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Put on Your Aprons: Cooking Classes in SA


Chef Steven McHugh at Cured

Chef Steven McHugh at Cured

Kiddie Corner at Cured with Chef Steve McHugh

Chef Steve McHugh of Cured will be offering cooking classes for kids ages 7 to 12 at the Pearl Farmers Market on Saturday, July 26 at 9 a.m.

Children will shop the market for seasonal produce and learn how to safely prepare each ingredient and create dishes they can easily reproduce at home.

The class will last for 30 minutes and cost $15 per child. All proceeds will be benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger.

To reserve your spot please call 210.314.3929.

Summer in Tuscany at Sur La Table

Rustic yet refined, Tuscan cooking is famous for using simple ingredients and preparations to create delicious, authentic flavors. Our instructor will teach you the techniques behind these satisfying recipes as well as a few tips to make their preparation a breeze.

Great cooking isn’t about recipes—it’s about techniques. In our classes you’ll work together with other students in a fun, hands-on environment led by our professional chef instructors. Class time is 3:30-5:30 p.m., July 27. The cost is $69. Reserve you place by phone (18 years old and older) at 800-243-0852.  Sur La Table is at the Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway.

In this class you will:

  • Learn fundamental skills for a lifetime of great cooking
  • Work side-by-side with other students to prepare each dish
  • Interact with classmates and the instructor for a rich learning experience
  • Classes are 2 to 2 1/2 hours, unless otherwise noted above, and each student enjoys a generous taste of every dish
  • Held in our professional teaching kitchens, each class is led by an experienced chef instructor
  • Hands-on classes are limited to 16 participants
  • Students receive a 10 percent discount coupon to use the week after the class

Cooking at Central Market: Stone Fruits

Join Sustenio chef David Gilbert at Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market for a tour of the offerings at hand Sunday (July 15) and then brunch.

Hannah Smith, CM Cooking School Instructor, will demonstrate three healthy recipes that are also a delicious way to use these summer fruits. The class is for students ages 18 and older. The cost is $25. These recipes will be demonstrated:

  •  Summer Stone Fruit Gazpacho;
  •  Brandied Peach &  Pork Kebabs;
  •  Burrata Stone Fruit Salad; and
  •  Roast Plums with Almond Crunch, Basil Syrup & Cream.

 

Class is 12-1 p.m. Aug. 1. To reserve a place call 210-368-8617. Or follow this link.

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Dinner for Dad: Ribs and More, from Chef Michael Flores


Chef Michael Flores (Photo by Richard Mejia)

SavorSA welcomes guest blogger and chef, Michael Flores.  A man of many hats, Flores is a busy trained chef, cooking instructor, spokesperson, cookbook author, brother, son, friend and avid entertainer. While attending the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Michael worked as chef-intern to Chef Susan Spicer of New Orleans’ acclaimed Bayona. Upon graduating with honors from the CIA, Michael returned to San Antonio to begin his career, infusing every dish he creates with his love of the multicultural richness that has so influenced his life.

By Michael Flores

We all know Father’s Day as a celebration which honors and celebrates fathers, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. In my experience as a chef, it is unlike any of the other “Sunday celebrations” (e.g., Mother’s Day, Easter, etc.).  Going to fancy buffets or restaurants are not the typical norm for dad’s special day.

He doesn’t want to dress up, stand in lines waiting for food, sip champagne, or use his best manners. After all, it is his day. Based on my knowledge, Father’s Day does not mean the same to men as Mother’s Day does to women; you don’t see pops walking around with a boutonniere that special Sunday that’s dedicated to him.  And the toughest problem that comes with Father’s Day is — the gift!

I offer you a simple solution for all of the above: Simply prepare him a meal at home.  How does that saying go: Food is the best way to a man’s heart.  Invite all of the family over; everyone can help in some part of the meal.  Have lots of his favorite drinks on hand.  Let him dress however he wants.  Tell stories, play games, and enjoy the love around the table.  Great memories go further than ties!

Meat on the grill, family close, is sometimes just what Dad want's for Father's Day.

As for the menu, I think I can help you out with that.  I recently taught a sold out class at Sur La Table entitled “Guy’s Night Out:  Ribs.”  The men, and one woman who dared to enter the cave, loved it.  We made three different ribs:  Beer Braised Ribs in Rum Barbecue Sauce, Spicy Honey Mustard Ribs, and Roasted Barbecued Spare Ribs. The sides included a Chopped Salad with Tamarind-Tequila Vinaigrette, and Roasted Corn with a Parmesan-Lemon Topping.

Now there is a Father’s Day buffet for Dad!  One where he does not have to worry about spilling something on his suit (assuming you got him to wear one), a plate to be cleared, or a new fork to be brought.  Not to mention the bill that he (usually) has to pay at the end of the meal.

The only item left is dessert.  This has a simple solution(s).  Every family has a favorite dessert that is served at all family functions. If dad likes it, make it.  If Aunt Gertrude’s gelatin salad doesn’t happen to be on his list of favorites, how about an assortment of cupcakes for him to choose from, or ice cream?  Or there is always my favorite, eight ounces of softened cream cheese whipped with one small jar of marshmallow cream, served with fresh strawberries for dipping.

