Devouring Houston: Exploring Houston One Bite at a time

Houston has so many incredible food establishments...from sumptuously designed restaurants to fun storefronts selling gourmet cookies. From Mexican Food Carts to the Best BBQ in the World. And...I want to expore it one bite at a time.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sur La Table -- Risotto Cooking Class

I love Risotto.  What is not to love about a creamy, starchy dish?  Comfort food at a sophisticated level.   I also love Sur La Table.  I can browse for hours at the fancy pots, array of wooden spoons, and assortment of blenders and food processors.  What is not to love about these things!?  Put the two together:  Risotto Cooking Class + Sur La Table = a super fun night with yummy results.

Our Teacher, Robbie Rensel, and our class cooking

Our teacher, Robbie Rensel, was spot-on perfectly great.  He was funny.  He was knowledgeable (he studied at CIA for goodness sakes!).  He was patient.  He was excellent.   After we practiced some knife skills, made a chive oil, whipped up an arugula pesto, and reduced onions to incorporate into a tomato jam, the classed divided into 4 groups to make 4 different risottos.  What a great format.  Our team was the most fun.  Clearly.  We were the team drinking wine!  But, truly we got lucky, our whole class was friendly and amusing. 

Our team was charged with making the Pumpkin Risotto with Fried Sage Leaves and Chive Oil.   This specific class was particularly interesting to me in that I do love making risotto, but its never perfect.  Mine always comes out creamy and flavorful, but my rice is always too al dente.  I think, thanks to Robbie, that I figured out my problem.   Working with that Pumpkin Risotto, I'm hoping I tweaked my own rice stirring skills!

Stirring, stirring, stirring

Sun Dried Tomato Jam for the Fennel and Sausage Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Oil
Arugula Pesto Risotto with Shaved Pecorino Romano

So, how did our group's Pumpkin Risotto turn out?  Very well, if I do say so myself!  The fried sage leaves were a perfect lightly, crunchy contrast to the creamy, subtle pumpkin risotto.  Of the four recipes the class made, the Sausage and Fennel was my favorite.   My second fave was the pesto risotto -- the pesto we made included arugula and almonds!  Robbie and Sur La Table did an excellent job of instructing ALL of us would-be-chefs to all make some very excellent, savory fancy comfort food dishes. 

Sausage and Fennel Risotto with Sun Dried Tomato Jam, Pumpkin Risotto with Fried Sage Leaves,
Arugula Pesto Risotto, and Wild Mushroom Risotto.

I highly recommend taking a class at Sur La Table.  Professional.  Instructive.  Fun.  A great evening with some great food at the end. 

Sur La Table
803 Town and Country Lane, Suite 123
Houston, Texas 77024

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that you enjoyed your class enough to write about it! What a wonderful and well written article. We hope to see you back soon! Take care.

    Robbie Rensel