Slowly but surely, I’d like to get in the habit of cooking dinner at home. Let’s be real, I’ll be ordering my dinner off of a menu more often than not, but I don’t see any harm in getting in touch with my domestic side (come out, come out wherever you are!)
First step? I’ve admitted my problem. The second step is to get help. And the third step is… to blog about it
Throughout my quest to become more familiar with our local food community, I’ve grown quite fond of the publication Edible Columbus. I was thrilled to find out that it offers its’ own cooking series with chef and publisher, Tricia Wheeler. The classes are focused around the seasonal harvest and our local food community. Best of both worlds… prepare wonderful dishes that are also easy to cook at home and learn about the local ingredients that are used in the recipes.
The first class I attended was called Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting with Northridge Organic Farm. Husband and wife owners of Northridge, Mike and Laura came to show off their 17 favorite heirloom tomatoes from this season. Isn’t it crazy that there are actually 17 different varieties of tomatoes?! They showed us each individual kind of heirloom, told us what makes it special, and described the taste. While they spoke, we were served a tasting plate, which carried each of the heirlooms. This was a great touch because it allowed me to connect my taste buds to the description my ears were hearing. After we talked about everything and anything “tomato” we moved on to watch Tricia, who was busy preparing the Heirloom Tomato and Basil Salad with Balsamic Drizzle.
The class is set up perfectly for demonstration purposes. Everyone is seated around the dream kitchen. There is even a huge, flat-screen tv mounted to show the up close and personal tricks. Sure, I probably should take a class where it’s required to roll up my sleeves and get down and dirty, but it’s hard not to love the style at the Edible Columbus classes. It’s like you’re out to dinner, except you get to sit in the middle of the kitchen and watch how it’s all created. And Janine, owner of Camelot Cellars is there to pour you a glass of wine to make it even better. My kind of class. I chose to sip on the Spanish Rioja (bright red and black berries with spice and oak).
As I’m enjoying one of the best Heirloom Tomato Salads I’ve ever had, Tricia goes the extra mile and serves Fried Green Tomatoes along with it. It was my first time tasting a Fried Green Tomato, and I have to tell you it was my favorite part of the meal! The process of making them seemed a little tricky but I’m up for the challenge… only because I can’t deprive myself of them again! Is there a restaurant in Columbus that serves them??
If you’re looking for a fun, yet informational cooking class that uses a local spin, view the schedule of the upcoming classes here! I took the All About Honey class where we dined on honey-inspired recipes such as honey roasted veggies, a crusted chicken breast dipped in honey, and a honey cake. I’ll be posting about it very soon!
Feast your eyes on these recipes:
(And remember… show off those skills in the kitchen! Send me a photo of your masterpiece and I’ll post it for the world to see)
Heirloom Tomato and Basil Bread Salad with Balsamic Drizzle
(Recipe by Tricia Wheeler)
Selection of favorite tomatoes
House made croutons
Balsamic vinegar and glaze
Croutons: Cut up stale bread into cubes, toss with olive oil, sea salt, dried herns, and a little cayenne pepper. Lay on a foil covered cookie sheet. Bake in a 200 degree over until soft in the middle and toasted on the edges.
Salad: Cut up tomatoes, pick over basil leaves, and toss with croutons. Right before serving, sprinkle on goat cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Season with salt to taste.
Fried Green Tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup vegatable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion and 1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
3 tablespoons creole whole grain mustard and 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and a dash of creole seasoning
Combine all ingredients in a food processor for 30 seconds.
Slice tomatoes about ¼ inch thick. Combine cornmeal, pancake mix, salt and pepper. Coat both sides of tomatoes with the mixture. In a large skillet, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and fry tomatoes until browned, then flip them and continue frying for another 3–4 minutes on medium-high heat.