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Old 02-05-2012, 08:08 AM   #1
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What Italian dishes would you like to learn how to cook??

I would like to get a bit of feedback from this wise bunch here, it you would be so kind.
I have been asked to be a guest Chef at a Restaurant which is running a series of Cooking Classes. As some of you probably know, I have had experience cooking in Italy, which is where I cut my teeth at the beginning of my career. I have also been cooking Italian classics ever since. So, this is why I was asked. He is going with a different theme every week.

So, I need to come up with some dishes that I would think people would be interested in cooking. I would like to show a few techniques that they probably don't know, but not so complicated or impractical that they wouldn't go home and try themselves. I want to make it interesting and have them take something away they can use.
I should keep it down to a starter, main and dessert. Should I go with Classics? I would hate to do something that they all have done before. Or, should I go with some newer dishes, which will require a bit of research, I suppose.

If you were taking a class like this, what would you like to learn or take part in?


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Old 02-05-2012, 08:23 AM   #2
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Most people seem to be familiar with the North American version of Italian cooking and not true Italian cooking. If I was attending your presentation I would be interested in simple dishes using seafood, fresh vegetables, simple pasta dressings and simple fruit or cheese dessert. I already am pretty familiar with red sauce and cheese or beans and greens type things. If you had more time I would say a course on Italian baking and fresh pasta making but, that is probably too much for what you are talking about. I hope you will practice your presentation on us when you get it put together.

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Old 02-05-2012, 08:34 AM   #3
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Even though we have made potato gnocchi many times, we are always searching for those "light, airy clouds" we were exposed to in a local resturant. We certainly learned that baking the potatoes as opposed to boiling them, was a vast improvement. Also a sauce other than red or brown butter sage.

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Old 02-05-2012, 09:00 AM   #4
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I would love to learn more than tomato sauce and alfredo sauce. It would be great to have more than that to serve with pasta.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:33 AM   #5
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A proper rissotto


Ravioli stuffed with something other than cheese/meat - maybe squash or lobster - and with a sauce other than red sauce.

Calamari - most folks only order it out & don't make it at home
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:07 PM   #6
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I second the calamari. Cleaning those are scary.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:32 PM   #7
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For dessert, I'd like to learn how to make Cannolis or Zeppoles.

For a main course. Shrimp Fra Diavolo or Ravioli with a variety of fillings and sauces.

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Old 02-05-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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I think showing how easy it really is to make fresh pasta would be a real enlightenment for students.

And the a nice sauce, not tomato based for their pasta. Is this a lecture class or a hands on class?
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:21 PM   #9
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I don't know about Canada, but people in the US tend to be not as familiar with some of the northern Italian dishes, such as Osso Bucco, Gnocchi, and Risotto.

I think Risotto, in particular, is good to demonstrate because a lot of people think it's difficult to make. And there are many variations, too.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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Thanks for the ideas. Good ones. I have to get things scheduled out so we can do this in a certain amount of time. So I may go with something that can be made a la carte. Not sure how much practical hands-on stuff I can actually get them to do. Gnocci is a good idea. Get them all rolling them out. I was thinking some kind of Scallopini. Get them slicing, dicing, hammering, dredging, browning, deglasing and reducing. Still drawing a blank on dessert. I'm not much of a dessert maker.

Still thinking....

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