To all you dads out there, or other father figures, I hope you get the Father’s Day of your dreams.  Happy Father’s Day from Chef Michael and SavorSA.

 

Recipes: See Links to Flores’ above recipes in the list to the right.

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Stocking Stuffers for the Salt Lover on Your List


Sel et Poivre shakers at Sur la Table.

Pigs on a plate.

Need a stocking stuffer for the food lover on your list? If you know someone who likes salt and pepper (and who doesn’t?), then you might want to check out a pair of porcine porcelains at Sur la Table in the Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway.

The pair of pigs above even speak French with their markings of Sel and Poivre. They sell for $9.95.

The pair to the right sell for $12.95. They don’t oink, wear chefs’ toques or write any foreign languages, but they come with a matching tray on which they rest when not in use. The big salt pig next to the little piggies sells for $9.95.

For more information, call Sur la Table at (210) 582-6255 or click here for the online store.

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Sur la Table Is Open; Perry’s Under Contruction


A worker cleans the windows at Sur la Table in the Shops at La Cantera.

A peek through the window of Sur la Table.

Sur la Table opened Friday in San Antonio. The store’s phone number is 210-978-5580.

The store, which bills itself as the place “for all of your cooking needs,” is located in the Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, in between Barnes & Noble and Z’Tejas, though on the other side of the walk.

Sur la Table offers the latest in culinary equipment, with cookware brands such as All-Clad, Demeyere, Emile Henry, Le Creuset, Lodge, Mauviel, Scanpan and Staub. Cutlery, appliances, linens, food and more will also be on sale.

Perry's Steakhouse is opening soon.

Cooking classes will be held on a regular basis. Visit the store’s website for details.

In the meanwhile, things are busy at the Shops as expansion continues.

In that same arm of the plaza, Perry’s Steakhouse in under construction on one side of the Yard House with a planned opening of in November, despite a sign out front saying it will open in Octomber. On the other side, a Cheesecake Factory is planning on opening at some future date.

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Bakers, Fire Up Your Ovens


If Julie Powell could bake her way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and actually master the art, then I can see any number of serious bakers do the same with “The Art and Soul of Baking” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $40) from Sur La Table with Cindy Mushet.

This is a gateway into the world of baking from someone who has not only mastered the art of creating memorable dishes, but also the elusive art of conveying even the most complex of techniques in a style that makes it seem understandable and not too hard to follow.

Or, as chocolate queen Alice Medrich writes in her introduction, Mushet is, simply, “a superb and empowering teacher who relates to the beginner as well as the seasoned baker.”

Take, for example, these instructions on how to buy and thaw sheet phyllo: “Choose phyllo packages from the back of the freezer case, where the temperature is more consistent. Phyllo sheets that have been thawed and refrozen will stick together and tear unmercifully. Always buy an extra box, just in case you get one that has thawing damage. Thaw frozen phyllo in the refrigerator for 24 hours before use. if you try to thaw it quickly on the counter, condensation will form, the dough will get sticky, and you won’t be able to pry the sheets apart. After it has thawed in the refrigerator, place the box on the kitchen counter for 1 to 2 hours and allow the dough to warm to room temperature. Cold phyllo is prone to cracking, whereas room temperature phyllo is more supple and easier to work with.”

It doesn’t get much more straightforward than that.

Recipe: Cream Scones

Then consider the dazzling array of recipes, from Cream Scones and Peach-Gingerbread Dumplings to Malted Milk Chocolate Tart and Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake. Few of us with a sweet tooth could resist a summer stunner like Apricot-Cherry Almond Cobbler with almond paste in the crust. Or the exquisite Raspberry Soufflés With Hidden Chocolate Truffles, a photograph of which graces the cover of the book. (That mouthwatering photo and more from Maren Caruso will should sell more than a few copies of the book.)

The book isn’t all sweets. There are recipes for various breads as well as savory treats, such as Potato, Onion and Gruyère Galette and Pesto Rolls.

Still not convinced you can be a great baker? The book breaks each section (quick breads, tarts, fruit desserts, cakes and so on) begins with a primer on the general techniques involved in each.

There are also “What the pros know” notes accompanying many of the recipes. Here’s one: “There’s a trick to making pumpkin pie that keeps the prebaked crust crisp against the liquid custard filling, and it defies logic. You’ve probably always heard that a prebaked pie crust should be cooled before being filled with custard and sent back to the oven. Not here. The crust should be hot from the oven (or reheated until hot) and then filled with hot custard. It’s crazy, but it works beautifully. The bonus is that hot crust plus hot custard equals a shorter baking time. While pumpkin pies usually take an hour or more to bake, this one is finished in about 30 minutes. Now that’s a reason to be thankful.”

Bakers will certainly be thankful not just for such juicy morsels, but for the whole banquet of flavors revealed in this expansive work.

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