enter your name & email to receive periodic newsletters from the CADP.

 

 

Name
Name
         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog

Filtering by Tag: recipes

Starry Starry Nights

Suzanne Pollak

download.jpg

Even though my family lived in Enugu, Nigeria, for a few months before evacuating during the Biafran Civil War, we established our daily rhythm right away. Living as nomads, what kept us tethered to normalcy was structure. My all-Nigerian school had walls four feet high, red clay in the courtyard; sewing classes for the girls, gardening for the boys; scripture in the mornings with a teacher wielding a long ruler, ready to whack you on the head or hand if your pronunciation of Old Testament names was off. That’s when I learned my fainting trick. I could pass out before I got called on. I almost broke my two front teeth using this ruse one too many times. 

After school I did as the school boys, tending to my own vegetable patch in our huge backyard, or else I visited the zoo with no cages down the road. Night times were for walking down the road, skipping over snakes, drinking with the neighbors who had naughty monkeys that finished everyone's half-empty cocktails. Sometimes, after dinner, my father and I sat in his library listening to the Voice of America radio. But it was evenings on an upstairs terrace, listening to the sounds of Africa that I liked best -- the frogs, the animals, the night times sounds, the symphony of nature. Once the blackness of night descended, always at 6 p.m. sharp (no Daylight Savings Time) the stars danced across the sky and my father taught me about the constellations.

Remembering the stars and sounds makes me think of the Cole Porter song Night and Day: like the beat beat beat of the tom tom drum when the jungle shadows fall... I recall wondering where I belonged in the world, and, of course, the taste of shoe string potatoes. The only thing our cook made that was actually delicious were shoe string potatoes. To this day, I prefer those tasty fries to the plain old American French fry. They are crisper, quicker, and even good when cold. For slightly healthier version that is equally delicious, try Fried Zucchini, the Academy way.

XO, the Dean

New Year's Eve, Academy Style

Suzanne Pollak

This is the way the world [/year] ends
Not with a bang but a whimper [almost].
— T.S. Eliot [and the Dean]

After all the sparkly Christmas parties, crushing crowds, decorated windows, doors and trees, not to mention major cooking…New Year’s Eve could be a time for going off radar. A big New Year’s bash is unabashedly out to blow all your circuits -- isn't that the whole point? Make no mistake, this night's party takes sustained effort both to organize and enjoy (as any New Year's host will attest.) This year the Academy takes our cue from our favorite poet, T.S. Eliot, and decided to end our year with a whimper. 

How do you orchestrate a whimper that is also unforgettable? An evening worth staying up for, and going out to? Start by inviting several couples for a champagne cocktail before they go off to blow out all their circuits, but invite one or two of those couples to stay longer for dinner. New Year's Eve isn't without a little over the top, but keep it classy & do it with your menu. Key words: Simple and Extravagant.

MENU

  • Champagne Cocktails - here are ten different ways to make one.
  • Caviar - Ossetra is fine with the Deans but don't overlook delicious domestic varieties i.e. ...) Try an assortment for that really over-the-top feel.
  • ...with Blinis and Creme Fraiche - easier to make (Martha's way) than you think.
  • A plate of charcuterie -- the best you can find. (In Charleston the best is Bob Cook's at Artisan Meat Share on Spring Street.)
  • Oyster Stew
  • Cognac Chocolate Mousse in Champagne Cups - from the Handbook.
  • More Champagne.

We also like to to have plenty of seltzer on hand, because bubbles, as well as the words to Auld Lang Syne so that everyone can join in a round of song to usher in the New Year.

Here's to you, your parties, and 2016!

 

Mastering Prime Rib 101

Suzanne Pollak

Standing Rib Roast is having a moment. The Academy's line has been fielding dozen of calls about this holiday showstopper. Those of you who have never bought or cooked a Prime Rib (yes, it's the same thing) should not be be intimidated. Let the Dean hold your hand and answer any question that arise. Some of our students are so diligent that they have been practicing before the big holiday meal and texting their every questions to us. The Dean never rests!

For first-time cooks, we offer you a step-by-step guide. More advanced cooks may be amused remembering the confusion you once felt.

Prime Rib FAQ & A:

  • I have big eaters. How many ribs do I need for eight people? We answered, 8 big eaters = 7 ribs.
  • The butcher asked if I'd like an "easy-carve" style? Do I? Easy carve is brilliant, unless one of your guests is an expert carver. 
  • Do I want to buy the fat end or the other end? We say fat end. 
  • Any hints about the vodka rub? Place the roast fat side down during the before cooking time.
  • So I put in at 500 degrees for 20 minutes, then do I leave it in oven to turn temp. down to 325 for the remaining cooking time? Not sure if I should take it out while the oven temperature adjusts... Beef stays in the oven. 
  • My meat thermometer melted...help! Oops, can’t help you there.
  • At what temperature should I remove from the oven? 120-125 degrees (interior) for rare. The roast will continue cooking after it comes out. 
  • Roast is out of the oven and temperature is rising. Do I remove the roast from the roasting pan onto a cutting board so it cools down, or leave it alone? Leave it alone. 
IMG_4730.JPG
All-star student, Logan, and her first Prime Rib.

All-star student, Logan, and her first Prime Rib.

We suggest serving Prime Rib for a holiday dinner with your closest friends, perhaps even in January after everything else subsides.  Serve with Potatoes Gratin, a big green salad, and fine red wine.  If you have leftovers, try Roast Beef Hash for a weekend brunch meal the following day.

Diner en Blanc

A. K. Lister

We're going to Diner en Blanc -- an elegant flash mob dinner to convene outdoors at a previously undisclosed location in downtown Charleston on October 15th.  The event originated in Paris but is now held all over the world.  The idea is for everyone to wear white and to conduct themselves with utmost decorum and grace, despite the innate spontaneity of the occasion and casual nature of a picnic.

We can't wait!  Here are just a few things the Dean and company will be sure to include in our picnic basket : 

  • Grapes & Soft Cheese
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Gougeres -- stuffed with chicken salad or just plain.
  • Salmon Canapes
  • Cold-Fried Chicken.  The Dean loves homemade fried chicken but shout-out to Publix for their not-too-shabby stand-in when we are en route to the dock, the beach, or a super-secret picnic location like DeB.
  • Most importantly..these truly genius Sandwiches from goat.sheep.cow!  The first-rate cheese shop, owned by dynamic duo Patti & Trudy, is located ever-so-conveniently right around the corner from us.  The sandwiches are a trade secret (we eat them on a weekly basis) but the crew comes to the Academy in early November for a cocktail-hour class on pairing cheese with champagne, cider, and Madeira.  Look for it on our Calendar soon.

The Dean holds that the blankets and pillows are equally important as the food at a picnic.  Be sure they go with the setting and that there is enough room for everyone to lounge comfortably, Luncheon on the Grass-style.

FYI -- it's not too late to join us at Diner en Blanc -- purchase your tickets HERE.

XOXO, the Academy