Saturday, May 17, 2008


I took another French cooking class at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts called "Voila!". I was thrilled to find out that Scott would be our instructor (he was one of the instructors at the last class I took) and it was even more fun because my friend, Stephanie, took the class with me.

There were only 9 of us in this one, and we made 7 dishes: Warm Crab Tartlets; Chilled Cream of Zucchini Soup with Mussels and Fresh Mint; Seared Marinated Tuna with Black Olive Vinaigrette; Potato Puree; Duck Breasts with Coriander, Endive, and Sweet and Sour Orange Sauce; Confit of Fresh Chestnuts, Walnuts, Fennel, and Onions; and Crepes Suzette.

I took on the potato puree dish even though Scott warned us that it was labor intensive. I thought, "How can this be hard?" Aside from the usual peeling and cubing, we used a large food processor to mash six cooked potatoes with some milk and butter. Make that a cuppa butta. Then after that, we still had to thin it out a bit more with some light cream. Then Scott had me press it through a food mill to get out the larger "particles" (i.e. bits of potato skin). Yikes! I've never had creamier and smoother potatoes in my life ("as smooth as a baby's butt" as one woman put it - lol)!

Stephanie decided to tackle the zucchini soup recipe. While the potatoes were cooking, I helped her by cleaning two large bags of mussels, which included de-bearding some of them. It was kind of weird watching them close up and knowing that they were alive.

I couldn't eat any of the dishes except for my potatoes because of my food allergies, so I took my portions home in Tupperware containers for Tony to enjoy. Everything looked great though, and the kitchen smelled so good. Oh wait, I did grab some of the cooked tuna that didn't fit onto the serving platter and that was yummy.

This was Stephanie's zucchini soup right before it went into the blender ...

... and this is what zucchini soup looks like when you can't find the blender's cap.

Actually, I did try a bite of the soup with a mussel and it was de-lish!

Scott flambeed the crepes Suzette with cognac. Pretty cool.

Will definitely take another class there! So much fun and good food in the end. How can you go wrong?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

back-to-back bloc 11

Hmmm ... that's funny ... this is another post about Bloc 11 Cafe. Just a real quick one. Tony and I went over there for breakfast before heading over to Harvard Square for the May Fair. We both enjoyed an egg sandwich with prosciutto. Yum! With melted cheese on rosemary foccacia bread. Mmmm!


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