Thursday, April 25, 2013

Food Demo: Sur La Table



    Last weekend a friend and I went to a cooking demonstration at Sur La Table.  The store does cooking classes all the time that are more hands-on, but this was a demo that cost us only a $5 donation to charity.  The demos are held once weekly, so check your local calendar here for more details because I highly recommend these events! 

    Sur la Table's cooking class locations are state of the art.  As you can see, the appliances alone are what kitchen fantasies are made of.  (Hello there double oven, stainless steel pot filler, and KitchenAid Stand Mixer!)  Besides the beautiful aesthetics, the technology is on point too.  The hood contains a small camera that captures the stovetop so you have a bird's eye view of everything the chef is doing.




    This month's demo was on homemade pizza, something I make all too often.  But I was really interested in getting more tips on making homemade crust, which is the part that I normally cheat on for the sake of time and effort.  I wasn't disappointed.  The crust was light and crispy, and I can't wait to try it at home.  The chef made both a margherita and a blue cheese pear pizza which were both delicious!  That was the other thing, we got quite a bit of food to sample.  Not too bad for five dollars! 



    After class, the instructor answered questions and gave advice.  She even helped my friend perfect her pizza peel skills.  The store was opened early for us to shop, so we poked around for awhile.  I didn't end up buying anything, but I did see something I liked.  This wall of oils and vinegars = my idea of heaven.





    We were sent home with a packet full of tips, tricks and recipes.  Below is the blue cheese and pear recipe just for you!  Check out more recipes here.

Grilled Pear Pizza with Crumbled Blue Cheese, Walnuts, and Honey
(Recipe adapted from Sur La Table Chef Lord-Norton)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 or 3 large, ripe Bosc or Bartlett pears, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
Your favorite store bought or homemade dough
1 cup walnuts
10 ounces creamy blue cheese, coarsely crumbled
2 tablespoons honey
4 thyme sprigs
Wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese for grating

Place a pizza stone in lower third of oven, preheat to 500 degrees.  

Place a medium grill pan on stove over medium heat.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook pear until golden (about 3 minutes per side).  Set aside to cool.

Lightly brush dough with olive oil and spread pears over surface evenly in a sunburst pattern.  Sprinkle with walnuts, blue cheese, and freshly ground pepper to taste. 

Insert pizza into oven and cook until you have reached desired crust.  Remove from oven and grate Parmigiano-Reggiano over top.  Sprinkle with thyme leaves and drizzle with honey.  Serve and enjoy!





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