Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Dinner for Two

I attended the Valentines dinner class at the Sacramento Food Co-op last night. They had a large class, 20 couples. My date for the night was Sue. When we arrived the tables were all beautifully set with flowers and candles. We also each had a small cheese plate of Farro Cracker, Robiolo and Gorganzola Dulce cheeses and dried nectarines. A nice little snack.The instructor this evening was Gigi Warshawsky who is always fun and has great recipes. As we usually try to do Sue and I were signed up to be prep assistants which is always fun and we learn so much as we help chop and set up the mise en place for the class. Plus if you do either prep or clean up you get 50% off the price of the class, you can't beat that deal. Tonight the dinner had an Italian theme.

here is everyone busy in the kitchen preparing for the dinner. the mise en place of the ingredients for all of the dishes Gigi will be demonstrating Gigi, working on the risotto demonstrating the chopping of a tomato for the tomato bisque

Tonight Gigi cooked a complete Valentines dinner. On the menu was:

Tuscan Tomato Bisque with Bleu Cheese Crostini Croutons

Risotto with Porcini, Proscuitto and red peppers

Align Left
Pork Marsala, Polenta with Medley of Vegetables

There were Chocolate Truffles for desert but I ate them before I got a picture of them..sorry
As she demonstrated each dish we were served that particular dish, along with accompanying wine or iced tea. The wines that we were served with the tomato bisque and the risotto was a nice Pinot Gris. A Sangenovese was served with the main course, the polenta and the pork marsala and a nice sparkling Muscato was served with the chocolate truffles.
The Gigi fan club all seem to sit at the same table so our table were the usual culprits plus a new couple to Gigi's class. They loved the whole dinner plus her cooking demonstration and were eagerly looking through the Enjoy, the paper with all the upcoming classes. They said for sure they would become one of the Gigi family. Everyone had a wonderful time and loved all of the dishes.

Here is one of the dishes that was on the menu.

Risotto with Porcini, Proscuitto and Red Peppers
serves 4
1/2 stick of butter
1C onion, small dice
1Tbsp minced garlic
1/2lb proscuitto, diced
1oz dried porcini mushroom (soaked in hot water then diced- save the liquid)
1/2C red bell peppers, small diced (you can omit if you don't like peppers)
red pepper flakes to taste
1/2tsp dried Oregano
1lb Aborio rice
3/4C white wine
2qts (8C) Chicken broth
black pepper to taste
1C Parmesan cheese shredded or shaved
Heat a heavy pan or Dutch oven and add the butter
Add the onions and saute for 1 minute
Add the garlic, red peppers, proscuitto, red pepper flakes, oregano and saute for another minute
Add the mushrooms and rice and saute for another minute
Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon
add about 3 C of the broth stirring
Cover and lightly simmer.
Check in a few minutes and when the liquid is reduced by half add more broth, stir.
Keep checking and adding broth and stirring until the rice is tender about 20-30 min.
When the rice is done (for a thinner consistency add more broth )stir in the Parmesan Cheese and black pepper.
Adjust seasonings.
Don't be afraid to try Risotto..it is just cooking rice..just be sure to stir it every once in a while and keep adding broth as it cooks.
You will love this!!

Besides Gigi's class there are a number of different classes and instructors at the co-op..pick up an Enjoy or go on line and sign up for one of the many classes, you will have a great time and a wonderful meal at each class.

Sacramento Food Co-op
1900 Alhambra Blvd
916 455-2667


Unknown said...

Great info Eileen..and love the photos! I was watching Gordon Ramsay the other night and he said that Risotto should spread out on a plate...a bit. No..maybe that was Top Chef last week. Anyway..I'll have to try making it.

Eileen and Karen said...

yes, Risotto is supposed to be a little runny. Ours had thickened up because it had been sitting a while. I kind of liked it like that though.
Just add more broth.

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