Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Don't Own A Good Knife, Do You?


When Joy Ramirez of Joy of Cooking and Claudia Young from cook, eat, FRET sent me an email detailing their first Cucina Cooking Schoolhouse, I immediately signed up. Dinner with a fabulous menu and wine for $60? Plus, I'll learn how to make homemade pasta with decadent sauces? It was a no brainer.

The last email detailed the address and said to bring your favorite knife and your apron.

Uh oh.

I don't own an apron. And my knives. I am so ashamed of my knives. I don't even know if I can say it...

They're those (hangs head) orange handled Rachel Ray ones. Those are my "good knives."

I headed out into the rainy dark night to Brentwood, clear on the other side of town, without an apron or a knife. How deep is my knife shame?

Pretending to be knifeless and apronless, I borrowed what I needed and decked myself out in a little, red candy stripe apron. I am ready to get Italian.

We learned about Italian OO flour, how to make a well, how to mix (Claudia's a two finger girl, while Joy uses a fork), and how (LONG) to knead. I triple suck at kneading. It's damn hard. Friends (aka suckers!) will be invited over to help with kneading, when I make my first batch. Ten minutes of hard, arm cardio is what kneading is. And frankly, I can't hang.

After about an hour of pasta making, Claudia returns from outside with freshly grilled bruschetta. We pour olive oil on and devour!

We start rolling the dough through the machines making long, flat pallettes that will either become the tortellini or the fettucine. The tortellini are stuffed with a sweet potato mix that would rock your world. Full of fresh parmesean, prosciutto and grated nutmeg. We stuff and fold our squares, hold between fingers and flip the pointy edge down, making pretty, little tortellini. The huge garlic cloves are sauteed in olive oil until sweet. The kitchen aroma is intoxicating!

At the end of the evening, we have made...

Sweet Potato Stuffed Tortellini with Butter and Sage
Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Fettuccine with Oyster Mushrooms, Sweet Garlic and Arugula

We al sit around a huge table full of pastas and interesting characters. Chris cures his own meats and has a phenomenal knife collection (he let me hold them sensing the fact that I was knife stupid), the Italian Stallion that is a master at kneading, his wife, the beautiful Shaman that is on her way to India. Everyone was so interesting and social. It was like hanging out and cooking with old friends. What a lovely evening!

Next month, they are hosting a Cookie Class complete with biscotti. I don't know if I can convince my girl that I need to learn how to bake cookies, but you can bet I'm going to try!

45 comments:

Akelamalu said...

My husband has a thing about kitchen knives - I have more than I can possibly use because he used to keep bringing new ones home!

You're going to be the bestest cook in town, if you're not already! ;)

SkylersDad said...

My favorite knife is one like Crocodile Dundee's. It isn't very good for cooking tho...

Kate said...

Awesome!

Makes me hungry just reading about it.

Southern Sage said...

What time is supper?

I would have offered my pocket knife but since you found another I guess you made out ok!

Dr Zibbs said...

Never hear of Tortellini with Sweet potato. Sounds Great.

Bond said...

Most excellent. I love making my own pastas...don't do it often since I moved, but plan on beginning again.

Slyde said...

i am envious that you can cook, and love it.

im intrigued by the thought of becomming a good cook, but i dont have it in me to try to learn...

Queen-Size funny bone said...

I don't own a apron and I don't think I ever did. Knives I'm not fussy if they cut there good. actually I think I still have the ones I got when I first got married. The last time I made fresh pasta with friends we got drunk in the process.

Jay said...

Rachael Ray knives aren't good knives? But, I love Rachael!

That looks very yummy. I should take some cooking classes sometime.

Biscuit said...

Dammmmn, I'm hungry now! Geez, girl! The picture was enough, but then you had to go all descripto.

Feeeeeeed me ;)

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

sweet potato stuffed tortellini!!!!!!!!!!!!! oooh, sounds tres sexy.....

nitebyrd said...

My 3 Pampered Chef knives are my "good" knives. Aprons, I've got. What you learned to cook sounds absolutely delicious. Please learn biscotti, I want to hear about it!

Diva said...

First. YUM!

Next, I didn't own a wonderful knife, let alone a set of matching knives until I got hitched last year.

I got two full sets of Chicago cutlery. YAY!!

I still don't have an apron, may need one since my tops keep getting all grossed up.

I will be starting on my annual cookie baskets soon. It's a love/hate thing for me!!

Lu' said...

That's not so bad, my good knives are ginsu knives. I like biscotti, nummy.

Anna Lefler said...

OMG, that food sounds divine!

And I'm with you on the knife shame...such a shambles in my kitchen scene. [sigh]

Rock on with your cooking - I'm living vicariously through you!

:^) Anna

Lauren said...

Sounds like an awesome opportunity.

And just for the record, I don't own an apron either. Which is probably why I burned by boob on the edge of a pan while cooking. I don't think good knives would have helped me there...

cook eat FRET said...

you my dear, were a pleasure to have around. just keep that rr knife sharp. it's all about the edge...

i never do aprons. or name tags. i just can't. monday we went around the room and introduced ourselves. i began doing it but joy felt we were short on time. next month for sure...

appreciated all the feedback. truly. yes, we need a website. no doubt...

and the kneading is not so hard. really... if i can - you can...

Jormengrund said...

Just a hint here RLL..

