Cooking Among The Stars, Part II
My cooking adventure continued when Ulu manager, Chuck, mentioned there was space available for the next interactive cooking class with none other than Jonathan Waxman! He’s an amazing chef and owner of several American restaurants, creator of several more in London, a James Beard award winner, a contestant on Top Chef Masters (where I first heard of him), and author of two popular cookbooks: A Great American Cook and Italian My Way.
Class was in another area of Ulu so it took only a few steps to get to from my class with Naomi Pomeroy. Just as I arrived, everyone was getting to know each other while Chef was preparing to start the class. I noticed we were going to be making Sautéed Seafood Salad. After making a soufflé, a salad seemed like duck soup ;). I took my place at one of the stations and partnered up with a cool chick named Jennifer.
First up, saffron aioli, which was pretty easy to make despite all the whisking of egg yolks, salt and pepper, smashed garlic, olive oil, and saffron. Working as a team made things a lot easier.
A very cool trick I learned to prevent that gassy feeling after eating garlic and garlic-rich foods was to first slice them in half, lengthwise, then remove the middle “stem”. (I recently tried this for shrimp scampi and I think it worked. Try it and see if it works for you!)
Chef taught us the proper way to slice our ingredients, by moving at the elbow not the wrist. As you can tell by the photo above, I need a lot of practice! As long as the pieces were bite-sized, we were all good.
After adding lots of fresh, leafy, lettuce to the aioli, it was time to sautée the seafood in olive oil and panko. The sizzle and scent actually made everyone excited about eating a salad. Thankfully, it didn’t take long to cook. After allowing the seafood a few minutes to cool, everything was tossed together and served. Yummy!
For a gal who, 25 years ago, tried to pan fry a frozen steak, this experience has totally upped my culinary game!