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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Taste of France

"A Taste of France"

French cuisine is extremely diverse, with only the Chinese having similar variety in their food. This variety is supported by the French passion for good food in all its forms, France's extraordinary range of different geographies and climates which support the local production of all types of ingredients, and France's long and varied history. In many ways, an understanding of the culture of French food and recipes is an understanding of France itself.

Meals range from the very basic, such as the traditional baguette plus cheese plus inexpensive wine, to very elaborate affairs than can involve a dozen courses and different wines consumed over several hours. Obviously, the latter type of dining is exceptional for most people. However, it is this more sophisticated dining which is typically found in "French restaurants" outside France, giving many foreigners the mistaken impression that French food is heavy and complicated. In fact, much of the French cuisine is fairly simple, relying on high quality fresh ingredients and loving preparation rather than complex recipes.

This class will be held every Tuesday @ 11am and 6pm

Menu will include such dishes as:

*Salad Lyonaisse ~ Frisee lettuce with bacon, homemade croutons and a poached egg. Topped with a zesty stoneground mustard vinegar dressing

*Traditional French Onion Soup

*Chicken Pillards over a bed of greens and mandarin oranges

*Coq au vin

Please sign up via my on-

line calendar if you have a prepaid voucher:

Schedule online now

A Taste of India

"A Taste of India"

One country, more than forty languages and roughly 1600 dialects! India is diverse to say the least and its languages are just one aspect of this diversity. Every state has its own traditions, culture, lifestyle, food…. It is ironic then, that when the rest of the world thinks of Indian food, the one word that comes to most minds is ‘curry’. This is perhaps the greatest understatement ever as ‘curry’ does not begin to sum up the amazing variety that is to be had in Indian cuisine. Not only does every state have its own style of cooking, even individual households differ in their preparation of the same dish. Most have their own secret recipes for the powders and pastes that form the backbone of the dish. What unifies all Indian dishes is the spices that bring them their characteristic fragrance and flavor.

Delicious and healthy too!
While some Indian food is traditionally packed with ingredients like oil and ghee that most of us avoid for health reasons, there is almost no comparison anywhere in the world to the vast variety of fresh fruit and vegetable dishes that form part of its repertoire. As such there is no reason why even the most waistline-conscious among us cannot enjoy good Indian cuisine. The keywords though are ‘in moderation’.

This class will alternate on Wednesday's with other cuisines at 11am and 6pm
Menu will be posted every Tuesday.

Some traditional dishes we will be creating will be:
Chicken Tikka Masala
Indian Spiced Potatoes
Eggplant Curry
Coconut Rice
Lemon Rice
Coconut Curry Chicken
Butter Chicken
and much much more....

Please sign up via my online calendar if you have a pre-paid voucher.
Schedule online now

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Win a cooking lesson or private dinner for two

Simmer and Sear Raffle

Enter to win a cooking lesson or dinner for two prepared by your own private chef, your choice on the prize!
Both valued at $130

You will be able to book a date to cash in your prize on any available date on the calendar, excluding holidays. To see a description of my private cooking lessons or private chef services click here:
Private Services

Winner will be selected on 2/28/11, contest ends on 2/27/11.

Click here to purchase raffle tickets

(*Suggest purchasing only one raffle ticket for best value*)

Good luck!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Recipe for Love.....

Are you still looking for that perfect Valentines gift?

Taking a private cooking lesson together is both romantic and a fun unique way to "spice" things up! Being able to cook together with ease and comfort is a sure sign of compatibility.......

A kiss for an appetizer
My mouth, your spices
I wanna cook for you
Ecstasy melting this love
Love without seasoning
Desire boiling
Let's taste eternity
Mmmmmmm :)

It's not too late to give the gift of cooking for V-Day. Contact Simmer and Sear today to find out how to purchase a gift certificate and get your recipe for 'Love'!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

~Love is in the Air~Recipe of the Month

~Love is in the Air~
Recipe of the Month

Heart-Shaped Polenta Bites with Caramelized Mushrooms

For the polenta:

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

Cook the polenta: In a medium, heavy pot over high heat bring the cream, stock, salt, and nutmeg to a boil. Add the polenta gradually, whisking constantly. When the mixture thickens, switch to a wooden spoon and adjust the heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook, stirring often, until thick, smooth, and creamy, about 15 minutes. Add the Parmesan and stir. Keep the polenta warm over low heat, stirring occasionally. If the polenta gets dry as it sits, stir in about 1/4 cup of warm stock or cream.

For the mushrooms:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound button, cremini mushrooms, or wild mushrooms cut into quarters
  • Finely ground salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves, for garnish

Saute the mushrooms: In a medium skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, sprinkle in the mushrooms in a single layer. Don't stir them! Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, about 2 minutes. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them once and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Add the butter and cook until it begins to brown, then add the garlic. Continue to cook until the garlic begins to brown. Add the thyme and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the lemon juice and cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the wine, and simmer until the mushrooms are glazed with the sauce. Add the parsley. Keep sauce on the lowest simmer setting.

For the Heartlets:

Make the polenta according to above instructions. Just before the polenta is finished thickening, pour 3/4 of the mushroom sauce into the polenta, stir. Make sure to reserve 1/4 the sauce to pour over the top of each heart. Pour the polenta onto a greased, rimmed baking sheet. Set aside to cool and firm up, about 30 minutes.

To assemble: Using a 2-inch diameter heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut the polenta into heart shapes, about 24, and place them on a serving platter

Place 1 heart on a plate, place about 1/2 teaspoon of the reserved mushrooms on top of the polenta. Garnish with grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Happy Valentines Day!

The Kitchen Consultant!

The Kitchen Consultant:

Do you like to cook but feel like you either don't have the right kitchen supplies or your kitchen is so cluttered and unorganized that it takes all the fun out of cooking? Well, The Kitchen Consultant is here to help! This service provides consulting on what kitchen needs/equipment your kitchen might be missing to make things run more smoothly and cook stress-free. I will go through your entire kitchen and make a list of things I see or don't see that can end any anxiety that you may be having in the kitchen. You want to cook more but every time you try to do so you end up frustrated with not having the proper kitchen necessities. Maybe you have every thing you need to cook stress-free but you just can't find it!! Whip those pots and pans into shape and if you will, let me find your kitchen's "Feng Shui"!
Call 415-335-8831 or email for pricing and details.