Straight from the Garden

I haven't been very good at posting all my cooking class adventures, but we've been cooking up some marvelous fare.

A couple weeks ago I actually brought my camera to cooking class and got to take a few pictures of the delicious food we cooked together. Here is a picture of us signaling to Art (our teacher) that we've got everything under control:

We made several dishes from ingredients found in the garden. Here were my particular favorites...

Romas and Goats
~I don't really like the name of this recipe~

  • 1 cup panko*
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 11 oz. goat cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground back pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 Roma (plum) tomoatoes
  • Pesto (somewhat optional...and I often use Classico's ready made pesto)
  1. Stir together panko, Parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Then stir in butter and set aside.
  2. Combine goat cheese, pepper, and sat in a small bowl.
  3. Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and trim a small amount from the rounded edges (this gives them a flat part so that they can stand upright instead of roll around).
  4. Remove the seeds and pulp (we used spoons).
  5. Spoon about 2 tsp goat cheese mixture into each half.
  6. Dip tomato halves, upside down, in breadcrumb mixture, coating generously (if I remember right, we spooned the breadcrumb mixture on top of each tomato).
  7. Place each tomato right side up on an ungreased baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a serving platter and serve drizzled with pesto.
*Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs. They are large coarse breadcrumbs that are excellent for creating that perfect crispy topping. You can substitute toasted plain breadcrumbs.

Recipe from myrecipes.com

Zucchini Cakes
~A great recipe for using up zucchini~

  • 1 small zucchini, shredded (I do this in my food processor)
  • 1 pouch (6.5 oz.) cornbread mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • vegetable oil
  1. Place the shredded zucchini into a microwave bowl and cook on medium for 2 minutes; drain.
  2. Combine zucchini, cornbread mix, egg, and milk. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan and drop heaping tablespoons of batter into the hot oil.
  4. Cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. These are good when they are served alongside something with a sauce, as they are very good when dipped into something.
Recipe taken from the September 2009 edition of Woman's Day Magazine

Zucchini Ginger Cupcakes
~These were SO good~

  • 1/3 cup crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh orange zest
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (2 medium)
  • 3/4 cup mild olive oil
  • 3/4 cup mild honey
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated fresh orange zest
  1. Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with liners.
  2. Pulse crystallized ginger in the food processor until finely ground, then add flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, zest, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Pulse until combined.
  3. Whisk together zucchini, oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Then stir in flour mixture until just combined.
  4. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until tester comes out clean, 20-24 minutes.
  5. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely.
  6. Beat together frosting ingredients with an electric mixer at high speed until combined well and becomes fluffy (3-5 minutes). Frost the tops of cooled cupcakes.
Cooking class is such a great way for me to unwind and spend time with people who love to cook as much as I do. I'm so fortunate to have the opportunity to take these classes! If you are interested, go to www.thekitchenworkshop.com

*Someone recently told me that I should post my pictures in a bigger format..thanks for the great advice :)

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