Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Favorite Tools...and a sandwich, too

Just had to share my sandwich creation with you. I entered the Mezzetta Make That Sandwich contest for fun (winners will be announced in September) although the last time I entered a contest for fun I ended up winning a prize. This would be a really good one, though...grand prize is $25K and a trip to Napa! Anywho...this is a Grilled Tuscan Swordfish Sandwich inspired by the Swordfish Involtini that I made for the last Tulsa Ballet Bella Cucina at Marcello and Daniela's house. Let me know if you want the recipe...I think it's delish!
So...the next cooking class, My Favorite Tools, will also include some of my favorite things (and my students' suggestions) to make...a fabulous (and super easy) Potato Gratin, decadent Tiramisu (yes, I'll have to do a swapout because it will not set up in an hour), and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (it's flavored with curry AND ginger...yum!).

Class is this Thursday, August 20 from 5:30 to 7:30, Metro Builder's Supply, 5313 South Mingo. I have to say the classes at Metro are great fun...everyone seems to enjoy them even more so I see many more ahead!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer is winding a flurry!

Wow...time has really gotten away from me.
The last week was spent in NYC with my older daughter, Merrin. Visited some great restaurants (surprise!), cooked for my girl and her friends (more later), went salsa dancing and attended two of the amazing performances of Tulsa Ballet as it makes its return to the Big Apple! Now it's time to get younger daughter, Shea, ready for starts next week and it feels as though it starts earlier with each year...or is it just me?

Anyway...back to cooking in the city. It doesn't take long to realize that New York has just about everything there is to offer...duh!. That was a very good thing considering that my daughter and her friends live on cereal, soup and water...notice I did not say Ramen noodles. I made a point to bring my knife case but I did not bring the rest of my kitchen so we spent most of the day shopping for kitchen essentials and then food. I now know how difficult it is to start from scratch...again! I must share that most of the food shopping was done at a grocery called Fairway and their prices were comparable (for the most part) to prices in Tulsa...I know, I know...I couldn't believe it either! I also realized how challenging it is to get your groceries home...walking and using the subway. You better be a very smart shopper or own one of those carts...I will buy a cart the next time I go will be money well spent and, more importantly, I'll be able to buy more provisions. My daughter back ribs, some kind of shrimp, grilled romaine hearts and then whatever else. So I oven grilled the ribs, finished the shrimp in a passable saute pan and seared the romaine hearts on a pancake griddle. Just reminds you how resourceful you can be when you have to be. We had some wonderful cheeses, my daughter stuffed Peppadews with Boursin (that was on special at Zabar's for .99 and they weren't expired or even close so I bought four) of her favorite things. All turned out well and her friends ate as though they had never had food...ah, the good old days!

As for the restaurant scene, we visited Butter, Alex Guarnaschelli's place. She really does an amazing job of serving delicious, approachable food in a space that makes you feel at home. Of course, her Italian roots sing out but the menu is diverse and playful. We also had an inspired dinner at Tao and then for the last evening, ate at the venerable BLTSteak...gotta love that place and wow! what a bar scene...even on a Tuesday night but I have to remind myself this is NYC and not my town. We shopped in Soho on Tuesday and Merrin took me to, as she would say, a teen-nitesy place called Ruby's. There, I had possibly the best burger I have ever had! Take note...this is from a woman who lives in cattle country. It was perfectly cooked, served on a crusty (but not hard) grilled roll with condiments that complemented but never overwhelmed. They add a sweet chili sauce (not Asian) that is a wonderful foil to the traditional tomato and lettuce that is also a part of the mix. The best part does not fall apart so you can enjoy every bite as it is meant to be without having to resort to fork and knife! The sandwich is served with a lightly dressed mixed green salad. Ruby's really does it right...if you're in Soho...go try it!

And, back to Tulsa reality...
My next cooking class is Thursday, August 20...My Favorite Tools at Metro Builder's Supply. Look for me (at Metro again) on Thursday, September 10 for a big cooking event and I will be among those providing appetizers for the Tulsa Library Chapters fundraiser on September 11...more exciting events coming this fall! Be back atcha soon!
Happy Cooking!!