Cooking Classes

Foreign Language Cooking Classes at City Market

What's new with City Market's cooking classes? One answer: Foreign language cooking classes! Since this spring, we have been offering foreign-language cooking classes in Spanish and French, and we are thrilled with the community response. For years, we have provided a venue for instructors from other countries - Bhutan, Burma, Somalia, the Congo, Bosnia, Vietnam and more - to teach about their native cultures and cuisines.

Bosnian Spinach Pitas

Spring has finally sprung, and it seems like the perfect time to write about a recent Mosaic of Flavors class where we made a special Bosnian bread stuffed with spinach. Spinach will always be a "sign of spring" for me, because it's one of the first crops we get from local farmers in the springtime. Its fresh, green color and large, squeaky leaves are a welcome change of pace from root vegetables! 

From Holiday Cheer to New Year

The last two weeks of December, I definitely indulged my sweet tooth a lot. Judging by the capacity at our German and Italian holiday baking classes, I was not the only one who participated with a little extra cheer in the holiday dessert department!

Spirits of Strength and Hope

Once in a while, you meet a person who is hard to forget. In the case of the Mosaic of Flavor series, that seems to happen every month, as one person after another makes a lasting impression on us with his or her presence, stories, and cooking. As one participant in a recent class quipped: “I don’t come for the food, I come for the stories!” Still, at the end of the evening, when these inspiring people have guided us through preparing a dish or dishes from their home countries, from which they are exiled, the food is almost as unforgettable as the stories.

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

How do you make gnocchi? Chef Antonino DiRuocco shows us how!

The first time I tried to make gnocchi, I was 22, living abroad, and a vegetarian. I had no idea how to cook, yet alone to make Italian specialties, but I had it in my head that I would make spinach gnocchi and pictured myself reclining with a plate of perfectly fluffy, bright green gnocchi (because despite the starchiness of the object of my desire, these would be not only delicious, but also HEALTHY, darn it!). Hours later (it may have been 10 or 11 p.m. by this time) - every surface of my small studio apartment was covered with gnocchi and flour as I, in my foolishness, had tried to simply fold in watery spinach and then kept adding more and more flour until I had a massive amount of dough (was it too wet? too dry? by this point, I had no idea. Perhaps another egg would help bind it!). Upon boiling, these little green nuggets became a gluey mass in the pot, and it would be a long time before I could forget the smell of sodden spinach.

Syrian Maklouba

When I first read the description of "Maklouba" (there are many different spellings for this Arabic word) for the September Mosaic of Flavors class, I had to Google it: We were trying to make what, exactly? An inverted pot of rice layered with spiced goat meat and vegetables and topped with a shower of toasted almonds and pine nuts?

Google images confirmed it was a culinary tour de force, the kind of thing that cooks might pray over as they flip it. It sounded so fancy, like the kind of thing American cooks haven't tried to pull off since the heyday of the aspic (if you, like me, are too young to remember, at least I know you've seen pictures of these gelatin molded dinners jauntily decorated with bits of lettuce and parsley).

It turns out, Maklouba is both fun to make, delicious, and remains rather mystifying! Here is what happened when we attempted to flip ours during the Maklouba class with Syrian cook Naghim Nasser (assisted by volunteers from the class):

Fresh Flavors from Peru

Few things make me as happy as cooking classes where instructors bring their mothers. It seems to happen more with our male instructors, such as the sweet Umesh from Nepal who brought his mother Uma and introduced her by saying, "This is my mother Uma, she taught me how to cook, and I am so proud of her."

So I was delighted when we had a bonus instructor in Hugo Lara's mother Julia, who rolled up her sleeves and got to work chopping and mixing alongside our beloved instructor as we learned to make a couple of Peruvian dishes with Vermont and Peruvian ingredients!

Hugo Lara of A Little Peruvian cooks for a City Market class with his mother, Julia

DIY Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread has been made from cultures found in tombs that date back thousands of years to ancient Egypt. That's OLD! But wild yeast from local grain and air will do the trick as well, and possibly better, than ancient sourdough strands from times and places goneby.

If we simply combine flour and water and wait, fermentation will naturally happen. That’s the message in Heike Myer’s sourdough bread class, which ran in April and will become a regular feature in June forward.

Mexican Slow Food

From the moment I tasted Mara Welton's chile-laced posole at the Burlington Winter Farmer's Market 1 1/2 years ago, it was love at first bite.

Posole with flour tortilla

Recent Culinary Travels

It's been a while since I've posted about the Mosaic of Flavor cooking classes, which continue to be a popular monthly offering.

The February class, Recipes from the Himalayas of Nepal and Bhutan, is posted on our website and promises to be fantastic.

In the meantime, here's a glimpse of the last 3 classes:

Burmese Vegetable Stew - November

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