Keto Cooking Class

Blini
As I mentioned in my last post, when my wife and I heard that Chef Taffiny Elrod would be offering cooking classes after Ketofest, we couldn't wait to give it a try.  There was a beginner class in the morning and an intermediate class in the afternoon.  We signed up for both although we were really beginners based upon experience. Chef Elrod did a great job explaining why certain techniques were useful in the kitchen which I found very useful since I have no formal training.

Our first adventure was a keto blini.  This is a small pancake made with psyllium husk powder.  They were very light and meant to serve as a vehicle for some other rich flavors. In this case it was crème fraiche with smoked salmon.  It was quite delightful.
Duck Breast

The main course was seared duck breast.  I had never had duck before and wasn't sure if I would like it but it was wonderful.  We scored the duck breast through all the skin to allow fat to render and seasoned with salt and pepper.  We let the breast cook for a few minutes with the skin side down.  It didn't take long for the pan to be full of rendered duck fat.  It only took a minute or two on the other side to finish the breast to medium rare.  Then while the breast rested we deglazed the pan with red wine and made a sauce with some chicken stock and sauteed some mushrooms and shallots to go with the duck breast.  It was simply awesome!

Panna Cotta
Then for desert we made an orange blossom panna cotta.  It's like an Italian custard and quite tasty.  We flavored it with a little orange flower water and vanilla extract.  We added a few raspberries on top and it was wonderful.


Scallops and Vinaigrette



The afternoon class included a couple from Texas that knew their way around a restaurant kitchen.  It was very helpful to have someone who was up to speed for an intermediate class.  We started with a salad with fried scallops and a sherry vinaigrette.  The vinaigrette was so light and flavorful.

Veal and Cauliflower Risotto


The main course was a veal roast braised with herbs and vegetables served with cauliflower risotto Milanese and gremolata.  This was one of the best riced cauliflowers I've ever had.  The gremolata went very well with the veal.  She was hoping to find a veal breast instead of a veal roast, but she was unable to procure one near New London.  She added a little pancetta to the roast to add a little fat.  Braising is roasting in the oven, partially submerged in liquid in a covered container.  Since we got home we have tried a braised brisket and it turned out very well.

Chef Elrod and Ro

Chocolate-espresso Torte


For desert was a dark chocolate-espresso torte (recipe here) with mascarpone cream (recipe here) garnished with raspberry, blackberry and mint.  She used Coco Polo chocolate because it melts well.  Another tip was allulose (an artificial sweetener) tastes better than erytrhritol in chocolate. This was  a delicious end to a fantastic class.  If Chef Elrod offers classes again next year I recommend them.

I'd also like to thank Chef Robert for being such a gracious host and allowing us to use his RD86 Space.

In my next post I'll describe some of the progress I've made so far, including photos.  You can also read my last post about Ketofest 2018.
Feasting Time!

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