I’m lucky to work with some of the best chefs around while putting together the food features you see in Emma. Taste testing is by far one of the greatest perks of being an editor! Local chef and all-around entertaining expert, Brendan McCaskey is responsible for some of our yummiest and most beautiful recipes to date, so when we decided to host a series of cooking classes, bringing him into the mix was a no-brainer. We hosted the evening in our newly renovated kitchen, and it feels so great to begin making memories in our new old space!
Brendan kicked off the evening making avocado deviled eggs with quick pickled onions. This was a great opportunity for him to teach about quick pickling methods and how to make up your own recipes from scratch while whetting our appetites for more!
He then introduced students to the Olivari Audio Cookbook, a smart phone app, which allows you to follow along with your favorite recipe at your own pace without having to use your hands. This is especially crucial if say you’re hands are covered in oil or you’re stuffing a chicken. Pretty snazzy and a great tool for home cooks that aren’t quite confident enough to improvise their way around the kitchen just yet.
From knife skills to roasting techniques, Brendan spilled his culinary school expertise one amazing dish after another. Keep an eye out for our fall issue where we’ll share the recipes you don’t see here!
As the evening drew to a close, we got to spoil attendees with SWAG bags filled with homemade caramels, the best scented candles, and their own bottle of Olivari Olive Oil to take home.
Melon Salad with Creamy Pecan Dressing
- 1 egg
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup Olivari Olive Oil
Creamy Pecan Dressing:
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium-large melon of your choice (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.) peeled and diced into bite sized pieces
- 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves removed and torn into pieces
In a blender or food processor, blend together the egg, lemon juice, dijon, salt, & pepper until combined. With the blender still running, slowly add the oil and a steady stream, and blend until the mayo is thick and smooth. Can be refrigerated up to 1 week.
In a blender or food processor, blend together mayo, greek yogurt, sherry vinegar, and toasted pecans. Season to taste.
Season melon and cucumbers with salt and pepper. Place melon and cucumbers in a bowl with mint leaves. Toss together with pecan dressing. Serve over a bed of arugula.
- 2 tablespoons Olivari Olive Oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 small squash, diced
- 2 ears of corn, shucked and kernels removed
- 1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 1 lemon – zested and cut in half
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 5 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
Put a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add olive oil and red onion. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add red peppers and cook for another 3 minutes. Add zucchini and squash and cook for another 5 minutes. Add corn and edamame, and salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Add vinegar and stir for 1 minute, then add the lemon zest, a squeeze of half a lemon, and the mascarpone cheese. Lower heat and stir until the mascarpone is fully incorporated into the succotash. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Plate and serve with chopped bacon pieces sprinkled on top.