Cook With Me's Blog

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Hats Off To Dining Catering, Inc. In-Home Cooking Class w/the Sykes



This was our first class with teens, 15,16, and 18 years old.  We were thrilled to teach such great young people.  They were smart, funny and very attentive.


The ladies are very attentive as I demonstrate knife skills

Because are young students were inexperience in the kitchen, Mandy and I took great care to with the knife skills lessons.  We stressed that they shouldn’t rush and try to be as fast cutting and Mandy and I were.




Kara practices her knife skills.

The first step is to cut bell peppers, celery, and onions (The trinity) and saute them with a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  We have to let it cool so we do it first, set it aside in the fridge to speed up the cooling off process.


While we wait for the trinity to cool, I start on the Portabello Mushrooms.  The ladies continue to practice their knife skills by cutting then in fries.  We season and beat an egg into and egg-wash and season the Panko Bread Crumbs.  The Mushrooms are dipped in the egg-wash and dredged in the Panko before being placed in a hot skillet with a little canola Oil.  Here’s the results.



Next we prepared a Greek Salad that everyone loved!

Greek Salad with Chicken or Shrimp

Season Chicken Breast and bake with the Trinity (We’ll get to this in a sec)


–       6 cups romaine lettuce

–       1½ cups halved Roma tomatoes

–       (Very thin) slices red onion, just a few rings

–       1 cup cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼ – inch slices

–       1 TBS chopped fresh flat – leaf Parsley

–       3 TBS red wine vinegar

–       2 tsp Dijon mustard

–       1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

–       ¾ tsp dried oregano

–       ¼ tsp Kosher salt

–       ¼ tsp fresh cracked black pepper

–       2 garlic cloves, minced

–       ½ cup (2 oz) crumbled feta cheese

–       8 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

–       4 Pepperoncini peppers


Place lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers in a large bowl; toss gently to combine.  Combine parsley and next 7 ingredients; stir with a whisk.   Spoon 1 TBS dressing over shrimp; toss to combine. Add shrimp mixture and remaining dressing to lettuce mixture; toss gently to coat.  Spoon about 2-¾ cups salad on each plate.  Top each serving with 2 TBS cheese, 4 olive halves, and 1 pepperoncini pepper.  4 servings.


Mandy teaches Greek Salad




Jamine and Kara

Roasted Chicken can be used in the Greek Salad if you wish.  We roasted our own chicken so it would be sure to be flavorful.

Earlier we sauteed a finely chopped trinity for the Turkey Burgers.  We also did a more rustic chopped for the Roasted Chicken.  Since we had to roast chicken anyway, we decided to do one of my favorite dishes, Roast Chicken with Egg Noodles.


1 – Whole Chicken Cut into pieces (Rinsed and dried. See Seasoning set-up below)

1 – medium onion chopped

2 – stalks of celery chopped

1 – green bell pepper chopped

2 Tbs. – McCormick All Purpose Seasoning

½ tsp – Adobo

½ tsp – Kosher Salt

½ tsp – Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

3 Chicken Bullion Cubes

1 – 16oz Mueller’s Egg Noodles Extra Wide

2 Cups of water


Metal Roasting Pan with Lid


Oven mitts

Large platter

Wooden spoon


Cutting board

Seasoning set-up – Spread Saran Wrap on your counter, then place a quality thick paper towel (Like Viva) over the Saran Wrap. You are now ready to rinse chicken pieces and dry them.  After you rinse and dry the chicken, remove the paper towel and leave the chicken on the Saran Wrap so you can season it.


Preheat oven to 400°.

Seasoning the Chicken

–       Place chicken pieces on the seasoning set-up (see above).


We teach the ladies about the seasoning set-up and handling poultry safely as to not cross contaminate.  We also taught seasoning technique as to not over do with any of the seasoning.



I explain handling chicken


Kara seasoning like a Pro


Jasmine seasons chicken


All the ladies at the stove preparing the chicken for the oven.

Roasted Chicken


Now that our roasted chicken is done, we can use it for the quesadias.

We use strips of the roasted chicken, shredded cheese, sauteed bell peppers and onions on a tortilla and top with another tortilla.  Of course we had to teach the ladies how to toss the onions and peppers.


