ilana freddye


Advanced Cooking, Day 2

Ok so we've already declared that I'm back in the kitchen, day one: mystery basket success and now it's time to tell ya about day two.

The theme you ask? Childhood Memories.

The goal was to recreate a food we associate with our childhood and turn it into a restaurant quality dish. I had a hard time choosing just one dish from my childhood because, well...honestly, I ate some damn good food growing up. And while my mom can cook THE BEST chicken wings and sweet potatoes (among soooo many other things) you will ever eat in your life ever, I decided to go with my dad's vegetarian lasagna.

Both my parents are great cooks, they're the reason I love food and cooking so much.

When my dad cooks he usually is more of a recipe man while my mom is definitely more of a go with the flow, don't fuss about it kind of cook. Both are successful in their own methods.

But when it comes to my dad's lasagna, he goes with his gut and makes a day of it.

We used a variety of roasted mushrooms, made fresh spinach pasta, homemade ricotta, and a creamy béchamel sauce. We rolled the pasta super duper thin and did lots of light, small layers with the sauces and filling, then we topped it off with a fried basil leaf. We also cut it out in to circles in hope of making it a little shmancier. (here's a similar lasagna recipe)
Notes for future lasagna making: always make a bechamel and add some cheese to it, also use a simple red sauce, and do lots of very thin layers. 

Fried basil should be a more major part of my life. Fact.

It was really fun to taste everyone else's dishes too, the tasting portion of this class is awesome because we a.) get to eat tasty food and b.) people make stuff I would never think to do, and it's interesting to check out. Here are a couple shots:

Lobster & Crab Poutine with Smoked Gruyere and Foie Gras enriched Gravy
(and a view of our dining set up)

This group did a different childhood memory for each person, The Bibimbap was my favorite, and so adorable. I mean look at the quail egg on top. I loved the chili sauce on it too. Have you had bibimbap? It's a signature korean treat, and so very tasty.

There were some other dishes too and all were delicious. Next week we are doing very classic French recipes from La Guide Culinaire, Escoffier's cookbook from 1903. Should be interesting. I hope no one does poached chicken!