Market District Cooking Class

Saturday, November 28, 2009
I had my first Giant Eagle Market District Cooking Class today. It was fabulous! It was Mastering the Art of French Cooking based off of Julia Child's cookbook. All classes were free for the month of November, and although we had been hoping for other classes, this was the only one left with any available room. But, who could complain about learning to cook like Julia Child?! (No, I have seen Julie & Julia yet, but I want really want to!)

I went with my mom, of course, and altogether there were twelve in the class. We split into groups of four and we were paired with two sisters. It was a great group. We laughed, made mistakes, questioned and learned. Each group was assigned a Market District chef, and we were lucky enough to get the coordinator of the class. They also gave cute little binders for us to put the recipes we learned into it. And, for when we come back, we can add others to it.

On the menu was a gratin dauphinois (cheesey potatoes), coq au vin (chicken in red wine with onions, mushrooms, and bacon), and le tarte demoiselles tatin (upside-down apple tart) with creme anglaise.

We began with a demonstration on how to make creme anglaise. Then, we started with the apple tart so it could have time to bake. My mom and I went to making the crust while Julie and Lisa (the sisters), worked on peeling and slicing the apples. Well, my mom and I screwed up the crust (we all knew it was coming, right?) and so it had to be thrown out. Trust me, we were laughing about it=). So then we traded jobs and they got to make the crust, this time with the correct amount of sugar...

After they assembly of the tart, they were placed in the oven and we could begin working on the chicken. Chef David, our instructor, gave such great tips and tricks and really made us feel relaxed. We were able to have a lot of fun.

Mid way through the chicken we worked on the potatoes. It was just layered potatoes in a pie shell with cheese. Classic yet delicious.

The chicken was cooked in three cups of red wine and came out fabulously.I have now decided that that is my favorite way to eat chicken! The gratin was good, however, not great. But the apple tart with creme anglaise, incredible!!!

It was such a good time and the food was fabulous. At the end, we got the catalog for the classes in the coming months. These ones coming up will no longer be free, but I think it is well worth it.

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures, although it was visually adorable food. But I am including the awesome recipes!

Gratin Dauphinois

2 lbs. potatoes (6 to 7 cups when sliced)
1/2 clove unpeeled garlic
4 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup (4 oz.) grated Swiss cheese
1 cup boiling milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8" thick. Place in a basin of cold water. Drain when ready to use. Select a round metal (fire-proof) dish 10" in diameter and 2" deep and rub with cut garlic. Smear the inside of the dish with 1 tbsp. butter. Drain the potatoes and dry them in a towel. Spread half of them in the bottom of the dish. Divide over them half of the salt, pepper, cheese, and butter. Arrange remiaing potatoes over the first layer, and season them. Spread on the rest of the cheese and ivide the butter over it. Pour on the boiling milk, Set baking dish over heated stove and when simmering, set in upper third of preheated oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, milk has been absorbed, and the top is nicely browned.

**I would add a lot more salt and pepper and definitely more cheese. Possibly a different cheese as well.

Coq Au Vin (chicken in red wine with onions, mushrooms, and bacon)

3 (4 oz.) chunk of lean bacon
2 tbsp. butter
2 1/2 to 3 lbs. cut-up frying chicken
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup cognac
3 cups young, full bodied red wine (Burgungy, Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone, Chianti, Cabernet)
1 to 2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
4 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaf

Remove the rind of bacon and cut into lardons (rectangles 1/4 inch across and 1 inch long). Simmer for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water. Rinse in cold water. Dry.

In a heavy 10" casserole, add butter. Sauté the bacon slowly in hot butter until it is very lightly browned. Remove from pan.

Dry the chicken thoroughly. Brown it in the hot fat in the casserole.

Season the chicken. Return the bacon to the casserole with the chicken. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning the chicken once.

Uncover and pour in the cognac. Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside. *we didn't do this.

Pour the wine into the casserole. Add just enough stock to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to the simmer. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and its juices run a clear yellow when the meat is
pricked with a fork. Remove the chicken to a side dish.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Simmer the chicken cooking liquid in the casserole for a minute or two, skimming off the fat. Then raise the heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups. Correct seasoning. Remove from heat, discard bay leaf.

