As far as weekend activities go, attending a cooking demo and getting the chance to create my own pizza is certainly what I consider a Saturday well-spent. Last March 21, M and I made our way to Project Pie, Tomas Morato to attend the first leg of Food Tastings by Food magazine and Lifestyle Network. To start off the demo series for this year, a pizza and pasta class was conducted featuring the recipes of Chefs Portia Baluyut and Nancy Dizon-Edralin.
Tip: Flambe garlic in wine or rum to bring out its sweetness. Don’t saute the bell peppers and mushrooms too long, so as to prevent them from losing their moisture content and crunch.
Instead of the usual sweet-style Pinoy spaghetti that is typically served for mirienda (afternoon snack), the guest chefs came up with recipes that include a more diverse set of ingredients. In the case of this Chicken and Chorizo pasta dish, the fresh tomatoes and mushrooms serve to up the flavor factor by adding a lightness and an earthiness, respectively. Then there’s the cream that contributes a milky richness to the sauce instead of the typical heavy, meaty tomato sauce.
Next up was Nancy Dizon-Edralin, chef instructor at ICE Culinary, with three pasta recipes. For her first round, she whipped up Conchiglie With Sun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese.
Tip: Don’t toss the mushroom stems! They have that concentrated earthy flavor, so it would be better to dice them up and add them to the rest of the mushrooms.
In my opinion, we don’t play around with pasta shapes often enough when cooking at home. In addition to enhancing the appearance of the dish, different sauce consistencies call for corresponding pasta shapes to make the most out of the sauce-to-pasta ratio. Chef Nancy gave that kind of culinary inspiration with her demo.
Round two featured Pasta Portobello.
Tip: Portobello mushrooms have that darkly colored underside that may give dishes a brownish tinge. Scrape that part off, so as not to have them affecting the final appearance of the food. Otherwise, they’re perfectly fine to keep, if you don’t mind the coloring.
Finally, the demo ended with Seafood Pasta With Squid Ink Sauce (aka Pasta Negra). Squid ink pasta is a personal favorite of mine, so I was thrilled to see that it was part of the lineup.
Tip: The bigger the squid, the more ink. However, the bigger the squid, the tougher the meat. Luckily, bottled ink is available in some specialty food stores. It gets pricey, but a little bit of that ink goes such a long way.
After the demo, participants were given the chance to get behind the Project Pie counter to grab as much of the pizza toppings as we wanted. Then we proceeded to assemble our very own personalized pizzas. Ours was basically meat-on-cheese-on-meat-on-cheese, but I added dried cranberries and caramelized nuts to shake things up. IMHO, the finished product was such a treat!
There are three remaining legs to the 2015 Food Tastings series, so watch out for the next one. Try to register ASAP as the limited slots run out at the blink of an eye. I’ll be posting the details on this blog as soon as I have more info. Happy Sunday, guys! 🙂
*Food+World+Me is a media partner for the Food Tastings series.