Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cooking with Julia

Last Thursday, I took a cooking class with two girlfriends at the Milwaukee Public Market, one of my favorite spots in town.
It was a French cooking class that showcased three of Julia Child's French recipes. The chef instructor, Chef Pierre, used to own Elliot's Bistro, a French restaurant in Milwaukee that is no longer in existence. Helping him was "Julia Child," or a male comedian dressed up to look like her.
Even though it wasn't a hands-on class, it was a lot of fun and very tasty. We had front-row seats, so I could take a lot of pictures.
Chef Pierre worked backwards, meaning he started with making dessert so it could chill, then the entree so it could bake and finally made the appetizer. But for the purpose of keeping my pictures--and my head straight--I'll just write about it as we ate it.

For the appetizer, Chef Pierre made escargots, snails, two ways. One way was made the typical Normandy (where Pierre is from) way, with a rich cream sauce.
The other way was escargot de bourgogne, or snails of Burgundy, with lots of butter, shallot and parsley and the escargot was put in shell to eat. Yes, it doesn't sound like the most appetizing thing to eat, but both ways was very, very tasty. I could have eaten about 10 of them, but we only had two each.

For the main meal, the chef made beef bourguginon, a classic French dish. Here is more or less the recipe from which he worked. The dish was really wonderful. All the flavors really came together and the sauce was rich and thick. It's usually served with potatoes (or sometimes with pasta) which we didn't have, but the side of French bread worked nicely for sopping up the broth.
Lastly, Chef Pierre made chocolate mousse. It was very rich and creamy and quite tasty. I've never made mousse before, but he made it look so easy that I might have to try it soon.

All in all, the 2-hour class was a lot of fun. My only complaint was that we really didn't get a lot to eat. I'm not sure if most classes were like that or if it was because there were a lot of people in this class (about 45). But all in all, it was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to take another class there.

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