Sunday, November 08, 2009

Cooking With Steamy Kitchen

This is Part 2 of my Steamy Kitchen post. Steamy Kitchen, aka Jaden Hair, was in San Francisco promoting her new cookbook. I posted about our food blogger get together the other night, and today I'm giving you a peek at the cooking class I took at Sur La Table at Union Square.

The class on Saturday night was a hands-on session featuring some of Jaden's recipes. Many of the participants are fans of her food blog, and for awhile I was the only guy in the class until this other guy showed up from Sacramento. (Whew!)

What's great about taking a class from Jaden is that you really do feel like you're just cooking in her kitchen. And it might be the mom in her, because she often checks to make sure everyone's engaged. She also spends time talking about how she started her blog and how she got into cooking, and then we went into making the food. And we actually made quite a bit.

The first thing we worked on is called "Firecracker Shrimp" that's a fast and easy appetizer using just three main ingredients: spring roll wrapper, shrimp and a sweet chilli sauce from the bottle. Jaden showed us the simple roll technique and everyone got into making their shrimp and then frying it up in a wok.

The Firecracker Shrimp looked so delicious coming out golden brown. But of course, many of you know I don't eat fried food so I was dying here because I really wanted to eat more than the one I tried. (Of course, the one I tried, which was piping hot, was delicious.)

Then we worked on summer rolls, which is a popular Vietnamese dish. Jaden makes her with lemongrass pork, which she grilled.

We assembled the rolls with shredded cucumber, red bell pepper, lettuce and shredded carrot. This is something I've made before, but it's nice listening to someone else talk about the ingredients they like to use and where they shop for their supplies.

Here's Jaden doing her Martin Yan impersonation with her quick chopping technique on some spring onions.

Jaden showed her fried rice technique, cooking up her ingredients in parts and mixing them all together at the end. Looks yummy huh?

Everyone was so good about taking notes. But of course, a lot of the recipes can be found on her blog.

More food! This is a simple tofu dish that was pan-fried and served with a dark sweet soy sauce, garnished with more spring onions.

And here's everyone making the last dish, which is a dessert won ton made with chocolate. You can bet this was pretty popular. We simply folded some won ton skins with chocolate chips and then deep-fried them, finishing off with powdered sugar.

Here are the fried chocolate won tons. OK, I didn't bite into these because, yeah, I can only eat so much fried stuff. But like I said, everyone else loved them.

It was a fun evening, mostly because of Jaden's relaxed approached to cooking. And you know how she curses in her blog? Yeah, she dropped a few S-bombs during class. Just made it seem more real. ;-)

Jaden is heading to Seattle as her next stop on her book tour, so you people in Seattle should definitely check her tour schedule. And if she's doing a class, definitely sign up.

I spent today reading her cookbook. It was a real surprise. I was expecting a book with a few recipes from her blog, but there are 100 recipes and a lot of copy! It's like Jaden unloaded her brain about her life and cooking, and she takes you through her journey. But all the way, it's always down-to-earth and funny. And you feel like you're just chatting with a friend in the kitchen. A friend who's steamy.


Nate @ House of Annie said...

So cool that you got to cook with Jaden! That chocolate dessert wonton is so easy! Must try.

foodhoe said...

I bet that was a fun class, she seems like so much fun. Those spring rolls look so expertly rolled up too! I always love that shrimp appetizer, but you know me and fried foods...