Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Millennium Cooking Class: June 2009

A beautiful salad lunch plate from Sunday's cooking class at Millennium, the gourmet vegan restaurant in San Francisco, featuring two versions of Seared Butter Bolete Salad with Walnuts & Stone Fruit and Indo Tempeh - Long Bean Salad.

Executive Chef Eric Tucker created an excellent and diverse menu of dishes for the class to prepare last Sunday in the Millennium kitchen, combining the best picks of Saturday's Farmers Market with specific requests.

I loved the coconut and lemongrass coating on the Indo-Tempeh:

The Chinese long beans were seared and dressed with lime juice, shallot, and kaffir lime leaves. Very easy with a wonderful flavor, finding the kaffir lime leaves is the hardest thing about this recipe! We added mango to this version, the other salad had cherry tomatoes.

And now for the magical Butter Bolete mushroom:

It turns blue when you slice it!

A little heat and they turned green then yellow.

A cousin of the porcini, these mushrooms remain firm and were the star feature of a salad with mixed greens, walnuts, walnut oil, mango or nectarine, and a light dash of vinegar (see photo above).

My special request was to make the Edamame Gnocchi with Shiso Aioli that I enjoyed so much at the restaurant. I'd never made gnocchi before so this was a fabulous learning experience for me. The dough is made from 3 large baked potatoes, peeled and put through a ricer, 10 oz of shelled edamame, blanched until cooked through, cooled, then pureed, salt to taste, and 2/3 cup flour. This is kneaded into a soft dough.

Then rolled into 1/2 inch rope, pinched and cut into little butterfly shapes:

Then rolled on a fork, while pressing your thumb into the back, to create the traditional shape and look:

I made a double batch and became quite good and this last step, which was quite tricky at first. Thanks to Thomas for his help on this. We did a test run on a handful, then froze the gnocchi for an hour. We then boiled them gently in salted water until they floated.

For the final dish, the gnocchi are pan fried until blackened with spring onion and julienned snap peas are added to the pan right at the end. The gnocchi are served with shiso aioli and macro shiso leaves: delicious!

English Pea Griddle Cakes made with oats and chickpea flour provided a gluten-free savory cake that tasted like giant fresh pea falafel:

Grilled pizza dough with a variety of fresh toppings with cashew cream - miso cream sauce and a wonderful chevre-like macademia nut cheese:

Big Bean Tagine with Zhug (a Yemenite spice paste with chili, cilantro and cardamom):

I always forget to save room for dessert! This Nectarine Napoleon (the wafers are made of filo with chopped hazelnuts) with a Ginger Pastry Cream made with coconut milk (on top), a lower fat tofu-based caramel cream sauce (on the nectarine) garnished with fruit syrup and thyme and ginger-infused caramel sauce, was spectacular, surprisingly light, and the perfect celebration of nectarine summer days:

Many thanks to Eric, Thomas, Ann and Alison for making this another incredibly tasty learning experience.

This was my 11th cooking class at Millennium and they've all been incredible. See below for links to previous class posts.


Links to previous Millennium cooking class write-ups:
  • Spring Cooking Class 2009

  • Mushroom Cooking Class

  • Holiday Cooking Class

  • Fall Harvest 2008

  • Indian Summer

  • Southern Comfort Cooking Class

  • Spring Cooking Class

  • Fall Harvest Cooking Class

  • Chiles Class

  • Tomato Class

    Blogger FoodTravelDiva said...

    What an awesome cooking class! Food looks fantastic.

    9:21 AM  
    Blogger Bea said...

    oh, makes me hungry especially the first plate and the gnocchi.

    7:15 AM  
    Blogger Anna Haight said...

    This is inspiring Catherine!

    1:16 PM  

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