A few weeks ago, I talked about the Cooking Classes over at the Hills Market, and how I had attended the one given by Restaurant Widow. There was one other one I attended last year, and even though it happened quite a while ago, there’s no time better than the present (when they’re right in the middle of cooking class season, so to speak) to talk about it.
This one was Chef Kent Peters of Black Creek Bistro. Before attending this, my only experience with Black Creek Bistro was during the first Dine Originals Restaurant Week and was less than stellar. So I went to this hoping for the best, but not expecting much. Boy, was I wrong.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my single bad experience at Black Creek Bistro was an anomaly. The meal I had at Hills Market? Awesome. And every meal I’ve had at Black Creek Bistro since then has been delicious.
Chef Kent Peters was so damn gracious – when he realized who I was (someone who gave his restaurant a less than great review), he could have acted in a total different way toward me. Instead, he owned up to the restaurant’s shortcomings at the time, and tried his best to make things better. He’s a class act, someone who is passionate about cooking food he’s grown on his own farm, someone who is approachable and who always has a huge smile on his face (at least the times I’ve seen him). And for one night, he was willing to share his knowledge and recipes with the rest of this. Needless to say, many of these have gone into my regular rotation since then.
So, I give you the recipes we were given that night. I tried my best to write everything down, but if I’ve got anything wrong, Chef Peters, please let me know.
Lemon Basil Shrimp
Toss 2 lbs. of raw shelled & deveined 16-20 sized shrimp with a stick of melted butter, juice and zest of 1/2 lemon, and a dozen or so basil leaves cut into a chiffonade. Grill until done (it will turn pink), and then serve with your favorite cocktail sauce.
I can’t quite remember where the bread came from (not sure if it’s something that the Hills offers in the store, or if they brought it over from the restaurant), but it was an extra treat none of us were expecting.
The main course was absolutely amazing, and so so so easy. I have made this several times here at home since this demo.
Pork Loin with Wild Mushroom Wine Sauce and Seasonal Vegetables
Toss a couple of pounds of halved fingerling potatoes in enough olive oil and finely chopped parsley to lightly coat. Roast in a baking dish at 350F for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add Parmesan cheese (just a little) when you take them out.
While potatoes are cooking, saute about a pound of mixed wild mushrooms (such as shiitakes, oyster, chanterelle, criminis, whatever you have laying around the house) in a wok with olive oil, lots of butter, salt and pepper. Don’t overcook and shrink. Deglaze with Cabernet Sauvignon, let the mushrooms cook down until the liquid reseleases, and then add more wine and butter to emulsify. Set aside.
For pork, thinly slice extremely chilled (not quite frozen – it’s easier to cut when cold) pork loin and then pound until extremely thin. Dredge through seasoned flour and then sear pork scallopines in oil until done, about 1-2 minutes each side. Set aside.
Trim the woody ends off of a bunch of asparagus, and then blanch in boiling water until firm-tender (i.e. softened, but not limp). Put into a ice water bath to stop cooking. Dress with a balsamic dressing (Kent said a simple one is to make a bottle of Good Seasons Italian Dressing using balsamic vinegar and olive oil in place of regular vinegar and oil.)
To serve, plate a few pork scallopines on each plate and top with some mushrooms. Serve with potatoes and dressed asparagus.
Black Creek Bistro’s Real Butterscotch Pudding
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. corn starch
1 tsp. salt
4 c. whole milk
5 large egg yolks
1/4 c. butter
3 tbsp. scotch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Caramelize sugar and water to dark amber. Remove from heat and add cream. Mix and set aside.
In a large saucepan, whisk to combine sugar, starch and salt. Add milk and mix. Put egg yolks in small bowl. Set aside the butter, scotch and vanilla.
Put the saucepan over medium-low heat slowly stirring until thickened and bubbling. Take this off the heat. Add the caramel from step one and mix thoroughly.
Take a small amount of custard. Add to yolk, slowly whisking, then add this back to custard. Whisk in then put back on heat on low. Stir slowly until just before boiling, and then take off heat. Add vanilla, scotch and butter, and stir completely. Put in heatproof container. Cool covered with plastic wrap.
Wine pairings for the evening, chosen by wine expert Constance Begue, were:
Arrival: Sagura Viudas Brut Rose NV, Cava
Lemon Basil Shrimp: Pighin Pinot Grigio 2006, Grave del Friuli
Pork Loin: Frescobaldi ‘Remole’ 2006, Toscana
True Butterscotch Pudding: Benjamin Tawny Style Port NV
UPCOMING EVENTS (click through for more details and menu):
February 24th, Cooking Class with Lisa Dillman of Restaurantwidow.com, 6:30PM, $35
March 2nd, Cooking Class with Keith Adams of Tip Top Kitchen, 6:30PM, $35
March 6th, Hills Market Oscar Dinner, 6:30PM, $35
March 11th, Cooking Class with Kent Rigsby of Rigsby’s Kitchen, 6:30PM, $35
March 23rd, Ohio Maple Dinner, 6:30PM, $35
March 24th, Cooking Class with Chris Dillman, 6:30PM, $35
You can reserve your spot for these classes by calling 614.846.3220 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Hills Market is located at 7860 Olentangy River Road (Rte 315 just north of 270) in Worthington Hills.