Monday, May 14, 2007

Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelley Lingdren

at Tante Marie's Cooking School

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to spend the weekend at a private cooking school, talking about food, socializing, understanding the flavours of a particular country, honing kitchen skills, working with others to pull together dishes with bold lively personalities, tasting and learning about the wines from that region and how they pair with the dishes and most importantly eating, drinking and more eating. Hopefully this set of mouthwatering pictures will give you an inkling...

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
My absolute favourite dish from the whole weekend: Cumin Fried Chicken with Watercress and Orange Alioli. Except I think maybe we used arugula instead of watercress. [Alioli not pictured.] The recipe was adapted from one in the César Cookbook.

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
This gorgeous bowl of pinkness also known as Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese Dressing was perfectly presented by none other than my friend Ms Food Musings. It was adapted from a recipe in El Faro by James Campbell Caruso. Class teacher, Jessica Lasky, told us that this book puts an interesting modern twist on traditional recipes. Sounds interesting. Anyone tried it? The pictures in this post are only from the second day of class. Catherine made my favourite recipe the previous day, a wonderful Orange Cornmeal Almond Cake that I assure you I will be making as soon as I can think of an excuse to. Also from the El Faro Cookbook.

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ Guess who hand cooked these Potato Chips with Gallega Spice? No, no, it wasn't me. Knock me down with a feather, I managed to persuade Fred to join me for a day at cooking school and these are his handiwork. The recipe was also adapted from one in the César Cookbook.

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Tuna Confit and Salsa Verde is so pretty and bright. This would be a great dish for a pot luck or a cocktail party. In this case, preserved tuna was used, but I would like to try it using home-poached tuna, slowly cooked in olive oil until barely opaque. Other stuffing ingredients include olives, capers, parsley and lemon zest.

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Considering my recent adventures with a skewer (I still have limited use of the injured finger), I somewhat nobly and rather bravely, I think, volunteered to make the Pork Skewered with Figs and Prunes because nobody else wanted to do it. Prunes - you see - who on earth wants to eat them out of choice rather than necessity? As it happens, once the whole shebang has been marinated in apple juice, ground cinnamon, cloves and then thread onto skewers before being cooked in the juice, the dried prunes become succulent, soft and surprisingly delicious. The meat was a bit tough for my tastes and since it was from the shoulder would have benefited from a longer, slower braising time. Alternatively, using loin meat as suggested in the recipe from Tapas by Ann and Larry Walker might have solved the problem.

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
The Savoury Empanadillas were a hugely popular choice with the class and no fewer than three different fillings were made - a vegetarian one, a pork and dried fruit variety and another containing chorizo. Regular Becks & Posh readers will know I have long been a fan of this easy-to-make Empanada pastry which I first learnt to make in the very first Tante Marie Class I took back in 2005, also with Jessica. It's so versatile a dough - check out my Philly Cheesesteak Turnovers that used a similar pastry recipe.

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach with Chorizo Sausage. Simple but healthy and delicious. Perhaps I might be considered somewhat greedy, but personally I might have increased the chorizo to chickpea ratio. This recipe was adapted from Nancy Harmon Jenkins' The Essential Mediterranean.

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
No, this isn't the finished dish. Move on...

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
...Stuffed Mussels with Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise. I loved, loved, loved this, especially as I wasn't the one who had to make it. This recipe was challenging, not because of diffculty levels, but because there were so many different steps and organisation was key. This recipe was adapted from Tapas to Meze by Joanne Weir.

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Simple but striking: Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Lemon Parsley Dressing. Instead of buying steaks, ask your fishmonger for an un-steaked hunk of fish and slice your own thin 1/4" slices for results as pictured. Get the grill pan really hot before you start cooking. This recipe was inspired by My Kitchen in Spain by Janet Mendel.


picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
When all the cooking is finished, we share, we sit down, we eat and we sip wine.


picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
There are beautiful flowers at the Tante Marie tables...

picture photograph Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelly Lingdren at Tante Marie's Cooking School 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
...And wine. This is the first course I have taken at Tante Marie's that has had wine tastings included. I have to confess that one of the major draws of this particular class was the opportunity to learn about wine from Shelley Lingdren who has always impressed me at A16 where she is the Wine Director, with both her kindness and her knowledge. I can't even begin to tell you how totally amazing I think Shelley is. Not only did she galiantly turn up to teach the class at 39-and-a-half-weeks pregnant for two days in a row, she also dashed off to cover the mothers day crowds at A16 straight after juicing us lot up. She enthuses such passion about wine on a level I can totally relate to. Their is no snobbishness about her approach. She is all about helping normal people learning to enjoy and understand wine. I think she is wonderful. I am sure, considering her imminent state, she won't be reading this post, but I am going to publicly wish her all the best of luck with the birth anyway. I'll be thinking of her savouring that first celebratory drink, something I know she can't wait to do. She deserves it. She also gave me the scoop on A16's upcoming project in Dogpatch, a couple of blocks from where I live. It will be a long time coming, but I'm prepared to wait it out. Good luck Shelley!



