Monday, December 5, 2011

Cooking Class at Jivamuktea Cafe, NYC

My job kills me in so many ways.  Well, not death killing but exasperation killing.  I can't make plans because I'm on call so often and never knowing where I'll be makes it counterintuitive to pay for something when you have no idea if you can be there.

Life becomes last minute.  I wanted to attend this cooking class but when I showed up it was all full.  Chef Kevin, (also the General Manager), told me that I could sit anywhere and watch but they already divvied up the portions, recipe sheets and menus.  This is a combination of my notes while watching and a bit of actual blog posting.  Click on the link below to get to Kevin's blog and the complete recipes.

As Kevin made the rounds and served the diners, while passing my table, he poured a glass of the Eggless Nog for me.

Made with Eggless nog: almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup, banana, cardamom, coconut, nutmeg, coconut milk vanilla ice cream, agave.  This was like stepping back into the decadent world of old, creamy, vanilla, rich.  Oh man.  This is a holiday drink.  I'm taking him up on the suggestion to add rum.  It will have it when I make it tonight!

We talked later about all the dishes.  His point was valid to a tee.  It's not the turkey or the cream or the actual ingredients but the flavors and seasonings and spices that bring us back to reminisce.  One sip of this Nog was all it too to experience an incredible snapback in time.

All of the recipes from the workshop can be found here on Kevin's blog:

Chef Kevin Archer

Now I'm sitting here smelling the onions, garlic, fennel and cumin cooking for the next dish, a Sausage Stuffed Kale.

Onions and garlic
Fennel seeds
Cumin (ground)
Cumin seeds, toast in oil
Paprika (smoked)
Sea salt
Olive oil

All wrapped in a lightly steamed Kale leaf.  I got to taste everything at the end.  It tastes like a crumbled sausage, nutty consistency as you bite into the tempeh, with a soft bite of bitterness.  I have found that tempeh can be steamed before use and some of it's bite can be cooked out.  I would imagine that some nutrients also get steamed away but this is an option if you don't like that kickback in your flavor profile.  I've also read that tempeh is more digestible if you precook it but I have no trouble digesting anything ... that I eat.  

Pesto was very thick, almost like a spread, nutty and cheesy.

Quinoa pilaf, used as a stuffing
sautee onions and mushrooms and celery

pecans - toasted
figs black mission but any will do
veg stock 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
sea salt

This was NOT my portion ... although it could have been!  Quinoa Stuffing

This smelled like traditional stuffing.  You don't need no stinkin' turkey.  Celery, sage, and a bite of sweet in the quinoa.  I can just see wrapping this around some seitan (roulade) and covering it with a mushroom gravy.  

In the center a pumpkin and hemp seed pesto, quinoa stuffing, on top is the chorizo stuffing for the kale leaves, (sans kale leaves of course), and to the right, Brunch the next day oatmeal with cherries.
For dessert there were 2 types of Bark.  I didn't get a picture of these as they didn't spend much time on the plate!

Peppermint Bark
cacao in double boiler to melt.
lay on mint while still wet, cool, let harden, add another layer of melted chocolate, chia seeds, cacao nibs, etc.

Goji Berry Bark

99% mix with gogi or mint.  still maints bitterness but soft.
maple syrup, coconut oil, cover 1st layer with acai powder. Dries.  another layer and add gogi berries.

I didn't taste the bark but that's ok too.  I probably lost a 1/4 inch off of my waistline knowing how eating chocolate results in uncontained release of Dopamine into my brain and the uncontained consumption of whatever is put before me.

The next day of course is brunch and with a little bit of leftover oatmeal you can alway thaw out some frozen cherries, (or other fruit) like gogi berries, cranberries or blueberries and pour them on.  If the tartness isn't to your liking or you just want to start the day with a sugar high there's always brown sugar, maple syrup or agave.

Enjoy.  I did.  And Kevin's creations can be enjoyed at the Jivamuktea Cafe on Broadway just south of 14th Street.

1 comment:

vegetarian said...

the pumpkin and hemp seed pesto looks delicious!