Cooking Class: Buon Appetito

Executive Chef Branden Bentley from Mangia! A Nonna’s Italian Kitchen makes cooking authentic Italian easy at this month’s cooking class.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

Course 1: House-Made Mozzarella on Baguette

with Marinated Tomatoes and Fresh Herb Salad

Serves 4; Paired with Honig Sauvignon Blanc

Ingredients:

3 tomatoes, cut into ½-inch slices 

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Pinch of salt and black pepper

1¼ cup water

½ teaspoon citric acid

¼ teaspoon liquid rennet

1 gallon whole milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 baguette, sliced

1 cup fresh herbs of your choice

To Prepare:

Marinate tomatoes in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside. Combine 1 cup water and citric acid. Separately combine ¼ cup water and rennet. Pour milk into a pot, stir in citric acid mixture and heat to 90˚ before removing. Stir in rennet mixture. Cover and let sit for five minutes. Cut into ½-inch cubes with spatula. Bring heat to medium. Stir gently until curds reach 105˚. Remove from heat for five minutes. Strain curds, to drain whey. Bring a pot of water to 185˚. Lower the strainer with curds into pot for two to three minutes. Remove from heat. Wearing food-safe rubber gloves, fold curds several times. Let internal temperature reach 135˚. Sprinkle with salt. Gently fold and stretch until curds become smooth. If cheese cools, return to hot water for 15 seconds then continue. Shape by pulling edges toward the base in a ball. Place in a bowl of ice water for five minutes. Dress baguette with olive oil. Broil at 350˚ for five to seven minutes. Serve mozzarella on baguette with tomatoes and herbs.

Course 2: Crab-Topped Orange Roughy

with Pasta

Serves 4; Paired with Reeve Riesling

Ingredients for crab-topped orange roughy:

4 ounces canned crab meat

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1 cup mayonnaise

½ tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

¼ cup fresh, chopped parsley

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 orange roughy filets

Ingredients for pasta:

2 coarsely chopped anchovies

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 box Pappardelle pasta

Pinch of chili flakes

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 can black olives

¼ cup capers

To Prepare:

Mix crab meat, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, seasoning, parsley and mustard in a bowl to create crab topping. Pile topping on fish filets and place filets on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake at 500˚ for five to six minutes. While fish is cooking, heat anchovies and olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat until anchovies dissolve. Boil pasta, then add it along with the chili flakes, lemon and tomatoes to the saute pan. Puree black olives using a food processor. To plate, spread 1 tablespoon of black olive puree onto each plate and top with pasta, fish and capers.

Course 3: Sous Vide Bistro Filet

with Goat Cheese Polenta, Asparagus, Rosemary Red Wine Reduction and Crispy Pearl Onion Rings

Serves 4; Paired with Apaltagua Envero Carmenere

Ingredients:

4 8-ounce bistro filets

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

4 peeled garlic cloves

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

4 bay leaves

8 tablespoons butter, divided

To Prepare:

Set an immersion circulator to 129˚ for medium-rare steaks and attach to a pot of water. Coat steaks with salt and pepper. Place steaks in individual plastic bags dividing garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and 4 tablespoons of butter equally among the bags. Drop sealed bags into the pot for 1 hour. Remove steaks from water, and pat dry with paper towels. Sear steaks in iron skillet with 4 tablespoons of butter for 2 minutes per side. Allow steaks to rest for five minutes then slice each in half. Serve with polenta, asparagus and onion rings and finish with red wine reduction.

 

Ingredients for goat cheese polenta:

2 cups milk

2 cups water

1 cup polenta

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces goat cheese

To Prepare:

Bring milk and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and slowly add polenta. Continue to cook and stir for five minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients.

 

Ingredients for charred asparagus:

16 asparagus spears

1 tablespoon butter

Pinch of salt and black pepper

Squeeze of lemon

To Prepare:

Bring medium pot of water to a rolling boil and blanch asparagus for 60 seconds. Shock asparagus in a bath of ice water to stop the cooking process. While beef rests, cook asparagus for three to four minutes in a saute pan with butter, salt, pepper and lemon.

 

Ingredients for rosemary red wine reduction:

3 cups red wine

1 cup red wine vinegar

2 cups granulated sugar

1 spring fresh rosemary

To Prepare:

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan and heat until reduced by half.

 

Ingredients for crispy pearl onion rings:

2 quarts vegetable oil

1 cup flour

2 large eggs

3 pearl onions, peeled and sliced into rings

To Prepare:

Heat oil in a medium sauce pot to 350˚. Add flour to a medium bowl. In a separate bowl¸ whisk eggs. Dredge onion rings in flour, then eggs, then flour once again. Fry in oil until golden brown, about 45 seconds to a minute.

Course 4: White Chocolate Mirror Glaze Cake

Serves 4; Paired with Vidal Blanc Ice Wine

Ingredients:

1½ cup granulated sugar

⅔ cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons gelatin powder

2 cups white chocolate chips

1 frozen cake that has been frosted smooth

Gel food coloring of your choice

To Prepare:

Combine sugar, condensed milk and ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water in a sauce pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, mix ½ cup water and gelatin in a bowl then set aside for gelatin to bloom. When sugar mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat and add to gelatin. In a bowl, pour mixture over white chocolate chips and allow them to melt for five minutes. Whisk slowly to dissolve remaining chocolate. Add food coloring to glaze mixture and allow to cool to 90˚. This is very important. If the glaze is too hot, it won’t adhere. If it’s too cold, it won’t coat the cake. Pull cake out of the freezer, and immediately place on top of a can sitting in the middle of a cookie sheet. Pour the glaze slowly over cake and transfer to serving plate. Allow to set in fridge for about an hour then serve.

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