PS. Star spotting: Tante Marie owner Mary Risley even popped by with Molly O'Neill at one point. She was wearing green wellies. Reminded me of home. No one in CA wears wellies, although I understand wellies of all colours and patterns are popular in NYC.


Tante Marie's Cooking School Website

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Food and Wines of Spain with Jessica Lasky and Shelley Lingdren

35 Comments:

  • At 14/5/07 01:10, Blogger Beccy said…

    Sam, looks like a great weekend and all that food is making me hungry...I've been sick for a week now and am surviving on toast!

    I'm very impressed with Fred's contribution!

     
  • At 14/5/07 02:04, Blogger ChrisB said…

    This all looks so wonderful, tell Fred I'm also very impressed and he can make some when I visit!!

     
  • At 14/5/07 05:22, Blogger Sally Lomax said…

    Fantstic food! Funnily enough I actually like prunes - especially in cooking. Like this they look fantastic! Maybe I'm odd!!

     
  • At 14/5/07 06:29, Anonymous Lisa said…

    Oh, my gosh, everything looks so delicious!
    Ok, now I'm REALLY hungry.

     
  • At 14/5/07 07:42, Blogger sarah said…

    Wow talk about gorgeous! Everything looks delightful. It is 9am and I am starving for everything you have on your page! Especially the Cumin Fried Chicken with Watercress and Orange Alioli. So good!!!!!

     
  • At 14/5/07 08:27, Blogger wheresmymind said…

    Damn you Sam for posting up such yummy pictures right before I go to lunch!! grrr!!

     
  • At 14/5/07 08:55, Blogger the Lumpia said…

    Everything looks delicious! Fried chicken is a weakness for me, so I'll have to give that recipe a try or head over to Cesar. And I'm pleasantly surprised to read about "Tapas by Ann and Larry Walker". Ann Walker is the caterer for my wedding reception. We've talked about their trips to Spain but never once has she mentioned that they have a cookbook! Thank you for this entry (and all the others).

     
  • At 14/5/07 09:31, Anonymous Catherine said…

    Mmm, your photos show off the food really nicely. I think my favorite dishes that I'd be willing to recreate at home (no deep-frying for scaredy-cat me) include the orange cornmeal cake and the empanadas. I also liked the simple watermelon/prosciutto/cheese app, the meatballs, and the chicken & artichoke paella. Your pork was beautiful too.

     
  • At 14/5/07 10:45, Blogger Sara said…

    The food looks amazing - I was taking classes through the weekend program at CCA, but they recently cancelled it. I think I will give Tante Marie a try!

     
  • At 14/5/07 11:52, Blogger Barbara said…

    This looks so much better than anything I ate in Spain. Love the mussels. And a Gold Star for Fred for attending and actually cooking.

     
  • At 14/5/07 13:43, Anonymous kudzu said…

    Thanks for a glimpse of what amounts to the most inspiring food I've seen in months. Wowzer!....I hope the prunes (which are sold now as "dried plums" to fool those who think they don't like them) will get people to try this lush ingredient. A friend makes a sinful prune souffle that I adore.

     
  • At 14/5/07 18:41, Blogger shuna fish lydon said…

    If Tante Marie hasn't asked you to be their new photographer, I might have to suggest it myself! The shimmery saucy-ness sells the classes all by its glittery self!

    You remind me why I teach. Thank you.

     
  • At 14/5/07 23:56, Anonymous weight loss exercise said…

    Wow, a amazing cooking varities with full with yummy, impressive, fabolous dishes. My personal dish i like the most is all the dishes because it is very creative and suit togethar with a red wine.

     
  • At 15/5/07 00:23, Blogger Anne said…

    That looks great indeed! The chicken.. ok, now I'm scrambling to find the Cesar cookbook. Not proving so easy, though, the Swedish bookstores don't seem to carry it. How good is it - worth international delivery? :)

     
  • At 15/5/07 02:08, Blogger Little Foodie said…

    Wow! Those pics are amazing. How did you get your man to attend? I'd love it if my hubby would do something like this with me.

     
  • At 15/5/07 05:21, Blogger Jeanne said…

    Oh I am so jealous now!! All of that looks totally amazing - I particularly loved the stuffed peppers and the stuffed mussels (!! - who would have thought this possible?!). And well done you on getting Fred to attend and participate. I've yet to convince Nick that this cooking lark is a good idea beyond, say, barbecuing a steak or boiling some pasta...

     
  • At 15/5/07 07:09, Blogger Sam said…

    Beccy - I was impressed by Fred too, bless him.

    Mum - I will make sure he practises a little first.

    Sally - in cooking I will agree they are GOOD!

    Lisa - Me too and its two days after the fact and I havent had breakfast yet.

    Sarah - you are with me on the favourite recipe then.

    WMM - but better than after lunch, no?

    the lumpia - well I never! You must be expecting one helluva wedding. COngratulations!

    catherine - I agree about the meatballs - must do those some time.

    sara - thats a shame - I was going to look into that because it is within walking distance of my house. Tante Maries is such a warm environment I am confident you will enjoy it.