If you _do_ go to the biscotti class, you need to share the recipe with Another Suburban Mom!

She's got a cookie swapfest going on over at her blog, and I'm sure that someone would LOVE the recipe!

Myself, I adore making Italian food from scratch, the only problem is being able to get the time to prepare it all, since I tend to have too much work when the day's done!

Sabrae said...

OH OH OH I want the rachel ray knife set soooooooo bad! lol i have one big knife and two small steak knives and that is the extent of my knife collection!! sucks big donkey butt if you ask me!!!!! I want those knives and will force...ummmm I mean beg and grovel to the wife until I get them! lol Hell I want the whole rachel ray set!!! lol

Ashleigh said...

I'm hungry now. I also don't even know what brand my knives are or which one to use for cutting what.

Except the bread knife. I love me some bread.

:)

Anndi said...

Can you pretend the dough is someone you have a bone to pick with and let your frustrations out that way? Cause I'm totally up for that.

That food sounds yummy... it's dangerous to be stuck at home near food all day.
Gotta go, the fridge is calling me.

Grimm said...

I have another hour to go before I have lunch with my father and I see this. I am STARVING!

Thank you so much for your comment!

Live.Love.Eat said...

Hi there! Thanks so much for coming by. I was surprised to see you & recognized your name right away (hah!) because I believe I have been here before and hope I commented. Anyhoo, the class you took sounds amazing. I, too, don't have really good knives. I think I'll put that on my Xmas list this year.

Doc said...

The only good knife I own is the switchblade I carry every day. It isn't much for filleting but it helps to fend off thugs.

Doc

Brandy said...

OMG! That menu sounds great.

I have Wolfgang Puck knives and no apron. Guess we are in the same boat.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Deb said...

The great thing about pasta is: you can get as creative as you want with it and it's never "wrong"! :)

I have ONE huge knife that does everything. I know, I should have had a shower before I got married.

Other than that, it's dull steak knives. :|

Monogram Queen said...

I suck suck suckety suck at cooking. You orange rachel ray knives trump my knives. Trust me! I am impressed with your cooking abilities. I'm impressed with anybody who can cook OR BAKE!

Ginni said...

I have a great set of knives, but I always seem to grab an old steak knife when I want to peel or cut up something.

I adore biscotti...You'll have fun making them...but mroe fun eating them! :)

Dianne said...

I have those orange RR knives in the holder that looks like a weird hard

I thought they WERE good knives

I'm so ashamed

Brad said...

I'll let you borrow my globals...

Cooking classes have always sounded like fun - I think I'll give it a whirl

Which reminds me of a favorite bumper sticker "visualize whirled peas"

Cora said...

Oh, I'm totally knife stupid too! If I can't "cook" it in a microwave, then it's too big a commitment for me. Thus I have pitiful knives. I had a friend over to cook for me once and it was sooo embarrassing because I didn't have any of the basic stuff she needed. (sigh). Oh well.

That dish looks FANTASTIC - yum!

Thanks for the sweet comment you left on my blog. I appreciate it!

Yes, I agree, Zibbs is something else!!!! :-)

Carly said...

Yum. I had so much fun making fresh mozzarella. I would have LOVED to take this class.

Megan said...

Sounds yummy and quite fun!

I've got Cutco - my brother and all his college roomies were selling it one year - but no aprons.

Miss Alex said...

I've read your blog before you commented today by the way... Its interesting

Hula Hank said...

How jealous am I of your experience?

I have two aprons, but not one good knife. The shameful part is that I am always saying "I really need to get a good set of knives."

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Ann said...

OMG, how FUN fun fun!!! I love how many hobbies/fun things you pursue - it's so cool.

Okay, knives? Oh my darling. I ADORE my knives, I stroke them. Hands down - Global Knives - they are pricey, but you'll have them for life and will never buy another one, and I love the design as well. You could just buy one and use that one for pretty much everything, seriously -- the 7-in. Hollow Ground Santoku. HEAVEN to work with - it is such a wonderful knife, it works on tomatoes.

http://www.amazon.com/Global-G48-7-Inch-Hollow-Ground-Santoku/dp/B00081GAQY/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1227192277&sr=8-1

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fortune Cookies said...

wow! sounds like a wonderful evening! Maybe you can convince you girl that she needs you to learn to make biscotti, for her, of course.
That sweet potato stuffed tortellini sounds divine! I may have to give it a try.

Joy of Cooking said...

Hi Lynn! What a wonderful description of the class! I loved reading it. And, it was a pleasure meeting you. Hope to see you in another one soon (with or without a knife and an apron! Come as you are is fine with me!)
ciao,
Joy

Spiky Zora Jones said...

sweetie, maybe you shold buy that apron and a knife belt. It's like a tool belt, but filled with your fave knves....hehehe.

My girl won't let me play with sharp knives. She thinks i'll cut myself...again like the last time. hehehe.

It sounds like lots of fun there.

Ciao babe.

Jeff B said...

Having both been in the restaurant biz before, Lisa and I have enough knives for about five households.

Sounds like a great evening.

AirmanMom said...

rll...good for you for trying! It actually sounds like fun!
My favorite knife is a paring knife which has been sharpened so many times the blade is almost gone...I feel your pain!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

~Jobthingy~ said...

i think you better go knife shopping before the next one :P

that sweet potato tortellini sounds TO DIE FOR! when you make it can i come over?

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