Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!

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Cooking Demo

Last evening I had the opportunity to go to a cooking demonstration at a Restaurant in my area: Ravioli’s.  The owner showed us how to prepare Italian food from the region of Sardegna on the island of Sardinia.  It was a relaxed and enjoyable evening I shared with a fellow foodie friend Kristine and her business partner and my new friend, Wendy.

He prepared the food on a table with a small hot plate right in front of us and after demonstrating the dish he would have the kitchen staff bring out the food he prepared for us to eat.  It was a truly great experience.

We started the evening off with an appetizer plate of cheese (Pecorino Sardo), a slice of granny smith apple and two different Italian cold cuts. Along with a tasting of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Items that he demonstrated were Piadina Dough (Italian unleavened flat bread) which he then filled with roasted veggies, Fontina cheese and a Chipotle Aioli that was fantastic (he gave us the recipe and I will post it below).

Next he braised a bed of vegetables (thinly sliced onions, tomatoes, potatoes with fresh herbs) and white wine under a piece of fresh tuna. I am not a huge fan of tuna, but I really liked this preparation.  If I make this one in the future, I will use a different type of fish like Halibut.

The star of the show was the herb roasted pig (La Porchetta Sarda).  Yes a whole pig (well, it was cleaned) which was stuffed with seasonings like garlic, and fresh thyme, and fresh rosemary and lemons and other goodness.  Roasted on a rotisserie for 5 hours – we didn’t have to wait that long.. he had a prepared one in the back and it was moist and succulent.  I don’t believe I will be making this one though.  It is better if you have 25 people to share it with.

We finished the evening with Coffee and ice cream.

I do recommend looking into local cooking classes like that.  It is interesting to learn various cooking methods – and to learn that Italy is not just about the pasta.  You may even get the bonus of hearing of driving nightmares in Italy on streets that are “one way” and cars parked in both directions.. and hitting mirrors as you drive in the middle…

For me the star of the show was the

Piadina Bread and Chipotle Aioli Sauce

Piadina + Chipotle Aioli

Ravioli’s Chipotle Aioli:

2 eggs

1 tsp mustard

juice of two lemons

1 anchovy filet (optional)

1 chipotle (canned)

Blend the above ingredients for a few minutes and with the motor running add enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make an emulsification.  Serve as a mayo on sandwiches, or tacos or chips…

The evening out with a few girl friends was wonderful.  I so enjoyed the food and fun with others who have a passion and love for cooking.  I will be looking forward to more cooking classes at Ravioli’s.  Though it was not cheap, it was a special treat.  Let me know if you want to join me next time.  Here are some pictures from the evening (sorry about the pig if you are squeamish).

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Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers are a hit around our home, but what really makes them a star is the cheese sauce that I make to go with it.  It really goes well with the flavor of the meat and peppers.  I paired it with fresh corn on the cob and garlic seasoned brown Basmati rice.  I have to say the peppers almost did not make it to the photo – we were hungry and devoured them like they were the last food on earth.

I usually buy pre-stuffed peppers (I like the ones they sell at the meat counter at Henry’s) They are turkey meatloaf stuffed peppers – any meatloaf mix will do though.  The cheese sauce is easy to prepare in the microwave with things I usually have in my pantry or fridge.

Stuffed Peppers with Spicy Cheese Sauce

Serves 5-6

  • 5-6 meatloaf filled green bell peppers

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 (14 oz) can Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies (Mild)
  • 8 slices American cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Cook the peppers in a baking dish (I add some water to the bottom to keep them moist) and cover them with foil.  Bake for one hour.  Remove the foil and continue cooking for another 15-30 minutes or until the meat is to temperature with a meat thermometer. (Mine were at 165 for the turkey meatloaf mix). Note:  When you serve the peppers, use tongs and tip them halfway to let the moisture drain into the baking dish before putting on the plate, or you may have a puddle of water on the plate.
  2. For the cheese sauce: Combine half a can of Rotel tomatoes with chilies with 8 slices of American cheese slices.  Microwave for a minute and stir.  Continue microwaving it until it is a smooth sauce.  Serve with the peppers.  This cheese sauce is delicious.  The leftover sauce could be used for tortilla chips later.  It makes plenty of cheese sauce.

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Thomas Keller House Vinaigrette

A few weeks ago I posted a guest post by “the peche”  He had a link to Thomas Keller recipes on his site that also included the Keller House Vinaigrette.  I made the recipe today, but cut the amount in half.

Thomas Keller House Vinaigrette (1/2 recipe)

  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil

Whisk the Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar together in a bowl and slowly whisk in the canola oil until it is well blended.  It will thicken as it emulsifies.  Your arm will feel like falling off.. I know this because mine felt like it would.. so if you wish, use a blender to combine and slowly drizzle the oil in.

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Mom’s Raisin Gravy

Here is a recipe for Ham.  With Easter looming just days away, I think I need to start thinking about the menu for that.  When I was growing up my mom would prepare a raisin gravy to go with the ham.  I have to admit, as a child I did not enjoy it much, but now that I am an adult, I cannot have ham without serving this on the side.  It is a good and simple recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as well — maybe it will be a walk down memory lane to your childhood too!

Mom’s Raisin Gravy – Verna


1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp Vinegar
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 tsp Prepared Mustard
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
Lemon Zest
1 1/2 cups Water


Combine all ingredients and heat over medium heat, until a nice consistency. Serve with Ham.

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