How Do I Make…?

2008.Nov.23 Sunday · 0 comments

in Casa SaltShaker, Food & Recipes, Life, Popular Posts

“Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom?”

– Terry Pratchett, Author


Buenos Aires – Bored? Sitting at home wishing you had something to do, something to stimulate your interest, your intellect, your skills, your tastebuds? In town for just a short time and wishing you knew more about what’s going on in the kitchen behind the scenes of all the food you’ve been eating, or wish you were eating? Let’s do something together about that….

I’ve mentioned before that we offer cooking classes here at Casa SaltShaker. In the past, it’s primarily just been a simple, if you want to learn how to make something in particular, let me know, we’ll schedule a time, and we’ll do that – and we’ll still have that option available. But one of the most common requests I get is to know “what’s on your class schedule coming up?” And since we’ve never had a class schedule, it’s been tough to give that one a solid answer, you know? That’s all about to change. We’re going to start offering a series of classes for 1-3 people at a time (and if there’s more interest, we’ll work out more than one day/time to offer the same class) – both single session classes as well as multiple session ones.

There is now a page accesible in the right-hand column of the blog, easy to look at and see what’s coming up, along with a detailed description of each class.

Now, it may seem like an ambitious first class, but I had a recent request from a young gentleman here in town to learn “the basics of Italian cooking”. As he put it, while he can follow a recipe and cook something for dinner, he finds himself feeling like an artist who doesn’t have or understand the color palate. So the first offering is going to be a ten session, yes, ten session, hands-on Introduction to Italian Cooking – during each of which we’ll end up producing 2-4 dishes, and sitting down together and enjoying them. I haven’t finalized the times with the original requestor yet, though I think we’re be aiming at Tuesday morning carrying into lunch – as I said, if there’s enough interest, we can schedule this for another day and time as well.

Session 1 – Basic flavors and ingredients of Italian cooking – olive oils, herbs, cheeses, spices – we’ll make a couple of basic dishes that highlight some of those flavors

Session 2 – What’s Italy without pasta? How to make basic pasta doughs – we’ll make 3 different types – plain, egg, semolina – and use them to sample a trio of dishes

Session 3 – Grains – risotto, farro, polenta – how do we use those?

Session 4 – Pizza – we know it comes in different styles – maybe we’ll even go beyond the boundaries of Italy – since the doughs need time to proof, it will be a good day to talk about the basics of Italian wine

Session 5 – Contorni – those wonderful little vegetable based side dishes that accompany many main dishes

Session 6 – Fish/Shellfish – let’s not forget that the majority of Italian provinces are coastal and there’s an abundance of seafood from the Mediterranean

Session 7 – Poultry – Winging our way, can I use that sort of wordplay? – we’ll get pretty creative here, this will not just be grandmom’s chicken cacciatore

Session 8 – Beef/Pork – We are in beef country after all, and pork isn’t all that far behind – so how about we take some interesting Italian shots at these, both traditional and modern

Session 9 – Game – let’s get a little wild and see just what sort of trouble we can get into in the kitchen – after all, by this point, we’ll have a firm grasp of the basic ingredients and principles

Session 10 – Offal – what the Romans call “the fifth quarter”; we’ll be stepping a bit outside the usual comfort zone

If joining us for the Color Palate of Italy strikes your fancy, drop me a line and let’s organize the class(es). If something else is on your mind – let me know that – whether you want me to setup an individual class for you, or add it to the public schedule – let’s get cooking!


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