Monday, October 25, 2010
Purple Kale: A cooking extravaganza!
A few veggie-minded friends & I decided to take a cooking class from the fabulous Ronna Welsh of Purple Kale Kitchenworks- an amazing woman who founded a company that teaches at-home cooks how to improvise and 'play' like the pros. Check out Ronna & her website here at:
We decided to treat ourselves to a private cooking lesson- there were four of us, and so we received tons of personal attention from our chef-teacher. Not to mention the feast we ate!
Ronna came up with a fall produce menu- featuring 3 vegetables: kale, kuri squash, and fennel. Now, I am by no means a fan of fennel OR kale, and so I have to admit that though I went in with an open mind- I had some reservations about whether ANY recipe could make me love these fall/winter foods.
Well, of course, Ronna blew my socks off!! First off, she made me LOVE kale- 2 ways- sauteed and crispy with garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar (the vinegar really balanced off the bitterness of the kale), and also with garlic, lemon, and salt.
Ronna also got me to taste some fennel that I didn't hate, braised in a little white wine and garlic- and also with mustard. Can't go so far as to say I was converted, but came close. There are a few items I am permanently adding to the repertoire- super-slowly carmelized onions, herb and garlic butters, freekeh grains (pronounced 'freak'), and kuri squash, garlic butter, and gruyere on toast. (Can I get a hell yes to this!!) We also learned how to make a fabulous vegetable stock which we then turned into two kinds of soup: kale, freekeh and onion, and onion soup with gruyere and fresh croutons!!
I can't wait to learn more from Ronna- and I highly recommend taking her classes if you live in the NYC area!!