My favorite gourmet kitchen tools store in Glendale, AZ frequently holds classes taught by some of the top chefs in the area.
If you are a foodie and live in the Phoenix area, I really highly recommend that you try out one of the classes at Plate It Up! Heather has made the place very friendly and inviting, and depending upon whether the class is a demonstration or hands on, you get so see or work with the highest quality tools and equipment. So far in every class I've taken the company has been friendly and a lot of fun. And getting to learn from professional chefs has been so valuable for me.
While I've not attending cooking classes anywhere else in the Phoenix area, I have to tell you that Heather has really figured out how to do it right.
As you know, I was long ago seduced by the siren call of French cooking. I own three of Saint Julia's cookbooks. I own the Bistro cookbook from Sharon O'Connor's Menus and Music series. I own a beautiful coffeetable cookbook called France the Beautiful. The French Chef series on DVD is on my Christmas list. On our last trip to San Francisco I think we ate at nothing but French restaurants (oh yes, we did it at my favorite Chinese place). The slightest mention of French Cuisine perks up my antenna. Tuesday evening's class at Plate It Up! was French Cuisine taught by Chef Patrick Karvis. There should be no doubt by now where I was.
First course was Salad of Frisee with Poached Egg, Lardons, and Sherry Vinagrette. Lardon is the French term for hunks of bacon that have been diced, blanched, and fried, but we used apple wood-smoked bacon cut into small squares.
This would make a nice light lunch. It was light, tasty, and the vinagrette was not overpowering.
Salad of Frisee with Poached Egg, Lardons, and Sherry Vinagrette
2 bunches frisee, coursely chopped.
1 pound apple wood smoked bacon, diced
1 cup sherry vinegar
2 cups olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper
Pour the sherry vinegar into a small bowl and slowly add the olive oil while wisking to incorporate the two together. Add the shallots, garlic, sugar, and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.
Saute the bacon over medium heat until crisp.
Place some water into a saucepan, add some white vinegar and salt. Bring the water to a boil. crack the eggs into the boiling water and let them poach for about 4 minutes. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon.
Toss the frisee with the sherry vinegrette, bacon, salt, and pepper. Divide into four portions and put each portion on a salad plate. Top with a poached egg. Serve with some baguette that has been cut into inch-thick slices and lightly toasted.
Next up: Sole Meuniere