Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stone's Cove Kitbar: Cajun Inspired Cooking Class

 Have you ever been to a cooking class? This past weekend my friend from work, Natalie convinced me to attend {Stone's Cove Kitbar's} Cajun inspired cooking class located in Herndon, VA. Natalie and I had lunch there a while back and I was dying to revisit. (their upside down meatloaf cupcakes w/ horseradish mashed potatoes are to die for)

I am pretty obsessed with everything New Orleans related.  Take a look at the post I did on my visit to NOLA during Mardi Gras in 2011, {here}.  So, when I saw the Cajun theme for the cooking class I was pretty excited. I could already taste the beignets from {Cafe Du Monde}  and the famous hurricanes from {Pat O'Briens}; and needless to say I was beyond pumped to learn how to make them! (along with some other Cajun goodies) 

Stone's Cove has cooking classes about once a month, each with a different theme. We were split up into teams and rotated around to different areas. We were given samples of what we would be making during the waiting periods, which was a great time to chat with the other people around us.  The recipe for each item that we made/sampled was given to us and I cannot wait to try to replicate! (which I will list out for y'all below)

First, lets start out with a little info about Stone's Cove KitBar. The idea around Stone's Cove is the concept of combining the feel of a kitchen and a bar into one. Patrons sit around a huge counter (or nearby tables) while the food is being cooked in the center for all to see.  It is highly interactive and awesome to watch.  Stone's Cove's slogan is "Recess for Adults" and the atmosphere encompasses just that! Al, Camille, Daniel, Mike and company were amazing teachers and made the whole experience so fun!

{mimosa + bloody mary}
{our awesome chef's hats}


 Muffelta Flatbread

Our first station was  muffaletta flat breads!  {Muffalettas from Central Grocery in NOLA are THE BEST!} Al, brought our team one right out of the oven and man was it delicious. Now it was time to make our own! Each team was given a list of possible spreads, meats, cheeses and toppings and we were to create our own masterpiece. We would save a piece for the judges to rate at the end and the winning team would be crowned and recieve a Stone's Cove giftcard! Our team decided to get a little creative and added spinach dip as a base and topped with various cheeses, chicken, bacon and apple Jicama slaw! We topped it all off with a jalapeno lime sauce.  Unique and delicious! Into the stone/fire oven it went. We tried pieces from other teams while ours was cooking. It is hard to go wrong with these! One team asked if they could have goat cheese for their flat bread. The restaurant did not have any but Camille sent someone over to the grocery store to get some! Talk about personalized service!

To make the Stone's Cove Muffaletta Flat bread:
1 flat bread, toasted
1/4 cup Tomato Olive Tapenade
1.5 oz sliced Capicola ham, thick ribbon cut
1.5 oz sliced Genoa salami, thick ribbon cut
1.5 oz sliced pepperoni, thick ribbon cut
8 half moon slices of Provolone cheese
1/4 cup Gruyere/Swiss Cheese, Shredded
2 Tbsp chiffonade (thinly ribbon cut) basil

To prepare: 350 degrees. Spread tomato & olive tapenade evenly across flat bread. Cover the toasted side of the flat bread with the provolone cheese slices. Top provolone flat bread with mixed cold cuts. Top with shredded Gruyere. Place on baking sheet or pizza stone and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is shareable (makes 10 pieces)

** note spread the tapenade from corner to corner covering as much as the flat bread as you can to avoid burning. Also, although it is tempting do not overload with toppings as it will weight the flat bread down.



Cajun Shrimp Crepes

Shrimp Creole Crepes
So we did not actually make the shrimp creole crepes, but were lucky enough to taste! Man they are good. Of course our recipe pack included step by step instructions:

First lets start with the Crepes:
Ingredients -
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup flour
1 tsp dry oregano
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
3 Tbsp of melted butter
clarified butter for coating the pan

To make:
In food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

* Note this allows the bubbles to dissipate so the crepes will be even

Heat a small non-stick pan. Add just enough clarified butter to coast the pan. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. 

Lay crepes flat out so they can cool. Once cooled you can stack them and refrigerate in seal-able plastic bags.

Creole Shrimp

1Qt. heavy cream
1/4 cup minced chipotles, blended
1 cup Parmesan, shredded
2 Tbsp Old Bay
2 Lb 13-15 Black Tiger shrimp, bisected

How to make
In a medium sauce pot, combine cream, chipotles, Parmesan and Old Bay. Bring to a simmer.

Add sliced shrimp to pot and continue to simmer for 8 minutes. Place 2 pieces of shrimp in the center of each crepe. Fold edges over to enevelope shrimp. 

Garnish with sliced scallions.


Now onto one the beloved beignets- I was beyond excited to learn how to make these bad boys.  My Mother even made it a point to tell me to pay specific attention to how the beignets were made so I can make some for her. Confectioners' sugar was everywhere but it was well worth it! After the beignets were fried and sugared, we were each able to add toppings of our choosing; I chose a raspberry drizzle and chocolate syrup.

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar, granulated
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp salt, Kosher
7 cups bread flour
1/4 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
Nonstick spray
oil, for deep frying
3 cups confectioner's sugar

How to make:
Mix water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour through a sifter. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.  Add the butter and continue to stir while adding the reaming flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours. Preheat oil in a deep heavy bottomed pot to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares.  Deep fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color.  Add the confectioner's sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.  After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of confectioners' sugar. Hold nag and shake to coast evenly. Serve warm. (use chocolate syrup or other toppings if desired.



