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Friday, 24 March 2017

My dream team of amazing Teen Chefs at Cook Culture!

The last day of spring break was also the last day of the Teen Cooking & Baking Bootcamp at Cook Culture on Lonsdale, North Vancouver. What an amazing group of young chefs in-the-making.
Menu today:  Orange Spinach Salad with an Orange Balsamic Dressing, fresh marinated Tomato Basil Garlic Pasta sauce & Herb Garlic Toast with Chocolava cookies for dessert.  We made everything from scratch and at Cook Culture we are so very proud.  Thank you to all the parents for encouraging their children to be creative through cooking.  Way to go Mason, Milo, Jack, Riley, Angelo, Mia, Pierce, Jade, Sophia, Kate, Lucas, Rachel...See you next Spring Break Chefs! (due to privacy issues the photos have been cropped).
each 'Young Chef' received their very own 'Cook Culture' apron

the teams are making curry corn chowder soup

fresh focaccia bread on day 2 - 1st proof

2nd proof before it goes into the oven

the beautiful commercial kitchen at the Cook Culture store on Lonsdale

proper chopping technique is a must at bootcamp

kitchen safety is a priority

the boys are making their orange spinach salad 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Focaccia Bread - Easy to Make

Original Recipe By: Eileen Little (my Mom)

Recorded and adapted by: Miriam Borys Busby
1st proof  (letting dough rise)

3 pkg. instant yeast (3 X 8g or 7 tsp.)
2 ½ cup of warm water (not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
½ cup olive oil + ¼ cup for drizzling
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. white sugar
1 egg
6 1/2 cups flour + flour for kneading
Dry herbs of choice (1 tbsp. each of rosemary, thyme, oregano)

1 tsp. cracked salt for the top of the focaccia
1/4 cup corn meal to line the pan

In a large liquid measuring cup measure the warm water and then add oil, sugar & egg. Whisk with a fork. Add yeast and stir. Leave this mixture for a few minutes to activate the will bubble up on the surface as the yeast 'blooms'. If your yeast does not bloom it should not be used.
Add flour, salt and herbs to a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer bowl if one is available. Pour yeast/water mixture into the flour. 

shape dough & add toppings
Mix with the dough hook or by hand until the bread dough comes together into a ball and cleans the bowl.
Transfer to a workable surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding flour so that the dough does not stick to the surface.
Once the dough is smooth, form into a large ball and place in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough over in the oil so that all the bread dough is covered in oil. Cover with parchment or a tea towel and allow it to sit in a warm place. This is the first rise and the dough needs to double in size. This takes approximately 45 minutes.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch down the bread dough.  Remove the dough from the bowl and place into the middle of a large baking pan coated with corn meal. Shape dough by gently pulling (don't tear) the dough so that it stretches into a large rectangle shape (see photo). Once the dough is shaped, make indentations in the dough with your fingertips (this is to allow the olive oil to pool).
Drizzle approximately 1/4 cup of olive oil over the surface. Sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs of your choice (Italian seasoning works well) and lightly sprinkle salt over entire surface.
2nd proof
Allow to proof for the 2nd time until the dough has risen above the baking sheet doubling in size (another 45-60 minutes).
When the 2nd prpoof is complete reheat oven to 400°.  
Bake focaccia for approximately 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with a dipping bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar sprinkled with dried or fresh herbs.
baked focaccia
1st rise

punch down 

shape the dough - use cornmeal on the bottom of the baking pan

shape the dough to fit a baking sheet & proof for the second time


Everything Pastry! Cooking Class with Chef Miriam

Everything Pastry! Cooking Class with Chef Miriam April 11 (Lonsdale)@Cookculture
Still some spaces available...come and join me!
Herb Prawn pasties for tasty appetizers
Make Ahead Quiche for busy mornings
Savoury Salmon Wellington

Miriam’s famous Easy-Peasy Fruit Pie

I hope you can join me!

Curried Chicken Corn Chowder

Servings:  6 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup bacon - diced small
2 cup onion - diced
1 cup celery - diced
1 cup zucchini diced
1 tbsp. red curry paste or curry powder
1 large chicken breast  - cut up into med. cubes
2 tbsp.  potato starch
1 large  potato - if using Russet - peeled and diced into large chunks
1 can kernel corn (12 oz./341 ml can) or 2 corn on the cobs
6-8 cups  soup stock (broth) of choice. I am using chicken stock for this recipe
salt & pepper to taste

Heat a large soup pot over medium and add olive oil.
Sauté bacon with the onions. 
Add potato starch to thicken the chowder. If gluten is not an issue you can use 1/4 cup of all purpose flour instead of potato starch.
Add remaining vegetables and chicken and cook until the onions are transparent.
Add curry and salt & pepper.
Add corn, diced potatoes & soup stock (veggie or chicken).
Stir well and leave on the medium high heat to bring up to the boil.
Once boiled, stir and immediately reduce the heat and simmer for 15- 20 minutes until the potato is cooked. 
Serve hot with fresh bread or your families favourites crackers.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Check out what the kids are cooking during Spring Break at Cook Culture!

This week and next the young chefs are in for an amazing treat. How about cream puffs, cinnamon biscuits or apple cinnamon swirls to start with.  One class offers soup making and breakfast smoothies... can't get any better than this.
Hope to see you there!
apple cinnamon swirls

cheese biscuits

basic soup making with beginner knife skills

cream puffs anyone?

breakfast smoothie

can't beat home baked biscuits