Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Local Flavor, Vegas Edition: Mon Ami Gabi's French Cooking Class

Four Mushroom Soup - it was heavenly!

Sea Scallops with Butternut Squash Puree, Brussel Sprout Leaves and Hazelnuts - absolutely fantastic flavors.

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake - it's made with unsweetened chocolate so it's not overly sweet. The whipped cream provides the extra sweetness, so you can customize it, depending on your taste.
In recent years, we've seen 99-cent shrimp cocktail fall by the wayside as Vegas has evolved into one of the best restaurant cities in the country.  With our mix of celebrity chefs and other vittle visionaries, we've become a dining destination. 

Rather than holding tightly to their treasured recipes, some of these chefs are throwing open the doors to their kitchens and teaching us to cook like they do.  The classes are terrifically good time, and I have actually learned a lot each time I've attended.  It's a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning.

You may want to have a designated driver on standby, though, because your wine glass will never be empty!

Here are quelque choses I learned this January at Mon Ami Gabi:
  • When caramelizing mushrooms, don't wash them because they won't carmelize properly. Instead, brush them off. And, use pomace oil, rather than extra virgin olive oil, because it has a higher heating point. 
  • The fine mesh sieve, pictured above, is a Chinois.  It's used to strain the Four Mushroom Soup after it's been blended. It's so-named because it resembles a Chinaman's hat. :)
  • Sear the sea scallops only on one side to avoid making them rubbery.
  • Don't pair a dessert wine with dessert. It's too much sweet, and they will diminish each other.
  • Preparing the fresh cream to top the Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake, I learned the proper way to whip is with a Figure 8 maneuver.  It's a workout!
The next class at Mon Ami Gabi is July 21.  Taking no chances, I registered a month ago.  It's gonna be magnifique!

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