Monday, February 27, 2012

Sous Vide Pork Chops with Currywurst Dry Rub

I started off with a few pork chops I sliced out of a whole pork loin.  I left the fat on as I know even in the sous vide the pork can dry out, as the first time I tried out sous vide pork chops they were a bit on the dry side.  So there the fat and the temp will help control the moisture.  I think I just took my temp a little too high the first time I tried it.  This time I am using a 138 F temp for 2 hours.
 In my mind I wanted to do something similar to a maple brined chop, but since I had to have the chops ready for dinner time I improvised.  First thing was a dry rub, but sweet so I started with a base of kosher salt, brown sugar, dried garlic, dried onions, and a little cayenne.  But while pulling out the spices, I realized I had a little spice mix left over from some currywurst I recently made.  What a lucky discovery.

 After rubbing the dry rub on to the chops, they were placed in the bag and cooked for 2 hours at 138 F.   While not looking so great out of the bag, the aroma was fantastic.  After a quick dry off I placed the cooked chops in a smoking hot oiled grill pan and seared each side a minute, then rotated 90 degrees for another minute, before flipping over and searing on a cross hatch pattern on the opposite side.
 Ah, a nice and juicy chop is done.

Mick Dimas, Culinary M.C. Co-owner of Add Thyme, a great place to take cooking classes in San Francisco.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sous Vide Chicken Breast in Creamy Ricotta Sauce

What I love about sous vide cooking besides its amazing ability to keep meats moist and tender, is its convenience factor.  Now I am someone who likes to cook, really loves to cook, but those that are a little timid in the kitchen can take heart - cooking sous vide really simplifies things for you.  There may be a little bit of planning involved, but would you rather leave the planning to a food scientist figuring out a better way to add water weight to your frozen semi meat microwave meal?  It is cliché but it all goes back to you are what you eat, literally.  So why not take just a little bit of time out of your day and make something that is better for you and that actually tastes good as well.  OK, off my soap box.

One of the quickest meals to make is using chicken breast in the sous vide.  

This is a recipe for Chicken Breast in Creamy Spinach Ricotta Sauce.

Sous Vide Chicken Breast in Creamy Ricotta Sauce

For Sous Vide (Prep 5 minutes, Cook time min 1hour)
2 - 6 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
1 Tablespoon Butter
Kosher Salt
1 Bay leaf

For the sauce (Prep time 5 minutes, cook time 25 minutes)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
1 shallot or half an onion
2 cups fresh baby spinach
½ cup of chicken stock
½ cup Ricotta Cheese
¼ cup cream
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
A couple of zests of a lemon
Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Sous vide:
Generously salt the chicken breast with kosher salt and place in pouch, with butter & bay leaf.  Seal and add to water bath pre-heated to 146 F and cook for a minimum of 1 hour.

To make the sauce, dice your shallot.  Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat.  When the pan is heated, add the extra virgin olive oil, then the shallots and cook until soft about 3-5 minutes, taking care not to brown them.  Once the shallots are soft, add your baby spinach and with a wooden spoon move it around the pan until the spinach has shriveled and is limp.  Then add the chicken stock, turn pan up to high heat and bring to a boil and reduce the stock by half, about 8 minutes.  Once the stock has reduced, lower the temperature to medium low and stir in your ricotta cheese.  Stir to incorporate the cheese into the spinach and onion mixture, simmer for a minute and then add the cayenne and cream and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Just before serving zest in a couple of swipes of lemon zest with a micro-plane zester.

After the chicken has cooked for a minimum of an hour remove the breasts from the bags and serve with the creamy spinach ricotta sauce. 

Serving suggestion- Serve with a brown rice pilaf and broiled asparagus.

Recipe by Mick Dimas, Culinary M.C. and Co-Owner of Add Thyme a cooking school based in San Francisco.  For a list of cooking classes offered please check out

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Schedule up for Cooking Classes (Finally)

Well after a few months of planning we finally have our cooking classes up online and available for to purchase. We will be offering some great classes to begin with at our temporary cooking location at the Dacor Kitchen showroom in South San Francisco.

Barbara is ready to get back into instructing adults, as she has recently been only teaching cooking classes to children.  She is looking forward to handing knives back to the hands of her students, something she is unable to do with the children's classes.  Look for her knife skills class to kick off our schedule of classes.

 We will also be offering a Sausage making class, where we will be making breakfast sausage, chorizo, spicy  Italian and bratwurst sausages.  We will also be offering party classes that are part cooking and a lot of fun with our Festa di Pasta where every student will be making a pasta from scratch and a sauce or filling to go along to feast on at the end of the party.   We will also host a Paella Fiesta, that's right a Paella Party, where Spanish tapas and Valencian Paella will be made amidst music and frivolity.  The photos may not match now but there will be plenty of smiles and happy well fed people in the days and years to follow.

Cooking classes offered by

We hope to see you soon at one of our classes, we know you'll have a good time and learn a trick or two in becoming a better cook.  Our goal is to make you a better, happier more confident person in the kitchen that can produce not just a full belly but a smile and a sense of accomplishment.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sweet Scone Hearts

Many people think of scones as little dry hockey pucks.

What most people don't know that scones don't have to be that way.

A proper scone is a delicious sweet pastry.

Scones are simple.

Made with just flour, butter, sugar, cream, egg, vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Pick your topping from chocolate to cherries, cheddar to feta, scones are a blank canvas.

Made properly you'll cherish them and devour them.

And made with love they'll taste even better.

Check out to find cooking classes that will help you create delicious dishes for you and your loved ones.
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Heart Ravioli

Here's an easy Valentine's  Day recipe, to make for your sweetheart.  Start with your favorite ravioli filling recipe, the one we are using here is a simple mixture of Ricotta, Parmesan, Spinach, Egg, Salt and Pepper.

Place filling on your broad sheets of pasta, and use a heart shaped cookie cutter make sure your filling will fit within the ravioli.  Dip your fingers in an egg wash and moisten the pasta around your ravioli filling, then place your top layer of pasta over your filling and seal the raviolis.  Then use the cookie cutter to cut out your individual ravioli.

Pasta is a simple and easy dish for you to make from scratch at home.  Sign up for one of our cooking classes to learn how to make pasta.  If you don't have time to make your own pasta, you can use store bought won-ton wrappers, to create nearly the same effect.

Use the cutter and cut out your hearts and then place stuffing on the bottom layer.

With your finger tips moisten the edges and then seal the top layer.

The heart shaped ravioli are now ready to cook, place in a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the hearts float to the top of the pot.  Remove ravioli and serve with your favorite sauce.