I want to go to the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy. The autonomous region is in the far north bordered by Austria to the north, Switzerland to the northwest, and two regions of Italy, Lombardia on its west and Veneto in the south. It's a mountainous area where the residents mainly speak Italian in Trentino and German in the Alto Adige. I need (notice the verb used) to go there and watch the bruno alpina and grigio alpina cows. I need to listen to the sound of their bells as they wander the mountain pastureland. I need to speak with their custodians, and taste the cheeses made from their milk during the short summer grazing season. I need to wash those cheeses down with some pinot bianco.
I am almost drooling with anticipation regarding Wednesday's GREAT TASTE. It's our monthly show when the Indian Hills culinary students show off their skills so Curt Goudy and his crew will take the stage live at Hy-Vee from the Club Room/Kitchen Lab. They are going to work with pâte à choux. If you aren't familiar with the term, think profiteroles, éclairs, gougères, and much more. Butter, water, flour, eggs equals ecstatic moments.
DON'T MISS THIS LIVE SHOW AT HY-VEE WEDNESDAY AT 7:00 PM
It's not often in our little midwestern rural spot we get to experience having a world-class chef from Europe in our midst. This week's GREAT TASTE features one hour with Chef Bertrand Simon in the Hy-Vee Club Room/Kitchen Lab. Chef Simon, who teaches culinary arts in Lile, France, began his career in 1977. He had the great fortune to work in the kitchens of Paris and other cities during the beginning of the "nouvelle cuisine" revolution so his skills were honed with the influences of traditional and new French techniques during a period of amazing culinary excitement.
Last week, our "live" Great Taste show debuted from Hy-Vee's Club Room/Kitchen Lab and the place was packed and buzzing. Our good friend, Gisella Isidori, wowed the crowd with a dazzling array of dishes including bruschetta, bucatini cacio e pepe, polenta with two sauces, and a Sicilian orange salad.
This Wednesday at 7pm, host Steve Boss and Great Taste is back at Hy-Vee for another "live" show. We invite you to come and learn about the world of Spanish tapas with culinary students from Indian Hills. This is part one of a two-part tapas extravaganza.
Students who have previously participated in the educational exchange program and studied in Vallodolid, Spain, along with Chef/Instructor Liz Peralta will discuss the basic principles of creating tapas dishes. In part two (next month) students who are currently in Vallodolid will show off what they learned. No matter if you come to one or both events, you'll get to taste some luscious dishes.
Don't miss out. Tell your friends. It's fun, tasty, educational and free at Hy-Vee. If you can't make it, tune in at 100.1FM locally, or online at www.kruufm.com.
The simplistic way to look at grilling is its no more than throwing a slab of meat on a grill that's powered by propane with a little help from heat-radiating artificial briquettes. That's not the way we cook on Great Taste, though. Of course, you know that.
It's the week when Indian Hills Culinary culinary students corral Great Taste, and we are looking forward to a crash course on outdoor grilling from Mr. Curtis "Q" Goudy. If you are cruising by the KRUU studio Wednesday before our 7 pm CDT show, give him a shout out. Curt will have a real grill fired up and smoking right on the driveway. Beer can chicken and a little asparagus are going to provide the sustenance for an hour filled with suggestions and techniques to enhance your Memorial Day picnic and carry you right through the summer.
I wish we had more than an hour because there is a lot going on during this week's most delicious 60 minutes on the radio. So tune in and hang on as we explore the culinary world. After all, what are we really other than prisoners of taste?
Molly Aronica, the restaurant editor for The Daily Meal, is recovered from her bout with food poisoning (all in the line of duty). She's got the inside dish on "GREEN" restaurants in time for the upcoming Earth Day celebration on April 22.
Valentine's Day is over folks. Sorry if you missed it, but we cannot look back. Next up, St. Patrick's Day. I know it's not for a month, but we have to take advantage of opportunities when they are presented, so when the Indian Hills culinary gang said they were preparing Irish specialties this week it sounded like a great show idea. The crew, lead by their inspiring chef, Gordon Rader (pictured), will teach us how to make Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage soup, and a Baileys Irish Cream cake. The crew's coordinator, Curt Goudey, promises a bit of Irish food history, too. (See recipe ingredients below)
Kathy and I are back in the studio this week with a "live" show. I've been on the road enjoying meals in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Philadelphia. One thing I finally realized is that I would make a very poor food critic. A food critic does visit a restaurant several times (or should) before putting into print what, in some markets, determines a spot's success or eventual boarding up. After and between those visits there are numerous other establishments that have to be subjected to the scribe's palate. It's a never-ending story of moving on and not going back until it's time to do another review.
So what’s up on Great Taste this week? We’ll get the pleasure of tasting the culinary delights that Ben Froah and several other students from Indian Hills will create in the studio. One of our favorite simple pasta dishes is on the menu-pasta e fagioli. This is a dish you really want to have as part of your kitchen skill set. Ben and the gang are bringing their knives, too. We’ll learn a bit about knife care and skills including how to do both a brunoise and julienne cut. Have your knife, cutting board, and a carrot and potato ready!
For the past three weeks I’ve been putting some miles on and adding the pounds as well. It does take some sacrifice being a road warrior who feels a great responsibility to his listeners. I conducted research in Philadelphia, Westchester County, New York, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Chicago, and I am pleased to report that there is some fine food to be had in each of those cities. If there is one criticism to be leveled at my research it is that many of the spots I visit are places I’ve told you about before.
Being around Chef Gordon Rader, Program Director for Culinary Arts at Indian Hills Community College, is always a multi-faceted experience. He is self-deprecating in a way that makes others feel at ease. That's why he is a master at communication because once he has your attention, he holds it through a quiet sense of command that is backed by years of knowledge and experience. During the past four years he has begun to change the culinary landscape of SE Iowa through his commitment to training top-level chefs in the college's French-technique based program. But that is really only the smallest part of what he's accomplishing. By opening the minds of young people to various cultures and culinary traditions, expanding the school's outreach through exchanges with Spanish educators, supporting local farmers, and various other initiatives, Chef Rader is one of the driving forces behind a regional culinary vision and culture that will provide support for the birth of numerous artisanal products, new restaurants, and specialty food shops. We'll talk about his students, a recent trip to Spain and his favorite holiday foods during his studio visit.