Nov 18, 2009

Cooking Class Field Trip

Cooking Class Field Trip

Tonight was a great "hands on" field trip to Mirepoix, the cooking school at Holiday Market in Royal Oak, Michigan. It is ironic that just a few days ago, I made the comment in another blog that the perfect menu for me would be appetizers and dessert! Well, appetizers it was tonight!

With a class of eager students, the chefs had little trouble motivating everyone to move to their posts to begin preparing the evening's menu. There were two prep stations for students to report to - each station had their assignment of appetizers to prepare. The ingredients and cooking hardware were conveniently located near the prep areas and we were off and cooking with our chefs guiding us with tips to make the deed easier.

My family's favorite appetizer at holiday time is Brie Encroute, so I was fortunate enough to be able to prepare this with friend, Melissa. Usually I prefer this appetizer with a fruit chutney, tonight we were making it with was delicious!

Out of the 13 appetizers offered, I think the Brie Encroute was my favorite but the Stuffed Medjool Dates with Gruyere was a close second! The dates are wrapped with a piece of bacon and the combination of flavors - delicious!

The other prep station was busy making a very interesting appetizer, Halibut Cakes...much like a crab cake but I think I almost like this one better...mild and with a little tang of the remoulade sauce, a keeper! Chef Maggie told us that these can be made larger for an entree. A great idea!

Here, Karen and Susan show off the finished Halibut Cakes plated up and ready for tasting!

The other vegetarian appetizer that had great flavor was the Grilled Eggplant Roulades. I find myself being drawn more and more to vegetarian options and especially to eggplant! The eggplant stuffed with fresh mozzarella and strips of red pepper were colorful and interesting!

What we all realized was how time consuming these appetizers was fun to have so many cooks in the kitchen so we could all have a chance to try our hand at one or two recipes and be able to observe all the others in various stages.

It brought home my earlier comments about the costly nature of appetizers - they are labor intensive...but what a fun time we had laboring away!

If you are looking for a hands on cooking class, check out Mirepoix at Holiday Market. It has to be one of the friendly places to learn ...great set up, friendly and helpful chefs and cooking lessons always seem to bring the happiest people together!

Bon appetit!

Posted Under: The Dining Experience