Gourmet for a Day With Chef Laurent


Thank you to all who entered the Gourmet for a Day contest! If you were not one of the lucky winners, be sure to check back soon, we will be re-opening the contest. Below you'll find the recipes from this cooking class!

Fried Eggplant and Zucchini

Serves:8 for first course, 4 as a side dish

3 medium zucchini
1 medium eggplant
1 teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chickpea flour (available in specialty food stores)
Olive oil for frying
Juice of 1 lemon
Coarse sea salt and finely cracked pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf or fresh herb of choice

Trim off and discard the ends from the zucchini and eggplant. Cut the zucchinis crosswise in half, then into ¼-inch-thick lengthwise slices. Cut the eggplant into ¾-inch-thick round slices. Layer the slices on a plate, sprinkle each layer with fine salt. Set aside for 1 hour to “sweat.”

Combine the all-purpose flour and chickpea flour in a shallow bowl or on a plate.

Thoroughly dry the zucchini and eggplant slices with paper towels. Toss the slices in the flour and shake off any excess.

Set two large, heavy skillets or frying pans over low heat. When hot, pour olive oil to make a thin layer. Raise the heat slightly, and add enough slices to make a single layer in the skillets.

Fry until golden brown on both sides for about 8 minutes, turning once; drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining slices; add a few more tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet if needed.

Arrange the slices on a warm platter, and sprinkle with lemon juice, coarse salt, pepper, and parsley (or other herb of choice)

Red Cheese Dip

Serves: 6 to 8

1 medium red bell pepper
¼ cup cottage cheese, drained
1 cup feta cheese, drained and crumbled
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Roast the pepper. Using tongs hold the pepper over the open flame or place on a hot grill, turning until blistered and blackened on all sides. Transfer to a paper bag or bowl; close the bag or cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside to cool.

Using your fingers, rub off and discard the core and seeds (but don’t rinse the pepper- water will spoil its flavor) Cut it into small pieces and place it in a food processor bowl.

Set a strainer over a medium bowl. Place the cottage cheese in the strainer and, with the back of a wooden spoon, press through into the bowl.

Add the feta cheese, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the cayenne pepper to the processor bowl. With a few taps on the pulse switch lightly mix together. Add the cottage cheese and combine everything with a few more taps.

Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Pour over the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with pepper and chives.

Potato-Cheese Patties

Makes: 12 kephcedes or 18 kephtedakia (very small patties)

8 small boiling potatoes, skins intact, scrubbed
1 large egg, plus yolk of 1 large egg
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh fennel or dill (or addition of fresh flat-leaf parsley)
4 green onions, including unblemished green parts, trimmed and finely chopped
Coarse sea salt and finely cracked pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil for frying
A few sprigs of purslane or young arugula leaves for garnishing

Heat oven to 375˚ F. Place 2 baking trays in the oven to heat.

Cook the potatoes in boiling water until just tender (about 12 minutes) Drain, and set aside.

Peel the potatoes, and pass them through a food mill fitted with the fine disk.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk until frothy. Add the parsely, fennel or dill, green onions, salt, and pepper. Pour this over the potatoes, add the cheese, and stir in mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Spread the flour on plate. Moisten your hands with cold water and pat barely dry. Shape the potato mixture into 12 balls for kephtedes or into 18 balls for kephtedakia. Flatten the balls slightly and dredge with flour.

Brush the hot baking trays with olive oil and arrange the patties on them, 1 inch apart. Brush with olive oil. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, turn and bake 6 to 8 minutes longer or until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Arrange the kephtedes on a platter, garnish with the purslane or arugula, and serve warm.

Spanish Frittata

Serves 4

1 tablespoon capers
½ red bell pepper
½ green bell pepper
4 russet potatoes
1 medium Spanish onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tomato
6 medium eggs
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or, to taste
¼ cup olive oil, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup water
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Rinse the capers and cut in half. Cut the red and green bell peppers into thin strips. Peel the potatoes and cut into thin slices. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Peel the tomato, cut into 6 slices, and remove the seeds. In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs. Stir in the cayenne pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 10-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, sliced potato, and the bell peppers. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over. Add the water. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork (10 to 15 minutes). Remove the vegetable from the pan and clean out the pan.

In a large bowl, combine the vegetables with the beaten egg. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil the frying pan on low-medium heat, make sure that all the pan is covered with the oil. Pour the egg mixture into the pan.

When the top of the frittata is firm but still moist, cover the frying pan with a plate. Turn the frying pan over so that the frittata falls on the plate. Clean out the pan and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Carefully slide the frittata back into the pan, so that the bottom is now on top. Sprinkle the cheese, capers and chopped parsley on top. To serve, cut the frittata into wedges.

Crab Dip

1 (7 oz) can crab meat
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 teaspoon mustard
2 green onions, chopped
1 (8oz) package cream cheese softened

Preheat oven to 325˚ F
Combine all ingredients and place in an oven proof dish.
Bake for 20 minutes.


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