01 February 2012

Casa Fiore's Cucina ~ What a Blast!!

Thanks to everyone for attending Casa Fiore's Cucina and for following my Facebook posts in the run up to this class!  We had an absolute blast!  From the fantasic eagerness and gregariousness of my students, to the tasty morsels we put together, to the friendly and zany antics of my wife Lisa, to all the help provided by sister Carmela and brother Mario, the whole event was a success!  Thank you to all!  And a special thanks to my in-laws Jack and Bette Neal for letting us use their wonderful "Kitchen Stadium". 

I posted the menu on Friday, January 28th - scroll down and you will find it.  Here are a few photos to commemorate the evening. 

The table is set!  Now just add students.
Preparing the ingredients and setting up the "classroom".

Ingredients all lined up like Julia Child.
Killer Super Fudge Brownies!
The Lesson Plan/Menu.
Chilled prosecco and happy students.
Time to get down to business.  There will be a test.
On to the next lesson... please dig into the antipasti whenever you like!
How to make limoncello.
Gamberi al Limoncello.
A+ students.
The spoils of spaghetti alla puttanesca.
Fond farewells and party favors.

I had a request for my baba ganoush recipe served at the class... here it is for you:

From the Chef  ~  Baba Ghanoush

Anyone out there love eggplant like I love eggplant?  Then this is the dish for you!  This is a Middle Eastern classic!  Roasted eggplant combined with sesame tahini, garlic, and lemon.  This is a great addition to a dinner of “small plates”, tapas, or antipasti.

1.  Select one large eggplant.  Prick skin 10-12 times and set in a pan under broiler or set directly on your outdoor grill.  Cook for 45-60 minutes, turning to blacken on each side.  The eggplant will look like a charred, deflated football at the end.  You can proceed to step two immediately, or conversely, you can let the eggplant sit 12-24 hours and then continue.  Serendipitously over the years, I've discovered that the dish takes on a much smokier character when allowed to sit for some time.
2. In the meantime, in a bowl add together 1 large clove of minced garlic, juice of 1 lemon or to taste, 2 tablespoons toasted sesame tahini, and salt to taste.
3. After eggplant has cooled a bit, cut open and scrape out roasted flesh with a spoon and add to other ingredients.
4. Using a whisk, blend eggplant pulp together with other ingredients until smooth.
5. Transfer baba ghanoush to a serving bowl.  Drizzle 2-3 tblsps. quality olive oil on top and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoon chopped parsley.   Enjoy with pita or crusty bread. 

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