By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
The Westwood and Dover Councils on Aging joined together this past Thursday, August 17th to participate in an absolutely amazing cooking class at Powisset Farm. The theme of this class was French Cooking and it was safe to say that throughout the entirety of the class, the kitchen smelled incredible.
On the menu for this cooking adventure included a farm fresh Green Salad with Crispy Chevre and Classic Dijon Vinaigrette, Steak Au Poivre, Pommes Puree, and Mousse au Chocolat. Chef Thi helped all participants create this perfect little taste of Paris delicacies.
To start off, Chef Thi demonstrated how they were going to make the Mousse au Chocolat. Each woman had a specific job including whipping heavy cream, melting the chocolate, separating the egg whites, mixing the ingredients and more. Since the Mousse needed time to settle before eating, Chef Thi wanted to make sure they got this dessert done first.
Once the dessert was properly taste tested and put away to cool in the fridge, the ladies moved on to the Crispy Chevre and Classic Dijon Vinaigrette. For those who may not be familiar with the French language, Crispy Chevre is the fancy way of saying Fried Goat Cheese.
For this, two ladies cut up the logs of goat cheese into sixteen pieces using unflavored dental floss. This happened to be one of many kitchen tricks given by Chef Thi. Once completed, some of the attendees took turns dredging the slices of goat cheese into flour, egg, and panko. While this was taking place, other women were busy slicing and dicing other ingredients like shallots and chives which would be used for the vinaigrette.
Once the goat cheese assembly line was completed and the vinaigrette was made, it was time to move on to the main event, the Steak Au Poivre. There were two types of steak the ladies cooked up: sirloin and flank. Each piece of beef was seasoned with crushed peppercorn and salt in order to make the most delicious crust. After these were cooked to a beautiful medium rare, Chef Thi taught the women how to make the sauce that goes with it using the leftover peppercorns that were in the pans.
This creamy, flavorful sauce included heavy cream and butter which was combined together in the pans that were used for cooking the steaks. While the steaks and sauce were being prepared, Chef Thi made sure to have the potatoes boiling in order to make the Pommes Puree. Additionally, some of the women fried up the goat cheese to put on the salad.
Last, but certainly not least, it was time to put together the Pommes Puree. In French, this is the term they use for mashed potatoes. Chef Thi offered up another great kitchen hack in which she suggested using a potato ricer to mash the potatoes. This made the process so much faster and easier for the ladies to complete.
The final touches to these mashed potatoes included heavy cream and butter. Chef Thi made sure these were mixed together and simmered on the stove beforehand so that when mixed with the potatoes, they were both equally warm.
Each dish was brought out to one of the tables for all the women to grab and plate and take what they wanted. Chef Thi made sure to cut up all the steaks and pour the delicious sauce on top for easier access. One could hear a pin drop as all the attendees indulged in this fantastic meal.
Cooking classes like these are offered at Powisset Farm during the year. For more information, please visit their website at www.thetrustees.org.