Ken was slightly skeptical at first when I presented him with a gift certificate for a cooking class for his birthday; the experience, however, has become one of our most fun and memorable nights out!
I must deviate a bit from sharing a restaurant review and reminisce with you about our Sizzling American Steakhouse night.
We attended The Culinary Classroom in Reading, PA, where Linda Bell, chef and owner, promised to show us how to make a dinner “worthy of the best New York City Steakhouse.” After three hours of hands-on instruction and meticulous preparations – I don’t know if we met NYC standards since I’ve never had a steak in one of their steakhouses – but our taste buds were exceedingly happy.
Our menu for the evening included:
- New York Strip Steak with Béarnaise Sauce
- Pan Seared Rib Eye Steak au Poivre with Cognac Sauce
- Classic Caesar Salad made with Kale
- Oven Roasted Potato Wedges
- Molten Chocolate Cakes with Raspberries – a dark chocolate lover’s dream!
Not only did we learn about the various cuts of meat (I’ll spare you the cow diagram!) and how to massage kale with olive oil and sea salt for a softer, more palatable salad, we also learned all about clarified butter. Why is this important to learn? We used it in the Béarnaise Sauce and also in the cast iron skillet while grilling our steaks, only this kind of butter doesn’t turn black. The milk solids have all been removed leaving a pure butterfat for perfect sauces and grilled steaks. Get yourself some unsalted butter to try this recipe at home!
Since our culinary adventure, we’ve shared our steakhouse knowledge with our adult kids while holding our own version of a cooking class. We also attempted to make ten NY Strip Steaks for our family Easter dinner…something we will not try at home again! I must note that we haven’t grilled steaks outside on our grill since taking this class – our taste buds have been sufficiently spoiled.
If an opportunity arises to attend a culinary class, do it! It’s a memory worth making and your taste buds will thank you.