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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Millennium Cooking Class: December Holiday Food


I left today's Holiday Cooking Class at Millennium elated, which was amazing only because I ate so much food, I could have felt weighted down. This class was full of energy - an awesome group of proactive, engaged cooks and a particularly ambitious menu created by executive chef Eric Tucker, who was even more on fire today than usual.

Our lunchtime meal above (starting at 1 o'clock): spinach salad with tempeh bacon and braised leeks, tofu aioli, marinated and broiled portobello, salad with braised celery, mandarines, and toasted pumpkins seeds candied with agave, chard-cilantro pate, walnut fougasse bread, and red onion marmalade.

I have to tell you, I was very excited to have the opportunity to make the bread with expert guidance. Bread-making has been on my list of things to learn for a couple of years, but I have procrastinated due to a lack of confidence. Making it today, with Eric's hands-on demonstration and expertise was a really great learning experience for me, and the bread turned out great!

Here's a good look at the spinach salad: braised leeks, bacon tempeh, and mushrooms. The hot tempeh and mushrooms just wilted the spinach - sensational!


Here's the salad with salad mix, radicchio, braised celery, mandarines, and pumpkin seeds:


A strikingly beautiful chard-cliantro pate, garnished with pomegranate, an adaption of the Spinach-Cilantro Pate from The Millennium Cookbook, set with agar agar flakes. The taste was pure freshness!

Here's another shot of the sliced pate, which paired beautifully with Millennium's red pepper jelly:


OK...so that's lunch! Let's move on to the second meal we prepared...

In the center is a seitan roast - shepherd's pie with cranberry sauce, at top a side of sauteed cauliflower, strawberry daikon, and tat soi, baked beans, asian yuba roll, and wasabi-edamame mashed potatoes.

The seitan holiday dish was decadent: braised seitan, topped with garlic mashed potatoes, topped with vegan béarnaise (made with cashew cream, white wine, and tarragon):

How could you not be salivating right now!

Still life: Yuba roll on a rainy day.

Yuba is tofu skin, here, stuffed with Seitan and asian-style sautéed vegetables (cabbage, parsnip, carrots), baked and topped with black and white sesame seeds. Served with a rich red wine reduction sauce.

Holiday colors: cauliflower, strawberry daikon, and tat soi, sautéed with garlic and ginger-black bean oil:

I really loved this combination. Eric makes the best cauliflower ever and he just sautés it .

And, finally, a mini dessert plate:

Two flans with rich caramel sauce: one persimmon and one meyer lemon. Fruit compote and a tiny bite of olive oil bundt cake.

Man, what a class this was! Thanks to Eric, Ann, Thomas and Kevin for making it an amazing experience!

See the end for links to previous Millennium class posts.

I made the tofu aioli and this was a delicious, easy-to-make spread that would be great as a holiday dip for bread or crudite, or spread on a sandwich. We used a medium firm tofu, so it had a very slight grainy quality. Enjoy!

Tofu Aioli

EVOO
2.5 TBS finely chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage
6-7 oz medium firm tofu
1/2 cup roasted garlic in oil
2 TBS chickpea miso
pinch black pepper
few drops of cider vinegar

Saute the herbs in the EVOO to release their flavor. Put the herbs, tofu, roasted garlic in oil, black pepper and chickpea miso in a food processor and process to a paste. Add a few drops of cider vinegar.

This was my 8th amazing cooking class at Millennium!
Here's links to previous posts on Millennium cooking classes:
  • Fall Harvest 2008

  • Indian Summer

  • Southern Comfort Cooking Class

  • Spring Cooking Class

  • Fall Harvest Cooking Class

  • Chiles Class

  • Tomatoes Class
  • 10 Comments:

    Blogger Jennywenny said...

    I'm so jealous! I have their book and I've tried one of the desserts, but I'd love to do one of their classes. Maybe one day when I'm visiting the bay area!

    12:43 PM  
    Blogger Melody Polakow said...

    amazing!!! I sooooo wish I could work in a place like that!!

    I am lusting over everything.

    1:23 PM  
    Blogger loria said...

    That seitan roast looks wonderful!
    Any chance of getting that recipe.
    Just venturing into vegetarian cooking and looking for something that is hearty like that.
    Lori

    12:35 PM  
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