In a casual atmosphere with a cocktail in hand, Chef Audrey McGinnis with Every Girl Gourmet walked our residents through the culinary journey of a three-course meal. Some rolled up their sleeves and got behind the cutting board while others relaxed until the dinner bell rang. Big thanks to Plantation Homes for letting us use their beautiful model home!
Below are the recipes from our cooking class. Go ahead and give them a try!
Glamour Girl Cocktail:
3 oz. Pinot Grigio
1 oz. Peach Schnapps
Splash of cranberry juice
Maraschino cherry for garnish
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Drop cherry in the drink for garnish.
Homemade Ravioli w/Marinara Dipping Sauce
- 1 ½ cups AP flour
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground sage
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- ¾ tsp. olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (mixed with 1 ½ tsp. garlic salt and 1 tsp. pepper)
- 2 eggs, beaten with 1 oz. water
- 2 cup Panko bread crumbs (mixed with 1 Tbs. dried oregano and 1 Tbs. dried basil)
- 16 oz. ricotta cheese, drained
- ½ chopped spinach, drained
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup pickled jalapenos, chopped
- ¼ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
Place 1 cup of flour, salt, sage, pepper, olive oil and eggs in a food processor. Pulse several times to incorporate ingredients. Add more flour, 1 Tbs. at a time, if dough is too wet. It should begin to come together in a ball and not be too sticky.
Bring dough together in a ball and knead on a lightly floured surface, using the palm of your hand until it’s a smooth ball of dough, firm, but resilient. It should no longer stick to the surface. It should spring back when poked with your finger. Form dough into a disk shape and cut into 4 pieces. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or up to 8.
While pasta is in frig. Prepare breading station. Also line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
When ready to use pasta, remove one pkt. from refrigerator and flatten slightly with hands to begin to form a rectangle. Turn pasta roller on speed 2/roller setting 1. Feed pasta through roller to knead. Fold pasta into 3rds and send through roller again. Repeat, sending through roller at setting 2 and then again at 3 and then at 4 and at 5. Repeat a last time at setting 6. Pasta should be a little thinner than 1/16 inches thick and should be smooth, pliable and cover the width of the roller. Lightly dust pasta with flour while rolling if it starts to get sticky. You can also do this step with a rolling pin.
Lay dough on a lightly floured surface. Fold the sheet along its midline to make a light crease and then re-open it. Using a small melon baller, scoop filling and place 1 inch apart, place along the lower half of the dough, close to the fold line. Moisten the dough lightly with water with a pastry brush or your fingers. Then fold over the top part of the dough along the crease, pressing from the folded point downward, to remove excess air. Gently pat the dough down around each lump of filling to create a seal. Use a cutter/knife or pasty wheel to cut out ravioli into even pieces. You can even use a wine glass, cookie cutter or mason jar for this. Place ravioli on prepared baking sheet and cover with a towel to keep moist while you repeat process with remaining dough.
When ravioli is done, lightly dredge in seasoned flour, making sure to shake off any excess. Then place in egg mixture to coat and then into Panko crumbs, making sure to coat evenly. Set back onto baking sheet.
At this point, pasta can be frozen. Place on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet, tripled wrapped in plastic wrap and freeze completely. Transfer to a freezer bag and remove all air. Store in freezer up to 2 months. Can be cooked straight from freezer, just add 30 seconds more cooking time.
When ready to fry, heat up vegetable oil in a large pot or in a deep fryer. (If using a deep fryer, use manufacturer instructions for right amount of oil). When oil has reached 350*, gently place ravioli into oil and fry till golden brown. Flip and continue frying until second side is golden. Carefully remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain any remaining oil.
Serve with marinara sauce.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2-14.5 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes
- 1-15 oz. can of tomato sauce
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 Tbs. chopped garlic
- 1 Tbs. dried basil
- 2 Tbs. dried oregano
- ½ Tbs. dried parsley
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. dried fennel seeds (crushed in palms)
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- ¾ tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. Cayenne
- ¼ cup red wine
- 2 bay leaves
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet. Add onion and cook till translucent. Add garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, garlic salt, pepper and fennel and cook for additional 3 minutes until aromatic. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, Cayenne, and bay leaves and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes. Remove bay leaves and place sauce in blender and blend till smooth. Pour back into Dutch oven and simmer for additional 10 minutes. Set aside. (sauce can also be frozen for up to 5 months.
