I have always loved to cook but let’s be honest, with my busy schedule juggling work, motherhood, friendships, exercising, in the setting of a small NYC kitchen, who has time and the space to cook? With food services like Blue Apron and HelloFresh and delivery services like Caviar, UberEatsand Seamlessin NYC and other cities, it is so easy to forget about the home cooked meal. The popular phrase “The way to a man’s heart is though his stomach” also applies to us females! Cooking is good for the soul however the art of trying to incorporate the perfect mix of ingredients and the patience it takes to make that meal full of love can be challenging at times. This fall, I’ve ditched my 15 minute recipes and food delivery apps and started to return to my passion for cooking.
The kitchen appeared to be a little foreign to me at first but it was like riding a bike again. It just took a few missteps and slips in the kitchen to feel comfortable again. Recently, I attended my first cooking class at Sur La Table in NYC. I walk by the store frequently and would always see the smile on people’s faces as I watched through the window and decided to join in this time. It’s the perfect activity to do alone, do with a friend or family member, or on a date night. Here are the recipes I learned for that class and will attempt for this holiday season! Trust me, it’s so yummy! Enjoy!
Poulet a la Crème
Serves: Makes 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), skin removed (about 2 ½ pounds skinned)
- 8 mushrooms (about 6 ounces), washed and sliced
- 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the chicken thighs to the pan in one layer and brown over high heat for about 2½ minutes on each side.
Add the mushrooms to the pan and sprinkle on the flour. Turn the chicken pieces with tongs so the flour is dispersed evenly. Stir in the wine and water and mix well. Bring to a boil and add the salt and pepper. Cover, reduce the heat, and cook gently for 25 minutes.
Add the cream, bring to a boil, and boil, uncovered, for about 1 minute. Serve sprinkled with the chopped tarragon, if desired.
THE CARBOHYDRATE ADDITION
I do love my carbs once in a while and pumpkin is in season, so try this recipe:
Pumpkin Risotto with Sage & Goat Cheese
Serves: Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 1kg pumpkin, peeled, trimmed, diced into cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 50g butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups (400g) Arborio rice
- ½ cup (125ml) dry white wine
- 1¼ liters chicken stock
- 15g fresh sage leaves
- ½ cup (40g) finely grated goat pecorino
- 150g fresh goat’s cheese
- Fried sage leaves, for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
PRESSURE COOK: 40kPa / 7 min / Auto Quick
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Toss the pumpkin and olive oil together and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
Select SAUTÉ, MED heat, and preheat the cooking bowl. Add olive oil, half the butter, and onion and cook until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add garlic and rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir in 1 liter of stock and fresh sage leaves.
Select PRESSURE COOK RISOTTO.
When cooking has completed, stir through remaining stock, pecorino and remaining butter. Stir through half the roasted pumpkin and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon risotto into serving bowl and top with remaining roasted pumpkin, crumbled goat cheese and fried sage leaves.
THE PIECE de RESISTANCE
It’s no secret that my Achilles heel is my sweet tooth! This dessert is definitely the way to MY HEART!! I’m sure my thighs won’t mind either but I’ll shed off that extra weight at the end of the week at my post Thanksgiving Day workout! Check out this recipe that will leave your stomach asking for more!
Serves: Makes 8 servings
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 6 large eggs
- ¾ cup sugar, divided use, plus more for ramekins
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Espresso Crème Anglaise, recipe follows
- A little powdered sugar for sprinkling on top
Espresso Crème Anglaise
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup brewed espresso coffee
- |2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
Place rack in middle of oven and turn on to 350°F. Butter eight 6-ounce individual soufflé dishes. Sprinkle inside of each with a bit of sugar, tipping to coat evenly. Set on baking sheet.
Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the pot come into contact with the water. Heat until chocolate melts. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the base
Make soufflé base:
Separate eggs, placing yolks in one mixer bowl and whites in another. Add ½ cup of the sugar and the salt to the egg yolks. Beat with mixer on medium-high speed until very light, fluffy and thick—about 3 minutes. (Mixture should be so thick that when you lift turned-off beaters, an egg yolk “ribbon” falls that takes 3 to 4 seconds to dissolve.) Set aside.
Stir cream and vanilla into the melted chocolate. Stir in ⅓of the egg yolk mixture. Fold in remaining egg yolk mixture in 2 additions. Set aside.
Beat egg whites with mixer on medium speed until fluffy but not stiff —3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle in remaining 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Beat 1 minute longer on medium speed—until whites are shiny and firm but not stiff. (Beaten whites should form a soft peak —looks like top of a Dairy Queen ice cream cone—when turned-off beaters are lifted out.) Stir ⅓of egg whites into chocolate base. Gently fold in remaining egg whites in 2 additions. Divide evenly among prepared soufflémolds. At this point you can refrigerate the soufflés for several hours before baking, but then they will need to bake longer (20 to 23 minutes).
Bake and serve: Place molds on baking sheet in middle of oven and set timer for 15 minutes. Don’t open oven during baking. When timer goes off, soufflés should be puffed and cracked on top. When you gently shake the baking sheet, soufflés should jiggle only slightly (when you spoon out the center to eat, it should be creamy). If soufflés are really loose, quickly close oven and bake 2 to 3 minutes longer. Serve immediately—before the soufflés begin to fall, have each guest crack open the top of the soufflé with a spoon and pour in the Espresso Crème Anglaise. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar.
Espresso Crème Anglaise
Pour the heavy cream and vanilla bean and seeds into a saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a brief simmer, until bubbles form around the edge of the pot; do not boil. Remove from heat. Discard the vanilla bean. The vanilla bean can be rinsed and dried and kept for another use.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, coffee, and espresso powder, until well blended. Temper the yolks by gradually whisking in the hot cream mixture (do not add too quickly or the eggs will cook.) Return the custard back to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately with Chocolate Soufflés. (If not serving immediately, press plastic wrap on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate.)
Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen