Sunday, December 14, 2008

Get Cookin' Columbia

Last week LC and I took a great class at Let's Cook Culinary downtown. This was a hands-on class which gave us an opportunity to create seven Holiday Appetizers - six savory and one sweet. For those who have never taken a class there, I highly recommend it. Chef John Militello offers both hands-on, as well as just watch-learn-taste classes, and the best part is it's BYOB!

the class in action

My two favorites of the night were the lobster spring rolls and the miniature brie en croute.

Lobster Spring Rolls

ready to be fried

1 cup pre-cooked lobster
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dill
1 tsp garlic
pre-made spring roll wrappers

Pre-cook carrot, cabbage and onion on the stove with a little water. Add vinegar and sugar, stir well, drain and chill. Add lobster and mix well. Assemble spring rolls by wetting edges of wrapper with water, spoon mixture onto one side, and roll by folding in edges and then rolling front to back. Fry in 350° oil.

LC whips up spring rolls like a pro...

My other favorite ... Miniature Brie En Croute

(not a very good picture, but simply delicious!)

1 medium size brie cut into small-ish bite size cubes
1 package frozen puff pastry (defrosted)
jam of your choice (I prefer apricot)
1/2 red onion, diced

egg wash: whisk 1 egg yoke & 1 Tbsp milk
topping: sesame seeds

Spray baking pan with non-stick spray. Roll out puff pastry and cut into 12 or 16 squares. Place a small amount of jam on each square and top with red onion and one piece of cheese. Carefully wrap pastry around filling and shape/seal with your fingers. Place on baking sheet. Brush each portion with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 400° until golden brown.

Let's Cook Culinary
1305 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Go Goat

For those in Columbia who haven't already, I strongly suggest you check out the All-Local Farmers' Market held from 8am to 12pm every 2nd Saturday at Gervais & Vine, and every 4th Saturday at Rosewood Market. A few of our favorite vendors who often attend include: Five Leaves Farm, Caw Caw Creek Pastured Pork, Wil-Moore Farms, Anson Mills and Heather's Artisan Bakery.

Not only can you get a mean breakfast plate and coffee for $4 before you shop, but you can also pick up the freshest seasonal produce and meat in town. On our last trip to the market we picked up a few cuts of goat from Wil-Moore Farms. Tonight we broke out the ribs and decided to go simple and bbq.

The first step was to cut the rack into two rib sections, cover in bbq sauce, and pop into a 350° oven for about an hour and a half.

Step two consisted of C finishing off the ribs on the grill and smothering in more sauce.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sushi 101

As my mom is quick to remind me, there was a time as I child when I wouldn't even eat peppers. Well, I'm happy to say that phase was brief, and here I am today making attempting to make sushi.

The beginner class started with hot saki and basic instruction, and ended with each of us making two rolls of our own.

Here's the second of my two... a spicy vegetarian roll

Outside: rice with togarashi and sesame seeds
Inside: sriracha, asparagus, red pepper, green onion, and mushrooms

807 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Quack Madame (aka best appetizer of the year)

It's official.

(my apologies for the pic, taken with my cellphone)

Hands down the best appetizer in Columbia for 2008 goes to Terra for their new Quack Madame. A play on the traditional French "croque madame," which is basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with a slice of cheese and an egg, Chef takes it to the next level by using Duck Confit, Caramelized Onion, Toasted Brioche, Fried Quail Egg, and Arugula Salad.

C ordered it, and I think he was a step away from cancelling his steak frites and just ordering up three more Quacks.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ode to Philadelphia

(Cheesesteaks, what else?)

In the southeast, college football is king - but in our house, baseball rules!

In honor of our Phillies, currently battling the Rays in the World Series, and for a little good juju for the game tonight, we made from-scratch cheesesteaks.

Step 1: Risk life and limb, and shave your own top round roast with your vintage 70's Slice Crafter (thanks M&D for passing this down to me)

Step 2: Heat a bit of oil in a pan you don't particularly care for, throw in some sliced onion and soften slightly, then throw in your serving of shaved steak...

Step 3: Chop Chop Chop, throw on a slice or two of cheese, Chop Chop Chop

Step 4: Load into a sturdy roll, find a sunny window, and enjoy!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Slow Food fund raiser a success!

Thanks to all of those who attended the Slow Food Columbia fund raising dinner at Terra.

A few of my pics from a grand night...

Terra Room 01

Terra Menu 01

Terra Staff 02

Terra Apps 02

Terra Staff 03

Terra Apps 01

Terra Staff 01

Terra Dinner 01

Terra Room 02

Terra Room 04

Terra Room 03

Terra Dinner 02

Terra Dinner 03

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I broke the blog

Yes, you read correctly, I broke the blog (don't you hate it when you break the internet?).

Long story, but lots of the pics will be down for a few days.

Sorry, be back soon!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ode To Summer (Pasta)

In our last box from Five Leaves Farm we received beautiful yellow summer squash. Our first thought was C's mom, and her yummy spaghetti with squash. We started with that and ran with it.

Ode to Summer Pasta

Click Here for Printable Version

1 pound pasta (we used thin spaghetti, but I'm sure it would work with anything)
2 cups yellow summer squash, cut into thin half rounds
12 cherry tomatoes, tops cut off and halved/quartered depending on size
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth (or some chicken bullion)
10 basil leaves, roughly cut or ripped
salt & pepper to taste
optional: 1 tsp fresh oregano, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, grated romano cheese

Heat a large pot of salted water for cooking the spaghetti while you prep the veggie mixture.

Once boiling, add the spaghetti to the water and start the sauce.

Coat large pan with olive oil and put over medium-high heat. Once hot, stir fry squash until soft. Add tomatoes, garlic, white, broth, salt/pepper and cook until tomatoes soften.

Drain pasta and add to squash mixture along with fresh basil (and any of the optional ingredients). Toss to coat.

Monday, July 28, 2008

SC Foodies - Save the Date!

Have a delicious dinner at the amazing Terra Restaurant and help support local farmers!

Kristen and Ben DuBard (owners and operators of Five Leaves Farm in Blythewood, SC) have been invited as delegates to the world food event, Terra Madre which takes place in Turin, Italy each October.

To help send the DuBards to Terra Madre to represent South Carolina, Slow Foods Columbia (a local non-profit) will be throwing a multi-course dinner featuring local ingredients at Terra Restaurant.

Please help us support two wonderful people and dedicated local farmers!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

C's Garden

The garden is officially in full swing.

Tomato Garden

Pepper Garden

yep, we even added a few okra plants this year

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Watermelon Rum Cocktail

For our Cinco de July-O party, I carved up a watermelon fruit basket.

Since I didn't want the fruit to get soggy, I poured out most of the watermelon juice as I was cutting it. Before I knew it I had almost a pint glass full of flourescent red juice which was just too beautiful to toss. I left it in the capable hands of C, the house mixologist, to come up with something tasty while I finished prepping for the party.

strained watermelon juice + cruzan white rum = C's watermelon rum cocktail

(pink sugar rimmed glass optional)

Monday, July 07, 2008


As many of you know by now, I *love* cookbooks - especially ones with pictures. Well, the latest one to the collection is simply beautiful

(Thanks AR/UR!!)

The Wine Lover's Dessert Cookbook:
Recipes and Pairings for the Perfect Glass of Wine

In case you were wondering, here are the first two on my list to try...

Creamy Risotto Pudding with Brandied Figs

Hint of Mint Orange Chiffon Cake

I'll keep ya posted!