Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Arboretum Cooking Classes

For the past year or two I've been lucky enough to volunteer at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum as a sous-'chef' for the culinary classes.

They have a wonderful selection of Ethnic courses including Indian, Chinese, Latin, Irish, Italian, and more. No matter which class I work it is always a new menu and involves new techniques.

There's generally a flurry of activity before the class starts where we set up the tables, prep any food, and precook any dishes that we can. Once the attendees arrive (usually 10-30 people) we begin the instructional class. The chef will demo to the group how to make the dish and then myself, along with any other helpers, well make the dish again in a larger quantity for serving. Everything is done where people can see you, so mess ups are a big problem ;-) Thankfully I haven't had any of those yet! *crosses fingers*

The Arb is also heavily invested in the local growning community and sponsoring fresh healthy food choices.
We found our own CSA contact through a class I worked and are so excited to get our first share this coming May. I can't wait to see what interesting and new veggies will show up in our basket!

The photographs are from the St. Patrick's Day Class taught by Beth Dooley.
Pictures by: Craig Eiler

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt

What's that? A dinosaur egg? An experiment gone bad?

Those are 'Stain-glass Eggs'! Taken from the Chinese Tea Eggs preperation where you stain eggs using black tea. I've done this before where you hard boil eggs and then roll the egg around to crack the shell. Placing the egg in a container filled with black tea overnight allows the eggs to infuse with the color.

So ofcourse my sister and I had to try this for a Deviled Egg Easter Surprise when we went home to Wisconsin the past weekend with food coloring! And while they may not have turned out perfect, once you make these into Deviled Eggs they taste just as delicious....

Deviled Eggs
10 hard boiled eggs, shelled
1/2 cup mayo
2-3 tbsp stone ground mustard
1 tbsp hot sauce
salt & pepper to taste
Cut the eggs lengthwise and remove the yolks to a large bowl, placing the whites on a tray. Mix the remaining ingredients with the yolks until as creamy as you like.
Using a small spoon scoop the yolk mixture back into the whites. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.