So last year, a group of my friends from work asked me if I would teach a cooking class for them because they wanted to be better in the kitchen. I jumped on the opportunity and taught a 12-week course where we covered everything from the basics of different types of salts to the advanced — they had me make a soufflé, something I had never done before, if you remember..
Anyway, it was a ton of fun to get together after work a couple times a month to cook and chat and all that jazz. We ended class late Spring and went on our merry ways into Summer!
Well, I’m really excited that the same group of friends asked me if we could revive cooking school once again! The first time around I would go over some sort of lesson (filled with as many food puns relating to that lesson as possible) and cook as they watched and asked questions. BUT, this time around, I told them it’s their turn. So for each class, each of my friends will teach a class and cook something they have never made before. Our first class was about a week ago and I took the first class to ease everyone back into cooking school. Since Thanksgiving was/is right around the corner, I thought it’d be fun to have Friendsgiving!
Everyone helped out and in a matter of 2 hours we had a Thanksgiving inspired meal on the table! I should admit now, that we did cheat a little…
I chose to roast small chickens because a larger turkey would take way too long to make on a weeknight after work and I bought the dinner rolls and pumpkin pie from the store — AH. No time for baking in this crazy mess of cooking a Thanksgiving meal. But hey, aside from that, everything was done from scratch and we had a blast making it all!
Everything was really delicious and we managed to get all of the food done at relatively the same time — air five!! I will say everyone was pretty hungry at the end, so when I asked them to sit for a few pictures before we touched the food, I did get a couple strained smiles (you know who you are)!
Oh yea, and the kitchen looked like a bomb went off — luckily in cooking school BOYS CLEAN : )
The recipes we used in class are listed below if you want to try any this Thanksgiving! Happy eating!!
Recipes w/ edits used at Friendsgiving:
- Thomas Keller’s Favorite Simple Roast Chicken (no edits, but we did not use any dijon)
- Tyler Florence’s Caramelized Cornbread Stuffing
- Add 4 stalks of celery, chopped, to the mixture
- Use ¾ cup of chicken broth — instead of the ¼ chicken stock in the recipe
- Cook at 400ºF for 20 minutes in a baking dish, uncovered
- Oven Roasted Asparagus — my recipe for 1 asparagus bunch:
- Wash and trim asparagus
- Coat in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add 2 minced garlic cloves, salt & pepper
- Roast in 375ºF oven for 20 minutes, shaking pan halfway through
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice over roasted asparagus before serving
- Mashed Potatoes — my recipe:
- Peel and chop potatoes (½ lb per serving)
- Add to large pot of salted water and bring to a boil
- Boil for 10 minutes until for can pierce potatoes without effort
- Drain potatoes and cover with dish towel to let steam for 5-10 minutes
- Add butter (½ tbsp per serving), salt, pepper and ½ cup chicken broth
- Mash until smooth, or whatever texture you prefer
- Gravy — my recipe:
- In a saute pan over medium-high heat, melt 3 tbsp butter
- Add 3 tbsp flour and whisk with butter, cook for a minute until light brown in color
- Slowly pour in 2 cups of chicken broth, whisking constantly to avoid lumpy gravy
- Season with salt & pepper to taste
- NOTE: If gravy gets too thin, you can whisk in another tbsp of flour; if gravy gets too thick, you can add more chicken broth
- Corn — my recipe:
- Empty drained canned corn into a pot on the stove over medium heat
- Add 1 tbsp butter for every can you are using (i.e. 2 cans = 2 tbsp butter)
- Add salt & pepper to taste and cook until heated through
- Cranberry Sauce
- Add the juice of half an orange and half a lemon in Step 1
- Spiced Whipped Cream — my recipe (we used this to fancy up the store-bought pumpkin pie):
- In a large bowl, add ½ cup cold, heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp vanilla, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and ½ tsp nutmeg
- Using an electric mixer, immersion blender with whisk, or sheer whisking power from within, whisk until thick and whipped cream can stand on its own