I do not know about you but traveling is a big part of my work life, true the years it become more stressful due to the long wait to get to your flight. I realized how relaxing it is to take a bit of time before a flight, often at 6 AM. I stay at t he YVR Fairmont Hotel, inside the airports easy to access and very quiet, the time I save and how efficient I get for my work make all the difference in my world.
Email us the correct answer and get 50% off your next class. (Hint: it's on the menu for the Cuban class).
Savor the flavor.
You can now explore Cuban cuisine outside of Miami (and without a pit stop in Canada), but the quickest way to bring these flavors home is in Chef John Pitbaldo's Cuban Feast classes.
Cuba is more than cigars, garlic chicken and rice and beans. Its culinary story is filled with resourcefulness, a reversal of big agriculture and influences from Africa, Spain and China. A nation once dependent on sugar cane and tobacco, embargoes and the fall of the Soviet Union quickly felled the large plantations, making way for small, sustainable plots of land requisitioned from empty farms and abandoned urban centers. Cuba and its culinary traditions have survived without imported spices since the 90's- and John's excited to share some of the recipes and stories with you. Here's a crowd favorite:
Spanish-Cuban Bean Soup
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
6-7 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cans of garbanzo beans
5 to 6 medium russet potatoes, cubed
2 teaspoon saffron, ground to powder in mortar and pestle
1 tablespoon oregano
2 quarts of water
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of cubed smoked ham
2 chorizo sausage (the cured spanish type, not raw)
Sauté the green pepper and onion in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté about 1 minute. Add ground saffron powder and mix well.
Add potatoes and coat with the saffron so they are yellow. Add the beans, water, bay leaves, oregano and the cubed ham. Bring to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Add the chorizo about 30 minutes before serving.
1/4 cuprosemary-fried almonds (recipe follows) or toasted Marcona almonds, smashed
flaked sea salt
8dried red chilies, such as guajillo, stems removed
1/2 cupred wine vinegar
3garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tspground cumin
1/2 tspkosher salt
1/2 tspblack pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tspred pepper flakes
1/2 cupextra-virgin olive oil
1 cupexpeller-pressed canola oil
1 large sprigfresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stem and coarsely chopped
2 cupswhole Marcona almonds
1 tspkosher salt
1. To prepare the carrots: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl halfway with water and adding a tray of ice cubes.
2. Blanch the carrots in the boiling water until tender when pierced with a knife, about 3 minutes. Drain the carrots and plunge into the ice bath to shock them—i.e., stop the cooking and cool them quickly; this procedure also locks in the carrots’ bright color.
3. Drain the carrots again. You want them to be relatively uniform in size, so if any of them are large, cut them lengthwise in half.
4. To prepare the marinade: Put a small dry skillet over low heat, add the chilies, and toast for 1 or 2 minutes; shake the pan so they don’t scorch. Break up the chilies and put them in a food processor. Pulse the chilies to a coarse powder; you should have about ½ cup.
5. Put the chili powder in a mixing bowl, add the vinegar, garlic, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, and whisk until blended. While whisking, slowly pour in the oil in a stream until emulsified.
6. Put the carrots in a mixing bowl and pour in the chili mixture, tossing to coat. Marinate for 1 to 2 hours, tossing periodically. 7. To serve: Crisscross the carrots on a platter. Scatter the micro greens and almonds on top and season with flaked sea salt.
To Make the Almonds: 1. Put a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the oil, add the rosemary, and stir to infuse the flavor into the oil. Heat the oil to around 300°F. (You don’t need a thermometer for this: Drop an almond into the oil. When it sinks a bit, then floats right back to the top and starts sizzling, the oil is hot enough.) Once the oil is ready to go, add half of the almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until they are fragrant and toasted, 10 to 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the almonds from the oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle them with the salt while they are hot. Repeat with the remaining almonds. Use to top the marinated olives or serve as a snack.
Let's leave Saturday night for the kids this year. We're going to celebrate Halloween all week long, starting with aDay of the Dead Dinner on Tuesday evening. Book with your friends, come after work and order a beer from Curious Palate before class (you can bring it in).
Halloween wouldn't be complete without hand-dipped Caramel Apples, and is made even sweeter with our favorite homemade Peanut Butter Cup recipe. Join us for three hours of DIY candy making on Wednesday (we're happy to write you a doctor's note if you need to go into work after lunch) withHalloween Sweets & Treats and leave with enough candy for the office.
For those of you (you know who you are) looking to up your game, Pastry Chef Aubray Aarvigs' got a scary delicious French Macarons class on Friday to teach you how to pipe the most awesome cookies. You'll leave with a couple dozen of these to dazzle your trick or treaters.
Now let's get in the spirit~ here's our favorite go-to Marshmallow recipe. Cut these out with your favorite cookie cutters. They'll look even creepier when you torch them.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place:
2 egg whites
In a small bowl, place:
3/4 cup water and set aside: 3 Tbsps gelatin (about 3 packets)
In a small saucepot, place:
1- 3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dust with 3/4 cup powdered sugar or cornstarch.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over your small bowl of water. Set aside.3. Heat your honey, sugar and water over medium heat. No need to stir very much.4. While the sugar is cooking, start beating your egg whites and salt in a stand mixer until you reach soft peaks.5. Once your sugar syrup reaches 240, slowly drizzle it, with the whisk attachment running on medium speed, into the egg whites. 240 will look like thick, heavy bubbles. Do not allow it to caramelize.6. Keep beating the mixture for about 2 minutes. Add in your gelatin and beat another 10 minutes.7. Pour into prepared pan, spread a bit and sprinkle with starch or powdered sugar. Chill for a half hour to set. Cut out with desired cookie cutters. Boo! Wishing you a delicious day,
Pumpkin Hummus If you like a garlicky hummus, use two cloves of garlic. For milder flavor, blanch garlic cloves in simmering water for a few seconds. The Fig-Olive Gremolata is also delicious spooned over sautéed chicken breasts or pork chops.
1 can (15-ounce) garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup of steam or roasted pumpkin ( canned plain pumpkin work as well)
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup dry California Figs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup toasted nuts or pumpkin seeds
Homemade* or purchased pita chips
1. In food processor bowl, combine beans, pumpkin, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper. Whirl until smooth, stopping to scrape side of bowl once or twice. Taste and adjust seasonings. Adjust consistency if needed with additional olive oil or water. Scrape into bowl. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until serving time.
2. To make Gremolata, remove stems from figs and discard. Halve each fig lengthwise; then cut each half crosswise into thin slices. Set aside. Swirl olive oil into medium skillet and place over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for a few seconds, until fragrant. Stir in figs, and lemon juice. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or until juice is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, olives and lemon zest.
3. To serve, bring hummus to room temperature if made ahead. Spoon into serving bowl. Stir nuts into Gremolata and spoon over hummus. Serve with pita chips. Makes 2 1/2 cups hummus and 1 1/2 cups topping, 8 to 10 servings.
*To make pita chips: Preheat oven to 375°. Warm 3 tablespoons olive oilwith 1 clove smashed garlic in small saucepan over medium heat, just until fragrant. Discard garlic. Split 2 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas in half lengthwise to make 4 rounds. Brush each on one side with garlic-oil. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Spread wedges on large baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt, if desired. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Enjoy