Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Romantic Valentine Cooking Class

We had a wonderful class February 8 with Lana. Along with learning how to make a beautiful and delicious meal we heard some romantic stories from our classmates. The stories ranged from a young man sneaking around, designing just the right ring with his mother-in-law to be and "lying" to the woman he was going to propose to. His proposal started "I've been lying......." We heard about about a man sitting with his brother when this young lady walked by and he told his brother; "there is the woman I am going to marry" and they hadn't even dated, they were married a few months later and have been married 27 years. There was the man who wanted to include his future bride's daughter, so he gave her the ring to give to her mother when he proposed. And there was the story about the husband getting down on one knee to ask his wife to renew their vows this May. She says she will now have two anniversaries to celebrate. I believe they have been married 30 years! It was so much fun to hear everyone's story.

Below are the recipes from our class:

Shrimp de jonghe

10-12 raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
Approximately 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic

Place on stick of butter in an oven proof shallow plate. Place in oven or microwave to melt. When completely melted, cool slightly and sprinkle most of the bread crumbs over butter allowing them to become saturated.

Place garlic on crumbs.

Arrange shrimp on crumbs. Sprinkle remaining crumbs over shrimp. Cut up remaining butter into small pieces and evenly distribute on shrimp. Place in oven until pieces of batter are melted and shrimp turns from grey to a pale coral color. Serve immediately.


4 thin slices of round steak
4 slices of prosciutto ham
1/2 c fresh white breadcrumbs, unseasoned
1/3 c grated romano or gran padano
1 c beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbl EVOO
2 c canned Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 TBL tomato paste
1/2 c dry red wine
1/2 tsp oregano
4 TBL parsley, minced

Blend bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, parsley, oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Pound the round steak very thin. Place a slice of prosciutto on top of each piece of steak, and the spread 1/4 of the breadcrumb mixture in the center of each slice of steak. Roll it up, and within an inch and a half of the end, tuck in the sides and tie with butcher string.

Heat olive oil in a heavy dutch oven or deep frying pan, brown the meat on all sides. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine and half a cup of broth, bring to boil. Cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hour. Add more broth, if necessary. When meat is tender, season sauce with salt and pepper. Remove from the sauce, slice, and spoon remaining sauce over top, serve immediately.

Fanned Potatoes

4 nicely shaped large russet baking potatoes
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 TBL finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp sea salt or coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine garlic, rosemary, parsley, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Peel the potatoes. Cut crosswise. Cradle potato in a large spoon, wooden or plastic and slice down at 1/8 inch intervals (the curve of the spoon will prevent cutting through completely). As you complete the cutting process, place each finished potato into ice water (this helps the potato "fan").

Drain potatoes, pat dry with paper towel, carefully toss in garlic mixture. Place potatoes on sprayed baking pan, bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Asparagus Bundles

1 1/2 lbs asparagus spears
EVOO for drizzling
Fresh black, green or pink pepper
4 slices of center cut bacon or pancetta
Scallions and/or lemon peel for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees or grill

Lightly coat spears with EVOO. Season with ground pepper; divide asparagus by number of servings. Group spears and wrap securely in piece of bacon or pancetta. If desired, tie with scallion and/or lemon peel.

To grill, place on grate. Cook 10 minutes.

For oven preparation, place bundles on slotted pan. Bake for 12 minutes.

Whichever method is used, cook until bacon is crisp and asparagus is tender.

Outrageous Dessert

1 c AP flour
3/4 c sugar
2 TBL cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c cocoa
1 3/4 c hot water
2 TBL oil
3/4 c brown sugar
1 c chopped walnuts

Mix first 5 ingredients together. Add milk, oil and vanilla. Mix until smooth, stir in nuts. Pour mixture in 8 x 8 greased pan. Set aside. In separate bowl, mix brown sugar, 1/4 c cocoa. Sprinkle this over batter. Carefully pour the hot water over top. Bake at 350 degrees 40 to 45 minutes.

Keep warm until ready to serve. When removing from pan, scoop out a portion and turn spoon over so that sauce is on top.

Serve with stiff whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

I have to tell you everything was so good and Lana makes it look so easy that even I feel confident enough to try the recipes.