Wednesday Night my dad took me on a special fun date night out. I love my dad, he is a very special man in my life and I enjoy spending time with him. He had an event to attend and thought I would like to go along as his date – and he was right. The event was held at The Culinary Studio in Waterloo. I had never been to anything like this before but I was very excited to attend and learn some tricks for cooking. The nights theme was “Creating Greatness on the Grill”.
*Pictured here is the head Chef and co owner of The Culinary Studio and our teacher for the night Krysten*
Once we arrived we just mingled and sipped wine while the chef and sous chef hand prepared fresh hors d’oeuvres for us. We enjoyed 4 different hors d’oeuvres and each one was super delicious.
The first Hors d’oeuvre we enjoyed where these fruit spring rolls. The filling was similar to the Strawberry Mango Salsa I posted last week in my Food Friday post. They were so yummy. Next we enjoyed salmon on a bed of crisp string potatoes with a dash of sour cream on the top. Next we ate sautéed onions on a slice of baguette and aged cheese sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. We then went out to the bbq and learnt how to properly BBQ shrimp. I thoroughly enjoyed all the tips the chef taught us throughout the night.One of the tips from the night was when bbqing you always want hot and fast unless your cooking a hamburger then you want it low (heat) and slow. This shrimp delicious, it was the perfect crispiness without being over done or too chewy.
The recipe for the super easy yet purely delicious shrimp!
Marinated Grilled Shell-On Shrimp
(This is just one of many simple flavour combinations that can be put on shrimp. Try it spicier with
Chili garlic paste.)
12 16/20 Shell-On Shrimp, de-veined (e-z peel)
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
small handful of chopped parsley
juice of one lemon
Salt and Pepper
Pre-heat grill to high
Mix shrimp with all ingredients.
Grill, turning once, until shrimp shells are deep pink and slightly charred and meat is opaque
After we enjoyed our shrimp we headed back into the studio and gowned up in our aprons. Now it was time to put some of our newly learnt tricks to the test and create our main courses. We made 3 different things and in the end it became a masterpiece. Every single bit was full of flavour and deliciousness.
The first thing we made was Patatas Bravas (which is 3 different paprika’s) Two things are important here to making this dish a success: seasoning the cooking water well with salt, and handling the potatoes gently from start to finish.
4 medium-sized new potatoes, scrubbed
about 4 tbsp Kosher salt
olive oil, as needed
1 tbsp. Brava Salt
Place potatoes in a pot with enough salted water to cover. Ensure that the water is very well seasoned
Bring to a boil and then immediately turn down to a low simmer. If boiled at a too rapid pace, the potatoes can begin to break.
Cook until just fork tender; lift potatoes out of the water with a fine mesh strainer, and let cool, just enough to peel. Peel potatoes and then let cool completely before dicing into approximately 1-inch cubes.
Heat a sauté pan over medium-heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Slide potatoes into pan and allow crisping well on one side before carefully flipping or turning to the other side; cook until golden brown. Add brava salt and turn heat to low to keep warm until ready to serve.
Then we made a salad. Tomato Salad. This salad uses the peak-of-the- season vegetables, just lightly enhanced with simple, old-fashioned vinaigrette.
1 small fresh white or red onion, thinly sliced
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp. white vinegar
3 Garden tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup light tasting olive oil or canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Thinly slice onion and mix with salt and vinegar. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes before squeezing and mixing in with other vegetables. By doing this is takes all the bitterness out of the onions and makes them soft and enhances the flavour. I couldn’t believe how much we could squeeze out of the onions after we let them soak and how soft they became.
Chop tomatoes into medium-sized chunks; toss with onion
Mix vinegar and salt together until dissolved; slowly whisk in oil
Mix everything else together in a bowl; let sit 1 hour to let flavours develop
Chimichurri Sauce (which is the dressing for your salad)
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced (optional)
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
½ bunch Italian parsley, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp sherry wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together. Add more olive oil, if necessary to produce a loose sauce.
The final part of our main course was of course the meat which was steak.
Place steaks in a shallow dish. Leave at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling. (the chef had our steak already sitting out before we arrived for the event) Another tip I learnt was to never cook any meat from cold, wether cooking on the bbq or oven you always want it to be tempered before cooking. Drizzle the steak with olive oil and generously with salt and pepper and rubb it in.
Pre-heat grill to medium-high
Place steaks on grill at “10 o’clock”
Cook for 3 minutes, and then turn to “2 o’clock” for 3 more minutes. This will give you great looking grill marks
Flip steaks over and continue cooking for 3 minutes for approximately medium rare
Remove from grill and allow to rest, uncovered, on a plate for 5 minutes before serving
Then it was time to sauté some mushrooms and put it all together! And enjoy eating it!
It is no secret that presentation when working with food is especially key. Putting all of our ingredients on the plate in such a way that is showcases the food itself. I really enjoy steak especially when it is cooked well and this steak was perfection. It was juicy and full of flavour and all the seasoning we had added was salt and pepper along with the oil. I couldn’t believe how delicious it was especially when paired with the Patatas Bravas and the Tomato Salad. No meal is complete without (of course) dessert and even though I was completely full after all I had eaten already that night (plus a few glasses of vino) I couldn’t leave without trying the delicious dessert.
Serve this flourless cake with seasonal fruit and whipped cream.
7 ½ oz 70% Lindt Chocolate
15 tablespoons (2 sticks minus 1 tablespoon) 7.5 oz unsalted butter
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the pan with flour or cocoa powder, shaking out the excess.
Set a medium heat-proof bowl over (but not touching) simmering water and add unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and butter. Heat until melted and smooth, stirring often. Set aside to cool.
Separate 6 eggs, and whisk the 6 yolks with 1/2 cup sugar. Continue to whisk until the mixture forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted from the bowl and all the sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes. Fold the yolk mixture into the melted chocolate.
In a separate bowl, whisk the 6 egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Continue to whisk until the mixture looks glossy and holds a soft shape.
Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture in three parts. Fold only until there are no visible streaks of white.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, smooth the top and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. As the cake cooks it will develop cracks on the top; this is normal. The cake is done when the sides are set and the center is still slightly soft. Let the cake cool completely. Invert the cake onto a baking sheet, remove the parchment paper and then invert onto a serving platter.
It was so delicious and wasn’t heavy which was nice after having such a big main course. I had so much fun with my dad and loved the whole experience. I am hoping to sign up for some classes that the chef offers at her studio to help strengthen my cooking skills and learn how to have fun while cooking.
I couldn’t finish the night without snapping a picture with my dad – after all he was my date for the night (or I was his). This picture is after eating all night and little did I know but a few moments later I was plauged with something not sitting right with me. I still had a super fun night and would do it all over again if given the chance.