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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Salud! at Whole Foods: Tastes from an Italian Spring (with recipe)

Time for another cooking class with Chef Dan Maggipinto.  His classes are the ones I look most forward to, especially when Himself is home to go with me!
The menu for this class was:
Spring Vegetable Bruschetta
Lamb Spiedini
Israeli CousCous Salad
Carrot Slaw
Crispy Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate-Hazelnut Cannoli Cream and Strawberry ‘Salsa’
Looks good, doesn’t it?
Chef Dan had Himself and I each do a different recipe, while the other 3 couples worked as teams.  I’m guessing he did that because he knows us and knows that we are OK with working without a partner.
My recipe was the Spring Vegetable Bruschetta.
It starts with slicing some great crusty bread, rubbing it with a clove of garlic and then brushing it liberally with olive oil.  (Personally, in the future I will use garlic infused olive oil… way easier). 
Then you grill the bread.  For the class we used the grilling pans.  Once done, it was set to the side and warmed up right before serving.
Then I got to chopping… and chopping… and chopping!  Here’s my station part way thru the process.  (Himself took most of the photos as I was too busy being a chopping machine!)
Sautéing the veggies. 
What I enjoy about Chef Dan’s classes is his sense of humor and laid back teaching style. It is just plain FUN. A lot of laughter happens along with the cooking. Don’t think you don’t learn your stuff under him. He keeps a close eye on everyone and makes corrections as needed. 
Assembling the bruschetta…. and wishing I could use my hands instead of the tongs! 
Garnishing with crumbled goat cheese…and wishing I could use tongs instead of my hands!  (That stuff is ‘crumbly’ in name only.  It sticks to everything!)
Himself worked on the Lamb Spiedini, aka Italian Shish Kabob.  It had a nice rosemary & balsamic vinegar marinade. 
Once they’d marinated enough, it was time to grill under Chef Dan’s watchful eye.
They smelled soooooo good while they were grilling.  It got everyone’s stomachs to rumbling.
Chef Dan explaining something…  In lot of my photos, his hands are a blur.  After all… he is Italian!  LOL
One team made Crispy Shallots (basically homemade Durkee fried onions) to garnish the meal.  From thin sliced shallots tossed in seasoned flour, into the deep fryer, and drained on a paper towel.
Crispy yumminess! 
The cookies were interesting.  They were spread very thinly and baked.  While still hot, they could be draped over something (like a bowl) to take that shape or left flat. 
Chef Dan plating the meal and a team garnishing.
He poured the juices back onto the lamb skewers. 
Not often you’ll have your bruschetta served by the Chef!
Lamb skewers on top of couscous salad and carrot slaw, garnished with crispy shallots.
Dessert.  Oh MY! 


  1. Looks like quite a spread! So, the students get a meal at the end! How much fun!! Thanks so much for stopping by my place and saying hi...nice to meet you!

  2. I enjoyed catching up 'with you' via your blog. You are always up to something fun and interesting!!


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