Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 2010 Millennium Cooking Class

How's this for an outrageous dessert! A vegan dessert "burger" of Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies, filled with Avocado-Coconut ice cream with sliced nectarines in a Rose Geranium syrup. Two versions of cookies - one cake-like, one crispy:

Both totally rocked!

Yes, another fab Sunday Vegan Cooking Class at Millennium taught by Millennium's Executive Chef Eric Tucker. We had a great menu today utilizing the best of seasonal produce: stone fruit, corn, zucchini, and avocado.

Cooking classes at Millennium are serious hands-on, jump- in cooking classes. You're busy the whole time, you're learning new techniques, new combinations, new ingredients. I have to say, I was in awe of my classmates today. They were all serious, knowledgeable cooks with good instincts and generous with technique tips. Now I know the easy way to peel ginger is to scrape off the skin with a spoon! The camaraderie of working with others on the recipes makes the classes a very cool experience.

We made dessert first, 'cos it involved baking and freezing. For lunch, we made an incredible summer vegetable salad of julienned diakon, carrots, cucumber and sea kelp noodles. We added mint, Thai basil, and cilantro and a new-to-me salty succulent , Agretti. The amazing dressing was made of blended pluots, ginger, chile, agave nectar, rice vinegar, grape seed oil and salt. We also made a Vadouvan Oil, a French curry spiced oil, that was incredible! We topped the salad with toasted peanuts spiced with coriander, chili, sugar and salt. I could eat this salad every day:

After lunch, we focused on corn griddle cakes (two versions: one baked, one pan fried) with Heirloom bean salad with grilled Nopales (Cactus) and spicy tomato-chile salsa. The beans were amazing - Rancho Gordo Indian woman and vallarta beans, cooked with clove-studded onion and epazote:

We also had two versions of a pumpkin seed pesto. The corn griddle cakes included roasted corn, corn and AP flours, and had some serious cumin flavor and incorporated soy yogurt for a buttermilk effect:

Then two versions of amazing porcini mushroom pot pie - the crust made tender with palm shortening, the filling an amazing blend of leek, carrot and celery mirepoix with porcini (and other) mushrooms, English peas, red wine or sherry, vegetable stock, nutritional yeast, cashew cream, nutmeg and fresh herbs. To die for:

Thanks, as always, to Eric, Ann, and Thomas for creating another fabulous Sunday Cooking Class at Millennium. Also thanks to my classmates for making this another entertaining, friendly, and educative class.

Classmate Beth, a professional chef, has three posts related to this class at her blog The Smug Chef with really gorgeous photos and beautifully stylized dishes. Check them out!
  • Good Herb Karma

  • Corn Cakes

  • Summer Vegetable Salad with Kelp Noodles

  • Here's links to my previous 14 classes:
  • Spring Cooking Class 2010

  • Chiles Cooking Class 2009

  • July Cooking Class 2009

  • 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