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Cooking Blog

Summer Side Dishes Class 7/14

By July 16, 2021July 18th, 2021No Comments

Happy Bastille Day everybody!

Ever get invited to a last minute potluck or dinner party and need something in a pinch? The entrée makes the meal, but the sides are what set it apart! This class is full of bright greens in every dish that pair perfectly with a summer day. I knew it would be a good class when I smelled all the fresh herbs walking into the kitchen. Chef Janon shows you her take on some old faithful recipes while introducing us to a couple new ones. We make:

  • Blue, White & Red Potato Salad
  • Bacony Baked Beans
  • Summer Squash au Gratin
  • Kale Coleslaw with Marinated Cucumbers
  • Southern Succotash

  Plus a couple other great recipes like a delicious Elote topped with a smoky, spicy aioli that just bursts with flavor! It’s a staple street food that I’m happy to see made its way to TFK. But more on that in a bit. I mentioned that the room was filled with the smells of parsley and basil. When I say Chef raided the garden for this class I realllly mean she brought the whole garden in. Take a look!

Just look at all the beautiful, bright colors that we have to work with for this class. So fresh and summery.

But what to do, what to do with all that lovely parsley? Pesto of course! We make a Pesto Pasta Salad with some sweet peppers that whips up in a snap and tastes great. We’ve all had Pesto salads that have too heavy a flavor and leave your tongue feeling coated for a while. Not here though- it’s a light, airy pasta salad that really would compliment anything nicely that you serve it with. The crunch from the sweet peppers is such a nice addition too. I even had to ask Chef Janon whether it should be served warm or cold because I couldn’t tell – it tasted so good both ways! (She said cold..)

Sunshine in a bowl! 

So about that corn. If you’re looking for a pop of Southwestern flavor during class, this is definitely it. I was actually taken aback with my first bite at how well the smoke flavor incorporated into the aioli. This time I’m not joking when I say you’ll have to take her class to find out how to make it – I didn’t even get a look at the recipe! All I know is it tasted amazing and now I’m craving more.

We brushed the corn with the aioli and then finished under the broiler for just a couple of minutes. That little bit of charring is perfect to get that grilled flavor that Elote is known for. Finish it off with some Cotija cheese, cilantro and you have a knock out side for any occasion. Plus. since it only uses a mixer and one sheet pan, not many dishes to clean up after for this one (yes please)!

Stick a skewer in me, I’m done! Look at how lovely that is. It reminds me of living in San Antonio and walking around Market Street gnawing on some corn. Yum!

It’s always an internal battle trying to decide on my favorite from each class. It would have to be a tie between the Elote and the Squash au Gratin. Both of them literally had me shoot the Chef a look of “What did I just eat and can I have some more?” I mean, I’ve had plenty of zucchini or squash casseroles that taste like, well water. Squash is 95% water so it’s no surprise that it can sometimes be bland. That’s why Chef builds up more of a sauce to go on top along with some Gruyere that toasts up excellently in the oven. Once it’s done you have the squash, a creamy sauce, and crunchy topping. It’s everything you could want in an au Gratin and comfort food combined. Plus, it’s really pretty when it’s done..

There’s no hope choosing a favorite for me, I choose both!

So you let us know – did you come to class and which was your favorite?

We love to know what our TFK family is interested in and what you want to see! This was the first of our Summer Side Dish classes and our premier classes can be really fun. You get to be the first students aside from Chef to try out new recipes and give feedback on the dishes in real-time. Here’s a link to the calendar so you can take a look and see what’s convenient for you. We look forward to seeing you in the kitchen with us soon!

As always, au revoir for now.

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