Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Millennium Cooking Class: July 2009

From one o'clock: Rice crepe with marinated tofu and vegetables;corn-potato cake with spicy cilantro sauce; potato cake with cashew-cream shiso sauce; sauteed fresh chickpeas; yellow curried vegetables and, center, Indian-stuffed okra.

The bounty of another fun and educational Sunday cooking class in the kitchen at Millennium, the gourmet vegan restaurant in San Francisco, with Eric Tucker, Executive Chef, presiding.

I was pretty focused on the recipes I worked on for this class. I was delighted to make two versions of the potato scallion cakes, as they reminded me so much of the potato cakes my grandmother used to make for supper from Sunday lunch leftovers. She'd serve them with a fried egg and salad.

The fluffier corn version were made with Little Farms Carolla potatoes, boiled then broken by hand with fresh corn kernels and scallions. The cakes were then pan fried and served with a green sauce was a combo of cilantro, serrano chili, pan toasted macademias, water and salt. Very easy and incredibly delicious. We used Yellow Fins for the potato only version, which produced a much denser cake.

I have to admit, I completely missed the making of these wonderful rice crepes filled with marinated tofu and vegetables:

My cooking buddy C tells me they were made with tapioca flour, rice flour, soaked white rice (8 hrs), minced scallion and coconut milk. Perhaps one of our classmates would care to post/email me the details? They were totally amazing and filled with marinated tofu and vegetables:

We also enjoyed a summer vegetable yellow curry:

and Indian-spiced stuffed okra with caramelized onions:

Stuffed broccoli leaf rolls filled with either broken up tempeh or walnuts with cooked brown rice, shiitake mushrooms and fermented black beans, wrapped like dolmas with a spicy lemongrass tomato chutney:

And several variants of this melon, tomato, and endive salad with a coconut-methi (fenugreek) vinaigrette ( with radish, with purslane, or with mint)

I regret that I missed photographing dessert: a peach flan (one version with pureed corn) with either rose geranium ice cream (one of my all time favs) or sungold tomato ice cream with basil syrup swirls.

This class had a particularly wonderful group of cooking students, who all adapted quickly to the format and were keen to learn and get their hands dirty. Many thanks to Thomas and Veronica for their assistance, to Ann for her encouragement, and to Eric for sharing his expertise.

This was my 12th cooking class at Millennium. Here are links to previous Millennium cooking class write-ups:
  • June Cooking Class 2009

  • 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
  • Friday, July 24, 2009

    Farmers Market Finds: Pizza Mista & Pretty Peppers

    After a high-stress root canal in San Rafael yesterday morning, I was elated to decompress by strolling around the Thursday morning Farmers Market. In addition to this delicious petso mozzarella "pizza mista" with colorful heirlom tomatoes and kalamata olives, I found sugar plums, pea shoot pesto, lemon cucumbers and these attractive multi-color sweet peppers:

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Vegan Pizza: Squash Blossom, Cashew Cream & Pea Greens

    I had an awesome visit to the San Rafael Farmers Market today at the Civic Center. I got lots of wonderful ingredients: pea greens, squash blossoms, heirloom tomatoes, vegan tofu products. It was a really exciting visit and my first in many months.

    This awesome vegan pizza just goes to show you really don't need cheese to make an incredible and indulgent pizza. I used Il Fornaio pizza dough fresh from the restaurant and topped it with a cashew cream-jalapeno sauce. On top of this I added very quickly sauted yellow globe zucchini and squash blossoms, sauted with olive oil, salt and a little lemon juice. I let the olive-oil brushed pizza crust bake at 450 for 7 minutes, then topped it with a cashew cream sauce, cooked with garlic, chopped jalapeno, salt, white wine and nutritional yeast. I topped that with the zucchini and squash blossoms and cooked an additional 5 minutes. Removed from the stove and topped with a super light pea green pesto (pea green leaves, olive oil, and salt pureed in a mini prep).

    The result was creamy, fulfilling and a wonderful blend of fresh flavors.It also captured the wonderful crunchy sweetness of the squash blossoms. The pea green puree added a wonderful freshness - don't think of skipping this.
    I think this is my best vegan pizza to date.

    Tuesday, July 07, 2009

    New to Me: Mango Nectarines

    When I found these Mango Nectarines at the store, I thought I'd discovered a new cross-fruit. But actually, they are a nectarine variety, and a voluptuous mouthful that really tastes like mango. The Mango Nectarine is a cross between two pale nectarines by Craig Ito of Ito Packing.

    The mango nectarines have a short season: July-August. Keep your eyes open for these! Apparently, there is also a honeydew nectarine variety, which I would love to try. If any Marin locals know where I can find them, please leave a comment!

    I found these babies at Paradise Foods in Corte Madera.

    For a little more information, check out this NY Times article

    Monday, July 06, 2009

    Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad

    I was going to add fresh corn, avocado, cheese, herbs, maybe olives to this salad, but I'm so glad I held back.

    This salad was simply organic Heirloom tomatoes, English cucumber, red onion, my best olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt (Fleur de Sel) and black pepper. It was perfect.

    The two things I'm glad I added:

  • delicious bread to soak up the leftover juices.

  • a nice glass of Merlot

  • Happy Summer!