Lannae's Food and Travel

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February 16, 2007

Class Goes Full Circle

OMG! I am so lucky! I got this email from the manager of Radius 10, and it said that Chef Jason Brumm, and sous chef were offering cooking class every Saturday! I waited a day or 2 and then I emailed back to sign up for the Feb 10th class. I was rejected, it was full. I was so bummed out, but I emailed back and asked to be wait-listed, and I was going to wait until March to try again. To my surprise, the manager fit me into A NEW CLASS on Feb 3! I was so lucky! I got to go to the inaugural, first, initial class starring THE AMAZING SPECIAL Dish of KOBE BEEF and Chef Jason's GRITS TO DIE FOR! OMG! Did I say OMG? Yeah, that is an understatement. Really folks, if you recall my last post about Radius 10, and how I felt like Sabrina, well, this was like being Sabrina and then being invited to Martha's Vineyard for real, not just a ploy by Linus! I jumped for joy! What was I going to wear? What was the perfect set of earrings? Did my pen have enough ink? Was the battery in my digi-camera charged up?

Here is the menu. Sounds simple enough... salad, beef, grits, and a chocolate cake. Well, OMG, it was so fantastic!

Chef Jason has the same philosophy about salads as I do. I like a dressing, but just enough to barely coat the lettuce, and to let the salad greens flavor come through. The Radius 10 house dressing is a Greek lemon-ette (no vinegar so it is not a vinagrette) that is light, fresh and yummy! Sous Chef topped the salad with a a little goat cheese, but not too much, so the balance was right on. The salad is simple, straight forward, and perfect.

On to the main course. Chef Jason is showing me the beautiful marbling of the Kobe Beef short rib. This one has been deboned, but I think that I would like to try to make the dish with bone in, as I am a firm believer that meat with bone has an enhanced flavor.

In the demonstration, the Kobe Beef is browned on both sides. I learned that the reason why things stick to a pan, or not brown is that there is not enough heat. Turn it up and the item will release from the pan. It is true, I tried it! After browning, a mirepoix, stock and wine was added to deglaze, and the herb and spice base to the dish is orange peel, cinnamon, and star anise. All this goodness goes into a big dutch oven in the oven for hours as a braise. The liquid in the dutch oven reduces down to make a very flavorful sauce for the dish.

The grits, OMG! I had these grits about a year ago at an art opening, and I could not forget them. They were just TOO GOOD! I mean, I kept eating them. The next day I ran out and bought grits, polenta, masa, and corn, trying to figure out how Chef Jason made his grits, but to no avail. NOW, after the class, I KNOW! OMG! I haven't made them yet at home because, well, how do I say this, there may be a few fat grams involved. So, as you can see in the above picture, there base for the grits is cream (full 100% fatted cream) and butter. Once the grits are cooked, Chef Jason finishes off the grits with a little grated truffles right before serving. OMG! I cannot get enough of these grits! Chef Jason's GRITS ARE THE GOLD STANDARD of all GRITS! Holy Mackerel.

Here is a photo o f the finished dish. Kobe Beef shortribs on a bed of grits, and topped with an onion compote. The sauce was so flavorful, blended and condensed, that it just took on a life of it's own. I could not tell the indiviual ingredients in the sauce because the whole was greater than its parts.

This dessert recipe is brilliant. It has eggs, butter, flour and 70% chocolate in it. The batter can be made up 1 or 2 days ahead of time, then, when ready to bake, just pour some batter in ramekins while your guests are saying great dinner and I want some decaf. And *poof*, 6 minutes later, there are individual warm moltony chocolate cake for everyone to enjoy.

When I got there, I had plans to jog after the class. Well, that all went to the wayside, and I went home for a nap.

I cannot take another class until May. boo-hoo for me. BUT, you know that when I get another email in April for May classes, I am so IN! I am emailing that instant to take another calls with Chef Jason, and learn the secrets of his food.

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