Time to Celebrate!

November 5, 2013

Rose 4

We are on the cusp of another holiday season and I'm so excited!  Usually I'm kind of stressed going into this time of year, but I guess age and experience are tempering my anxiety.  After all, LAFW is going into its 10th year and I don't have little babies any more.  In fact, yesterday was my oldest son, Zachary's 21st birthday.  Wow!  Wasn't I just 21 a few years ago?  I'm amazed we've both made it this far :).  It's been an incredible and amazing journey! Happy Birthday to both of us! To the left is little picture of my big boy and me taken this weekend.  I have a big birthday coming up next month, so between that and LAFW's holiday events, there will be lots to celebrate at my house in the next few weeks.   

Zachs 21stBelow 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.  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!!!!


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!



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

Honey Walnuts and Goat Cheese Cups
Steak Picadillo Soft Tacos
Gougeres (Classic French Cheese Puffs)
Chicken and Shitake Phyllo Rolls with Roasted Garlic Aioli
Beef Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Camembert, Chicken and Pickled Onion Panini Squares
Sweet and Sour Cocktail Meatballs
Caesar Salad Spears
Spinach and Shrimp Wontons with Spicy Soy Dipping Sauce
Spiced Lamb Sliders with Herbed Yogurt on Mini Pita
Pumpkin Curry Empanadas
Spicy Tuna and Vegetable Sushi Rolls
Turkey Tartlets with Cranberry Salsa
Crispy Sesame Tofu Bites with Hoisin DippingSauce

Sweet Selections

Cider Mini-Doughnuts
Waffle Brownie Bites with Whipped Cream and Hot Fudge
Fuji Apple Egg Rolls with Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce
Buckeyes -
(Hand-made Peanut Butter Candies Dipped in Chocolate)

Chicken and Shitake Phyllo Rolls
with Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Aioli

These tasty bites have become a favorite in my kitchen.  My boys love them (especially Zach) and they have been on every small plate event menu this season!  What's not to love?  Chicken is sauteed with shitake mushrooms and spinach, rolled in phyllo dough then baked in the oven.  When finished and ready to serve, a savory, rich aioli, made with one of my favorite ingredients, roasted garlic, is ready for dipping.  I always make extra sauce to keep on hand for sandwiches or to toss in salad with a little balsamic vinegar.   Featured on our new Fall-Winter Small Plates Menu, these delicious snacks can be made ahead and popped in the oven right before your party begins so everyone gets a bite that's crispy and warm!

2    tablespoons olive oil
pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, about 2 halves

ounces fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed and choppe fine
shallots, thinly sliced
cup dry sherry or white wine
ouces spinach, coarsely chopped
teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
12 sheets phyllo dough
4 tablespoons butter, melted
  salt and pepper to taste
  roasted garlic and rosemary aioli (see recipe below)

Chicken Phyllo Rolls

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large skillet, heat 1Tbs. of the oil just until smoking. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 4 minutes. Turn and sear until just cook through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a work surface, let rest and cut the chicken across the grain into thin strips.

Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil in the skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned around the edges.

Add the shallots and cook, stirring until tender, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Add the sherry (white wine or vermouth), sage and thyme. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Add the chicken and toss.

Lay a sheets of phyllo on a clean, dry work surface and cover with damp paper towel. On a clean, dry cutting board lay one piece of phyllo with the long edge toward you. Brush the phyllo with melted butter then top with a second phyllo sheet.

Cut the sheets in half making two almost squares. Brush the all sides of both halves with butter. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling along the shorter edge of one half. Shape the filling into a 6-inch log and roll up one or two turns. Fold in the sides and continue rolling to form a tight cylinder. Pinch the sides. Fill and roll the second phyllo half. Transfer rolls to a baking sheet and brush with more butter.

Repeat with the remaining phyllo and filling. At each stage of rolling, make sure the extra phyllo are covered with a lightly moistened paper towel.

Bake the phyllo rolls in the upper third of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and heated through. Let cool, then transfer to a cutting board. Cut each roll in half with a serrated knife. Set the spring rolls upright on a tray and serve immediately.

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Aioli

2 to 3 whole heads garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Take the whole heads of garlic and cut the tops off to expose the garlic cloves. Place on a large piece of aluminum foil and drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap up the foil into a tight pouch, and then place in the oven and roast for 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Squeeze the pulp from the skins (you'll need 1/3 cup).

In a food processor, combine the roasted garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Parmesan, Dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce and some salt and pepper. Pulse until well combined. Refrigerate to allow the flavors to meld together. Garnish with parsley.

Makes 12 rolls/24 servings.  Per serving: 147 Calories; 8g Fat; 8g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 25mg Cholesterol; 117mg Sodium. 

Working with Phyllo

phylloLots of people hate working with phyllo dough because it's so delicate and can dry out so quickly causing it to break apart and becoming difficult to work with.  Here are some quick tips on how keep phyllo moist and manageable. 

*Defrost phyllo in the fridge, not on the counter.  Most phyllo is sold in the frozen food department of the grocery store.  When you bring it home, pop it in the fridge.  This will prevent condensation from forming which will make the outer layers of the phyllo gummy.  It will take a few hours so keep that in mind when planning your cooking schedule. 

*When cooking anything, but especially a dish that requires phyllo, have all your ingredients prepped.  It takes seconds for phyllo to dry out, so have everything ready including any special utensils or tools need to create your dish.

*Place the stack of unwrapped phyllo dough on top of a sheet of plastic then cover it with a damp paper towel,  but not too wet!  Squeeze out excess moisture and lightly place on top.  This will give the dough just enough hydration to stay pliable.

*After taking a sheet to work with, recover the remaining phyllo with the damp paper towel.  I know this sounds laborious, but if you keep your phyllo hydrated, you will save time in the long run because you won't be fighting with broken pieces of dough.

You can refreeze any leftover dough for months or wrap it back up in plastic and pop it back in the refrigerator.  It will keep there for a couple of weeks.

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!


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