Friday, September 5, 2008

Made to Order

Yes it is possible, you can create your own custom made cooking class!

With a little help of a friend of mine, we organized a fun evening with a group of 7 women.
One of them was kind enough to extend her gorgious loft in downtown Toronto for this amazing night to take place.

The whole class was custom created-from the people selected to the menu designed! Of course there is always the option to bring your own wine.

This made for an enjoyable and alternative way to do a cooking class. What better way to spend an evening than to get together with a group of fabulous women, sip wine and learn how to cook new and exciting recipes and then sit down and feast on them afterwards?

Last night's menu of desire was asian inspired. Everybody wants to have a little asian experience in the kitchen - it is great for entertaining, the flavours are light and pungent and who doesn't want to know how to roll sushi or make the most delicious organic chicken teriyaki?
The group last night had the the chance to learn how to use some of the different condiments and ingredients that are used in asian-specific recipes. They also learned how to mix and match certain flavours to get just the right taste or texture and most importantly, they were introduced to some of natural products that are available for asian style cooking. This includes Tamari (wheat free soy sauce), Organic Toasted Sesame Oil, Brown Rice Vinegar, Bragg's Amino Acids, Kuzu (sea vegetable cornstarch), Umeboshi Paste (japanese pickled plums), Miso Paste, Tempeh and a whole range of different Sea Vegetables.

As you can see, there was a fair share of learning last night, a great deal of cooking and a whole lot of fun!

So if you don't know this already, this is an option for you too! Gather a group together, pick a date and let's design a class together!
Organic Chicken Teriyaki:
4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice from ¼ cup peeled and grated ginger
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2½ tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon umeboshi paste
½ cup apple juice

2 breasts organic chicken, cut into strips
¼-1/3 cup vegetable oil (grapeseed oil)
1 tablespoon kuzu dissolved in ¼ cup water or apple juice
1 bunch of broccoli florets, blanched
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1. Cut the broccoli into florets and place into a pot of boiling water with salt for 1-2 minutes, remove promptly an immerse in cold water and set aside.
2. In a blender, combine first six ingredients with ½ cup water. Blend until smooth.
3. Slice chicken into strips of equal thickness.
4. In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken with the marinade (reserving a small amount of the marinade). Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 5- 10 minutes.
5. Continue to pan fry chicken over medium and heat until golden on both sides.
6. After chicken is cooked, add dissolved kuzu to reserved marinade and stir in a small dish until well combined.
7. Pour the blended marinade mixture into the pan or wok with the chicken, and cook for about two minutes, until the liquid is thickened, stirring constantly.
8. Add the Broccoli to the sauce stirring until well coated and top with toasted sesame seeds.

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