Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mon Ami Gabi Cooking School

Saturday morning I was up bright & early ready for school! My son dropped me off at the Mon Ami Gabi & took the rest of the family to go up in the Stratosphere for some fun rides. My wife wanted to go zip line, but she settled for a ride, Big Shot at the top of the Stratosphere. The ride goes from 921 feet to just over 1000 feet then drops at 45 mph & then goes a second time. Our grandson wanted to go but was just ¼ inch too short.

A description of the Cooking School:
Give ordinary recipes a fresh, new spin with a hint of fall at Mon Ami Gabi on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., as the restaurant hosts its French Classics Cooking Class. Guests will get the inside scoop on some of the restaurant’s favorite recipes from Executive Chef Terry Lynch, including the refreshing Brussels sprout salad with dried cranberries, walnuts and bacon and the savory braised lamb shank with orzo pasta and goat cheese. While enjoying a taste of these must-try offerings, guests can cheers to the weekend and enjoy perfectly paired wines. Everyone knows dinner wouldn’t be complete without dessert, and at this class, guests will learn the secrets behind the sweetly-prepared pumpkin tarte tatin with whipped cream - a sure-to-be new favorite. Can’t wait to start whipping up these delectable recipes in your own home? All those attending the fun, interactive class will receive a recipe booklet, compliments of Mon Ami Gabi.

I am an elbows on the table, covered with a cheap oil cloth, kind if diner; but I do enjoy some fine dining once in awhile. I didn’t know what to expect of the school; especially the lamb shanks. I can’t remember eating lamb since I was in Turkey, compliments of the USAF, in 1964. I liked the lamb shish kabobs from the street vendors, done on little charcoal grills.

There were 28 people in the class, about 5 to 1 women. It was more like a cooking show, only 3 people getting some hands on. Exec. Chef Terry Lynch was very informative as he went through the salad, entre, and dessert courses; giving good tips. The Brussels sprout salad was delicious; not tasting like the Brussels sprouts I have done. Each sprout was trimmed, cored & the leaves separated; boiled for only 15 seconds then cooled in ice water. The Chef said most people overcook the sprouts & get a strong cabbage taste, these were sweet tasting & the dried cranberries, walnuts, lardoons, & vinaigrette paired perfectly.

The lamb shanks were good, plenty of meat, I could not eat it all. To me it tasted like mild beef, very tender & not at all what I expected. I ask the Chef about doing the braising on my pellet smoker. He ask; what kind of wood & I answered oak. He said I would do the whole thing on it. Lamb is hard to find here in Mid-West Ohio but will try it if I can find some.

For dessert the pumpkin tarte tatin was great. Not much of a dessert person this is one I loved. I thought the pumpkin tasted a lot like sweet potatoes; and I suppose they could be used as well as about any fruit like apples or pears. Basically it was sugar & a little water cooked to a caramel state, poured into a ramekin; pumpkin sautéed in brown sugar & butter; this tops the caramel and baked for 20 min. Then a pie crust is placed on top & baked for another 10 min. All is inverted onto a plate to serve & makes a nice presentation.

It was a wonderful experience for me; I was so engrossed I didn’t get many photos of the food. I missed the salad & dessert totally & only got a photo of the Lamb Shanks after I had eaten some.

Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas

Entrance to Mon Ami Gabi


Chef trimming the Lamb Shanks

Lamb Shanks

Browned Lamb Shanks

My Plate

Chef signing autographs

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