Well, my first resolution of the New Year (losing weight) has already gone by the wayside, so I might as well move on to resolution #2, which I know will be much more gratifying and inspiring than starving myself. Of course, it has to do with food, photography, travel, and more importantly, back to blogging after a bit of a hiatus.
Last week, I finally got to experience a highly anticipated cooking class with Sunday Suppers, operated and hosted by Karen Mordechai, in Brooklyn, NY. I missed out on an earlier cooking/dinner event because my trigger finger for the "Buy Now" button wasn't fast enough. So, I subscribed to Sunday Suppers, awaiting patiently for another opportunity which came about on January 19, 2014.
I was joined by my friend Julia Librone, who is a very fine baker of fabulous goodies, specializing in biscotti. As we entered the space, we were in awe of the beauty of the table setting. It set the mood for the hearty winter meal we were about to prepare, but the beautiful warm yellow and apricot hues of the centerpiece bursting through dried branches and twigs was indeed a hopeful reminder that spring is not too far away... unless the groundhog says otherwise.
After a little socializing and some tasty treats, Chef Ali Schmidt discusses the menu with us and we start right in working in the various stations that are set up for the pasta, beef and dessert.
Purple Beet Ravioli ~ ricotta, lemon, poppy seed
I have to say, I can't wait to make this ravioli. Not only was it delicious, but the color was so strikingly beautiful that I think this will be the perfect dish to make for my husband for Valentine's Day. I'm not sure if Ali knows this, but the color is exactly the Pantone Color of the Year (Radiant Orchid - PMS 18-3224), so trendy!
Ali starts the pasta dough and Eddie finishes the kneading resulting in perfectly rolled out sheets. Some of the group helps roll out the pasta sheets, cut the shapes and fill the ravioli with the ricotta.
Beef Bourguignon ~ root vegetable, mushroom, cippolini onion
Since beef bourguignon is best served when made in advance, the dish was made the day before and Ali just demonstrated the basic steps to building the quintessential winter meal. Although I think I make a good beef stew (one of my world famous foods), I learned a few things that I will now apply to my recipe. One, I didn't marinate the beef in red wine overnight, and two, I didn't pre-cook the mushrooms and onions.
Chocolate Prune Armagnac Cake ~ creme fraiche
Now it's Echo's turn to share a most wonderfully rich, yet light, flourless chocolate cake. Apparently, the secret ingredient in this cake are the prunes, but not just any old prunes, they are Agen prunes (Pruneaux d'Agen) which were hand carried by Ali back from Paris.
And now, the mood is set and we are amazed at the beauty of this wonderful table that we are about to sit down at and share a fabulous meal.
Indeed, it was an amazing dinner. Thank you Karen, Ali, Echo and Eddie and everyone else who helped make this a memorable evening!