recipes and tips for better living

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Market To Table Cooking Class & 5 Easy Recipes

cups culinary space la jolla

This sunday i went to a rocking market to table culinary class at Cups.  Local San Diegans you might know Cups for it's cupcakes, but tucked away on the back side down a nondescript alley and behind a big wrought iron cupcake gate lies this little mecca for the aspiring chef (or for anyone that wants to learn how to get savvy in the kitch.)  Jesus Gonzales is the creative director at Cups, the former head chef at rancho la puerta, and was our mastermind for the day.  I had already known about Jesus since he was the chef that prepared our dishes during beaming cleanse.

The group took a gander through the local farmers market where we picked up any produce we wanted to cook with or learn to cook with.  A few assistants and a few bag fulls later we were in the kitch where Jesus put us all to work.  We each had a task or two to create our lunch together.  And even though there were a lot of cooks in the kitchen we seamlessly put together an AWESOME lunch, thankfully without any band-aids, first aid kits, or the like necessary.

Here's what we dined on and a few of the recipes.  Everything was easy to do and so delicious!

this is the dish i made!
Kale Salad:

one bunch kale
one avocado
one asian pear
1 tsp EVOO
2 lemons
broccoli stems (optional)
nuts and seeds (walnuts and pepitas)

a basic kale salad requires you to de stem the kale to take out bitterness, stack the leaves and chiffonate/slice ribbon like (thin).  Toss into a large bowl with juice from one lemon, 1 tsp EVOO, and a dash of salt.  Massage the heck outta the greens until they look wilted/slightly cooked.  Really give em' a good squeezin'.  Toss into the salad whatever add ins you like.  We did sliced asian pear, chopped avocado, onion and sunflower sprouts, pumpkin seeds and walnuts, and sliced broccoli stems: peel the stem of broccoli  and slice at an 1/8 inch intervals at a diagonal.  I added the juice from the additional lemon to prevent the asian pear and the avo from browning.

Muesli Stuffed Nectarines:

1 cup each of walnuts and almonds (pulse in a food processor to break down significantly)
Toss this with:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 can of coconut milk (full fat)
1-2 Tbsp of coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice like agave, stevia, honey)
cinnamon to taste

This would make an awesome overnights oats dish, or would be great on fruit salad, a yogurt parfait, with almond milk, or stuffed into any halved pitted fruits. Jesus uses coconut sugar since it has a lower Glycemic Index.

Pistachio and Goat Cheese Saute'd Figs and Dates:

slice your figs and dates only halfway through (remove the pit from the date).  Stuff with goat cheese and a few pistachios.  Eat as is, or saute in a lightly misted pan to lightly brown.  (some were wrapped in procuitto - should you choose to do this you saute first, then wrap w/ proscuitto, then saute lightly again.)

someone asked me recently how to cook with you go:

Vegetable Terrine:

1 eggplant (pick one that is firm and shiny)
2 large heirloom tomatoes
pesto (see radish greens pesto recipe below)
1 lb. goat cheese (or just more pesto if you are making it non dairy)

Slice tomatoes to about 1/8 inch.  Slice eggplant as thinly as you can.  Heat a DRY pan and cook the eggplant on both sides just until it browns.  Layer your casserole dish first with a layer of sliced tomatoes to fully cover the bottom, sprinkle goat cheese over tomatoes (or pesto), then a layer of eggplant, then a layer of  pesto, repeat until you've used everything, finishing with the eggplant.  Press down on built terrine with another same sized dish.  Place in fridge for an hour (we skipped this step and it was just fine!).  Cut into small squares and pour any sauce over the top (we used tomatillo though i think a marinara would be great...or even just more pesto).  This also would be really great over a bed of greens.

Radish Greens Pesto:

1 cup of walnuts
1 bunch of radish greens (green parts only)
1 avocado
EVOO (about 1/4 cup)
Asiago Cheese or 1/4 cup parmesan
3 garlic cloves
salt/pepper/cayenne to taste

All goes into a food processor.  The avo adds a lot of creaminess so just drizzle the EVOO in as it's processing so you can get to the consistency you like.

This was served on fresh rosemary bread with roasted red pepper and shaved asiago cheese.  It was also the pesto we used in the terrine.

ladies lunching!!!

terrine, broccoli rabe, kale salad, figs and dates, and squash tagine

The next class at Cups will be October 2.  This Farm-to-Table class is hosted by Jesus Gonzalez and Suzie's Farm - my favorite farm here in San Diego!!!
Do you struggle with what to do with the seasonal fresh vegetables you receive in your CSA box, or have you wanted to join one but have worried you won’t know what to do with all the fresh produce once it arrives? Or maybe you marvel at the variety of produce available in local markets and want to cook healthier meals. If so, this is the class for you! This class will feature a box of produce from Suzie’s Farm in San Diego, which the class will utilize to make several tasty dishes. Students are also encouraged to bring along their own CSA boxes or a particular fruit/vegetable that they want to learn how to cook. Recipes will be provided to all participants in this instructional hands-on class with an expert is using the freshest local, seasonal ingredients.
$65. 9am-12pm (Minimum 8, maximum 16)


1 comment

  1. Meredith I love this blog so much! So many wonderful, yummy dishes. I am going to try some of these recipes! Thank you for tips on the kale salad; mine is always crunchy and bitter and now I know why! Thank you!!


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