Sunday, August 3, 2014

Taste of Italy in the summer

This last Tuesday the boy and I joined some of my co-workers for another cooking class at Leon Bistro. This time it was Italy in the Summer. There were 11 courses, but somehow I missed a picture of the cheesy polenta topped with sauteed mushrooms. Hopefully you'll enjoy the 10 other courses....

 When we sat down, each of the place settings were already set with an appetizer plate. Caramelized onions over a wedge of soft cheese, pumpkin seeds, roasted beets, salami, figs, haricots verts with almonds, beans, mini fresh smoked mozzarella balls, and cantaloupe.
Next was two slices of pizza - one margherita pizza (tomatoes and mozzarella) and one with roasted peppers and onions. The margherita was the best because it was nice and salty.
Possibly on the of the best courses of the evening - figs stuffed with gorgonzola butter, walnuts and wrapped in prosciutto before being baked and topped with balsamic vinegar. good!
Crostinis topped with a thinly sliced, seared beef, olives, capers, and mini gherkins.
Spinach and ricotta gnocchi, which were larger and more like dumplings, in a lemon artichoke cream sauce topped with bread crumbs. Really, really rich - we each only ate one gnocchi.
Another favorite - Bacala which were basically fish cakes. Our recipe said to use cod, but Chef Ann used halibut. It's a mix of poached fish, mashed potatoes, cream and spices breaded in cornmeal and browned. Loved, loved, loved.
Calamari with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, parsley, and garlic toast. By now, fitting anymore food into our person was getting difficult so I ate according to priority. Calamari, check. Garlic toast, skip.
Panzanella (bread salad with tomato and red onion). Too full to eat our own servings, the boy and I shared one serving and then each only took one bite.
Oh my god, how could there still be more courses?!? This was lamb topped with fried onions and served with a side of cold lentil and onion salad. Barely touched it because like hell was I going to get screwed out of my dessert!
Final course - almond biscotti served with cherry infused goat cheese and cherry granita (shaved ice). I'd take a bite, pray I wouldn't puke, take another bite, pray I wouldn't puke...

The following day I literally wasn't hungry until dinner time, having only some yogurt for lunch, but it was worth every bite!