Remember that crazy week of 7 classes I told you about earlier? Well, we’re only about halfway through recapping! The week culminated with a weekend full of classes – two of which I’ll tell you about now:
Authentic Italian Tomato Sauces with Joan D’Antonio (Saturday, October 15)
Private cooking instructor, Joan D’Antonio is fussy. But in a good way. She takes her tomatoes and her pastas more seriously than I’ve ever seen and for good reason. Growing up, Joan learned to cook with her two Italian grandmothers, leaving her with a lifelong passion and talent for Italian sauces and pasta dishes.
At COOK, Joan prepared three tomato sauces (All’Amatriciana, fresh grape tomato and marinara sauces) and got some help from students smashing tomatoes and making sure each pasta was al dente. Joan helped students reach a new level of pasta preparation with an emphasis on the importance of using high quality ingredients. This interactive class reflected the subtleties of genuine Italian cooking, and explored the use of tomatoes, canned and otherwise and the nuances of different pasta products.
Starr Series: Perfectly Pumpkin Desserts with Adriana King of Jones (Sunday, October 16)
From carving pumpkins on Halloween to pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, Fall is indisputably the season o’ pumpkin. Last Sunday, COOK celebrated the gourd-like squash in a big way with the help of Jones‘ Pastry Chef, Adriana King.
Jones, Stephen Starr‘s glam-diner at 7th and Chestnut, is all about pumpkin desserts this month and Adriana shared a sampling of their pumpkin smorgasbord on a beautiful autumn afternoon last weekend. The trio of desserts she meticulously prepared included:
- pumpkin upside-down cake
with dried cherries and walnuts
- pumpkin meringue tart
with pumpkin seed caramel corn
- pumpkin gelato
with fudge sauce
In addition to the desserts at Jones, Adriana oversees the dessert programs for El Vez and Pizzeria Stella and previously, she also managed the pastry for Continental Old City, Tangerine, Washington Square and Angelina.
Here’s one of Adriana’s recipes that had us crying out for more:
Pumpkin Upside Down Cake
Yields 15 – 4 oz cakes or 1 – 9” cake
- 8 oz Unsalted Butter
- 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
- 2 ½ cups Dried Tart Cherries, chopped
- 1 ¼ cups Walnuts, toasted and chopped
Melt butter and sugar together over medium heat. Whisk to combine.
Spray 4-oz foil cups well with pan spray. Line each cup with 2 Tbsp. butter mix.
Top each butter bottom with 2 Tbsp. dried cherries and 1 Tbsp. walnuts.
- 3 Eggs
- 1 ½ cups Pumpkin
- 4 ½ oz Blended Vegetable Oil
- 2 ¼ cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar
- 2 ¼ tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. Cloves
- ¼ tsp. Ginger
- ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
- ¾ tsp. Salt
Whisk eggs, pumpkin and oil together in a medium bowl.
Sift all dry ingredients together and slowly whisk into wet mixture. Portion batter evenly into each pan.
Bake at 350 degrees , until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; allow to sit for 2-3 minutes. Place serving platter on top of cake pan and invert. Allow pan to sit on cake for a minute, then remove pan. Allow to cool.