Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Foodie Girls Lunch Brigade - Special Cooking Class Edition

I'm going to have to rethink my nomenclature soon if we continue to stray from the lunch path like this, but for now, welcome to another FG "Special Edition"!

Dateline: Breadbar, a well known local artisan bakery/bistro in the the heart of the edge of Beverly Hills
The scene:   A packed house of people here not for baguettes and boules, but for the restaurant's latest pop-up* In the Making event:

The menu: (in case you can't read the fine print there)

Appetizer - Crispy Shrimp Cakes with Plum Sauce 
Mains - Pineapple Red Curry, Thai Roasted Chicken, Roti Paratha
Dessert - Cheesecake "Maki-Sushi"

The cast: Four FGs, two big time chefs, Jet Tila, and Sara Steele, from Vegas** (yeah, baby!)  a warm and welcoming staff, and a bunch of other classmates who also couldn't think about anything else but that maki sushi cheesecake thing.

Watch what happened:

They fed us right away. Love that! This is a shrimp cake with the special secret ingredients:Pork and sugar.

Time seems to flow backwards, as we watch the shrimp cake being made.  Turns out the meatball, like the tortilla, is a food that knows no national boundaries. 

This is how to make a chicken look good raw.  It requires a cleaver and a smooth talking guy doing the cleaving.

No matter what, though, it's gonna look much better cooked.  Especially after a few days in a bath of ginger, lemongrass, garlic, cilantro and coconut milk and some time in a very hot oven. Our favorite dish of the night.

Curry fixin's, and a curry factoid:  Indian curries use dry spice mixtures.  Thai curries use fresh herb mixtures. Seen here: kafir lime leaves, basil, onion, bamboo shoots and coconut milk. Fish sauce, curry paste, and sugar are hanging out in the back.

Here's the pineapple part. Nice, huh? The curry was served with puffy paratha bread made entirely without butter.

The Sara show begins with a frozen roll of cheesecake. This whole demo is phallic, so just accept that and move on.

After spearing a 6-8 inch section of the firm log with a sharp stick (but not too far up there!), coat lightly with tempura batter, using smooth strokes up and down.Submerge in boiling oil. Meanwhile, time for garnishes.

Sushi rolls would not be sushi roles without wasabi...or in this case, melted white chocolate, green food coloring, and a little bit of cool water to make it "seize" and become a horseradish paste doppelganger.

Next, peel a banana (I know! I know!) and slice very thin.

This does require a blowtorch, but I'm told they're readily available at Home Depot.

The "maki" cheesecake - a cross section view.

Ready for its close up, and our tummies.

Chef Jet, relaxing after class and a glass of wine. On top of cooking us an awesome meal, he was funny, informative, and a really nice guy.

The verdict:  The FG crew had a fantastic evening.  We can't wait for the next one!

Chef Jet's Thai Style BBQ Chicken
1 3 1/2 lb. chicken, backbone removed, laid flat with wing tips tucked under
2 Tbs. ginger root, crushed
2 Tbs. lemongrass, crushed
1 Tbs. corriander root or cilantro leaves, minced
2 Tbs. garlic, crushed
2 tsp. black or white pepper
1/4 c. thin soy sauce (a Chinese style that is lighter that traditional soy)
1 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. curry powder
1 c. coconut milk

Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in a blender and blend until smooth.   In a dish that is deep enough for the chicken to be completely submerged, pour marinade over the chicken to coat evenly.   Rub the chicken all over to make sure it's nice and flavorful before you set it, covered, in the refrigerator for at least four hours or as long as three days.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, and scrape off any excess.  Roast at 400 for 45 minutes, or until liquids run clear from the thigh when pierced.  You can also finish the chicken on the grill, or grill the chicken from the beginning.   Delish!

* Given the frenzy over pop-ups, I'm instituting a new dinner policy here at home.  I may or may not cook.   You will only know that I am cooking if you follow me on twitter (@momsmakingtacosagainsayitaintso), AND sign up on my secret website by noon.  I will only make enough for three, so someone is always left out, but the family members who do eat are in for a real treat.
** And the classy part of Vegas at that!  Wynn, baby!

1 comment:

  1. Sharon,
    You completely captured the evening in words. I am now craving the whole meal over again... The curry in the pinapple was my favorite. The very next day I decided to make it. Remember when Jet emphasized NOT to shake the coconut milk before making the rue? He wasn't kidding. Shoot! The consistency was not the same, but it still tasted FABULOUS. Thanks for a great night! Can't wait for the next one.