{my creation}

The Cove Hurricane

These things are lethal but good and were the perfect ending to the afternoon.


2 cups (16 oz) Bacardi Coconut Light Rum
2 cups (16 oz) Captian Morgan Dark Rum
1 cup (8 oz) grenadine
2 cups (16 oz) fresh orange juice
1 cup (8 oz) lime juice
1 cup (8 oz) lemon juice

1 cup (8 oz) Monin agave nectar
2 large oranges, cut into 1/4- inch thick slices

To Make:
Mix all the ingredients in a tall pitcher
Add ice cuves and orange segments
Serve in a tall glass over ice with straws

Thank you a ton to Stone's Cove KitBar for the wonderful time and lesson! I will be back!  See below for more snap shots of the event.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Breakfast Pizza

Rewind to last summer, the Hubs and I were strolling the boardwalk of Ocean City, MD searching for a quick breakfast spot before heading back home from our weekend getaway. Not much was open as it was early on a Monday morning, except a little pizza shop. We went in and decided to order a breakfast pizza, not realizing how long the wait would be (30 minutes) we sat outside on the patio and laughed at ourselves that we had chosen this little hole in the wall to eat breakfast and now were waiting for an eternity for a breakfast pizza. The pizza was plopped in front of us and we were amazed. We each took a bite and fell in love. The breakfast pizza was well worth the wait. 
Fast forward to this past Sunday, We felt like it was time to try and replicate the infamous breakfast pizza. Here's what to do:

For the dough:
  1. In a mixing bowl with a dough hook, if you have it, mix: 1 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 packet of yeast and 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly add 2-3 cups of flour  until dough becomes soft and does not leave residue on your finger
  2. Knead the dough for a few minutes.
  3. Oil a bowl and let the dough rest, covered in plastic wrap for about 10-20 minutes.

For the Pizza:
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees
  2.  Roll out the dough on lightly flouring surface (or toss if you have skills)  and shape crust
  3. First, layer shredded mozzarella (this is key as there is no sauce)
  4. Start layering your toppings (other than egg). I used tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon (pre-cooked and crumbled) and scallions
  5. Crack 4 eggs spread out on pizza. I tried to place them towards the middle of the pizza but far enough up that it would be in the middle of the future slice
  6. Top with herbs (I used minced parsley) and salt and pepper to taste
  7.  Top with cheese
  8. Cook for 10 minutes on a pizza stone and check. If not done to your liking cook for an additional 4 minutes
  9. Enjoy! 
** note: lightly flour pizza stone before placing pizza... this will help with sticking

Monday, March 16, 2015

Leprechaun Luau IV

I still remember about 3 years ago being at a bar in Downtown Frederick and seeing a swarm of people come in dressed in green with leis and grass skirts. I asked them where they came from and they said the Leprechaun Luau. The Lep a-what-ah? They explained to me that basically its an amazing extravaganza hosted by {The Frederick Rotary Club} with food, music and booze and it was Saint Paddy's Day + Luau themed. Needless to say I was intrigued and was dying to go the next year. Unfortunately, life got in the way and 2 years passed; however this year I was destined to make it happen. I persuaded some of my good friends {Casey, Dan, Diane & Ohshang} to come with and it made for an amazing time. 

Here is the low down on the Leprachaun Luau:

Tickets are $50/person. Yes some of you may have sticker shock but you get your moneys worth! + it  helps support the Rotary Club who help make Frederick an even more amazing place to live!

Admission included the following (all you care to have!):
The Food!
-Oysters on the half shell
-Fried Oysters
-Coconut Shrimp
-Crab Soup
-Mrs. Murphy's Clam Chowder (or maybe it was oyster.. whatever it was it wad delicious)
- Exploded Potatoes from {Frisco's}
-Corned Beef Brisket + BBQ Turkey + Fixins
-Marina Greens Salad
- Otterbien cookies (I die over the chocolate chip!)
- BRUSTER'S ICE CREAM STAND! (I indulged in the Irish Cream Flavor. TO DIE FOR)
 The Drinks!
-Flying Dog (I was Enjoying the Irish Red Ale, Pearl Necklace and the Easy IPA)
-Margaritas (many flavors to choose from like strawberry & mango!)

For entertainment we had bands and music galor. I especially loved

Music was amazing!  I was getting down to {The Fuzzy Match Band!}

Photobooth with Props that we had a little too much fun with....

A pretty sweet souvenir glass...

Bottom line. We all had an amazing time. Thank you so so much to The Rotary Club for throwing such an awesome party. I cannot wait to attend next year! I am go grateful to live in a town that has such fun events {like this, this and this}

Check out some pics below of our evening. {Sorry for the picture quality. No way was I bringing my nice camera.. so phone it was!}

{Wade winning the king of the LepLul} 
{photobooth ridiculousness}
 {Coconut Shrimp}
{Oyster Shucking}
 {Ran into Lynsie and her friend!}
 {Clam Chowder}
 {Down the hatch!}
{Margarita in my souvenir glass!}
{The ladies tending to the wine bar}
{The Spread}
{Diane, Casey and I}
{Otterbein cookie + Irish Cream Brusters}
{Ohshang & Wade}