Green Plum Cooking School – Sat, Dec 12th
Guest Blogger: Lisa Brooks
“We’re charting a new course, going off the path,” Monica said, as I walked into t’afia, a little earlier than usual. Since last February, when Monica started the Green Plum Cooking School classes at the Midtown Farmers Market, we have used recipes from The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters. After nearly a year, we have cooked from all seasons, learned a few things and had a lot of delicious food.
What I have learned in that time, more than anything, is that a few simple ingredients can be combined into something amazingly delicious. I knew that whatever plan was in the works today, it would be ok. But I was nervous. Of course, Monica did not let us down.
We still did two of the recipes from the “old” book, Alice’s Glazed Carrots (p. 298) and Steamed Broccoli with Garlic, Butter, and Lemon (p. 294) but our new course (going rogue!) was to use a recipe from Monica’s new cookbook, “Eat Where Your Food Lives” — an online, interactive subscription cookbook. The paperless cookbook is a great tool: it is updated with new recipes regularly; has drink pairing suggestions (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic); creates your shopping lists; converts quantities at the touch of a button; and other really cool features. You can check it out at http://www.ChefMonicaPope.com . The recipe we were doing today from Chef Monica was Guacamole with Harissa.
THey are good learners
Another interesting thing about this week’s class was the number of young assistants. There were about 10 junior Sous Chefs, including some children from St. Catherine’s Montessori School. They peeled carrots, chopped broccoli and, well…they did things to scallions too.
Evidently, when scallions (or green onions, which are the same thing) are cut about an inch from the roots, they resemble Bobby Brown, according to a group of 4th graders. So, there were several Bobby Brown’s floating around the work area. Most of them ended up getting chopped. The children, especially the boys, seemed to really enjoy using knives.
Yes, that’s a knife!
I don’t know about you, but a bunch of 9-year-olds with knives made me nervous again. Happily, there were no injuries, and all the veggies were prepped, cooked, and devoured.
The guacamole was wonderfully delicious, with such a unique flavor thanks to the harissa (a North African red chile sauce). The broccoli was perfect. The glazed carrots yielded a pale golden liquid, deemed carrot elixir. I’ve never tasted anything like it, but it was heavenly.
The Sous Chefs all enjoyed eating their product. Except for the last remaining Bobby Brown. He was last seen next to a very interesting tomato. This is something that you have to come to a local farmer’s market to experience. As Monica likes to say, “This is nature people!” New territory for most of us – but I’m pretty sure I know which direction we’re headed: to healthy, fresh, delicious food (with a bunch of fun thrown in for good measure).