Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tapas Class Cancelled Tonight

The weather forecast was right today! It's been snowing since early this morning and the roads are a mess. We decided to cancel class tonight and reschedule for next Thursday, January 14, at 6:00 pm. I hope everyone who was registered will be able to make it next week. We have a few openings in the class, and can take additional students as well. By the way, the classroom was ready on Tuesday for our class. It looks great - we're just waiting on new pictures for the walls.

Jungle (Jim) stopped by the cooking school while we were testing Shrimp and Chorizo with Sherry and Paprika from the tapas class menu. He was happy to serve as an official taste tester and gave us his 'thumbs up' approval.

A cold and snowy day like today just begs for something warm and comforting for lunch or dinner. This recipe is quick, cooks in one pan and I usually have everything in the pantry and freezer to make it. A big plus when the roads are bad and you don't want to venture out.

Stovetop Pasta

2 ounces dry penne pasta (2/3 cup)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
3 frozen party size meatballs
Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Combine ingredients (dry pasta - frozen meatballs) in a small (1 quart) saucepan and stir well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15-18 minutes, stirring once or twice, until pasta is tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve. Serves 1.

To make 2 servings: double all ingredients and prepare in a 1.5 – 2 quart saucepan.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year, New Job, New Blog

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the blog for The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market. Today is my first official day as the new director of the school. When we took a break from classes over the holidays, Jungle (Jim) decided to paint the cooking school. The paint job took on a life of it's own and quickly became somewhat of a remodeling effort. We have a busy week planned - I have hands-on classes Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I am starting to be a bit concerned about how things will look 24 hours from now for class!

It's cold, windy and snowing a bit today...a perfect night to roast a chicken for dinner. I like this recipe because it's quick enough to make after work and everything cooks in one skillet for easier clean up.

Cast Iron Skillet Roast Chicken

4-5 medium Yukon gold or red potatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
4-5 large carrots, peeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick
One 2 to 4-pound chicken
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450°. Place potatoes and carrots in a single layer in a well seasoned 12-inch cast iron skillet.

Remove giblets from the chicken, rinse and dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. Salt and pepper the cavity, then tie the legs. Sprinkle the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and carrots in the cast iron skillet.

Place the skillet in the oven and roast 50-65 minutes, without basting, until the temperature of the breast reaches 165°. Remove from oven, baste the chicken with the pan juices and let it rest for 15 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve with potatoes and carrots. Serves 2-4.

Follow us or stop by often for new recipes, class information and other tidbits that we hope will interest you. 2010 promises to be a good year!

Bon App├ętit!