Halibut is smoking in the wok and gnocchi boiling in the pot !
The workspace is beautiful, a long wooden community table,large stove,lots of windows -a comfortable learning environment. And you are up close and personal with your instructor seated at the same table so you can watch everything that is going on.
Grilled squid with tamarind and mint-almost finished
The class I took was : Good Fish: Curing, Smoking, Grilling. The instructor was the fabulous Becky Selengut, author of Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast . You can read more about her on her blog Cornucopia. And buy her book here.
When I signed up for this class, I expected to learn how to cure albacore,smoke halibut and trout and grill squid. After buying Becky's book I knew I would also be learning a great deal more about sustainable seafood. What I didn't expect was the warmth and humor that was served up with the teaching ! Add that to the ambiance of the space and the positive vibes from my fellow classmates -an incredible experience-one that far exceeded my expectations. Not only did I learn everything I expected to learn, but I also learned how to make dandelion crackers,quinoa cakes,gnocchi , a great marinade, how to convert my wok to a smoker and how to make a good grill fire. All this and more in 3 hours time. The class ended far too soon-with a lovely meal that we all prepared. Yes it was hands on,we didn't just sit back and watch Becky,we actively participated ( for those who would want to watch only we did have the choice to just sit back but the class dove in and wanted to try everything).
Dandelion crackers getting ready for the oven
My purpose in taking this class was to get a little , no make that a lot more, comfortable with seafood. I'm "okay" at grilling but I've have always been hesitant to purchase the more expensive types and cuts of fish. I was always fearful that I would burn it,dry it out or under cook it . This class and Becky's book has changed all of that . Last night I successfully pan seared a beautiful piece halibut . Now that might not be so difficult for most of you, but I'm into pastry and not so much the savory side of cooking-this was a huge accomplishment for me !
Gin and tonic cured albacore on dandelion cracker
Quinoa cakes with smoked trout and chive sour cream
Stinging nettle sauce and nettle gnocchi with morels, just waiting for the smoked halibut to come out of the smoker
It's a toss up as to which meal we prepared was my favorite, the squid and the quinoa cakes with smoked trout were at the top of my list. I will definitely be making all of the recipes at home over the next few weeks. And anxiously counting the days until my next class at The Pantry at Delancey ! You can sign up here to be added to their newsletter mailing so you know when the next round of classes begin. You can check out Becky's How To Videos here.
PS. I did not receive any type of compensation for this blog posting .