I checked another item off of my 30 before 30 list this weekend. Taking a cooking class is now complete. And if I'm being honest, it is not going to be the last. If you live in Florida (or Atlanta) you can see if there is a Publix cooking school in your area. If so, I highly recommend attending one. They offer both demonstrations and hands-on classes, depending on whether you want to brush up on your knife skills or eat an entire plated meal complete with wine parings for each course.
I used proper knifes (that weren't bought wrapped in plastic), a mandolin and an emersion blender for the first time. As someone who gets giddy every time she walks into Bed, Bath and Beyond, I was having so much fun.
On the menu were holiday side dishes. If you are looking for the perfect (simple) recipe to bring to a holiday gathering, or if you are still finalizing the menu for your first year hosting Thanksgiving, here are my three favorite recipes of the night. Also on the menu were Creamy Garlic Turnip Mashed Potatoes and Crispy Rosemary Fennel.
The sides were heavy on the starch, butter, bacon fat and garlic. If you are looking to lighten up your meal, then pass these recipes over.
Creamy Three Cheese Truffle Macaroni
2 tlbs. butter
2 large sweet onions, julienned
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 tlbs. white truffle oil
5 tlbs. butter or bacon fat
5 tlbs. all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp. ground annatto
1/8 tsp. turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Colby Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Havarti cheese, shredded
1 cup breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large skillet, melt butter on medium high heat. Add onions and cook until caramelized to a dark golden color.
Cook macaroni in boiling water for about 10 minutes until tender but still firm. Drain well. Place in large bowl with caramelized onions and a drizzle of truffle oil; mix well and set aside.
In a deep skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add flour to make a roux and cook, stirring, to remove any lumps. Pour in milk and cook until mixture is thick and smooth. Season bechamel with salt, pepper, annatto, turmeric. Remove from heat, stir in Cheddar and Colby Jack cheese until melted.
Add pasta and transfer mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish; bake 10-20 minutes. Top with 1/2 cup havarti cheese and and breadcrumbs and bake for an additional 5 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter and Sage
2 large spaghetti squash
1 ounce olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sage, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Coat squash with olive oil and place, cut side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes or until tender. Rest at room temperature until cool enough to handle.
Scrape cooked squash with a fork out of its skin into a bowl and set aside. In a large saute pan, melt butter on medium-high until the color starts to change to a slight brown. Add sage and toast for 10 seconds and then add squash. Toss until coated with butter, season with salt and pepper.
Zesty Orange Cranberry Relish
1 (8 ox) can mandarin oranges
12 ounce bag cranberries (fresh)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Drain oranges and reserve juice. In a medium sauce pan, combine cranberries, sugar, water, and mandarin orange juice. Bring to a boil, add oranges and reduce to a simmer until cranberries pop and oranges break down. Remove from heat, cool and serve.
All recipes written by the Publix Apron Test Kitchen