February 18, 2010
International cooking and local mingling with Birthright Israel Next [RECIPE]
In my family, women have historically dominated the kitchens. My grandmother is an extraordinary baker. My mother is a wiz at Shabbas meals. My oldest sister is the most phenomenal pastry chef I have ever encountered. And my other sister is a serious force on the grill.
But just as the women in my family assert their culinary expertise, a real man should also know how to cook.
On average, I’d say I exercise said acts of manhood about 3-4 times per week, preparing a variety of meals that range from roast chicken to turkey tacos to teriyaki salmon.
The group of about 25 arrived at the Farmer’s Market kitchen supply store at around 6:30 for a little wine and challah. Sur la Table’s Chef, Martin Gilligan discussed the recipes and safety rules, while adding a few humorous tidbits in a valiant effort to break the initial awkwardness of the room (As soon as we started cooking, everyone seemed to warm up).
After a brief demonstration of the Chinese classic, orange chicken – kosher style, the crowd dispersed into each of the menu stations.
Somehow, I found myself gravitating towards the alcoholic white Russian sorbet dessert (It was a long day, I needed to take the edge off).
Due to the limited time we had in class, we skipped a few steps, but the final product was still dripping with flavor. I quickly got an ice cream headache…maybe it was a hangover – I don’t know for sure.
When it was time to eat each international dish, the group gathered around table, as a feeling of achievement graced the room. This is what world peace must feel like.
The end result: about 25 overly satisfied Jews and wealth of worldly leftovers.
Here’s a recipe that I worked on, courtesy of the Sur la Table cooking classes:
White Russian Sorbet
Yield: Serves 4
Stir water and sugar in heavy medium sauce pan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add espresso powder and stir to dissolve. Pour into medium bowl. Mix in corn syrup, then whipping cream, vodka and Kahlúa. Refrigerate mixture until cold, about 2 hours.
Transfer sorbet mixture to ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer sorbet to container; cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead.)
Freeze 4 coffee cups for 30 minutes. Scoop sorbet into frozen cups. Garnish with coffee beans and serve immediately.
FYI: Birthright Israel Next offers an awesome dose of Jewish culture mixed with hip programming. I’ll be at a few of their upcoming events. Visit their website for the full schedule.
Friday February 19: Shabbat Poetry SLAM