisp. Linda always makes her food look really beautiful, as you can see from these photographs I took. I used my Sony point and shoot camera and Linda was very gracious about stopping the show to let me get these shots.

Peach-Salad & Nectarine-Raspberry-Crisp

Linda has been teaching cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma for fifteen years at their various stores in Southern California. She teaches custom designed classes in private homes for friends celebrating birthdays and special occasions, and has worked with such well-known culinary figures as Jo Bettoja in Italy, Anne Willan at La Varenne, New York’s Peter Kump and experts at the CIA at Greystone. She has also led her students on culinary trips to Provence, Burgundy, Tuscany, Tahiti, Africa and Mexico. You can check out her website at She has a new thing called The Underground Restaurant that could be very interesting.

Corn-Bread- Tartlets-2

These little Corn Bread Tartlets are not only cute, but they make a wonderful appetizer. The corn bread muffin is sweet and crunchy, along with the creamy ricotta cheese and the zing of the tomatoes. I love the way they look. Linda set them out on a cake platter with a pedestal and I could just imagine them on my buffet table. In fact I went home and made them the next day. I hope you give them a try, too.

Corn-Bread- Tartlets-3

Print Recipe Print Recipe

Corn Bread Tartlets with Ricotta & Tomato

Makes 2 Dozen Tartlets

½ cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose four
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups red and yellow tomatoes, halved, seeded, 1/4-inch dice
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
Salt and ground pepper

¾ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
Basil thinly sliced for garnish.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Butter two 12-cup mini-muffin pans.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

4. In another bowl, whisk the milk with the egg and melted butter.

5. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Do not over mix.

6. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them halfway. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out to cool completely.

7. After dicing the tomatoes, wrap in paper towels to absorb the moisture.

8. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the garlic, Parmesan, basil, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

9. In a small bowl, season the ricotta with salt and pepper.

10. Using a small serrated knife, slice off the domed tops of the muffins. Slice off a small part of the rounded dome to make a stable base, if necessary

11. Top the cut side of the muffins with the ricotta, about a teaspoon of the tomato mixture and garnish with the thinly sliced basil.

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Girlfriend Food Blog Friday - Meet Lynne, author of Cook & Be Merry - Geez Louise!
February 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Patti at Worth The Whisk February 9, 2010 at 10:36 pm

While your class was probably a lot of fun, your photography is incredible. Makes me want to lick my computer monitor.

Rose February 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Beautiful tartlets! I agree with the above commenter, your photo is spectacular!

Anna March 29, 2010 at 8:16 am

this looks so yummy! i am adding it to my “to try” list.

Teresa April 10, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Hi Lynne; Caught this on Foodgawker, and it is calling my name. I look forward to making these this summer (maybe before) as soon as I pick my first Sun Gold and Sweet 100 cherry toms! lovely colors. I think, to balance the sweetness, I will infuse the olive oil used, with some red chili pepper flakes for a teeny kick. Would be great with some of our full-bodied Chardonnay, don’t you think?
Thank-you for the posting the beautiful photos and idea!

Elaine Woitaszewski July 31, 2012 at 10:47 am

OK, got my answer just by looking at another recipe. Told ya a dumb question, the answer of course is ALL PURPOSE FLOUR. Thanks again for all the help. Even though ya didn’t know you would answer so fast.

Lynne July 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Hi Elaine ~ Thanks for telling me about this. I guess I assume everyone knows what AP flour is and that is not the case. From now on, I will spell it out. If you have any other questions about my recipes, let me know. xo

Ann June 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I love Linda Steidel’s cooking classes. I have been taking lessons for about 20 years from Linda. My husband says this has completely changed our lifestyle. We entertain more and are enjoying all of her teachings. I don’t now how she does is all.

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