Blend the butter and flour together into a smooth paste. Beat the paste into the hot liquid with a wire whip. Bring to the simmer, stirring, and simmer for a minute or two. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

Arrange the chicken in the casserole, place the mushrooms and onions around it and baste with the sauce. Serve from the casserole, or arrange on a hot platter. Decorate with sprigs of parsley.

Brown-Braised Onions:
12 to 24 small white onions, peeled 1" in diameter
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tbsp. oil
1/2 cup beef stock or red wine
4 parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. softened butter

Place skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. When the butter and oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onions and saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect to brown them uniformly. Meanwhile, wrap parsley, bay leaf, and thyme in cheesecloth. Pour liquid in pan and add herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 or so minutes or until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated.

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small,
sliced or quartered if large
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil

Place a skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. During their saute the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat. In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will reappear in thier surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.

**when salted, it is heavenly!

Le Tarte Des Demoiselles Tatin (upside-down apple tart)

2/3 cup flour
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into bits
1 1/2 tbsp. shortening, cold
2 1/3- 3 tbsp. cold water
4 lbs. firm cooking apples (Golden Delicious)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Optional: 1tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp. softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp. melted butter

Place the flour, sugar, and alt in the food processor fitted with steel blade. Add butter and shortening. Pulse 4 or 5 times. With processor running, pour in water until dough forms a ball. If not, drizzle in a little more water. Scrape dough out onto a slightly floured surface. With the heel of one hand, rapidly press the pastry down on the board and away from you in a firm quick smear. Gather dough again into a mass and form a round ball. Sprinkle it lightly with flour. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.

Quarter, core, and peel the apples. Cut into half length-wise slices 1/8 inch thick. Toss in a bowl with the 1/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon. You should have about 10 cups of apples. Select a round baking dish that is 9- 10" in diameter and 2- 2 1/2" deep, and butter heavily, especially on the bottom. Sprinkle half of the remaining sugar on the bottom of the dish and arrange 1/3 of apples over it. Sprinkle with 1/3 of melted butter. Repeat with a layer of half the remaining apples and butter, then a final layer of apples and butter. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the apples.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out your pie crust to a thickness of 1/8", and cut it the size of the top of the baking dish. Place it over the apples, allowing its edges to fall against the inside edge of the dish. Cut 4 or 5 holes about 1/8" long in the top of the pastry to allow cooking steam to escape.

Bake in the lower third of the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes. If the pastry begins to brown too much, cover it lightly with aluminum foil. Tart is done when you tilt the dish and see that a thick, brown syrup rather than a light liquid exudes from the apples between the crust and the edge of the dish.

Immediately unmold tart onto a serving dish. If the apples are not a light caramel brown, which is often the case, sprinkle rather heavily with powdered sugar and run under a moderately hot broiler for several minutes to caramelize the surface lightly. Keep warm until serving time, and accompany with a bowl of cream. May also be served cold.

Creme Anglaise

1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs yolks
2 tsp. corn starch
1 3/4 cup milk
1 large vanilla bean
1 tbsp. liquer (optional)

Split vanilla bea in half and scrape insides into milk. Bring milk to a gentle boil. While waiting for milk to boil start to beat the sugar into the egg yolks and continue beating for 2 or 3 miuntes until the mixture is pale yellow and forms ribbons. Beat starch into mixture. Remove vanilla bean from milk.

While beating the yolk mixture, very slowly pour the boiling milk into the yolk mixture so that the yolks are slowly warmed. Do not add the milk too quickly or the yolks will curdle.

Transfer the mixture to a sauce pan and continuously stir with a wooden spoon over a medium flame until the sauce thickens. Do not let the custard come anywhere near a simmer. Maxium temperature is 165 degrees. Beat the sauce off heat for a minute or two to cool it. Strain through a fine seive. Add liquer to finished sauce.

**The apple tart with the creme anglaise was truly divine!!!!


  1. Mary said...:

    Sounds like a great time and a worthwhile and experience. Thanks for the recipes.

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