I am happy to report that Ketmala’s Kitchen First Cooking Demonstration in West Chester was a success! I had lots of fun cooking in the spacious kitchen of Chefanti, LLC with its high ceiling, bright daylight and cheery colorful gathering area set up with a large communal table inviting all guests to have a seat and get comfortable.
The attendees joined me in the open space kitchen and together we cooked and played with seasonal ingredients, learning a few tips along the way while sharing little anedotes and laughter. It was a rather ambitious cooking agenda “du jour” but it was a celebration after all, thus I wanted to make it extra special for everyone. We began with the basic Knife Skills, then I demonstrated how easy it is to whip up Green Power Smoothie quickly as well as making Almond Milk in a flash:
The students were attentive and open to the new culinary experience:
A few ladies were trying the Green Smoothie for the first time and were pleasantly surprised how good it actually tasted!
Then we continued onto the Spring Pea Hummus, French Carrot Salad, Refreshing Gazpacho:
Followed by the Wild Salmon Asparagus & Shiitakes “en Papillote” (cooked in parchment paper), Tempeh Asparagus & Shiitakes “en Papillote” for the vegetarian version:
And let’s not forget the crispy thin French Pistachio Tuiles (2 versions) and the Dark Chocolate Bars and Spa water!
By the end of the cooking session, we were well-fed and content and we also got to share additional laughter before everyone left on their merry way.
To conclude Ketmala’s Kitchen First Anniversary Celebration with my cooking community, I am sharing with you all my Orange Pistachio “Tuiles” (named after the shape of French roof tile it is supposed to resemble.) I actually came up with this lighter version without the egg whites to accommodate my friends with food allergies. You could omit the pistachio and/or replace it with sliced almond or chia seeds. You could also make it vegan by using melted coconut oil. I like the lacey and crispy texture of these thin cookies, just be aware – they can be addicted!
Orange Pistachio Tuiles
Makes about 24 cookies. Prep Time: 15 mns + 30 mns. rest time. Cook Time: 20-25 mns.
40g (1/4 cup) coconut sugar 50g (3 1/4 Tablespoons) unsalted organic butter or coconut oil, melted 50g (5 Tablespoons) organic spelt flour (or gluten free flour) 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (see homemade recipe) 75 ml ( 1/3 cup) organic orange juice, free of pulp & seeds 1 teaspoon orange zest, preferably organic, optional pinch fine sea salt 3 Tablespoons finely chopped raw pistachios or chia seeds
Directions:Preheat oven at 350°F (180°C). Using a whisk combine coconut sugar and melted butter or coconut oil. Add the freshly squeezed orange juice, slightly heated until barely lukewarm (this step is important otherwise your batter will solidify if you pour in cold orange juice with melted butter!) then the vanilla extract, orange zest and pinch of salt. Slowly incorporate the flour and stir until smooth. Set aside or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it.
Drop teaspoon of batter on the parchment paper and flatten into a disk in a circular motion using the back of a spoon occasionally dipped in water if needed. Alternatively stencil the batter into 2.5 inch (6.5 cm) diameter circles on the parchment paper. Drizzle lightly with finely chopped pistachios or chia seeds.
Bake at 350°F (180°C) until golden brown, about 8-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them during the last 2 minutes and do not under and/or over bake. Upon removal from oven, use a metal spatula to lift the cookies of the tray, and place on a rolling pin (or a wine bottle) to obtain the tuile shape or place upside down in a tuile sheet or French baguette mold. You could also just leave the tuiles flat on the wire rack to cool. Makes about 24 tuiles depending on the size. They are best served the same day to accompany tea, coffee, ice cream, fruit salad, chocolate mousse or keep dry in an airtight container for a few days though they will begin to soften. Notes: You could use sliced or chopped almond instead of the pistachio and sesame or poppy seeds for the chia seeds. You could also incorporate the nuts/seeds in the batter then form them into rounds, I find that option to be actually the best one for the gluten free version because the nuts bind the batter together. I like to mix 3 Tablespoons brown rice flour + 2 Tablespoons sorghum flour for the gluten free version. Of course you could sprinkle additional nuts/seeds on prior to cooking. At home, I prefer using organic sucanat, coconut sugar, or light muscovado in place of white refine sugar and it turns the batter light brown, resulting in darker cookies, but I like them that way because they do make flavorful tuiles.
Homemade Vanilla Extract
3 good quality vanilla beans (choose dark, supple, oily pods) 1 cup premium quality liquor (vodka*, rum, bourbon or brandy) Glass bottle with tight cap (mason jar with tight-fitted lid) * Use Potato Vodka for GUTEN FREE vanilla extract
Directions:Pour hot water in the bottle jar and let sit for 10 minutes to sterilize, then pour water and drain. Using a sharp paring knife, split through the vanilla bean lengthwise making sure to leave about 1″ from each end. Fill the bottle or mason jar with vodka, rum, bourbon or brandy and push down the vanilla beans to submerge them completely. Put the tight fitted cap or lid on and store in a cool dark place. Shake the bottle once in a while to mix it up. After 8 weeks you could start using your homemade vanilla extract. Note that the longer it is left to infuse, the darker it will get and the flavor will intensify too. Make sure to refill the bottle with the same alcohol and additional vanilla beans keeping them covered and remember to remove the old beans to be used in crème brûlée, custard or any desserts. The beans start loosing their flavor around 3 to 6 months. I make double recipe to use during all my baking classes too. It’s such an easy recipe to make and wait until you smell it for the first time, trust me it will be all worth it! I have my homemade vanilla extract for many years now and I will never EVER go back to store-bought one. This recipe is dedicated to ALL my students who have asked numerous time during class “how do you make your own vanilla extract?” Well now you know the secret, so make it at home soon and remember to share it around. 🙂
Inspired Spa Water
Version #1: 1/2 English cucumber, sliced 2 limes, preferably organic, sliced A few mint sprigs Large pitcher Spring water Ice (optional) Version #2: 8 oz strawberry, sliced 2 lemons, preferably organic, sliced A few mint (lemon verbena) sprigs Large pitcher Spring water Ice (optional)
Directions for both version:Place herb in a large pitcher, fill it up to 1/3 then using a wooden spoon muddle the herb to release the essential oil from the mint (lemon verbena or any herbs of your choice). Add the fruit/cucumber and fill to the top. Put in the refrigerator for 3 hours before serving. Serve in pretty tall glass with ice and fresh mint leaves or slice of lemon/lime for garnish. Enjoy! Of course, you could use sparkling water if you like the bubbles and add a touch of honey or few drops of stevia if you like it sweet. You could munch on the sliced strawberry & lemon or use them in your smoothie!
Warm thank you to the lovely ladies who attended the demonstration and special thank you to Jennifer and Chef Anne for allowing me to host the event at their location.
May the culinary adventure continue with more food to cook and recipes to share!
I am happy.