Intermezzo: Cooking class–root vegetables

Root vegetables!–beet, celeriac, jicama, fennel, carrot, potato. sweet potato. Sitting here savoring the very first sunny days of spring, I had my doubts about this class. Plus, it was quite a drive away, way off in Kirkland northwest of Juanita Bay. But am I glad I went!

Chef Pam Samper (she’s the tiny person in the top photo) did a great job of steering about eight of us through a lineup of her recipes for soup, slaw, gratin, souffle, and salad, all made with root veggies. (I made the savory celeriac flan. No really, I did!–And it wasn’t that hard.)

The class (another offering from Bon Vivant cooking school) was hands-on; alone or in teams of two, at stations set up ahead of time in the kitchen of our long-suffering hostess, we proceeded to chop dice mince boil blend fry roast until we had the following fabulous dishes:

puree of roasted beet soup with creme fraiche
savory celeriac flan
miniature turkey burgers with jicama, fennel, and carrot slaw (with a remoulade to die for)
gruyere, shallot & thyme-infused potato gratin
mixed green salad with shaved root vegetables, citrus (in this case, beautiful blood orange) segments & citrus vinaigrette
individual sweet potato and ham souffles (proud cook taking a bow in the photo!)

Which we promptly ate.

Only one bowl of beet soup went flying; the victim and the floor were quickly swabbed down. And the layer of “prep gunk” covering the counters was cheerfully scraped up and dumped by Pam and her assistants.

A good time was had by all!

(Pam is Seattle manager and lead chef for Parties that Cook!,
http://www.partiesthatcook.com/seattle-chefs/)

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