    Barbara - I can't really believe that is true, really! But then again I can remember some dodgy looking tapas I've had in spain and you could be right!

    Kudzu - ok - so I will try and get more into those prunes

    Shuna - remember I do this as a hobby not a career! The light in TM is so good in the afternoon - taking pictures isn't too difficult.

    Anne - I didnt get to see the book - the recipes are printed out for us on sheets in class. However, since tboth the chicken and cake were so good I am tempted to get it myself.

    Little foodie - I did have to pay for him and it wasnt exactly cheap and then he only ended up coming on one out of the two days.

    Jeanne - it took quite some persuasion, but he actually enjoyed himself. Especially the wine tasting part methinks

     
  • At 15/5/07 07:36, Blogger Denise said…

    Sam,

    I love your photos! What program do you use for editing?

    As well glad to hear such fav reviews on the Tante Marie program. I was signed up for classes with the CCA and then they canceled mid-way. Have been wondering about Tante - wish I would had taken the same course, love love love spanish food!

    Thanks,

    Denise

     
  • At 15/5/07 09:19, Anonymous David said…

    No dessert??

     
  • At 15/5/07 09:22, Blogger Sam said…

    David - actually catherine and I made caramel ice cream but it wasn't your recipe this time so we didn't want you to get upset.

    [your recipe was better but don't tell anyone. In fact your bloody recipe is about to cause me to buy a blimmin' ice cream maker.]

    Denise - I use photoshop
    I am/was curious about the CCA course, but won't waste any time on wondering about them if they've stopped them. I highly recommend Tante Maries

     
  • At 15/5/07 09:40, Blogger Kathy said…

    You take beautiful photographs! What kind of camera do you use? Digital, I assume... Just wondering since I am trying to pick a new camera. I love your column (especially the artichoke tutorial from a while back)!

     
  • At 15/5/07 09:52, Blogger FaustianBargain said…

    the prunes soaked in juice and spices reminds me of an old elizabethan/shakespearan recipe where they cook meat with spices, fruit.

    the one i am thinking of is made with ground sirloin, OJ, ginger, rosemary, currants, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg...all stuffed in an empanada like dough, but as 'beef purses'. pre theatre nibbles before a visit to the globe theatre, of course..:)

    there is also another moroccanish item with prunes skewered with chunks of grilled lamb.

    sounds like you had a great weekend.

     
  • At 15/5/07 10:37, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, I am so jealous! I have always wanted to spend a weekend taking cooking classes in another country. The pictures look gorgeous!

     
  • At 16/5/07 15:24, Blogger Culinary Cowgirl said…

    My mouth is watering. Thanks for sharing...must try the Cumin Fried Chicken - fried chicken and cumin - what more could you want?!

     
  • At 16/5/07 18:38, Blogger Alice Q said…

    Go Fred! That crispy chicken looks fantastic. Might have to make something like that for a party soon. Congratulations on 1000 posts and three years!

     
  • At 17/5/07 05:50, Blogger Gemma said…

    That all looks delicious. I would love to take more cookery classes but there aren't many around these parts - am very tempted by a bakery class run by Andrew Whitely who wrote Bread Matters though, it's at his bakery in Cumbria. I'll have to start saving my pennies for that one!

     
  • At 17/5/07 10:02, Blogger Little Foodie said…

    Like Gemma, I think I'll need to start saving and in the meantime keep learning new stuff from books & blogs. Thank you. Amanda

     
  • At 18/5/07 12:36, Blogger george said…

    Jeez, what misfortune to come across this post agonizing hours before my lunch break..

    Absolutely smashing food and pix!

    -George from Feeding Fashionistas

     
  • At 18/5/07 21:35, Blogger foodette said…

    Beautiful pics, I love the beets! It's one of my grand plans to someday take a cooking course in a foreign country. Thanks for letting us know how yours went.

     
  • At 19/5/07 14:08, Blogger candyschultz said…

    Just found you at Je Mange La Ville. Your blog is like one of my favorite cookbooks, which must have really good photos. Yours are mouthwatering.

     
  • At 19/5/07 19:47, Blogger Jerry said…

    After looking at the photos and reading, I realize that it is missing a crucial course----DESSERT!

     
  • At 20/5/07 03:18, Blogger jenjen said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 20/5/07 03:20, Blogger jenjen said…

    Sounds like a divine experience. Those chips look so good. I am about to watch a DVD and those would be perfect to munch on. I wish I could just scoff a handful right now!

     
  • At 20/5/07 05:18, Blogger ParisBreakfasts said…

    My mouth just fell to the floor with a clunk!
    I'm ready for dinner at 8 AM!
    Looks s'wonderful!!

     
  • At 20/5/07 09:56, Blogger Papadesdeux said…

    Oh my, great photos, I'm so jealous, you gave me a major case of nostalgia. I took several series of cooking classes at Tante Marie's back in the ... ouch 80's ... most memorable ones with Joanne Weir.

     

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