Quesadia being prepared



Mandy demonstrates cutting quesadia


Jasmine eating hers



We still have to make Turkey Burger Wraps.  Remember our trinity cooling in the fridge?  Time to use it.  Here is the recipe


Turkey Burger Wraps


1 lb of Ground Turkey (I use 93% lean, 3% fat)

½ of a small onion chopped fine

¼ of a celery stalk chopped fine

¼ of a green bell pepper chopped fine

1 Roma Tomato Sliced across (Then cut in half to make a half circle)

Lettuce leaves

¾ tsp Garlic Powder

¾ tsp Onion Powder

½ tsp Adobo

Tzatziki dip

12 inch Soft Tortillas

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

1 – Tbs Canola Oil

Kosher Salt

Fresh Cracked Black Pepper


1 Large Bowl

1 Small glass or metal bowl

Cutting Board


2 Large Non – Stick Skillets (or be prepared to wash and dry your one large on after the first use)

2 Large plates

Quality thick paper towel like Viva



Wooden Spoon


You will sauté the Green Bell Peppers, Celery, and Onion first (This is called the “trinity”):

–       Place your skillet over medium heat. When your skillet is hot drizzle about a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).

–       Add the Green Bell Peppers and Celery and let them sauté for about 1 minute before adding the Onions

–       Add a dash more EVOO and just a little salt and pepper

–       Stir with your wooden spoon and make sure the trinity is spread out and cooking evenly.

–       When you see the edges start to brown just a little it is time to remove and put the cooked trinity in your small glass or metal bowl

–       Place your bowl of cooked trinity in your freezer to cool it down for about 4 minutes


While your trinity is cooling:

–       Place your Ground Turkey in your large bowl

–       Sprinkle Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Adobo and a dash of salt and black pepper in on the ground turkey.

–       Tear off some paper towels to later wash your hands

–       With your hands thoroughly mix in about half of your chilled trinity into your seasoned ground turkey

Dasia mixing seasoning in ground turkey









After you have thoroughly mixed the turkey, seasoning and trinity together:

–       Begin forming them into small balls a little larger than a golf ball.

–       When you have completed rolling all the ground turkey mixture into small balls flatten them into patties about an inch thick.


Formed Turkey Burgers

Cook the patties:

–       Heat your skillet over medium head

–       When your skillet is hot add the Canola Oil

–       Add the turkey patties one at a time by first placing it in the oil and then gently pushing it to the side to make room for the next. (You use less oil this way). Add a little more Canola Oil if needed.  Do not crowd the skillet.  This also leaves you room to turn the turkey patties.

–       Let the patties brown before turning them on their other side to cook.

–       Gently press the top of the patties with the tip of the spatula to test firmness.  When your patties are firm they are done.

–       Prepare a plate with paper towels to place the cooked turkey patties on to drain excess oil.

–       Remove the turkey patties when they are done to the prepared plate to drain

–       Let them sit for about 1 minute before cutting them in half (A half circle)

Kara places burgers in pan








Turkey Burgers are ready to wrap

Assembly of the Turkey Burger Wrap:

–       Take a tortilla shell and spread a little of the Tzatziki dip in the center of the tortilla

–       Take small pieces of the lettuce and place them on the Tzatziki dip

–       Take two tomato half circles and place them on the lettuce

–       Place two half burgers on the lettuce

–       Fold the end of the tortilla that is closest to you over the turkey burger,

o      Then fold left and right sides of the tortilla in towards the burger

o      Now continue to roll the tortilla away from you into a wrap


Dasia preparing Mom's and Auntie's Turkey Burger Wrap


Time for Dessert – Chocolate Pudding!

We first separate egg yolks from the whites.

All of us making pudding

Put 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and the cocoa in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer, over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla in a bowl. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture.

Jasmine pours chocolate with Mandy


Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue whisking until thick, about 2 or 3 minutes more.

Dasia stirring pudding

Some people really like pudding.





Mandy with class having fun

Me and Mandy with class


Mom and Auntie join in for a photo


Thanks for a great time.  Mandy and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

March 6, 2012 - Posted by | Let's Talk About Food

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