What's the one thing that can make life in the kitchen easier? • A serrated knife, says Harry (Bub) Walker, executive chef of Filippa's Wine Barrel in Sterling Heights, Mich. • A serrated knife isn't just for bread. • You can cut a tomato with it; you can cut lemons and limes, Walker says.
That's just one of the many tips Walker shared with 30 people attending a recent Cuisine du Jour cooking class at Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Trevarrow.
As the weather chills, more folks want to turn the heat up in the kitchen, making fall and winter prime time for cooking classes.
Class offerings typically increase in autumn as more people seek to hone cooking techniques and learn about new cuisines.
Here's a recipe from Executive Chef Bub Walker:
RED-SKINNED POTATO CROQUETTES WITH SMOKED BACON AND DIJON
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
These are great to make ahead and serve at a tailgate.
3 pounds red-skinned potatoes
1 pound wood-smoked bacon such as apple or pecan
1 cup celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
5 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon
1-2 teaspoons Top Secret seasoning (see cook's note)
Chopped chives for garnish
In a large pot, cook the red skinned potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes until tender, but still somewhat firm so they hold their shape. Remove from the pot and cool. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill well.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and crumble the bacon.
Hollow out 10 to 12 of the cooled potatoes. Chop the remaining cooked potatoes with the skin on and place in a bowl. Add the celery, onion, chopped eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon and Top Secret seasoning to taste. Mix to combine. Stuff the salad into the hollowed- out potatoes. (You will have leftover potato salad to serve on the side.) Garnish with chives and serve.
COOK'S NOTE: To make Walker's all-purpose Top Secret seasoning, mix together 1/2 cup granulated garlic, 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup herb seasoning and 1/4 cup black pepper.
Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen. Analysis per 1/2 cup: 337 calories (51 percent from fat), 19 grams fat (5 grams sat. fat), 26 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams protein, 821 mg sodium, 105 mg cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.