Each month Williams-Sonoma hosts a series of free drop in cooking classes and one cookbook club class where you not only get a cooking lesson, but also a delicious meal and a cookbook to take home, plus you save 10% off all purchases that night.
I dropped in to the store for a class based on Tyler Florence’s latest cookbook, fresh. The class is taught be the lovely in-house chef who demos the recipes and teaches you handy cooking and shopping tips along the way.
The classes are small and intimate and questions are encouraged. Book early as they sell out quickly. Check the website and sign up for the weekly newsletter to get the latest information on classes. Williams and Sonoma.
The recipes we learned were grass-fed beef with spinach, Parmesan lemon and olive oil (a delicious way to cook with the less expensive cut of strip loin) and raspberry bombs, little delights that are a perfect way to end a meal.
The meal was one that could easily be repeated by even novice cooks; the class was thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable. I’ll certainly be signing up for another.
Next up is March 13 with the new Nigella Lawson Cookbook, Nigellisima.
Williams-Sonoma, 2903 Granville Street, Vancouver, 778-330-2581
Strip Loin Steak Seasoned
Spinach cooking away in cream and garlic
Lemons grilling – adds a ton of flavour
CALIFORNIA GRASS-FED BEEF WITH SPINACH,PARMESAN,LEMON,AND OLIVE OIL AND TUSCAN SPINACH – SERVES 2
1 head garlic Extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds spinach
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 lemon, halved lengthwise
1 (1-pound) flatiron steak
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Fresh baby spinach leaves
Roast the garlic. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Break the garlic head into unpeeled cloves and place them on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil and then fold the foil to form a pouch and seal tightly. Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and open the pouch (so the garlic doesn’t steam). set aside until ready to serve.
Make the spinach. Wash the spinach in several changes of water to get rid of any grit. Drain the spinach, but keep some of the water clinging to the leaves. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, and add the spinach and garlic. cook, turning frequently, until the spinach is wilted down evenly. Remove the garlic. Put the spinach into a colander and drain well, pressing out as much liquid as you can. chop the spinach coarsely. Heat the same cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, and add the cream and nutmeg; cook until it reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. stir until the spinach is hot. Keep warm.
Char the lemon halves. Heat a grill to high. Grill the lemon halves cut-side down directly over high heat for about 2 minutes, until they are well marked.
Cook the steak. Preheat the oven to 375°F. set a large sauté pan over high heat, and when it is smoking hot, add a drizzle of grapeseed oil. Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then season it all over with salt and pepper. sear the steak in the pan, 3 to 4 minutes per side, so it forms a nice crust with deep color. Transfer the steak to a plate, tent it with foil, and allow to rest for 5 to 6 minutes.
cut the steak into thick slices and serve with the creamed spinach and roasted garlic cloves. Top with the shaved Parmesan and garnish with the charred lemon halves and some baby spinach leaves.
ON TO DESSERT…..
Raspberries filled with cream and frozen
FROZEN CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY “BOMBS” – serves 4 to 6
3 cups firm but ripe raspberries (about 40 total) 1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1/2 pound dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate–covered cacao nibs Fleur de sel
Fill the berries. Lay the raspberries out on paper towels and sort through them, discarding any soft or damaged berries. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Whip until firm. Using the tip of a paring knife, fill each raspberry with vanilla cream. Then set them out on a tray and freeze for 15 to 20 minutes, until firm.
Coat the “bombs.” Line a flat tray with waxed paper; set aside. Melt the dark chocolate chips in a double boiler (or in the microwave). Using toothpicks to hold the raspberries, dip the berries in the dark chocolate so they are completely coated. Work quickly so the cream doesn’t melt. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off, and then set the berries on the prepared tray. Repeat dipping the berries until a thick coating of chocolate has formed. Remove the toothpicks, and while the chocolate is still soft, sprinkle the berries lightly with cacao nibs and fleur de sel so they stick to the berries. Freeze the raspberries until firm and serve chilled.
**Recipes excerpted from Tyler Florence Fresh. Copyright © 2012 Tyler Florence. Published by Clarkson Potter. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Here are a few more from the book as well.