Italian Cooking School - Day 1
Juri spent a few minutes talking about why we always say that there isn't any real Italian cuisine in Bend. He explains how the same type of tomatoes that they'd use are not found here and shows us the types of ingredients that he's found that are as close as we can get.
He gives us our weapons for the evening which consist of a large knife and cutting board. On this night we are going to make two dishes - Penne Alla Chiantigiana and Maiale in Crosta di Pane. Very fancy way of saying Penne pasta with Chianti gravy and a pork loin stuffed in a baguette and then wrapped with bacon.
I've had both of these dishes before and was thrilled to find out that I was going to learn how to make it. With most cooking classes I assumed that Juri would do most of the cooking and simply show us how it is done. Not here. He showed us how to clean a leaks and dice them up and then gave us our own to dice. Everyone got their own pan, burner and ingredients and we made everything ourselves. It was so nice to do it all ourselves and then got to eat our own creations and taste each other's.
My pasta came out a bit on the spicy side but that's how I like it.
While the Chianti sauce was simmering we worked on the tenderloin dish. So simple yet sooooo brilliant. Pork loin, loaf of bread, bacon. Juri showed us how to make his "green salt" seasoning and we seasoned our loin and began wrapping the log with bacon.
While the pork log was in the oven we got to sample different cheeses while sipping on wine, and tasting 20 year aged balsamic vinegar. We shared stories and got to ask questions as they came up. Having a small class allowed us to get individual attention and really learn how to make these delicious dishes.
My pork came out a little on the salty side but it worked out just fine. Actually, the pork loin was perfect, the bread was salty. Juri tried to warn me when I was seasoning the bacon but I didn't listen. It still tasted fine. While every thing was simmering and cooking Juri showed us an easy Port Reduction and that helped cut the saltiness of my pork.
We got to take home our left over sauce and about 3/4ths of the Loin Log. I warmed mine up in the oven two days later for dinner and it was still amazing. Soooo good! I can't wait for day 2 as we're making Risotto. I've never made risotto before, I'm excited.
Labels: italian cooking school