Wait, is it Friday already? I’m so confused. It feels like Sunday. Throw a holiday in the middle of the week, mix some turkey in along with a ton of amazing other foods and well, I’m toast. I’m just starting to wake up from the tryptophan doze. Thanksgiving was great! I hope yours was too!
So here we are together again. I want to tell you about some of what I learned this week in school. It’s week two and so far, I love it! We haven’t done too much cooking but, we are getting there. We started the week off identifying herbs. They are the best natural flavor enhancers, aren’t they? One of my classmates grows his own and they are hybrid herbs like lemon-thyme and garlic-chives. I even got to take some home to use for my turkey. Thanks Brian!
We then moved on to knife skills. There were quite a few bleeders (don’t worry guys; I won’t mention names). The kitchen is not such a safe place, we are learning. We also learned the proper way to blanch and sauté greens as well as make the perfect mashed potatoes, which was very timely. In addition, we had a cheese tasting!
Cheese, cheese, glorious cheese! So good. One of the major benefits of culinary school is, I am realizing, we have to do a lot of tasting. And taste we did. We talked about how it is made and tried all different varieties including fresh ricotta, goat cheese, mozzarella, a couple of variations of brie, gorgonzola, roquefort, fontina, gruyere, manchego, morbier and parmesan reggiano. The fresh ricotta, gorgonzola, manchego, morbier and parmesan were my favorites. At the end, there was so much leftover, we were even able to take some home. I snagged some of the fresh ricotta and used it to make lasagna earlier in the week and these stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer for Thanksgiving.
Fresh ricotta is nothing like what you get when you buy the pre-packaged kind. I highly recommend you use it for this recipe. Any good supermarket or shop with a good cheese selection should have it. You don’t have to put the figs on top but, I wanted to add some color to the dish and really loved the bit of sweetness and texture contrast. Enjoy and by the way, I’m curious, which of the cheeses mentioned above are your favorites?
- 8-10 Large stuffing mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbl olive oil
- ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese (not Polly-O)
- ¼ cup goat cheese
- 8-10 chives, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 figs, sliced
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- pinch sugar
- Heat oven to 350
- Spread olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper on mushrooms and put in oven for 15 minutes
- While in oven, mix cheeses and chives and add a little salt and pepper
- Put cheese mixture in mushrooms and return to oven to bake for 15 minutes I also like to broil for an additional minute or two to get a little color at the end)
- Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a small frying pan. When hot, add figs and sugar, toss for about 1-2 minutes.
- Place figs on top of stuffed mushrooms.
- Serve and enjoy!