Awhile back I taught a cooking class based on several recipes from A Moveable Feast , the PBS/Fine Cooking Magazine. This show features Australian chef Pete Evans (who is really cute and has a lovely Aussie accent) traveling the U.S. visiting chefs, artisan farmers, fishermen, and markets for seasonal and local ingredients. Together they prepare a meal for 20-30 people in a beautiful setting (on the beach, a NYC rooftop, a farm). It’s entertaining, educational, and the scenery is fantastic.It was a wonderful success.
At the cooking class, everyone in attendance raved about the food. It was so good I wanted to share it with you.
Here was the menu:
Baby Carrot Salad with Maché, Yogurt and Thai Chile Vinaigrette
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Pea Crema, Asparagus Crudo, and Roasted Morels and Smoked Cheddar Polenta
Cheese Blintzes with Strawberry Topping
Our menu demonstrated:
1. a new way to make polenta – baked in the oven – rather than on the stove top
2. how to make crepes
3. using peeled asparagus raw – almost like a slaw
4. using mache – a tender, nutty green paired in a salad with baby carrots and a slightly sweet, spicy vinaigrette
5. using peas to make a sauce
6. oven~roasted salmon
I’m sharing the Baby Carrot Salad with Maché Yogurt and Thai Chile Vinaigrette with you. The addition of the maché, with narrow, tender, dark green leaves and a tangy, nutlike flavor adds a special touch to the sweetness of the carrots; the vinaigrette has a nice spiciness.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
- ⅓ teaspoon orange-blossom, more to taste
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 small fresh red Thai or other small chile, halved, seeds and ribs removed, and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- 16 young carrots (orange or a combination of red, purple, white and yellow), peeled and trimmed
- ⅓ palin yogurt (whole or low-fat)
- 4 cups maché
- FOR THE VINAIGRETTE: Melt the butter in a 10-12-inch heavy frying pan over medium heat until the butter turns brown and has a nutty fragrance; be careful not to burn it.
- Add the honey and swirl the pan to mix with the butter, then add the almonds. When the mixture is bubbling, add the vinegar (the mixture will sizzle and may splatter a bit), and orange-blossom water. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chile and lemon juice and then whisk in the oil until blended. Cool to room temperature and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- FOR THE SALAD: fill a pot ⅔ full with water, add 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Add the carrots and simmer just until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 8 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the carrots to cool slightly (they should still be warm). Pat them dry and halve each carrot lengthwise. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with ⅓ cup of the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt.
- Divide the carrots among salad plates. Top each plate with some of the maché and drizzle with the yogurt and remaining vinaigrette.
Enjoy the salad and I’ll share the other recipes in future posts.