Submitted by choman on Wed, 01/01/2014 - 14:47
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!
Submitted by choman on Wed, 12/18/2013 - 13:16
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.
Submitted by choman on Wed, 10/16/2013 - 12:21
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.
Submitted by choman on Wed, 09/18/2013 - 12:24
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):
Submitted by choman on Fri, 06/21/2013 - 11:18
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
Submitted by choman on Sun, 04/21/2013 - 11:10
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.
Submitted by choman on Fri, 03/08/2013 - 13:58
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
Submitted by choman on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 14:30
Submitted by choman on Thu, 12/06/2012 - 15:41
The snow was falling thick and hard 15 minutes before Yuko Yanagidaira's Japanese cooking class set was set to start. Vegetables for the recipes were artfully arranged in large bowls, and rice was steaming in the rice cooker.
Class participants were starting to arrive with hair wet with snowflakes and gathering in the kitchen at the McClure Multi-Generational Center, our most recent venue for some of our cooking classes.
With snow swirling like a slowglobe outside the cozy and bright kitchen, we immersed ourselves in Japanese cuisine for an hour and half with Yuko, a native of culturally-rich Sado Island, off the coast of Japan.
Submitted by choman on Tue, 02/28/2012 - 15:48
Hari Bista chats in Nepali with a new Vermont resident and former English teacher and healthcare worker in Nepal while making momos