Team building, cooking events, catering, parties, and classes in the San Francisco Bay Area

In the Kitchen – January 2011

January 3, 2011

2010 was certainly an interesting year at the kitchen—we had many highlights, beyond our usual business of team building, parties, classes, and catering. Clint Eastwood’s movie, Hereafter, prominently featured our kitchen in three scenes, and this, in turn, generated a great article published in papers from San Jose to Walnut Creek (our favorite headline, since they varied from paper to paper, was the Piedmonter’s, “Go Ahead, Make My Dinner”). Rosetta Costantino, our fabulous Calabrian cooking teacher, published her gorgeous, long awaited cookbook, My Calabria, and recently appeared on the Martha Stewarts Holiday Baking Show show. Eric E. Weiss, knife sharpener extraordinaire, was also just profiled in the Chronicle.

No doubt the new year will bring even more great adventures!

Warm and Friendly Winter Classes

Sunday afternoon, January 16
Knife Skills and Pressure Cooker Class, with Terry Paulding

Learn about knives, which one to use for what task, how to hold them properly and use them effectively. Cut a variety of foods, and then make great dishes from what we cut—pressure cooker soups and stews, and a chopped salad. Take home leftovers (including, no doubt, some chopped vegetables) to practice at home.

Saturday evening, January 22
Movie Night with Tracy Paulding

Back by popular demand, Paulding & Company’s second “Dinner and a (free) Movie” night with Like Water for Chocolate!

The group will make recipes from the book, (Laura Esquivel, 1989), as well as a couple of our own. Once the meal is complete, watch Alfonso Arau’s 1992 cinematic interpretation of Esquivel’s popular book.

Rosetta has some great classes on the schedule, but they’re sold out. You can go to her website and get on the waiting list; sometimes if there is enough demand, she’ll add another section.

Monday evening, February 7

Eric E. Weiss will have another great knife sharpening class, so all of you who got nice knives as presents can learn how to keep them properly honed. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a real pro!

Monday evening, February 14

It’s Valentine’s Day, so what could be better than a delicious couples cooking class, focusing on an easy but romantic menu for the occasion. No menu has been set yet—but count on something chocolaty for dessert, and come cook together.

Selome will schedule her Ethiopian classes soon—keep checking the website calendar.

In the Market

Rain and Christmas and New Years falling on Saturday has meant a dearth of good markets. Many of the Sunday markets came back after the new year, but of course, with all the weather-related problems of soaked fields and bad roads, some of the farmers opted not to bother coming. Those that did, brought winter greens like kale and chard, citrus—including pomelos and the first kara-kara oranges, plus lots of good root crops, carrots, rutabagas, potatoes of all sorts. Plenty of winter squash, a few peppers (I still have a couple of chilies growing outside!), some grapes and very ripe persimmons, and of course apples and pears. I’ve seen snap peas, Brussel’s sprouts, and chicories—the escarole has been amazing, tenderest of the chicories, it makes a great salad and works in soups, too. We’ve had plenty of leeks, and the nut crops are all in, so freshly harvested walnuts and almonds, too. Broccoli and cauliflower are great now, too, and there are turnips and radishes as well.

Wedding Bells Ringing?

You’re planning a wedding? Congratulations! Need a good idea for your rehearsal dinner? We’ve got the best idea yet—bring your entire group to the kitchen, and cook together. Our clients love the easy way their families get to know each other as they craft a great meal, then get to sit down and share it. We’ll work with groups small and large (we can seat 70), and make the rehearsal the talk of the wedding—with great food, companionship, and fun.

Recipe of the Month

Well, with weather like this I definitely think about hearty soups and stews, and pull out my pressure cooker to achieve them. Lentils being good luck in the new year, I thought a good, simple and classic soup would be appropriate. This recipe has two sets of directions—one for stove-top, one for pressure cooker. It will give you some idea of why I love the machine so much. I use a Cuisinart electric version (they’re not that pricey, got mine at Costco for around $69).

See the recipe »