One of my favorite things to do at the Ranch is attend cooking classes at our cooking school, La Cocina Que Canta. Why, you ask? Well, let me count the ways. It’s incredibly beautiful inside the kitchen as well as out on the farm. The first time I stepped foot into the Cocina during the Organic Breakfast Hike I was impressed by not only how gorgeous it was, but also warm and inviting. And how it sort of feels like home. I didn’t want to leave. Then there’s the six acre organic farm, Rancho Tres Estrellas, which right now is blooming head to toe with flowers. So, that being said, you can start to see why I love coming to the Cocina. And I haven’t even gotten to the food yet.
If you can while you’re here, attend one of the cooking classes. In some ways it’s a life changing experience even though it’s only about three hours. There’s a lot that goes on! First you learn from not only our amazing chef, Denise Roa, but also our guests chefs who come to share their stories and their approach to cooking. Then comes the tour of the gardens where you’ll be able to pick vegetables for the recipes you’ll be cooking and then of course, is the actual cooking. However, what makes each class so special is truly working together as a group to make a spectacular meal and sharing it together. It’s really hard to describe how unique that is until you’ve actually done it. By the time you leave class, you’ll all feel like old friends.
This class was no exception. The ride back to the Ranch afterwards was filled with laughter and stories from people who had first met just a couple of hours earlier. A lively group I must say! And of course there was the food. Amy, whose background specializes in urban farming (she has an amazing website by the way) came up with a menu that honestly, I would eat every day. Completely up my ally. Veggie heavy recipes that taste delicious and are super healthy. My favorites were the Lettuce Bowls with Shrimp, the Sweet Potato Salad, the Sautéed Escarole, well actually, pretty much everything on the menu!
Lettuce Bowls with Clove Pickled Beets and Grilled Shrimp
Herbal Minestrone- Stock, Bean, Zucchini and a Handful of Herbs
Panzanella with Crushed Tomato and Pickled Red Onion
Barley + Sweet Potato Salad
Grated Cumin Carrots and Raisins
Sautéed Escarole with Smashed Garlic
Orange Slices with Orange Flower Water and Pistachios
Stay tuned for recipes we’ll be posting soon from the class!
Don’t forget about our Culinary Week, La Fiesta De La Cocina Que Canta with Deborah Madison, John Ash, Marie Simmons and Nani Steele! September 28-October 5th! Book by August 1, 2013, limited space available.