Have you heard of Stonewall Kitchen? They’re a local New England place, based in Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut. They’re known for jams, jellies, sauces and other gourmet fare. One of the places up in Maine offers cooking classes. I bet you think I’m about to tell you that I’ve gone to one. Nope. Before I tell you who did attend one, a quick overview of the cooking hierarchy in my life.
My grandmother was the first cook in my life. My dad was the second. The third was actually a number of people- parents of my friends, aunts, uncles, other friends. My mother always brought up the rear, so to speak, because she simply didn’t cook.
And when I say didn’t cook, I mean that she didn’t cook. We had an instant hot water spout in our kitchen so that she didn’t have to boil water for tea. When I went away to college, she had to call me to ask me how to use the oven.
At one point, after my grandmother died and everyone was home, my mother stood in the kitchen and cooked. The entire family- all the cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and a few friends- stood around and watched. One uncle even videotaped it because, as he put it, who knew when it would happen again?!
Mom took a gourmet cooking class at one point when I was in middle school. She had a great Friday night and then never cooked again. At least not until that day in my grandmother’s kitchen.
Since those days, my mother has become a more accomplished cook. Which is not to say that she loves it but she does finally see the value in cooking for herself. We’ll often play a version of the Food Network show, “Chopped” wherein she’ll call me and tell me what she has in the fridge and I will create a dish for her to make. Good times.
Which brings me back to the first paragraph. Recently, my mom and a good friend attended a cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen. It was taught by Dave Martin, one of my favorite chefs from the Bravo Series Top Chef. Mum reported that he was highly entertaining and that she learned a great deal. Then she promptly handed me the recipes from the class.
She also bought me tasty gifties.
From top left across, that would be roasted apple grille sauce, pomegranate grille sauce, and dark chocolate sea salt caramel sauce. They were all delicious. But I’ll show you the best one first. It went extremely well with some simple vanilla ice cream.
I used the pomegranate sauce on chicken. First I seared the chicken (after seasoning with salt and pepper) in some olive oil. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Once they were nice and browned, I took them out and let them rest. I threw some chopped onions into the pan and let them soften.
I also used the apple sauce on pork chops, made in the same way. I seared the pork.
I topped it with the apple grille sauce.