Geoff met us with a frothy whiskey sour, which got everyone well loosened up!
Then he began cooking, answering questions as he explained step by step the dishes he was preparing. He started out with ceviche, which uses the acid of lime juice to "cook" the fish.
Geoff used cod and it was delicious. Some of the things I learned from this were to always buy very good fish, then freeze it for three days to kill any parasites that may be within. (You can't kill bacteria with freezing, so get good fish!) Firm fish like cod or seafood like scallops are best.
Also, once you make it, you have a limited "resting time" at which point you should eat it. After a half hour, you may as well toss it because the fish will be too tough to be really enjoyed.
Pickling uses sour too, namely, vinegar. Geoff prepared pickled red onions which he sliced thinly and covered with ___________. It's a fast pickling and within a half hour or so, the onions were just divine!
He used these onions on his super duper grilled cheese sandwich. Let me say I am quite the grilled cheese aficianado and this was hands-down the best grilled cheese I ever had. It also probably had the most calories of any grilled cheese ever because his secret to goodness is not to slather one side of the bread with butter but to melt butter in your pan and SLOWLY grill one side of the bread. Then take it out, assemble the sandwich with grated cheese for faster melting on TOP of the toasty bread (butter side), add some of the pickled onions, add more cheese, top it and then grill both sides of the ungrilled bread in fresh melted butter.
It is so crispy and crunch and filled with cheesy goodness that I could have died happy right there. And if I ate too many of these, I would. (Do not cook this within a week of having blood tests for a physical or your cholesterol numbers might go off the roof!)
One of the things I love about these classes is that we aren't the ones doing the cooking. We sit very close as he explains every step so we can see and take notes. We aren't distracted by wondering if we are stirring our own sauce too much or too little. So, watching, noting and asking questions, we really are able to learn and focus. It's much easier to bring that home and cook his dishes because we've seen every step.
|Source: Ex Culina|
He then showed us how to make a shrub -- a mixture of grapefruit peel, sugar and vinegar that makes a bit of a syrup.
After this mixture has sat for a few days, add back in the juice you extracted from the grapefruit and strain it. A shot of that over ice with club soda was fabulous. (Vodka would be good, too!).
Also on our menu was Rock Cornish game hen with a blackberry sauce. The sauce also used a vinegar, along with sugar for a wonderful sweet-sour combo. Geoff takes the backbone out of the chicken and lays it flat to cook, which helps it cook a bit faster. These went about a half hour.
This was served with Brussels sprouts, tossed with shallots and herbs, then oven-roasted topped with balsamic vinegar.
We also had a fun vinegar tasting. We dipped swabs into several different vinegars and placed it on our tongue. It was interesting to note the different qualities of each -- if they felt fruity or salty or too tart.
Then it was time to sit down and enjoy our meal. We'd already been munching on grilled cheese and ceviche and enjoying beverages.
The chicken was so good with the blackberry sauce. I'll be making that sauce again soon for any number of things.
Served up with a glass of wine, our happy band of students were all happy campers!
This has been my second Chef Geoff cooking class and so far I love them all! So, I say...
|Source: Ex Culina|
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