It's that time of year again!

November 15, 2012

Rose 4

Ok, yeah, it's here...holiday time!  And yes, I have my Christmas decorations up early (at least for this publication) but I just love our holiday logo and we get to use it for such a short time. I'm sorry, I just had to start before Thanksgiving. Speaking of giving thanks, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you who came out to cook with us this year, all the previous years, and to everyone who keeps in touch!  I am often asked, "Don't you get tired having people in your house and taking over your kitchen?"  The answer is most definitely NO! I sometimes get fatigued because cooking and entertaining is such physical work, but I really do LOVE sharing my home and passion for all things in the kitchen.  I love meeting everyone, creating great meals and seeing my guests enjoy the LA Food Works experience.  It just never gets old.  So, THANK YOU SO MUCH for allowing me to share my life and talent with you.  I am a very lucky lady!!!!

Below is our new Small Plates and Appetizer Menu for this Fall and Winter, as well as a recipe for a delicious little bite you can add to any holiday menu. Included in that recipe is the "how-to" on making my favorite cranberry sauce followed by a turkey brine that will infuse so much flavor into your turkey, you won't have to worry about what to do with the leftovers because there won't be any! Read on and don't forget to become an LAFW Facebook Fan. Click Here to get daily updates from our kitchen, along with inspiration, tips and tricks to use in yours. 

Our calendar is filling up fast, but there's still some fun dates available, so if you haven't booked your holiday event, come celebrate and cook with us!!!! 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Rose


LA Food Works
Holiday Small Plate and Appetizer Menu

LA Food Works presents its new Small Plates and Appetizer Menu for this Fall and WinterWhen you host an Appetizer Event with LAFW, you and your guests will work with our chefs on a multiple cooking stations creating these fun and filling bites!  A perfect way to celebrate the holidays and learn something new! This event is great for larger groups and we have venues that can accommodate up to 150 guests!

 

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An LA Food Works Event Includes

* Hors d'oeuvre and beverage reception on arrival

* Fun and knowledgeable chef instructors to guide you through your recipes

* Private cooking and dining experience at our charming venues

* Seasonal gourmet menu selections 

* Chef aprons to use while you are cooking

* Recipe packets for everyone to take home 




Savory Selections

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Bites with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce
Baked Brie and Cranberry Cups
Steak Picadillo Soft Tacos
Shrimp Cakes with Chili-Lime Crema
Beef or Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Blue Cheese and Red Wine Beef Sliders
Sweet and Sour Cocktail Meatballs
Grilled Polenta Rounds Topped with Onion-Fennel Marmalade
Caesar Salad Spears
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Ricotta and Parsley Dumplings with Basil Infused Olive Oil
Spicy Tuna and Vegetable Sushi Rolls
Spinach Empanadas
Crispy Sesame Tofu Bites wtih Hoisin Dipping Sauce

Sweet Selections

Spiced Sugar and Honey Glazed Pastry Twists
Waffle Brownie Bites with Whipped Cream and Hot Fudge
Chocolate-Raspberry Panini with Mascarpone
Buckeyes -
(Hand-made Peanut Butter Candies Dipped in Chocolate)


Bake Brie and Cranberry Kisses

One of LA Food Works' first chefs, Gabriel Cole, introduced me to this lovely little appetizer.  He would make these little cups filled with herbed goat cheese, then top them with onion marmalade and a little sprig of thyme.  They were so delicious!  I love baked brie and thought, why not tweeked the recipe and make it so very holiday!  Both variations are super easy to make and perfect for any sized group.  An easy do-ahead tip is assemble them before your party in then bake them as needed so they are warm from the oven all night. Featured on our new Fall-Winter Small Plates Menu, these little bites are full of yummy holiday flavors that will not disappoint!

PS...This Cranberry Chutney recipe is wonderful with Thankgiving Turkey.  I make it every year and rarely is there any left over :) 

1 1/2    pounds puff pastry
pound brie, refrigerated and cut into 24 pieces

tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine

Cranberry Chutney
6    
ounces cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2
pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2" dice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1/2 Special equipment: shallow mini muffin tins

Baked Brie and Cranberry Kisses



Prepare Chutney. Combine cranberries and sugar in saucepan; cook over medium-low heat until berries release their juices, about 8 minutes.

Place pears in a medium bowl and toss with lemon zest and juice.

Add orange juice, raisins, and dates to cranberries. Raise heat to medium-high. Stir occasionally, adding pears when mixture begins to bubble. Cook, stirring until mixture thickens and pears turn read and are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Preheat oven to 375F. Bring puff pastry to room temp.

Lightly dust surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out a sheet of puff pastry to double its size. Brush off as much excess flour from both sides of pastry using a brush. Cut pastry evenly into squares to fit mini muffin tins. Press squares into tins and crimp down edges.

Fill each shell with a chunk of brie and sprinkle with a pinch of thyme. Top with a teaspoon or more of cranberry chutney and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool 3 minutes before serving.
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Makes 48 appetizers/24 servings.  Per serving: 252 Calories; 16g Fat; 6g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 19mg Cholesterol; 190mg Sodium. 


Turkey Brine

Turkey BriningBrining meat, especially a turkey, takes some forethought and planning, but it is so worth the extra effort!  This brine is pretty traditional but makes the most delicious, flavor infused turkey I've ever tasted.  The most difficult thing about this recipe is finding a pot or bucket big enough to fit your turkey.  Oh, and you don't need to use one of those over priced "turkey brining bags" you see in gourmet cooking stores.  Just get a large oven roasting bag from the market.  Here's how to create this auromatic mixture...Bring 1 quart of water, 1 1/2 cups kosher salt, 6 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon dried juniper berries, 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorn, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds to a simmer, stirring until salt dissolved. Let cool 5 minutes.

Line a 5 gallon pot or bucket with a large oven roasting bag. Place a 16-18 pound turkey (patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver for stuffing) wing side first into the bag that is lining the pot. Add salt mixture, another 6 quarts of water, 1 bottle dry Riesling, 2 medium onions sliced, 6 cloves garlic roughly chopped, and 1 bunch thyme. Tie the bag tightly with twine so that the turkey is completely submerged and surrounded by liquid.  Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping the turkey once for even brining.

When finished brining, the turkey will look white and pickled.  Rinse and prepare as you normally do for roasting.


WANT TO USE THESE TIPS AND RECIPES IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you do not alter the information in any way and include a credit that reads "by Rose LeBoeuf, www.lafoodworks.com, Interactive Cooking Classes, Parties, and Corporate Team Building Events for Groups Looking for a Fun and Unique Dinning Experience." 


 LA Food Works Events 

Ideal for Team Building, Summer Outings, Client Entertaining, Birthday Parties, Showers and Private Gatherings. 
Let LA Food Works make your party one which your guests will not soon forget!
  
No previous cooking experience required!
Just willingness to put on an apron,
get your hands a little messy,
indulge in some great food
and have lots of fun playing in the kitchen!
 
We also happily design Custom Cooking Parties. If you have a group of 10 or more foodies who love great food and playing together in the kitchen, contact us and we will design a custom menu or theme class for you and your group.

Our interactive cooking parties both unify and entertain...perfect for any occasion that requires great food, interesting activities and lots of fun!

310-288-0100
www.lafoodworks.com

For information or to book your event, contact Rose LeBoeuf at 310-288-0100 for an event planning kit, pricing and availability.