Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Southern Comfort Cooking Class

Last week C and I went to Central Market for one of their cooking classes.  They offer two kinds of classes; one where you're participating and cooking the food you eat, and one where you're watching the instructors cook and being served.  Now that I've tried both, I think I like the first better, which was the one we went to last week.  It was titled "Southern Comfort with a Twist," it was really fun, and I was stuffed the brim when we left!
Sorry C, but I had to include this picture!  We all got to wear aprons, and he looked too cute to pass up the photo opportunity. 
We made six different things, and the instructor gave each couple a different tasks to do.  The couple next to us had to break up bread crumbs for the meatloaf. 
Another classmate, Bob, making garlic greens.  As you can kind of tell by the pictures, the kitchen is amazing.  Large, bright, and has every instrument imaginable.
We were lucky to have a great group of people, and everyone was really fun.  David, the man holding onto the pan, was particularly hilarious.  He had funny comments about everything, and kept us all laughing!  I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted, about 20 minutes in my camera battery died.  Luckily, I was able to use my iPhone camera - which I was pleasantly surprised by. 
Out of everything we made, my favorite was the bison and bacon meatloaf with sweet potatoes.  I am normally not a fan of meatloaf, I don't like the word, and the way it looks kind of freaks me out.  It shocked me that it was my favorite thing we made all night, especially when there was a Mac and Cheese in the mix!  I'm posting the recipe below, the roasted sweet potatoes really make the dish.  I've never cooked with bison before, but the instructor said it was a very lean meat, and great to cook with/eat.  I know it's not possible for everyone reading, but if you're ever in Texas and around a Central Market, I highly recommend taking a class.  They have many different kinds, and it's always fun to try new foods and meet new people.

Bison and Bacon Meatloaf w/ Sweet Potatoes
2 1/2 pounds ground bison
12oz diced black pepper bacon *regular bacon will work, see trick for cutting below.
2 rolls pan du lait bread broken into small pieces
2 cups milk
3 eggs
1 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch**cooking instructions below.
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Soak bread pieces in milk for about two minutes, then squeeze out most of the milk.
Gently mix together all of the ingredients except for the molasses.
Put into a well-greased loaf pan, try to spread out mixture evenly.
With wet hands, make the top smooth.
With a pastry brush "paint" the top of the meatloaf with molasses.
Cook for 20-30 minutes, on top rack of the oven.

*Try freezing bacon before hand, this will make dicing it a lot easier.  Or you can use a food processor.
** Roast sweet potato in the oven at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes on a cookie tray, then cut up for meatloaf.

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