Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco. He uses local and fresh ingredients from our Salinas Valley and the Monterey area. Here, he is giving a generous serving of an Herb Salad with Toasted Quinoa and Smoked Pecans in a Cranberry Vinaigrette. I'm a fan of Todd's culinary creations, because he really thinks outside the box. What really stands out about Todd is that he has both passion and a talent for cooking--which is why he is quickly gaining celebrity status in the culinary world. After a long and successful run as a partner in a local restaurant, Chef Todd has moved into a new direction-- while keeping busy with food events all over the country, and balancing time with his wife and children. In a quiet little Monterey Peninsula seaside community called 'Sand City', Todd has opened his newest venture called "The Kitchen".
cooking classes to aspiring home chefs (like me). When Todd announced that he would be teaching a 'Valentine's Tribute, Sensual Dinner Three-Hour Cooking Class'-- and I saw Lobster Bisque and Succulent Scallops on the menu-- I quickly paid my $75.00 and I charged my camera battery.
There were twelve students, and I came with my own knife and a very hungry appetite. Today, I'm going to share with you Todd's recipe for Succulent Scallops and a shaved asparagus salad. Todd printed this recipe in our local newspaper, so I figured he wouldn't mind if I share this with my blog readers.
As we arrived for the class, we were warmly greeted and presented with mimosas. We began by making the seafood bisque (that I will present on a later post)-- the class was very much a "hands on" experience.
We had three hours to learn how to prepare six dishes, so Todd jumped in and prepared the shaved asparagus salad. I'm a big fan of roasted asparagus, but I never thought to shave uncooked asparagus, with a vegetable peeler, and to serve it with a vinaigrette!
The vinaigrette was made with champagne vinegar, a shallot, orange zest, Dijon mustard, sea salt, black pepper, Italian parsley and olive oil-- very simple, very delicious. He set that aside...
Next, Todd made the Carrot, Orange & Cardamon Sauce.
greedily selfishly wished that everyone had an allergy to these, so I could more. I adore scallops. I truly do. So, now it's time to taste. Chef Todd shows us how the pro's do it-- Begin with two scallops...
...spoon some of that beautiful carrot, orange, cardamon sauce. Do I hear an "ooooh"? Now top it with some of the shaved asparagus salad. Do I hear an "ahhhhhhhhhh"?
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you perfectly succulent scallops, ala Chef Todd Fisher. They are tender. They are so good! Besides the sauce being such a beautiful color, it's light-- the balance of orange and cardamon is perfect with the carrot juice. This gets about 10 O-M-G's. I would have never thought of piling the asparagus salad on top, but it works. There's a gentle bite from the vinaigrette, that balances out the sweetness of the scallops and the carrot-orange-cardamon sauce. This is so simple to make and I plan to replicate this for a romantic dinner with my husband, this weekend. I definitely got my money's worth from this class-- and I even got to go home with extra portions to take home! What a deal!
Other recipes we learned: Lobster (in this case, shrimp) bisque, sweet potato gnocchi with a divine sauce and perfectly seared and roasted pork tenderloin. I'll be sharing these very soon....
If you live within a couple hours of the Monterey Peninsula-- or you plan to visit my piece of paradise that I call "home", you might want to check out Chef Todd Fisher's class schedule. He makes cooking fun! Believe me, I came home with a very happy and very fully belly of delicious recipes that he served us very generously. (Psssssssssssst... and he keeps a bottomless glass of wine going for his students, so bring a designated driver.)
Here's the recipe:
Happy Valentine's Day!