Homemade pasta is usually made with durum wheat – also called semolina. The taste, texture and flavor of fresh, homemade pasta – Farfalle, linguini, ravioli, etc. – is almost incomparable to store bought, dried pasta. Many recipes can be made with homemade pasta dough like cannelloni stuffed with a Ricotta cheese or chopped meat-based mix, or lasagna. When making home made lasagna, you can roll the dough cut it in sheets sized to your cooking tray and prevent different layers from mixing during baking.
The main Italian sauces – like marinara, vodka, Bolognese, Alfredo – can be used with any type of pasta, as well as with cannelloni or lasagna in which the ricotta cheese can also be replaced with a more flavorful, thick béchamel and cheese sauce. While making homemade pasta requires more time than opening a box, many people agree that the work is worth it. It’s also entertaining and a great way to connect with friends and family.
To register for an Italian Cuisine Cooking Class, check the calendar of Cooking & Pastry classes or email us.
Curry Powder can be used in savory, as well as in sweet/savory recipes like canard a l’orange with curry where curry powder will add a more powerful and flavorful taste to the sauce. This orange and duck stock-based sauce will be even better if you add some Grand-Marnier liquor since curry also mixes very well with alcohol cooking like shrimp flambé with French Pastis, an anise-flavored liqueur. Curry also mixes well with any mustard-flavored sauces which compliment any white meat and even white seafood and fishes. Curry powder is also a great addition to savory baking like bread and to sweet baking like muffins or crepes which can then be used for savory appetizers or sweet desserts like curry crepe stuffed with sautéed and flambéed with brown rum pineapple. The list of recipes you an create with curry or add curry powder to, is only limited by your own creativity.
If you like curry dishes, Indian and Asian cuisine and would like to learn how to make your own curry powder, check our schedule and take our Curry Class or email us.
The salt brings out flavor, aroma, color, texture and also controls moisture and density, while helping with conservation. When you are making any dough, batter or crust always add salt to it, even if the recipe does not call for it. Add 1 1/4 tablespoons of salt to 2 lb. of flour.
Never cook a vegetable more then 20 minutes or you will loose all the essential vitamins. Steamed, boiled, roasted or in a soup most do not need more than 10 minutes to be cooked (greens, flowers…), root vegetables might need up to 20 minutes.(carrots, turnips…)
Exceptions are when cooking a stew, for example, when the flavors mix together slowly.
Take a little extra time to choose the freshest fruits and vegetables. Do not hesitate to examine several or many before making a selection.
Make sure they are not too firm or too tender. Avoid spots, scratches, wrinkles and wilted leaves. Check against mold, particularly when choosing berries.
Clients often ask me which salt I use in my cooking. I always use sea salt, but I have used a variety of brands. For years I used Fleur De Sel de Camargue which is hand raked and hand harvested in France and known to be one of the best. I also often used La Baleine also from France. Recently, I have been cooking mostly with Real Salt Nature’s First Sea Salt from ancient ocean deposits in south central Utah. It’s all natural, unrefined, unbleached, kiln dried, not altered with chemicals or pollutants and contains more than 50 trace minerals. It has a delicate, yet almost sweet flavor and it’s prompted me to think more critically about the salt I use. It’s available at most health food stores, some major grocery stores and online. – Chef Jerry
Quinoa (“Qin-wah”) is actually a seed but typically considered to be a whole grain and often referred to as “The mother of all grains.” It originated in the Andes region of South America and it has been used for thousands of years. It’s becoming more and more widely used now because it contains essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron which makes it a complete protein. It’s also gluten-free and cholestrerol-free. Quinoa is easy to cook and makes a great side dish all on it’s own instead of rice, potatoes or pasta but it’s a great ingredient to work with. By adding olive oil, raisins, nuts and mixing with a variety of herbs and vegetables, you can create many flavorful recipes. Our vegetarian and vegan cooking classes include quinoa recipes and cover cooking technique and instruction that you can adapt and modify to your own taste. Check the Malden Bridge Chef calendar for the next classes.