Sunday, July 31, 2011

Publix Cooking School

Thursday night I went to a Publix Apron's Cooking School.   The chef for the evening was Kevin Gillespie from Top Chef season six.  Now in all honesty I don't and haven't watched the show, but the friends I went with do and he was one of their favorites.  Chef Gillespie is based in Atlanta and is co-owner and executive chef of Woodfire Grill.  Attending one of these classes involves watching the chef cook the dish while he explains what he is doing, often times imparting tips of the trade you would not otherwise read about.  After demonstrating how to prepare each dish,  you and your table are then served the dish and are given a reasonable time to enjoy and discuss amongst yourselves.  How great is that!  Also with each course you get a wine pairing... bottoms up.

First Course: Sliced Tomato on Cornbread pancake with bacon basil mayonnaise:
Oh my lord the mayo was AMAZING!  This was such a good flavor combo.  The only thing I would have liked a little more of was tomato.  I felt like another slice would have been good or even chopped up tomatoes mixed in with the mayo and then poured over the pancake.   The little cooking tip on this was to sprinkle your tomatoes with salt and pepper first, let it sit for an hour or more so the water can be pulled out of the tomato and then drained back in to really let the flavor be spread out.

Second Course:  Sweet corn roasted in the Husk with Lime, Japapeno and Cotija Cheese with a Mojo Marinated and Glazed Grilled Pork Steak. 
The Pork Steak had really nice flavor but was a tough piece of meat.  Kevin did talk about how this is an under utilized piece of meat.  It does really need to marinate with a citrus marinade for a while so it can break down the muscle.  It did have really nice flavor.  But only having a regular knife to work with did make this hard.  The corn with the Cotija Cheese was really good!   The tip for the corn was to leave the husk on remove the silk and pull the husk back over.  Let this soak in water for 24 hours.  And then you put the corn on the grill with the husk wrapped around you are steaming the corn without the husk catching fire.
Course Three:  Grilled Pineapple Cobbler
This was soooo good and looked so easy to make.  Once he had all the ingredients together and was pouring them it into the dish he sprinkled raw sugar on top and it gave the cobbler this creme brulle crust.   I am bummed that I forgot to take a picture of this.  By the time I had realized I had already eaten the whole thing.  They did pair it with vanilla ice cream.  A great summer desert.

If you are close to one of these Publix Apron's Cooking Schools  it is really a lot of fun and a great value.   And you get copies of all the recipes that are being cooked for that class.

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