Thyme and Garlic Short Ribs w/Creamy Cheese Polenta (serves 4-6)
- 5 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 4 lbs. short ribs
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large tomato, quartered
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- ½ head garlic, peeled
- ¼ bunch fresh thyme
- 1 ½ cup dry red wine
- 2 cups, low-sodium beef broth/stock
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
Season ribs with salt and pepper, dredge in flour and shake off any excess.
Place onion, garlic, celery, carrot and tomato into a food processor and blend until you reach a consistent, smooth pulp.
Preheat a 6 qt. pressure cooker. Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil. Brown ribs on all sides. Remove ribs and set aside.
Add remaining olive oil to pressure cooker. Heat over medium-high heat. Add thyme to infuse the oil; add the vegetable pulp, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 10 minutes. Pour in the red wine and stock and bring to a boil. Using tongs, place ribs back into pan. Place pressure cooker lid back on pot and secure tightly. When pressure gauge begins to spin, turn down heat until gauge spins no more than 4 times per minute. Cook for 25 minutes.
(Or is using a computerized pressure cooker, follow manufacturer’s instructions to set for 25 minutes.)
Lift pressure gauge to release steam. DO NOT remove lid until ALL the steam is released.
Remove 1-2 cups of the liquid and strain into a sauce pan. Cook over medium-high heat. Heat the sauce until slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
(This can also be done in a Dutch over. Follow directions as listed, but cook covered over low heat (simmer) for 2 1/2 -3 hours.
Creamy Cheesy Polenta
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/3 cup half-and-half, divided
- 2 Tbs. butter, divided
- 1/3 cup course polenta or corn grits
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a medium sauce pan, add milk, 1 cup half-and-half, 1 Tbs. butter and polenta/grits. Season with salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; whisking constantly to keep the mixture lump free. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes; stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and add remaining milk, butter and Parmesan cheese. Stir well and adjust seasoning.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Dash of salt
- 4 eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 400*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Heat water and butter in a 2 qt. sauce pan until boiling. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon and mix vigorously until flour is completely incorporated and there are not lumps or clumps of flour. It should be in a dough ball.
Pour dough ball into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Mix until well incorporated. Mixture may look like it is not going to come together, but keep mixing until the dough comes together and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Dough will have an elastic consistency, but will not be sticky.
Place dough in a pastry bag, fitted with a large star tip. You can also use a large zip-lock bag with a ¾ -1 inch cut out of one corner.
Gently push out dough to make desired size of éclairs. Make sure to not make them too thin; ideally, they should be 1 inch wide and 3 ½ to 4 inches long. This may take a few times to get use to. You can just scrap up the dough and reuse if needed. Make éclairs the same size, so you will get even baking.
Bake éclairs for 30-40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. You want them golden, but not brown. You can test to see if they are done enough by taking one out and tapping on it. If it sounds hallow, it is done. You can also cut one in half to check for doneness. It should be hallow inside. (as the dough bakes, it puffs up and creates a hallow cavity inside.)
Once they are done, place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Do not store in a zip-locked bag or plastic container….they will become soft. If not going to use right away, store in a cake box or other container that will allow air to flow. Will make 2 dz. Éclairs.
Chocolate Mocha Mousse:
- 10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream, chilled
- 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered)
- 1 Tbs. instant Espresso powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Place chocolate chips and cream in a glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is smooth. If needed, microwave for an additional 10 seconds.
Meanwhile, place remaining 1 cup of cream, confectioner’s sugar, Espresso powder and vanilla in a bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat until stiff peaks are formed.
Whisk about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining cream into the chocolate mixture until completely incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Using a pastry bag fitted with a long #4 round tip, fill with mousse. Pierce the end of an éclair with the tip and insert into the éclair. Gently squeeze filling into éclair to fill. Continue until all éclairs are filled.
Recipe will fill 3 dz. Small éclairs.
- 10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
Place chocolate and cream in a glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir till smooth. If needed microwave for additional 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Add butter and stir till incorporated.
Gently dip top of éclairs into ganache. Place on a serving platter to set up. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator up to 4 hours. Dough will not be as crispy if placed in refrigerator, but cannot sit out long because mousse will break.