Friday, June 06, 2014

Summer Grilling Class

Chef Kari Brunson
I've been to The Pantry at Delancey for another class.  This one was taught by Chef Kari Brunson, co-owner of The Juice Box in Seattle.  Again, I was not disappointed!

Kari had us cooking over an apple wood fire and besides all the fun we had doing "camp cooking," the flavor of the smoke imparted to the food was lovely.  I had never grilled with apple wood before.  I will be looking for a source to use at home as I really like the taste.

We grilled burgers that we ground from three types of beef---chuck, brisket and short ribs.  My-oh- my, they were tasty!  Each burger was 8 ounces.  I would have thought that a bit much, but it turned out to be a perfect size when cooked.  We actually weighed each one as we made the patties.  It makes for easier grilling as you know that each patty is the same size and will take (approximately) the same amount of time to cook.

burgers cooking with the stone fruit and limes we used to garnish the pork chops

Also on the menu were grilled pork chops with stone fruits, also grilled.  The pork chops were brined first and then had a delicious spicy rub slathered on them.  They were the best pork chops I have ever eaten.  Ever.

pork chops and watermelon 
The appetizer was grilled watermelon with sea salt and cayenne pepper sprinkled on, to taste.  I would never have thought of grilling watermelon, but it was delicious.  And lo!  The cayenne was an unexpected but lovely flavor amp for the melon.  It worked very well!

Stone fruit and limes, oiled and ready for the grill

We had a grilled salad with lettuces and an anchovy-based dressing.  I ate way too much of the salad. It was savory and smoky, the anchovies undetectable as a fishy flavor but very much there with their umami flavor boosters and the croutons were done by toasting slices of cubed bread and then grinding them finely.  Added at the last minute, the toasted fresh crumbs were a crunchy addition to the salad and you got them in each bite.

Chef Kari directed us gently but wisely to create a meal that any of us could duplicate at home but also a menu that was sophisticated and with unexpected textures and flavors.  She stressed technique and was quick to point out how the different recipes could be adapted for a different grilling method or what substitutions you could make to change the menu, but not the method.  I loved each and every mouthful and was a member of the Clean Plate Club at the end of the evening.


john said...

What a feast! What a tale you told! What a clean plate! :-)

Pilgrim said...

My wonderful friend, i live vicariously through you. The cooking classes sound so great. I am so glad that you do so many creative and artistic things. Cooking is truly an art.

Miss you

Judy Wise said...

Oh, that made me so hungry! Now I know why our neighbor wants all of our apple tree prunings - lol. I think I'm going out to eat now. Buen provecho!