Millennium Class Sept. 2010
This beautiful Chilled Green Curry Melon Soup with a Melon, Cucumber & Cherry Tomato salad, made at yesterday's cooking class at Millennium, was the perfect dish for our suddenly sweltering Indian summer weather. The soup was cool, complex, and creamy and the salad added a wonderful acidity and freshness. Taught by Millennium's Executive Chef Eric Tucker, students made a Green Curry Based from scratch with lemongrass, Thai chili, Kaffir lime leaves, and black fermented soy beans, to name just a few of the ingredients. Combined with melon and coconut milk, heated with the curry, then chilled, this was probably my favorite soup we've made in my 17 classes, and I never make or order chilled soup. Change is good!
This time around, we made the majority of the dishes before lunching. They included this Gigantic Bean and Sweet Pepper Salad:
A Nopales (Cactus) & Radish Salad - the nopales were charred, scrapped, then boiled to remove their gelatinous quality:
A trio of salsas - Guac with Poblanos, Spicy Tomato, and Huckleberry Salsa:
And a King Trumpet & Abalone Mushroom Salad with Carrots:
Here's the plated shot with the fresh maza tortillas:
Like I said, it was a big lunch. I was very excited to make an expanded version of a dish I always order at Millennium: Deep Fried Corn-Encrusted Oyster Mushrooms. As you can see, we also deep-fried thin green beans, thick-cut onions, firm tomatoes (green weren't to be had)and zucchini strips.
It's hard to see, but in the center is a wonderful Lovage Remoulade ( a Vegan version of the classic French caper & herb spiced mayonaise). Made with tofu and miso, I think it's worth attending a Millennium class simply to learn how to make one of these incredibly tofu mayos. No way can you tell it's vegan! We switched from a cornmeal based dust to a garbanzo bean flour dust (the darker items) - both were delicious:
A couple of gratuitous shots of my deep-fried darlings (fried in rice bran oil) Zucchini & Oyster Mushrooms:
Thin green beans and onions:
Needless to say, there were no leftovers!
After lunch, we made dumplings or giant mezzaluna filled with a creamy blend of purple peruvian potatoes, leeks, cashew cream and herbs, including lovage. These were served with a Smoked Chili Oil (Chipotles) and a Braised Lobster Mushroom and Fresh Shelling Bean side (we used Cranberry & Marrow Fat Fresh Beans). The lobster mushrooms had a "seafood"-like flavor, created by adding saffron (Iodine quality), scraped vanilla bean pod and white wine. My lousy photo doesn't do this amazing dish justice:
Dessert was Panna cotta made with agar and kuzu. As you can see, it's not the easiest gelling agent to work with, although I think the less set version actually tasted a little better:
Superbly complemented with vegan -chili-clover blossom honey, two very different apple compotes, and candied sweet chilis. Just when you think you can eat no more.....wow!
As always, many thanks to Eric for another superlative class. Thanks also to Thomas, Veronica and Intern Mike! It was also great to see several friends from previous classes and, of course, to meet new people!
Ann - we missed you! See you next time.
Here's links to my previous 16 classes: