Archive | June 24th, 2011

Learn How to Preserve the Freshness of the Season

Learn How to Preserve the Freshness of the Season

Want to learn how you can enjoy tomatoes, squash, peaches and more seasonal favorites year-round? The answer, of course, is canning.

Connie Sheppard of the Texas Agrilife Extension and Marilyn Magaro of the Texas Department of Agriculture are teaming up for a class set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Pearl Farmers Market, 200 E. Grayson St.

Their demonstration is one of three on canning planned for the summer. The remaining two will be at 9:30 a.m. July 16 and Aug. 13.

By controlling what goes into the canning jar, you know exactly what it is that you are eating, a release from the market says.

A “Beginner’s Guide to Canning & Recipe Booklet” will also be available at the Pearl information table.

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Shere’s Blog: Student for a Day at CIA, a Dream Come True

Shere’s Blog: Student for a Day at CIA, a Dream Come True

Editor’s note: Shere Henrici, local cooking enthusiast, is passionate about cooking. “It’s the Italian in me — I just love to feed people,” she says. In addition to establishing her San Antonio Supper Club, she is also immersed in the early stages of developing a mobile food truck business. We asked her to be a student for a day at the CIA Thursday and share the experience with us on SavorSA.

By Shere Henrici

Shere Henrici loves to cook, and here begins her student-for-a-day training in the CIA kitchen slicing brioche for a baked custard.

Today was a dream come true experience.  I got to cook in the kitchens of the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus at the Pearl Complex!

It was Student for a Day, which the school sponsored to promote its new associate degree program starting in August. We joined current students in the school’s 30-week certificate program.

The last time I was in the kitchens there was during a tour I took with my oldest daughter, who at the time thought she might want to attend their Certificate Program. That has since changed.  During that tour I was so excited by the gorgeous professional stoves that, OK, I got weak in the knees: the amazing perfectly stocked pantry, the stainless steel counters. I wanted so much to cook in that kitchen.

At some point I remember starting to giggle and was thrown the “don’t-you-dare-embarrass-me-mother” glare.  So here I was on Thursday, ready to realize my dream.  We were given chef’s coats to wear with CIA logos, huge drag-on-your-shoes aprons and that cute little paper chef’s hat.

We took a tour of their new and much larger facility, were given a lunch of grilled salmon, Israeli couscous and a variety of really nice salads.  So far lunch is my favorite part.

Shere Henrici, left, and others gather to listen to chef Michael Katz begin his lecture in egg cooking.

We were then partnered up with a student who was most likely briefed to not let us chop any of our parts off or light ourselves on fire.  OK, so my apron string perhaps got a little close to the flame on the stove!  I’m not used to a gas stove, so no big deal.

It was a flurry of activity.  The day’s instruction was the basics of proteins.  That means eggs, folks.  I’m thinking “no problem, who doesn’t know how to cook an egg?!”  We were given five “simple” dishes to prepare and then watched as the chef and lecturing instructor, Michael Katz, demonstrated each.  This was important, we needed to follow instructions exactly, no winging it here.

Then we were on our own, working in our teams of course.  The challenge most of the time was not running into the person next to you or the one behind you.  Oh, sort of like a real professional kitchen — imagine that.

We worked for three hours making eggs like crazy.  I had some humbling experiences, like producing the “perfect” over easy egg.  We had to flip it in the pan, no spatula. It must not have any color, too much grease on top and do not even think about having any of the white folded under.  You getting the picture?  Who thought that making breakfast could be so stressful? In all, we learned how to (correctly) boil eggs, make soft and regular scrambled eggs, baked custard and Eggs Benedict (with hollandaise sauce).

It seems I passed, but I’m thinking chef Katz might have cut me some slack.  Just a thought.  It was an awesome day.  Lots of great camaraderie, and as much as I hate to admit it, I learned a lot.

Students had to have their ingredients assembled and ready to go. On the schedule for the day was learning to cook five different egg dishes.

After our cooking demonstrations we had dinner together, as at lunch, family style.  Very nice and casual.  This time we had rice, a perfectly roasted pork loin with a demi-glace sauce, a fresh tossed salad with Italian vinaigrette and shaved Parmesan. For dessert we had the custards we had made for our presentations to the chef Katz.

I had a fantastic day, made new friends and got to cook in a CIA kitchen.  I can cross that one off my list.  I will be looking for other opportunities to come and do this again.

Photographs by Bonnie Walker


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Ask a Foodie: How to Make a Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

Ask a Foodie: How to Make a Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

Q. I’ve heard of many different ways to make a hard-boiled egg so that it is not hard to peel or over-cooked. What do you suggest?  — F.B.

A. I, too have heard of many. During a skills class this week at the Culinary Institute of America at the Pearl Brewery, chef Michael Katz, lecturing instructor, showed the current class, along with media visitors, how to time eggs so that they’d be perfect inside, without ending up with a green layer around the outside of the yolk. This happens when the egg overcooks.

Basically, you make a 10-minute egg. Put eggs in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add water so that it covers the eggs by at least an inch. Add a tablespoon or so of salt. Set the pan over the heat and bring the water to a rolling boil. When the water begins to boil, set the timer for 10 minutes. Let the eggs boil for the allotted time.  After 10 minutes, take them out off the heat and run cold water over them (or put them into an ice water bath) until they are just cool enough to handle. Gently crack the shell all around the egg and peel it. Then put each into an ice water bath to keep them from cooking further. (Unless you want to serve them warm.)

Katz said that the fresher the eggs are, the more difficult they may be to peel.



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