Tuesday does not begin just another year. Just as important, at least in a minimal way, it also starts another month.
And around these parts, a new month means a new month of cooking classes.
Williams-Sonoma continues its weekly series of classes to improve your cooking technique. This month, the free classes are on widely varied topics: Eating healthy foods through the winter, 10 a.m., Jan. 6 and 7 p.m., Jan. 7; raw foods, from juicing to salads, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. and Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.; vegetarian cooking, Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. and Jan. 21 at 7 p.m., and foods of Morocco, 10 a.m., Jan. 27 and 7 p.m., Jan. 28.
Meanwhile, the cookbook club will also meet in January (first rule of Cookbook Club: Don't talk about Cookbook Club). At 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 9, the featured book will be Fresh, by hunky TV chef Tyler Florence. Instructors will talk about the book's focus on using fresh ingredients in provocative ways, and will then cook a sample meal using three of the recipes — kale salad with apples, walnuts, and roasted grapes; steak with spinach, Parmesan, lemon, and olive oil; and frozen chocolate raspberry "bombs."
The cookbook club costs $75, which includes a taste of the prepared food, a copy of the cookbook with a signed bookplate, and a 10 percent discount on anything in the store.
In addition, the store is offering how-to demonstrations on some of their more popular appliances. They will show how to get the most out of your juicer at 6 p.m. Jan. 5; how to use your new cookware (that's pots and pans) at 6 p.m. on Jan. 7 and Jan. 12; the basics of using a Vitamix blender at 6 p.m. on Jan 14 and Jan. 19; how to use knives on Jan. 21 and Jan. 26 at 6 p.m.; and the ins and outs of a KitchenAid stand mixer at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 and Feb. 2. These demonstrations are all free.
The store is in the Westfield Franklin Park Mall, 5001 Monroe St. Reservations are requested for all the events at 419-475-6368.
Few things are more satisfying at this time of year than a comforting fire in the fireplace. And the same warming thought is behind the allure of grilled food in the dead of winter.
Grilled food is every bit as good now as it is in August, but few people think to do it because it is cold outside. But that's the point. And most of your time grilling is spent away from the grill, anyway. You can spend the time inside, getting warm.
One of our favorite things to grill is salmon on a cedar plank. The flavor of cedar smoke blends with the salmon in a way that is absolutely irresistible. And a coriander-citrus glaze can only make it better.
Cedar-Planked Salmon with Coriander-Citrus Glaze
3 medium oranges
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cold
2 tablespoons ground coriander, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 salmon fillet (with skin), 2½ to 3 pounds and about ¾ inch thick, pin bones removed
Soak the cedar plank in water for at least 1 hour.
Finely grate enough zest from the oranges and the limes to make 1½ teaspoons of each; set aside. Squeeze 1 cup juice from the oranges and 1/3 cup juice from the limes. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, and honey and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the liquid is reduced to¾ cup, 10-14 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, the orange zest, lime zest, and 1½ teaspoons of the coriander. Let the glaze cool slightly. Stir in the cilantro.
Place the salmon fillet on a large baking sheet. Cut the fillet into six individual portions, cutting right down to the skin but not through it.
In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the remaining coriander, the salt, cumin, and pepper. Pour ½ cup of the citrus glaze slowly and evenly over the top of the salmon, reserving the remaining glaze for serving. Spread the glaze evenly over the salmon, brushing some glaze between the individual portions. Season the salmon evenly with the spice mixture. Allow the salmon to marinate at a cool room temperature for 45 minutes, basting occasionally with any glaze that runs onto the baking sheet.
Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
Brush the cooking grates clean. Remove the soaked plank from the water and place it on the cooking grate over direct medium heat. Close the lid. After 5-10 minutes, when the plank begins to smoke and char, turn the plank over and place it over indirect medium heat. Put the salmon on the plank, skin side down, and cook, with the lid closed, until the salmon is just opaque in the center and begins to brown slightly around the edges, 25-35 minutes. Transfer the plank with the salmon to a heatproof surface. Slide a spatula between the skin and flesh and transfer to serving plates. Spoon some of the remaining citrus glaze over each serving. Gently toss the salad with the dressing and serve it alongside the salmon.
Source: Weber grills
It's kind of a slow week here in Morsel Land. Not a lot happens in the culinary world (or anywhere else, for that matter), during the week between Christmas and the New Year. It's time for what sociologists refer to as the three Fs — family, friends, and football.
So with our thumbs twiddled about as much as they can be twiddled, we have decided to be bold. We are going to get something off our chest:
By some countings, today is the fifth day of Christmas (though most people consider today the sixth day). Which brings us to our song-related peeve.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave me five golden rings, right? But she did not give me five gold rings, as most people seem to think. Rather, she gave me five ring-necked pheasants.
The first seven gifts are all birds, including the golden (some people sing "gold") rings. Gifts eight through 12 are all people. Actual gold rings would be inanimate objects, and none of the other gifts are inanimate, except the pear tree.
Thank you for letting us rant. Educating the public on matters of useless triviality is our mission.