2/21 - 3/28 Build Your Skills with Cooking Fundamentals - A Six Week Course

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2/21 - 3/28 Build Your Skills with Cooking Fundamentals - A Six Week Course

from 64.00

6:30 to 8:45 - Thursdays: February 21, 28 and March 7, 14, 21, 28

Location:  Hillside Church San Jose, 545 Hillsdale Ave, San Jose, CA 95136 - Drive up the hill to the “back” of the church and park. Follow sign to “Office” and turn right down the ramp to the kitchen.

This class is designed as a series and each class will build on the next. Classes can be taken individually or as a series for a *discounted price. Please contact me here with questions.

Join me, Barbie Aknin, for a six-week course and build your confidence in the kitchen. Whether you love to cook or you're a beginner, this class is for you. Each week will build on the last giving you the skills to put a delicious, healthy meal on the table or entertain for friends. We’ll cover the fundamentals (or building blocks) of cooking that will help you gain confidence, organization, and speed in the kitchen.

We’ll also focus on the warming seasonal foods and cooking techniques of winter like hearty soups, warm entrée salads, braising and roasting. We’ll use organic vegetables, pastured meats, healthy fats, and discuss where to easily source these products.

This series is not about the recipes we make. It’s about the techniques you’ll learn.

You’ll go home:

  • A faster and tidier cook

  • With the tastebuds of a professional chef

  • And lots of recipes, hacks, tips, and lists

See weekly menu below ~

  • Pricing: $64 per individual class or $348 for all six class, a savings of $36

  • *Discount codes do not apply to the full series.

  • Classes are nonrefundable but feel free to send someone in your place if you are unable to attend.

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2/21 Week One: Knife Skills & Risotto

Would you like to be a faster cook and wash only one piece of equipment? The knife is a cook’s most important tool and is worth a thousand gadgets! We’ll practice knife skills and prepare:

  • Winter Vegetable Risotto with Sage

  • Cabbage & Kale Ceasar Slaw

2/28 Week Two: Roasting & Stocking Up

Stocking your pantry and freezer with basic ingredients and bits of this and that makes all the difference when you’re in a hurry. We’ll make a one-pan, perfect roast chicken (nothing like the salt-laden roasted birds at the grocery store) and quick side sauces using winter herbs and pantry staples. Also on the menu, a leftover chicken main dish, and chicken soup. The bones will be used for chicken broth, the “Jewish penicillin”, a healing broth used throughout other cultures and once upon a time, our own.

  • Perfect Roast Chicken

  • Chicken Broth

  • Roasted Winter Vegetables

  • Pan Sauce, Herb Pestos & Salsas

  • Chicken & Roasted Root Vegetable Soup


3/7 Week Three: Warm Winter Salads & A Flavor Factory

Entrée or “platter salads” are the way to go on busy nights. They also make a fun and festive family dinner or for a crowd. We’ll prepare entrée and side salads that are enhanced by marrying the five flavors - sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. There will be lots of tasting and testing.

  • Spinach Salad with Fresh Fish, Roasted Fennel & Grapefruit

  • Chicory, Quinoa, Brussels Sprouts & Pickled Onion Salad

  • Celery Root & Lentil Salad with Mushrooms, Hazelnut & Mint

  • Preserved Lemon


3/14 Week Four: Braising Meats

Slow braising meat brings out its delicious flavor and is extremely nutritious. It also makes great leftovers! In this session, you will learn classic techniques to use during the cooler months. We’ll talk about which cuts of meat are best for braising as well as how to prep ahead so that dinner can cook while your out and about.

  • Asian Inspired Beef Stew

  • Smoked-Paprika Pork Roast with Sherry-Raisin Sauce

  • Cooking Rice

  • Salad of Bitter Greens


3/21 Week Five: The Incredible Egg

Eggs are a protein that deserves the respect we give an expensive steak. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, cooking them correctly makes all the difference. They’re also a godsend when you don’t have much time! We’ll cook eggs lovingly and in numerous ways including poached, boiled and baked eggs and then incorporate them into a variety of dishes.

  • Perfect Deviled Eggs

  • Homemade Mayonnaise

  • Poached Eggs over Garlic Broccoli Rabe with Sourdough Garlic Bread

  • Roasted Cauliflower & Potato Frittata

  • Scrambled Eggs with Spinach on Rye Bread

  • Gingerbread Souffle


3/28 Week Six: Pasta, Polenta & Other Grains

By now, we’ve covered loads of tips on prep, building your pantry and freezer, etc. Using what we’ve stored away, we’ll pull together simple stovetop meals that are delicious enough for guests.

  • Alice Waters’ Spaghetti with Sprouting Broccoli & Hot Pepper

  • Baked Chicken Tetrazzini, my version of a 50’s classic with heirloom pasta

  • Buckwheat Polenta with Mushrooms & Red Wine

  • Green Salad with Preserved Lemon Dressing

  • Upside Down Polenta, Ricotta Cake with Winter Citrus