Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cooking Class @ The Biltmore Hotel Miami

This post is ridiculously long over due! It's been a pretty busy month and I have not had time to even eat! Ha! Yeah Right! Me? Not eat! Never! Yet, it's been very busy and blogging unfortunately fell on the back burner . . . pun intended! ;)

In January we were invited to take a cooking class at the Biltmore Hotel. It was such a fun and exciting learning experience . . . not to mention that the champagne was flowing relentlessly during the entire luncheon class. Needless to say, I was not complaining! Cooking and champagne, what could be better??? The guest chef was Willy Hernandez of Caramelo Restaurant in Coral Gables. The menu consisted of Shrimp Tamarind & Avocado Salad, Risotto al Porcini topped with Herb Crusted Lamb Loin and a Molten Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut Whipped Cream and Cream Anglaise. Chef Willy taught the interactive luncheon from the stage while a chef at each table helped us as well. We seriously had a wonderful time and although I'm allergic to shrimp (I know, poor me!) I loved the Avocado Salad sans the Tamarind Shrimp, we made the dish for a family gathering the next day and everyone absolutely loved it! I've included the recipe below, and some pictures of my husband making the Shrimp Tamarind.

Avocado Salad with Shrimp Tamarind

For the Avocado Salad
6 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into ¼" cubes
4 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 TBSP cilantro, chopped
2 medium red onions, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped into ¼" cubes
6 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

For the Shrimp Tamarind
16 jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined
4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Tamarind Paste
2 small red sweet peppers, thinly sliced
2 small green sweet peppers, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium bowl, toss all of the ingredients for the avocado salad and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil, once hot, add the garlic and shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Add the peppers and Tamarind paste and cook over moderate heat. Stir for about 3 minutes until shrimp is pink.

Place a ring mold in the center of a 10" plate and fill the ring mold with the avocado salad, carefully remove the ring mold. Neatly place 2 of the Shrimp Tamarind on top. Serves 8.

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